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Matt Patricia Conference Call Transcript

Patriots Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia addresses the media during his conference call on Tuesday, December 3, 2013.

Q:What stands out to you on the Browns offense as you begin the game planning process?

MP:Certainly, I mean obviously you take a look at the offense and you're going to see a Norv Turner offense that is very explosive, potential for high-scoring, and really does a great job of balancing the run and the pass. They can stretch the ball downfield, they have some really good skill players that allow them to get the ball downfield, and then also have the ability to get to the check-downs or the intermediate routes, whether it's the tight ends or the receivers, whoever that may be. Certainly this is an offense that is [an] experienced system, explosive players, explosive type of offense, and has a great combination of balance within it. Certainly obviously Josh Gordon would be the first and foremost player that is really doing an excellent job within the system. He's a bigger receiver, has great ability to separate downfield, but also runs a good combination of intermediate routes or even shorter routes. He's just got a good combination of size and speed that can allow him to be an explosive player. Does a great job with his body when he's going to get the ball or trying to shield off defender because he's got good hands with a big catch radius, so he can use his body and body position to shield the ball and be able to go up and get it, and then obviously his yards after catch have been phenomenal, so he certainly obviously [is] a person that we've got to make sure we have handled and taken care of in the game itself. The tight end, Jordan Cameron, number 84, has done an excellent job for them too. I think he's another real productive player and someone that has situationally definitely come through in the system, whether it's the red area, obviously, where he has the ability to go up and get the ball and has been very productive down there, and then also being able to stretch the field in the middle of the field vertically, be able to control the middle with his combination of speed and length, catch radius. So those are two definite skill position players that we've got to deal with along with obviously Greg Little and [Davone] Bess, who we've had a little bit of experience with, who in the slot position is really an excellent player. The passing game is certainly an issue for us, and then obviously in the run game they've done a great job of keeping balance in the run game. [Willis] McGahee and kind of the role-by-committee there, all those guys will get carries as you go through, so [we've] got to do a good job of making sure which we know which back is in the game.

Q:Given a situation like this week where there is uncertainty with the opponent's quarterback position, how do you prepare? With a guy like Alex Tanney or Caleb Hanie, do you hand your players preseason film to get a feel for their style of play? How do you approach this situation as a coach?

MP:Absolutely, I mean obviously it's a unique situation, but you do have to have all of your bases covered. Certainly we'll try to emphasize the point of the system and Norv [Turner] and the offense that he runs, and where his attack points are and what he is trying to accomplish within that offensive system. That will be the first and foremost point that we try to get across, because I think it is more of a system-driven offense than a particular player at the quarterback position. Then, we will certainly go through all the individual quarterbacks that are possibilities to see, and kind of go through their strengths and weaknesses and what we think they do well and really how they fit, and just kind of make sure that everyone has a familiarity with all of those guys so that it's not a surprise when we get into the situation.

Q:Do you feel like your defense has flat-lined or regressed over the last six weeks or so?

MP:I don't think we'd really look at it that way. [We're] trying to look at it week-by-week and see where we're getting better in specific situations or specific areas, so certainly some of that might either come through or not come through as far as just the general overall picture. We're certainly trying to be better than we were the week before, and that's really what we're trying to strive to do. Certainly trying to just improve, take a look at it, and see where the points of emphasis need to be, and where we can kind of get better. I will definitely say that our guys work extremely hard. I don't think those would be the words that I would use to describe anything that we're trying to do. I think our guys come in every day and try to attack and get better and really try to, like I said, improve their individual selves and improve the defense as a whole, and that's really what we're trying to do.

Q:I understand that you're trying to get better. I asked you if you have.

MP:I think there are certain situations, like I said, where we're trying to get better, and I think there are situations where we are getting better and we are improving, and we're definitely taking a look at all that. Obviously, there are things that we can do better every week, so I don't think that's kind of the answer.

Q:A lot has been made recently of the way the offense has come out in the second half and overcome big deficits. On the flipside, what has your defense done in the second half to keep the opposing offense down while the offense comes back?

MP:I think that's a great question. I think the guys have done an excellent job with the in-game adjustments and just really trying to identify the game itself and what has transpired through the first half, and to go out in the second half and make adjustments according to what we're kind of seeing out on the field. I think that's a credit to the players and their ability to be able to change and then also just improve on the specific things that we are doing that are not different than what we did in the first half, and recognizing maybe the mistakes that were made and the problem areas and then fixing those and going out and improving on the same exact – whether it be call or whatever happened in the first half and the same situation comes up in the second half and just obviously doing it better. So, that's definitely helped us here over the last two weeks.

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