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Josh McDaniels Transcript: 'Exciting for us to be able to go out and play well as a group'

Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels addresses the media during his conference call on Monday, October 7, 2014.


Q: **You guys pushed the pace from the moment you got the football. What did you like about going up-tempo?

JM:Anytime you do that, you're hoping that you can get yourself into a little bit of a rhythm and just force the defense to play faster, communicate faster, try to get lined up faster. And as a result, sometimes you get some looks that are a little bit more ideal than others. Sometimes you don't. I just think that it's a good thing to have the ability to do. We've done it in multiple games this year where we've changed the tempo, and it's not something that we've just exclusively done at any point in time. I think it helped us some the other night, and hopefully if we use it down the road here, it'll do the same thing.

Q:How confident are you at this point that Tom Brady is going to be able to pick up the yardage when you call a quarterback sneak?

JM:Very confident with him. He's always had a knack for that. He enjoys doing that. Whether it's a challenge to him or not, he really embraces that, and in those critical situations, he's been very productive at doing it.

Q:How important is the blocking on the interior line on a play like that?

JM:Very important. You don't ever want to send your quarterback in there with those big guys on defense and have people unblocked, so their ability to get in there and try to create some movement at the line of scrimmage and get the most dangerous people blocked is definitely a critical element to that play.

Q:Twice in the last week, Rob Gronkowski has said he's tired of being asked about his health. You're probably tired of hearing it as well, but I'm going to ask it again. Do you think it's a coincidence that your offense played so well with him being out there for so many snaps?

JM:I think any player of Rob's ability helps our offense in any way, whether that's passing the ball, running the ball, protecting, doing some different things like that. He obviously makes an impact when he's in the game. But I think we had a number of other players that played well in the game and did a lot of good things. And again, Rob wasn't out there entirely either. We did some good things with and without him. Certainly he obviously makes a difference when he is on the field, and it was exciting for us to be able to go out there and play well as a group.

Q:While the players are the ones front and center when a team is struggling, the coordinators also feel it too. How much of a relief was that win for the coordinators? Also, can you address the balance you guys had in that game?

JM:I don't really get caught up in a real final evaluation of our team at the end of each week and really get caught up on each week. I'm more focused on trying to make progress, and I thought we showed some improvement the other night and made some strides from previous games. That's really what my focus has been on in my position. I think our staff's focus has been the same, just trying to really do a good job with our players, try to help our offense improve in a number of ways, which is always the case at this time of the year. I thought it was good for our guys and our team that we could be productive the other night. But we're going to go back and do the same thing we did last week, which is go back to our process of trying to fix some things that we didn't do as well as we wanted to and hopefully be better for it at the end of this week and going into this next game. As far as the balance is concerned, we always try to be balanced in the games. Balance is important, obviously, to maintain. As you're playing in this league, you never see many teams have tremendous success when they become one dimensional. It would be our goal each week to try to maintain that as best we could unless the defense obviously did something that made that almost impossible. I thought we had some production in the running game, definitely had some production in the passing game as well, so that was good to see that we could move the ball in both areas.

Q:What are the most important factors in being able to deploy both Tim Wright and Rob Gronkowski as pass catchers?

JM:I think they obviously made some good plays. Tom [Brady] made some good throws. Our line gave them time to get the ball down the field in some of those situations. I think when they're out there together we've got to be able to do multiple things. I certainly can't put them on the field and just do one thing with them or else that becomes something that the defense can focus on too much and try to take away. Our ability to be able to run the ball with them, which I know we did that, too. I think [Stevan] Ridley's big run there in the third quarter came with both of them on the field together. It's like every other personnel grouping that you put out there. If you can go out there and do different things to be productive and not tell the defense exactly what you're going to do on every play, you've got a chance to stay in that and do some good things. I thought they both showed up obviously and made some plays for us, but they also did some things in the running game and other areas that helped our team as well.

Q:Your first year with the Patriots was Tom Brady's first year as a starter. How has your relationship with him evolved over the years?

JM:Well, we've experienced a lot of different things together. I started on defense and didn't have certainly the same type of relationship with him when I was on the other side of the ball. But when I came over to the offense and started working with him in 2004, obviously I spend more time with him than I do anybody, honestly, for these six or seven months, so it's hard not to become very close with those kinds of people that you work with and interact with on a daily basis. We've both become parents and husbands and all the rest of it as we've grown up. I think just things, naturally you get closer as you go, and you experience more and know more about the other person - the things that they do and like and a lot of things that don't even involve football as well. I've been fortunate to have this experience in my life, and it's certainly something that I look forward to each day.

Q:I wanted to get your comment on that ESPN report over the weekend of conflict between Tom Brady and the coaches. I don't even know if you guys pay attention to those things.

JM: I'm not necessarily aware of exactly what you're referring to. Whatever reports are, they are what they are. I don't know. You have to ask the people that reported that. I know that it's exciting for us to come to work together and look forward to working together each week with the staff and the players and trying to put together the best plan that we can, and I think we have a lot of fun doing that.

Q:It seemed like you guys had some good downfield blocking the other night to rush for as many yards as you did. One play in particular that stands out was Shane Vereen's long third-down run in the third quarter. What allowed you guys to execute in those kinds of situations the other night?

JM: We always stress to our receivers to play a big role in our run game. Certainly you have to get the back through the line of scrimmage to get the run started, but anytime you're going to make a short run into a big one, you're going to need a contribution from those players that are extended from the formation, whether that be tight ends or wide receivers. And I think the other night, we did. We got quite a few blocks, and they finished some blocks in the secondary that allowed us to make more yards than maybe what we would have otherwise. Our guys do a great job. [Wide receivers] Coach [Chad] O'Shea does a tremendous job coaching those guys and really demanding that part of our game each week be something that turns short gains into big ones. There is no secret about it. It's just effort and determination and knowing who you're supposed to go in and get and then doing a great job of carrying out your assignment on each play.

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