PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
October 5, 2022
BB: Alright, good afternoon. Oh, it's still morning time. Yeah, rolling into the Lions here. This is an interesting team to look at. We haven't seen them in several years here. It's a very talented team. They are explosive, aggressive, and they really play that way consistently. Special teams is a real strength of the team. Obviously [Jack] Fox, he's one of the best punters in the league. He's outstanding. [Chris] Board, that's the best special teams player we'll play against all year. He's a great player. Kalif Raymond – Crusader, love a Crusader. He is an aggressive and solid combo return guy. They have good speed, good size, good kicking game, good specialists. Obviously, they are working through the kicker situation, but they have some really outstanding players in those units. Offensively, kind of the numbers speak for themselves. Those guys are very explosive. There's a lot of big plays. They can run it and throw it. They have good backs. Obviously, a great tight end, [T.J.] Hockenson. They have good core receivers. It's an explosive group of players. [Jared] Goff does a good job at spreading the ball around. [Frank] Ragnow, they have one of the best centers in the league. [Penei] Sewell's a high pick at tackle, [Taylor] Decker. They've got a good foundation on the offensive line and defensively. Obviously the corner there, edge players like [Charles] Harris has really had a lot of production. Of course, they picked up [Aidan] Hutchinson. Just in general it's a good group of edge players. They put them all on the field in passing situations, or as many as they can. [Alex] Anzalone is a pretty experienced guy there in the middle. There's a lot of speed and range. Very aggressive team. A lot of pressure. It's probably as much or in the ballpark as Miami. From a percentage standpoint, they bring a lot of people. Secondary players, linebackers, and things like that. They're fast. They pursue well. Good, aggressive football team. They are very explosive. They had the fake punt last week. They've done some other plays. Last week they had a fake punt, flea flicker, a lot of heavy blitzing. Things are very challenging that we'll have to work on this week to be ready for. They've been in four close games. They're good. They can move the ball and they can score points.
Q: You make the reference to The Holy Cross college. It's not every day that you look across and see a crusader.
BB: A crusader. Yep, that's right.
Q: You mentioned the special teams with coach [David] Fipp. He's been around obviously a lot.
BB: Yeah, we haven't seen him. We saw him in Philly. Then of course we didn't play Detroit last year.
Q: The fake punt. That's a good throw. I mean that guy looked covered right?
BB: Yeah, [Jack] Fox, he is a weapon. He can kickoff, punt, punt for accuracy, punt for distance. He threw it like a quarterback back there. That was a long throw. It was like 15-yards deep. There was good coverage and he put it right there. Blocked a field goal. Close on another one. They're a good rush team. This will be a big challenge for us in the kicking game.
Q: Any update on your quarterback situation? Will Bailey [Zappe] be a starter this Sunday?
BB: Again, we'll see. I don't know. We'll just to take it day-to-day. I'm just going to use that once a day.
Q: Any update on Mac [Jones] and how he's feeling?
BB: We'll have the injury report for you. I can't wait to get it out. I just want to make sure it's accurate, so we'll see where things are in practice.
Q: Has Brian [Hoyer] been cleared to practice today?
BB: Yeah, look at that injury report. I can't wait to get that to you. We'll have all the details there. See where everybody is.
Q: You said last week that Mac [Jones] was making good progress. Do you feel that is the case here these last five to six days?
BB: Sure, he's definitely made progress.
Q: If Bailey is the starter this week, how beneficial will it be for him to have the whole week for preparation for him?
BB: Well, he had the whole week for preparation last week. In terms of preparation – like snaps, we'll see. We'll see how it goes.
Q: Going inside, wait I'm sorry were you done? I'm sorry I might have jumped the count there.
BB: Well, I'm glad you did it. I was going to go into great depth about the quarterback situation. Since you have another question about the practice location, let's go to that.
Q: It sounds like you're scaling it back and doing more of a walkthrough today. How much of that is going to the end of overtime part of that or is it different factors?
BB: Yeah, I think it's just the quality of the last couple games. So probably just the best thing to do today.
Q: Was it the quantity of the last two games or quality?
BB: Well, just overall, it's what's best for the football team. Let's put it that way. That's really the bottom line.
Q: Is it tied to quarterback at all?
BB: Overall, it's what's best for the football team. It's what it always is.
Q: What's been the learning curve of this particular team? In following up on that, how good have they've been at taking what you guys have been giving them and being able to adjust and adapt from day one here?
BB: Well, we are definitely making progress. We've got to find a few more plays to get the outcome in our favor. We'll work on that.
Q: Coach, what have you seen from Detroit's running game averaging 5.9-yards per carry? What stands out to you about that?
BB: They do a number of things well. They use an extra offensive lineman probably as much as any team in the league. Their backs are good. They run a lot of gap schemes. They marry up the runs and play-actions well. So, if we stop the run, it's hard to stop the play-action. They do a good job at marrying those together. They do a good job at hitting across the board the width of the running game. Outside, there are a lot of off-tackles plays. Inside, there are cut-back plays. Things like that. They have a good scheme with a good, balanced attack. They set it up so that if you're stopping one thing, you can't stop the complimentary play that goes with it, whether it's a complimentary run or complimentary pass. They execute well. Their backs are good. They make a lot of yards on their own. Some of those plays are not blocked for the amount of yardage that they get. The backs go and break tackles or make guys miss at level two so the eight-yard gain. A couple of those 50 yard gains could've been eight or could've been ten. It's good running or poor tackling, whatever way you want to look at it. They let up a lot of extra yards. Tackling is going to be a big issue in this game.
Q: Will we see Garrett Gilbert on the field for you guys this afternoon?
BB: You sure will.
Q: What made you want to bring him aboard again?
BB: To start with, he is available.
Q: Is there enough carry over from between what you guys are doing offensively this year versus when he's been here with you guys that he should be able to pick things up relatively quickly?
BB: We'll see. He's a smart kid. He's picked things up before. He was here. He was out in Las Vegas with Josh [McDaniels], I'm sure there are similarities.
Q: Bill [Belichick], I have the same question about Jamie Collins. What made you want to bring him back? What can he add to you guys?
BB: We'll see. Jamie's [Collins] coming off post-season surgery last year. We'll see where he's at.
Q: There's another guy in Detroit by the name of Tom Kennedy. He's a big lacrosse guy. What have you seen from Tom when he's been on the field?
BB: He's been productive for them. Again, they have a good core of receivers. [Jared] Goff spreads the ball around. Obviously, [Amon-Ra St.] Brown is the key guy when he's there, [T.J.] Hockenson too. They have a good complimentary group of wide receivers. Yeah, he had a couple good catches for them last week. There was a crossing pattern over the middle. It was fourth-and-10 or something like that. He converted a fourth down for them.
Q: It looks like they have as many ex-players on staff as any other team in the league. How do you see that manifest in the way that they play?
BB: Again, I'm not sure exactly. I think you'll have to talk to them about what each guy's role is and all that. I mean I know some of those coaches, being former players very well. We had Aaron [Glenn] for three years. He's a hardworking kid. He prepared, competed hard, and practiced hard. [Duce] Staley, I have a ton of respect for him. He's done a great job every place he's been. He did a great in Philly. Obviously, he got the running game going in Detroit. It's as good or better than anybody in the league. There's guys like that. Dan [Campbell] was a good player. So, I know some of those guys.
Q: I'm curious as to what we saw on Friday. Mac [Jones] was out there for practice in his jersey, helmet and everything but I know he was listed as a non-participant. What's a benefit of just getting him out there even if he's not actually practicing?
BB: Well, he didn't actually participate in practice. That's why we listed him there. He did go through some things.
Q: I'm curious that if he's not really practicing, what's the benefit of having him?
BB: It's to see how he does the things he does.
Q: Is there anything like to real time mental reps that he would benefit from as opposed to watching after the fact?
BB: Maybe. I don't know.
Q: Marcus Cannon played only four games last year in Houston. I think he was coming back from something. He didn't have a camp. Now you got him into this last game. How far along is he and is that close for him to threaten for more consistent playing time?
BB: Yeah, Marcus [Cannon] came here healthy. He's taken a lot of reps at practice. He played some last week. We'll keep going and see how it goes. It looks like he'll be able to help us. Okay. Alright, thank you.