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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript

BB:It's a little bit of a quick turnaround for us today coming off a night practice, so we're kind of putting together a morning of watching the film from last night, correcting mistakes and moving on to new installations, new things we need to work on today. We've got a big kind of three-day period coming up today, tomorrow and Saturday to try to I'd say for the most part – not completely, but for the most part – finishing up getting our situations taught and continue to rep the things that we've put in to polish those up a little bit. And then next week really will be three days to start to prepare our team for what we'll see Thursday night with the Packers. That's kind of the mode we're in. NFL officials will be here for the next three days, so it will give us a good opportunity to let them watch us and educate us on what we are and aren't doing properly in their eyes. Also to just kind of have the NFL officials handle the mechanics of the no-huddle or two minutes and those kinds of situations that are somewhat timing oriented. So, we'll try to take advantage of that. That's pretty much where we are.

Q: What have you done to this point with the officials, if anything?

BB: They're here for three days. Today is the first day.

Q: What do you think of Jimmy Garoppolo's play last night and so far through training camp?

BB:You know, I think all of our players are making progress. I think all the ones that are out there – we have a few guys who haven't been out there – but the ones that are out there are making progress. There are a lot of different units or different groupings, guys working together on a lot of different timing and so that's something that we've all got to get used to with whatever position we're talking about – offensive line, defensive secondary, defensive line, passing game. I think Jimmy is working hard, I think he's making progress, and I think that's what the guys who are out there are doing. I don't think any of us are really ready to play yet. We've got another week for that – or coach – as it applies. So, we'll just keep working to that point and then we'll get a better idea of how that all comes together when we actually play out there in a competitive situation.

Q:Do you think he's been hesitant at all in his decision making and his throws?

BB: No.

Q:Do you have to prepare differently now that the defense can score on extra points?

BB: I would say not really because it's the same thing as field goals. So now we just treat PATs as field goals instead of separating them, so it's really the same thing.

Q: Do you have an update on Julian Edelman's status?

BB: Day to day.

Q: What is the biggest challenge for a running back in pass protection?

BB: I'd say the number one challenge, the first challenge is to get the right guy based on the call, the identification of the defensive personnel and then post-snap what happens if they cross, if two guys cover the same gap. If they all go straight ahead, that's fairly straight forward, but when more than one comes or when they come in different locations or they're up in the line and they drop out or they start in one place in the line and then come somewhere else, just getting it right – that's challenge number one. And then of course challenge number two is physically getting the player blocked. There are a lot of different aspects to that. Certainly cut blocking is something that a lot of backs do on blitz pickups, but not something that we would practice even though we might do it in the game. There's a game aspect to it and then there's also a practice aspect to it, but the fundamentals of pass protection are still what they are – getting your body in between the man you're blocking and the quarterback and protecting the inside part of the pocket and handling the power rush and then being able to adjust to some type of rush that's not a power rush – some kind of edge rush or spin move or whatever it is. So, it's under all those components. But number one is getting the right guy and then number two is being able to physically keep him away from the quarterback long enough to execute the play.

Q: How difficult is that to work on during this time of the year?

BB: Now is a good time to work on it. Now is the best time to work on it. Now is honestly – I wouldn't say the only time – but it's definitely the best time to work on it. [We] can't really do it in the spring. We can do assignments in the spring, but there is no physical contact and during the season there are limited physical contact opportunities, so this is the time to do it. Just like everything else, this is the time to build any fundamentals that involve contact, whether it's punt protection, pass protection, defeating blockers, tackling. Whatever involves contact, you've got your training camp practices and then minimal number of practices during the season to work on those set of skills.

Q:What are your thoughts on Antonio Johnson?

BB: Hard working player, very dedicated, quiet, doesn't say much, still works hard, does his job, and a very experienced player so he's good instinctively reading blocking schemes, doing things that experienced players would do. He definitely has that and you can tell this guy has played a lot of football.

Q: Dion Lewis and Antonio Johnson were both out of football last year. Do you look at things differently when you sign a guy like that, who you don't have film on from last year?

BB: I don't think it changes too much. With players like that, there is a circumstance why they didn't play. In Dion's case it was injury. In Antonio's case, he played in preseason, but then didn't play during the regular season, so there was preseason tape on him. You go [with] what you can go on, which is what you have to look at. You evaluate his physical condition if that's part of the equation. And then whether you work him out or sign him and put him in your offseason program, and then at some point you continue to move along or make the decision to not move along, then that's based on what you see with the time that you spend working with the player. Is it different? I mean, I don't know. But in the end it's basically what we do with every player. It's just that his circumstance is a little bit different. Honestly it's not that much different than having a practice squad player from another team that, again, there's no tape on him. You don't know what he did all year. He played in preseason, maybe he was on their practice squad but wasn't active for any games. So, it's similar to that.

Q:With the officials here for the next few days, would you ever go to them and ask about the legalities of certain formations?

BB: I think that's what the whole point of being with the officials is, is to understand their interpretation of the rules. And any questions we have about what we're doing, we ask them to watch what we're doing and tell us what we need to do to make it legal or make sure that we're doing something properly and at the same time we know what we have to defend. We've seen this team do this or we've seen other teams do this. We want to make sure we've got this right what we're telling our players – whatever it happens to be. I think the communication between the officials and the teams at this time of year is good. It's beneficial for everybody. It's good for them to see us. It's good for us to see and talk to them. It's good to kind of have the communication and get on the same page as to how various rules are going to be interpreted or called, or kind of what the key thing they're looking for in making the call. All of that is helpful. I think [NFL VP of Officiating] Dean Blandino has done a good job of trying to have a good line of communication between the coaches, the teams and the individual officials or the officiating department. That just helps all of us understand better what we can do, what we can't do and how to make sure that we all understand the rules that we're playing under and the way they're interpreted and how the game is going to be called.

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