Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio addresses the media during his conference call on Tuesday, September 15, 2009.
Q: With Jerod Mayo going down last night, obviously you guys had to do some shifting at linebacker. Are you comfortable with where you are personnel-wise, or are you looking around a little?
NC: Yeah, I think this time of the year - and there are some other clubs that are probably going through the same scenario right now, but I'll just speak with our situation - this time of the year, these things happen. You try to address them on an as-needed basis and we'll evaluate what the alternatives might be, whether it be internally or externally, but if we feel that there is an opportunity for us to add a player that we feel can help our club, then we'll go ahead and do that. As far as it relates to Jerod [Mayo], I'm sure that Bill [Belichick] or Stacey [James] can speak on that as it relates to any injury information. But we finished the game last night; we ended up getting a victory. I think that's the most important thing. So now we're moving on to the Jets. And as we go through this week we'll just figure out what the best way for us is to proceed in the game and what gives us the best chance to win and we'll see how that unfolds on Sunday.
Q: How do you see Joey Galloway in his entry into this offense? We hear a lot about how complex this offense is so it's probably hard as an evaluator to project how a player will work in it. How do you feel he's doing?
NC: You know, Joey's obviously an experienced player. He's been in the league for quite some time. He's played in a number of systems, so I'm sure there aren't too many things he hasn't seen. I think Joey is a smart player. I think he works hard. I think he's done everything that we've asked him to do to this point, in terms of understanding the offense, and he's a skilled player. He's been productive in this league. You know, we're expecting that he has a role in this offense. How that unfolds week to week, I think it's just ... Obviously, last night he didn't have any catches. But I'll speak to this, that from an assignment standpoint, he did everything right. He was open; the ball just went other areas. That happens every week. The quarterback drops back, he reads the coverage and he finds the open receiver. That's how we do it. I can speak personally a little bit to Joey, having worked with him on a day-to-day basis. We feel very comfortable with where Joey is at this stage.
Q: At the end of the game last night you guys were in the two-minute offense a lot. Kevin Faulk was on the field I think for maybe almost all of it. Was that mostly from a pass-protection standpoint or what is he like during a two-minute offense?
NC: I think all of our backs - they're versatile players. The two-minute situation entails a lot of different things. There are a number of components: there's pass protection, there's running the football, there's running routes, the pass catching component. So Kevin is a skilled player. He's a versatile player. He's smart. He's tough. He's been productive in those situations in the past and he was productive again last night. He's made those plays. We go multiple receivers - sometimes it's Kevin, sometimes it's Sammy [Morris], sometimes it's Laurence [Maroney]. But you know, Kevin does a lot of things well and in that situation, the versatility and being able to do a number of different things certainly comes into play.
Q: As director of player personnel, what's your comfort level with keeping two quarterbacks? Do you envision adding a third quarterback to the active roster?
NC: Right. Yeah, we talked a little bit about this last week about this time as well. With this position, or any position, we evaluate the alternatives. We evaluate what's out there. We'll look at those players. Brian [Hoyer] has been here since training camp - or actually since the rookie minicamp - and he's proven that he has an understanding and a grasp of what we're doing, offensively. So where we are right now, that's where we are with the club. We have the two quarterbacks and we have Isaiah [Stanback], who last week [that] was really his first introduction to some of the things that we're doing, offensively. So we'll continue moving forward with that group. If the occasion arises that we feel we have to make a move, then we'll go ahead and do that.
Q: According to some of the players, Tom Brady seemed pretty confident in the huddle at the end of the game, even down 11 with five minutes to go. As a staff, were you guys as confident as Tom was?
NC: I think our offense ... I'll just speak to the offense in particular as a group. I think one of the things that we do in practice - and it's come up during a number of conversations - is the amount of time that we spend on situation football. I think when you practice that collectively, as a group, and there are a number of repetitions and you do it over and over and over. I think collectively as a group, you feel confident with that particular situation. So when you actually have to go out there in a game situation, there's some carry over. Tom's confident. I think the rest of our players are confident, whether it's the offensive line, the running backs, the receivers, because they understand the situation; they understand what we're trying to accomplish and in the end they go out there and execute. So I think collectively as a group, it speaks to those guys and their work ethic, and their competitiveness, and their toughness, and just understanding of situations, and being able to execute that when the game is on the line.