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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 1/3

Read the full transcript from Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick's press conference from Monday, January 3, 2022.


January 3, 2022 

On Trent Brown being able to move in space:

BB: Trent does a really good job of that. He runs well. Obviously, long, tall, and covers a lot of ground. A couple strides and he eats a lot of ground. He did a nice job of getting out there on those tosses. Certainly, it's been good to have him back. It's changed a lot of things, offensively, for the better. He's been a really, really solid player for us in the running game and the passing game, keeping the width of the pocket and, overall, giving the quarterback more space to throw in there. It's good to have him back, for sure.

On if there is a feeling of satisfaction after clinching a playoff spot:

BB: Definitely. Yeah. Absolutely. When you start the year, you want to be in the postseason. The fact that we're one of the playoff teams is, obviously, part of the goal. Long way to go. We'll see what happens, but you certainly want to be playing in the postseason. That's the idea.

On how they evaluate undrafted players:

BB: First of all, the guys that are available, it's a pretty picked over group. 256 players have been drafted, so you look at the players that are left and try to identify the players that you think would fit the best for you based on each individual's situation and circumstances, why they're available, what opportunity you would have for them, and how well you think they would do with that opportunity. Obviously, I think character traits are an important part of it: work ethic, competitiveness. Somebody that comes in that position, like a Jon Jones, J.C. Jackson, Jakobi Meyers, guys like that, they know that they've got a lot of guys in front of them and are going to have to perform well to be able to beat people out. We give players that opportunity and, hopefully, players that are in that situation and agents that are in that situation recognize that if their player comes in and performs well, that we're going to give that player a chance and aren't afraid to put them on the roster, based on the way he performs, not based on draft status, height, or something else. Certainly, that willingness for those guys to come in and grind every day, start at the bottom, do the dirty jobs, work their way up, earn the trust, which everybody has to do. It doesn't matter whether they're a draft choice, not a draft choice, a veteran, whatever. Everybody has to do that, but I think those guys know they've got a little further to go. Having that mentality is a big part of it.

On the Myles Bryant unnecessary roughness penalty:

BB: The rule is kind of based on the posture of the defender. Assuming that there's no helmet contact… when you hit the opponent in the head, that's a whole other conversation, but just in terms of tackling, it's the posture of the player. I have to take a closer look at the play. That'll probably be one to make sure we understand. We'll have to do a better job of coaching it. I'm not really sure what the answer is to that one right now. I'll probably need a little more information. We don't want to lead with the head and we don't want to be in that posture, where the legs are straight and the upper body is kind of that 'L' type posture. I think that's really what the officials are looking for.

On the Adrian Phillips extension:

BB: Adrian's done a great job for us the last two years. He's played a variety of roles on all four downs. Very instinctive player. Smart player that's around the ball. Highly productive. He's been a good player for us on third down. He's been a good player for us on fourth down. He's been a good player for us on early downs as well. His versatility and, as I said, instinctiveness, awareness, especially in a defense like ours, that is a multiple one with some versatility, he's really been valuable and, as I said, very productive for us. Yeah. It's great.

On the importance for the offense to score following a takeaway:

BB: That's a winning ingredient right there is what we call "complementary football". When the defense or the special teams can make a play to set up one of the other units, whether it be a turnover on defense, a good field position play by the kicking game, on a return for the offense, or on a coverage play for the defense, is for that next unit to go in there and be able to take advantage of it. The complementary football yesterday from the defensive turnovers, the offensive touchdowns, that's winning football and you want to be able to take advantage of those opportunities offensively. Again, the flip side to that would be a good coverage play by the kickoff or punt team, and then the defense going in there, taking advantage of that field position, and getting the ball back for the offense around midfield or in plus territory, that type of situation. It's important for those units to work together to complement each other and, when that happens, usually good things happen. We, certainly, want to try to emphasize that aspect of complementary football.

On the difficulty of preparing for Miami and if the weather will affect their preparation:

BB: We'll do what we always do and just evaluate this week's situation on every level, like what's the best way to prepare our team and so forth. We haven't really gotten to that point yet, to tell you the truth. We just finishing up the Jacksonville game. We'll get through that with the players today and then take some time with the guys tomorrow, as a staff, to kind of think about how we want to practice and, in total preparation, how to get the most out of the time that we have. We have a basic schedule that we follow, but from week to week, that can vary, based on the needs of that particular game and what we feel like we might need; maybe a little more work or maybe a little less work, because maybe something that we normally work on doesn't look like it's going to come up as much this week, so we shift our focus and our preparation to maybe something that we feel like is more likely or more urgent. Those will all be things that we do, starting tonight and tomorrow as we map out the week, but we'll try to take everything into consideration and do what's best for the team.

On the decision to make Kristian Wilkerson active:

BB: [Kristian Wilkerson] gave us some plays in the kicking game and, offensively, he's had a couple good weeks of practice and a good week this week. I felt like he had earned the opportunity. He made a couple plays yesterday to help the team, so it's really a kind of week-to-week thing on who we activate, who's at the game, who isn't, and so forth. Certainly, last week, there was a lot of fluctuation on the roster, as you saw, from the beginning of the week, who was on the roster, to the end of the week, who came back onto the roster, but those are all unknowns as we went through it. That's little bit the situation that all teams are in right now and little bit this time of year. We'll take it, really, day by day, but the decisions will be weekly. Kristian did a good job of preparing all year as he did as he has every week. He works hard in practice and has improved a lot, both offensively and in the kicking game, and tried to take advantage of his opportunity yesterday. That's always a good thing for players to get an opportunity, be able to capitalize on it, and show their teammates and the team that they can contribute. It's kind of how it goes.

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