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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript

Read what New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had to say as he addressed the media during his press conference on Friday, November 11, 2011.

BB: Alright, we're Friday of the Jets II. I'm sure this will be a great atmosphere down there. I'm looking forward to it - big division game on the road, teams that know each other well. This will be a good football game. I think everybody's looking forward to it.  

Q: How important is your special teams this week?  

BB: Really important. Yeah, really important. The Jets do a really good job on special teams. They had the blocked punt against Dallas, which was a huge play. They lead the league in kickoff returns. They've got a good field goal rush team. They're good on kickoff coverage. [Jeremy] Kerley on punt returns, punt blocks, they do a good job all the way around. They've got a lot of good players and they're well coached, have good schemes. It will be a big challenge for us. They're really solid in that phase of the game. Week in and week out, they're getting things done in every game. Huge, huge part of the game.  

Q: How has Zoltan Mesko performed overall since you drafted him?  

BB: Yeah, he's our punter. He's doing all right. Not perfect, nobody is. But he's done a good job; he's done a good job holding. I thought he showed a lot of toughness playing through, his knee got banged up there, he played through that and performed well. He's earned a lot of respect around here.  

Q: The deadline on Marcus Cannon is approaching. How has he improved since he returned to the practice field?  

BB: Good, good to have him out there. I think he's working hard. He hasn't had a chance to play until we activated him but he's gotten better consistently. It's great to have him out there. We'll see how it goes.  

Q: The Meadowlands was always an intense atmosphere -  

BB: Pretty intense atmosphere when these two teams play. I think if you played it in a parking lot out there by CBS [Scene], it would be pretty intense. No I mean, it was. It's a lot of energy here; a lot of energy down there. It's a good football game - two teams that know each other well - it's a good rivalry.  

Q: Can you break down the situation at safety?  

BB: We have a couple of different combinations and we'll just keep working it here. Today's a day we kind of want to fine tune that a little bit. We'll see. Chung hasn't really done much or hasn't been able to do much the last few days, we'll see where he's at today. Whether he does or doesn't fit into the picture, I don't know. We have guys on the practice squad that we could bring up too. We have some options - we'll just try to look at the situation and make the best choices we can for our team.  

Q: Sterling Moore was mostly a corner in college -  

BB: He played corner in college at SMU. Played corner and some inside at Oakland.  

Q: What do you see him playing here?  

BB: We have a lot of different - we have to play somebody in there. We have guys - we teach everybody different positions. Everybody needs to know a little bit of everything and we'll see what the availability of all our guys are.  

Q: You've spoken about Marcus Cannon's position flexibility before. Has anything over the past three weeks pointed you in one direction or any direction of what position he could play?  

BB: He's played a lot more at tackle than he has anyplace else on the line. He played there in college and he's played both sides. He hasn't played a lot inside. I personally don't see any reason why he couldn't play inside - I think he's athletic enough, he's certainly big enough, he has enough power and enough quickness, so ultimately what is his best position? Left tackle, right tackle, left guard, right guard? I'm not sure. In the three weeks, or whatever this is, third week of practice, he's taken a lot of snaps, most of them have been with the scout team but he's worked in a couple of different positions. I don't see any limitations, but that being said he hasn't done it. He hasn't done a lot of it, especially at guard. He's a lot more comfortable at tackle; he has a lot more experience at tackle. That's not saying he couldn't play another position, but it would only be based on limited snaps at this point.  

Q: How important is it to have someone with the ability to play both guard and tackle?  

BB: That's a good question and it's definitely an interesting question when you look at your offensive line. When you go through the draft, you go through free agency, you look at the players in the league, there are a lot of guys who are tackles, there are a lot of guys who are guards, there are a lot of guys who are centers and that's the only position they play. Then you have some players who can play center and guard and then you have some players who can play guard and tackle and probably, I don't want to say they can't play center, but that would be the least of the three. Trying to find the versatility of that player, it changes the makeup of your roster, too, particularly when you take seven linemen to a game. If you have a guard-tackle, swing player then you could potentially go to the game with five inside players - your three starters, another inside player and then a guard-tackle swing guy as opposed to having just a three position swing guy inside and then trying to find a swing tackle, if you will. Just trying to figure all that out but somewhere along the offensive line you have to have some position flexibility because you can't - nobody takes ten offensive linemen to the game, you'd have a backup center, backup left tackle, backup right guard, you just can't do it. You have to find some versatility in there somewhere. A center-guard combination - there are a lot of players that do that. We had [George] Bussey - he was a guard-tackle swing player as an example. And then we've had certainly plenty of guard-center swing guys so it's just a question of finding the right mix. It doesn't rule anything out, but it just changes it, it just changes it a little bit. We've had more inside swing guys than we've had guard-tackle swing guys, but there are plenty of them in the league. Maybe Marcus is that, but I'm not sure.  

Q: Was the press conference in 1999 when you resigned as Jets head coach the strangest press conference you have ever done? You were a lot younger -  

BB: What's that supposed to mean?  

Q: I am just saying you were younger, it was a long time ago.  

BB: I'm sure you were younger in '99 too. Any other breaking stories we have going here?  

Q: I am wondering if that was the strangest press conference you've ever done.  

BB: I don't really rank them but it wasn't a great situation all the way around, with Bill [Parcells] resigning the day before and me resigning the day after that and all that. That's all water under the bridge.  

Q: Do you ever look back on that?  

BB: No. Honestly, I don't spend a lot of time looking back on that, no.  

Q: It was good TV.  

BB: At that point in time, that situation, I did what I felt like I needed to do and I don't have any regrets about that. Certainly a lot of things could have been handled differently or whatever but anyway. It doesn't matter now.  

Q: How well have Mark Sanchez and Dustin Keller developed their relationship?  

BB: It's been good for three years.  

Q: So it has been the same all the way through?  

BB: You'd have to ask them. I'm just saying Sanchez and Keller have been productive for three years. I'm sure they're more confident in doing some things now than they were three years ago, I'm not saying that but it's not like they just started showing up in the stat sheet this year - they've been productive all the way through.  

Q: What have you seen from Shonn Greene on film as of late that has caused him to perform so well?  

BB: Yeah, sure, Shonn is a good back. It's always easier to run the ball when you're ahead which they were in a couple of those games. They were ahead in the Buffalo game, they were ahead in the Miami game so it's a lot easier to hand the ball off and grind the yards out and play defense if that's what you want to do. I think that's certainly a factor - it's a factor in everybody's running game. It's hard to run the ball when you're down by two touchdowns and it's a lot easier to hand it off when you're up by two. But that being said, Shonn is a good back, he runs hard, he's got good power and they've got a good offensive line. I'm sure they love running the ball - what offense doesn't?  

Q: Have they shown more commitment or used him in different ways?  

BB: I think they have a good running game, I think they've had a good running game, I still think they have a good running game. They have good backs, they have a good offensive line. They have a couple big receivers that can block on the perimeter, they have a good offensive line coach -I think [Bill] Callahan does a good job. They have good schemes, so I don't see it as a - I see it really pretty consistently. In some games the production is different than others, I understand that. Sometimes there are more carries than others, some of that is a function of how it's going, how the defense is playing; some of it is a function of the score.  

Q: How important is it to have a good mix of all-around play this weekend?  

BB: You always want to be balanced in your game. The most important thing is to make the plays you need to make to win. What plays are those going to be? I don't know, I'm not sure. But do you want to have good balance between your running game and passing game, production in your kicking game, production on defense, winning the turnover ratio, winning the field position battle and all those things that lead up to it? Of course. You want to have the edge in all those categories. That just helps the whole flow of the game. Sometimes it works out that way, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you have an advantage in one area and the opponent has an advantage in another area. In the end, it comes down to a few plays at the end of the game, on anything, whatever it is - kicking a field goal, blocking a field goal, a pass, defense, whatever it is. When it comes down to situational football at the end of the game, that's where you need to make the plays you need to make to win. We prepare for those plays, but which ones come up? It's only a handful of them and ultimately those are the ones you have to make.

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