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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 10/6

Read the full transcript from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference from Wednesday, October 6, 2021.


Press Conference
Wednesday, October 6, 2021

BB: Morning. How's business here? Just a quick comment on Steph [Gilmore]. I released a comment on him and absolutely appreciate and feel strongly about the player and the person. He's a great kid. So, unfortunately, as we said, we decided to part ways. Don't have any other comment on that right now, so it is what it is. We're really focused on Houston, and this is a team we're pretty familiar with in terms of playing them every year for the last six years, or eight of the last nine, whatever it is. Certainly, some familiarity with people down there from Nick [Caserio] to Frank Ross to the offensive situation and some of the players and so forth, but again, it's a new team and Lovie [Smith], defensively, has his style of play, so that's something that's different from what the Texans have done. Certainly, David [Culley] has done a good job of emphasizing the running game down there. They run the ball a lot, and those backs have been very productive and try to throw it a lot to [Brandin] Cooks. So, again, a team that even though we sort of know them from our, let's say, annual competition with them, there's quite a bit of newness with some schemes, some players, and just a little bit of an overall, obviously, change in the overall direction of the program, so that coupled with the work we need to do ourselves, regardless of who we play, it's a big week for us and looking forward to getting off to a good start here and continue to build and improve through the week.

On why the team and Gilmore could not come to terms on a new contract:

BB: I'm not going to have any more comments on that right now. I've already made them.

On why Gilmore could not factor into the team's future plans:

BB: Again, I'm not going to get into that right now.

On the timing of the decision to part ways with Gilmore:

BB: There'd been a number of things that had gone on for a long period of time, and, finally, we just mutually reached the point that we reached.

On if there was no trade value for Gilmore:

BB: I'm not commenting further on it. I appreciate all the questions. I really do, but I've said all I can say for right now.

On his confidence in J.C. Jackson to step up the rest of the season:

BB: Well, that's been the way that it's been for the end of last season and this season.

On if he is comfortable with the cornerback group going forward:

BB: Well, are you trying to relate the two situations? I don't really understand the question. Do I think J.C. [Jackson] is a good player? Yeah. I think J.C. [Jackson] is a good player. He's a very good player. He's performed well for us, so yes. He's a good corner. He's a good player.

On how Shaun Wade is progressing:

BB: Good. Well, we made two or three things right there at the end of the preseason at the end of the roster, formation of the rosters. I think all those guys, some have played a little bit, some haven't, but glad we're working with them. I think they'll eventually help us. We'll see.

On why Wade has not played yet:

BB: We've been pretty healthy at that position. I'd say, overall, that group's played pretty well. There's always room for improvement. I'm not saying that, but overall, we've played the passing game fairly well this year and played the best passing game in the league last week and played that competitively, so I'd say there are other areas on the team that are maybe more, again, everything can be improved, but I'd say there are other areas that can improve more than that group.

On if there is an update to the potential signing of Jamie Collins:

BB: No. No update.

On if Mike Onwenu and Isaiah Wynn could still possibly play on Sunday despite being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list yesterday:

BB: We'll follow the league protocols, and you know what they are. Whatever they are. If they clear, they clear. If they don't, they don't.

On if Yasir Durant and Justin Herron could move to the left side of the offensive line if needed or if Yodny Cajuste would fill that role:

BB: We have three tackles, plus Isaiah [Wynn], so yeah. We'll see how it all works out. There are obviously some questions there, so I don't even know the answer myself. Not trying to be evasive here. Not that you would ever think that. Not trying to put words in your mouth there, Mike [Reiss].

On Trent Brown possibly switching to left tackle:

BB: Trent's obviously played both sides, so he's capable of playing both sides. Sure.

On Davis Mills:

BB: I think Davis [Mills] is a very talented player. Had a lot of production. Had some big wins last season for Stanford. Good arm. Pro-style quarterback. I think he's got a good base. Like any rookie quarterback, he's learning all the time, but I think you see a good talent level and a good ability to make the throws, and I think they're doing a good job of trying to bring him along. Not trying to overdo it, but they're good on third down. They're a good third down conversion team. Like they were against Jacksonville, that's Tyrod [Taylor], but that's carried over a little bit with him as well. They're pretty productive there, and they're a good red area team, so two of the things they do well are the red area and third down, and that's two of the toughest situations for a quarterback.

On what he needs to see from Joejuan Williams to get back on the field:

BB: Well, again, each week is a different week here in terms of game plan and matchups and special teams roles and so forth. I think Joejuan's played. I think he will play. You know, every week you'll probably come in here and ask about somebody, "Why did this guy play? Why didn't that guy play?" You can only activate the number of players we can activate, and we activate the ones we feel would have the biggest impact on that particular game, and that's definitely not the same every week.

On what he saw from N'Keal Harry in his return to the field on Sunday night:

BB: It's good to have him back. Hopefully, he'll continue to work into the offense and timing and production and so forth. He and Mac [Jones] haven't had a lot of opportunity to work together for several weeks, so it was good for them to do that last week, and hopefully that'll continue to improve this week and going forward.

On Jalen Mills:

BB: It goes all the way back to the spring. Jalen's been one of our most consistent players. Worked very hard in the spring. New system. A lot different than what they did in Philly. He's played all the positions in the secondary. Literally, every one of them. Linebacker. Nickel. Star. Safety. You name it. So, he's shown a lot of versatility, and he's a competitive player that has a good skill set and can do a lot of things. It was a tough matchup for him last week. I thought he competed really well against [Chris] Godwin.

On the difference between the Texans' offense with Bill O'Brien and the offense with David Culley:

BB: It's a really interesting question. Last year, the Texans were one of the top passing teams in the league. They threw for over 5,000 yards and their number of passes was high. Now, a lot of that was with [Tim] Kelly after Billy [O'Brien] wasn't there, so he really took over the play-calling at coordinator. Maybe he did that for Billy too. I'm not sure, but it doesn't matter. He did it the rest of the year and in our game where they threw for over 400 yards against us. Coach [David] Culley, obviously coming from a little bit of a Baltimore background. Now Coach Culley, he's been at a lot of different pro and college teams, so he's got a very varied background, but the running success they've had in Baltimore, it's clear they've had that same kind of mentality with the Texans. They run the ball a lot and at a high frequency. They've got a good group of backs. [David] Johnson kind of has his role, and then the other three backs, well two backs plus Rex [Burkhead], then when they had Tyrod [Taylor] in there for part of the second game and the first game, he was another guy in there that could run the ball as well. When you look at all the backs together, there's a lot of production. Now is there any one guy at the top of the rushing list in the league? [Mark] Ingram is up there, but I mean, when you add them all together, then you're looking at a lot of running production in terms of yards, touchdowns and carries, so I'd say it's any interesting combination of [David] Culley in the running game and that emphasis with [Tim] Kelly in the passing game and the production that they've had there last year and continue to have there this year. [Brandin] Cooks is certainly a highly-targeted guy. Their tight ends are really good. I mean, they killed us last year. Had almost 150 between just those tight ends, and [David] Johnson's really good as a third-down back. I mean, he's an every-down back, but he's very good on third down or in passing situations as well, so it's interesting to see how it's kind of come together. Might be a little different with [Tyrod] Taylor versus [Davis] Mills. I'm not sure exactly how they look at it. It's a little bit different, but structurally, I don't know, it's interesting how it's come together, and I guess we'll just have to see going forward here what we get. If they threw the ball like they did last year against us, that was a big problem, and we know they like to run the ball and control the clock and play good field position, give their defense a long field, play good in the kicking game, and they do all those things well, so there's that element as well. I would imagine whatever we're not handling very well, we'll probably see more of it.

On Brandin Cooks:

BB: Getting targeted a lot. Probably targeted as much as any receiver in the league, and he's dangerous on everything. Obviously, has tremendous speed. Great deep ball player. Super competitive, Tough kid. Runs the intermediate routes. A catch-and-run player. Quick screens. Underneath routes. He gets a step on a guy, and he can turn a five-yard gain into 20 in a hurry, so we've got to do a good job on him, but he's certainly a guy that's going to take the top off the defense, and if you've got too many guys on him, then that creates a lot of space for everybody else. He's certainly a go-to guy for them in the passing game. We've got to do a good job on him. Like I said, the tight ends, that's a good group. That's one of the better receiving groups that we've seen, so I'm sure that'll be tough matchups for us too.

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