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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference on Wednesday, September 7, 2011.

BB: Okay so we're onto Miami here. Yesterday was of course the players' day off. We had a good day from a staff standpoint in preparation. [We're] trying to get things lined up for the guys coming in here today. We have a lot of things to work on. Miami is a tough team to get ready for - they run a lot of scheme, have a lot of good players. We always have a tough time with them. This will be a big challenge for us, luckily we have another day, I'm sure we'll need it. [It will] be good to get out there today and really zero in on a specific opponent. They're pretty good - had a good preseason, they look good.

Q: Has their running style changed with the new running back?

BB: It looks like they modified it a little bit. Of course with [Reggie] Bush in the game, it really changes the game, it's like having a receiver in the backfield. He's a very dynamic player. [There are] a lot of things he can do that not many other players can do so he's a tough guy to defend. Otherwise, the backs have run hard, the line is big [and] physical, the tight ends do a good job [and] the receivers block so they have a good running game.

Q: Does Brandon Marshall count as one of those guys who when he's covered, he's not covered because he's so big?

BB: Yes, he's a very big target. He had a big play against somebody down the sideline, went up, took the ball away from the defender, broke a couple tackles [and] went in the end zone. You're right, there are times that it looks like he's covered and then not only does he end up with the ball but he ends up with a lot of yards after that because he's a hard guy to bring down. We've had a tough time with him before and he's looked good in the preseason. He can definitely go up and get the ball and he's very physical guy that's hard to tackle.

Q: Is it safe to say that the tight end room won't be as quiet with the addition of Dan Gronkowski?

BB: There will probably be a little more conversation now. Hopefully we can keep it on football.

Q: What led to the move to add Dan Gronkowski? I assume it's more than just having the brothers on the team.

BB: Yeah, right that's pretty coincidental, that's not the purpose of it. Dan has done a good job in Detroit and last year out in Denver in Josh's [McDaniels] offense. So it's easy to see him doing some of the things that are similar to what we do. I feel like he's a good addition to our team at that position, both offensively and he's also had some playing time in the kicking game so hopefully he can help us there too.

Q: Is he more of a blocking or receiving tight end?

BB: He's been involved. When you're a tight end, you have to be involved in all facets of the game. I don't think he has big receiving numbers but he can run and catch the ball.

Q: I'm sure you're not thrilled that Deion Branch didn't have a catch in the preseason but are you concerned at all?

BB: I think the most important thing for us offensively is just to play well and score points. Individual statistics and all that are not really my focus. Sometimes they're going to go to one player and sometimes they're going to go to another player. We always come in here on Monday and talk about the player who didn't have the most statistics, what happened to him. The most important thing is how the team performs, whether we get the ball in the end zone and score points. That's what our goal is offensively - it's not individual statistics.

Q: What kind of preseason did you think Deion Branch had?

BB: Good. I thought he was in good condition, [he] was out there every day, practiced well, gave great leadership to the position. You love having Deion Branch on your team.

Q: With the release of Gerard Warren, is he a guy that could come back?

BB: Sure.

Q: What was your evaluation of how Gerard Warren played for you in the preseason?

BB: I thought he did a good job. We carried him on our roster and then we had to drop him to make some other moves. I thought he played very competitively.

Q: Offensively, where do you see that you guys are right now? Have you accomplished what you wanted to do?

BB: Where are we in terms of practice? I mean, we practiced a lot of things in training camp and we'll see how we're able to execute them in the game. I think we have a good base to build from. How it goes, I don't know. That's why we'll play on Monday night and find out.

Q: What's the scouting report on A.J. Edds?

BB: [He] played outside linebacker at Iowa, went down to Miami last year and played inside linebacker. [He] looked like he was having a pretty good training camp, pretty good preseason, injured his knee, missed the year and then came back this year and played inside linebacker down there so I think he has a little bit of inside-outside flexibility, kicking game, has long snapped.

Q: Is there any carryover from the Iowa defense to what you do?

BB: I would say there are some fundamentals. The terminology and all that, probably not so much. I think some of the fundamental things that they teach, especially their front-seven, I think there's some carryover.

Q: On the topic of leadership, captains often select the tone for the team. Have you selected captains and if so, who are they?

BB: We have not announced that. But I would also say I think we have a lot of good leadership on this team. And regardless of who the captains are, I think the leadership will come from all the players who provide that, not just the captains.

Q: There are a lot of moving parts, as there always are this time of year, how do you handle this with throwing these new guys in?

BB: Once a player is on your team, whether he's on your practice squad or your 53-man roster, he needs to be ready to play. We could play any of those players potentially on Monday night. The idea is to get them ready. In some cases, it might not be for every single thing. It might not be 100 percent of the information or the game plan. It might be a fraction of that or it might be certain roles in certain personnel groups or certain special teams units, however it turns out. I think you give them all the information and then as the week goes by you determine what, if any, you feel comfortable with them doing and playing in the game and then you go from there. We all know there's circumstances where if you're at the game, there's no telling what could happen on the first play of the game or the first quarter or whenever. If they're at the game, they have to play.

Q: Is Jerod Mayo likely to remain the primary play caller?

BB: Yes.

Q: How would you characterize the versatility in the secondary?

BB: We don't have a lot of guys that are safeties that are playing corner or corners that are playing safety. Corners are corners and we've had several different guys play the inside positions as well as the outside positions. At safety, I think we talked about the other day. A safety is a safety in our system. It might change by game plan but you have to know what to do on the strong side of the formation, the weak side of the formation, on the tight end side, on the open side, on the slot side, so that's all - hopefully everybody can do that. I hope they can do it. We've been working on it. They practice it. We'll see how it goes but I hope they can do it.

Q: What went into the release of Darius Butler?

BB: We made the decision we felt was best for the football team. [We] try to put together the most competitive team we can. Obviously there are players that aren't on this team that are good players and they were good players for us and I'm sure they'll play for somebody else. But we have to make the decisions we feel are best for our football team so that's what we do.

Q: Your corners have gotten bigger over the past few years. Is that a reaction to some of the bigger receivers in the NFL and the receivers you'll see on your schedule?

BB: I think it's a combination of things. It's a combination of what we're playing, what we're seeing, the kicking game, all those things.

Q: Does it sting more when you have to part with a player you drafted highly as opposed to parting with an undrafted free agent?

BB: We have a saying around here - 'it doesn't matter how you get here, it's what you do here.' I think that's the way I think we should coach the team and I think that's what the players expect. That goes for everybody.  Nobody is on a scholarship - everybody has to earn their keep. It's a competitive situation - I think that brings out the best in everybody. [It] brings out the best in guys that are established that they're being pushed, it brings out the best from guys who aren't established who know they have an opportunity. Competition is competition. That's just basing on what the performance is - all that is decided on the field.

Q: Have you had any contact with Randy Moss or entertained the thought of bringing him back at any point?

BB: I wouldn't talk about any player that's not on our football team.

Q: Have you ever gone to a player and asked him to be more vocal and step up and be more of a leader?

BB: I think we go to players all the time and tell them what we want them to do. [We] tell them if they're doing something well, we try to reinforce that and tell them 'look you're doing a good job at this, this is exactly the way we want it done, keep doing this, this is something you need to improve on, here's how we want it done, this is something you can do better.' Sometimes we do that to more than one person, call them in collectively and say 'look, here's something with you guys that's good' or 'here's something that isn't so good.' I think that's what coaching is, is we try to improve your team, improve your players, coach them, both individually and collectively in all areas - whatever it happens to be: on the field -techniques and off the field - preparation, in the weight room, special teams you name it. That's all part of coaching, is to try to help your players perform better. I think if you can help a player perform better then they usually respect you because they can see that you're doing something that is beneficial for them. We try to coach them the best we can in all phases of the game.

Q: Any advantage to opening up with a division opponent? Is it a benefit?

BB: Whenever they schedule them, we play them.

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