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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript 10/31: 'It's the next game'

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media at Gillette Stadium on Friday, October 31, 2014.

BB: Alright, how we doing?

Q: No costume?

BB: No, no.

Q: No pirate?

BB: This is it. I'm in it.


Q:** With Peyton Manning and his reputation for so many audibles at the line of scrimmage, what is the fine line in terms of telling your defense what to listen to and what not to listen to?

BB: It's really hard to hear anything at home. On the road, you can usually [hear] the communication, but at home it's hard to hear what the offensive communication is. Sometimes those guys can barely hear it. And they do a good job of changing it up anyway. So, I don't think it's really that big of a – even if you could hear it, it might do more harm than good. Like last year, when San Diego was offside five times in the playoffs. I mean, you have to be careful on that with them. They do a real good job of changing it up. I mean, we've done the TV copy games and listened to them and all that – they do a good job. But, when you're playing at home, it's hard to hear what the offense is saying.

Q: Your secondary this year seems to have a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things. How pleased have you been with the depth back there?

BB: I think we have real good competition back there. Those guys come out every week and really compete well in practice. We've had different combinations in games, both at the corner and safety position. It's been good all the way through training camp. Those guys have done a good job of knowing what to do, being somewhat interchangeable to a degree and I think that's certainly helped our depth and our matchups over the course of the season so far. We'll see how it goes going forward, but it's a healthy, competitive situation.

Q: Does this game seem like a bigger game than any other regular season game?

BB: It's the next game. I think our preparations for this game have been like the other seven. The first game is a little bit different.

Q: Do you talk to your team about possible playoff implications?

BB: No. You think anybody is going to be in the playoffs after this weekend? Seven wins? I don't think that would get anybody in the playoffs. That's just me, I could be wrong, but I don't think seven wins will get anybody in the playoffs.

Q: Just the home field implications going up against the Broncos.

BB: No, we're obviously on a different page.

Q: Can you speak to how good the Broncos have been at stopping the run and the challenge that presents?

BB: They've been great at stopping the run. They're the best team in the league at stopping the run. Sixty, 70 yards a game, whatever it is. [They're] really hard to run on. They do a good job all the way across the board: on the outside, it's hard to get outside on [DeMarcus] Ware and [Von] Miller. It's hard to block the inside guys, [Sylvester] Williams, obviously [Terrance] Knighton; [Derek] Wolfe is a real good player in there, they've got some plays out of [Marvin] Austin [Jr.]. Their linebackers run well and tackle well. The secondary supports well. Yeah, it's hard to run on them. There have been a few third-and-long runs, third-and-19 gain 10, but that's … they're runs, but they don't really count. They're not that productive. They've done a real good job in the running game. They've created a lot of second-and-longs and a team is on second-and-long trying to run when they think they're pass rushing and it still winds up third-and-9 and that type of thing. They've been very good in short-yardage. They're one of the best short-yardage teams in the league. I think they're tied for first or second, whatever it is. But they're hard to run on in every situation. Yeah, that's definitely going to be a big challenge for us.

Q: Do you look at the Super Bowl film from last season?

BB: Of course. Yeah, we look at all the games. We had all the games last season up to our game and then our game then the Seattle game and then all the games this year. I mean, that would be normal though. We'd do that. Teams like Buffalo and Miami that we played at the end of the year last year, we watch the last couple games after we played them and then all the games they played this year.

Q: Knowing the success that Seattle had in that game, is that a blueprint on how to succeed against that offense? Is there anything you can learn from that?

BB: I think you can watch any game and learn from it. Sometimes you might be learning what you don't want to do. Sometimes you can see examples of things that look good or maybe matchups that you might be able to create. Or sometimes you see matchups that you can't create so maybe you need to try to find something else. But yeah, we've seen all their games. I'm sure they've seen all of ours. But at some point you just have to boil all that information down. We have way more information than we can possibly use or we've run and looked at way more plays than can possibly be run in this game. We have to try to put our chips on the ones that we feel like are the most important and I'm sure there will be some game planning in this game. We'll see some things that we haven't seen or haven't worked on this week, or maybe we've talked about, but we haven't spent a lot of time on and they'll come up and we'll have to adjust those during the game. That's part of the game every week, too, but certainly part of their game.

Q: What can Alan Branch bring to the defense?

BB: We started working with Alan this week, so we'll see how it goes. He's obviously got a lot of size and some experience. We'll see how it goes.

Q: You've had pretty good success heading into the bye week. Is there a reason for that?

BB: I think the same thing I've always said, any games we've won here is because we had good players.

Q: How different has it been preparing for the Broncos without Champ Bailey?

BB: We didn't see him in the first game last year. I mean, look, it's like that every week. There are guys on other teams that weren't on the team last year or have been on our team and then there [are] guys that have been on those teams for a long time and they're not on those teams anymore. I think every week you [could] probably put a couple guys in that category.

Q: Any thoughts on his retirement?

BB: Yeah, no, I talked about him the other day. I mean, great career; great player. He's one of the, I think one of the things that made him so good was his ability to match up on so many different types of receivers. He could handle speed guys, he could handle size guys. He could match up on tight ends. He had a great skill set in terms of coverage, very good hands, ball skills, timing and he was a smart player in terms of recognizing route combinations and receiver splits and anticipating plays. He was a hard guy to deal with on a lot of levels, but his ability to cover so many different types of receivers was, I thought, really impressive. It didn't really matter who he was on, he had a way to match up with them that was effective.


Q:** Brandon Browner had some success against Martellus Bennett last week. How rare or how nice is it to have a cornerback who is that size to match up with tight ends?

BB: Yeah, I mean, it takes a certain type of corner to do that. We did that last year with Aqib [Talib] on [Jimmy] Graham and New Orleans. Sometimes it just falls that way. But it's good to have players, like I just said with Bailey, it's good to have players that can match up with different players. That's really what it comes down to in this league. You see a lot of different types of receivers from week to week with different skill sets, so you have to be able to deal with all of them. There are some receivers out there that look like tight ends, really. They might play whatever position you want to call them, but whatever they are, they're big receivers, big guys that can catch the ball, so matching up on them can be challenging. Call them whatever you want to call them, the guy is a big receiver. If you want to call him a tight end, call him a tight end. If you want to call him a receiver, you can call him a receiver too because that's what he is. Vincent Jackson, Jimmy Graham, those guys are just big guys that can catch the ball wherever position you want to put them in.

Q: Would you put Julius Thomas in that same category, too?

BB: Yeah, another big guy that can catch the ball, sure. Really, [Jacob] Tamme has done a good job for them, too and the roles that he's been in on that. The Seattle game is a good example. He's another big guy to match up with. So, yeah, those guys are all – you need certain matchups against them. It's hard to find those same kind of players on your team defensively that are 6-3, 6-4, 6-5, two-whatever, 230 to 245ish that can run and play the ball like those guys can. It's hard to find them. There's not a lot of them.

Q: Will you use either game against Denver last year as a teaching tool or motivational tool to prepare this week?

BB: Sure. There's no better matchup than us against them. Of course.

Q: Is there any carryover from last season?

BB: Yeah, there are a lot of players on their team that were there last year; a lot of players on our team that were there last year. There's more carryover in that game than there is in any other game. That's us; it's them. I don't know, it's the best matchup you could have to look at.

Q: How much, if at all, do you start looking at potential weather forecast for Sunday and how that might affect the game plan or play calling?


BB:** When you play in New England, you have to be ready for everything. I'd say based on the forecasts we've gotten so far this year, none of them have been even very close to what game conditions were. There was 100 percent chance of rain last week and the only water I saw was on the Gatorade table. You know, it is what it is. You know as well as I do, it could start one way and change during the game. we have to be ready for whatever it is, but my experience of going with the forecast in this area two days before the game, I mean I'd bet a lot that they're wrong, just based on history because they're almost always wrong. An hour before the game, maybe. You might have something to work with there. I think [if] you start game planning for what the weather is going to be and you game plan wrong, you've wasted a lot of time.

Q: When's the latest you look at the forecast?

BB: When you walk out on the field. I mean, that's really when you know what it is. I mean, the rest of it is really just a bunch of hot air. We played down in Miami two years ago and there was a zero percent chance of rain – zero – and it rained. I'm just telling you. If I did my job the way they do theirs, I'd be here about a week.

Q: You're not making any friends with meteorologists.

BB: Look, I'm not saying I could do it better than them, I'm just saying they're wrong a lot. That's a fact. They're wrong a lot. We all make mistakes. I'm not being critical of them, I'm just saying I don't think you can go based on that.

Q: So an hour before the game, you walk out…

BB: An hour before the game, you go out there and see what you have. You go out there in pregame warmups, an hour-and-a-half before the game, go out there in pregame warmups, now you're a half hour before the game, see if there's been any change. Then you might, again I don't think we're going to see anything out there that we haven't practiced in. We've dealt with it in practice; we've dealt with it in other games through the course of time. Whatever it is, it is. We've played in hot weather, cold weather, calm, wind, rain, snow.

Q: Was that game in 2009 against the Titans one of the weirdest games you remember in terms of that? It seemed like the weather changed drastically.

BB: Yeah, right, exactly. Yeah, that was another one you don't plan for. Yeah, we've had a lot of those games. What it could be and what it is [are] usually two different things. But you know, I'd say that time before the game is when it really starts to become clear what it's going to be. Sometimes you're in a transitional period where it changes during the course of the game, one way or the other, it gets better or it gets worse, that type of thing. That could be maybe something that you might consider if you think it's going to go one way or the other. But I'd say for the most part it's a game day, something that you do more game day.

Q: Do you guys have a chance to enjoy Halloween in any way or are you too busy?

BB: Yeah, this week, yeah, I think we have quite a bit going on this week. Great holiday for the kids, but we have a lot going on.

Q: What's your favorite Halloween candy?

BB: Whatever is in the bag. I like them all, whatever you drop in there.

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