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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript 12/16

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Friday, December 16, 2016

BB: Alright, we claimed Michael Floyd yesterday and released Griff [Whalen]. I think this is really similar to the Whalen situation last week, a position that we don't have a lot of depth at. We felt that obviously we'd rather work with Floyd at this point in time. We're aware of the situation that came up earlier in the week. We'll let that legal situation play itself out, but really we'll just see how it goes. He's a player that we haven't had before. We look forward to working with him and we'll just see how it goes.

Q: He had a similar situation in college -

BB: I wouldn't say it was similar at all.

Q: I was under the impression it was a DUI he received in college.

BB: I'm not saying it wasn't, but I'd say it was quite a different situation.

Q: Perhaps I worded it poorly.

BB: Ok, well look, yeah. Whatever it is, it is. We're aware of whatever the past is. We're moving forward with the player and [we'll] see how it goes.

Q: How do you gain a level of comfort with bringing in a player after a situation from his past when it is relatively new and you don't have much information on the matter?

BB: As we always do, we take the information we have and make what we feel like is the best decision for the team.

Q: Did you speak with his college coach Charlie Weis at all before claiming Michael Floyd off waivers?

BB: Look, I think we've covered it.

Q: Do you have a role in mind when you add a player this late in the season?

BB: Right, I just covered that. We don't have a lot of depth at the position. We added a player at that same position last week and we've basically exchanged players.

Q: Do you anticipate him being able to pick up the offense a little easier due to the fact that he played under Charlie Weis at Notre Dame?

BB: I don't know. He's been here a couple of hours.

Q: Did you get a chance to study him on film before Week 1 when you played the Arizona Cardinals? What might he be able to bring to your offense based on his skill set?

BB: I mean, we'll see. 

Q: How difficult is it for a player to adjust to this system this late in the season? Do you take his workload on a game-by-game basis or give it to him all at once and see what he can handle?

BB: Look, this isn't the first time a player has ever come to a team during the season, so we're not talking about a historical event here. So whether it was Alan Branch two years ago, whether it was Kyle Van Noy this year, whether it was Jonathan Casillas or Griff Whalen a week ago, it's the same thing that we've talked about with every one of those guys. We'll see how it goes.

Q: Does injury prevention play into the decision to reduce Julian Edelman's role as a punt returner?

BB: Look, you can't take out insurance. It's football. You tell me the play they're going to get hurt on and we won't put them in on that play, alright? You tell me what play that is. I don't know. The guys played a lot of plays. That's football. Sometimes things happen. That's football. 

Q: Where does Denver rank in terms of great football environments?

BB: I don't know, 300 and however many straight sellouts. The fans are very - it's an intense environment. Yeah, absolutely. They're great fans. They support that team. They've had a lot of success out there. There's a lot of good support. Yeah, a great football environment.

Q: What about Aqib Talib has enabled him to play at such a high level at this point in his career?

BB: He's a really good player. He does everything well. 

Q: Is he the kind of player where you have an idea of who he'll matchup against or can they put him on pretty much any receiver?

BB: They can put him on anybody. He's long and he's fast. He's quick, he's got great ball skills, he tackles well, he's smart, he's got great football instincts, great defensive instincts. You can put him on whoever you want. The guy is one of the top corners in the game and he has been for quite a while. He does everything well.

Q: Is he the kind of guy that may have helped a player like Julian Edelman when he was here since they were competing on opposite sides of the ball in practice?

BB: I think he helps any team that he's on. He helps the guys that play against him get better, and helps the guys on his side of the ball with the confidence, and communication, and effort, and attitude and toughness that he plays with. He's a tremendous football player. He would help any team. I can't imagine [him not helping]. He would help any team in a lot of ways.

Q: How do you balance practice versus getting enough rest on a week like this where you're traveling on a Friday but coming off of a game late Monday night?

BB: Yeah, sure, absolutely. I mean, we could practice for these guys for another week if we had it, but we don't. You try to take the time you have and use it as efficiently as possible. Could you use more time? Absolutely, but we have what we have. They have what they have, and we try to use it the best that we can. That's definitely a balance between preparation, practice reps, rest, travel in this case, whatever the components are that play into that week. You try to take them all into consideration. The ones you can control you can make a decision on. Travel - we can't control that. We've got to go to Denver. Now we can decide when we want to go, but I mean, again, you do all of the things that you do to try to make the situation the best that you can for not only the players - they're the number one thing - but you have to have coaching staff preparation as well. It doesn't do any good to not do a good job preparing the players from a coaching standpoint. Then whatever you've gained on one side you've lost on that end, so I think it's a combination of us being able to give the players a good plan in a timely fashion so that we're ready for them, they're ready for us, and we're able to go out there and prepare as best we can.

Q: Does the point in the season play a factor at all in those decisions?

BB: Yeah, sure, I think it factors. But again, your time is your time. So if we play on Thursday night, which we did earlier in the year, then you work in that timeframe. If you play on Monday night then we had a different timeframe last week. I think you take what you have to work with and you try to figure out how do you make the best of this time. Whatever it is, four days, five days, six days, seven days, eight days, bye week, whatever it is you just try to take the time and maximize it and all of that is important; player rest, player reps, film study, meeting time, travel, all of those things. What's the right mix? It changes from year to year, from like you said, early in the season to late in the season or maybe where your team is at a particular point in time relative to injuries or a variety of other things that can impact and affect the mental and physical condition of the team. You try to take all of those into consideration, look at your options and pick the best one.

Q: At this point of the season does player rest factor more into decisions like that?

BB: Yeah, absolutely. We've had a lot of snaps. I mean, we've taken a lot of snaps when you go all the way back to OTA's, and training camp, and all of the practices and all of the meetings. Do we need another snap at 'Ride 34 Bob?' I don't know. We could always use it but we've had a lot of them this year. Do we need another snap at a coverage? You try to balance that out; how many more plays versus how much rest, walkthroughs versus practice, pads versus no pads, all of those things. But the more snaps you have, the further along you are, I would say in particular if you're doing something well then the more confidence you'd have that you'd be able to execute it at a good level. But you can't just stop doing it. I mean, I don't think just sitting on a couch for a week is the way to get ready for a game. Even though you'd be well-rested you'd leave a lot of other preparation components behind. So there's some kind of balance in there.

Q: Over the years have you learned how much rest you need for yourself and do you advise your coaches that they need to get their rest in order to perform at their jobs?

BB: Yeah, I think we all learn that; sure. But again, it's the same thing. Maybe you want a certain amount of rest but you have a certain amount of preparation to do so where do you draw the line - 60/40, 55/45, 70/30, 30/70? You have to make that decision. One thing that comes with having a long a week that comes with a short week, to a certain degree you try to either get ahead or maybe get a little more rest in a long week knowing that you have a short week coming up, or get further ahead so you don't have as much, if you will, as much to do as you would normally have because you try to push some of it to where you have a little bit more time. Time management and efficiency, combining rest with your work product - yeah, it's all part of it. We're all different. Some of us need more rest than others. Some of us work faster in certain areas than others. We're all individuals yet we have to come together in a team concept and figure out some kind of schedule that we can all be on. Once you know what that schedule is then you as an individual try to maximize the time that you have and how you get the most out of it. All of those things are important but it's hard to maximize all of them. You have to pick and choose and figure out what the right mix is.

Q: Is it a challenging decision coming up to either activate Jacoby Brissett off of injured reserve or is it an easy one because he can still benefit from practice reps and continuing to learn? Is there a determination to be made because even if you activate him he may not be on the active game day roster or vice versa if he is active on game day then he could be taking another player's spot?

BB: Yeah, I think you pretty much hit it. I mean, that's the give-and-take of the decision. It's unlikely we'd have a third quarterback active for the game, which I'd say hardly any other team does either. But you have to have seven inactives so we have other players who are inactive frequently but that doesn't mean that they don't play an important role. They're one snap away from a lot of things changing. Yeah, those are all things to take into consideration. In the end, not to beat a dead horse, we'll do what we feel like is best for the team given all of the things that we have to consider. If there was an obvious decision to be made we probably would've already made it. As more time goes along there may be a certain event or set of circumstances that would influence that decision. So if we don't have to make it I think time is on our side to wait and see and get all of the information that we can. Maybe there will be circumstances that will make the decision not a hard decision. Maybe there will be something that declares it one way or the other.

Q: Do you anticipate Michael Floyd being active this weekend for your game Sunday?

BB: Again, we'll do what we feel like is best for the game. He'll travel, so we'll see. 

Q: Is there value in a new player just traveling with the team to be around and see how things operate?

BB: Sure, absolutely. Yeah, no question. It gives us time to help catch him up on assignments and procedures and things that relate to the team and for him to see the operation pregame, during the game, whether he's active or not active just to take some of the surprise element out of the next time that it happens. I'm sure there will be some new things that if any of us went to any new team that would be different from whatever team we're used to being with. Sometimes those things are an adjustment. Sometimes they're not. I think it's good just to get into that routine of the new team that you're on. I think there's always a little bit of hesitation until you know for sure exactly. The first day at work is always a little 'How is it? How does this go? How does that go?' And then once you get comfortable it's just different. It takes time so this will be part of it.

Q: Is a player like Michael Floyd hard to find given that he is a first round talent and has impressive measurables that aren't necessarily available later in the draft?

BB: Well, I mean I don't think there's any question that if there weren't some circumstances then the player probably wouldn't be available. But regardless of all that, whether that is or isn't the case, as I said in the beginning this is a positon that we don't have a lot of depth in. We added a player at this position last week. It's a similar conversation. Another player became available. We made a decision to work with the new player that was available over the other player that we brought in here. Whether that's right or wrong, I mean I don't know. But that's our decision based on the criteria that we made which is what we feel is best for the football team and we'll see how it goes, like we saw how it went last week with Griff [Whalen]. I don't know how it's going to go. I don't know what else there is to add. It's the same question five times.

Q: We're just trying to follow-up and be thorough.

BB: That's one thing about you guys, you can be thorough, especially on certain subjects, absolutely. I'm not being critical. I'm just stating the facts.

Q: Stay warm in Denver.

BB: It'll be the same temperature for both teams, unless they heat their side of the field. I don't think that's happening. 

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