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Matt Patricia Conference Call Transcript

New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia addresses the media during his conference call on Tuesday, October 29, 2013.


Q: Why did Logan Ryan not play in the first half and then play in the second half? It seems like he made a lot of plays in the second half, and it caught my eye that he wasn't out there in the first half.

MP: I think it's obviously a pretty simple question. Nothing really more than just sometimes different calls that we may have put into a particular situation or particular play involve different personnel groupings, so there just turned out to be a couple of those plays where he was out on the field in some of those groupings and situations and calls, and obviously was making the most of his opportunities in that situation. It really was – this is just kind of part of what we were trying to do and what we were trying to get done, and kind of how it all worked out.

Q: What did you think about Andre Carter's performance on Sunday? What was he able to give you?

MP: Obviously Andre Carter is someone that we've had around here before previously, who certainly is a veteran player that comes in with a great amount of experience, professionalism, and just a great work ethic. [He's] certainly someone who takes every day – from the meetings to the practice to the game – to really try to improve every aspect of what we're trying to do. Certainly a great addition in that respect, certainly tries to go out and do everything we're asking him to do within the scheme and the play and the design. It's obviously great to have him here, and just try to kind of, like we do with everybody, take a look at it and hope to build on last week. Certainly first week with us here, we're hoping to obviously improve into the next week.

Q: When you look at the Steelers offense, what do they do well? Specific to Ben Roethlisberger, it seems like bringing him down is an issue. How do you approach that with your players?

MP: Obviously Pittsburgh and their offense certainly centers around Ben Roethlisberger, but also – start with [Offensive Coordinator] Todd Haley and the job that he's been able to do. Really kind of mixing both the run, pass game, screen game, getting the ball to the different skill players that they have, along with taking advantage of the tight end position and all that Heath Miller brings to that offense along with mixing in the run game with the different running backs that they've put out there. Certainly [Le'Veon] Bell and [Felix] Jones, even [Jonathan] Dwyer there, just really doing a good job of keeping the offense balanced. Certainly once you do that, then you allow your big-play possibilities to really expedite themselves, using the speed with [Emmanuel] Sanders out on the field and [Antonio] Brown and his playmaking ability, and really [Jerricho] Cotchery too, I mean obviously this is a receiver that has a lot of experience and does a great job getting open in both zone and man coverages. So certainly I think that's the thing they've done, is they've done a real good job of keeping the offense balanced and really trying to use the run game to their advantage when they can, get the ball downfield, [and] take advantage of their big-play possibilities, then also have done a great job with the different screen elements that they run to get the ball into their players' hands and be able to get it out in space and make plays. I think with the second question there with Roethlisberger, concerned to him, I think obviously this is a guy who's done a great job of being able to be a tough quarterback, stand in the pocket; been able to make the hard throws in difficult situations. Certainly something that you need to stress as you go into the week to make sure that we do a great job of really concentrating on finishing those plays if [we] have the opportunity to get to the quarterback, and not kind of taking for granted the ability to just get him down, because he is such a big, strong guy that can hang in there and really kind of shrug off some tacklers. That is certainly a big challenge for us this weekend.

Q: How challenging is it going against a quarterback with Ben Roethlisberger's size, mobility, and mentality of not conceding a play? It seems like he has that tendency that he's going to continue to look to get the ball off.

MP: Yeah, I mean I think those are all excellent points and pretty much spot on. I think it's extremely difficult when you face a quarterback like this that the play is continually going. I would say even almost until after the whistle is kind of how you've got to approach it, with the effect that he's going to be in that pocket, and if you take the approach where you think the play is over, it's not. He's going to be able to get maybe out of a tackle or get the ball downfield, so everyone needs to stay alive, stay focused, do their job all the way through until the end of the play until the play is absolutely over, because I actually think that's where Roethlisberger really thrives the most, is where he can make those plays, and I think he looks forward to those plays where he can kind of move around in the pocket or get outside the pocket and get the ball downfield or find the open receiver and really create something that may be a little bit more than what's on paper. I think those are definitely the biggest challenges with a quarterback like this, who obviously has a great arm and good vision downfield and is moving well both in and out of the pocket right now, and just has a good feel for his receivers too. I think there's a great trust there between, like I said before, [Heath] Miller or [Emmanuel] Sanders or [Antonio] Brown or even [Jerricho] Cotchery, that if there is trouble in the pocket or if there is a problem where he is moving outside of the pocket, that they're all kind of on the same page as far as where they're going to be and where he can get them the ball, whether it's in the short or downfield range.

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