HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
Friday, August 30, 2019
Q: Has the process changed for you over the years regarding how you evaluate the final cuts to a 53-man roster and formulating your 10-man practice squad over the coming days?
BB: Well, like you said, it's kind of like this at this time of year every year. You take all of the things into consideration that you possibly can and just try to make the best decisions for your team. There's a lot of considerations long term, short term, depth, the next game, games later in the year, next year. You just try to do the best you can to balance it out. You can't do it all, so each decision has a consequence or some kind of residual. There's always good arguments for doing things one way or the contrary point of view. In the end, you just have to try and figure out what's best for the team by putting all of that into consideration.
Q: Do you have to take into consideration more these days the long term impact as you're putting together your roster this time of year? Has that process changed?
BB: No, I don't think so. It's always present. You just have to try it balance it the best you can. We always want to do what's best for this year, but we're going to have a team next year, we're going to play games next year so we just can't ignore that and say, "well, we're not going to have a schedule next year." We know that's not the case. We have to take that into consideration too. Each situation is different, each year is different, but the overall concept of what's occurring is, I think, very much the same. Those are the same conversations that I heard in 1975 my first year in the league. They all come back to the same basic thing. You just have to make the choices that you feel are best.
Q: What have you seen from Gunner Olszewski and what was caught your eye in terms of how he has approached his job?
BB: Well, he's very competitive and he works hard and he's improved. He has a long way to go but he's made a lot of improvement. He's making a big jump from where he played to where he's playing now, positionally and so forth. He's improved a great deal.
Q: Do you feel like you need four preseason games to evaluate the roster or could there be a benefit to a reduced number?
BB: Yeah, I'm not going to get into all that, Mike [Reiss]. I think you can figure it out. You're a smart guy. The more games you play, the more opportunities you have. Look at the Giants last night, you want to go ahead and cut out this game then go ahead and cut it out. It gave [Kyle] Lauletta a chance to play half the game. It gave [Alex] Tanney a chance to play half the game and gave [Daniel] Jones a chance to play. If you want to get rid of the game then go ahead and get rid of the game, and then don't play those guys. Do whatever you want on that.
Q: How does the fact that a lot of the players you'll release this weekend are likely to be claimed by other teams affect your decision making when it comes to making those difficult choices this weekend?
BB: Yeah, I don't think it changes at all. I think every time you put a player out there, you've got to assume that somebody could take him. We have no way of knowing what the other 31 teams are doing, but when you put players on waivers I think you've got to assume that they're not going to be with you. If you make decisions otherwise, then you're probably going to have to revise your thinking because sooner or later some of those guys -- are they all going to get claimed? No, of course not, but if you put them out there and think that they're going to be available and then they're not available, then you've put yourself in a box. It's a lot easier to plan that they're going to be claimed, and if they're not then you have an option but I don't think you should count on that option. So yeah, that's the way we look at it.
Q: Have you ever encountered situations where players would look really good in training camp but not as much in preseason games, or vice versa? How do you consider those factors?
BB: Yeah, it happens all the time. Yeah, it happens every year. It’s very common. Again, whatever information you have, you try to take it and make the most out of it, do the most you can to analyze it and predict what’s going to happen for your team with that player going forward. That’s what the job is.
Q: Can you think of an example of a guy who didn’t look good in camp but excelled in games and won a roster spot that way?
BB: There are numerous examples, I would say, every year of both ways with the situations you just described. Some players are better in practice than they are in games. Some players are better in games than they are in practice. Some players it’s, I would say, pretty much the same, and what you see in practice is pretty much the way they play in the game. And there are some positions that are hard to evaluate in practice because you just don’t practice the skills that come up for that position until you get to the game. So, some of that is you’re totally reliant on what happens in the game.
Q: Josh Gordon had his first game action in a long time last night. Do you expect him to be available against the Steelers next week?
BB: Yeah, we haven’t even started the game plan for the Steelers yet, so that’s way too early to try to formulate an answer on that question for him or I’d say a lot of other people.
Q: What kind of depth do Korey Cunningham and Jermaine Eluemunor give you along the offensive line? How much does your trust in Dante Scarnecchia to be able to coach them up as we start the season factor into acquiring them?
BB: Well, I think Dante’s a great coach, he does a great job, and I feel the same way about the other members of our staff. So, I don’t think that really has anything to do with it. We always try to do what we can to make our team as competitive as we can given whatever constraints there are that we have to work with in a particular time or situation. So, again, this is the time of year when there’s more player movement than any other time of the year. There will be a tremendous amount of movement here in the next couple days. We’ve already seen some this week. We’ve been a part of some of it. So, they are two players that both played multiple spots and we haven’t had them on the field yet. We’ll put them out there and start working with them this week and see how it goes. I’m not sure exactly how it will work out. We’ll just really have to wait and see as we move into it with them. Who knows, it might change from where it is at the beginning. It might change at a later point in time. I’m not sure.