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Transcript: Bill Belichick Conference Call 10/10

HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

Conference Call
Saturday, October 10, 2020

BB: It's good to be back in the stadium and have everyone back in the facility. It's been several days since we've had an opportunity to do that, both with the players and the staff and all of us together collectively. So, today's an important day in our preparations for the Broncos. We've had several days now of virtual meetings between the staff members and from the staff to the players, so we've been able to cover a lot of things but haven't spent any time together, so today is our opportunity to do that and we look forward to that. One thing that we've learned this year repeatedly has been we have to be ready to adjust and adapt to changes and modifications in the way we do things and in some cases decisions that really come down to a very short amount of time that we have to be ready to adjust to. We're certainly taking things day by day, probably hour by hour would be more accurate. We'll just see how we progress and then as we find out more on our end or if there are other things externally that we can't control that affect us, then we'll deal with those as they come. Again, that's the way it's been all year. I think our team and our players have done a good job of handling those adjustments, and we'll continue to do that. We're just going to try to get through the day here today and prepare the best that we can for the Broncos and the opportunity that we have today and then we'll reevaluate things where we are after that and continue our preparations up until game time. Really, not trying to make a lot of long term decisions here or even game decisions until we can actually get out there today and start to go through our team preparation process together and get a better sense of where we are and what we need to do in the next 48-plus hours. 

Q: Do you anticipate Cam Newton being able to practice with you guys today?

BB: I don't.

Q: If he's eligible to play on Monday...

BB: I'm not getting into a bunch of hypotheticals. I just told you that. We're taking it day by day, hour by hour. 

Q: How difficult is it for you to be operating on a short week and have just two days on the field before the game, given your uncertainty at the quarterback position?

BB: Well, we're going to deal with the opportunity that we have and make the most of it, take advantage of the time that we have. 

Q: Do you anticipate having Stephon Gilmore at practice today?

BB: No.

* Q: Do you have any chance of having either Stephon or Cam at Monday's game?*

BB: Hour by hour. 

Q: Is this like a Thursday game for you? Are you using your experiences preparing for Thursday games to help you get ready for Monday's game?

BB: No, we played last Monday.

Q: But is this like how you would handle a typical Thursday game and a short week with not much practice? Are those experiences helpful for this type of game?

BB: Yeah, it's a completely different situation. We have less time on the field than we would have in the example you gave. We've had more meeting time than the example you gave. Look, whatever it is, it is, and we've used the time as productively as we feel like we can. We'll continue to do that with the opportunities that we have based on a number of factors that we have to work through. Whatever those are, they are, and we'll make the most of them. 

Q: At this point, who do you anticipate starting at quarterback for your team on Monday night?

BB: We're taking it day by day. Today's Saturday morning. 

Q: What areas of growth have you seen from Jarrett Stidham this year compared to where he was last year?

BB: All areas. Everything.

Q: Through the first four weeks of this season, the quarterbacks have been Cam, Brian Hoyer, Jarrett and then Jake Dolegala. As we talk now, is that still the depth chart?

BB: Day by day. 

Q: How impressed have you been with your players and their willingness to adjust to this week and their presence in the virtual meetings?

BB: Yeah, as I said, they've done a good job of adjusting all year. We've done things differently this year than we've ever done them before or probably anybody's ever done them before. So, they've done an excellent job of adjusting and adapting. We've had to make some last-minute changes and adjustments to our schedule, to our routine. It's been hard to get into a routine, which is something I think that you always develop during every season – you can pick out almost any hour and minute of the day during the course of a week and know what you're doing. It's three days before the game – doesn't matter if the game's on Monday, Sunday, Saturday, whatever it is – you can go three days before the game and know what you're working on, know what your practice consists of that day, players know what kind of treatment or film study in their routine that they're on, so forth. We get into a very regimented pattern based on working backwards from the game – the day before the game, two days before the game, three days before the game, four days before the game, day after the game. So, this year there's been much less of a routine, but we're in a different time. But, yeah, I think the players, and it's not just the players – it's the coaches, the staff. Our support staff has done an incredible job because, again, I think part of their job is planning, trying to get ahead on things, knowing what the team is going to need at a certain time and having the opportunity to get it and lay it out and have it ready. This year, at times, those plans are really nonexistent. If you're unable to carry them out and then something changes and you have to scramble and put together a plan that normally they'd have a couple weeks to do sometimes in a couple hours or maybe a day. So, it's been everybody. As I said, it's been the support staff, the coaching staff, the players, the entire organization. As things have changed, which they continually have, we've tried to respond and react to those as quickly and efficiently and correctly as we possibly can. I think that overall we've done a pretty good job of that. It's not perfect, but overall it's been a pretty good job. We've had a lot of cooperation from all the parties that I just mentioned and everybody's had a little patience when maybe things aren't in place as quickly or as efficiently as they normally are because of the adjusted scheduling, that everybody's done a good job of working through that and in a lot of cases pitching in and helping out to lend a hand to make things go a little more smoothly. We're all part of that and we've all been affected by it, and we'll all probably continue to be affected by it. We'll continue to work through it the best that we can. But, I think overall, our team and organization has done a good job of that. That really hasn't been an issue.

Q: What is your confidence level right now in your depth at quarterback?

BB: Well, again, we're hour to hour. So, 8:30 on Saturday morning. We'll go through practice, go through the next day, today, tomorrow, just see how things – I mean, that's the same at every position. Honestly, we haven't seen our team since Monday night in Kansas City. We haven't done anything together except have virtual meetings, so I'm not sure where we are in a lot of cases. We haven't even had an in-person staff meeting. We haven't been able to talk about things, but talking about things is one thing. Doing them, that's a whole other story. We'll take it as it comes. I appreciate all the questions. I mean, they're all the same. Just change the name and the subject and they're all the same. But, I'm not trying to make decisions about Sunday, Monday or anything else. I'm trying to make the most of our opportunity today and we'll evaluate that and see what we need to do next and continue those preparations up until game time. Sorry I can't give you a better answer to those questions. I mean, they're all the same question, but unfortunately, the answers are all the same, too. 

Q: How do the Broncos look? What's impressing you about what they're doing so far?

BB: Well, they're very well-coached. Vic [Fangio] really does a great job defensively. They have a good mixture of scheme and do a nice job of adjusting to different offensive strengths. They have some very disruptive players. Vic does a good job of putting them in positions that are harder for the offense to handle them or deal with them. They're a good situational football team offensively and in the kicking game. They're a very explosive team. They've got a lot of speed. [KJ] Hamler's fast, [Jerry] Jeudy's fast, [Noah] Fant's fast, [Melvin] Gordon's fast, [Phillip] Lindsay's fast, some of the quarterbacks are fast. They have a lot of good skill players they can put out there that give you a lot of speed and explosiveness. Certainly, [Tim] Patrick is a tough receiver, a mismatched receiver. So, they've got a good left tackle. They're a young team. I mean, they have to be one of the youngest teams in the league. I think [Sam] Martin's really the only player that's over 30 on their roster and he's a punter. So, they have a lot of young players that you can see they've gotten better over the first four weeks of the season. They've dealt with some injuries and one way or another lost players like everyone has, but you can see the young players getting better and gaining more confidence. The coaching that Vic and Coach [Pat] Shurmur, Coach [Mike] Munchak, those guys – we have a lot of respect for them, Coach [Ed] Donatell. That's a very experienced staff and you can see that the players are getting well-coached and they're improving and they're a young and talented group. So, that's what I see from Denver. 

Q: With only having one practice today 48 hours before the game, through no fault of your own, are you being dealt an equal playing field here?

BB: Well, we have to make the decisions and I feel like I have to make decisions on what's best for our football team. What's best for our football team is the health and safety of our team. That's our No. 1 priority. So, without that, we don't have a team. We have to maintain the integrity of not only our football team, but also the extended team – our families and the loved ones for every member of our team. That's got to come first. I think everybody recognizes that, feels the same way and we'll have to work maybe a little bit harder to make up for some of the on-the-field practice time that we've missed this week, but we can't compromise the health, safety and well-being of our football team, including our staff. I don't think that's the answer, I don't think that's the way to go in the long term, and I think that's going to be much more detrimental than a short-term adjustment that we have to make in order to maximize everyone's health and safety. That's our approach, that's the way I look at it, and I know that's the way Mr. [Robert] Kraft looks at it, and that's what we're going to continue to do. We'll put the team first and that's our philosophy.

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