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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript 8/30

BB: Alright, how are we doing here?

Q: Good.

BB: Tuesday, it feels like Saturday.

Q: Is there any news to report in regards to the roster cuts that will be coming down at 4:00 today?

BB: Yeah, we'll announce those here in case there is anything that happens here at the wire. Just a few more minutes Mike [Reiss].

Q: How do you feel about the annual Patriots Premiere event being held at Gillette Stadium tonight?

BB: Good. All of these people are obviously Patriots supporters. They support the organization, the [New England Patriots Charitable Foundation], which does a great job, so it's a good night to bring everybody together.

Q: How important is this fourth and final preseason game for guys who you may not have a lot of game film on?

BB: Well, again, I think every day, every game is an opportunity. We'll see what the people who get the opportunity, what they're able to do with it and just weigh it all in in the end. But sure, every game is an opportunity. But it's an opportunity for all of us that participate in it; the coaches, players that play a lot, the players that don't play so much. It's still an opportunity for us to go through the process and prepare like we're going to have to play next week, mentally and situationally, and just playing 60 minutes of football, or coaching 60 minutes as the case applies.

Q: Does it seem odd to prepare for a game versus the Giants without former head coach Tom Coughlin across the sidelines?

BB: A little bit, yeah, it does a little bit. All of the coordinators are still there so it's almost like him working in New York kind of grandfathered in, looking over the shoulder. But [Mike] Sullivan moving up, and Steve [Spagnuolo], and [Tom] Quinn on special teams, so it's really a lot of the same people there, so I think schematically there is quite a bit of carryover, but yeah, it will be a little different not looking across the field and seeing Tom over there. I'm sure he misses us. He always did pretty well against us.

Q: Do you still get nostalgic playing against the Giants due to your time there as a coordinator or has that worn off?

BB: I did in Giants Stadium, not so much in this stadium [MetLife Stadium]. I never coached there for the Giants. Yeah, going back to Giants Stadium, that was a very emotional – a lot of memories from Giants Stadium; a lot of good ones.

Q: On a cut day like today, how much of a factor does making sure you have enough available bodies at certain positions for this final preseason game play into the roster decisions today?

BB: Yeah, it does. Sure, it does. Yeah, it definitely does. Positions that you're maybe a little thin at, I mean talking to other people in the league, other coaches, everybody's dealing with the same thing. You're thin at a position and sometimes you have to keep an extra player or two just to be able to play the game so that everybody else can benefit from it even though those players might not necessarily be on your roster if everybody was available, which at this point not everybody is available for anybody. So, we're all dealing with it. But that's definitely a factor. You've got to be able to manage the game and you want to put people out there in a competitive situation so that they can – if you're too weak at one position or if you just can't function at one position then that could affect the other 10 – then you lose the opportunity to evaluate them, so it's a factor.

Q: What kind of development have you seen from Geneo Grissom from year one to year two?

BB: I think Geneo has done a good job for us all spring and in training camp. Again, he's out there every day, he works hard, he gets better because he's a regular participant and a hard working kid. He has really improved in the kicking game, which wasn't something that he did a lot at Oklahoma, but he has improved there in a lot of areas; blocking, covering, just overall instincts and understanding, as well as defensively giving us depth at the defensive end positon. He's doing a good job.

Q: You mentioned earlier in camp that with the changes to the kicking rules you may not see teams strategies come into play until the regular season. Has that thought process held true during the preseason?

BB: I think you're seeing some directional kicking. Just watching a little bit of Baltimore the other night, I mean [Justin] Tucker – he's a high-touchback kicker – and he's popping them up down there inside the five-yard line. I think that there is some of that, but again, I don't think we're really going to see how this is going to play out until the start of the games next weekend. But I mean you could say that about offense or defense, too. I think teams are doing things to get ready but they're not doing some of the things that they're going to do once the regular season starts, so we'll just have to see.

Q: We've seen Geneo Grissom take some reps catching would-be punts from the jugs machine. Is there more importance for guys likes him who have been positioned up further on the kick return unit to get comfortable fielding kicks now?

BB: Yeah, I think that's a potential outcome of this rule change, is having to cover the field for kicks like that, pop up kicks that land in dead areas and having ball handlers not just in the deep part of the field but in that 20 to call it 35-yard line range for different types of kicks. I think if you leave that area uncovered then you're susceptible to them dropping one in there. You can still do it obviously, but putting big guys in the wedge that aren't good ball handlers could be a little bit of a potential problem. I'm not saying you couldn't do it, but you'd have to be aware of a possible ball handling issue.

Q: A head coach recently voiced his displeasure with the number of preseason games that take place due to the number of injuries that occur. Where do you stand on an issue like that?

BB: Well, I mean I think we'll let all the experts in the league decide that. That's not really my job. My job is to coach the team. But I think our joint practices give us extra opportunities to evaluate the team so that's why we use them. I'd say probably almost every team in the league does that. I don't know, there might be a couple that don't, but there are not very many. Most of them do one, sometimes two, so I don't know. [It] seems to me like most of the teams want more of that type of play, and competition, and opportunity rather than less of it. If you don't want to play against somebody else then I don't know why you would schedule a few extra scrimmage days, but you should talk to the experts about that. We just play by the rules, we don't make them.

Q: Do you look at it as part of Tom Brady's responsibility to help guide along some of the younger players at his position?

BB: Well, I think veteran players can be a good example for younger players in terms of their preparation, and their attitude, and their work ethic, and the way they go about things. We have a lot of guys that I would put in that category that when you watch them do things they do them right and it's easy to say to a younger player 'Do what that guy does', and you'd be off to a good start. But you know, that being said, I think everybody on the team, really their number one focus is to get ready to play football. Our players aren't coaches, they're players, and they need to get ready to play, and as I said, I think every player needs to get ready to play. I don't care how long you've been in the league, I don't care what positon you play, I don't care how long you've coached, I don't care what positon you coach. We haven't done it for a long time, a number of months, and now we all need to sharpen those skills up. That's every player, that's every coach, so I don't really think players have a lot of time to run around and be telling everybody else what to do. Honestly, there is enough that all of them need to work on individually, and that would be every single player, that's a full plate for them. I don't really think that's their job, and I don't think any player has enough time to do that because they all have things that they need to do to prepare for the season. But as far as being a good example and doing things right and all of that, I mean we have a lot of guys that fall into that category and that's definitely a good thing. But, you know, that's what they should be doing.

Q: In your time here you haven't had to spend time away from Tom Brady during the season, with the exception of the 2008 season when he was injured. Will there be an adjustment for you at all to getting used to not working with him during this stretch coming up?

BB: Well, I mean it is what it is. Like you said, it was that way most of the '08 season. It's out of our control. We're not worried about it, we're moving forward, control what we can control and do what we can do.

Q: How do you view the competition at the tight end position amongst some of the younger and less experienced players?

BB: Good, good. I think that's been a good, competitive positon for us. [We have] more depth than we've had there in quite a while, both in terms of blocking and receiving, also in the kicking game. We have some players there that have shown up positively on special teams. So the overall competition and contributions from that position have been good all through camp and in the preseason, so we'll see how all that plays out but I think we're fortunate to have the group of players that we have there, and they've all worked hard, they've all competed well, they've taken a lot of snaps, and they've all gotten better.

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