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Patriots Replay Wed May 27 | 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM

Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript 8/1

BB: Okay, so we should be inside today. It will give us a good chance to do some team work, get everyone acclimated to the stadium setting, work on all phases of our kicking game for the kickers, the returners, and so forth, so it changes up the routine at camp a little bit, you know, going at night, going into the stadium. Starting to build in some more, like I said, team things and, you know, players will be off on Tuesday, and then, you know, grind it out the rest of the week. So, you know, by the end of the week we'll have had a pretty good, pretty high percentage of our fundamental playbook in all three phases of the game, so that's where we're at. 

Q: What have you observed from the connection between Tom Brady and Kevin Faulk, or just from the connection that Kevin made with all of his former teammates in attendance tonight?

BB: Well, you know, Kevin, as I said, read off a lot of people that he thanked, it's a pretty big roster. I think all of us should be thanking him. So, he had a connection with a lot of players, he was a great teammate, and also made a lot of connections with the coaches and the people in the organization, wasn't just player connections. He touched everybody in a positive way and very unselfish, worked hard, had great leadership because he did the right thing, and he had the ability to bring people with him. So, really all positive from Kevin.

Q: What do you remember about seeing Kevin Faulk in practice every day to improve in certain areas the way he did?

BB: Yeah, well blitz - pickup was a lot of work, a lot of snaps in practice, a lot of snaps after practice, corrections, just learning how to do it. We had pretty good linebackers, you know, Tedy [Bruschi] and Willie [McGinnest] and guys like that, so you know, practices were competitive. And ball security, you know, that was a little bit of an issue when I got here. Kevin and I talked about it. I tell all of our players about it; ball security is important. Ball security is job security, so he took that to heart and, you know, I think over the last – I forget exactly what it was, seven years of his career, or whatever – he only had a couple of fumbles. So, he made great improvement in that area because he made a commitment to it.

Q: How can the current players who saw Kevin Faulk talk to the team at practice yesterday benefit from hearing from a guy like that?

BB: Well, you know, I think in all honesty there are some guys who don't know a lot about Kevin, maybe they know his name, maybe they know a little bit of his connection with the team, but you know, just the personal side of talking about what it was like as a player, why he's in the Hall of Fame, why his picture is up on the wall, why we respect him so much. I think that's good for players that are new to the team to hear.

Q: What have you seen from the offensive line, specifically the center position during training camp so far?

BB: I'd say like every position, [there is] a long way to go. Working multiple people at that spot, working multiple people at every spot, so we'll see how it goes, but I think we have a lot of guys that are working hard. We move guys around the offensive line like we usually do, at the receiver position, defensively, so I mean, it's that time of year.

Q: What kind of development has David Andrews shown you from his rookie year to now?

BB: Yeah, well I mean, David played a lot of football for us last year, smart kid, very football savvy. He's got good instincts for the position. You know, I think he built on last years' experience, he saw that in the spring. He's always got good command, but I'd say he's got more command, more confidence, maybe sees things just a little fraction of a second quicker because he anticipates it more and has seen it more.

Q: How much work have you seen from Aaron Dobson heading into his fourth camp?

BB: You know, Aaron's had a good spring and a good few days here at training camp. I think we've seen that from him before. I'd say Aaron's just, for whatever reason, hasn't been able to consistently be on the field and do it, you know, when he's been out there he's looked good a lot, but he hasn't always been out there for one reason or another. So, hopefully – I know he's training hard, looks like he's in good condition this year – hopefully he'll be able to stay on the field and continue to improve. I think that's really the key, you know, it's not just being healthy, but being healthy to practice and improve and Aaron's worked hard, he's made some good catches, so hopefully he keeps climbing in that direction.

Q: We haven't seen a lot on the field from Tyler Gaffney, how do you anticipate his skill set to fit on the offense?

BB: It will be whatever he makes it. He'll get an opportunity like everybody else. You know, we claimed him on waivers from Carolina two years ago and he hasn't had a lot of opportunity on the field, as you said, he's dealt with a couple injuries, but I think he's a good player. I mean, he ran for, whatever it was, 1,400 yards at Stanford, [played] Major League Baseball, and he's a good athlete. He's a smart kid, he's tough, he's strong, so we'll see how it goes, but I like working with him. He's a great kid, works hard in the kicking game, so we'll see how it comes together for him. Hopefully he'll be able to – same thing earlier I said about Aaron – be able to stay out there on a daily basis, work hard, keep getting better, and you know, take his game up to a higher point.

Q: Is there any concern that some important offensive linemen aren't getting to work right now due to early injuries in camp?

BB: Well, I mean, we always want as many people out there as we can. The guys that can't practice do what they can do. The guys that can practice do what they can do, so just make the most out of every day and every individual situation, whatever they can do. Hopefully we improve in that area, and what they can't do we don't let that hold them back from what they can accomplish.

Q: What are you initial impressions of Cyrus Jones?

BB: It's similar I think to what we saw at Alabama. [He's a] smart kid, athletic, obviously very good hands, he's got good quickness, good ball skills, led the nation in punt returns. I think you can see his return skills out there. So, he turns the ball over defensively if he can get his hands on it. He can make plays on the ball. But he's fast, he's quick, he's mart, he obviously was well - coached, played in a great system at Alabama. Nick [Saban] did a great job with him, like he does with all of his defense backs down there. He's fundamentally a good technique player. But you know, it's another level here, and so he'll have to make that adjustment like all rookies do, but I think he's competed well and has a lot of things going for him.

Q: Is Cyrus Jones' footwork something that can carry over between the return game and playing cornerback?

BB: It's a little bit of a different skill. As a returner, you're basically going forward, kind of like a receiver. A receiver goes forward; defensive backs spend a lot of time going backwards. One way or another even if they turn and run they still have to go from facing one way to facing the other way. A returner is like a receiver, you're going forward and you usually know where you're going, where as a defensive back, you spend a lot of time going backwards and you don't know where you're going. So they're different. 

Q: Can you recall your favorite Kevin Faulk moment?

BB: There are a lot of them. They were talking about them today. The two - point play against Carolina was a huge play; it was the only time he scored all year. Kevin didn't have a lot of touchdowns, he wasn't a big scorer. He was big on third - down conversions and a returner, more of a situational player. The touchdown against the Jets during the playoff game when they were in an all - out blitz; it was another smart play. We were able to get him out and it was about a 10, 12 - yard touchdown, something like that. One play I remember for sure is the kickoff return he had against us when I was coaching in New York in 1999, his rookie year. He ran it back to about the five - yard line. It was about a 95 - yard return or something, so I remember him on both sides. So many of his plays were just, third - and - six and he got seven, third - and - four and he got five, third - and - three and he got four. He just had a great knack [for making plays], like Troy [Brown] did. [He was] a very instinctive player; had a great knack for playing the game. He always seemed to do the right thing, even if it wasn't a play made, maybe there was no more than what he could get, he got what he could get. He did the right thing, he made the right play. Maybe he was supposed to go out on a pass, he saw somebody come free on a rush, left his pattern to protect so we could get the play off. I mean, whatever it was, that's what made him great is all the little things, the kind of unsung plays. They weren't little plays, they were big plays, but they weren't necessarily all 90 - yarders. They were just those plays that kept drives going. That third - and - 11 against the Colts in the AFC Championship game in 2004, we were on our own 10 - yard line or something, backed up, and we get out of there on third - and - 10 with an 11 - yard conversion and Corey [Dillon] ended up scoring on that drive and it kind of iced the game, plays like that. The Denver game out in Denver, the Monday night game, catches the screen after he took the safety, got the ball back, catches the screen pass, goes down and puts us in position where we hit [David] Givens on the touchdown, but it got us into field goal range, so if we [had to] make the kick, it would have put the game in overtime. They just go on and on, and you know what, those plays were the same thing in practice, too. It wasn't just the games. We ran those plays in practice and he converted most of them there too. When he said he looked up to Troy Brown and tried to emulate Troy Brown, he did a pretty good job of it. Those two guys were, between them, receiver and running back, both returned kicks. They were both tough, great team players, clutch players, really good hands, caught everything, great decision - makers, great teammates. You're lucky to have one, we had two. I feel blessed. Certainly, they were great additions to the team. Kevin, 13 years – that's a long time for a running back – and he was durable. He was durable.  

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