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Bill Belichick Transcript: 'They have a good passing game'

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media on Tuesday, December 2, 2014.


Q:** Why did you decide staying out west was the best thing to do for the team?

BB: Well, first of all, I'm sorry that you're not out here with us. It's kind of a two-combination thing there. One was the travel, going from Green Bay back to Foxborough and then to turn around and come back here probably on Friday [is] just a lot of travel for the team at this time of year. We were able to get in here Sunday night and really have kind of a pretty normal day yesterday and a normal Tuesday today without too much – any more than normal type of fatigue. And just being acclimated to the conditions that we're going to be playing in, so [we'll] get in the conditions out here and go through it for a few days and play on Sunday as close as we can get.

Q: The fact that the Packers went ahead 13-0, did that subtract from your emphasis to run the ball more?

BB: We're pretty much past that, but I thought we were able to do basically what we wanted to do throughout the game. We had possession at the end of the game with an opportunity – down by five with the ball – so I never felt like we were out of the game.


Q:** It seems like Antonio Gates is as impactful a player as ever. Does he still carry great weight to the way they carry the offense?

BB: Yeah, absolutely. He's a tough matchup. He's very crafty. He's got great patience and sets up his routes very well. He's a big target, rare hands; obviously [there's] a lot of chemistry with him and [Philip] Rivers and timing and so forth. Yes, he's a very hard guy to match up on and they go to him a lot, as they should, if the matchups are favorable.

Q: It seems like their outside receivers key off what he does inside. Is that oversimplifying it?

BB: I think they have a good passing game. Their routes are complementary, so based on where the inside receivers are going, the outside receivers run complementary routes to that so they're not in the same place and they're clearing out spaces for each other or stretching defensive coverages if they're trying to attack a particular coverage with a certain route. They do a good job of giving the quarterback options and the quarterback does a good job of taking the best option that's available to him. That's what a good passing game does. They do it very well. They're well coached, they have a good scheme and they have good players.

Q: How well do you know Mike McCoy and what do you think is the hallmark of his team and offense?

BB: I don't know Mike real well, personally. But I think this offense is, again, an offense that sort of is well balanced and they can take what the defense gives them. They can run it, they can throw it. They can throw deep, they can throw short. They do a good job of reading the defensive alignment and pre-reading the coverages and things like that. Rivers does a good job of picking out where the defense is weak and attacking them. They're in the shotgun quite a bit, but they still run the ball. They have several good backs now that they're all healthy with [Donald] Brown, [Ryan] Mathews, [Branden] Oliver. They have a lot of different weapons: good tight ends, good backs, good receivers, good quarterback, real good skill players. So, they have a lot of different ways they can attack you. They play at a fast pace, a lot of no-huddle. Those are some of the key things we have to be ready for.


Q:** San Diego is a big Navy town. Are you going to do anything with the team in terms of Naval history or just yourself visiting some of the guys?

BB: Right now, we're just kind of trying to get going here on the Chargers. You're right, it is a big Navy town and I'm proud of that. So, I don't know, we'll see how it goes. But right now, our focus is just on San Diego, nothing else really but that.

Q: When you look at Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers and their particular skills, whether it's the way each of them delivers the ball and moves around behind the line, is there anything that you can take from your preparation for Rodgers last week that might help this week? I know you're facing a totally different team, but are there little items that might help when you face Rivers?

BB: I'm sure that the Chargers and Coach McCoy and his staff and Philip Rivers will take a good look at what we did last week against Green Bay and other recent games and come up with a game plan on things that we've had trouble with that they feel like we're vulnerable, areas that we're vulnerable at. So, it's always important for us to know where we've been and what things other teams will be trying to either copy or use their system to somehow attack in similar ways. So, we definitely have to be aware of that. The offenses are different, the players are different, but I'm sure that they'll hit us with some things that we've had trouble with either last week or in recent weeks and hopefully we'll be able to defend those better this time.


Team photographer, David Silverman, offers his best photos from the Patriots game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday, November 30, 2014.

Q:** Given that you're in California and there's an opportunity for players to spend more time together, what are your guidelines for them or your level of acceptance for them getting out of the hotel and going to do things, like last night when some players went to the Clippers game? How do you balance that you're there for the game, but at the same time they're not going to lock themselves into a hotel room?

BB: I think it is a good opportunity to be together as a team: players, coaches, young players, veteran players, offense, defense, so forth. I think it's a good environment for us to prepare for the game and a good opportunity to spend a little bit of extra time together, however that exactly works out. Hopefully, it will be all in a positive way for our team and that we have a great week of preparation for the Chargers, which is what we're here for and that's what our focus is. But as a byproduct of that, if it's teambuilding and opportunities to build relationships within the team, I think that's good too.

Q: Doc Rivers had a pretty good line last night when he had some of your players in there. He said a lot of his players are Cowboys fans and he said he wanted to introduce them to a real football team. Obviously he has respect for the Cowboys, but I think he meant it more as a compliment to you and your relationship. Did you see that and what's your response to Doc having some of your players in?

BB: I love Doc. We have a great relationship. I think he's obviously done a tremendous job in Boston and now with the Clippers. [I'm] always pulling for Doc, personally, and I appreciate – he's talked to our team, he has a relationship with players on our team. I have tremendous respect for him. He is so well respected on this team. The players and the coaches and all of us who have interacted with him and the way he handles himself, handles his team and his passion for his sport, for basketball, but also I think his appreciation for professionals – our team, professional athletics, football players, what we go through, the relationships and the challenges of playing and competing at this level. It's all great with Doc. I think all the times he's talked to the team, the messages that he's delivered are outstanding. Nobody understands competitive sports, especially somebody who's not in football, understands it better than he does. He has a great ability to relate to our athletes and our team and I'm very appreciative of the friendship that I have with him. I have the utmost respect for Doc. Anything he has done for us, can do and any support he gives us is much cherished and appreciated.

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