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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript 10/7

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Friday, October 7, 2016.

Q: Does the relative youth of the Browns' defense make scouting some of their players more difficult because there isn't much game tape available on them?

BB: It's mostly, Phil [Perry], on the front. I mean [Demario] Davis - we've played against him for a long time. [Christian] Kirksey, Tramon Williams, [Joe] Haden, Jamar Taylor - we've played against him; [Jordan] Poyer. So, it's actually a pretty good level of experience. It's the front, and yeah, those guys are - you've got a lot of one and two year players; no doubt. They all play. I think there's plenty of snaps of them but I'd say the secondary including Kirksey - I mean I know Kirksey's a young player too - the guy's made a lot of tackles. I don't know. He's made a lot of plays. There's plenty of tape on him. They never come off the field, he and Davis. But yeah, the front - we're going to have to do a good job and I think that's a challenge for the players to see two or three different guys line up across from them. A lot of times it's the same guy most of the game. I don't think that'll be the case this week.

Q: So are you saying they mix and match where guys line up across the defense?

BB: Well, no, I'd say they roll everybody through. Yeah, I mean everybody plays. I mean they don't have to but it seems like you kind of get everybody. Guys that are active, they all have a role. They all play, whereas in the secondary that's less true. They have their base defense and then they have their 4-2-nickel. Davis and Kirksey never come off the field so you can forget about them. So it's either four DB's [defensive backs] or the fifth DB, and the fifth DB is usually always the same guy in that game. I mean they've had Haden, Williams was out last week, Haden was out a couple of weeks ago, [Ibraheim] Campbell got hurt, he's been out, so there's been different guys in there but I think if the players are healthy it's pretty much the same four to five guys depending on whether they're in base or nickel.

Q: Did you feel like yesterday's practice in full pads was a productive workout knowing that those are limited throughout the season?

BB: Yeah, well we needed it. Obviously, the Browns are an excellent running team so to be able to get our timing on that, also offensively just to work against an odd spacing team. In their 3-4 they're really kind of more of an under team but it's the same thing; a lot more odd spacing so just to get our timing and our footwork and our execution in the running game and one-on-one pass rush, third-down, that's always good.

Q: What have you seen from Greg Scruggs in his short time here?

BB: Well, you know, we saw him in Chicago when they practiced against us. A strong, physical player, 270-plus [pounds], whatever he is. He played defense for a couple of years so he's a conversion and doesn't have as much experience at the position [tight end] as some guys do. But good size, athletic, so we'll see and we'll just evaluate him.

Q: How has Woodrow Hamilton been coming along on the practice squad?

BB: He's working hard, yeah. He's working hard.

Q: Is he more of a big guy that can hold the point or more of a gap player?

BB: Yeah, I'd say he's - I mean he's a big, strong, physical player. He's a little different than Anthony Johnson. He's probably more of the second description you had there.

Q: With a guy like Terrelle Pryor who has a diverse skill set, do you need to be prepared for all aspects of his game such as throwing and running with the ball as well?

BB: Yeah, absolutely. He's done it. Sure, we have to. Yeah, absolutely. And you know, like in the Miami game, he did it in critical situations; third-and-goal on the three, first-and-goal on the two. It wasn't like it was just some random play that they just tossed him in there for. They did it in some critical situations, so yeah, absolutely we have to prepare for him and that package when he's in there. He's a little different than a lot of the wildcat running backs because of his quarterbacking skills, so it's definitely a problem. And his speed, I mean this guy's fast.

Q: Do you sense any level of excitement from your players that Tom Brady is back with the team?

BB: Well, hopefully all of our players are focused on the job that they have to do and not worry about what everyone else is doing. Hopefully we can go out there and play well as a team, [and] each of us do our jobs. I think we'll leave being fans to the fans. We'll just try to do our job and see if we can compete.

Q: Is there anything unique about Hue Jackson's running game or is maybe too soon for any of his characteristics from his previous offense to carry over?

BB: Well, I think there are definitely some unique things about. Again, it's similar to what he did in Cincinnati, so unbalanced line, spread formations, a mixture of big people runs, two tight ends, three tight ends, two tight ends and a fullback, two sub-personnel runs so all of the things in-between. They run the option plays with the quarterback, they run the zone schemes, they run the man schemes and they run the gap schemes. So, they do a good job on all of those. A lot of misdirection plays. It's hard to really stop one thing because they always have some complimentary play that goes with it, so if you're over here they run back over there. If you're back there then they run over here so you have to respect their ability to tackle all the way across the front with, again, a lot of different types of blocking schemes, personnel groups. I'd say they put stress points on the defense in different areas of the running game. I don't know if that's unique or not but that's what they do and they do a good job of it.

Q: How would you assess the team's depth at the quarterback positon and how important is that going forward?

BB: I don't know. I mean right now we're going forward into Cleveland so the players that will play in that game hopefully will be prepared to play and be able to go out there and play and coach well. Next week we'll play the next team. I mean all the experiences that we've had this year have been good experiences, whether it's been training camp, practices against the Bears, the Saints, all of the things that we've done out there, our preseason games, our regular season games, guys have played in and gained experience from but so has everybody else in the league. It's really about our preparation for Cleveland this week.

Q: How reassured are you that if called upon those backup quarterbacks can step up?

BB: Well, all of those games are over. Like I said, it doesn't really make any difference what happened or didn't happen in those games. What matters is what happens in this game, so that's what we're preparing for. If those situations come up we'll see how we respond. Hopefully, we'll respond well but I don't know. That's why we play the games. We'll see.

Q: How hard does Cyrus Jones work to make corrections and show that he understands what you guys are coaching him on?

BB: Well, I think with all of the players it's, individually, I think all of us can recognize when we do something wrong and correct it. I wouldn't say that's really a problem. The problem is when you have multiple people involved then all of us have to see it the same way and make the right decision based on us all seeing the same picture properly. That's really, that's the hard part. That just comes from making good decisions, understanding what we're doing and working with your teammates and that's at every positon. And that's for every player unless it's just an individual thing like punting the ball. I mean, not that there's a lot of volume involved in all of that but I'm just saying the actual technique and execution of a particular skill, I mean that's one thing. But when you're looking at multiple things that a player and several teammates are involved with, the hard part is getting them all on the same page, doing the right thing when you get several different looks or circumstances that you have to deal with. That's true for everybody.

Q: What goes into your decision to leave a player out there and not pull him and allow him to try to make an adjustment to a mistake he may have made?

BB: The same thing that goes into everything I do. I try to do what's best for the team, but I would say my advice to you and to the fans to everybody else would be not to be too quick to decide who's right and who's wrong when you don't really know what's going on. And that's hard for me, too. If I watch something on another play or another team I can see there's a mistake. I'm not necessarily sure who made it. Obviously, something wasn't done properly; that's evident. But what went wrong and why it went wrong, what's the background of how it happened, if you're not really part of the team I mean that's a very hard thing to evaluate. I know I respect the experts that are out there, we have a lot of good ones, but I wouldn't - I know it's very hard for me when I see a mistake on film that another team makes to identify exactly what the problem was because it could probably be one of two or three things. Unless you actually know what the call was, what they were taught to do, I don't know if you really know who actually made the mistake.

Q: Have the rules, or perhaps the responsibilities of your players, changed at all on the kickoff return due to the change in the league rules?

BB: Well, whatever your rules are, they are. That's not the returner. It's the other people involved with the returner, the short returner, or the wing guys, or whatever it is. But yeah, whatever your rules are, they are. You can make them whatever you want them to be and ours change from game to game. We don't necessarily do the same thing at every single game. So, if you were to say 'Well, don't do this. Don't do that. Don't field a punt in this area. Don't bring a return out in this area,' well unless you know what the guys being told to do then I don't know how you would know that. Again, I know we have a lot of smart people out there analyzing the game so I respect that. It's still hard for me to understand how they would know what people are told to do in those situations because there's a lot of different ways you can handle it.

Q: Have you noticed any effects Tom Brady has had on not being able to practice or play for the last four weeks or is that something that wouldn't show up until a game situation appears?

BB: Well, I've coached for a long time in this league. I've seen a lot of players miss practice time for whatever the reasons are - injuries, contract holdouts, suspensions etc. I would just say in general it's hard for a player who's not playing football to practice playing football. I don't care how many times you run around the track, I don't care how many sit-ups you do. Put 21 other guys out there on the football field and work on the timing and situation-football. Like if that was the best way to do it, to just not do anything for four weeks and go do pushups, I think then maybe that's what we'd do. But I honestly don't think that's the right way to go. That's just my opinion. So, I think we benefit from practice reps. I think we benefit from game reps. I think not having those is not beneficial. It doesn't mean it can't be overcome, it doesn't mean you can't have a good performance, it just means if that was the best way to prepare for the game then that's what we would do. I just don't happen to believe that. I'm sure a lot of other people disagree with me but that's just the way I see it.

Q: When a player misses time is it beneficial for them to get a larger workload in practice or is there a sort of cap to the amount of work they can get in?

BB: Yeah, that's a great question. I mean that is the question. How much is too much? How do you get ready for the speed of the game when you haven't been at the speed of the game? And anytime you bring an injured player back, sometimes the injury is part of that whole conversation. How much can he do? It could be other, again, situations. What kind of condition is the player in based on the time that he has been away? Whether that's a suspension, or a contract holdout, not that we have a lot of contract holdouts, but there was a point in time in this league when we did and it's the same thing. So yeah, it's trying to find that sweet spot for getting the player the best preparation you can. In all honesty, my experience with all of those players has been as time goes on they play better. Maybe their first game will be the best game, but most likely the third, fourth, fifth, sixth games will probably be better than the first. But again, that's just based on experience. I don't know what will happen with a new player who comes back. We have a couple of them. I have no idea. I think those guys are preparing well, they're competing hard, but again, if that was the best way to prepare then I think you'd see more people doing that. I don't really think that's the way to go.

Q: Do you sense that the rest of your offensive is going to have to do a little bit more this week?

BB: No, I think they need to do what they need to do. I think you're missing the whole point. I don't think we go out there and do somebody else's job. I think what we need to do is go out there and do the job that we all need to do. I think I need to do my job, I think each player needs to do his job. I don't think we need to worry about what everybody else is or isn't doing. I think that would be a huge mistake. I would never coach a team to do that. Again, not that I know anything but that's just the way I would approach it. I think if we all just try to do a good job of what we're doing we'll be a lot better off than if everybody worries about what everybody else is doing. I just don't believe in that.

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