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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript: 'We're all excited to get the season started'

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Friday, September 5, 2014.

BB:I think we've had a decent week here. Always a hard game to prepare for, so many things you have to look at when you going into the opening day – all last year's stuff, all preseason stuff and all the things that we have to do relative to the transition on our team in the last 10 days or so. But all that being said, I think we're all excited to get the season started and we'll be ready to start playing here. Obviously, a big division game on the road; always a tough place to play down there. Hopefully we can do a good job and play well here to start the season. But I think that the players have worked hard. I think they've really put a lot into this week in preparation. Like I said, we're looking forward to getting started.

Q:Tom Brady wasn't able to practice yesterday. How much do you miss with a guy who is going to be playing on Sunday most likely when he's not at the Thursday practice?

BB:Jimmy [Garoppolo] steps in and does it. It's no different than any other position or anything we've done before there.

Q:Is Tom's situation with his calf something that can be fixed quickly or heal quickly or is it a chronic thing you might have to manage over time?

BB:We've listed it on the report like we're required to do.

Q:Any doubts about him being able to start?

BB:We'll list it today and we'll see what happens today. We'll list it the way it is today.

Q:Do you expect him to practice?

BB:We'll list what happens.

Q:Do you know how the injury happened to his calf?

BB:We've done everything we're required to do. We've listed the injury. We'll continue to list it and we'll list his status based on what the requirements of the league are, just like we do with every other player.

Q:Darrelle Revis was talking about Mike Wallace and his speed. What else is it about him that makes him a threat?

BB:They have a very good receiving corps. They're all good. Mike is fast, he's good after the catch. I would say he's got rare speed. It's not good speed, it's as fast as anybody we see. He can take a short play and break it for a long run or he can run through the defense. That also creates space for other guys too, when your defense has to go deep with him. It creates more spaces in the short and intermediate areas. He helps the passing game in a lot of different ways. They move him around; he's not always in the same spot so you have to find him. You have to be aware of where he is.

Q:Is there ever a week that brings so much uncertainty and unknown as Week 1 of the regular season?

BB:No, and I'd say by a wide margin too. Once you've seen a team play in the regular season in Week 2, they've played their hand in a lot of ways and so have we. It's true of your team as well as your opponent. There's a lot more out in the open after Week 1 than there is before Week 1.

Q:How often have you run into an opponent doing something way beyond what you expected opening weekend?

BB:Not too often.

Q:There's only so much a team can do.

BB:You can do whatever you want. I just don't think when you've worked on something all the way through training camp and all the way through everything leading up to it that you would leave something – put in a whole new offense in three days before the game. That's hard to do. I think you see teams, like going back to Buffalo when [Marv] Levy was there, they didn't run the K-gun in preseason, they would just run their regular junk and a lot of times they didn't use three receivers, they'd split a back out or [Joe] Gibbs would do that at Washington too. He didn't run any motion in preseason – not shifting and no motion. Then once it got to the regular season, I don't think they ever ran a play, unless it was in two-minute, that they didn't shift and motion on. That was almost unheard of. But you know they're going to do it. They just didn't show that aspect of it. There's a little bit of that but I don't think that's really that big of a deal.

Q:Small tweaks as opposed to big, revolutionary…

BB:Well, a team like that, that never shifted or motioned, you don't know what the shifts and motions are that they're going to run. But they changed them every week anyway so even if you played them in the regular season – if you played the Redskins in the regular season – you still, whatever you saw the last four or five weeks, you weren't going to get that, you were going to get something else. You still couldn't prepare for it, but you could kind of see the timing and the operation but it wasn't like it was, 'Are they going to run the same shift against us that they ran last week against somebody else?' You wouldn't get that. But, if you watched them in preseason and you never saw a K-gun and you never saw shifting and motioning and your players are watching it and they're looking at it and they're not seeing it, you're just not as in-tune with it as if you're seeing it on every single play, like you would when you're playing them in the regular season. I'd say that would probably be the biggest thing other than a trick play or a new formation or something like that. That's kind of a weekly game plan thing.

Q:The Dolphins have been open in their interest in being a little faster on offense. Is defense disguising a way to confound the offense and slow things down? Or is that a chess match you're not going to get into?

BB:No, I think it's definitely part of the whole chess match. Yeah, I definitely think that's true. But I mean, you can't go fast and read defenses. You can't. You're just trying to get to the ball and run it. I'd say there's an element of change of pace. That's true on defense as well. There are times you just have to get lined up and be ready to go because the ball's going to be snapped. You can't worry about disguise, you're just going to be out of position. The same thing offensively – if you're going to fast, then you can't sit around and see where they are and get in the right play because then you're not going fast. There's a balance between those two. It kind of goes back and forth. If the team does more with one than the other, then I'd say you play accordingly. But, that's pretty common of almost all offenses now, is some element of fast tempo, moderate tempo, kind of multiple play, check with me tempo, see what they're in, get the best play, that type of thing. Teams change that pace, that's pretty common throughout the league. We do it; everybody else does it.

Q:How much flexibility does a player like Chandler Jones who can play standing up, inside, defensive end, give you some versatility?

BB:That definitely gives you something you can do there. Some of that is within a game and some of that is maybe from week to week depending on what you're facing. One week maybe it's this and the next week maybe it's something a little bit different. You can do some of that within the game of moving around. Sometimes it depends on a player, depends on the team you're playing. Sometimes moving a guy around in a lot of different spots is not that easy during the game and can be a little bit confusing – not even so much for him as the other guys. Like, 'Who are you? Are you the end? Are you the Will? Are you Sam?' Because they want to know who they're working with too. You could do it, you just have to do what you can do. If it's too much then sometimes it can slow you down. But definitely as you match up against different offensive teams and systems throughout the course of the year, a player like Chandler could have a variety of different roles depending on what you had to defend.

Q:Is that similar to the role Willie McGinest had when you coached him when he was here?

BB:Yeah, similar but different but yeah. Similar but Willie was different, he had different skills, I would say he was a different type of player. Btu you could still have versatility with him, so [yes].

Q:A guy like Jamie Collins, how much progression mentally have you seen from him if he's going to have to be on the field for multiple plays in a row and pick up these different looks from Miami on the fly?

BB:I don't really think that's a problem with Jamie. It hasn't been a problem since he's been here. He's a smart kid. He understands our system and he's an instinctive player. He understands football. All those guys do – [Dont'a] Hightower, [Jerod] Mayo. They're all smart, they're all instinctive. They have a feel for what the offense is trying to do and how they're trying to create different matchups and what they're trying to get out of different formations and how we need to adjust to them and so forth. I don't think learning or being able to make adjustments or adapt – I think all those guys are pretty good at it, which is good. But Jamie, even though he's the youngest of the three, learning and all that, that's not an issue with him.

Q:Have you settled on a semi-permanent replacement at guard for Logan Mankins?

BB:Yeah. Well, we know how we're going to play the game. Like anything else we do, we always have contingency plans if something happens to somebody and I think that we have a lot of good players at that position on the offensive line. We'll see how we end up playing them, but we could end up playing more than five.

Q:Does Sebastian Vollmer seem like the primary guy to fill that spot?

BB:We have five linemen. We'll play them the way we think gives us the best chance of winning.

Q:Last year you're game in Miami was in December so it was cold here and hot there. Because of the timing this year, is that less of a concern because you have these conditions?

BB:I think any time you play a road game you have to prepare for whatever those conditions are if they're different from yours. We've had our hot days here. Look, I don't think it's that big a deal. I really don't. We've been out here in training camp practicing in July and August. We're as ready as we're going to be. We had the same situation [three] years ago, whatever year it was we were down there, '11. Some guys weren't on the team, obviously, but there are plenty of guys that were on the team. Whatever it is, it is. I'd say that's the least of our concerns. Our concerns are the Miami Dolphins. That's what we need to be concerned about and that's what we are concerned about. How bright the sun is, that's pretty far down the list.

Q:How much has the Miami offense changed or improved with offensive coordinator Bill Lazor coming over from Philadelphia and Knowshon Moreno coming over from Denver?

BB:I'd say it's changed quite a bit. They've changed some of the schematics at it. Moreno is a good player, can play on the field on all three downs. Good in the passing game, good protection, good runner. He has good quickness, good vision. He's a good player. Their system is a little different than it was last year.

Q:How much growth have you seen from Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen in terms of leadership?

BB:Good. I think both those guys – I think back to when they were rookies. Shane barely played and Stevan, the transition from what he did in college and what he did here, was I'd say, pretty significant. They've both gotten better every year, know our system well, are comfortable in it and they've trained hard. They've both been really pretty durable players. I know Shane broke his hand last year but that's not the type of injury that you can really prevent I would say. They've been durable, they've been productive. I'd say they've both had good camps and shown good leadership and been good teammates all year this year. They work well together. I'd say that the chemistry between those guys is good. Their roles are a little bit different but they complement each other and work well with each other, make each other better. Alright, we'll see you in Miami.

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