PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
Q: How difficult was it to have to place Jeremy Hill on injured reserve?
BB: Well, yeah, we didn't have too much choice on it with the nature of the injury, but yeah, of course it's disappointing for him and for our team. Jeremy worked hard. He embraced his roles offensively and in the kicking game. He really showed a lot of improvement over the course of the spring and into training camp and opening day. He gave us a couple of big runs there before the half last week to get us started on a two-minute drive, so we're obviously disappointed for him. But he's a tough kid, I know he'll work hard and I'm sure he'll be back. In the meantime, we won't have him.
Q: There are reports that you have signed two receivers today. Are you ready to announce that yet?
BB: We don't have any announcements at this time, Mike [Petraglia]. If we have any announcements to make, the only time we'll do that is when everything is finalized and everything's signed and so forth. Physicals are passed and whatever needs to be done is actually completed. That's when we would make any type of announcement, so anything prior to that is preliminary or conditional. Again, once that happens, we'll do it, but until it happens we won't have any comment on it.
Q: What do you see from Jacksonville's running game? In particular, Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon?
BB: It's a tough combination. [They] both are really good. [They're] different, but explosive. Tackling is going to be a big issue for us this week. Those guys are hard to tackle. They make a lot of yards on their own with their running skills, and so defeating the blocks and getting into positon is half the battle and then the other half of it is actually making the tackle and getting them on the ground, so it'll be very challenging for us. These guys are good. Of course, [Blake] Bortles had a long run in the game against the Giants. Everybody's a problem.
Q: Has it been frustrating trying to fill out the depth in your receiving corps to this point?
BB: Well, as you said, every year there are things that you have to work through. We've had a number of things we've had to work through this year and I'm sure there will be more. It's a long season, so we'll see how it goes. Yeah, look, we have confidence in the players that we have. In some cases, there are new faces added to the competition. We'll see how it goes and go from there.
Q: What are your thoughts on the team's ball security issues in the opening game and will that be a priority to work on going forward?
BB: It's a priority every week. It hasn't changed and it won't change. It's a priority every week.
Q: Is it disappointing then when you see three balls hit the ground in that game?
BB: Yeah, again, ball security is a priority for us every week. We'll work hard on it and try to eliminate turnovers, try to continue to get them on defense and in the kicking game, but yeah, we've got to take better care of the ball.
Q: You mentioned last week that DeAndre Hopkins is the kind of guy who's open even when he's covered. Would you consider Rob Gronkowski to be a similar type of guy?
BB: Well, we go against Rob every day and have a lot of competitive periods. We had them in the spring, we had them in training camp. As you get into the regular season things are a little more geared towards the opponent that you face, but still, a lot of those are competitive too. Yeah, he's obviously a hard guy to cover. Rob does a lot of things well but he's a hard guy to matchup against and a hard guy to cover. He's made a lot of catches like that that we've seen in the game. He's probably made more of those in practice. So it makes us better. The players – our safeties and linebackers that have to cover him – he's as tough to cover as anybody, so it's good work for us. But yeah, we've seen plenty of that from Rob.
Q: How do you think Marcus Cannon looked last week rotating at right tackle after missing significant time due to injury and do you expect him to continue to be available going forward?
BB: Right. Well, we'll see how it goes with the preparation and see how it goes in practice and so forth. We would love to have everybody available to be able to fully participate in everything that they need to do. Sometimes that's the case. Sometimes it isn't and it has to be managed. We'll just see how that goes. But yeah, sure, we'd love to have everybody available; no question.
Q: I noticed that Keionta Davis received the second-most snaps at defensive end on Sunday. What did he do to earn that role and what did you see from him on Sunday?
BB: Keionta's had a good year for us. He had a strong offseason and came into the spring ready to go, and followed that up with a strong training camp and preseason performances. He's earned playing time. We have other players at that position that are very good too. Sometimes the way the game goes and situations and so forth dictate a particular grouping or setup, something like that. We have confidence in all of those guys. They all have been productive for us and I think they all can help us.
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