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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript 9/20

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, September 20, 2016.

BB: Alright, well we're kind of scrambling a bit here this week, but certainly been impressed with looking at the Texans. I think Bill [O'Brien]'s done a really good job with this football team. Much improved from last year. They've got a lot of weapons on offense, really good on defense, good in the kicking game, very well coached. They've added a lot of explosive firepower offensively with Miller - Lamar Miler - and of course [Braxton] Miller and [Will] Fuller in the passing game. The tight end situation, all three of those guys play, so they get good production there. They do a good job. They run the ball, they throw it short, they throw it deep, they possess the ball and keep it away from your offense. Defensively, they're really strong up front. [Jadeveon] Clowney looks good; [Whitney] Mercilus played really well for them, obviously [J.J.] Watt, [Bernardrick] McKinney's done a great job for them inside. He really looks like in his second year he's becoming one of the better linebackers in the league at a lot of things; the run, the pass, blitzing. They get good, solid corner play from the guys they had last year - Jonathan Joseph and [Kareem] Jackson. [A.J.] Bouye obviously had a big game last week against [Travis] Kelce as a fourth corner. So, [they're] a really solid unit, solid in the kicking game. With Larry [Izzo] down there they're a very aggressive unit. They cover well. [Brian] Peters is one of the better covering players we'll see all year. They have really good team speed, two good kickers, so a very solid team, very well-coached, very food fundamental team. Romeo [Crennel] does a great job defensively with the fundamentals and techniques across the board at every positon, particularly in the front seven, but their secondary is very well drilled too. We're going to have to play a good solid football game in all three phases of the game, a good complimentary game. They're 2-0 because they've played well two weeks in a row. They've got a good football team.

Q: How concerned are you about the quarterback position and is it possible that Jimmy Garoppolo could play this week?

BB: Well, we haven't been able to practice. Today we'll go out and see how it is today and we'll file the injury report after practice based on how it goes today. I don't know.

Q: Is it fair to say that you don't have a definitive diagnosis for Jimmy yet?

BB: He has been looked at. He has been treated, like every other player.

Q: How difficult would it be to get Jacoby Brissett ready for a game on such short notice?

BB: Well, I mean the Texans are a great football team. They do a lot of things well, so as a staff we're challenged in all three phases of the game to prepare for them. They're excellent on offense, defense, special teams, good against the run, good against the pass, they can run it, they can throw it, they can kick it, they can cover kicks, they can return it, so they do a lot of things well. [There are] a lot of challenges this week.

Q: Do you plan on bringing in another quarterback and how realistic would it be to bring a guy in at that position on such short notice and have him ready to play?

BB: It's certainly been done before.

Q: Are any personnel decisions at that position dependent on the health of Jimmy Garoppolo?

BB: It'll be dependent on what's best for the football team. That's what it's dependent on.

Q: But are you in a position where you have to evaluate both of those things, his injury and the need to bring in someone else?

BB: It's based on what's in the best interest of the football team. A player's personal situation, his health, always comes first, alright? That always comes first. That's not a football decision. That's a medical decision. Football decisions are based on what's best for the football team. That's what we've always done around here. That's what we'll always do as long as I'm here. That will never change. We'll always do what's best for the football team. That's what it's all driven by.

Q: But do you have to get some clarification on his injury status before making any personnel decisions and how do you balance those two things?

BB: I'm a football coach. I'm not a doctor. The medical staff is the medical staff. I coach the team; the medical people handle the injuries. They don't call plays; I don't do surgery. We've got a great deal there. It works out good.

Q: So do you wait for them to inform you of what a player's medical situation is before deciding on any personnel moves?

BB: I do what's best for the football team. Let me put it a different way - I'm the coach; I do what's best for the football team. I don't know why we can't understand that.

Q: Will today's workout be the most important in terms of deciding whether or not he will be ready to play Thursday?

BB: Whose workout?

Q: Jimmy Garoppolo's.

BB: I don't know. Today's Tuesday. The game is Thursday night.

Q: What do you think Jacoby Brissett does really well that can help you out?

BB: Jacoby has done a good job for us. He has improved every day. He's a hard working kid. He's in here early. He stays late, he studies the game mentally. He has got good physical talent. He has improved steadily since he has been here since back in the draft, in May, all the way through.

Q: Do you expect Jimmy Garoppolo to be at practice today?

BB: Everybody's here, yeah.

Q: In the past you've opted to just put the players through a walkthrough on days leading up to these Thursday games. Will that be the case today?

BB: Something like that.

Q: Mike Lombardi said the other day that Julian Edelman would be the emergency quarterback. Is that the case this week?

BB: We'll do what's best for the football team.

Q: Is it safe to say you aren't thrilled with a Thursday night game this week considering the circumstances going on at the quarterback position?

BB: Whatever the schedule is, we show up and play them.

Q: But it probably wouldn't be your choice to play on Thursday this week, correct?

BB: We play 16 games. Whatever they are on the schedule, we show up and play them. We don't worry about things we can't control.

Q: How has Vince Wilfork looked to you since he joined the Houston Texans?

BB: Yeah, they play him primarily on the nose and he's obviously a stout guy, a very experienced player, very good at recognizing schemes. You don't fool him on much. He has seen it all. He has got good playing strength. He's a tough guy to move in there, a tough guy to block.

Q: Aside from his health, what is the big difference in the way Houston has used Jadeveon Clowney this season?

BB: They've used him a little bit more inside than probably they did last year, but he plays outside, too. So, he plays end, sometimes he plays inside in their pass rush, their kind of dime scheme where they have four defensive ends on the field and some of their base stuff he plays a little bit of end, plays a little bit of three-technique in their nickel before they get to their dime, like early-down nickel if you will. So, he has really played more outside but he has also played some inside and he has played some end in their 3-4, which I don't think he had done that in the past, or didn't do much of it anyways. He has done it a little bit more.

Q: What are the qualities you look for when drafting a quarterback?

BB: We could talk about that for a week. I mean we talk about a lot of things for players. There are physical skills, there are mental skills, there's makeup, there are trades, there are 1,000 things.

Q: Was there one or two things that stuck out when you drafted Jacoby Brissett?

BB: Each player is a composite of all of the things that that player has. It's everything that's all part of the puzzle. It's a big mosaic. It's all put together and that's who the player is and each player has his own.

Q: What do you think will be the biggest challenge for your offense against the Texans?

BB: Well, the Texans are very good on defense so they take the ball away. They create long-yardage situations. They're one of the best third down teams in the league again this year, which they've been in the past. They haven't given up many points. The biggest challenge is always scoring points. That's the name of the game. That's what we play for. So, they haven't given up many. I'm sure it won't be easy to score them. We'll have to do a good job. We'll have to execute well.

Q: What have you seen from Braxton Miller at wide receiver from his time at Ohio State to now in the NFL?

BB: Well, at Ohio State he mainly played on the perimeter. I mean it wasn't when he played quarterback, [but] when he moved to receiver. So, he mainly played on the perimeter. [He's] very athletic, fast, big target, good hands, good after the catch. Houston has used him primarily in the slot so he has played mostly in there. Now he went out in the second quarter last week, then [Jaelen] Strong played for him. So, you saw him in preseason games but he was really mostly in the Chicago game and then a little bit in the Kansas City game but then he missed the majority of that game. But he has played in the slot for the Texans and he played primarily outside at Ohio State.

Q: Do you feel like Julian Edelman could play quarterback in an emergency situation?

BB: I don't know.

Q: You don't know if he could play quarterback?

BB: Well, he hasn't played it in this league. He played it in college.

Q: He did throw a pass in a game once, right?

BB: Yeah. He has thrown more than that in practice.

Q: Is that something you will look at today?

BB: I don't know. 

Q: What have you seen from Brock Osweiler in this offense compared to the way Denver used him last year?

BB: Well, Denver ran a different offense. Coach [Gary] Kubiak's offense is a lot different than Coach O'Brien's offense. The plays are just - there are a lot of differences. But I think he has done a good job in Houston. He's strong, he's a big kid, stands in the pocket, he's athletic enough to run when he needs to. He's not the easiest guy to get down in the pocket. He has been really good with the deep ball. He has been really accurate. The game obviously runs through the quarterback like it always does with Bill; checks at the line of scrimmage, adjustments, things like that. I'd say Osweiler has done a good job of that. He gets them into good plays and you can see some of the audibles that he has called like the screen against Chicago, was a good call against the blitz that Fuller scored a touchdown on, things like that where he makes some checks, makes some decisions that looks like the plays he should've been going to and it's a good play so I think he is smart. He has got good command, good leadership, throws the ball well, and is a hard guy to tackle. He has done a good job for them.

Q: Does it make it any easier to prepare for a team like this given how familiar you are with some of their coaches and their staff that have previously worked for you?

BB: Yeah, I mean it's like that every week. In every week there are players that are on our team that were on their team, or that are on their team that are on our team, or coaches, or whatever. So, it's pretty much a weekly event. We don't really focus very much on that. We focus on what they do and how they do it and what we need to do against it and how to best prepare for the game. But really that's pretty much the same conversation every week. It's Chandler Jones at Arizona or Chris Jones at Miami; there's somebody every week.

Q: How do you assess the job that both of your quarterbacks have done through two weeks?

BB: I think the entire team is kind of in the same boat. We're 2-0 which is good. Certainly [there are] a lot of things that we can do better. We can coach better, we can play better, we can overall in different units execute better collectively, not just individually. We can improve fundamentals, so I think we're all in the same boat. We've all got a lot of work to do. We're into the season. We've got a long way to go. I'd say that's pretty much the same story for everybody no matter who the player is or what positon they are. I don't think anybody's where they need to be. Everybody's working hard, we're improving, we're getting better. We've got a long way to go.

Q: Are you happy with the production that you've gotten from the quarterbacks?

BB: Well it doesn't really matter what happened. What we're worried about is this week against Houston. That's really all that matters. Some other year or some other game, I mean what difference does it make? We're getting ready for this game.

Q: Can quarterback be a game-time decision or is that something that you need to know in advance?

BB: It could be, sure. Yeah.

Q: Would it need to be decided beforehand in order to have the game plan ready?

BB: It would depend on the situation. It would depend on a lot of things. It's possible, sure.

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