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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript - 9/30/2015

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

BB: Today's a day really to focus more on the Patriots than anything else, just to work on things that we need to work on based on the first three games, practice situations, just things that have come up along the way that we need to clean up, go back, talk about a little bit, do a better job of coaching, do a better job of executing on the field, understanding the situations and in a way taking care of some problems behind us, but also trying to move forward into things that we think can benefit us in the future. That's kind of where we're at today.

Q: Is this a good day to practice outside?

BB: We'll probably be inside today. We'll see if we can work on our timing and our execution a little bit. We've got a couple games coming up inside. 

Q: You guys made a trade for Jonathan Bostic yesterday. What traits does he have that made you want to work with him?

BB: Jonathan has been a productive player, was very productive in college, started a bunch of games for the Bears. He's played both inside and outside in the 4-3, athletic, runs well, smart, can play in the kicking game. I think he can potentially give us depth on all four downs. 

Q: How much time did you spend with him when you were scouting players at Florida for the 2013 Draft?

BB: A day. I mean there were other players there, too – [Josh] Evans, the other linebacker, Jelani Jenkins. They had a few guys. 

Q: What goes into the relationship between center and quarterback, especially a quarterback as experienced as Tom Brady and a center as inexperienced as David Andrews?

BB: I think it's just them being on the same page, snap count, defensive identification, things like that, which in this league can be challenging. Then when you throw crowd noise into it or fast tempo, just making sure that both the line and the quarterback see it the same way. It's not necessarily a right or a wrong there. It's just making sure we're on the same page. We could do it sometimes either way where one way has a certain advantage, another way has a different advantage, but just making sure that we all have that. Changing up the snap count, using different timing on the count so the defense can't jump the snaps, particularly on the road – again, it's being on the same page. Of course, Tom has been in a lot of those situations. David is very quick to pick it up. He's played center a long time, so I don't think there is a lot maybe that's new for him. It's just, again, all of us getting on the same page.

Q: Are the rookies on the interior line ahead of groups you've had in the past at that position due to the volume of snaps they've taken thus far?

BB: Yeah, I mean they've had more reps than anybody at any position. Literally, they haven't missed a day. They took a ton of snaps in the spring, a ton of snaps in training camp, had a lot of snaps in practice. Wendy [Ryan Wendell] has only been able to practice a very limited amount for us, but he's been on the roster since the start of the season – I mean, forget about training camp. So, those guys took a lot of snaps just due to our lack of depth in there. Chris Barker was out for a while. They played all the preseason games, played quite a bit in all of them, and they keep getting better with more reps and more experience in there. But they've taken a lot of snaps. I can't imagine anybody's taken more than what those guys have. The volume is high.

Q: Did you notice a high football IQ with those guys right away?

BB: They all come from different backgrounds. Shaq [Mason] is probably one of the better run blockers we've evaluated, but he was obviously behind in the pass protection part of it because of their system. But we saw him at the Senior Bowl and at the workouts, and certainly as we've gone through the whole pass protection thing here, whether it be individual techniques or schemes, games, that kind of thing, he gets better all the time. Tre' [Jackson] has played in the same offense [Bryan] Stork did, obviously, so maybe a little further ahead in the passing game. But again, I don't think anybody is further ahead than Shaq is in the running game. Andrews, a really productive player in a really good conference, played against a lot of good people, has played center all his life, played in the East-West game – I thought he showed well there. He's just a good football player. So, yeah, they're all different, but they've kind of meshed together well both on and off the field – the communication and they're kind of getting a feel for playing with each other. Long way to go, but definitely making progress. 

Q: It's just a three game sample, but you're down eight penalties this year compared to last year. How much of a focus is that for you this year, and how do you assess the team's discipline thus far?

BB: We always try to play penalty free. We haven't had very many on defense, we had quite a few in our first two games in the kicking game, played penalty free last week, and then we've had too many on offense. 

Q: Is that one advantage of having this bye week? Is that an area you can focus on?

BB: We need to work on everything. Sure, that's on the list. So is everything else.

Q: A lot of people have already started comparing this team to the 2007 team you coached. How much do you dislike that kind of chatter?

BB: We don't compare ourselves to anybody. We just try to go out there and improve, do a good job, get ready for Dallas next week. 

Q: Has Devin McCourty been very good so far at controlling the back end of the defense?

BB: Absolutely. Devin is one of our best players, does a great job with preparation, communication. He has a really good understanding of the entire secondary. He plays or has played all those positions – corners, played down in some of our sub packages when Duron [Harmon] is in there. He's played inside, played outside, played deep, played short, so he has a good working and communication relationship with all those guys, including the linebackers, a lot of experience. He's definitely kind of the quarterback of our secondary.

Q: Is that especially important this year with all of the newcomers you have at corner?

BB: It's important every year. It was important last year. Those guys had never been in our system last year, probably other than Kyle [Arrington] and Logan [Ryan], but I'm talking about [Darrelle] Revis, [Brandon] Browner, Malcolm [Butler]. It's always important.

Q: What do you think of the development of Joe Cardona?

BB: I think Joe has improved a lot from back when we saw him at the combine all the way back in February. There were some things that we worked with him on then and then later on when we worked him out in March, and he's just continued to improve on a lot of those things. Again, the punt protection in this league is a lot different than what most colleges use and being able to see all the things that are happening inside – the different twists, movements, the way the return teams hold people up, so it's kind of a game within a game in there. He's done a really good job of learning those techniques and working on them. Bubba [Ray Ventrone] and Joe [Judge] have done a great job working with him every day on that. He's definitely improving. He's coming along. He's been solid there. He's given us some plays in coverage going back to preseason, but he's shown up in some coverage situations, too. Still a long way to go. He's got a lot that he can improve on, but I'd say he's also come a long, long way not just since we had him but since he kind of turned a corner in the whole process of working out for teams and working out in the spring and being an NFL snapper as opposed to being a college snapper.

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