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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Friday, November 16, 2012.


Q:How do you think Aqib Talib has adjusted in his time this week?

BB:I think he's coming along. I'll think we'll find out today when it all comes together; review day. We segment things along the way and then Friday is more a pull it all together. So, we'll see how it goes today.

Q:How much are you able to work with him one-on-one? Or is it too hard for someone with your scope of responsibilities?

BB:No, I spent a little bit of time with him. Obviously Josh [Boyer] and Matt [Patricia], Scott O'Brien, they've spent more time with him.

Q:Is it correct to say he has spent more time on the right side than the left side?

BB:On the defensive left.

Q:Is there a certain characteristic that you look for in a left cornerback as opposed to a right cornerback?

BB:No, some guys flip easily, some guys don't. I think there are things that, some guys they don't care what side they play on. Sometimes in college, they play field and boundary so they get used to that; sometimes they don't. Footwork is obviously different from one side to the other, same thing with the receivers. Some guys flip, some guys don't. Some guys it bothers, some guys don't have any problem with it. I don't think we can set our boundaries on that, to a degree. We have to take it how it comes and see how adaptable they are or aren't.

Q:How closely are you watching how the guys in place adapt to him?

BB:Well, it's all tied together. Everybody has to know what everybody is doing out there. We have to be able to make our adjustments. It's all part of it.

Q:Have you been satisfied with his level of conditioning thus far?

BB:[Aqib Talib's conditioning level is consistent] With what we're doing.

Q:Has it ever amazed you that it has been seven years since Adam Vinatieri left and Stephen Gostkowski came in? Do you ever think of it from that time perspective or are you too into the daily grind of things to think of it that way?

BB:I know it's been awhile. I've been fortunate to have two good kickers here, two real good kickers.That was a big kick Adam made against [Minnesota with eight seconds left]; that was a big kick. We've seen him make a lot of those.

Q:Stephen Gostkowski had some struggles early in the year but seems to have rebounded nicely. Have you seen a step forward for him as he keeps going forward in his career?

BB:Yeah, Steve works hard. He's been real consistent for us since the first year he got here. He's really pretty much the same guy every day. He doesn't get too up, too down. He's made a lot of big kicks for us. Kicked well, not perfect but he hasn't been too high on the highs or too low on the lows. He's been very consistent with his work ethic, his discipline, his ability to adapt to different snappers, holders over the course of his career. That's something you can't control as a kicker but you have to work with. He's done a good job of that and hasn't let it affect him, what he can control, which is his preparation and performance.

Q:I am assuming it is not a surprise to you that Adam Vinatieri is still going strong at this stage in his career?

BB:Again, when Adam was here, and I'm sure it's the same: he trained hard, worked hard, kept himself in good condition, had good overall strength and certainly mental toughness and concentration, all those things and technique. He can kick the ball straight. I haven't seen any of that change too much. He might have lost a little bit of range but still, he's making 50-yard kicks. I'm sure they're confident when they send him out here. I can understand that.

Q:When you see guys like T.Y. Hilton and Donnie Avery and the speed they bring, how dangerous do you think they are?

BB:Very. Very dangerous, [LaVon] Brazill too. [Dwayne] Allen runs well; [Coby] Fleener. They have a lot of productive skill players. The running backs are fast; [Donald] Brown's fast. They have a lot of guys that can run. The speed at receiver, they're capable of making big plays. They get on top of people consistently. You definitely see it; they're definitely a vertical threat.
Q:The Colts are playing for a cause. You guys had a cause last year. How much does that help a team and give it an extra push?

BB:I don't know, it's a tough question. It's one of those intangible things. I don't know how you put a value on it. That's a tough one.

Q:Is it nice to get back to a routine and a seven day schedule after the bye week?

BB:Sure, yeah it is. I think you just know where you are. It's good to have the extra day but it's also good to be in a routine. I think we're back to that this week. I think guys feel that. I do, I think the players do. I've talked to several of them about it and we're over halfway through the season so being in a routine is good. We know there are going to be plenty of weeks when we're not too, and that's all part of it but it's good to be on a normal cycle.

Q:There is one kicker in the Hall of Fame. What is your opinion of the position in terms of its importance to be Hall of Fame caliber in this game?

BB:I think that's a good question. I don't know what Hall of Fame means. There are guys who have great, long careers. There are other guys with very short careers in the Hall of Fame; from championship teams, there are guys that never or hardly ever played on winning teams. There are guys with personal stats, there are guys with I'd say less personal stats but maybe more championships or more longevity. I don't know what the criteria is for the Hall of Fame, I'm not in any position to be honest with you. That's something you'd have to ask the Hall of Fame committee or voters or something like that, because I don't really know what the criteria is. I don't know if it's ever been defined. I don't know if it's a popularity contest or if it's a political thing. I don't know what it is. It's hard for me to believe that. as great as this game is, that there are no punters and one kicker in the Hall of Fame. We can argue that they only play 'X' number of plays and everybody else plays a different number of plays but they're still significant players at their position. Again, what the criteria is for them, I don't know. I think you'd have to ask somebody else. I have no idea, other than the Hall of Fame and they're all, I'm not saying they're not deserving. I'm saying what one guy does, what another guy does, what their careers were relative to all of it, different things we've talked about, I don't see any consistency. Say, 'OK, they met these three criteria. They need to meet three of the next six criteria.' Whatever it is, I don't know, but I don't see that. You have to talk to somebody who knows a lot more about that than I do. I don't understand it.

Q:At some point, when his career is over, someone will ask you if you think Adam Vinatieri is a Hall of Famer.

BB:He's certainly one of the greatest kickers I've ever seen since I've been in the league – the longevity, the production, the performance in championships and big games. What more could he do? Go out there and play wide receiver and catch a bunch of passes? Is that what he needs to do? I don't know. What more could he do? I don't know what more Dave Jennings could have done at his position or Ray Guy or guys like that. What else would they have had to do? Get a bunch of interceptions? We don't judge quarterbacks on their rushing yardage. We don't judge them on how many tackles they made. I don't know if we even judge them on how many games they win. We judge them on a lot of their quarterback rating and stats and running backs on rushing yardage. What does a guy have to do if he excels at his position? Is that good enough? I don't know. Like I said, you'd have to ask somebody that knows a lot more about it than I do because I don't understand what the criteria is.

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