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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript 10/26

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference on Wednesday, October 26, 2016.

BB: Alright, so we made a couple transactions. I think you guys got all of those. As always, we try to do what we feel like is best for the football team. We'll see how it goes with them; the new people that we have. Buffalo's again, they're playing very well. It's a good football team. They do a lot of things well; good on offense, good on defense, good on special teams, at the top of the league in a lot of categories. They have a lot of good players and certainly played well against us a month ago. It'll be a big challenge going up there like it always is; a division game on the road. We need to have a good week and be ready to go up there and compete hard on Sunday. We know this will be tough.

Q: Do you expect to have Dion Lewis out there at practice today?

BB: If he is, we'll let you know.

Q: Do you see Kyle Van Noy as being more of an on-the-line or off-the-line player here?

BB: He's played both, yeah. He played both for Detroit, yeah. We'll see.

Q: Did they use him much as a pass rusher?

BB: No. No, he was on the line [as] 'Sam' [strong-side linebacker] in their 4-3 package. He was off the line inside linebacker in their nickel package. He didn't really play a lot his first two years. This year was the year he had the most playing time. He played in the kicking game.

Q: Do you see any similarities between him and Shea McClellin?

BB: I don't know. We haven't even been on the field with the guy so I don't know.

Q: With AJ Derby being gone do you think James Develin or Glenn Gronkowski can now fill some depth at the tight end position for you?

BB: It's just what it is for today. We'll see.

Q: When you have a relationship with a front office like you do with Bob Quinn in Detroit does that make easier to facilitate a trade like yesterdays?

BB: I mean it could, yeah. I mean, you know, there are a lot of teams that don't. They seem kind of reluctant to trade this time of year especially, but it's one of those things that came up fairly quickly and just worked out. It wasn't something we had talked about or anything like that previously. As I said, it kind of came up so we were able to work it out. Look, Bob [Quinn]'s great to work with. But we made another trade with another team in our conference so if it's there to be made, it's there to be made. If it's not, it's not.

Q: Is there any hesitation in making a trade with another AFC contender like you did with AJ Derby?

BB: We're trying to make our team better. That's what we're trying to do. I mean I can't worry about what everybody else is doing or not doing. I'm trying to make our team better.

Q: How valuable is it for the left side of the offensive line to have Nate Solder and Joe Thuney in there together consistently, and is that continuity important to the development of a rookie like Thuney?

BB: Well, it definitely helps. I think continuity helps on the offensive line. Those five guys on every play have to block five people, so they all need to see those five people the same way, whatever it is, and be able to make the adjustments when they move, stunt, blitz, whatever, whatever their charge is. We have to be able to block the five guys we're responsible for, so working together on that, seeing it together, it's not just 'Me blocking my man,' but in a lot of cases there's two or three people working together to block two or three other people that we have to collectively all see it the same way and that's what a good line does. So yeah, continuity definitely helps.

Q: How different will Buffalo's defensive front look this week now that they have Marcell Dareus and Shaq Lawson back? Will that change their scheme at all or is it just a matter of them having different personnel?

BB: I mean they haven't made a lot of changes. Most of their changes come on third-down. First and second-down is - now they have multiple fronts and multiple looks; they don't always line up in the same place. A guy like Kyle Williams is really lined up I would say on every player on the offensive line. I've seen him over tackles, definitely over left guards where he usually is, but he's been over the center, he's been over the right guard. I don't know what they will do with [Marcell] Dareus or Kyle Williams for that matter. They can move them around but I think their fronts and their basic early down defenses - there's a lot of continuity there from week to week. But there's a lot of variety, too. They don't always just line up in the same place but they have their different schemes and they run those. So I don't know. I'm sure Dareus will fit in there somewhere. It could be in more than one spot. Sure, it could.

Q: In your time in New England, each time you've lost to Buffalo in the first matchup your team has responded with a victory in the second matchup. Do you take this as sort of a revenge game due to their victory earlier in the season?

BB: Every game is its own entity. I don't care about the games that have happened in the past. We've won them, we've lost them. I don't think it matters. What matters is what happens this week. I'm not just saying on Sunday. It matters what happens the week leading up to the week; the preparation. This game will be different than any other game, like it always is. I don't really care about those other games.

Q: What have you seen from Mike Gillislee out of the backfield for them?

BB: He's had - some of his time has been limited of course because [LeSean] McCoy's had such an explosive season - but when he's had a chance to play he's done a good job. He had a big run against San Francisco, like a 30-yard touchdown, 35-yard touchdown, whatever it was. [He's] a strong downhill runner, one cut guy that's hard to tackle, good complimentary player to McCoy. I mean McCoy's exceptional. This guy's an elite back. He's tremendous. His explosive plays this year are by far the best in the league. He's very hard to tackle, he's got great instincts, he's a tremendous player. But [Mike] Gillislee's a good back, too. They've got a good combination there. It's good depth. And Jonathan Williams - I'm sure we'll see him at some point, too.

Q: What have you seen from Lorenzo Alexander this year?

BB: He's been great. He's had a great year. [He's] been a tremendous run player, pass player, every special team, impact player in the kicking game and impact player on defense, hard to block, rushes inside, rushes outside, good tackler, great motor. He's really good.

Q: Is it rare to see a player like Alexander have such an uptick in production this late into his career?

BB: It probably is. But he has it every game. I mean he has it every quarter. There are no lulls. He makes plays on the punt team, he makes plays on the kickoff team. I'm talking about impact plays, not just taking up space. He's having a great year. He's one of the best players we've seen all year. I'd put him up against anybody in terms of what he's done this year. His production has been consistent and at a very high level.

Q: What did you see out of Shaq Lawson last week and did you guys take a look at him at all coming out of college?

BB: Right. Well we didn't pick until the second round. I wouldn't say we were spending a lot of time on guys that are top 15-type of picks. It's pretty unrealistic. Yeah, [he's] a good player. You see last week in kind of some pass rush situations, Miami had a lot of success running the ball. They weren't in a lot of long-yardage situations. I don't know if that affected maybe some of his play time. It was the first game. I'm sure he'll play more. They'll play him more as they go forward. Again, that game was kind of unique from that kind of a standpoint, getting into passing, substitutions or passing-type calls when Miami had their running game going pretty well and it kind of tilted the scales a little bit the other way.

Q: How have you seen Tyrod Taylor improve his abilities as a passer?

BB: He had a huge day against us. That's about as good as it gets right there. As good of a day as he's had passing was against us. He's good, he's accurate, he's athletic in the pocket, he throws the deep ball well, throws the ball on time. We're going to have to find a way to defend it better than we defended it the first game.

Q: How much of the pregame scuffle that was initiated by Buffalo in the last game a product of their mentality of playing like a bully and establishing a tough brand of football? Do you guys need to be on alert for that this week?

BB: I think what we need to do this week is go up there and play a good football game in all three phases of the game. That's what we're focused on.

Q: What changes from a preparation standpoint when you play an opponent that you just recently played a few weeks ago?

BB: We start all over again. We've been focused on three other teams in the meantime. Now we turn our attention to Buffalo and obviously need to do a better job than we did in the last game if we're going to be competitive. We need to coach better, we need to execute better, we need to do a lot of things better. We need to start all over again. We emptied the tank against Pittsburgh. It's time to fill it up again.

Q: How difficult is it to balance keeping Tyrod Taylor contained to negate his scrambling abilities but not allowing him all day to sit in the pocket and find receivers?

BB: Yeah, there's that balance between the aggressive pass rush but also proper leverage and discipline. Any time you face guys like that that's the challenge. You can't just stand there and watch them and not let them scramble or he'll throw. You can't rush out of control and give up 20, 30-yard scramble runs that are uncontested. I mean that's not the answer either. So yeah, it's somewhere in between discipline, leverage and doing it consistently. There's no secret to it. It's just a lot of hard work.

Q: How has this group of defensive linemen done this year in balancing those approaches?

BB: I mean it doesn't really matter. It matters what happens this Sunday. We'll have to be ready to do it against this group. It wasn't good enough the last time we played them; I know that. It'll have to be better than what it was three weeks ago.

Q: How unique is Patrick Chung's ability to cover different positions like he does against receivers, running backs and tight ends?

BB: Yeah, Pat [Chung]'s got - he's got really good skills, very tough, very good tackler and he matches up against a lot of players. I think I've said before Wes [Welker] was a hard guy to cover in the slot but - and I'm not saying he shut Wes out - but I mean he covered Wes. Wes had his plays, too. But he covered Wes competitively in the slot in one-on-ones out here many times. That was a good battle. Wes was good, Chung was good, but I'm just saying that's a pretty high level of player to cover. Those were very competitive matchups. Like you said, he's been on receivers, he's been on fast tight ends, he's been on big tight ends, he's been on backs. He's got good quickness, good strength, instinctive, tough, mentally tough, physically tough, very good tackler. Guys can catch passes on him but usually he tackles them so that keeps some of those plays from becoming bigger plays and that's important, too. He can play zone, he can play man. He's a versatile player for us. He helps us in a lot of ways and he plays in the kicking game and you've seen him make plays on special teams as well. He's one of our best conditioned athletes. He's able to play a lot of plays and able to play them at a high level.

Q: Patrick Chung lines up often close to the line of scrimmage and seems to do well defending the run. What is it in his skill set that allows him to have success doing that?

BB: That is his skill set. Yeah, he's great at that; finding the ball, getting through traffic, fitting in the running game, covering in traffic. He knows all of those kinds of things. He's really good at that. When we had him before he left and then he came back and you know we just weren't able to put him into some of the positions that he should've been put in. We had other things to deal with. We were trying to deal with other things on the defense and we've been able to I would say play him in a much better way in the last three years than we did when he was here the first time. I think our utilization of him has been better. He's been pretty much the same player but I think we've been able to utilize him better the last three years and he's done a great job embracing the different responsibilities that we've given him, which he has a lot of different things to do on the defense within the game or from game to game. So he handles those responsibilities very well in addition to this responsibilities on special teams, which again, when you start talking about guys like Lorenzo Alexander and [Patrick] Chung and guys like that that not only are impact defensive players but they're impact players in the kicking game, that's a lot of added value.

Q: You said you have utilized him better on the field in his second stint here with the Patriots. What goes into that process of getting a player to reach their potential? Is there a moment where something just clicks and he finds his proper role?

BB: I mean every situation is different. Every player is different. I mean I told you what the sequence of events was and after Philadelphia released him I talked with Pat [Chung]. We had a long talk about what our situation was, how I saw it going forward, how he saw it going forward, how it was different from the other years that he was here and I would say that's the way it has been. Things change.

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