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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 10/18

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.

BB: Alright, well, we've got the Falcons this week. This is a really impressive team to watch and study. I think that Thomas Dimitroff and his staff have done a tremendous job assembling a very high quality football team. They've got a lot of outstanding players at every position. [They're] good on the offensive line, good quarterback, good at running back, good at tight end, receiver, have good specialists in the kicking game, kickers, returner, good on the defensive line, good at linebacker, good corners, good safeties, strong in the kicking game. They have a very talented roster, one that presents a lot of challenges for us, a lot of matchups. They're very fast, very athletic. They play with great tempo. It's going to be a big challenge for us this week. Obviously, [they're] well coached. Fundamentally very sound in what they do. They're a tough team to compete against, so we're going to have to do a lot of things right Sunday night and that's what we'll prepare for this week?

Q: How important is it for a player like Johnson Bademosi to translate his tackling ability on special teams into his role on the defense?

BB: Yeah, really important.
Q: Is that a main thing you are looking for when seeing a player make that transition or what are some of the other factors that you're looking for?

BB: I mean, everything. A player has to be prepared to do all of the jobs that he's responsible for, whether that's in the primary position or a backup position. Again, we all know that situation can change very quickly in this game, so that's what a professional player does, is he's prepared for all situations if he's the backup or maybe even the third guy.  Sometimes that's what it comes to, just being ready to go, whether it's offense or defense to special teams or whether its special teams to offense or defense or maybe some situational grouping - dime or goal line or a sub grouping - whatever it happens to be. That's a player's job every week, is to be prepared for all of the groupings and situations that he can be involved in.

Q: What do you think the major differences are between their former offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan's, system and new coordinator Steve Sarkisian's system?

BB: Yeah, I just look at their offense this year. They're very well balanced. They run the ball. They've got two good backs that they seem very comfortable leaving either one of them in the game. They throw the ball at all three levels well. They have a lot of catch-and-run plays. They have intermediate routes and they can throw the ball deep. They get the ball to their tight ends, the receivers, backs involved in the passing game as well as the running game. Coach Sarkisian has a very well-balanced offense that's explosive, can score from anywhere on the field in a number of different ways with a number of different players.

Q: So schematically the offense hasn't changed too much from last year?

BB: Well again, we're focused on the team that we're playing this weekend. I don't really care about what some other coach did some other year. Like right now we're getting ready for the Falcons, Coach Sarkisian's offense, Coach [Marquand] Manuel's defense and Coach [Keith] Armstrong's special teams under the direction of Coach [Dan] Quinn. That's who we play this week. That's what we're getting ready for. What somebody else did some other year - it's really not that relevant right now.

Q: Is Matt Ryan a threat to extend plays with his legs and are there designed plays in this offense to utilize that skill from him?

BB: Yeah, sure. Yeah, they have their boot plays that come off their outside runs. I don't think he's a guy that's going to rush for 150 yards I don't think. But he can certainly pick up key first downs in his ability to run and he's a guy that can extend plays and has great accuracy and vision down the field to make big plays. Running in and out of the pocket to extend plays, I don't think that's really a good idea, but he's certainly capable of running for first downs on third down.

Q: How do you feel the speed on your offense can match up with the speed of the Falcons defense?

BB: It's as fast of a defense that we've played or that I think we will play. They have great team speed. They have speed on the defensive front, linebackers, in the secondary. They're a very fast team, explosive.
Q: Do you think your offense is faster this year and more suited to match up with their defense this season?

BB: Well, I mean, look, their defense is what it is. The guys they put out there are the ones they put out there, so those are the ones we've got to block. Those are the ones we've got to throw against. Those are the ones we've got to pass protect in the passing game, so that's what we'll do. With the players and the scheme that we have we'll set up the plays in the offense that we feel is best suited to go against what we anticipate from them or what they actually put out there.

Q: What's it been like working with Brandin Cooks and seeing him progress in this offense?

BB: It's great. Yeah, it's great. He works hard, very diligent, tough, durable, a smart guy that will do whatever you ask him to do. Whatever you ask him to do he wants to know exactly how you want it done. He tries to do it that way. He's a pleasure to coach.

Q: It seems like more and more frequently you are going up against a quarterback with some mobility. Do you envision devoting more time to that in practice?

BB: Well, I mean I don't know. We look at the guys that we play every week and those are the guys that we prepare for. What those players' skills are, the types of plays they run, those are the plays that we practice on. Those are the players that we prepare for every week, so next week is next week. Last week is last week. This week is Matt Ryan and Coach Sarkisian's Atlanta offense. That's what it is that we're preparing for. So, all of the elements that they bring, which are numerous, certainly not one thing you have to stop, you've got to stop - it's a long list. We work on all of those and they're all difficult. They make it hard on you. They do a good job and so it's a big challenge for us.
Q: How good of a player is Julio Jones?

BB: Yeah, he's an outstanding player. He's a great blocker, strong after the catch. He's made tremendous catches down the field. Again, he can take short plays and turn them into big plays, break tackles, gain a lot of extra yards, makes some tough first downs. He helps them in the running game, too, blocking on the perimeter. He's a complete player.

Q: Is he the type of player you were thinking about matching up with when you made the signing of Stephon Gilmore?

BB: Yeah, again, I think when you sign a player to your team you bring a player on that you think can help your team throughout an entire season. I don't think you bring him in for one game or a handful of plays. I just don't see how you can look at it that way. We've got a thousand plays, to bring him in for one game - just no. We try to do the best thing we can to help our team win.

Q: What's been your impression of James Develin this season?

BB: Really consistent, solid. He's done a good job for us in the kicking game and offensively in his roles. He performs his role very well every day. You can count on him every day.

Q: If something has worked for you offensively in the past against an opponent, will your revisit it until they can prove they can stop it or is it more assumed that they will be keying on that aspect of your offensive attack?

BB: Yeah, I mean, that's always an interesting game plan question. You have to make a decision on that. There's usually more than one game to look at though. Unless you're the only team that runs a certain play, there's probably other plays to evaluate besides yours that have a similar, if not the exact same play, a similar concept to it. Maybe they've made an adjustment to a concept or maybe they haven't. You'd probably make your decision on that. You can usually get more than a couple looks at something that you want to get a look at, whatever it happens to be. It might not be the exact same thing but you can usually get an idea of conceptually what they're trying to do and how you would want to formulate the play to take advantage of a weakness that you might have identified.

Q: Is Malcolm Butler's competitiveness through the end of a play something that you've seen from him throughout his time here?

BB: Yeah. Yeah, since the first rookie mini-camp. He's a very competitive player no matter what it is; practice, games, trash ball in the locker room. He's a very competitive player.

Q: Is that a quality that comes natural?

BB: Yeah, like a lot of things I think you can improve some traits, but there are a lot of traits that are inherently strong or inherently weak that you can only move so far. I always think you can improve it if the player wants to improve it. If he doesn't want to do it then you probably can't do it, but if he wants to do it and tries to do it I think you can definitely have a swing. How far that is, is dependent on a lot of things. Again, to take a slow player and make him fast, to take a weak player and make him strong, at this point is a pretty big swing. But can you improve? Yeah, sure.

Q: Is there a point in the year where you expect the team's work to have progressed and if it hasn't do you feel that you'd have a problem?

BB: I mean, every week is a new challenge, so we'll take the new challenge that comes every week.

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