Patriots quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien addresses the media during his conference call, on Tuesday, December 7, 2010.
Q: There was a play midway through the second quarter where Danny Woodhead caught a 35-yard pass when he was being covered by defensive end Mike DeVito. Can you break down that play and how you ended up with Woodhead being covered by DeVito?
BO: I believe that was a play action. We had a run in the game plan. I believe we didn't actually run in the game, but we did use the play action. It just worked out that way. We just had a pretty good beat on what the coverage might be at that time. As far as DeVito on Woody, I couldn't sit here and tell you that we knew it was going to be DeVito on Woody. I'm not a magician. I just think it worked out really well as far as how the play was executed by our players.
Q: Darrelle Revis said after the game that he didn't have any balls thrown his way. How did that happen? Was that part of the plan to not throw his way?
BO: I'd have to go back and see that. No, that wasn't part of the plan. When we planned for the passing game, we planned for the coverages we think we're going to see, and then Tom [Brady] makes his reads. We don't go into a game saying that we're not going to throw at this guy or this guy. We just execute the play based on what the coverage is, and that's how we do it.
Q: Has there been a time since you've been doing the play calling that this offense has been more efficient and productive?
BO: When I do talk to you guys, I always say the same thing. Again, it's a process of a week-to-week. It's like 16 one-game seasons. So week-to-week we look at the opponent and it's been a collaborative effort between a lot of guys starting with Bill [Belichick] and then Dante [Scarnecchia], Ivan [Fears], myself, Brian Ferentz, Chad O'Shea, and the players have some input, too. We've got a lot of experienced players that have played a lot of football. As far as how efficient we've been and all those things, that's good, but again, we're going into a game this week that this is a team that's third in the league in points allowed and fourth in yards allowed. We've got to put together a plan that's going to be good for Chicago, and let's see how efficient we are against them. Last night, we executed the game plan the way we wanted to for the most part. I'd say the last two drives of the first half weren't real good. But for the most part, we executed it pretty well.
Q: Do you feel right now that you have a very good handle as a play caller as it gets deeper into the game on what the strengths of different guys are, what the defenses are doing, and what's going to be a good play call for Tom Brady?
BO: Again, I think we go through the whole week, and I'd say by the end of the week, lately I would say we've had it down pretty well as far as how we want to attack this team. It's a pretty neat thing to be able to work for Bill [Belichick] and have his input on it and then work and coach Tom and then the other staff members and have their input on it. We talk about how we want to open the game, and how we want to open the second series of the game, and how we want to open the first series of the second half. This is a place where you're taught to leave no stone unturned. I just think that all of us are working to it, and we just try to go out there and give the players the best opportunity to make plays.
Q: Is it that no stone unturned approach the reason we are seeing more and more of Danny Woodhead because you are seeing more and more what he can contribute?
BO: In every game that we go into, we usually have 20, maybe 21 offensive players available to us. You have like seven linemen, three backs, three tight ends, two quarterbacks, five wide receivers, so you're trying to make sure that all of those guys have some type of role in the game. And as the game progresses, maybe one guy's role becomes a little bit bigger than somebody else's because of how the opponent is playing you. It just has worked out that Danny has contributed to us a great deal, as has Benny [BenJarvus Green-Ellis]. And Sammy Morris and certain things he does for us - he made a big catch on a diagonal route last night. So they're all contributing in different ways, some more than others at the running back position, and you could say that for every position. And that's what we try to do is try to involve just about everybody in the game plan.
Q: Looking ahead to the Chicago Bears, you guys have done a good job especially with Tom Brady getting rid of it quick and limiting pressure. Any idea what type of challenge the Bears present with their pressure and how equipped these guys are to handle it?
BO: The Bears are a very very good defense. They're strong in every position. They have a very strong front with obviously Julius Peppers and the other guys that they have up front. They have a very good linebacking core, led by [Brian] Urlacher and [Lance] Briggs. Their secondary has been playing really well. They present a different challenge than, for instance, the Jets because they do some things. They're a four-down front, things like that are a little bit different. We've just got to grind it out today and into the night and figure out how we want to attack them on first and second down and present it to the players tomorrow and then kind of go from there. At this point, they're going to be a big challenge for us. Again, like we say every week, the road makes it a little bit tougher, playing on the road. Looks like it's going to be a very tough place to play, so it's going to be a huge challenge for us.
Q: It seems now given the way Tom Brady has performed and the team's record that he is getting a lot of consideration about being in the MVP race. Do you have any thought on whether his play warrants him being a potential MVP candidate?
BO: No, I don't have any thoughts on that. I just think he's a very consistent performer who's playing well right now. And I think that there are a lot of guys that are playing well for us right now. And we just have to keep it going,. But, as far as MVP race goes, I have no idea.