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Matt Patricia Conference Call Transcript: 'Just got to be prepared to play football'

Patriots Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia addresses the media during his conference call on Tuesday, September 2, 2014.


Q: ** How different does this Dolphins offense look this year given the system they're putting in?

MP: I think obviously you're going to look at last year and try to get a great evaluation of the players that you've played against, obviously starting with the quarterback and the skill positions, where they have some returning players that we've obviously faced. Then you're going to take a look at what] Bill Lazor has done with the new system as the new offensive coordinator and what they've run here in preseason and go back and try to trace that a little bit, the history and background of the offense, and try to figure out how it's going to apply. Certainly, obviously what I think they've done a great job of this year through the preseason is the quarterback position, with Ryan Tannehill being able to control and run the offense and do a good job with the different looks and the different problems that they set up with this type of offense, and really trying to do a great job of being good decision makers as a quarterback and get the ball distributed to a lot of their skill players, obviously with [Mike] Wallace and [Brian] Hartline and [Brandon] Gibson, [Jarvis] Landry and [Rishard] Matthews at the receiver position. They have excellent talent out there along with [Charles] Clay at the tight end position, who is a very good skill player for them, a very multiple type player. And then through the preseason you get to see their other tight end, [Dion] Sims, and the different positions he's kind of been in and moved around at. I think they've done a good job to implement the system that Coach Lazor has brought with him, and done a good job through the preseason of efficiently running that offense.

Q: Can you give us a thumbnail sketch of the two new defensive linemen, Kelcy Quarles and Bruce Gaston, and what their roles might be?

MP: Yeah, I mean, I think we'll just – we're trying to take a look at everybody and still trying to figure out what are the best positions. We're obviously a defense that's going to have people in a lot of different spots, so I think those two guys came in and worked hard the other day to try to get acclimated to the system. Obviously we'll get another day here tomorrow to get a good look at them playing in our system. We're just trying to take it day by day and just trying to get ready for Miami. I mean, that's really our main focus and just get those guys caught up as soon as we can.

Q: From the outside it looks like over the course of the summer, you guys have had a few guys who were classified more as cornerbacks – Kyle Arrington and Alfonzo Dennard – playing more of a safety-type role. Is that out of necessity? Versatility? Where does that thought process come from?

MP: Well, I think in general with all of our defensive backs, they can be in multiple different positions or multiple different looks. They're kind of – everybody's in a particular situation where you might have to be a linebacker, be a safety, be a corner, be an inside player, nickel back, whatever it is, so they've just got to be ready to be multiple in those different positions and adjust to whatever particular look we're getting from the offense. So I would say it's more just being multiple different players and positions and being able to adjust based on what we're seeing.

Q: In looking at the history of the coordinator and his tendencies, and specifically with Bill Lazor, do you go back to his tendencies in college in terms of his play calls and what he goes to in certain situations? And how in depth, if at all, do you get into what he did previously?

MP: I think you're going to do the best job you can of going back through and checking the history of the offense and the system and obviously the play caller. A good time, obviously, during the offseason to get a chance to look at some of that information and just really look at all the different avenues and explore all the different possibilities. As the first game of the year goes, you're trying to make sure you're prepared to handle a lot of different situations and you want to make sure you're trying to look at all the different avenues. Certainly we're looking at different things. Obviously the Philly system, which he came from last year, and just trying to really focus on how they've implemented it through this preseason.

Q: Based on what you've seen from Ryan Tannehill so far, do you see a quicker decision maker and someone getting rid of the football more promptly?

MP: I definitely would say that you can say with the quarterback position in general, I think they're trying to do a great job and they've done a great job of making quick decisions, getting the ball distributed, getting it out, the accuracy increase as far as the passing game is concerned, so they're definitely spreading the ball around with good, smart, accurate passing games and concepts and it has definitely benefited the quarterbacks in a positive way.

Q: Going off the question earlier about using multiple different guys in different spots in the defensive backfield. What would be the benefit to the team and you guys as a coaching staff to having one player play at that safety spot next to Devin McCourty on a pretty consistent basis – one guy to leave out there in most situations? What would be the advantages to that?

MP: I think what you want to do when you're taking a look at the defense in general, is you want to make sure you're not stuck in one particular situation. We're trying to make sure that, with teams that tend to either go at a hurry up or quicker pace, teams that tend to get you in some substitution matchups where maybe you can't get into the most idealistic situation, that everybody out on the field is prepared and ready to go in those other particular spots. I think that's really what we're trying to do: make sure everybody understands the concept. We want to teach it from a conceptual standpoint and be able to plug in wherever we see need fit, based on whatever the particular week brings. I think again, it's great with Miami's offense and the system that we're running there, it's an offense that's up tempo, fast paced, and they're trying to get the defense out on the field and run as many plays as they possibly can, mixing in obviously a very strong run game, so you've just got to be prepared to be out on the field and play football.

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