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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 10/29

Read the full transcript from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference on Friday, October 29, 2021.


October 29, 2021

On playing at SoFi Stadium last year:

BB: The stadium was empty, so it'll be interesting to see it in its full version this weekend. The stadiums that are empty like that, it's hard to feel the vibe and the personality of the stadium.

On if Calvin Munson can replace Harvey Langi's contributions on special teams:

BB: We'll see. Maybe eventually. We'll have to see how that goes here early, but yeah. It's a possibility.

On what made him want to bring back Calvin Munson:

BB: We wanted to work with him before. He had an opportunity to be on our roster and get games that would give him a year of vesting and so forth, so I understand that. We've dealt with that before. We wanted to work with him before. It was a situation kind of in reverse where he was on our roster, and he wasn't on a roster. From a career standpoint, there are some advantages to that.

On Joey Bosa's impact on the game:

BB: You have to know where he is on every play. I think if you go back to the Buffalo game last year, he singlehandedly changed the game. He almost changed the outcome of the game almost by himself. He's an impact player. It's not just the negative plays, but the turnovers, the strip sacks, the batted balls, the plays like that that he makes. The tackles from behind where he strips the ball out. Things like that. Then you commit attention to him, and that creates other problems in other spots. He's a tough matchup and Coach [Brandon] Staley does a good job with him. They move around a little bit, and they bring five [pass rushers] a lot, so it's hard to double him. When you have five blocking four, you might have a chance to get some help to him, but when it's five blocking five, then it really makes it difficult. There are definitely some challenges that he presents, and, within scheme, that compounds it. He's a major problem.

On possibly double-teaming Joey Bosa:

BB: I don't know. I think some of that is based on the matchup. That's another consideration too, but regardless, whoever Bosa plays against, it's going to be challenging for that individual. Again, it's not always the same guy. He's not always in the same spot, so you have to work through some things there, but he's mainly on the right. He's mainly going to be against the right tackle, and he honestly has enough in his repertoire to give anybody problems with speed, speed-to-power, inside move and just general aggressive pass rush techniques. He has a good arsenal and knows how to use it.

On if a coach can improve a quarterback's ability to extend plays:

BB: I think any skill can be improved. I don't think you can go from slow to fast, but I think you can improve no matter how fast or slow you are. You can improve. I think you can improve as a scrambler, whether you're a good scrambler or a bad scrambler to start with. The scramble plays usually come from two things. One, being forced to scramble because there's quick pressure early, or two, the play extends because either the pass rush leverage has broken down or the receivers are covered, and the quarterback has time to stay behind the line and extend the play to either run or pass. Experienced quarterbacks and quarterbacks with a good feel and good sense on that can kind of know when's a good time to extend it and when's a good time to not extend it, but the whole idea of extending the play is to find somebody open to throw, or if there's space, to run and gain positive yards and for the quarterback to protect himself. Again, can any of those things be improved? Definitely. Are you going to take a quarterback who's not a good scrambler and make him into Roger Staubach? No. I don't think that's realistic. You can improve. Everybody can improve. Even quarterbacks who don't want to scramble, if it's the right situation, they can hurt you.

On how the team plans on dealing with Justin Herbert's scrambling ability and the Chargers' offensive line:

BB: Pass rush and pass coverage are very closely related. Without one, the other won't be effective if you don't have both of them. That's our goal, defensively, as it always is, is to make the quarterback get the ball out on time or have the coverage to make him hold it for a split-second longer than he wants to. That's based on disguise or tight coverage or whatever it is, then that gives the pass rush that extra split-second to get there, and if the pass rush is good, then it allows the coverage to move a little quicker to get on the matches they have, whether it be man or zone. Good pass rush with open receivers isn't really good. You can't cover these receivers in this league all day, so even if you have them covered for a little while, if the quarterback extends the play and you don't have any pass rush, they're eventually going to get open. You need to do both and have good team defense.

On if traveling a long distance for a game negatively impacts the away team:

BB: There's probably some effect. I don't know. I'd put it in the very low-percentage basis. There's certainly a lot of examples of teams going on the road and doing well, so I think it's really more about how you're performing than where the game is located, but I'm not going to sit here and say that travel has no effect on the game. I think there's a lot of other things that affect it more.

On if he agrees with Nick Saban that a good defense can no longer stop a good offense:

BB: Each game is its own game, so it's hard to generalize. I don't think having a good defense is a bad thing. It's hard to score 50 points every game. It's nice when you don't have to score a lot of points. We won a Super Bowl scoring 13 points. That's not a bad thing. Even last year, pretty good defensive game and scored enough on offense. Football is a team game, and there's three facets to it. If you're not good in an area, it's probably going to catch up with you against a better-balanced team. I understand what Nick's saying. We've talked about that. There are definitely more challenges defensively than maybe what there used to be between the rules and the way the game is being played. There are a lot of good offensive coaches.

On how much upside is based on physical traits versus mental capacity:

BB: Both are important. Yeah. Both are really important. Certainly, the mental side of it comes from understanding what the coaching points are, understanding how something needs to be done so it can be executed better. Then, putting in the work to actually change the execution of that fundamental or that part of the play, whatever it is. Physically, there are a lot of skills in the National Football League that I would say almost all rookies, at least the ones I've coached, are somewhat deficient at, even the great players. [Lawrence] Taylor, [Tom] Brady; pick out whoever you want. What they were as rookies and what they became later on in their careers was quite different. I do think there's certainly a developmental aspect even to the great players and the coaches, for that matter. All of us started at a point where we didn't know anything. There's a lot of people who still think that. You do learn day-to-day. Year-to-year. Experience can be helpful. It still doesn't take anybody off the hook from actually performing their job on that particular day or for that particular week, but there is some benefit to experience. Yeah. Both are important. Physical part of it is important. Mental part is important. If you have both, you'll improve more, and you'll see more growth. One without the other is going to put a limitation on how far that individual can go. 

On how Jamie Collins has transitioned back to the team:

BB: I think Jamie has transitioned very smoothly. Most of us know him, but there are new relationships to be made, and that's part of joining any new organization or team, but Jamie's transitioned well. There are some changes in the defense from when he was here in '19, but he's acclimated to those, and it's going well. He works hard. He knows what to do. He's great to be around. He's helped us defensively on all downs, and he's helped us in the kicking game. He's really done everything we've asked him to do, and he's doing it well, so I'm glad we have him, and I think he'll continue to probably fill those roles a little bit here going forward. I'm sure he'll try to make the most of all the opportunities he gets

On if he is still a big fan of Halloween:

BB: Not this year. It'd be tough. I'll save it for next year.

On what his favorite Halloween candy is:

BB: Pretty much anything that's in the bag. I won't turn down much.

On if he has ever seen a trick-or-treater dressed as Bill Belichick:

BB: It's been a while. Yeah. It's been a while. With the headset and all that. I did see that. That was a few years ago. Yeah.

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