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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript 9/13

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, September 13, 2017

BB: OK, we've been able to spend a little bit extra time here on the Saints. Certainly, they deserve a lot of attention. It's a really good football team. I think Sean [Payton] has done a good job, obviously, through the years. [He's] one of the top coaches in the league. I have a ton of respect for him. Offensively, this is really a great team. They do everything well. Good quarterback, good skill players, good running backs, good receivers, tight ends, offensive line. They have a lot of explosive weapons with a great scheme. That's why they lead the league in offense every year, third-down, make a lot of big plays. They're hard to stop. Defensively, they have a lot of new players. Half of the group is new starters, all new linebackers, a lot of speed at the positons, a faster, [more] athletic team probably than what they had last year. They do a good amount of pressuring so we're going to have to stand up to the blitzes, the pressures that they run, take care of the ball. They pursue very well. They have a lot of guys that can run, chase the ball hard, play hard. Dennis [Allen] does a good job with them. The fundamentals are good. They're a good technique team. The kicking game, obviously, two big legs there - [Wil] Lutz, [Thomas] Morstead. Morstead's about as good of a punter as this league has ever seen. [He's a] tremendous, tremendous player. Accurate, long, good plus-50, does everything well. Good returners - all three guys are very dangerous. A big physical unit on special teams. It looks like they've really improved that from last year. A good football team playing at home. We'll have to have a really good performance on Sunday. That's what we're working towards.

Q: How has Michael Thomas contributed to their ability to make big plays offensively?

BB: Yeah, he's a tough receiver, big, strong, strong hands, tough, hard to tackle, a very physical receiver. Probably as physical as any receiver we'll see.

Q: Are those qualities that a lot of their pass catchers seem to share?

BB: Yeah, it's a big group. Yeah, I mean, he's by far the most physical. [Brandon] Coleman's 230 pounds. He's a big target. He's almost like a tight end. [Coby] Fleener's a good receiver at tight end.

Q: What do you see on film when you watch tape of their linebackers A.J. Klein and Alex Anzalone?

BB: Well, [A.J.] Klein's really the leader on their defense. He handles the signal-calling communications. He plays 'sam' in their base but 'mike' in the nickel, which they play a lot of nickel so he is in there a lot. A good tackler, aggressive, smart, instinctive player, plays fast. The other guys - [Alex] Anzalone, [Manti] Te'o - however it goes - [Craig] Robertson. Again, fast, athletic guys, all play in the kicking game, all good space players.

Q: What does Drew Brees do with the pace of their offense that puts stress on a defense?

BB: Well, he makes good decisions, quick decisions, gets the ball out quickly, sees things in a hurry and doesn't give the defense time to recover.

Q: Does he do a lot of hurry-up offense?

BB: No. They sub so many people in there. They change people on every play.

Q: The Saints claimed Austin Carr off of waivers from here. Is he a player you thought might be a risk to be picked up when you put him on waivers?

BB: Well, anybody you put on waivers you know could be claimed by somebody else. If you put them on waivers, you know there's a chance you could lose them. The rest of it is out of your control.

Q: What did you see from Austin Carr this summer?

BB: I think we talked about him. He had a good camp.

Q: Do you notice them being a more explosive team when playing at home due to the environment in their stadium?

BB: Yeah, probably. It's probably easier with the cadence and things like that. I mean, look, they play well everywhere. They've come up here and played well, played well down there. Yeah, but it's probably a little bit easier for them to get their substitutions and get in and out of the huddle and maybe just a little bit quicker. But I mean it's fast anyway.

Q: When you have four or five talented running backs on the team what is the balance like between giving the defense different looks as opposed to allowing one or two guys to get into more of a rhythm?

BB: Yeah, well, in the end you try to do what's best for your team. I think that's what every coach does, so that's what we try to do. I'm sure that's what other coaches that have depth at a positon try to do, try to do what's best for the football team.

Q: Do you think rhythm is an important thing for a running back?

BB: I think gaining yards is important for any offense, so if you're gaining yards, you're going to be in rhythm. If you're not gaining yards, then I don't know where the rhythm comes from. I mean, I don't know. You tell me - five carries for ten yards. Is that a rhythm? Two for 16? I don't know. Is that a rhythm? Look, our job is to move the ball and score points. That's what we're here for. We're not here to have rhythm. We're here to score points.

Q: Is there any difference in Tom Brady's approach following a loss?

BB: Tom [Brady]'s pretty consistent.

Q: Is he harder on himself after a loss?

BB: You'd have to ask him that. I don't know.

Q: Ty Law mentioned that after a loss the week following was typically not a very fun week. Will this be one of those weeks for the team?

BB: We'll try to get ready for New Orleans, go down there and play our best game on Sunday. That's what our job is this week.

Q: Given how many substitutions they make offensively, is there ever a thought to just stick more with one defensive grouping as opposed to trying to match up with them each time they sub a player in and out?

BB: Yeah. I mean, you can do that and then you have to deal with the matchups.

Q: Does the big nickel defense help you be more able to meet those matchups?

BB: Again, it depends on what they're in, then based on the matchup that can affect your call. If you don't feel like you have enough matchups in man-coverage, then it's hard to call man-coverage. If you don't think you have enough size against bigger groups on the line of scrimmage, then it kind of forces you to put a lot of guys on the line of scrimmage. Yeah, whichever way you go there are pluses and minuses. It depends on, again, what you feel like you can do well and what you feel like is best for your team against that particular opponent. One week it could feel like it's a good thing and then the next week you feel like you'd rather do it the other way.

Q: What did you see on film from their rookie left tackle Ryan Ramczyk?

BB: He's an athletic kid. He missed a couple of games in preseason, so I'm sure he'll get better with every game. He's got good skills. I think his best football is in front of him. I'm sure they felt like that when they drafted him and I'm sure he'll get better every game. He had limited college experience and limited training camp, preseason games, so I'm sure every snap he takes is going to be an advancement for him. He's long, he's athletic. He's got good skills for the position.

Q: It seemed like they were very dedicated to running the ball last week against Minnesota. Is that a similar approach to what you've seen from them in the past or is that a bit different?

BB: Yeah, I think they've always been pretty balanced. Sean [Payton] does a good job of forcing the defense to defend everything. Inside runs, outside runs, short passes, deep passes, big people, little people. He pretty much gives you a pretty broad spectrum of things you have to get ready for and defend defensively and you're going to see them, too. It's not like they did it one game a bunch of games ago. It's something you can kind of count on seeing every week, some version of that. Anywhere from 25 to 30 different personnel groupings depending on - I mean obviously those groupings could be the same grouping but change the back, or change the receiver or change the tight end. Well, really it's the same grouping but it's a little bit different depending on which guy it is that's in there, which skill player is in there. When you look at the whole composite of it, you're looking at, like I said, they call 25 groupings per game. That's a lot.

Q: What have you seen from their safeties Kenny Vaccaro and Vonn Bell?

BB: Well, I think [Kenny] Vaccaro's one of the better players in the league. He does everything well. [He's] strong, tough, good tackler, good blitzer, physical player, reads the quarterback well, smart, disguises well. [Marcus] Williams has really taken over free safety. [He has] good range, good ball skills. I mean he's a good player back there. He's definitely helped their defense. [Vonn] Bell is a little bit of both, but Bell and Williams definitely fall into the younger, faster, more athletic guys on the field. They're both high draft picks. They both play a lot in their defense and give them good speed and athleticism, range back there, tackling. They're all good players.

Q: What makes Alvin Kamara so tough to defend?

BB: He's got a good skill set. Handles the ball well, kick returns, passing game, catches well. He's fast, he's got good strength. He's not a huge guy but he has good playing strength inside. He's got good balance. He's hard to tackle. He's quick. You can get the ball to him a lot of different ways, so kick returns, passes, runs, toss plays outside, inside runs. He has a lot of options when he's in there.

Q: Is Alvin Kamara a player you would ever treat like a receiver because of his ability in the passing game?

BB: Yeah, well, I think that's where they try to get you. If you treat him like a receiver, they'll run, and if you treat him as a runner, then they'll try to match him up on guys that have trouble covering him. He's kind of a mismatch player like [Darren] Sproles, like [Reggie] Bush, like those guys that they've had - [Travaris] Cadet last year. That's an element to Sean [Payton]'s offense that a player like that has and they try to mismatch them. Yeah, however you treat him, they'll try to give him a different role and get him a different matchup

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