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Replay: Patriots Postgame Show Sun Sep 27 - 06:10 PM | Mon Sep 28 - 09:00 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript 8/26

BB: OK, like we talked about yesterday, we're kind of moving through as close to a regular season week as we're going to get here in the preseason. I think that process is moving along and I think this will be a good opportunity for us against Carolina. They're a good football team, a really physical team, very good fundamentally, sound technically, don't make many mistakes, so I think this will really be a good test for us in terms of dealing with their physicality, their overall playing strength as a team on both sides of the line of scrimmage and the kicking game, dealing with a real set of mobile quarterbacks, whoever it is, whoever we end up getting, and being playing on the road, that was good for us last week. This will be a good opportunity for us to deal with that again. Kind of like a Friday, closing in here on the end of the week. It's been a short one. It's good work for us, too – there will be a couple of these during the regular season. This will be a good chance for us to get into that mode, too from a coaching staff and players in terms of getting their rest and being ready to go the following week. Good week for us, good opportunity, and we'll try to take advantage of it. 

Q: You never want guys to miss as much time as Ryan Wendell has missed, but with his game experience, is it not as big of a deal?

BB: Yeah, sure, he's played here. We definitely have a couple guys that have come in that haven't done that. He's definitely ahead on that count.

Q: You acquired T Michael Williams from the Lions today. What traits does he have that made you want to work with him?

BB: Big, athletic guy, played at Alabama – played tight end at Alabama, has played tackle primarily at Detroit. So, we like his makeup, like his skills and we'll see how it fits. I don't know.

Q: Do you see him playing both tight end and tackle?

BB: I don't know. It depends on how he does.

Q: Is his size a factor? Is he up over 300 pounds now?

BB: It looked like it. It looked like it to me. Again, we'll evaluate how he plays and teach him some things to do and see how it goes, but I don't know.

Q: Did he mostly play right tackle in Detroit or did he play both sides?

BB: He played both sides in the two preseason games this year. One game was on the right and one was on the left. I'm trying to remember which one was which, but it's been both.

Q: What are his receiving skills like? Was he a blocking tight end at Alabama?

BB: I thought he caught the ball well.

Q: Is he flexible?

BB: We'll see. He played tight end at Alabama; he played tackle at Detroit. Call him whatever you want.

Q: What have you seen from Jamie Collins so far this year? Do you see him more as a leader now?

BB: Yeah, I think definitely Jamie has got good leadership, good work ethic, and he's really a part of everything we do defensively. He's such a versatile player. He's in on every different package that we have; every personnel group. He's a versatile player and a smart player, but I think like all of us, it's about consistency. It's that time of year we all need to work on that. Skill-wise, really good and he does a lot of things well.

Q: How important is it for the offensive line to see time together during a preseason game?

BB: It's definitely helpful. I know in talking to those guys, it's a great learning experience for them. It's different than practice. But again, we have to consider the management of our team and we also have to consider the depth of our team and the evaluation of multiple players. It's a balance there of giving the right amount so that we can evaluate the team properly, get some execution and timing and maintain and have our different combinations of depth, which eventually we will probably need somewhere along the line. It's all those things, but we try to balance it the best we can. If I knew exactly how things we're going to turn out at the end of the season – last half, three quarters of a season – then maybe we do it one way now, but there's no way of knowing that, so we have to kind of cover our bases.

Q: How much contact do you have with front office guys that evaluate other teams?

BB: Yeah, I think Nick [Caserio] and our personnel department, that goes on a lot at this time of year, more than any other time of year as we head into the 75 cut and then next week into the 53 cut. I'd say probably these two weeks are the highest volume of those. I personally don't sit in on all those calls, but Nick and I talk about that on a regular basis of what kind of opportunities there are, what's going on, getting a general sense of where things are on different teams that might affect us one way or another. Transactions, they're every day. They'll be here today, they'll be here tomorrow, they'll be here for the next two weeks.

Q: Was a situation like yesterday an example of that?

BB: I don't know. Everyone is different. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don't. There's no set formula. I don't know.

Q: Are you pleased with the way the offensive line improved in the second preseason game?

BB: I think our team made some progress. I don't think we're anywhere near where we need to be. In all reality, we probably won't be for a while, but we just need to keep making progress and the faster the better, or the more the better – however you want to look at it. We've got a long way to go but we've got to keep taking forward, positive steps.

Q: How different is the offseason and preseason now compared to when you started? Did you used to feel like your teams were ready by the start of the regular season?

BB: When I was with the Giants, we'd probably have over 50 practices prior to the first regular season game. Now we have probably less than half of that. The other teams have the same number we have. The other teams had 50-some back then. There were 52, 53, 54, 55 – whatever it was – 50-some practices prior to the first regular season game. That's different than having 20.

Q: Has that changed your personal approach as far as playing guys in the preseason?

BB: Yeah, everything has changed. It's a totally different format. Just do the best you can with whatever [it is]. [There were] six preseason games my first couple years in the league. It's evolved into what it is now, so whatever it is it is. This is the hand we're dealt, so we'll play it, just like everybody else.

Q: What stands out to you in regards to the team starting slow in the first two preseason games?

BB: We weren't very good on either side of the ball or in the kicking game. Bad coaching, bad playing – put it all down. It wasn't very good.

Q: How beneficial will it be to face Cam Newton in preparation for playing Ben Roethlisberger in the season opener?

BB: We're going to face mobile quarterbacks this year, there's no doubt about that. We saw some of that with [Aaron] Rodgers, he extended some plays, [Drew] Brees to a lesser extent. [Cam] Newton, [Joe] Webb – whoever we get, whichever quarterback it is – that will be part of the challenge this week. That'll be good for us. We can learn from everything that comes up – the personnel we face, the situations that unfold during the game. So, it's all good. We're playing a good team with a good quarterback, with a good running game, with a good defense, with a good kicking game. So, yeah, it's a good opportunity for our team to get better in every area.

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