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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 10/27

Read the full transcript from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference with the media on Tuesday, October 27, 2020.


October 27, 2020

Q: The trade deadline is in a week. I know you've mentioned it's certainly an unusual year with player movement, but how do you view approaching the trade deadline and have you noticed any more movement in the last few days?

BB: Yeah, Ben [Volin], that's something that I'll check in on with Nick [Caserio] here this week, but I usually don't get too involved in that. That's something that the communication on that really goes through the personnel department with Nick and his staff. I'd say, generally speaking, the coaches are pretty involved in their game preparations at this point in time until something becomes more of a realistic opportunity. So, we'll kind of see how that goes. I don't know. I really don't have a good sense on that one way or the other. I'm sure that there's some conversations out there. How close that would or wouldn't be for us, I'm really not sure at this point.

Q: It's been hard not to notice that Cam Newton's play has slipped ever since he came down with the virus and he's returned from it. Is there any concern that maybe he still has not really recovered from the virus or is still showing some effects of it or anything like that?

BB: I don't think so. I don't think that there's any – I mean, we would have listed it on the injury report if there was – but I don't think he's had any symptoms the whole way.

Q: I was wondering what sort of impact you see on tape that Stefon Diggs is making on the Bills offense?

BB: Yeah, he's had a big impact. He's, I think, really become the go-to guy for them. He's made a lot of big plays. He's an excellent receiver, gets good separation, very good hands, really attacks the ball, catches in a crowd, takes the ball away from defenders. He's done that multiple times. He's made big plays down the field, catch and run plays in a red area. He's an excellent player.

Q: They've also talked quite a bit in Buffalo about the maturity and decision making from Josh Allen. Is that also evident to you on tape?

BB: It is, yeah. I think that Josh [Allen] does a good job of going to some of the secondary outlet receivers based on the coverage, where that takes him and if it's open he'll throw it for sure, and if it isn't then he's, I would say, not as quick to pull the ball down to run. He finds secondary receivers and outlets and check downs and that kind of thing. Now, he's still a dangerous runner – I'm not saying that. He can run and he does run, but I think he's become more patient and just does a better job of dealing with outlet receivers in the coverage or secondary receivers in the pattern than he did. As he gained experience, I think that's to be expected of any good quarterback like that. So, he can certainly make all the throws. He's got a great arm and he can run, he's athletic, he's hard to tackle. But, I'd say his overall execution in the passing game has improved each of the last three years.

Q: There's a report out there that Brandon Copeland had suffered a season ending injury and he seemed to confirm that via Twitter. What would the team lose if Copeland was out for the year and are you happy with the depth that you have otherwise at linebacker?

BB: Right. Well, we'll see how that goes. I think he's still – I talked to him yesterday and he's still going through a series of evaluations and tests and so forth. Brandon's done a good job to give us some versatility. He's played for us on all four downs, in the kicking game and some inside linebacker and outside linebacker. So, he's an experienced player that in our situation will be hard to replace.

Q: What have you seen from Chase Winovich specifically on first and second down over the last couple games?

BB: Well, look, it's really all about team defense. I think, speaking for all of us, we've had some good moments and we've had some not so good ones and what we need is more consistency. That comes from everybody across the board. Chase plays hard, he's a great pursuit player, he's strong at the point of attack, he can defeat blockers and can rush the passer. But, just collectively, we all have to be more consistent in our execution of the defense and our fundamentals in the defense. We've given up too many yards, however it's come – running game, passing game – the last two weeks in those situations. We've just got to coach better and we've got to play better. So, you could say that about everybody on the defensive unit, including all the defensive coaches and players and staff and everybody else. We just need to be better.

Q: Is there anything specifically that you can point to with Chase that has led to his snaps kind of decreasing here over the last couple of weeks?

BB: No. No, I think he's been the same player. Some of it's situational and game plan and the way things worked out the last two games, but he's a good player for us and he'll continue to play.

Q: Do you think it'd be better for the NFL to keep the shorter IR period. Do you think that's been a positive for the league and positive for roster management to be able to bring back multiple guys and do it for a shorter period of time?

BB: Yeah, I don't know. Again, that will be a decision at another level. I'd say given the lag time in being able to bring a player in and put them on your roster from what it has been in the past, that the opportunity to move players in your system on or off the roster has complemented the decision or the rules that prevent you from adding anybody outside your roster very quickly. So, I think those two go hand-in-hand and it's working. I'm sure it will be evaluated at the end of the year, and we'll see what the league and the membership decide to do about that.

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