HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
Q: How about those Red Sox?
BB: How about them?
Q: Any words of encouragement for them?
BB: I don't think they need any. Whatever they need to do, they can do. Hit, pitch, run, play defense, take pitches. They're good.
Q: Any message for Alex Cora? It was his birthday yesterday.
BB: Yeah, happy birthday.
Q: He turned 43 years old.
BB: He's doing pretty good.
Q: What have you seen from Mitchell Trubisky?
BB: He's done a good job for them. Athletic kid, big, strong, good arm, can throw the ball, make all the throws, tough, can stand in there, a hard guy to tackle. Some of the running plays he's involved in. He seems to be probably more comfortable with the offense each week. They do a little more.
Q: Is he getting more aggressive as he gets more comfortable in the offense?
BB: They hit a lot of big plays. They've been hitting them all year though. It's not like it just happened last week. They do it every week. They get the ball down the field. All of the receivers, tight ends, backs - he gets the ball to a lot of different people. They have a multiple offense. He does an excellent job of running it.
Q: Are you impressed with his poise given his relative lack of experience?
BB: Yeah, again, I think it's getting better. I really didn't go back and watch a lot of last year. I've seen all of this year, all of the preseason, all of the regular season in this offense, in this system, so that's really what I've been focused on. I really don't have too much comment on 2017, but I think this year he's been consistent all the way through. I mean look, every player has plays that could be better or they'd like to have over again. So does every coach, but he's got a lot of good ones.
Q: Would it have been a much harder challenge if you didn't have five games of tape to look at with them implementing their new offense this season?
BB: Yeah, I don't know. It is what it is, so that's what we have.
Q: How much does a mobile quarterback make you change the personnel you use on defense in the front seven?
BB: We face one it seems like every week. Going all the way back to [Deshaun] Watson and [Blake] Bortles and it's right down the line. They've all been pretty athletic, so yeah, it's a challenge. It's a challenge there. It's like a sixth receiver. They can pull the ball down and run for a first down or keep the ball on inside plays that you normally could squeeze down on and try to catch from behind and things like that. Yeah, we've dealt with it most every week. It's the National Football League. All of these guys are good. If they weren't they wouldn't be in the league.
Q: Against Jacksonville and Detroit you got behind on the road early. Is there anything you can try to do in practice to help get off to a better start during these road games?
BB: We just try to put ourselves in the best position we can to play well. Play well early, play well for 60 minutes. That's what we try to do every week. That's what we'll try to do this week. That's what we tried to do in those other games, too. Hopefully we can do a better job of it against Chicago.
Q: How impressed have you been with Taylor Gabriel and Allen Robinson in the Bears' offense?
BB: Yeah, Robinson's a big target. He's got great hands. He's really never covered because of his size and his hands. He can get any ball. Gabriel's an explosive player. He covers a lot of ground. He's a good route-runner. He's fast, he's quick. He's made a couple of great catches, too. The catch he made last week against Miami is as good a catch as you can make really, down the sideline, laid out for the ball. Yeah, they're different but they're both very good and they're both a problem.
Q: Devin McCourty was rather hard on himself after last game. What have you seen from Devin's play throughout this season?
BB: Yeah, Devin's still - he's one of our best players. We had three bad plays that cost us 21 points. Two on defense, one in the kicking game. I mean there were plenty of other plays, too. But you throw 21 points up there on three plays; it's hard to have a good day when you do that.
Q: Last year we saw LaAdrian Waddle have some success against Khalil Mack in Oakland. How was he able to perform well in that matchup and what do you expect to see from him this Sunday if that matchup comes about again?
BB: Yeah, well, we'll see. Mack's a great player. He's having a great year. He's had a lot of production on everything - running game, passing game, pass rush, interceptions, batted balls, hurries, sacks, strip-sacks. He's caused fumbles. You name it. He's around the ball a lot. He's a very disruptive guy. It'll take a good team offensive effort to handle all of those guys - Mack, [Eddie] Goldman, [Akiem] Hicks, [Leonard] Floyd, [Bilal] Nichols, the whole crew. They're a very disruptive group. We'll have to find a way to deal with all of them.
Q: Is Mack the type of player that could play on the end in both a 3-4 defense and a 4-3 look?
BB: That's what he plays.
Q: Do you think he can play in both types of schemes?
BB: That's exactly what he does. They're not in a 3-4 very much and they're not in base defense. I don't know - 40, 50 plays - something like that. Most of it is nickel because of what they're seeing, like every other team in the league. They're mainly in a four-man line. That's their primary front because they see mostly 11 personnel. But if they didn't, then they'd be in a 3-4 front and he'd be on the end of the line. Again, most every team that plays a 3-4, that's the way it is. The outside linebackers are defensive ends in a four-man line. That's what we did at the Giants. That's what Pittsburgh did. That's what Kansas City did. That's pretty much what everybody does.
Q: What would you say are the characteristics of a Vic Fangio defense?
BB: Multiple. Plenty of different looks. A mix of coverages, pressure, man, mostly zone, but multiple types of zone with some man and pressure mixed in there. He's not just sitting in the same thing all day. You can be sure of that. He'll mix the fronts up. They have two or three different fronts that they use. They complement each other. Vic's a very experienced coach. He definitely knows what he's doing. He's defended everything. He's got multiple ways to take care of it. It's hard to just count on one thing.
Q: How much of their 18 sacks, despite not being a very blitz heavy team, is a result of what Khalil Mack allows other players in that lineup to do with their opportunities?
BB: Yeah, Mack's a good player. They've got plenty of them. Hicks is very disruptive. Like I said, Goldman, Nichols. They blitz enough where they've gotten pressure from some of the perimeter players - [Bryce] Callahan, [Roquan] Smith, [Danny] Trevathan. Those guys blitz not every time, but they blitz enough. They've had pressure, too. Look, he knows people are looking at Mack and he lets you go to Mack and then they bring guys somewhere else where you're light. He does a good job mixing that up and keeping you off balance. It's one of the advantages of not moving him around. They don't move him around very much. He's always in the same spot so they can always count on if you're going to help, that's where you want to help. Sometimes you help there and they're coming somewhere else.
Q: Is there anything you would attribute a somewhat slower start statistically to for Rob Gronkowski?
BB: Yeah, we're really just worried about this game. Try to go out there and beat Chicago, so that's what we're going to focus on. If we score enough points and hold them to fewer, then we'll win. That's the goal.
Q: Is that what you can chalk up his past performances to, that ultimately the final product has resulted in victories?
BB: No, I'm just telling you like our goal is not to go out there and create stats for an individual player. We just don't think that way. We try to go out and win the game, so whatever we need to do to win the game then that's what our goal is. Our goal is not to create individual stats. That's just not how we do it.
Q: Does it complicate matters at all when individual stats are built into a player's contract, for Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski for example?
BB: Yeah, again, our goal is the same as it's always been. I think Tom, and Rob, and everybody else on this team, Devin, and Pat [Chung] and everybody else - they come in here and work hard to try to go out and compete well and win games. You'd have to ask other people that question. I don't know. Our goal is to win games. Other people have other agendas, but that's not ours.
Q: Sony Michel seems to be facing some lighter personnel groupings up in the front seven over the past several weeks. Is that a result of the execution you're getting from the passing game or is that something that you're doing scheme-wise to put him in the best situations to succeed there?
BB: I mean, Kansas City played almost single-high coverage the whole game. I don't know what light box you're talking about. The two-deep safeties against Kansas City - you can count that on one hand, so I'm not really sure. I mean, the Colts played what the Colts played. Miami plays what Miami plays. Those teams mix it up against everybody, kind of in the same percentages roughly. Split-safety, single-safety, man, zone. Those teams - that's kind of what they do. I'm not really sure what you mean here. I wouldn't say Kansas City played us in a light box the whole game; no. In fact, I'd say they definitely didn't do that. Maybe I missed it. I don't know.
Q: Soldier Field is one of the historic stadiums left in the NFL. Do you have any memories of coaching there that stand out to you?
BB: Yeah, plenty of them. Yeah, Walter Payton's first game. Yeah, it's a great environment. It's a lot different now. Obviously, it's hard to even recognize Soldier Field as Soldier Field. Certainly from the inside, but yeah, it's a big, expansive structure like JFK [Stadium] in Philly or the [Los Angeles Memorial] Coliseum. You don't see those stadiums anymore. It's a pretty special place.
Transcripts are provided by the Patriots media relations department as a courtesy to the media and are edited for readability. All press conferences are posted and archived in their entirety at patriots.com.