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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript - 10/19/2011

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, October 19, 2011.

BB: I don't think it's a big news day here for us. Just bye week, practice yesterday, practice today, see if we can improve in a few areas. Then give the players an opportunity to get some rest, relax a little bit, get away from football for a few days and come back and be ready to go against the Steelers. What's the story here?

Q: Yesterday it seemed like you did a blue and white scrimmage. That seemed like a different approach than what I recall in years past.

BB: We wanted to work on a few things so we divided the team so we could do that.

Q: Which side won?

BB: It really wasn't - we did a lot of different situations so it was more of a situation game.

Q: Have you done that in the past? A midseason scrimmage?

BB: Yes, sure.

Q: When you send your players into the bye week, how much do you want their head to be in what you're doing to get ready for the game after the bye week and how much do you actually want them to take a break?

BB: I'd say the majority is to take a break. We're into it yesterday, we're into it today. Then we'll take a break and come back, reenergized, hopefully refreshed and ready to go. Hopefully we can take advantage of those couple days to get some things out of the way that have piled up on all of us. Like I said, get some rest, get treatment, get some bumps and bruises taken care of and come back with a full tank of energy.

Q: How much of a break do you allow yourself to take or do you not take one at all?

BB: No, I'll definitely take a little bit of a break here in the next couple days, slow it down a little bit, see if I can get caught up on some of those same things I just mentioned.

Q: What are you going to do? Get some treatment?

BB: Yeah, get some treatment, get some rest. Try not to put on too many pounds.

Q: With the way you started because of the lockout, is this really the first chance that you and the players and coaches have had to take a break?

BB: Yeah I'd say the other ones have come in shorter, short windows. That's about right. It's the way it is every year really. You start training camp and you go until the bye week and then you get a little window and then you go the rest of the way.

Q: Get oil changed stuff like that?

BB: Yeah, exactly.

Q: Dry cleaning?

BB: Get the Halloween decorations up.

Q: That's got to be your favorite holiday.

BB: Pretty good. Candy and costumes - how can you beat that?

Q: With the scrimmage yesterday, does it help to get things heated up in practice and get a game-like situation?

BB: I don't really think that's what we were trying to do yesterday. We were trying to work on situations. We got a lot of them - there were some good things that came up, good for the coaches to think about them, good for the players to think about them, good for us to try to do the things that we would do in those situations. In some cases, we didn't do them quite the way we would want to do them, so hopefully we got that corrected this morning.

Q: Is it situations that you didn't do as well in the past or situations you want to prepare for in the future?

BB: It's really a lot of random stuff. We just kind of played, so whatever happened, happened. We just had to react to whatever the play before was. If something happened, then here we are. If it's third and 20, it's third and 20. If it's third and one, its third and one. What do we do? Whatever came up, came up.

Q: How much of this bye week do you take to do some advance scouting on teams you have in Weeks 9 and 10, like the Giants and Jets again?

BB: Not too much. I mean, we advance scout everybody. We have people in our organization that work on not this week's opponent but next week's opponent but starting this week so that when we finish with that game, we have a lot of information that's already prepared - the film is broken down, the reports are written on personnel and tendencies and we have individual reports and films of each individual player, how they play, their strengths, their weaknesses, their tendencies, things like that so that's already there. So we do that on a weekly basis anyway. Next week, we'll start working on the team after Pittsburgh the next week. We kind of have that weekly time by certain people in our organization - they're always a week ahead. And then there are others of us that are focused on the week that we have and really don't get to that next team until we're done with the team we're currently competing against. Now, will some of those people maybe get a little bit ahead of getting ahead? I'm sure they will. But that's kind of how it works. We're on sort of the same routine every week.

Q: We didn't see Tom Brady out there yesterday. Was he given the day off and was it precautionary just to give him a rest?

BB: I don't know. Was he out there yesterday?

Q: For the window we were out there, we didn't see him.

BB: I didn't take roll so I don't know. The guys who were out there were out there. The ones that weren't, weren't.

Q: You don't stand there with the checklist like we do?

BB: No. Well only on the days when we have to file it, then we'll file it appropriately. Since yesterday wasn't one of those days, then some guys were out at the beginning, some guys went in, some guys came out later and I don't know.

Q: Are there any days when you're jealous of us?

BB: Most days.

Q: I do want to ask about how things have changed. You mentioned on the radio the other day about the postgame handshake and the shelf life of very innocuous stories. How has the whole dynamic changed media-wise, even from the '80s when you were with the Giants?

BB: We don't have time for a long answer like that. I don't know. Look, it's the way of the world - we're all living in it.

Q: Does the true football fan suffer sometimes?

BB: I don't know, you'd have to ask them. I don't know. Look, I'm not here to solve the world's problems. I'm just trying to coach a football team and see if we can get ready and beat Pittsburgh and have a couple productive days on the bye week. Those philosophical questions probably need to go to a much higher plane than the one I'm on. With all due respect, I just can't - you're asking more than I have.

Q: When it comes to the self-scouting you guys and a lot of teams do during the bye weeks, what does that entail? Are you involved with that?

BB: Again, I think it is a little of a misconception. We don't just self-scout during the bye week; we do it on a weekly basis. We look at our games that we feel like our opponents are looking at, whatever that constitutes. What are they seeing? Does that affect what we want to do? Do you want to change that? Do we want to not change it? And if we do want to change it, how do we want to change it? That's something that you do every week. The bye week - you have a little bit more time. Maybe if you wanted to not just look at the description of the plays or a written report of the plays, maybe you actually go to those plays and say, 'Okay, not what do they have on paper, but let me actually go look at the plays and see what's happening on our third down or our inside runs or our outside runs or our kickoff returns' or whatever it is. You have an awareness of that on a weekly basis anyway. You know what you've been doing the last couple weeks. You definitely sit down at some point during the week and look at that. How many times have we called this in this situation? What's our run-pass breakdown? What's our blitz breakdown? How many left returns have we run? How many right returns have we run? What tendencies are we forming? Again, tendencies are like anything else, when it's 50-50, 60-40, 65-35 - how hard can you bank on 60-40? But when it's 90 percent or 95 percent that certain things are happening, now you're getting - that's pretty predictable. And sometimes it's okay. Sometimes it's kind of okay to - look, Nolan Ryan is on the mound, he's going to throw a fastball. That's no secret. Is he better off throwing a fastball than a change up? Yeah. He's going to throw a fastball; let's see who can hit it. I don't say you have to change up all the time; you just have to know what you're doing. If you want to say, 'Okay, they know it's coming, it's our best thing, we're going to do it anyway, let's see if they can stop it,' that's alright. You just have to know what you're doing. If you say, 'Well, we think they're not going to adjust to it,' and they do because it's something you do all the time, then you don't want to put yourself in that position. But it's not something that just happens during the bye week. It happens every week. Could you take a little longer look at it during the week? Yeah, absolutely and that's a good thing to do. But it's something we do on a weekly basis.

Q: Obviously the message is different for different players. Is there something specifically you tell the rookies before they take off for the bye week?

BB: I actually met with the rookies this morning for about 40 minutes so we told them quite a few things. It's just different for them. It's a different experience. What they did in college and what happens in college relative to an NFL season is just different. It's the kind of thing you can't really prepare for. You just have to go through it and experience it. [I] just try to talk to the players about some of things that they could expect, some things that they might experience in future weeks. We've had players talk to them along those same lines. Players who have been through it: 'Here's what the coaches are telling you and here's what a couple of my experiences were.' It might be helpful for them to hear those or to let them ask questions, that kind of thing. We do that on a pretty regular basis anyway. Whether it's the start of training camp, beginning of the regular season, bye week, we spend a lot of time with the rookies, trying to help them acclimate themselves to a new area, a different working environment, a different team structure than whatever structure they were on before - not that anybody else's is better or worse than ours, I'm not saying that, but ours is what it is. They have to understand it and be able to utilize the opportunities and tools that we give them to try to help improve themselves on and off the field, in and out of football. It's a pretty extensive thing. Yeah, we do it on a regular basis. Matter of fact, we did do it today.

Q: How accurate would it be that in the meeting today that the message was when you're leaving here for three or four days, you may be going back to a college campus, for lack of better words, you make more money now, you have a high profile job - be careful. Is that sort of what your message is to them on a day like today?

BB: I think that's a message for any professional athlete pretty much any day. From the day they become a professional athlete, things change. They carry that with them wherever they go, whether it's the bye week or any other week, so yeah sure, those things are part of it. Once they're drafted or once they sign a professional contract, to me it changes a little bit. But along those lines, sure.

Q: What do you remember of former Bills center Kent Hull? I'm sure you heard he passed away yesterday.

BB: No I didn't, didn't hear that. He was one of the key guys in that K-gun offense. They had a good offensive line with Hull, [John] Fina. Solid guy, played there for I don't know how many years, but quite a few, a dozen years or 10 years. Solid guy, hate to hear that.

Q: PUP guys were back yesterday, what were your thoughts on what they were able to do?

BB: Good to have them out there. Yeah, it's great to have them out there. I know they're excited to be out there too. They've been working hard, good to get them on the field and get them working with the rest of the team. Get another day today and see where they get. But yeah, it's good to see them.

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