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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 10/30

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media on Friday, October 30, 2020.

BB: Well, first of all, on behalf of the team, we pass along our condolences to Travis Roy's family. He's been such a great inspirational story to all of us, nationally, but certainly in this area, and his positive outlook and the way he handled his difficult situation is just incredible. I'm glad I had an opportunity to interact a little bit with him and his foundation. So, it's a sad day for a kid that went through so much and handled it in an incredibly positive way. Otherwise here, we're pushing along through the week and hopefully have a good day to kind of clean a few things up here, handle some situational football things and be ready to go on Sunday up in Buffalo. So, looking forward to it and getting back into the division. It's a team that we know pretty well, but there's certainly some new things this year. As I said, try to get a few loose ends cleaned up here today and be ready to go on Sunday afternoon.

Q: How did you first become connected with Travis Roy and his foundation? What were those experiences like?

BB: Well, I mean, I was here and we supported their foundation, and again, I would say not a lot of direct interaction. Our family has some connections with the foundation, as well. So, we've been supportive, as everybody has in this area, and again just a lot of admiration and respect for Travis and what he did and his approach to life.

Q: You guys look a little short at receiver with some injury situations, so I wanted to ask you about a couple of young guys. What have you learned about Isaiah Zuber since you got him, as well as Kristian Wilkerson and Mason Kinsey on the practice squad?

BB: Right. Well, as you said, they're all young players – working hard, learning, getting better and we'll see. There may be an opportunity here. We'll see how things shake out as we go through the next couple days and so forth, but we work with all the players. We work with young players, guys that are on the roster, guys on the practice squad. As you said, Zuber has been up for some games this year, but I'd say all those guys have good qualities to work with. We brought Mason back. He was here and then we had some roster things and had to shuffle around, but got him back. Glad we got him back. So, we'll keep working. If they get an opportunity, then hope they're ready to take advantage of it.

Q: What are some of Zuber's special attributes that have allowed him to be a call up, get some game action and make some positive plays that we've seen?

BB: Well, I mean, he has the most experience of those players that you mentioned from being here in training camp and having a better background and understanding of what we're doing. But, Wilkerson and Kinsey, they've been here for a while, too, so they're certainly gaining on that. Yeah, Zuber's got good skill, got good size, runs well, catches well. He's made some plays with the ball in his hands. So, we'll see.

Q: What are you seeing from Josh Allen in terms of decision making this year as compared to the previous years? How important is that aspect of maturity?

BB: I think Josh, like most young players, has gotten better every year, as you would expect. Players go from year one to year two to year three and you see that they have a better understanding of their system. They have a better understanding of defenses and what's going on the other side of the ball. They have a better understanding of matchups, what they can do and what they can't do, and so that experience is beneficial to every player – certainly quarterbacks, but I mean you could say that about really every spot. So, he's improved in all those areas.

Q: Do you find that generally players come in and they have that playmaking ability and you have to instill in them the decision-making piece and keeping things simple, or does it work at times in a vice versa fashion?

BB: I think each player, especially at that position, I think each player is a little bit different and not every quarterback looks at the game the same way. Sometimes it's what they've been taught, sometimes it could be just their instinctiveness. So, sometimes you can change that or maybe alter its course a little bit based on your system and your thinking and so forth, but in a lot of that for a quarterback is that's the way they play quarterback. So, until you actually work with somebody, I really wouldn't be able to answer that question. I do think that guys see the game differently, which is fine. It's not a problem. But, what they look for or what they're trained to do, what their instincts tell them, what they're comfortable with, what they're not comfortable with, varies quite a bit from player to player. So, I think as you work with a player, you learn that, you understand it and you make some type of accommodations. If he's your starting quarterback, you make some type of accommodations to play to his strengths or maybe try to work with him on things that you want done a little bit differently. But, that's, again, very individualized.

Q: There were reports yesterday that Julian Edelman had a recent procedure on his knee and is going to be out for a little bit. Are you concerned about the offense without Julian and do you have any sort of timeframe for when he's going to be returning?

BB: Yeah, I mean we'll see how the return goes. I mean, I don't think this is a season-ending situation, but we'll see. I'm not a doctor. We'll see how it goes here. Hopefully he'll be back. I know he has worked awfully hard and nobody's more competitive than Julian is. So, he'll do everything he can to be back out there and we'll just take it day by day at the process and we'll see how it goes. Whatever opportunity that provides for somebody else and whoever that provides it for, then hopefully that player can take advantage of that opportunity and be productive. So, we'll just have to see how that goes.

Q: Is the hope that by getting it done now, potentially he could come back towards the end of the season and be full strength? Was it better to get it done sooner than later or something like that?

BB: That's really a medical question, Ben [Volin], that I don't feel qualified to answer. I think medically, in consultation with the player and the medical staff, we always try to do what's best, the player always tries to do what's best, and so whatever decisions are made are made with those intentions. Whatever it ends up being, it ends up being. I don't think we can control that. We'll see how it goes and hopefully he'll have a good recovery and be back better than where he was before the surgery. That's the whole point of doing the surgery is that the situation will improve. So, hopefully it'll improve.

Q: Did you notice that Edelman was really just trying to grind through this injury? Obviously, his snaps were a little bit down, but was he working hard and really trying to play through this?

BB: Yeah, Julian always worked hard. I mean, he worked hard from the start of training camp. It's been a process of his acclimation, re-acclimation period, like there is for everybody. The decision was just made at this point to take the steps that we've taken. So, yeah, there's no question about his work ethic, though. That's pretty, pretty strong.

Q: When you've talked about building your team in the past, you've talked about how the focus for you and Nick Caserio is to focus on the here and now and making your team competitive this year, but you also have to understand that you're going to field a team next year and the year after that. With the approaching trade deadline, would the outcome of this game Sunday shift that focus at all for you?

BB: I don't think so. I mean, ultimately, any decision we make would be to do what's in the best interest of the team, and you've already covered all the things that would be taken into consideration. So, whatever it was, we'd take them into consideration and in the end, do what's best for the team. Whatever that is, I don't know. So, I mean, there's nothing specific here that you've asked about and there's nothing specific that I'm talking about because there isn't anything that falls into that category, but if there were, that's what it would be.

Q: You mentioned earlier this week that Nick Casario is the one handling any conversations with other clubs right now. Do you feel as though you have an approach in mind already, even though the deadline is four or five days away here, in terms of what you would like to do for your team?

BB: I mean, no, I really don't. If there's something to talk about, then we would talk about it. If there's not something to talk about, then there's not something to talk about.

Q: It's clear how much responsibility Cam Newton is putting on his own shoulders and how much responsibility he wants to take in just playing better. On its face, that's a good thing, but is there any risk in that in terms of adding too much pressure? How do you feel Cam is right now physically and mentally, as he seems to be putting so much pressure on himself to improve?

BB: I mean, look, I think that's a great question, but the answer I think is the same for all of us. I mean, we all put pressure on ourselves. We all want to do better. None of us are happy with the results that we've had recently and we want to do something to change that. Individually, if each of us can do a little more, do a better job, be more productive, then cumulatively that's going to help our team. But, somebody that wants to improve and address an area that hasn't been as productive or you want to be more productive than what it's been in the past I think is a good thing. I mean we're all doing that. I know the coaching staff is doing it, I'm doing it, I know our players are doing it, and honestly, I think that's what we should be doing. We should be trying to improve, put more into it, find a way to be more productive. That's our job. So, I think Cam's definitely doing that, and hopefully we'll all be able to improve and have better results.

Q: If you guys lose this weekend, are you guys automatic sellers at the trade deadline? I think that's what everybody's wondering and kind of the talk radio fodder. Maybe it's not something you entertain, but that I think is the question.

BB: Yeah, well, I guess I'll just put it nicely and pass on the opportunity to get involved in talk radio. That's really a tough one for me to say no to, but I'm just going to say no to talk radio questions. Thank you. Thanks for asking. I appreciate the opportunity to get involved.

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