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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Mon Jun 01 | 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM

Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript 8/15

BB: Alright, well, we're really looking forward to this week; working with the Bears. Coach [John] Fox and I go back a long way. We've always had a great relationship and with many of the assistants on his staff, of course Josh [McDaniels] and Ben [McDaniels] obviously, but even beyond that. I think this will be a good, productive week for us. We're looking forward to just trying to find ways to improve individually, improve collectively as a team. This will help our coaches, help our players. It's good to have the Bears here and I look forward to working with them today.

Q: Is there anything different in preparing for joint practices with a team that you don't have as much familiarization with?

BB: Yeah, we just talk through everything to I think make sure that we're all on the same page in terms of what we're trying to get out of different drills, and with the players relative to tempo, and so forth. Based on all of our conversations I think we are on the same page. I don't think there will be any problems.

Q: What is the benefit of having different types of players across the defensive line in terms of varying size and skillsets?

BB: I'd say that some of it is just supply and demand. Guys that have a lot of length in there, that are able to play in there, a player like Richard Seymour; the guy is the sixth pick in the draft. A lot of the players that are playing that position just don't have those kinds of qualities. They have other qualities; size, maybe quickness, maybe heights not one of them, but I think if you can get that in there, if you can get a bunch of 6' 5" defensive tackles that are as athletic and powerful as you want them to be then probably not too many teams in the league would turn those guys down. They're usually drafted pretty high, but there's not as many of them. There's the Vince Wilfork's and the Malcom Brown's, guys like that are a little more common. They just come out more like that than they do some of the 6' 5"/6' 6" guys.

Q: How do you feel about the variation at that position on this roster specifically?

BB: It's really competitive, yeah. It's as much depth as we've had at that position that I can remember. [There is] good competition, we have some young guys, we have some guys with experience, and as you said, there's some different playing styles in there so it's not quite apples to apples with each comparison. They've all been productive. They can all do something pretty well to keep them in a competitive situation. There may be one guy that can do something better than another player or vice versa, but in the end everybody's been able to do enough to kind of keep it going in there, keep it competitive.

Q: How has Shea McClellin fit in to what you want to do defensively and have you gotten what you expected from him up to this point?

BB: Yeah, Shea has done a good job. Shea has worked hard, he's a smart kid, he runs well, he's athletic, he has a good set of skills, so he has been productive for us in camp and in the one game we've had.

Q: With the collective bargaining agreement limiting the number of fully padded practices you can have, how physical do you expect today's practice to go with the Bears and what kind of tempo are you hoping to see?

BB: Our practice tempo will be the same as it's been all through camp, which I think is the same as what there's has been. Again, we'll see when we get out there, but in conversation it sounds like what they do and what we do is pretty close to the same. That's what I'm expecting it to be today.

Q: How difficult is to divide the reps up amongst quarterbacks and in particular Jacoby Brissett?

BB: Well, it varies. He got a lot of reps in the game and obviously Tom [Brady] didn't get any. Again, we really need to get all three quarterbacks ready for various situations. I've stated what the priority is so nothing has really changed. We need all three guys to be ready to go. Jacoby as Jimmy [Garoppolo's] back up for the first four games, Jimmy for his role, and Tom for when he comes back so we'll try and balance that out the best that we can.

Q: How did you envision Martellus Bennett fitting into your offense and how has that transition gone so far?

BB: Well, we'll see. It's just training camp for right now. I know everybody's kind of learning what to do, learning the offense, getting familiar with the basic plays and fundamentals and techniques and all of that. We haven't game planned for anybody and we won't be doing that for a while, so we'll see how it goes.

Q: What have you seen from Martellus Bennett thus far specifically?

BB: He's a big player, he's talented, blocks well, runs well, he has got skills in the passing game and the running game. I'd say there's really not a whole lot that it looks like he can't do. It looks like he can do pretty much everything you want a tight end to do. He's smart, very smart. He handles the formations and adjustments and things like that, which are a big part of our offense at that position. He handles those well and it's been pretty easy.

Q: How do you feel Jimmy Garoppolo handles the attention and the spotlight that comes with being a starting quarterback?

BB: I think Jimmy has got good presence for the position. I think he always has. Again, it's always a work in progress. There's always development. Every player develops throughout the course of their career as they gain experience. That's no different than him or anybody else, but I think his demeanor is good.

Q: What are some of the things you look for that help determine if a guy has that kind of presence on the field needed for that position?

BB: Defensive signal callers and quarterbacks, part of their position is to get other things to other players, make calls, make adjustments, do the right thing that other people are counting on them to do. It's their decision to make. So, doing that, playing with poise, there are 1,000 things, probably 10 things on every play. In general players that have a good aptitude for it or some guys are better at it than others, that's all.

Q: Tom Brady said Jimmy Garoppolo has worked hard to earn the respect of the guys in the locker room. Is that something you've noticed?

BB: I think that happened day one when he came here. I think he has always done that. I don't think it's been any different this year. I think he has grown this year but I don't think his approach has been any different and I think he does have that. I'd agree with that.

Q: What have you seen in camp from Nate Washington?

BB: Well, I think that's the key, is having him out there so we'll see. He hasn't been out there a lot. That's important. I think every player on the field has flashed good plays. That's why they're in the National Football League because of their talent and so forth. It's dependability, it's consistency, being able to improve and do it on a consistent basis; that's what training camp is for. That's why we go out there day after day and see what players can produce that, and which players that consistency or that dependability is less evident. We'll see how it goes.

Q: When the weather is this hot during camp how do you balance between pushing guys too hard but also getting their conditioning ready for the season?

BB: Well, that's what our medical and nutrition staff is for. We try to do a good job of educating the players and also making sure the players are prepared for practice, and then at the end of practice that they recover, which there are various tools that we employ for that. But I think as a team we spend a lot of time educating them on all of the things that they need to do. Whatever the conditions are, that's part of it, but then there's just a general high performance, recovery, rest, high performance, recovery, you know, that's training camp, that's football season. Part of that we do as just the normal procedure and then whatever the conditions are that may require a little specific adaptation. For example, full hydration in conditions like this then we try to make sure they're educated on that. We also make sure we give them an opportunity to do it.

Q: Martellus Bennett made comments when leaving Chicago about not getting the ball enough. What are your expectations for him now that he is not necessarily the number one tight end?

BB: My expectations are the same for every player.

Q: What are those expectations?

BB: That's to know what to do, do it with the proper technique, play hard at all times, put the team first. There are no different expectations for anybody. It's all the same.

Q: How do you see Trey Flowers fitting into this defensive group?

BB: I don't know. That will be up to him. He's competed well. He has definitely got some good skills. He has shown up inside and outside, both of the defensive tackle positions in some passing situations and at defensive end. Again, we'll evaluate the consistency, not one game or one play, but over a lot of snaps here in preseason, and training camp, and preseason games and see how it all plays out, but whatever role he has or whatever role anybody else has will be what that player earns based on their performance. We don't hand out roles here, so I don't know.

Q: How difficult is it to evaluate players that come from smaller schools and have played against lesser competition?

BB: It's a tough projection. You evaluate the film. A lot of times they're just better than the players they're playing against. How would that compare when they play against higher competition? Sometimes you can see matchups at that level that are comparable. Sometimes those guys play in an all - star game, like Jimmy [Garoppolo] did, which gives you a little more of a level playing field, if you will. You evaluate their physical skills and see whether those are comparable to the players at your position. A guy might be a great player at another level, [but] when you look at him physically and you say 'Well, he's well below what we have in terms of size, speed,' whatever other measurements you have. Even though he's a good player once you put him up against other good players it just might not be that competitive. So, I think those are all things you kind of look at but it's hard when you're looking at one level trying to compare it to another. That's why it's a lot easier to evaluate pro free agents than it is college kids because you see them playing in the NFL. You see them playing against the same guys that we play against every week, so it's much easier to make that evaluation. But we're all looking at the same film, we're all looking at the same player, we all have the same opportunity to take that slice of information and figure out whatever we figure out with it. Yeah, it's definitely a challenge.

Q: Is there more satisfaction as an evaluator when you are correct on choosing a guy from a lower level school?

BB: I don't know. That's what we get paid for. Like I said, everybody's looking at the same player. We hit some, we miss some. There are guys we've looked at, at that level, and they've done better than we thought they would. There are other guys we've looked at that have come in and maybe done better than other people thought they would. I don't know. We just keep trying to perfect our evaluations and the process, do the best that we can. It's imperfect. There are a lot of factors that we can't control, and then when you put a player into an environment like this that has a lot of unknowns then sometimes they react positively or negatively or just differently. Not every player from those levels reacts the same when they come here to the things that we do. Some guys embrace it; some guys have a hard time with that, taking that next step. It's definitely a little bit of an unpredictable situation.

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