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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 11/11

BB: Well, as we know, the Ravens are an outstanding football team and organization. They've done a tremendous job there with their consistency and built a very solid football team – very good in all three phases of the game. They are well-coached, have good size, they're physical, they're an explosive team. They've had a kickoff return for a touchdown, scooped up a fumble last week against Indianapolis for a touchdown and obviously have a lot of big-play potential on offense. But, they're a physical, hard-nosed team that can run the ball, stop the run, play good in the kicking game. So, a big challenge for us this week to get ready to go in all three phases. I think this is a team that we have some familiarity with, but they do things a little bit differently, so preparation will be really important this week to adjust to some of the nuances and the game plan problems they present. Really an impressive team to watch, so we have a lot of work to do here.

Q: How have you seen Lamar Jackson evolve as a passer inside the pocket?

BB: I think he did a good job of that last year. He does a good job. He's got a good touch on the deep ball, sees the field well and makes good decisions.

Q: As you go over film study, have teams started defending him differently? He hasn't had a ton of those big running plays like he did a year ago.

BB: Well, he's got a few of them, if you watch the Philadelphia game, Pittsburgh. I mean, you know, just because they're not 80-yard touchdowns – I mean, he's got plenty of 20-yarders, scrambles for first downs and you have to respect him because that opens up things for other people, as well. So, I don't think he's lost anything in terms of running the ball.

Q: The Ravens use Gus Edwards, JK Dobbins and Mark Ingram pretty evenly so far this year. How different are those three running backs' skill sets?

BB: Yeah, I mean, they're all good players. They all run well. They're tough downhill runners. [Mark] Ingram, I think, is clearly their primary early-down runner when he's healthy. [JK] Dobbins has shown up a little more in the passing game, or in passing situations, I should say, but he's an excellent runner, too. So, I mean, they have good depth in their backs. Those guys run hard. I'd say the offense in general, they move the ball, they score points and they don't turn it over. All those are, I'd say, characteristics of a good offense, and that's what the Ravens do. The backs fall into that category, too – make positive yards, don't turn the ball over.

Q: Just on your offense, you guys have traditionally used a smaller slot receiver, and Jakobi Meyers has been lined up in the slot a decent amount this season. Does the offense change at all depending on what type of player is in that slot role?

BB: Well, I think offensively, things change a little bit no matter what players are in certain positions. So, guys that do things well that you count on to be there consistently, you try to do things that they do well and work that into your offense. Those skillsets vary from player to player. I mean, there's still a basic foundation of the offense, and I'm not saying it's a new game plan every time a guy is in there, but you try to utilize the skills that the players have and you might refine a basic play a little bit to help accommodate that player's skills and try to feature him a little bit.

Q: And what allows Jacobi Meyers to play inside and outside?

BB: What allows him to play in there? Well, he's a smart kid. He knows those assignments. He's got good length, good route running skill and catches the ball.

Q: There's been a lot of discussion about the uniqueness which Lamar Jackson plays the quarterback position and I'm interested in your historical context on that. Do you feel that he is that unique in how he plays it, or does he fall into the line of Randall Cunningham, Warren Moon, or even back Fran Tarkenton?

BB: Well, those players you mentioned played in a completely different offense. So, I think when you look at this offense, you look at the San Francisco offense that Coach [Greg] Roman used when he was there, you see the quarterbacks playing in a similar style?

Q: But in terms of Jackson's skillset and how he goes about approaching the position, outside of the offensive context?

BB: Yeah, I don't know. He has to execute the offense the way it's designed to be executed. So, I think that's what he does. He's involved in most every running play, just like the quarterbacks in San Francisco were. You certainly couldn't say that about Tarkenton or Warren Moon. I mean, Warren Moon was almost never involved in a running play unless it was a speed option or something as an audible, but I can't remember very many running plays with him – a quarterback sneak or something like that. But Tarkenton, same thing. He wasn't involved in any running plays either that I can remember. Again, maybe, a quarterback keeper or something, but not as a staple part of the running game. This is a totally different offense.

Q: What have you thought of the execution of your offense over the last two weeks and has that been on par with what you wanted to see?

BB: Well, there's always room for improvement. We've done things well all year, but I think we can improve our consistency. But, we've had good things in a lot of games. Obviously, there's plenty of room for improvement, there's room to get better, but there's also strong things to build off of and so that's what we've tried to do is accentuate the positive and keep doing those and improve on the areas where we lack consistency. I wouldn't say that the execution is just non-existent; it's just inconsistent at times, and we're always looking to do better there.

Q: Your run defense held the Jets to 65 yards and 3.6 yards per carry. How pleased were you with that progress with the run defense? Do you feel like you're improving in that area?

BB: Well, I hope so. It wasn't good enough in some of the previous weeks before that, so we'll see. These guys run the ball as well as anybody in the league, so we'll definitely get tested here. It was certainly better than what it's been in the last couple weeks. So, that was a good thing to say. Hopefully, we can continue that.

Q: Was it just a matter of players sticking to their assignments and better fundamental tackling, or did you have to make significant changes to what you guys were doing on that side?

BB: Well, we made a few adjustments, but I thought the players played well in the game. We got split on one blitz there, which I could have coached that better. But, for the most part, we defeated blockers and tackled much better than we have, so that's always a good place to start.

Q: You mentioned that the Ravens' style makes them a little more difficult to defend because it's more unique relative to the rest of the league. Specific to the offense and all of the options involved in their run game, is that something you might have prepared for or at least introduced your players to over the summer, knowing it will take a little bit more to get used to with a normal week of prep?

BB: Well, our offense has run some of those kinds of plays. I mean, we haven't done that before, but this year we've run some of those kind of plays, so it's not something that we're unfamiliar with. The Ravens, again, have their way of doing it and they're in the pistol a lot. So, that changes and makes things a little bit different, because you get either side of the ball more balanced, but we've dealt with that and so I wouldn't say we're starting all over again, like we might have been in other years where we hadn't faced those kind of plays. But, yes, I think if it's something that you know you're going to face and you're offense or you're not going to get a chance to see it or work on it then, then you would try to take some time in training camp to work on it. Same thing offensively – if you're a four-three defense and you're playing a lot of four-three teams and you have a three-four team that's in your division that you're going to have to play a couple times a year or something like that, then you might want to think about taking a little time in training camp to introduce that to your players. So, I think that's something that you look at as you put in your training camp installation, see if there's something that you're not getting from your offense and that you may not get in the season for a while, but you know it's going to come up do you want to address it ahead of time? The problem with that is you can address it in August and it doesn't come up until November – how much carryover really is there? But, those are the decisions you have to make in terms of getting those things covered. I would say this year defensively, it's been different than in the past because we've had to deal with these plays from our offense. So, we've had a little bit more experience with them than in prior years.

Q: With the Ravens' high blitz rate, are they more of a fire zone team or are they usually pressuring with man behind?

BB: Yeah, they do both. It's probably more zone than man, but they do both.

Q: On a day like today, how much do you give yourself a little space to step back and consider veterans and their service and what that means to you?

BB: Yeah, it's a very important day for our country and the freedom of our country. It's certainly a day that we want to recognize. Obviously, a lot of veterans that are still living, and Memorial Day is another important day of recognition. Those are the days that make all the other holidays possible, Veterans Day and Memorial Day. So, almost everybody's connected, one way or another – usually the family, but friends or classmates and so forth at various levels of school. So, yeah, it's an important day for our country and for all of us. Without it, there's no football. So, we should all be very appreciative for what the people in the armed forces have done for us and continue to do for us. It's a tough world out there. Especially the Navy, I'd throw that in there. I'd say a special appreciation for the service from the United States Navy. Special place for that for me.

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