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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript 9/5

[wysifield-embeddedaudio|eid="466851"|type="embeddedaudio"|view_mode="full"]Q: When putting together the practice squad do you approach it from a short term perspective as injury depth or do you take a long term approach towards developing players for the future?

BB: [It is] a combination of both. I think, Mike [Petraglia], pretty much the way you described it - that's the goal of the practice squad. It can help you with short-term depth. You've seen us bring players up the day before a game or a couple of days before the game to fill in a spot that we need them. We've kind of also seen practice squad players develop and become roster players after a period of time, so it's a combination of both of those. Sometimes its two-for-one, where a player can give you short-term depth but also be able to develop into a consistent roster player down the road.
Q: When you see some of your players and draft picks claimed by other teams is that sort of a feather in the cap for those in your organization that scouted them?

BB: Well, we'll see how it all goes but I think we felt like we had pretty good depth on our roster going into training camp and so it's not surprising that other teams in the league recognized some of that and took some of the younger players and put them on their roster.

Q: When you are playing in a nickel defense what goes into the thought process between alternating amongst three cornerbacks and two safeties or two cornerbacks and three safeties?

BB: Right, yeah, it's a good question. It's really a good point. Some of it is the matchups, some of it at times is what we're doing and if we're doing something that one player versus another one is maybe better at, whether that's man coverage or zone coverage or blitzing or playing the run, whatever it happens to be. There could be other reasons for that as well, too, as part of just the overall matchup. Not necessarily one-on-one, it could be that, but it also could be more of a scheme thing or maybe anticipation of what they would be doing against that personnel group. So, I'd say it's a combination of all of those things that could change week to week. It's hard to go into games with a lot of different groupings. I think that's because you have to have those backups in case one person gets hurt, then what do you do with that group? Do you just throw it away or do you have to have somebody else practicing so that you can maintain the group? So, it's hard to go in with multiple groups and have them all backed up, so a lot of times we might go with one or the other. If you do that with multiple groups then you have to figure out some way to adjust if you don't have all the players in that group for one reason or another. But that's all part of what we look at each week with our matchups against our opponents and again, not just the individual size, speed, personnel strength and weakness [of the] matchup but also from a scheme standpoint what our players do well, what position we want to try and put our players in based on the types of calls or defenses that we'll be running.

Q: What have you seen from Clay Harbor over the past few weeks as he tries to fit into your system?

BB: Well, Clay has got good versatility for us. Clay is in the kicking game and offensively has a combination of blocking skills, receiving skills. He has some experience playing in the backfield as well as on the line of scrimmage. So, he is a guy that can do some different things for us. He's not just pigeonholed into one particular spot but certainly his value in the kicking game I'd say as the backup tight end is valuable along with his offensive skills. So, that definitely helps him.

Q: With the level of competition being high in camp at the cornerback position, what did Jonathan Jones do to separate himself from some of the other players?

BB: Well, Jonathan has given us solid play on defense and in the kicking game. He was in a good program at Auburn. [He] played for Coach [Will] Muschamp last year and I think a lot of his secondary techniques that we teach are similar to some of the things that he has already done so he picked those up pretty quickly. But he's a tough kid and has good playing speed, good quickness, and has been a productive player for us in the kicking game and on defense. You saw in the game against the Giants the other night there were several deep plays that they tried to toss up on him and he was competitive on those plays. We saw those in some other preseason games and practices. I'd say just overall his solid performance on defense and in the kicking game put him just a little bit ahead of a couple of the other players that we had competing at that position, too. It was competitive and we had two other corners claimed by other teams so I think that speaks to kind of the competition at that positon. But Jon earned a spot based on his play on the field and his consistency. He's out there every day, always comes in ready to go, has a good attitude, gives you great effort. He has got all of those things going for him.

Q: What have you seen from Cardinals' running back David Johnson that makes him such a dangerous threat both running and catching the ball?

BB: He is really good at all of those. He's a big back kind of like [Brandon] Bolden, maybe a little bigger than Brandon, but a bigger back that has good speed, good passing game skills, good in blitz pickup, he's a strong runner, he can get some tough yards, run inside, run outside. [He] had a long kickoff return last year against the Bears, 100 and whatever it was yards, so he has got good long speed. Really he does an excellent job for them on all three downs, all four downs, if they want to use him as a kickoff returner. Again, it's a combination of his size, his playing speed, quickness, has got good run-vision, and is a smart kid. So, he does a great job for them and they have very good depth at the running back position. They have a lot of quality players back there, a lot of speed, players that are all productive in the passing game as well as the running game. It's really a big asset for their offense. I know a lot of people think of Arizona as a running team but with the production they've had as a passing team, the production they had in the running game, last year they had - I don't know - they were in the top seven or eight in the league in rushing, whatever it was. They do a good job of running the ball as well, so it's a very challenging team to defend.

Q: Some people have compared David Johnson to Marshall Faulk. Is the way Arizona uses him comparable to the way the Colts used Marshall Faulk and then later on Edgerrin James?

BB: Well, when the Colts first had Faulk they actually used him some as a receiver. They didn't substitute a lot so when they went to a three receiver set they just split him out as the third receiver along with the other two receivers and the tight end, so they were in some 11-personnel looking formations but he was the third receiver. I don't know if that's quite David Johnson's skill set. Again, I don't know that there are many players in the league that could do what Marshall Faulk did. He was a pretty special and unique player. But Johnson is a good receiver, he catches the ball well, he has good run-after-catch skills, he can make people miss. Again, he has got strength to break tackles and he has got some speed to separate, so Marshall Faulk - you're putting the bar pretty high with him.

Q: With the roster being trimmed down now, there is more physical space to move a guy's locker around. Cyrus Jones is now positioned in between Logan Ryan and Devin McCourty in the locker room. How much thought goes into a decision like that or is it just coincidental?

BB: As you know Phil [Perry], the locker room that we have for the 90-man roster is not big enough for every guy to have his own locker, so we have that corner back there where the players with the least seniority double up and all kind of work together, and then once we get it down to our final roster, as we did this weekend, then that frees up some space and we put the roster players into the groups, where in some cases we had veteran players not on the roster, so it just kind of works out that way. I don't think we're up late into the night on that. I think there may be some benefit to the way it is organized but if that was all there was to it, that'd be great. But I think there is really a lot more to the football team than that. I'm not saying it has no value or it is insignificant, but I wouldn't put it up there too high on the scale.

Q: Carson Palmer has been sacked quite a few times over the course of his career. How unique is it for a guy to last this long while taking that many hits and do you make your team aware of his ability to stand in the pocket under pressure and deliver throws?

BB: Well, sure. Carson is definitely willing to stand in there and deliver the ball under pressure and wait until the last second to get rid of it. I mean he is a big, strong guy now. He's big for a quarterback and has a good frame so I'm not saying any quarterback wants to get hit a lot, but there are some guys that can absorb more of those than others. [He is] not as big as [Ben] Roethlisberger but he's a big quarterback. We had him out in the Pro Bowl for a year and it was good to get to know him out there. He's sharp. He knows when he needs to get rid of the ball and I think he also knows when he might need to hold it just a little bit longer to give the receivers a chance to get into an open space or make a play, and he's strong and tough and able to take those hits. We have a lot of respect for him as a player, as a person, and he has certainly done a great job for the Cardinals in leading them to the success that they've had since he has been there. He is playing at a very high level. He's in a great offensive system with Coach [Bruce] Arians offense and they have a lot of great players on that side of the ball. They have a lot of great players, period, but they have a lot of great players on the offensive side of the ball and they are a hard team to stop. They score a lot of points and they can move the ball up and down the field quickly, so he is one of the many problems we'll have to deal with on Sunday night.

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