Transcript: Bill Belichick Conference Call 8/18

HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

CONFERENCE CALL
August 18, 2019                             

Q: Chase Winovich showed a high motor again last night. How difficult is it for him to maintain that energy while still fitting within the structure of the defense as a young player in the league?

BB: Well, I think that’s what we’re all trying to do defensively is to be aggressive but understand the responsibilities of the defense and be accountable for those responsibilities, but at the same time, be able to take advantage of opportunities to be disruptive, make tackles and so forth. So, that’s a work in progress for all of us – guys understanding and getting comfortable with each other, having a familiarity with the communication and how they’re going to react to certain things that they see. We’re all working through that on defense.  

Q: How much of that comes in the film room, and how much of that comes on the practice field?

BB: Yeah, that’s a great question, Mike [Petraglia]. They go hand-in-hand. It’s probably a little bit different for each player and maybe each situation. Sometimes you can cover things in the film room very clearly; other times it’s not as clear. Sometimes once you see it on the field it all comes together. So, we use both and probably always will continue to use both. You don’t always have time to cover everything on the field, so that’s one of the values of the film room is you can get some things covered in a meeting that you might not be able to get everything done on the field. But, then you have to go back and review some things on the field to make sure you have them right. It’s all part of the teaching process, something that we have to use our time efficiently and the best that we can, to get those things corrected and communicated to the team and the individual players.

Q: Nick Caserio has said Byron Cowart is more of a run defender. Has his pass rushing ability surprised you at all?

BB: Well, in the college scheme that he played in at Maryland, I wouldn’t say there were a lot of pass rush situations. It was a little hard to evaluate that, so again, you can only go on what you see, and probably 75 percent of the plays – maybe more – that he played were either running plays or running situations. But, he’s done all that we’ve asked him to do, so that’s the main thing. He’s done all we’ve asked him to do. He needs to get better at everything, the running game, the passing game, recognition, reaction and so forth. So, we’ll just continue to work with him and all the other players. I mean, he’s a young player that works hard. Hopefully he’ll continue to improve like he has since we got him here in May.

Q: What traits does Calvin Munson have that puts him in the competition for a roster spot?

BB: Well, Calvin’s got some experience and he’s a smart player, instinctive player, and he had some production. 

Q: On Brian Hoyer’s interception, was Braxton Berrios supposed to run the route flatter, or was Brian just behind him?

BB: We didn’t make a good play and Logan [Ryan] made a good play, made a good play on the ball. It was a good play by Logan and not a good play by us. 

Q: What were your impressions of Isaiah Wynn last night?

BB: It was good to get Isaiah out there. I think he played around 15 plays or so, somewhere in that neighborhood. So, we’ll build on that, see where we are next week for the Carolina game and going forward, but it was good to have him out there. We’ll just take it from here and see how it goes.

Q: Patrick Chung was seen discussing the game plan with DeMarcus Covington on the sideline last night. Are those mental reps and communication something that are planned during the week, or do they just happen spontaneously based on the game?

BB: Well, I think hopefully all the players are involved in it when their unit’s on the field, so we try to make sure that everybody gets the calls. They should be able to identify the situation themselves – the down and distance, field position and end-of-the-half type situations, two-minute and things like that. But, we try to give them the call we made, whatever it is we’re running on offense, defense, special teams, so that they can watch their position, watch the play and hopefully they’re mentally reacting the way that they would want to react in a game, if they were actually in there playing. So, that’s the idea. I think a lot of our guys are doing that. I mean, I can’t speak for every individual guy, of course, but we had a lot of guys that were involved. That’s what everybody should be doing, is hearing the call and watching their position, watching the play, reacting mentally and having the situational awareness of what to do based on the specifics of that particular situation.

Q: What are you trying to do in preparation for Carolina on a short week?

BB: The first thing is to give the players an opportunity to rest and recover from the hard and good week that we had in Tennessee. We played a lot of football down there on Wednesday and Thursday’s practice and then last night in the game, kind of in spurts. Offensively, we ran a lot of plays in the second half, and defensively, we were on the field for a lot of plays in the first half. So, I think that those more intensive stretches challenged us in some physical ways, and mentally too, in terms of communication and fundamental execution when we’re a little fatigued. So, that’s a big part of it is to rest and recover from that, and as you said, to get ready to go on a short week against Carolina. We’ll go through the Tennessee film and make some corrections and adjustments and try to clean up some things that happened last night, and then move on on the preparation on a short week that we have for Carolina. This will be similar to – because the players are off today, when they come in tomorrow – that Monday to Thursday window is the same one that we’ll have later in the regular season. So, that’ll give us a good opportunity as players, coaches and just everybody, to work in a short week schedule and try to prioritize and get things done that we need to do, similar to what we’ll have to do a couple months from now. So, it’s kind of a similar situation to that from a preparation standpoint. We have to prepare for the game, we just have to do it in a different amount of time, and that’s the exact amount of time that we’ll have to work with this week. So, we’ll try to take advantage of that.

Q: How do coaches’ practice goals change when training camp switches from open to closed for the public and fans?

BB: Well, I don’t really think it’s about the media and the fans right now. We’re just at a different point than we were three weeks ago when we started training camp. So, where we are now and where we were at those previous times is just significantly different. We’re closing in on the start of the regular season. We need to start to do things to prepare for the opener and the opening games in the start of the season and the 16-game regular season schedule. So, the priorities and the structure of what we do is a lot different than what it was back in the spring, or what it was early in training camp. We’re still in an evaluation process, but we’ve already had a lot of opportunities to evaluate our players and how our team is starting to come together. We have a long way to go, I’m not saying that, but we know a lot more than we did three weeks ago or two months ago back in May. I’d say the priorities for us are a lot different than what they were. It doesn’t really have anything to do with the fans being there or not. We have to take care of what our needs are, regardless of if the fans are in the stands are not.

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