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Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcripts 12/2

BILL BELICHICK PRESS CONFERENCE

BB: Alright, we've spent a lot of time here on the Eagles the last couple days, obviously. This is a pretty impressive group. There are a lot of talented players on this team. They're really strong in all three phases of the game. Special teams is probably the best unit we've faced all year. They led the league in special teams last year and should be right up there again this season. They have great returners with [Josh] Huff and [Darren] Sproles, good specialists, they're a really good cover team, good return team, good rush team, punt blocks, field goal blocks, they make a lot of plays. They put a lot of pressure on you on every play so you just can't really afford any mistakes at all because they're always right there to take advantage of them. That will be a big challenge for us. Offensively, it's probably as good a group of skill players as I've seen. They're at least two deep and more really at some positions on all the skill positions – quarterback, running back, tight end, receiver. They've got a lot of good players at all those spots. They play multiple guys. They have great depth there and they just keep bringing them at you. Everybody is a problem. The running game is a problem. The passing game is a problem. They throw to the backs, the tight ends and receivers. They've got big receivers who do a good job after the catch. A lot of their yardage comes on catch-and-run plays, broken tackles, things like that. They have the ability to get the ball down the field and make big plays. They also, like I said, have a lot of catch-and-run plays that you have to defend, as well as the running game. The running game, good inside running game, good outside running game, so you have to defend sideline to sideline against this offense as well as handle the tempo and the communication that the Eagles put on you. And then defensively, it's a very active defense. They have a good secondary, a lot of experience back there. They've got a couple former corners playing inside with [Walter] Thurmond and [Malcolm] Jenkins and the corners, that's a good group, too. But their front is very disruptive. Their defensive linemen, outside linebackers, defensive ends, whatever you want to call them depending on what they're in, they're very disruptive. They have good speed at the inside linebacker position. Those guys run well. They're experienced with DeMeco Ryans and [Kiko] Alonso and [Mychal] Kendricks. They have a lot of movement. They pressure a decent amount and they bring a lot of different people – linebackers, secondary players, so it's a lot to get ready for scheme-wise with a lot of different defensive looks and again very disruptive up front. [Brandon] Graham is having a good year. Fletcher Cox is one of the top defensive lineman in the league. He's really hard to handle. [Bennie] Logan is playing well. Really they have a good disruptive front. [Connor] Barwin has been productive for them, so they have a lot of guys that can cause you problems up there. Overall it's a very talented team. Scheme-wise they give you a lot of issues, so it's going to be a lot to prepare for with a team we don't know very well. And they're very explosive. They get a lot of turnovers on defense and also in the kicking game. They take the ball away and cause a lot of negative plays. And offensively, they can literally score from anywhere on the field with probably any one of a dozen guys. Those are our challenges this week. It's a lot of them.

Q: What has allowed Darren Sproles to be as good as he's been for such an extended period of time?

BB:He really does everything well. He's got good balance. He's got good vision. He's hard to tackle. Even when you have him, you don't have him. He's got excellent speed and he can definitely make something out of nothing. There are a lot of plays where you can stop the film and say OK there's not much here, they've got him hemmed in and he breaks off a long run. I think that's really what makes him an outstanding player. If you give him space, if you give him room to run, he's going to kill you. But a lot of times, even when it looks like you have him contained, he's still able to make productive plays out of that. He's tough and got good balance, he can run inside, he can run outside, he can catch the ball, he can return punts and kickoffs, too – although they use Huff to do that – but he can do that, too. So there are a lot of different ways he can get the ball, a lot of different situations that you have to defend from a leverage standpoint or different people doing it. Whether it's an inside run or screen pass, there are different people that are probably going to be involved in dealing with him, so it puts kind of everybody … Sooner or later everybody is going to be in a tough spot with this guy.

Q: Why did the team put out a statement last night regarding Rob Gronkowski's injury?

BB:To try to do everything we can to help you out. Sorry if you're offended by that. Just trying to be cooperative and help you out, so if that's a problem just let me know.

Q: Were you informed before Rob put out the video last night?

BB:We did what we did. If you have any other questions really you should take it up with our public relations department, which is very capably run by Stacey and his staff.

Q: What traits made you interested in signing Damaris Johnson?

BB:He's done a number of different things, has some versatility offensively and played at different positons, returned kicks, was at Houston, so hopefully there's some familiarity with our offensive system and what we do, a little bit of carryover when you bring a guy in the middle of the season, not that that's an overriding factor but it certainly doesn't hopefully hurt. Hopefully it helps. I'd say his versatility and his experience.

Q: Did he make an impression on you when he was the Eagles and you guys had joint practices?

BB: Damaris has a good skillset. He's got good speed, quickness, obviously good hands, and has been productive with Philadelphia and with Houston.

Q: What went into the decision to bring in Trey Williams?

BB:We claimed him off waivers.

Q: What did you see out of him?

BB:He was a productive player last year at Texas A&M. Well actually two years ago was a more productive year for him. Last year in the '14 season his role changed a little bit, their offense changed a little bit with a new quarterback and so forth. But he was still productive, can catch the ball out of the backfield, return kicks and can run the ball as well. He has some versatility as a running back, as a receiver and as a returner. We'll see how all that goes. Young player, hasn't really played, but it's not a positon that we have a lot of depth in right now. He was available, so we claimed him.

Q: Do you see him in a sub-back role?

BB: Possibly. We haven't had the guy, so we'll see how it goes.

Q: Do the injuries you've suffered on offense force you and Josh McDaniels to change your offensive philosophy?

BB:We really, every week we talk about what we're going to try to do, how we match up with the team we're playing and so forth. Those conversations take place every week. We just don't go out and run the same plays 16 weeks in a row even if none of our players change. You've seen us play enough to know that we don't really do that. How we play this week is going to be different than how we played last week for a number of reasons. We have the same conversation every week.

Q: What have you seen from DeMarco Murray so far this season?

BB: Tough guy to handle. He's got good vision, he finds space, hard guy to tackle, he can run through tackles, he's got good quickness to make people miss, and he's got good vision to find space, Again kind of like the conversation we were just having with Sproles, it doesn't look like there's much there but he finds it and he has good patience as a runner. He's a hard guy to tackle and he's got good balance, good playing strength and good quickness.

Q: What did you think of Rob Gronkowski's tweet agreeing that he's been unfairly targeted by the officials this year?

BB: We're really focused on Philadelphia right now, so that's what I'm working on.

Q: What's the biggest difference between the way they use Mark Sanchez and Sam Bradford?

BB: They run their offense. Sanchez has kept the ball a couple times, which I don't think that's really Bradford's thing. A couple of those zone read keep plays but not a lot. I wouldn't say that Mark is back there to lead the team in rushing or anything like that. There are other quarterbacks that run more. He's done it a couple times. I don't think it's something you see a lot of from Bradford. They both can run the offense. Really they have two starting quarterbacks. Both those payers have a lot of production in this league. They've won a lot of big games, they've played in a lot of games, they have a lot of experience. They're fortunate they have great depth at that positon. There are a lot of teams that might not have one guy as good as the two they have.

Q: How does the uncertainty of who will start at quarterback affect your preparation?

BB: We're ready for both guys, however it goes. It could change like it does with every other position. We have to prepare for all the players that are going to be active for the game. Look, a lot of times the guys who start the game aren't able to finish it for one reason or another. We have to be ready for everybody. We can't control that. Whoever they decide to put in the game, that's their decision, not ours, so we have to be ready for all of them. Obviously we've seen a lot of Sam, we've seen a lot of Mark, so we'll be ready for both guys.

Q: Scheme-wise is there anything in particular you have to defend, like tempo?

BB: Tempo is a problem. But I'd say the biggest thing with their offense is they make you defend the whole field. They run from sideline to sideline, they run up the middle, they throw deep, they throw outside, they throw inside, they throw short catch-and-run plays, they throw balls that are over the top behind the defense, they throw the intermediate routes, the over routes, the in-cuts, the outside scissors, sail-type routes. There is really nothing that you can say, 'Well we don't have to worry about this or that.' You do because they run it inside, they run it outside, they throw it short, middle, deep, they have a lot of misdirection plays so you can't over-pursue because they have plays that force you to defend the backside of the plays. I'd say that's really the strength of their offense. On top of that, they go really fast and try to wear the defense down or force the communication issue on defense so if you aren't aligned properly or you aren't able to get your assignments – even if you're aligned right, if you're not able to get your assignments done quickly the way the plays come off, there's space in there, somebody gets free, they do a good job of finding it. They're used to playing fast at that tempo more so than the defenses are because there aren't a lot of teams that do it like that. That's a lot of challenges for the defense this week.

Q: Understanding you can't control it, how much does it catch your attention when there is a late change to your referee assignment, especially when the crew that you're getting is being demoted from a primetime game?

BB: It's not anything we have any control over. We've had Pete [Morelli's] crew twice this year already and really haven't had any problems with them – once in the preseason and once in the regular season. I thought in terms of the communication and all the things on the field, there wasn't an issue with them. Look, there's whatever, 17 crews? We get them all. I don't think any of them are to me noticeably one way or the other. Each game has its own dynamics and close calls and some go one way, some go another way, but overall I think that they do a pretty good job of balancing the crews out. However they do it, I don't really know, that's not really my thing. Those groups, they're professional, and I think overall they do a pretty good job – not perfect, like all of us.

Q: Has a team of yours ever lost a game because of a bad call?

BB: Look, there are a lot of plays in the game, so I don't think any game comes down to one play. I mean, it can come down to one play, but there are a lot of other plays that affect the game. That's why we play 60 minutes.

Q: Is there anything about the way Chip Kelly has constructed his roster and run his team that has surprised or impressed you?

BB: Yeah, sure. We practiced against them a few years. We didn't do it this year, but it's different when you look at a team on film and play them as opposed to being on the field with them for multiple days at their facility or just kind of seeing a lot more and a lot closer look at the team. That really is preparation, practice, and then you see a game. Yeah I think they do a lot of great things. We've learned a lot from them. Some of the things they've done in their program we've been able to adapt to ours. I'm not saying ours is theirs but you take an idea or you take a concept that they're using and if it's something that you like maybe you figure out a way to integrate it into yours. Maybe it's the same idea but it's done a little differently because of the way you're set up or whatever the circumstances are. I don't know. There are definitely things like that. I have a lot of respect for Chip. I think he runs a great program. He's smart. All three areas of the team are I think well constructed, well put together. They play very well, they play competitively on a consistent basis, and like I said, when we've practiced against them I've been very impressed with the way that operation is run and we've definitely taken some things from it, no question.

Q: When did your relationship with him start? Does that go back to when he was at New Hampshire?

BB: Yeah, just kind of being from this area. We've never been on the same staff together, never really worked together, so this isn't like Romeo Crenell, who I went to work with for over a decade, sat in the same room with for thousands of hours. We're not talking about that.

PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
CONFERENCE CALL WITH PHILADELPHIA MEDIA
December 2, 2015

Q: What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of going up-tempo?

BB:I think Chip and the Eagles do a great job with it. We've basically played them every year, or practiced against them, and they make it really hard. The speed that they go at, it's hard to get much communication in. It forces you to kind of simplify things defensively. You just don't have time to get some of that stuff called or can't get the right group in, or you only want to run it against certain looks, but the time you have to communicate is short. Generally speaking, they're a lot better at it than you are because they do it more than you do. Defensive communication and adjustments and being ready to play at that speed is hard. On top of that, the Eagles have just a tremendous group of skill players. They're literally two deep at every position or more – running back, tight end, quarterback, receiver. I mean, they have two floods of groups of really good skill players at all those positions. That makes it really tough because they have so many good players, so many explosive guys.

Q: You know Chip Kelly as well as anybody in the league. There is some talk that NFL teams have figured out his system and that is the reason for the team's struggles. How do you see that?

BB:First of all, I know Chip and I have a lot of respect for Chip. I think he's a great football coach. We have never worked together, so there are a lot of coaches that I've spent a lot more time with than Chip. And that's not taking anything away from him. That's just the truth. It's not like we've been on the same staff for multiple years. We've competed against him and I think he does a great job. They're well coached. They make you work in all three phases of the game – offense, defense, special teams. They're a very well balanced team. They take the ball away from you. Every play is a challenge in the kicking game. Every play is a challenge defensively because of how explosive they are. And every play is tough on offense because of the movement, the different looks that they give you and the talent that they have on that side of the ball. They're a very disruptive group and it's why they have so many turnovers and so many negative plays. They're really hard to handle up front. I think he's done a really good job of putting together a team that's hard to play against. They have a lot of strengths and they hit you with a lot of different problems – I'd say probably [as many] if not more than any team we play in the league.

Q: Can the joint practices you've had with this team the past few years serve as any kind of preparation for Sunday? You mentioned tempo earlier.

BB: Really in practice, we didn't … The tempo wasn't the big emphasis of the practice. We did some of it but we did a lot of situation work on red-area, third-down, two-minute, things like that, trying to look at a lot of players. We were both looking at 90 players, trying to give guys an opportunity to compete and see what we had. Really it's a lot different situation. Yeah, we got a little bit of a look at it, but I'm sure it will be a lot different on Sunday. Even in the preseason game, those two games, it wasn't like it's going to be on Sunday. That will be a big adjustment for us, trying to deal with the speed, tempo and high level of execution that they have. We'll try to simulate it in practice, but they do a great job of that. We won't be able to get that level in practice.

Q: How surprised are you to see the Eagles struggle this year?

BB:Look, everybody has their ups and downs in this league. What we worry about, what we're concerned about is their best. That's we expect to get. That's what I think we're going to get. They played the Giants obviously a lot better than we did. I thought it was really impressive how they handled New Orleans, decisive against the Jets, Dallas – that was a big win. Lost a couple close games, but it's a good football team with a lot of talent, well coached, tough to prepare for, tough to play against and we'll expect their best game on Sunday. I'm sure we'll get it and we'll have to play ours to be competitive.

Q: How do you prepare for the uncertainty at quarterback?

BB:We always prepare for all the players that are on the active roster. Whoever we think the first player in the game may be, by the third play of the game that might all change anyways, so we have to be prepared for everybody. Really I think the Eagles are a team that has really two legitimate starting quarterbacks, and both of those guys have had a lot of production throughout their career. They've won a lot of games, been in a lot of big games. I think they have great depth at that position and there aren't a lot of teams in the league that can say that. We'll prepare for both of them, and again whoever starts the game, any week there is no guarantee that you won't be playing against somebody else anyhow, so we always have to prepare for all of them. We do that at every position, not just quarterback. They're both very good players. They can run their whole offense, do whatever they want to do with whichever guy is in there. It doesn't look like it matters.

Q: Can you talk about Logan Ryan's development?

BB:Logan has been solid for us since he came to us. This is his third year. Real smart kid, comes from a good program, was very well coached at Rutgers so he had a great background and work ethic and he's just built on that in this league. His awareness, his instinctiveness, he's got some length at that position, tackles well, very mature and very professional, hard-working guy that studies the game and is always well prepared. He's done a good job for us. We've used him in a number of different positions and he's played for us in the kicking game as well, so he's got a lot of versatility.

Q: What are some attributes that Joe Judge brings to your staff?

BB:Joe does a good job. I'd say all strong points with him – very good at talent evaluation, does a good job preparing the players with schemes, excellent with our specialists, our snappers, kickers, returners, guys that have a true specialty on the team that need to be instructed. He does a great job and has a good background in the kicking game before he got here at Alabama and in college, then the last three years working with Coach [Scott] O'Brien. He's done a great job for us in that role and in his current role as the special teams coordinator really again in all areas – developing young players, putting good schemes together, coaching the specialists, identifying players, like we have a rookie snapper this year, finding guys that can come in and contribute to our system. He's done a great job in all those areas.

Q: The Eagles just activated Jonathan Krause. You guys had him on your practice squad. What did you like about him?

BB:Yeah, pretty much everything. We went down and saw [Jordan] Matthews, we saw Krause, and they both were very productive at Vanderbilt. Jonathan has both inside and outside flexibility, can play in the slot, can play on the perimeter, runs well, smart kid, works hard, good hands, very dependable player, a guy that we didn't get till about the middle of the year last year. He was in Cleveland and was rehabbing an injury through the early part of the season so he was a little bit behind but mentally caught up quickly and really did a great job for us on the practice field. We had a hard time covering him when he was on the scout team being our opponent's receiver. He did a good job. Unfortunately he kind of got banged up for us there at the end of preseason, but I like Jonathan. I think he's a good young player with a good future. It was a good move by Philadelphia to get him in their system. He's got a lot of good qualities.

Q: It seems you're putting more on Duron Harmon's plate this year. Have you found he's been able to handle everything?

BB:Yeah, absolutely. Duron has some similarities to Logan Ryan. They both came in together. Duron is again a very smart player, works hard. Both those guys have a great work ethic. He studies the game, does a real good job communicating in the secondary from the safety position. Again, he's played multiple roles for us defensively with some of our different packages and also has helped us in the kicking game. But Duron has improved every year. He's given us a lot of big plays in the deep part of the field, gotten his hands on a lot of balls, had some big interceptions in some critical games. Obviously the playoff game against Baltimore last year – that was a huge play. He's had them throughout the course of the year and really gives our corners a lot of help over the top in the deep part of the field. Those two guys, he and Logan both, were good additions to the team three years ago. They've stepped right in and been able to contribute right away all three years, have gotten better each year and both those guys work really hard. They're first-guy-in, last-guy-out-of-the-building types. They put a lot of time and effort into it and they've been able to improve. It really shows.

Q: Did their development play a factor into your decision not to bring back Darrelle Revis or Brandon Browner?

BB:I think in the overall management of your team, players that are on rookie contracts, their costs are relatively fixed, so for the most part there are not a lot of major salary cap implications with those players, at least until the first-round guys get into that fifth option year. If a player is not in that situation, the cap implication as a percentage of the overall cap is relatively small, so I don't think that's a big overriding factor. If you can't afford those guys, then you've got a lot of problems. When you start signing veteran free agents, like some of the players that you mentioned, then what that gets into, what the commitment is and all the other things that go into it, the whole UFA negotiation because there are other teams involved and so forth, that becomes really a lot different matter. I don't think it's about, whether you have a player who is in a rookie contract on your team, I think those negotiations are much more influenced by the negotiation itself or what your other options are with that contract or with that level of contract, what other players you could get for comparable contracts.  I don't really see those two roads coming very close together. I think they're pretty separate.

BILL BELICHICK CONFERENCE CALL WITH PHILADELPHIA MEDIA

Q: What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of going up-tempo?

BB:I think Chip and the Eagles do a great job with it. We've basically played them every year, or practiced against them, and they make it really hard. The speed that they go at, it's hard to get much communication in. It forces you to kind of simplify things defensively. You just don't have time to get some of that stuff called or can't get the right group in, or you only want to run it against certain looks, but the time you have to communicate is short. Generally speaking, they're a lot better at it than you are because they do it more than you do. Defensive communication and adjustments and being ready to play at that speed is hard. On top of that, the Eagles have just a tremendous group of skill players. They're literally two deep at every position or more – running back, tight end, quarterback, receiver. I mean, they have two floods of groups of really good skill players at all those positions. That makes it really tough because they have so many good players, so many explosive guys.

Q: You know Chip Kelly as well as anybody in the league. There is some talk that NFL teams have figured out his system and that is the reason for the team's struggles. How do you see that?

BB:First of all, I know Chip and I have a lot of respect for Chip. I think he's a great football coach. We have never worked together, so there are a lot of coaches that I've spent a lot more time with than Chip. And that's not taking anything away from him. That's just the truth. It's not like we've been on the same staff for multiple years. We've competed against him and I think he does a great job. They're well coached. They make you work in all three phases of the game – offense, defense, special teams. They're a very well balanced team. They take the ball away from you. Every play is a challenge in the kicking game. Every play is a challenge defensively because of how explosive they are. And every play is tough on offense because of the movement, the different looks that they give you and the talent that they have on that side of the ball. They're a very disruptive group and it's why they have so many turnovers and so many negative plays. They're really hard to handle up front. I think he's done a really good job of putting together a team that's hard to play against. They have a lot of strengths and they hit you with a lot of different problems – I'd say probably [as many] if not more than any team we play in the league.

Q: Can the joint practices you've had with this team the past few years serve as any kind of preparation for Sunday? You mentioned tempo earlier.

BB:Really in practice, we didn't … The tempo wasn't the big emphasis of the practice. We did some of it but we did a lot of situation work on red-area, third-down, two-minute, things like that, trying to look at a lot of players. We were both looking at 90 players, trying to give guys an opportunity to compete and see what we had. Really it's a lot different situation. Yeah, we got a little bit of a look at it, but I'm sure it will be a lot different on Sunday. Even in the preseason game, those two games, it wasn't like it's going to be on Sunday. That will be a big adjustment for us, trying to deal with the speed, tempo and high level of execution that they have. We'll try to simulate it in practice, but they do a great job of that. We won't be able to get that level in practice.

Q: How surprised are you to see the Eagles struggle this year?

BB:Look, everybody has their ups and downs in this league. What we worry about, what we're concerned about is their best. That's we expect to get. That's what I think we're going to get. They played the Giants obviously a lot better than we did. I thought it was really impressive how they handled New Orleans, decisive against the Jets, Dallas – that was a big win. Lost a couple close games, but it's a good football team with a lot of talent, well coached, tough to prepare for, tough to play against and we'll expect their best game on Sunday. I'm sure we'll get it and we'll have to play ours to be competitive.

Q: How do you prepare for the uncertainty at quarterback?

BB:We always prepare for all the players that are on the active roster. Whoever we think the first player in the game may be, by the third play of the game that might all change anyways, so we have to be prepared for everybody. Really I think the Eagles are a team that has really two legitimate starting quarterbacks, and both of those guys have had a lot of production throughout their career. They've won a lot of games, been in a lot of big games. I think they have great depth at that position and there aren't a lot of teams in the league that can say that. We'll prepare for both of them, and again whoever starts the game, any week there is no guarantee that you won't be playing against somebody else anyhow, so we always have to prepare for all of them. We do that at every position, not just quarterback. They're both very good players. They can run their whole offense, do whatever they want to do with whichever guy is in there. It doesn't look like it matters.

Q: Can you talk about Logan Ryan's development?

BB:Logan has been solid for us since he came to us. This is his third year. Real smart kid, comes from a good program, was very well coached at Rutgers so he had a great background and work ethic and he's just built on that in this league. His awareness, his instinctiveness, he's got some length at that position, tackles well, very mature and very professional, hard-working guy that studies the game and is always well prepared. He's done a good job for us. We've used him in a number of different positions and he's played for us in the kicking game as well, so he's got a lot of versatility.

Q: What are some attributes that Joe Judge brings to your staff?

BB:Joe does a good job. I'd say all strong points with him – very good at talent evaluation, does a good job preparing the players with schemes, excellent with our specialists, our snappers, kickers, returners, guys that have a true specialty on the team that need to be instructed. He does a great job and has a good background in the kicking game before he got here at Alabama and in college, then the last three years working with Coach [Scott] O'Brien. He's done a great job for us in that role and in his current role as the special teams coordinator really again in all areas – developing young players, putting good schemes together, coaching the specialists, identifying players, like we have a rookie snapper this year, finding guys that can come in and contribute to our system. He's done a great job in all those areas.

Q: The Eagles just activated Jonathan Krause. You guys had him on your practice squad. What did you like about him?

BB:Yeah, pretty much everything. We went down and saw [Jordan] Matthews, we saw Krause, and they both were very productive at Vanderbilt. Jonathan has both inside and outside flexibility, can play in the slot, can play on the perimeter, runs well, smart kid, works hard, good hands, very dependable player, a guy that we didn't get till about the middle of the year last year. He was in Cleveland and was rehabbing an injury through the early part of the season so he was a little bit behind but mentally caught up quickly and really did a great job for us on the practice field. We had a hard time covering him when he was on the scout team being our opponent's receiver. He did a good job. Unfortunately he kind of got banged up for us there at the end of preseason, but I like Jonathan. I think he's a good young player with a good future. It was a good move by Philadelphia to get him in their system. He's got a lot of good qualities.

Q: It seems you're putting more on Duron Harmon's plate this year. Have you found he's been able to handle everything?

BB:Yeah, absolutely. Duron has some similarities to Logan Ryan. They both came in together. Duron is again a very smart player, works hard. Both those guys have a great work ethic. He studies the game, does a real good job communicating in the secondary from the safety position. Again, he's played multiple roles for us defensively with some of our different packages and also has helped us in the kicking game. But Duron has improved every year. He's given us a lot of big plays in the deep part of the field, gotten his hands on a lot of balls, had some big interceptions in some critical games. Obviously the playoff game against Baltimore last year – that was a huge play. He's had them throughout the course of the year and really gives our corners a lot of help over the top in the deep part of the field. Those two guys, he and Logan both, were good additions to the team three years ago. They've stepped right in and been able to contribute right away all three years, have gotten better each year and both those guys work really hard. They're first-guy-in, last-guy-out-of-the-building types. They put a lot of time and effort into it and they've been able to improve. It really shows.

Q: Did their development play a factor into your decision not to bring back Darrelle Revis or Brandon Browner?

BB:I think in the overall management of your team, players that are on rookie contracts, their costs are relatively fixed, so for the most part there are not a lot of major salary cap implications with those players, at least until the first-round guys get into that fifth option year. If a player is not in that situation, the cap implication as a percentage of the overall cap is relatively small, so I don't think that's a big overriding factor. If you can't afford those guys, then you've got a lot of problems. When you start signing veteran free agents, like some of the players that you mentioned, then what that gets into, what the commitment is and all the other things that go into it, the whole UFA negotiation because there are other teams involved and so forth, that becomes really a lot different matter. I don't think it's about, whether you have a player who is in a rookie contract on your team, I think those negotiations are much more influenced by the negotiation itself or what your other options are with that contract or with that level of contract, what other players you could get for comparable contracts. I don't really see those two roads coming very close together. I think they're pretty separate.

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