HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
November 15, 2019
BB: It’s been a while since we’ve played, and I think – you know, I was talking to the guys this morning, and just the general tone of the team, I feel like we’re excited to play. I’m excited to get back out there and do what we do. So, the Eagles are a tough team to prepare for. We spent a lot of time getting ready for them this week. It’s definitely a challenge, but I think we’re getting to the point here where it’s time to go out there and put it on the field. So, we have one more good tune-up today, hopefully, and cover some situations, nail down a few loose ends and be ready to go on Sunday. Looking forward to the opportunity. I know it’ll be tough down there, but that’s what the NFL is. They’re all tough.
Q: How important is this stretch of games with Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston and Kansas City to you guys?
BB: Yeah, we’re just focused on one game. That’s it. Philly.
Q: How important is this game?
BB: It’s the only game we can control. So, we’ll do the best we can this week and worry about next week, next week.
Q: Does the fact that the Ravens keep winning add any heightened urgency?
BB: We can’t control what anybody else does, so just worry about our football team and how we do. That’s all we can do.
Q: Tom Brady seemingly threw out the idea to Alex Guerrero about playing until he’s 47. In the context of history, how wild would that be if he could play until age 47?
BB: Yeah, I don’t know. Again, right now, I’m really just trying to focus on getting our team ready to go against the Eagles and trying to get myself ready to do a good job down there. So, we’ll leave all of that for another day.
Q: You have a connection with Eagles Offensive Coordinator Mike Groh and his family. What comments do you have on their contributions to football?
BB: Yeah, I’ve known Mike since Al [Groh] was with the Giants and they won the state championship in New Jersey. And then Matt [Groh] played when we were on Long Island, and stayed in contact with Al, Matt, Mike, Anne [Groh] through the years. So, yeah. Al had a great career and still continues to contribute to the game in broadcasting. We see him pretty regularly in his preparations and so forth. Al’s taught me a lot, and I’ve had a lot of great conversations with him about football and teaching and competition and so forth. And Matt’s done a great job for us here in the scouting department. I haven’t really worked with Mike other than, you know, ball boy and stuff like that. But, he’s obviously a very accomplished athlete, quarterback, and he’s had a good coaching career – coached at Virginia, he’s coached in college and the NFL and had a variety of responsibilities. So, it’s a good, strong family. But, Matt’s done a great job for us. He’s kind of worked his way up. Left his law career behind and converted to football, and he’s done an excellent job of scouting for us and helping build the depth of our football team.
Q: He’s a national scout now?
BB: Yeah, so he’s moved up and has been in the southeast, which is really a critical, critical area in college scouting. Now he’s expanded from that to – I don’t really know exactly what the title is, throwing those terms around. But yeah, he’s one of our top scouts. Let’s put it that way.
Q: Jordan Matthews re-signed with Philadelphia this week. What did you learn about him in his short time here?
BB: Kind of the same thing we saw at Vanderbilt. He’s a smart kid. He can play both inside and outside, and he’s got good length, good hands and quickness, but learns well, is a versatile player. I’m sure he can do a lot of different things in their offense, which he has in the past. So, really solid kid. Hard worker.
Q: Darren Sproles just went down this week with an injury and the Eagles had Jay Ajayi in for a workout. With all of the injuries the Eagles have had during the week, is this a situation where you may have to prepare for a player who’s not even on the roster?
BB: Yeah, possibly. I mean, we’ll see what they do. It wouldn’t be unprecedented, but it’s not the norm either. So, yeah, we’ll see how that goes. As we find out more definitive information, then we’ll adjust our preparations accordingly.
Q: This morning, based on the game last night, a big topic on social media …
BB: Oh, really?
Q: … was Browns player Myles Garrett swinging his helmet at Mason Rudolph after he took his helmet off. Knowing that everyone is talking about it, do you address that with them?
BB: Yeah, we’ve addressed that multiple times.
Q: Anything with this specific instance?
BB: Well, I mean, every situation’s different. There’s no two that are the same. We can go back and look at 50 of these through the years, some type of fighting or ejections or whatever. They’re all a little bit different. I wouldn’t say that it’s – like offside penalties, there’s a lot of – different things happen, different situations, so forth and so on. But yeah, fundamentally, I tell players what we should do in those situations, how we should handle them, and I think they’ve done a good job of it.
Q: So it’s pretty normal for you to go on your Snapface first thing every morning?
BB: Pretty much. See what happened, yeah, and check it out. Absolutely. Interact with everybody and see what they think. Yeah, get my opinions out there, because I don’t want to get left behind on that. Yeah, then brush my teeth.
Q: The NFL confirmed that the Patriots will be one of the teams attending Colin Kaepernick’s workout on Saturday. What do you remember about his game?
BB: Yeah, I don’t really have any comment on that. We’re trying to get ready for the Eagles. That’s really where my focus is.
Q: Nobody can really imagine a Patriots team being involved in a melee like we saw last night. Is there something that you do different from other teams that would deter your players from acting in such a manner?
BB: Yeah, I have no idea. I’m not on any of the other 31 teams, so I couldn’t comment on what it’s like, or isn’t like, somewhere else.
Q: In terms of your effort to lead a team and keep discipline, how would you say you keep that in place?
BB: Yeah, I don’t know. We have a lot of good players, a lot of unselfish players. So, I think that’s really the key to it.
Q: Do you know who you’re sending to the workout on Saturday?
BB: Yeah, like I said Ben [Volin], I’m really focused on the Eagles game. So, we have a personnel department. Those are the kind of things they do.
Q: Are you at all intrigued to see what Kaepernick looks like?
BB: I’m really focused on trying to beat the Eagles. That intrigues me a lot right there, is just trying to get our team as well-prepared as possible to go down and play a good football team that’s playing very well, that obviously we didn’t do very well against the last time we played them in a competitive situation. So, that’s really what I’m focused the most on. Not last night’s game, last week’s game, something that happened five years ago, something that happened 10 years ago. I mean, I don’t really think that’s that relevant.
Q: Tom said he never really got over the last time you played the Eagles. Does that game stick in your mind when you face a team again?
BB: Well, I think you remember those games. I mean, I remember games I lost in high school, I remember games I lost in peewee football, I remember games I lost at the Giants and Cleveland. And I mean, yeah, those games – sure, they stick with you. I mean, you remember some of the wins, but I think the losses stick with you more. But, that’s all in the past and that’s water under the bridge right now. So, we’ll focus on this week and see how this one comes out.
Q: When you look at the Eagles defense shifting to more man coverage over the past few weeks, do you see that as a function of their secondary getting healthier, or more game-to-game decisions?
BB: Yeah, I think Jimmy [Schwartz] has the ability to do all of the above: play zone, play man, max blitz and so forth. And so, those are his decisions based on however he makes them, whether it’s game plan, personnel matchups, situation, some combination of all of the above, as well as mixing it up and not doing the same thing all the time. But, that’s why Jimmy’s a really good coach. He gets the most out of his players, he maximizes what they can in the matchups he has against the opponents. So, we’ll have to be ready for a lot of different things. I’m sure he’ll keep it moving on us. I don’t know that we’ll be able to predict what he’s in. Whatever those percentages may or may not have been in some other weeks, I mean, there’s no guarantee that’s what it’s going to be against us, and how he sees us and how he wants to match up against us. And again, I think that will vary from situation to situation. I don’t know if it’s the same on first-and-10 as it is on second-and-3, or second-and-12, or third-and-4 and third-and-9. I mean, it’s not all the same. So, so much of this game’s situational. We’ll have to see how those things play out. I mean, I can’t imagine he’s just going to come in and play one coverage all day. I mean, I can’t imagine that. It doesn’t happen in this league in any game, so we’ll see how it goes. We’ll have to figure it out. I’m sure it’ll make it hard, which he always does. So, that’s part of the challenge. They have great players, but they’re very well-coached. They’re a good situational team; they’re a good fundamental team. They’re strong in all three areas of the game, and certainly Jimmy’s one of the best in the National Football League. So, yeah. We’ll have our work cut out for us.