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Patriots Unfiltered Thu Oct 21 | 11:55 AM - 02:00 PM

Bill Belichick Transcript 9/15: 'Good, solid contribution from all three phases'

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BB:** After going through the tape last night and this morning, I think we're at pretty much the same place as we talked about yesterday. Good, solid contribution from all three phases of the team. [We] had a lot of guys really compete and play hard. There are still a lot of things we have to work on. There's so many things that we can do better but I thought we showed improvement from last week. The way the game played out, it was kind of the reverse of what it was last week where we were rushing the passer and they were throwing every down in Minnesota and we were throwing every down and Miami was rushing the passer in the fourth quarter last week. If you take out those situations and just go back to the more competitive parts of the game, before it was really situationally different, I think that's where we really need to focus most of our attention and try to improve. But we had a good day in the kicking game. I thought our specialists played well and that obviously really helped us.

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Q: How did you think your offensive line played in terms of allowing you to be a little bit more balanced, especially in the running game yesterday? **

BB: Well, some good things and again, a lot of things we can improve on. We ran the ball more competitively, four yards a carry. We were able to stick with it; got stopped on a couple short yardages. That was obviously not good. We thought that we left some yards out on the field in the running game, where we could have gained more than we did for one reason or another, a combination of things. But it was certainly an improvement against a good defensive team. We just need to continue to work harder on our techniques and our overall fundamentals and reads and just get better at it. I thought we at least headed in the right direction.

Q: How do you guys at a team look at yards after contact that the running back can create on his own? How important is that quality?

BB: Huge. Everything – running and passing – anytime a player gets the ball in his hands, the yards that he can make after either contact, or if he's able to avoid the guy and maybe the defender doesn't have contact with him at all, but right, ability to make yards on his own. Certain runs and passes, you look at the play and say, 'OK, this is what the play gained – four yards, seven yards, 10 yards, whatever it is. Then this what the player got on his own after that.' Whether it's a running play or a passing play, what's the play blocked for, what is the pass thrown for and then what can the player get really on his own? Again, some of that is, like in the passing game, yards after the catch, sometimes that's just until somebody gets to him. It could be a crossing route but maybe he runs 10 yards before somebody has a chance to tackle him. But I think the real measure of those players is how much they're able to gain after a play has an opportunity to bring him down. That's huge. Some players are really good at that and other players get their yards in other ways. They get them by, in the passing game, running good routes, getting open, creating separation and maybe they aren't good yards after the catch type players but some guys can take short plays and turn them into long plays. That's very valuable. We absolutely look at that. We work hard at it. All the players that have the ball in their hands are always looking to try to see how they can add more yards to the play.

Q: Was it a little unusual to see all the penalties yesterday? It's an area you'd like to clean up I'd imagine.

BB: Absolutely, yeah, absolutely. Fifteen penalties accepted and there were several early ones where we had multiple fouls on the same play and 160 yards, or whatever it was, it's way too much. We can't keep doing that. We had a lot of penalties last week, we had a lot of penalties this week and it's not just the penalties it's the yardage, it's too many personal fouls. We had two interference penalties on their last drive that got them almost down there the whole length of the field. It must have been almost 60 yards in penalties it seemed like. Things like that, we just can't afford them. One is too many. If each player gets one penalty, we'd set an all-time record. It can't be well, 'I just had one penalty.' We have to play penalty-free. We have to do a better job of that. We have to coach it better. We have to, not that we haven't spent a lot of time on it because we have, but that's certainly an area that we need to improve in.

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Q: On Tom Brady's touchdown pass to Julian Edelman, you can't see Julian on the TV film. From your vantage point, is that something that you saw right away as well, with Tom seeing the matchup he got with Julian? From Tom's perspective, was that something that's fairly obvious to most quarterbacks or is that something with his experience he was able to recognize? **

BB: First of all, I think Minnesota and Coach [Mike] Zimmer do a real good job of disguising their coverages. There were some we were able to read and there were some other ones we weren't able to read. It was a little bit of a back-and-forth game there. They do a real good job with disguising and trying to make man, zone and blitz all kind of look the same so it's tough. They create problems for the offensive line, for the quarterback, for the running backs and for the receivers having to make post-snap adjustments on the plays. On that particular play, I think it was a real good play by Tom because the coverage was well disguised and Tom was able to see it and it was on the road and communicate it and a silent count and all that is really about as tough as it gets. He recognized the blitz and on the blitz coverage the defenders, as they are usually taught, take the inside position so they don't give up a quick slant or the easiest throw and force the offense to throw the ball somewhere to the outside of the field on, like on the route that Julian caught, the corner pattern or some type of outside breaking route which are just tougher throws for the offense to execute. Tom was able to get to really the best play against that look and made a good throw just as he got hit because they did have an extra rusher. It was an all-out blitz so he was able to release the ball just before he got it, made a great throw and Julian took advantage of the defender's leverage and kind of froze him at the top of the route and then created that couple yards of separation for the catch. A combination of a lot of things but it was certainly a very good play by Tom to recognize it and get into the right play. It was a good route by Julian, good throw and a good job by the whole offensive line in terms of getting the communication and the adjustment and being able to handle it on the road, the silent count and crowd noise and all that. It was a good play.

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Q: From the outside, Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower look like two of the more athletically versatile players you guys have on defense. How are they coming into their own in their third season in terms of utilizing that? Is there any learning curve as coaches to figure out how to best use the skills when you have guys like that that are pretty diverse in terms of their talents? **

BB: It's certainly a lot easier as a coach to use those type players. I think the big thing is for guys like High [Dont'a Hightower] and Chandler, Rob [Ninkovich], Jerod [Mayo], is to work on all their skills, not just work on one thing, whether it's rushing over the tackle or rushing over the guard, pass coverage, jamming the receiver. All the different things they have to work at to really take pride in developing all of their skills. I think Chandler and Dont'a have done a great job of that. They've improved this year but over the course of since they've been here, came in together, they've worked hard at being versatile players and being able to do different things to help our defense. It's huge when you have guys like that that can play multiple roles because we see different things from the same team but we certainly see different things week to week from the offenses. To play a spread game, to play a power game, to play a play-action passing game or drop back game or spread game or screen game or combinations of all those things, to deal with big, power backs, to deal with guys who are fast like [Jerick] McKinnon yesterday, the versatility of those players is huge, a huge asset for our defense. A think a number of the guys that we have on our defense that can do that, like Devin [McCourty] who is a former corner playing safety and Jerod and Dont'a and Rob and guys like that really, really help your defensive flexibility and your ability to match up against different looks and personnel groupings on offense.

Q: It seemed like Cameron Fleming was able to take a nice step forward yesterday in giving you some nice flexibility in being able to bring him in on some running packages and giving some other linemen a break. What were some advances you saw him make and were you happy with his performance yesterday?

BB: I think Cam has done a good job for us in that role. He's a smart guy and he picks up things pretty quickly. It's something that he hasn't done a lot of until this year, but playing that tight end spot is close to playing tackle because you're on the end of the line but it's a little bit different because you're one guy further removed. Sometimes, instead of blocking the defensive end, you can be blocking quicker, more athletic players, sometimes even secondary players. So, there are some different combinations out there – when guys are stacked or they're inside or they're outside and the secondary drops down late and things like that that you have to recognize as a tight end that are maybe a little bit less prevalent at tackle. Cam has good power and has flexibility to play on both sides of the line and get movement in the running game but also we feel can be a good pass protector from that location, just like he is at tackle but bump out one guy. His mental versatility to handle the tackle position and the tight end position and all the adjustments and nuances that go with it has been really good. He had a good opportunity yesterday, did some of that in Miami. We've worked on it in practice and he's gotten better at it. It's different but it's kind of similar to where we were with [Nate] Solder in '11, his first year when [Matt] Light was playing left tackle and Nate played some right tackle for [Sebastian] Vollmer but also played quite a bit at tight end in a similar type of role. Cam has done a real good job with it. I've been pleased with his development as a player and he's worked hard at his new assignment. He's done a good job with it.

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Q: What did you see happen on the field goal block from Chandler Jones? It looked like he got some help from the guys on either side of him to help make some space. He made a nice move too but can you tell us what you saw on how he got there to make the play? **

BB: I think, first of all, that was a play that was well designed by our coaches, Scott O'Brien and Joe Judge. We work on those plays every week in practice. On this particular one, Chandler was lined up in-between [Sealver] Siliga and [Rob] Ninkovich so when Siliga stunted inside, it looked like [Matt] Kalil, who was trying to block him, because Sealver stunted in there, Siliga kind of fell a little further inside and then [Kalil] maybe lost his balance a little bit because Siliga was going inside instead of right at him. That created a little bit of space and then Rob, who was on the outside, kind of ran straight up the field and tied up the end, I think that was [Corey] Wootton and kept Wootton from stepping down. When Chandler used his arm-over technique and kind of swung to the outside of Kalil, Rob kept Wootton from stepping down and Kalil kind of fell down a little bit more than maybe he should have on Sealver's stunt and then Chandler was able to get through there. But then Chandler really made a good play because he flattened down the line of scrimmage and was able to get himself right behind the guard because the ball was on the hash mark and kind of get right behind the guard and be right in the flight of the ball. I think that's one of the hardest things for rushers on field goals. You get through the line but you have to know where the ball is going. When the ball is on the hash mark, it's basically going kind of over the guard, not over the center. So, getting to that right spot, even if you get penetration, getting to that right spot to block it is a big key to the technique of it. Chandler did a great job on it. He's obviously a really athletic guy. Once he cleared there, he has good length and was able to get up and then made a real good play after that to scoop and score and turned it into really a 10-point play – three off the board and gave us a chance to pick up seven. That was obviously a huge play in the game. I think we had good execution by everybody. Chandler obviously got the credit but Vince [Wilfork] and Sealver did a good job kind of clearing that out for him too. You know, it's tough on the field goal team because when you have guys like Siliga and Wilfork penetrating and coming over you two or three times or you've seen that on film, where you've seen it earlier, like on the PAT, and then they line up there and then that time they don't come straight ahead, but they come to the side and you're coming with all your momentum to kind of meet their force and they stunt on you then that creates a little bit of a gap there. It was a good design on the play, good execution by all those guys involved.

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