PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
October 26, 2022
BB: Good afternoon. Alright well, turning the page here and working on the Jets. This is obviously a team that's playing really well. Coach [Robert] Saleh's done a great job. I think they've improved in every area-offense, defense and special teams there. It was a big win for them in the Cleveland game, the last two minutes of the game coming back there. And then in the last four have really been solid. Playing very well defensively. A lot of explosive players on offense and then the kicking game. So, this will be a big challenge for us down there. There should be a lot of energy and a lot of juice in the stadium. We need to get ready to go down there and play our best game of the year. So that's what we're working for this week, and we'll get started today.
Q: Have you named a starting quarterback for this Sunday yet?
BB: We'll see how it goes here today.
Q: Do you plan on having a quarterback rotation again?
BB: We'll see how it goes today.
Q: Is that something that would be said?
BB: Look, we're not doing anything here. We haven't practiced. We're going to go out and see how it goes today, alright?
Q: What would decide?
BB: We'll see how it goes today.
Q: But what do you have to see today?
BB: We'll see how it goes today. Alright, thank you.
Q: I'm curious from a confidence perspective, your heavy chance for Bailey [Zappe], Mac [Jones] seemed down in the moment. Do you have to concern yourself with Mac's confidence at all going forward?
BB: Yeah, we'll get the team ready to play.
Q: Do you feel as though you need to address the quarterback situation with the rest of the team so they have some clarity on how things go?
BB: We'll deal with it. Thank you. Appreciate that.
Q: Yeah, I was just wondering. I know the players had the day off yesterday. Is that something you would've spoken to them about today potentially?
BB: We'll deal with it. Alright, thanks.
Q: Is that position unique in the terms of the way the other players look to it as opposed to like a defensive tackle who's starting in the week here?
BB: I don't know. Ask the players. I'm not going to speak for anybody else. I think we all have enough things ourselves to be worried about to be honest with you to see what everybody else is doing.
Q: I wanted to ask you at the end of July you spoke right outside of training camp about Mac's dramatic improvement in the offseason and how well he played in 2021 and appeared ready to build on that. What if you can pin it down has prevented him from taking that improvement on to the field and just kind of exhibiting it so far this year?
BB: Yeah, I mean look he hasn't played in the last three weeks so what are we talking about evaluating?
Q: Well, he threw a pick on the third drive which really didn't look like something that was characteristic of him in the past?
BB: Well, again we can't start evaluating guys on one play. We'll just getting ready for the Jets. Alright, I'm not going to recap the season. We're just getting ready for the Jets.
Q: I'm not recapping the season.
BB: Neither am I. Neither am I. We're getting ready for the Jets. Plenty to get ready for there.
Q: It's a fair question.
BB: It's a fair answer. I'm getting ready for the Jets.
Q: Does Mac have to show you something more this week in order to get the start this Sunday?
BB: We're getting ready for the Jets. All of us.
Q: When you say, "We'll see how it goes today," are you referring to quarterback health or quarterback performance?
BB: I'm talking about just going out and practicing today. We haven't been on the field yet. There's nothing to talk about from yesterday. We didn't do anything.
Q: Do you know what you want to do on Sunday or are the quarterbacks competing this week for that job?
BB: Yeah, I never said that. I said we'll see how it goes today.
Q: So, would today be the deciding factor or do you have to see?
BB: I didn't say that. I said we'll just see how it goes.
Q: When you say, "We'll just see how it goes," are you referring to Mac's ankle?
BB: I'm referring to the whole to – I'll see how it goes alright.
Q: Will you tell us tomorrow?
BB: Maybe. Maybe.
Q: Looking back on it, what needs to get better in a hurry for you guys to go up against The Jets here from what you saw on Monday night?
BB: Yeah, it's what I said after the game. We all need to do a better job. Starting with me, the coaches, and players. Every area offense, defense, special teams, everything. That wasn't good enough across the board. Won't be good enough this week so we all have to do better.
Q: How concerning were the results for you? How surprised were you by the way the team played Monday?
BB: Look, the Bears played well. We didn't play well enough, so it is what it is. It's the National Football League. You don't play well in this league then things don't go well. You play well then, you're in a competitive situation. So, we'll see what happens this week.
Q: Are Mac and Bailey Zappe competing for the starting job?
BB: Yeah, I'm not saying that. We'll talk about it later. We'll see how it goes.
Q: Is the plan for today to give both guys reps with the top offense?
BB: The plan is to see how it goes, alright.
Q: When you look at the Jets defense, would you still characterize it as a Seattle-3 type defense and what do you see from them?
BB: Yeah, I think that's the basis of it. Sure, they play hard. They're very aggressive. They play a lot of people. Up front they don't give them any big plays. They pursue well. They play physical. [C.J.] Mosley's really good. [John] Franklin-Meyers' really good. [Quinnen] William's having a good year. [Sauce] Gardner's giving them a good player on the corner. The whole secondary, there's a lot of new players in the secondary. They play well. They've had good field position from their special teams and played well defensively.
Q: Are you just walking through today or will it be more of a halfway?
BB: Yeah, it's closer to a walkthrough than a full practice that's for sure yep.
Q: Defense has given up the most rushing yards to quarterbacks in the league. A lot of its come from two games but how do you do a better job with that while still getting pressure on the quarterback?
BB: Well, coach and play better.
Q: How much growth have you noticed from Zach Wilson from last year to this year?
BB: He's played well. I don't know you'd have to talk to them about it. I couldn't give you a percentage or anything. He's good. He's got better players around him. He's playing well. The team's playing well. Great running back. [Breece] Hall's had tremendous production coming into after six games or whatever it was. I know he got hurt last week but had a big play in that game that helped them to win the game. So, they've got a lot of good players. Wilson's played good. They use everybody. They get the ball to everybody. A lot of receivers' production. A lot of running backs, you know [Michael] Carter and Hall. Multiple guys carrying the ball. Multiple players catching the ball. So, it's a balanced offense.
Q: How would you describe the way they've tried to build around him specifically last offseason in the way they drafted and signed players in free agency?
BB: They put in as many good players as they can. They did it on offense, defense, and in the kicking game too. Some of the guys they've had are just - They play a lot of players, a lot of rookie players last year. They were one of the highest teams in the league in terms of rookie snaps last year. Obviously, most of all of those players are back. Now they have a year of experience in them. So, you have those players moving up and new players they've added to the team, a couple free agent acquisitions. They continue to put together a strong team. They've done a good job.
Q: How much of a problem is Quinnen Williams on the defensive line?
BB: Yeah, a big problem. He's an explosive powerful guy. Very athletic for his size. Plays hard. Again, there's a lot of good players up there so you deal with one, you've got to deal with two or three other guys. You've got Mosley standing behind them. They penetrate. They cause negative plays. They are very disruptive, and they run well and pursue well. They play sound. They're very sound defensively with what they do. So, they don't give up a lot of big plays. They make you run a lot of plays to get the ball down the field and in the end zone and they usually, something usually happens before you get there. That's generally what they've been able to do.
Q: It seems like Gardner is off to a very good start in the secondary. What are you seeing from him?
BB: Yeah, he's done a good job. Long guy. Very athletic. Good pass rush. Quarterbacks aren't standing back there having a lot of time to make decisions. So, he's been able to be aggressive and play aggressively on some routes. Good hands. Good ball skills.
Q: When James Ferentz has had to step in at center, how has he done to sort of navigating that situation with control?
BB: Good, he's been in our system a long time. He definitely knows what to do. Smart kid. Played all three positions in there center and guard. So, if James has to play, I'm sure he'll play well for us.
Q: In the time that you've been with him, how have you noticed Mac Jones deal with adversity?
BB: Yeah, Mac's a tough kid.
Q: Any moments in particular stand out?
BB: Every day. There's challenges every day.
Q: Do you think it's more easy to be built back up? Just based on the inactivity and then.
BB: I don't know. You can ask him that. I don't know. I'm not going to speak for him.
Q: You're with him every day though. I'm just curious.
BB: Yeah, I coach him every day. Yep, and all of the other players. I coach them every day.
Q: How much do you lean on Matt [Patricia] and Joe [Judge] when it comes to evaluating that position obviously leading up to and now going forward?
BB: Yeah, our staffs involved in everything. That's what a coaching staff is for. We have a number of coaches on our staff and we're all collectively involved in all the things we do. Evaluations, game plans, and situational football adjustments. That's what we do.
Q: You talk every year with every player regardless of who it is that they have to establish a level. Can't rest on what happened last year. Kind of referring back to the question I asked earlier, what level would you call Mac's?
BB: Is that review?
BB: Ok, there we go.
Q: What level has Mac established in 2022?
BB: Yeah, ok again these mid-season evaluations like I'm not really going to get into those. You're talking about a player who really didn't play for three weeks. So yeah, evaluate your writing when you haven't written for three weeks I don't know. I don't know evaluate my coaching when I haven't coached for three weeks. I don't know like, what does that look like?
Q: I'll take the three weeks.
BB: Yeah, alright thanks.