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Bill Belichick Transcript: 'They've done a good job in all three phases of the game'

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Friday, November 14, 2014.

BB:How are we doing today? All shoveled out? Well, it's kind of been a long week, but the Colts are always a hard team to prepare for, so I'm glad we had the extra time. [We're] going to wrap things up today and head out there, be ready to go Sunday night.

Q:You've said in the past that you've used the bye to look at yourselves. When you play a team that's coming off the bye, do you have to be ready for different things they may not have shown early in the year?

BB:Yeah, sure. And they do that anyway. We see that from week to week. Even when they don't have an extra week, they change up their looks a little bit from game to game so we have to be ready for that. With the extra time, I'm sure that they'll have a couple things that we're not working on this week; that we're not prepared for. We'll have to deal with those as they come. But that's part of playing the Colts. That will definitely be in play this week, no question.

Q:Is there a rust factor coming back from the bye week?

BB:I don't know. We practiced once last week, we've been out here for four days this week. We're doing the best we can to get ready. Hopefully we'll be ready to go.

Q:What are the defining characteristics of Pep Hamilton's offense?


BB: **Well, I mean, first of all, they use all the personnel groups. They use a lot of three tight ends, one receiver, two receivers, three receivers. Last week against the Giants they used some four receivers. So, you have to be ready for the whole gamut of, like I said, three tight ends, which sometimes that plays like two backs and two tight ends, sometimes it plays like…they can spread out, they can keep them in tight and then they have all the personnel groups in between up to the four receivers last week where they started both [Donte] Moncrief, [Hakeem] Nicks, [Reggie] Wayne and [T.Y.] Hilton. Plus, their backs are good receivers. It's really, you have all those personnel groups; you have a lot of different formations and then their plays. They have a good amount of volume, a lot of things you have to prepare for. You're not just preparing for a team that just lines up in one personnel group and does a lot of things out of that. It gets you all the way across the board with the different people, the different formations and plays that complement each other that show you one thing and you're thinking about that and then they have a complementary play that goes with it out of those same groups and same looks. They just shuffle them around the next week and the next week so after four or five games, you have a big volume of stuff that they've shown. You don't get all that in one game, but we're five, six, seven weeks, however far you go back, then it just keeps expanding.

Q:Has it evolved as Andrew Luck has developed?

BB:I wouldn't - I mean, maybe it has, I don't know. That's a question you probably should ask them. But I'd say, by having [Dwayne] Allen as part of it this year, and Moncrief, that's probably given them the ability to extend to more receivers, more tight ends. [Trent] Richardson and [Ahmad] Bradshaw give them two good backs, so they've had the opportunity to expand it in both directions to get bigger, to get faster, with depth in their backfield. They've used all those.

Q:Do the Colts disguise their blitzes a lot? When you're breaking down film, does your definition of a blitz differ from other teams or Football Outsiders' definition?

BB:Yeah, I don't know what Football Outsiders does. But, again, normally you're talking about a four-man rush; a five-man rush is an extra guy. So, I would say that's a form of pressure. Then six-man is, or sometimes five could be two linebackers and dropping a defensive lineman out so it's still five, but it's really two potential blitzers that aren't linemen. They do that. Then they bring six sometimes. Sometimes they bring seven and peel guys. If you release, they'll cover them. If you don't release, then they blitz. They have a lot of different combinations. I'd say the thing about the Colts is you see a lot of guys blitzing. You see the linebackers blitzing, you see the secondary players blitzing, the safeties or the nickel backs. They move it around with those guys. You can't just say it's going to this guy, because it's not. It can be sometimes one guy, sometimes it's two guys. Sometimes it's two guys with a defensive lineman dropping out. Those are all different forms of it. I would say yeah, they do a fair amount of it. I don't know about any other measurement, but in getting ready for them, yeah, they do a fair amount of it. You have to be ready for it and you have to be ready for a lot of different guys to come. It's not all the same guy.

Q:Andrew Luck has seven interceptions in two games against you. What do you think you've done to put him in positions where he makes mistakes?

BB:I don't know. I think obviously when you're ahead and they're throwing at the end of the game, like they were last year, we've all been in that situation before. I'm sure that's not where they want to be or where we want to be or where any team wants to be. If we can put them in that situation again, that would be good for us.

Q:What strikes you about the way Chuck Pagano has led the Colts?

BB:They've been consistent. They've won a lot of games. They've done a good job in all three phases of the game: made a lot of plays in the kicking game, they've made plays on offense, made plays on defense. They're a well-rounded, well balanced team. They have a lot of different…very explosive team in terms of turning the ball over or making plays in the kicking game or obviously scoring offensively from pretty much anywhere on the field. So, you really can't afford to relax at any time. The surprise onside kicks, the fakes, the explosive offensive plays, the pressures on defense. If you just let your guard down, they can hit you. They can hit home in a hurry. You have to [be] alert, have to be ready for 60 minutes of good football in all three phases of the game.

Q:How has D'Qwell Jackson changed their defense?

BB:He's obviously a very experienced guy. It looks like he's involved in a lot of the communication up front. It looks like [Mike] Adams is involved in a lot of the communication in the secondary and then they work together on different adjustments and calls and all that, because they do do a lot of things so there's some, I'd say, a decent amount of communication involved in getting all that coordinated. D'Qwell is a very instinctive player, he's around the ball a lot. He's got very good instincts in the passing game, I'd say better than most linebackers in terms of recognizing pattern combinations, having depth. Like the play he made against us last year, [with] Cleveland, he was like 20 yards deep when he intercepted that in-cut. You don't see that from a lot of linebackers. All those things are good in terms of coordinating, communicating, running the defense and being instinctive, being around the ball. He's a good player.

Q:Is T.Y. Hilton a guy you can cover man-to-man or do you always need to think about Cover-2, extra protection coverages with him?

BB:We've seen him covered a lot of different ways. They move him around; he's not always in the same place so you have to be cognizant of that. It's not like you can just call a defense and be sure where he's going to be. He's obviously, like a lot of good receivers, he's dealt with double coverage. Just because you have some combination of two guys on him doesn't mean that he's not a problem because he knows there are two guys and he can figure out how to just attack one guy and beat him. He does a good job of that, too.

Q:It seems like Bjoern Werner has a bigger role in their defense this year.

BB:Yeah, definitely. Didn't he miss like three or four games last year with an ankle [injury] in the middle of the year? I'd say overall, though, his play time is up. I think if he would have played the amount of time in those games that he missed, it would be closer than what it looks like between this year and last year, but yeah, he's out there a lot. [Cory] Redding is out there a lot. They rotate some of the other guys in the front, but those two guys are out there pretty much most of the time. He flip flops in their base defense and is usually on our left in passing situations, but not always, they move him around there, too. Sometimes he stands up. He's been in some different spots, but normally he's on the offensive left in their sub defense. But they're an over and under team, so he flips with the formation based on the offensive, where the tight end is and all that, so he could be on either side in regular. So a lot of different guys have to be ready for him.

Q:What's made him effective in your eyes? It seems like he's a high motor guy.

BB:Yeah, very high motor. Yeah, he is. He plays with a lot of effort. He's athletic. He's got good quickness. He plays on his feet a lot. He's a hard guy to - he doesn't stay blocked. Sometimes you see guys get into him, but then he keeps working and has enough quickness and athleticism to eventually come free. He makes a lot of effort plays, plays where he's, again, initially not in the play, but eventually gets into it with his quickness and his effort.

Q:Does he remind you of Rob Ninkovich at all?

BB:No, I think they're a little different.

Q:What would you say are the keys to a really effective two-minute offense? You guys have been really good in the last two minutes of the first half this year. What are the most important things you go over with your team?

BB:Well, the two-minute at the end of the half is a lot different than the two-minute at the end of the game. They're two really completely different situations. I know everybody talks about them like they're the same, but to me, they're not anything the same. You don't have to score at the end of the half. If you have to score at the end of the game to win the game, then that's a totally different situation. Therefore, I see it differently.

Q:With that in mind, what are the differences besides the obvious, the urgency?

BB:That's the obvious, yeah. If you have to score - to get in position to kick a field goal or score a touchdown to win or tie the game, then that's a totally different situation than at the half when if you don't score at the end of the half, you haven't lost the game. Like, do you want to score? Yeah, sure. You want to score every time you have the ball. That's why you put the offense out there. If you don't want to score, you just send the punt team out there. But that's, we're always trying to score. But it's just different at the end of the half. You try to take what you can get and not put yourself at more risk than you have to. At the end of the game, you have to do whatever you have to do to move the ball and get in position to win the game. So, you have to take chances. You have to do things you may not want to do in order to have an opportunity to make plays you need to make then you're willing to do that. That's dictated by the situation.

Q:Does field position dictate more than anything at the end of the first half whether you want to go down and do everything you can to score, as opposed to not giving them a chance at the end of the first half?

BB:I think field position is part of it, but so is everything else: time, timeouts, how you match up in that situation. I think it's all part of it. I think there are a lot of factors in that, in what you call and what happens in the sequence of plays that you call. Each one is different. Obviously, there are some common threads, but I think each situation each week is different based on the matchups and based on whatever the specific situation is: time, timeouts, field position, playing conditions, etcetera.

Q:The Colts defense is middle of the pack but on third down, it's the best in the league. What difference do you see on third down that they lock it down that's not there on first and second down?

BB:They've obviously done a real good job on third down. They give you a lot of different looks. They mix in their coverages, they mix in the pressures. They've done a good job of creating some good matchups and they've gotten pressure and they've covered well. In the end, it's execution.

Q:Does that put some pressure on you guys to avoid third-and-longs and typical third down situations?

BB:Believe it or not, we always try to avoid third-and-long. We never go into the game saying, 'Let's see how many third-and-longs we can get into. Let's see how many of those we can convert.' We never try to do that. That's an emphasis point every week, just like turnovers. We always want to protect the ball; we always want to stay out of long-yardage. That's basic offensive football: don't give them the ball and move forward.

Q:Darrelle Revis talked about the competitiveness in practice since he's been here. Being around Tom Brady and some of the other guys on the team, he's noticed it's a pretty high level. How would you characterize the competitiveness in practice on a daily basis for you guys?

BB:That's an interesting comment because the only team I've ever seen practice is us. I don't know how other teams - we've worked against Philadelphia and Washington. That's preseason. But like on a daily basis, I really couldn't tell you how any other team in the league practices. It would all come from something like that, another player or possibly coach - we have a couple coaches on our staff that have been with different organizations in recent years. [They] might comment on how another team practices or does a certain thing in a drill or whatever it is relative to the way we do it. That's really kind of the perspective that you need because I would have no idea how any other team practices. For a player or a coach who has actually been in those to say, 'Well, it's like this here and it's like this there,' then that's a valid comment from them. I really couldn't make that because I haven't seen it.

Q:How about this year's group versus years past that you've coached here? Is the competitiveness level any different this year?

BB:I think basically we've tried to keep it about the same. Again, we have different levels of competitiveness in practice. There are some drills that are as competitive as we can make them. There are other drills that are competitive to a point. Obviously we don't want a defensive back blowing up a receiver to break up a pass and things like that. Then there are other drills that aren't that competitive. We're trying to provide a look and we're trying to not make it a physical type of competition, but you know, more of repetition, execution type of drill. Based on those various stages, we try to…I think the most important thing is that everybody is practicing at the same tempo. You don't have one guy playing at one level and another guy playing at another level. We're all playing at the same level, whatever that is. I think those are your most productive practices. We have drills like one-on-one pass rush or one-on-one coverage or drills like that that are as competitive as you make them. You're out there trying to beat the other guy; he's trying to beat you. Then there are other drills that are tempo a little bit below that. It's competitive to a certain point. Then there are other drills, like I said, that are really not intended to be competitive. They're intended more to be teaching and identification, recognition and execution rather than the competition part of it. Based on what we're doing, what the drill is, what day of the week it is, what point in the season it is, what point in training camp, it could be any combination of those.

Q:Do you think coaches have found a way to replace that physical element in practice? You've said that practice is different now than it was years ago. Do you think players and coaches have found a way to replace that competitive fire in practice?

BB:Practice is just preparation. It's a necessary part of getting ready for the game. It's part of preparation. It's not punishment. It's preparation. Whatever you can do to get your team prepared, whatever a player can do to prepare to play, you know. Now full speed contact on every single play, every day of the week, at some point it is diminishing returns. It's counterproductive. I don't think anybody is in favor of that. But it's preparation, so you do the best you can as a coach to prepare your team. You do the best you can as a player to prepare yourself or prepare your teammates if you're working with them and you're giving them a look at what they're doing. You're the scout team, then you're helping them prepare, just like they help you prepare. That's the way I see all of that. It's not about - it's about preparation. That's what practice is.

Q:With Revis coming in this year and Tom throwing against him, do you think that helps elevate their play on both sides?

BB:Yeah, I think the times when it is truly a competitive situation; yeah I think it's great. We saw that last year, the last year and a half with [Aqib] Talib, the same kind of thing. They're out there and you know as a quarterback that there probably aren't going to be a lot of big windows to throw on with Revis. You're going to have to make a really good throw. As a receiver, you're going to have to run a really good route. You're probably going to have to catch the ball away from your body or in a place that's a little bit more difficult because you may not be able to gain as much separation from him. I'm sure the defensive backs - Revis, [Brandon] Browner, [Patrick] Chung, [Devin] McCourty, whoever they are - know the quarterback's pretty accurate, being close isn't really good enough. You have to be right on top of the guy. You have to be able to defend the route 100 percent, not 90 percent. It's just not good enough. Like when Revis and [Rob] Gronkowski were able to work together early in camp. That was, again, kind of good for both guys to get that type of, again the competition kind of graduated up. But you know, still to be able to run routes on Revis, defend Gronkowski, just throw against - I think those are all good situations. Yeah, and I do think they get competitive. There's no question. When we say it's competitive, then it's competitive. They don't want to walk into the locker room and listen to the other guy, 'Hey, I blew you up on those three or four plays.' They want to be saying that. It's definitely competitive. But I'm just saying, not every drill is set up that way. But yeah, the ones that are, yeah. Sometimes there's stuff riding on the final play, the final whatever, one-on-one play, the final pass rush play for the whole group. Whichever guy wins then there's some extra whatever involved. Then that increases the competitive level and not wanting to let your teammates down and bragging rights, if you will. Yeah, sure. Yeah, I think that's healthy. That's a part of it.

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