PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
October 27, 2023
BB: Good morning. Just start by sending our – from the team, players have talked about this, captains yesterday, too – sending our thoughts and prayers to the people in Maine. It's obviously a tragic situation. They're great fans of ours, great friends up there and Maine is a great place. I feel bad for the pain and situation that they're going through. You know, Lewiston and Bowden, a lot of connections and a lot of my friends went there. I know the area pretty well, it's very sad and difficult. So, we're thinking about you down here at the Patriots.
Q: Bill, when you talk about that stuff with the team, how does that manifest itself? Do they bring it up? Do you bring it up?
BB: I don't know, both. It could be any community. We all know that. The fact that it's our fans, our area. It's kind of like the Connecticut situation a few years back, not the same, but it's just sad, tragic, and sounds like it's not over yet.
Q: Calvin Anderson popped up on the injury report this week with an illness. Is he dealing with the same problem that he was dealing with in the summer and training camp?
BB: No, it's not the same. Honestly, I don't really know enough to talk about it. Are they related? I don't know. It's way over my paygrade.
Q: Do you think it's a situation that you think he'll be able to play again this season?
BB: I hope so. But, I don't know. It's not really a football injury. Well, maybe it is, but I don't think it is. I don't really know.
Q: With the trade deadline coming up on October 31st, how challenging is it for you to weigh the immediate needs of your team in-season?
BB: Yeah, we're just focused on Miami right now. Matt [Groh] and his staff, if there's something to talk about, I'm sure we'll talk about it.
Q: So, are you checking in with them on a regular basis right now, or is it just they just come to you when something pops up?
BB: Matt's office is 30 feet away.
Q: So, there is a lot of back-and-forth?
BB: If we need to see each other, we'll see each other. If something comes up about anything, yeah.
Q: Do contract discussions with players that are in their last year of their contract, do those factor in this time of year around the trade deadline? Understanding that there's a chance you don't have a player back next season, do you have to think about a trade based on how those contract discussions may be going?
BB: Yeah, there's a lot of factors involved with players' contracts. Everyone's different, so I don't think there's any specific rule.
Q: You guys do have an unusual number of free agents-to-be, but it does look like you're scheduled to have a lot of cap space next year. Does that – I'm just thinking about compensatory-pick formula, and whether or not you'd actually be able to get anything for players who might depart the team this coming offseason – does that have weight?
BB: Yeah, we've talked to a number of players. The one's that we've reached an agreement with, we've reached an agreement with. The ones we haven't, we haven't.
Q: Do you weigh the compensatory-pick formula for this time of year, or is that sort of a tertiary factor?
BB: Well yeah, it has some relevance.
Q: We'd love to talk to Matt [Groh] if he's available.
BB: Yeah, well, however many times he's supposed to be available, he's available. So, that's all I can tell you.
Q: Kayshon Boutte, just behind the scenes, what have you seen from his development? Obviously, saw him the first game, and he's been inactive, in part because you have so many other receivers. What have you seen from him?
BB: It's been a very competitive situation. We have a lot of competition at that position. So, everybody's in it. Obviously, the guys that perform the best play the most. The ones that don't need to perform better.
Q: Has he been competing?
BB: They're all competing. Again, it's very competitive, see how that goes.
Q: Sticking with that position, we asked Troy [Brown] and Ross [Douglas] on Tuesday about what they remember from Pop [Demario Douglas] at the Shrine Bowl. I know you saw a lot of players there, but specific to Pop, how much do you think it helped having his future position coaches as a head coach and an offensive coordinator, develop him and maybe get a faster start here from their time together in January?
BB: Yeah, it was good to have them see him out there. He didn't really do much. He only practiced one day, if I remember right. He was there a little longer than that. [Atonio] Mafi, it was good to have him too. We had a whole week with Mafi. It was good to have exposure to those guys. I mean, we liked them anyway, even if they hadn't been to the Shrine Bowl. I don't know. Would we have drafted them? I'm not sure, maybe.
Q: I'm sure you guys have had seven wide receivers on your roster in the past, but it seems pretty unique to have that many. Do the relatively new practice squad rules change roster construction and how many players you can keep at each position?
BB: I think it's about the same. If you keep more players on the roster, than you probably have fewer players on the practice squad at that position, and vice versa. I wouldn't say that's absolute, but generally speaking, that's the way it is. If you carry fewer guys on the roster, than you probably have a couple more on the practice squad at that position, just to facilitate practice numbers. If you have more players on your roster, than you probably have fewer players because you have to balance it out somewhere else. When you add up all the practice squad players with all the active players, you'll probably get a pretty consistent number on that. It might be team-to-team. It might be league wide. Some teams might be heavier on a certain position than another position, relative to another team, but I'll just say overall, that's probably the way it balances out. I've talked to a lot of coaches about it, and I think everybody kind of sees it the same way. You just decide where you keep your depth, and if you can't get the player on the practice squad, somebody else is going to take them, then you might have to carry them on your roster.
Q: Has Conor McDermott picked up sort of where he left off when he was released with the injury settlement?
BB: Yeah, of course. I mean, I wish he would have been here, but he wasn't. We had the injury settlement. He's back, and he's been out there. He's worked hard. He's a smart guy, came in and picked things up well last year. So, yeah, he's coming along.
Q: Going back to Kayshon, how else could he develop to maybe get more spots during a game?
BB: Practice every week. They're all out there.
Q: It was reported that Jalen Ramsey and Nik Needham may play this weekend. What have you seen from them in their most recent tape.
BB: Ramsey hasn't played for Miami. We've seen Needham last year, Ramsey. They're both good players. Needham's a little more of an inside player. Ramsey's played both – outside, inside. Obviously, very talented player, but he hasn't played this year. We've seen those guys in the past, certainly seen Needham last year. I mean, we're ready for all of those guys that could be activated, even practice squad players, practicing players who could be elevated. We'll see what happens tomorrow, but yeah, we're aware of those guys, and as it becomes more likely, or if they get activated, we'll kind of increase things on them. There's a lot of guys that we know they're going to play, and I'd say we're focused on most of them right now.
Q: We saw that Ty Montgomery was out of practice for a personal matter. Is that something that seems like a short-term issue or long term?
BB: No, it's short-term. He's here today. It was a personal thing.