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Transcript: Bill Belichick Conference Call 12/21

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media on Monday, December 21, 2020.

Q: Now that the team has been eliminated from the playoffs, could you use these last two games to give some players a longer look and get guys some reps to get them experience for next year?

BB: Yeah, we can evaluate what the opportunities are. I mean, we're still going to prepare and try to play as well as we can on Monday night. But, we'll see how that all shakes out. It could be a possibility in a certain situation.

Q: Could you see giving Jarrett Stidham an extended look over these last two weeks?

BB: Yeah, really the same question you just asked. We'll see.

Q: If you do choose to go with Cam Newton, what would make him the best option at that spot?

BB: Yeah, really, we have a lot of team questions we need to answer, so I think that will be the overriding thing. We'll talk about that today, tomorrow – we have an extra day this week – and then start from a bigger picture standpoint. Obviously, haven't played the run well the last two weeks and haven't been able to score a touchdown the last two weeks, so I don't think this is about any one individual. 

Q: What would you like to see from rookie tight ends Dalton Keene and Devin Asiasi over the next two weeks and what do they have to do to have more production?

BB: Right, well, both those players missed time this year and had a long way to go making progress. But, it's just really day-to-day consistency and techniques, better understanding of what we're doing and better awareness of what the defense does. So, they've learned a lot, they've made a lot of progress this year, but there's obviously still a long way to go. 

Q: Do you have any updates on Stephon Gilmore and his status?

BB: No.

Q: The J.C. Jackson interception was a big play in the first half and stopped the long drive for the Dolphins. What did you see on that play that contributed to the end result?

BB: Well, we had pretty good coverage on the play. Tua [Tagovailoa] stepped up in the pocket, it looked like Chase hit him from the side and he was trying to throw the ball out to [Lynn] Bowden in the flat and it didn't quite get there. 

Q: In the second quarter, when you had a long drive after stopping the Dolphins' long drive, did you feel like you sort of had control of the game there? Or was it one of those situations where, even though you were ahead on the scoreboard, you didn't really feel like you had control of the game?

BB: Well, I mean overall, I think we only had one three-and-out in the game, right? So, we moved the ball, but we weren't able to – I mean, we had obviously the fumble. That was a short drive. But, we had some ability to move the ball, but we ended up with four field goals and no touchdowns. So, we just haven't been able to get the ball into the end zone or even yesterday, kind of we weren't that close to the end zone and field goals, most of them were fairly long. It's hard to feel like you have a lot of control when you don't get the ball into the end zone or get into the red zone. But, I mean, it wasn't like we were just going out there and three-and-out. I mean, we only punted twice in the game and those were both good – you know, we had two good field position plays there. So, we just didn't do enough with the ball when we had it. Defensively, we didn't do very well in the second half, obviously. 

Q: They seemed to really try to attack the interior defensive linemen with double team blocks. Is that something that you saw pretty consistently in their approach in the run game?

BB: Yeah, they tried to run the ball downhill to the inside part of the defense and combine that with RPOs on the perimeter and bootlegs on the perimeter. So, they attacked the whole field. When they were double-teaming – which they double teamed a lot on some of those passing plays, too, or on the bootleg plays they just ran away from the interior part of the defense. They combined all those plays together. So, that's basically what they did. 

Q: By what point this week is the decision at quarterback a call you would like to have made just so that you can prepare the way you want to for Monday night?

BB: Yeah, we haven't set any timeframe on that. So, not really – yeah, I don't really see it going that way. We'll go through our normal weekly process and make the decisions that we feel are best for the game in everything.

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