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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 10/3

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, October 3, 2017

BB: Alright, well, we're moving along here this week. Today is a big day for us in terms of our scouting report, game plan. We're trying to get as much done as we can today here and tomorrow and then we'll be going down there tomorrow afternoon. Tampa is an impressive team. They have a lot of good players; a well-coached team, obviously. We don't know them very well but we'll grind it out here and do as good of a job as we can familiarizing ourselves with the players, the schemes and what they do in the time we have available. That's where we're at.

Q: What is the specific challenge of facing a team that can use a three-tight end formation?

BB: Yeah, well, Coach [Dirk] Koetter does a good job with the offense. They have three tight ends, two tight ends and a lot of 11-personnel. Their tight ends are talented. Their skill players are good; quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends, receivers. They have a lot of good options there. They're hard to defend.

Q: What type of a challenge does Mike Evans present on their offense?

BB: Yeah, big, fast, can really go up and get the ball. They throw a lot of high balls to him and he goes up there and can take it away from the defenders. He's strong. He's a big target, catches the ball well. He's tough.

Q: Does it leave you at a disadvantage that you haven't been able to see Doug Martin on tape due to the suspension he has been serving?

BB: He played in preseason.

Q: Can you take from the small sample size that you have of him and use it towards your evaluation for this game?

BB: It's no different than if a player missed two or three weeks because he was injured. 

Q: How was Desean Jackson changed what they've done on offense this year?

BB: I mean, he's a great big-play threat. He's had tremendous production in that area through the course of his career, as good as any player in the history of the league. He's a very explosive guy, short catch-and-run plays, vertical speed, good intermediate route runner. Again, one of their many options in terms of playmakers. 

Q: How good of a linebacker is Lavonte David?

BB: Well, he's second in production to [Luke] Kuechly in everything except tackles-for-loss and he's second to [J.J] Watt in that. He's a very explosive player, good blitzer. That's probably the one difference between him and Kuechly is he blitzes more than Luke did, although, Kuechly blitzed, too. Fast, athletic, good instincts, good nose for the ball, finds the ball, good tackler, strong, strong tackler, runs well.

Q: How hard is it to match a smaller defensive back with a wide receiver that has the size that Mike Evans possesses?

BB: Yeah, we'd have to put [Deatrich] Wise out there to match up with him physically. He's a big guy. We don't have any defensive backs as big as him. There's probably not one in the league. We've got to cover him. Whoever is on him is on him.

Q: Gerald McCoy seems like more of the disruptive defensive lineman in the league. What have you see from him?

BB: Yeah, there's no question about that. Thirty-three sacks in the last - whatever - four years, an explosive guy, quick, good athlete, good balance, smart, plays blocking schemes well, recognizes protections well, instinctive player, strong tackler, good against the running game. He's got a lot of negative plays, good pass rusher, good leverage, rushes with power, has quickness, a tough guy to block.

Q: Do they move him around on the defensive line?

BB: He's usually the three-technique, so yeah, both sides.

Q: How much do you rely on your more experienced players at a time like this while trying to make corrections on a short week?

BB: I don't know. I mean, we've all got stuff we have to work on, so hopefully we're all working on it.

Q: How much do you rely on your experience just in general as you deal with a short week?

BB: Look, we're done with the Carolina game. We're on to Tampa, so we're getting ready for Tampa, so that's what we're working on.

Q: On a short week are you able to implement all of the fixes and changes from the previous game?

BB: We're game planning for Tampa. 

Q: What have you seen from Jameis Winston? Does he seem to be spending more time in the pocket this year?

BB: Good. Look, good quarterback, very good arm, accurate, gets the ball to all of his receivers, uses the tight ends well, the receivers well, strong, can stand in there against the rush, moves well in the pocket to create a little extra time. He's a hard guy to tackle, hard guy to bring down. He can throw the ball with people hanging all over him and he can throw it accurately and throw it pretty far, too. He stretches the field on you, sideline to sideline, vertical passer, five-thousand yards the last two years offensively, 50 touchdowns. They've had a lot of production on offense in two years. Coach Koetter has done a great job with him. He's done well. For a guy in his third year he's had extraordinary production. Not many guys that have more than he has and we've had some pretty good quarterbacks. 

Q: Do Jacquizz Rodgers and Doug Martin have comparable skill sets or would they be used differently now that Martin has returned to their lineup?

BB: I mean, they're both good players. I imagine they both could play on all three downs. They played on all three downs in the past. You'd have to ask them how they're going to use them. But they could leave one guy in there for three downs or they could play one guy on early downs and play the other guy on third down, vice versa. I don't know. They can play all the time, so it'll be a question of how they want to use them, how they want to manage them.

Q: Given your familiarity with their general manager, Jason Licht, is there anything that you have seen from his team that sort of has his stamp on it regarding personnel or style?

BB: They get better every year.

Q: How has James White done when asked to pass block, given he is normally a player who is a pass catcher on offense?

BB: Yeah, well, that's part of the requirements of that position. He's done a good job of that for this, his third year, now. He's very dependable in that area, smart, knows who to block, does a good job of recognizing guys that are trying to keep him in when they're not really coming, but he'll step up and hit them. He's got good leverage, good technique.

Q: What kind of a communication challenge does it present to a defense when you ask one member of the secondary to sort of shadow a wide receiver across the field?

BB: Well, then you've got to give everybody else somebody, too. It depends on who they have in the game. They have a lot of different personnel groups - 13, 12, 11. They have a couple different versions of 12. Yeah, I mean, you've got to match everybody else up. You can't just match up one guy. If they don't move the player around then that's easier to match up. If they move the player around that you're matching up on then you've got guys in different places. You can do it either way. You have a matchup one way, you don't have it the other way but you have probably easier alignments, let's call it, depending on where they put him. You don't know for sure where he's going to be and you definitely have to deal with some multiple personnel groups. You're not just going to have one group in there. That's not what these guys do.

Q: The last time you faced an offense coached by Dirk Koetter was when he was under Mike Smith in Atlanta in 2013. How much has his offense evolved schematically since the last time you faced it?

BB: We've looked at that. There are some similarities but, obviously, different players. There are some similarities, but I think if you look at Tampa you can see what you need to see from Tampa without going back three, four years to Atlanta. I mean, they've been there for long enough with the players they have. They know how they want to use their personnel and what they're trying to do. I think that's as good of a look as you're going to get especially on a week like this. We looked at them in the offseason just to kind of go back and take a view of that, but in the end I don't think that's all that significant.

Q: What have you seen from Cameron Brate at the tight end position for them?

BB: Yeah, I mean, their tight ends are good. Brate's done a good job for them. He's done a good job in the passing game. He's caught a lot of touchdowns in the last two years, more than any other tight end, so a good receiver, very dependable, knows how to get open. They've got a lot of confidence in him. They go to him in critical situations with option routes and in the red area, things like that. He's been productive for them. I'm sure they like him. I can see why. He's done a good job.

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