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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 10/20

Q: Are things looking good for a regular week of practice for you guys?

BB: Day to day, Mike [Reiss]. We'll go day by day.

Q: There is an opportunity for a couple injured reserve guys to come back this week. Any sense on where David Andrews is in that regard?

BB: Day to day. We are day to day on everything.

Q: What traits does Carl Davis have that made you want to work with him?

BB: Yeah, he's got some experience and he's available.

Q: How much preparation do you guys do week to week in terms of the officials and their tendencies? Is that something you look into specifically when it comes to challenges?

BB: Yeah, we look at the officials every week. I wouldn't say it's something that we spend like five hours a day on, but we look at them every week and we talk about it going into the game, what we know. Obviously, each game is different, but I think there are some general things that we can make our players and coaches aware of. As far as replay, I'm not really sure what you're talking about there. I mean, ultimately, a lot of those calls end up back in New York, so it's the same guy. I'm not sure what we're doing there. Not all of them, but in the end, it's Al Riveron. So, it's the same person.

Q: You mentioned yesterday that the way teams have played Cam Newton's running ability has opened some other things up for you guys. Have you seen it open things up for you in the passing game? How have you felt about the team's ability to take advantage of those things?

BB: Well, we'll see. I mean, it's a little bit of a week-to-week question. Cam didn't play against Kansas City and then last week was a different kind of week, so we'll see how it goes going forward.

Q: Given the last few weeks, is there any thought to doing away with in-person meetings and doing virtual meetings as a full-time policy?

BB: We looked at a lot of different options and we've been through different scenarios. Ultimately, we'll try to do what we feel is best in all areas. That will be a combination of things. As I said, we'll just take it day by day then.

Q: Are you hoping to do more in person this week, or are you planning on more virtual meetings?

BB: Right now, we're day by day. We're Tuesday, so we'll see where things are today on Tuesday and make decisions on Wednesday when we know more on Tuesday and so forth. It will just be day by day.

Q: What have you seen from Jimmy Garoppolo on tape in the years he's been with San Francisco? Do you see a similar quarterback?

BB: Yeah, well, I think we all know Jimmy's a quality player and can do all the things that a good quarterback needs to do. He led the 49ers to the NFC Championship last year. We saw a little bit of him at the end of the year last year in preparation for this game and of course the 2020 games that he's played in, so I don't think there's any question about his skill level and what he's been able to accomplish and what their team's been able to accomplish. We'll be ready for his best. I'm sure we'll get it. He does a lot of things well.

Q: You were effusive in your praise of George Kittle yesterday. How have you seen the tight end position evolve over the years? What role do you think Rob Gronkowski had in that and also Mark Bavaro in your time with the Giants?

BB: Yeah, well, there have been a lot of great tight ends through the years. I would just say Kittle is very impressive. He does everything well. It's hard to compare his career with other players that have played 10, 12 years and so forth. What he's able to do and what he's done in our exposures to him is pretty impressive. He's very good at everything – passing game, running game, run after catch, blocking, effort, big-play ability, you name it. He pretty much excels in every area. I think when you look at complete tight ends, he certainly stacks up there to this point from what he's been able to do with just about anybody. Certainly, put guys like Bavaro and going back to earlier in pro football – 60s, 70s, 80s – where tight ends did everything. There was no receiving tight end or blocking tight end. Those guys, they lined up there for every play – the John Mackey's and the Mike Ditka's and great players like that that are in the Hall of Fame. They lined up on every play and blocked and ran and caught and made big plays and blocked defensive ends and everything else. So, you don't see as many of those type of players these days, but certainly Kittle looks like he could do everything that you would want a tight end to do.

Q: Is that the type of player that you prioritize in terms of talent acquisition? What have you seen from Ryan Izzo in that realm?

BB: Well, again, you're talking about some of the players that I mentioned are Hall of Fame players. Again, it's definitely too early to talk about Kittle in that range, but again, based on what he's done in his career to this point, I think he's as good as anybody I've seen – maybe not as good as Mackey, but you could put him up there with just about anybody you want to put him up there with in terms of blocking, receiving and everything else. Bavaro was a great, great blocker and a top receiver, but I would say Kittle's ability in the passing game is pretty special. He's a great player. We'll get a chance to look at him in person on Sunday.

Q: When you're preparing for their running game, how much of an eye do you have to keep on Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk and the 49ers' willingness to hand it off to them multiple times from multiple different formations?

BB: Yeah, they get everybody involved in the running game. They hand it to tight ends, receivers, backs. They run multiple personnel groupings with the fullback, with no fullback, with three receivers, two receivers. So, they give you a lot of different looks. They're very well-coached, they have a good scheme, they're sound, they are fundamentally very good. Coach [Kyle] Shanahan does a great job of attacking defenses by creating formations and conflicts that are hard defensively and he can take advantage of them in a number of different ways, and then of course they make some big plays in the passing game, as well, by setting up those things in the running game. They're well-coached, they're very good fundamentally, they have an explosive group of players and they put pressure on you across the board. Certainly, the receivers carrying the ball is something that you've got to defend, but there's a lot of other things you've got to defend, too, so that's the whole problem with San Francisco is it's not stopping one guy or one play or one player. It's about being able to play good team defense and everybody's got to hold up and do their job, and that's challenging at all the positions – quarterback, tight end, running back, wide receiver and a good offensive line, and as I said, very well-coached. You can see why they won the NFC last year. Offensively, they've got a strong group.

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