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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media following the Patriots preseason game vs. the Tampa Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium on Friday, August 16, 2013.

BB: I think tonight was the end of a real good week for us. We had great practices against the Bucs and had a real competitive game here tonight – a lot of good situations came up. We got to play a lot of players. We'll take a look at the film tomorrow and see how everything turned out. I thought we had a good effort, especially early, got off to a good start, got ahead in the game and played competitively all the way through. Like I said, it was a good week for us. We'll just turn the page here and head on to Detroit. This will be a little quicker turnaround for us. It will be another big week for us in training camp to get our team ready this year.

Q: Was it advantageous for you to start the game with a 15-play drive? It gave you a chance to do a lot of different things.

BB: Yeah, I mean every play is an opportunity for us, whatever it is: offense, defense, special teams. We can use any reps we can get on anything. But yeah, we overcame a couple long yardage situations and I thought the team did a good job there.

Q: What did you see from Ryan Mallett? He threw the ball 20 times and ran a lot of plays.

BB: We'll have to look at everything more closely on the film. It's good to see us move the ball. It's good to see him have some production. Like you said, we had a lot plays on offense in the first half; a lot with our first group and then quite a few plays with those two-minute drives at the end. We had kind of two, two-minute drives there at the end of the second quarter. We were able to get a lot of snaps with that whole second unit.

Q: When you go for two like that early, is that just to catch players off guard?

BB: No, it was getting the experience of the situation of a two-point play. We weren't trying to catch anybody off-guard.

Q: Is this the time now, after a second exhibition game, now that training camp is over –

BB: Training camp isn't over.

Q: Now that you're halfway through the preseason, is this when you start to slot people in and look at what your team will look like, more than individual players?

BB: If we can, yeah, if we can. If we can do that, that would be great. I'm not sure that we're ready to do that in every spot. Maybe some spots we'll have to continue to look at until we know what the right decision is. I think that competition will continue and extend until we know, whenever that is. But where we can, I think we want to try to do that, yeah, sure. But I'm pretty sure we're not going to be able to do that across the board. We'll see what the film looks like tomorrow but I'd be surprised.

Q: What were your thoughts in the moment when Tom Brady went down in practice?

BB: We're so far past that. We're way beyond that.

Q: What did you think of Tom Brady's performance tonight?

BB: We'll look at the film and take a look at everybody.

Q: You emphasized training camp was over.

BB: Training camp's not over, no. Our team is still in a growing stage. We have a lot of work to do. We're nowhere close to where we need to be for the opener or for the 16-game regular season schedule. We have a lot of work to do. We're going to stay at it. It's not over by any means. We're not anywhere close to where we need to be. Training camp is not over. Let me make that perfectly clear.

Q: How has Zach Sudfeld developed since you signed him?

BB: He's worked hard. Zach's worked hard to learn our offense. It's a little different than what they did at Nevada. He's a smart kid and he's got some skill. He's been very diligent in his preparation. He's been out there almost every day out there practicing. Coach Godsey has done a good job with him. He's had to learn how to be an on-the-line tight end. He's making progress but he's got a long way to go. He's made a lot of gains. He's a hardworking kid. He's smart and tough. He's got a couple things going for him.

Q: Traditionally when you win the toss, you usually defer. What was the thinking behind taking the ball tonight?

BB: We decided, we talked about that situation before the game. Whatever the decision is, it could be to take the ball, to defer or it could be to kick off. In the situation, we do what we think is best for the team for that game.

Q: What made this situation to take the ball?

BB: We got out there faster.

Q: How about tonight – a lot of James Develin early? Was that to work on two-back type sets?

BB: No, not that much. He didn't play last week. He's done a good job for us in camp. We wanted to get a look at him and we didn't really get a chance to do that last week. We gave him a few more plays this week so we could see him in action.

Q: Is it easy for us to look at things too generally without knowing who ran a wrong route or who was in the wrong position?

BB: Yeah, absolutely and that happens to us too. That's why I say, 'Let's take a look at the film' sometimes. It might even look to us like somebody made a mistake but then we look at it more closely maybe somebody besides him made a mistake and he was trying to compensate. I think we need a little closer analysis a lot of times. Sometimes the play calls or what was called on the line of scrimmage might be something that we're not aware of. That could happen in any game. You think a player did something that he shouldn't have done but maybe he got a call, a line call or a call from a linebacker or he thought the quarterback said something so he did what he thought was the right thing or maybe it was the right thing but that call shouldn't have been made or should have been on the other side. But yeah, I think we need to be careful about what we're evaluating. Like right now, walking off the field, until we get a closer look and fully understand what happened on every play. It's just more accurately to do it. But believe me, I've watched plenty of preseason games this time of year and you're looking at all the other teams in the league and you try to evaluate players and you're watching the teams that we're going to play early in the season and there are plenty of plays where I have no idea what went wrong. Something's wrong but I don't…these two guys made a mistake but I don't know which guy it was or if it was both of them. You just don't know that. I don't know how you can know that unless you're really part of the team and know exactly what was supposed to happen on that play. I know there are a lot of experts out there that have it all figured out but I definitely don't. This time of year, sometimes it's hard to figure that out, exactly what they're trying to do. When somebody makes a mistake, whose mistake is it?

Q: Has anything happened over the last week or two that would change your opinion on the value of joint practices being good for your team?

BB: I think they're good if the team you're working with, if you can work with that team. I think that's the most important thing. Tampa was great. They were great and Philadelphia was great. There's not anything I would change about working with these two teams the last two weeks. They've been very professional and cooperative. Philadelphia couldn't have been more accommodating and we tried to do everything we could for Tampa while they were here. We got great work, we improved our football team – collectively we improved it, individually I know the players feel that way, the coaches do. It helped us as coaches. We went through a lot of situations. It made us think. It helped us prepare ourselves for the season. We talked about some things that we did out there on the field that looking back on it, we should have called or could have handled situations a little bit differently – in the two-minutes and four-minutes and some of the situational drills we did. It was a great learning experience for the coaches, not learning but preparation experience for the coaches and the players on our team. I know we'll get Tampa in a month when it really counts. They're a good football team but I think we made each other better this week. Hopefully that will serve us well in the long run.

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