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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media prior to Training Camp practice at Gillette Stadium on Friday, August 2, 2013.


BB:** As I'm sure you've got there, we've added a couple offensive linemen. Otherwise, [we'll] just do a little more down and distance work, try to pull more team aspects of a game together in practice as we get closer to working in game conditions in a week and some of that in practice against Philadelphia. Otherwise, it's another day of camp.

Q: What are your impressions of Marcus Benard?

BB: Works hard, hard working kid. He's got a good attitude, good motor, works real hard. I think he's been competitive.

Q: Do you remember anything about him from the 2010 game in Cleveland? Did he play in that game against you guys?

BB: He did.

Q: Did that do anything in your evaluation?

BB: No. He had the car accident. He had a good start to his career and then had a setback. We felt like he'd be a good future signing, good addition, to this year. He was here in the offseason, worked hard in the spring. He's been competitive out there.

Q: Was there any carryover from Cleveland that helped him acclimate?

BB: I don't know.

Q: What were your impressions of Julian Edelman in his first day of practice yesterday?

BB: Long way to go. It's been a long time since he played football. He's got a long way to go.

Q: We've seen Aqib Talib match up with Danny Amendola a lot. Is that a little different look for him rather than what he usually sees on the outside?

BB: You see Danny out there too.

Q: But is that a little different challenge for him?

BB: I don't know. We go against all the receivers – all the DBs get matched up against all the receivers eventually. We have, like most teams, different corners, different receivers. Some guys are taller, some guys are shorter, some guys are faster, some guys are quicker, some guys are stronger. Just try to get the multiple matchups. Again, that's one of the advantages of going against Philly and Tampa, is to see some of their players with their skills that are different than ours and see how we match up against them. But over the course of the year, I'm sure we'll see all those kinds of guys, one way or another. It's good to get variety.

Q: How do you paint him as a member of this team in terms of leadership?

BB: He is an experienced – he doesn't have a lot of experience on our team but he has a lot of experience in the league at that position. I think he definitely brings an element of leadership, experience at that position. Guys look to him, sure.

Q: What was your impression of the three-sack game Justin Francis had last year? Was that scheme and what is your impression of how he handled himself?

BB: I think he's a guy that works real hard and he worked hard from the first day we got him last year after the draft, all the way through training camp and into the season. Tough kid, really competes well, makes a lot of plays on effort and his strength and his competitiveness. I think that was pretty consistent throughout the year. I don't think it's – the sack statistic is overriding one way or the other. He had those plays when he didn't hit the quarterback and he had some of those plays when he did hit him. That's kind of his style of play. I thought he got better through the course of the year. We did some different things with him: using him at times inside and outside, he started some games on early downs, played some sub situations. We'll see how all that works out this year. He'll get some of those same opportunities, compete against some of the other guys we have at those positions and we'll just have to see how it goes. He'll work hard and compete hard, I'm sure of that.


Q:** How much does his versatility and his knowledge of the system help Julian Edelman acclimate back quickly?

BB: I'm sure it helps some. It's better that he's been here and done some of the things and knows how to do them than not but he still has a long way to go. Missed all of spring, missed all of training camp; long way to go.

Q: Would you say it varies from player to player in terms of how long it would take to catch up?

BB: I would say that, yes.

Q: How do you view the competition of the group behind Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich?

BB: Good, good. I think there's good competition there. I think all those guys have something to offer, some defensively, in the kicking game, in the running game, in the pass rush. Guys have a variety of skills but overall I think the competition has been good. They've all been working hard. We saw that in the spring. It's continued here in training camp, I'm sure it will continue through the preseason.

Q: How much emphasis do you put on the one-on-ones in a camp practice?

BB: It's just a drill, it's not football. That's not football. There are a lot of things that can happen when the ball is snapped and that drill, there's only one thing that can happen. Which is good, it's good work, good experience but that's only part of the picture. It's one thing. It's certainly allows a player to work on his individual technique and not have to worry about formations and screen passes and defensive calls and adjustments, just like a one-on-one between the receivers and the DBs. It's the same thing. There are no coverage adjustments or route adjustments or no first down or third down. You're just lining up out there and running one on one. It's good but I think there's a lot more to it than that too.

Q: It looked like Pepper Johnson was working with the safeties on pass rush stuff. What does he bring to helping those guys in those drills?

BB: Well there are times when those guys blitz too. Just talk to them. It's not something that they spend a lot of time on – their blitz technique. But when they have an opportunity to blitz, then make sure that they have idea of what they're doing, coach them on what we want them to do, what they should be looking for. Again, it's just an area they don't have a ton of experience so we try to give them a couple fundamentals and let them do it a few times and then coach off it and see how natural they are doing it or if they really understand how they want to try set up or defeat the guy who is picking them up.

Q: Is he basically teaching them what he'd teach outside linebackers?

BB: Yeah, just basic fundamentals of blitzing and pass rush.

Q: Ras-I Dowling and Jermaine Cunningham, will they practice today?

BB: We'll see.

Q: Marcus Cannon and Dan Connolly?

BB: We have a lot of guys that are in the day-to-day category. Go out there and see what they're ready to do.

Q: It looks like you've stopped using the cameras on the helmets. Is that the case?

BB: There are a lot of different things that we use to try to help teach our players and set up different ways to use instruction and so forth and gain different information in practice: different camera angles and things like that.

Q: Was it helpful?

BB: It's good. There's some aspect of it that's good. It certainly doesn't give you the whole picture. I've coached 38 years without them, I don't think it's an absolute necessity but you're always looking for something that will help you be a little bit better. Maybe it's something that will help a guy or help you gain something on it. I think there's a place in certain areas where they're beneficial, other areas I don't know, I'm not sure.

Q: Did it give you a headache?

BB: Again, I think it depends on what you're using them for, what you're trying to get out of them. There are some things that I think they could be helpful with. There are other things that I'm not really sure how much that adds.


Q:** What type of jump, if any, have you noticed from Jake Bequette?

BB: I think really all of our second-year players, as you would expect, are ahead of where they were as rookies. They know our system, the ones that were here. They have a better idea of what to expect; understand NFL offensive football better. Jake is a smart guy. He definitely understands what we're doing, what they're doing. He's improved a lot from last year. He's in a real competitive situation with several other guys at that spot, as I mentioned. I think he's definitely holding his own.

Q: When you've got players filling in at a position where someone is injured, is there ever an emphasis on making sure that those guys are just doing what they're supposed to do and not feel pressure to fill another person's role?

BB: I don't think really any two players are the same. Everybody has their own individual playing style and their unique level of performance and so forth. I think everybody just tries to do the best they can at what they're being asked to do. I don't think somebody necessarily should or does try to do it the way somebody else does it. Technique-wise you might, you might try to take some of the coaching points or improve your skill to somebody who does that skill maybe better. But no, I don't really think that's what it's about. Each of us are out there just trying to get better, trying to improve at what we're doing, taking it day by day and whether another person is out there at that position or not out there at that position, it shouldn't really affect how that player goes about the approach to his job and the improvement he can make at his position. That's what we try to emphasize. 'You have to do it the way this guy did it' or 'You have to be this guy,' we don't look at it that way.

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