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Transcript: Bill Belichick Conference Call 12/6

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his conference call on Tuesday, December 6, 2017.

Q: How does your offense change when Rob Gronkowski is not available?

BB: Well, we'll just do what we always do - take the players that we have available and match them up against the great team that Miami has, their defense and how difficult they are to play against and block and move the ball - and try to come up with the best plan that we can to be competitive with them Monday night.

Q: With Kenyan Drake starting, what differences did you see in the Dolphins offense last week?

BB: Yeah, I thought Drake did a great job for them. He showed a lot of patience on that touchdown run, and we know he's a very fast and explosive player. [Damien] Williams is a good player, too, and they both are very good in the passing game. They can both make plays in space, they're hard to tackle, they're both very dynamic players. So, it was just more of Drake, obviously, last week, but if Williams plays, he has the same kind of skill. They utilized both players against us in the first game, and we have a lot of respect for both of them. They're both good players.

Q: What do you see in Julius Thomas' game right now and how has his game changed over the years?

BB: Well, I think Julius is a very talented player. He's a hard guy to defend in the passing game. He's long, he's fast, he's very athletic. They split him out and they keep him in tight. He's good on deep routes and he's good on intermediate routes and he's tough after the catch. So, that will be a big challenge for us. I mean, they have great skill players with their receivers, their tight ends and their backs and, obviously, the quarterbacks. They have two good quarterbacks. So, a lot of good skill players on the field, and they're all difficult to deal with. But, Thomas is an excellent player that, as I said, can attack you at all three levels of the defense, and we're going to have to do a good job on him.

Q: What do you attest Tom Brady's longevity to and why do you think he's still playing at such a high level at 40?

BB: Yeah, well, Tom works hard and I think Tom's talked a lot about that and discussed his personal training methods and so forth. So, I mean, he's probably a better person to comment on that than I am, but Tom works hard, he's here every day and puts an awful lot into his preparation, both physically and mentally for the game. So, I think that has a lot to do with it.

Q: With the recent fines and suspensions of players and the injury to Ryan Shazier Monday night, do you think NFL players as a whole should take a step back and reflect on safety as it pertains to not only their opponents but themselves?

BB: Well, I think that's being done. I think the league's been very proactive on that, and I think the players have respect for each other and have a lot of respect for the game. It's not perfect, but I think players do that and coaches do, as well. We all do. Some of the things that happen in the game nobody wants to see. Hopefully they won't happen again.

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