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Todd Bowles Conference Call Transcript 12/22

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On what the mindset of the team is currently...

Just take every week as it comes. We can't do anything about it. We don't control our own destiny. We're just trying to get better each week, so we're just going to work on the Patriots this week and try to get better from there.

On if he feels like the team has improved...

Yes, we've gotten better. We've learned from past things, the middle of the season especially. We had lost four out of five, so we had some growing pains and that's typical of a new team. We've got some good wins lately, we've got some hard fought wins. So, we're building some character, we're moving in the right direction and we're just going to try to keep working.

On Steven Jackson...

He's been a great player. I went up against him in Atlanta, he had some great games against us when we played against him in several different stops that I've had. I know he's a good running back and they have a bunch of good players. So, they are very good at picking the right type of veterans and plugging and playing them and they do well in the system.

On how Chris Ivory has handled the increased workload as the season has progressed...

For the most part he's been pretty healthy. He takes good care of himself and there hasn't been a strain on him, so we give him the ball.

On if he believes Ivory has been as effective later in the season as he was earlier in the year...

I don't want to say all season, he hasn't had all great games like that, but he runs hard and he gives us a chance. You always have to bring him down with more than one player. He gives us a good run-pass option by running the football inside to open things up if you crowd the box too much, so he's been effective that way. I'm not going to say he's been effective every game from a yardage standpoint.

On Stevan Ridley...

We've been trying to get him some plays in there and get some of the rust off. He's been getting healthier by the week and he's been moving around a lot better. It's tough when you have Ivory and Bilal Powell back there to have a kind of a three-headed monster and get equal carries with everybody, but we're trying to get him some plays in there.

On Muhammad Wilkerson and his importance to the defense...

Obviously he's real important to the defensive line, he's one of our vocal leaders on defense. Guys flock behind Mo and he does a good job off the field. He does a lot more leading us off the field so guys gravitate towards him on the field.

On if he is expecting the Patriots to use their running game now with Jackson on the roster...

I don't know. They can go a bunch of different ways and they can sit there and pound it or they can throw the ball. We just have to be ready for everything.

On what has made the run defense so consistent throughout the season...

We just work at. We've had some games where it wasn't very good and we try to work at it all the time. The guys have to take pride in it, so we'll just keep working at it, trying to get better. I can't point to one thing.

On what he has seen from Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler...

They were good then. Malcolm is probably one of the best in the league. He shows up, he takes the best cover guy. They can play zone, they can play man. They're both big, they're physical (and) they can tackle. The defense has been playing outstanding and those two corners are a big reason, a big part of it.

On what type of production and growth he has seen from Leonard Williams...

He's had a lot of growth. He's learned how to reblock a little more as the season went. He's getting off the ball better a lot now. He's had some growing pains early, but we think Leonard has a great future and we like him out there playing for us.

On referring to Butler as one of the best cornerbacks in the league and what he sees from him to deserve that compliment...

He studies the game. He's not just a man corner, he's a zone corner too. He's feisty. He has very good technique, which is rare. He's got great hand-eye coordination. He reads the ball. He accepts all challenges and you can tell he works at it. I enjoy watching him play.

On his thoughts of Butler's road to the NFL...

Yes, there's a lot of guys that go undrafted it's hard with the draft process, but there's a lot of guys, I mean (Richard) Sherman was late and he's a great player as well. So, some of those guys just go through the system unnoticed and you get some guys in who show some promise in camp and give you something to work with and they blossom and he's truly blossomed. That was a great pick for them.

On if Butler's style on the field reminds him of anyone...

No, I think he has his own style. I think he has his own style which is a good thing. Most corners are different anyway. I think he has his own style of play and he does it very well.

On if Darrelle Revis has talked with him or the team about Butler...

No he hasn't.

On how has he come to appreciate Revis' skill set and approach to the game...

It's been very pleasant for me. Obviously, you know he's a good player, but to see his study habits and his work habits and he works with the young guys has been very good for us.

On how he has seen the Patriots offense adjust without Julian Edelman...

I think they do a great job with the guys, when they have people that make their 53 man roster. They can plug and play guys and they pick the right guys for their system, which is a credit to their coach and scouting staff. They just plug and play guys and they understand how to win, they've been doing it for a long time and they have a high success ratio. Right now they're the Super Bowl Champs and they set the standard for the league, so everybody else has to catch up.

On if there has been a defining characteristic for the team during the four-game winning streak...

Not really. It was good to pull out some close wins when we'd lost some. We hadn't had any close wins this year. We won some games by double digits or we just lost, we hadn't had any nail-biters that we won. So, it was good from a character standpoint, from our standpoint, to win a couple of those.

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