Q: What have you learned about Stephon Gilmore that you didn't know before having him here on a day-to-day basis?
BB: Yeah, well, I mean he's been here quite a while. What we saw in the spring I think is what we see now – professional, works hard every day, has a lot of experience and understands how to play that position.
Q: How do you feel he has fit into the culture here?
BB: Good, good.
Q: Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker have had some statistical success against you in the past. What makes their receiving group a unique group to compete against?
BB: Yeah, they have really good skill players. I mean they're all good. The backs are good, tight ends are good, the receivers are good. They've got good quarterbacks. So yeah, if they can get the ball to any of those guys, and the backs are very productive, productive in the running game and in the passing game and they're big-play guys. They can hit the long ball on you, make 50, 60, 70 yard runs. It's a very good skill group. They're all a problem. If you don't go a good job on any of them, any of them can kill you.
Q: Have they changed their offense at all since trading Jay Ajayi?
BB: No, I wouldn't say so. Coach [Adam] Gase does a good job with the offense. They're a little bit of a game plan team, so they do things differently depending on what you do. So there's an element of that every week.
Q: Are they primarily in 11 personnel on offense?
BB: Yeah, very heavy.
Q: What stands out to you about Cameron Wake after all of these years competing against him?
BB: Yeah, he's having another good year. He's on the field in a lot of situations. Not just third down – he's out there on every down. He plays the run well, is instinctive, runs the edge, can counter, has got some power, but he's played quite a bit. It's not just third down. He does a good job on all three downs.
Q: How are they using Charles Harris along their defensive line?
BB: They rotate their defensive linemen, so sometimes they sub in guys on third down, but a lot of times whoever is in there, is in there.
Q: During practice we see Nick Caserio being very hands on in drills during practice. Is it unique to have a guy in the front office who is so involved with each aspect of the team throughout the week and also with his game day role?
BB: Yeah, rare. I mean, name me another one.
Q: How much value does that give you?
BB: Yeah, a lot. I mean, Nick does a great job and he has a great interaction and understanding of what's going on on the coaching side of it. Yeah, so, he's involved in the day-to-day coaching part of it. He's certainly involved in all of the personnel aspects of his job, college, pro, free agent workouts, waiver, everything. But you throw all of the coaching stuff on top of that, the week-to-week role in the press box and on the practice field. I mean, he does a tremendous amount. I can't think of any other personnel person that would even come close to that. I don't know who it would be. I don't know what everybody else does, but I don't know anybody.
Q: How tough is it for a player like Ted Karras to step in at the center position and play as well as he did against Oakland?
BB: Yeah, it's a tough spot. It's a tough spot. You're right in the middle of the line so you're involved in everything. There are no plays away from you. They all affect the center, so that's a big communication centerpiece for the offensive line and, just as important, the quarterback. So, cadence and ball handling and so forth that goes on with the quarterback, I mean, the other guys on the line don't have to worry about that, so it's a key positon. It's a tough position to step into because of the on-the-line coordination, and also the quarterback-center communication, and ball handling and so forth. He did a good job, but that's a big adjustment for a player to make, to step in and have to do all of the things that a center would have to do, especially in our offense.
Q: Did Nick Caserio take on all of these roles initially or did you ask them to perform them? How did that all come about?
BB: Yeah, I don't know. He's had a background in both, so it just kind of worked out that way.
Q: What is it about Ted Karras that allowed him to step right in and perform the way he did at center?
BB: He's been doing it for two years.
Q: But not in a game, right?
BB: Yeah, I mean we can't control that.
Q: What does he have going for him that allows him to step in like that? Is it his intelligence?
BB: Yeah, all of those things. He has a lot of playing experience from college, inside. He's smart, he's tough, he works hard, he's out there every day.
Q: To what extent does the success of one unit correlate to another unit, either directly or indirectly? How can the success of the defense help the offense or vice versa?
BB: Yeah, that's a good question. I mean, they work together and there's definitely – one influences the other. The degree of it, I mean, I'm not sure. I don't know how you quantify that. It's an important interaction. It's an important relationship between the three units on the team and they certainly help each other. To what degree, I don't know.
Q: I guess we look at it as three different things but in a sense there is continuity between how one unit's actions can play a role in another.
BB: Yeah, I agree completely. But again, to kind of quantify it is a little hard to do. It's kind of a feeling that you get. I mean, obviously it relates to field position as one group gets the ball for the other, or takes the ball from the other group. Where that happens on the field, that plays a part of it. But whatever unit is out there has to go out there and do whatever it is they do – kick it, or move it, or stop the other team, whatever it happens to be. Where that happens on the field and the impact plays that come from those units and how they set up the next unit, there's definitely a lot of interplay there. How you quantify it, I don't really know. I think we all know it when we see it. I don't know if I could sit here and give it a definition.
Q: How much does the defensive approach change later in the game if you have a substantial lead? Does the emphasis change based on the situation?
BB: However you want it to change.
Q: Is there more of an emphasis on draining the clock?
BB: It depends on the situation. Yeah, there's a place for all of those. Once you get into an extreme situation, there's no question about that. As the situation moves through that, let's call it grey area, from light grey to dark grey, it changes. It depends on what point you're talking about. Look, the game changes on every snap, first down, second down, third down, first down is at another field positon, ball exchanges, do it all over again. Every play really is a situational play. Once time and score become a factor, time at the end of the first half and then time and score become a factor at the end of the game then, obviously, that overrides a lot of things, too. A lot of times, really, from a coaching standpoint you are really only coaching three quarters. The fourth quarter a lot of times is defined by the situation, so at that point you're playing whatever the situation is. It's usually not defined too much before that. Sometimes, but not usually, but whenever it becomes defined or whenever you feel like it changes, then now you're playing situational football. But again, every down really is a new situation.
Q: How have you been able to perform so well at the end of the first half throughout the season and get points in those final minutes?
BB: Look, I attribute all of our success to good players and good execution. I mean, in the end, the success that we have is based on players going out there and executing and performing well in those situations. So, whether it's on the goal line, or at the end of the half, or on third down, or in the red area, or on the punt return team, or whatever it is, those are the guys that go out there and make the plays. If we make good ones, it's because they make good ones.
Q: When Brian Hoyer takes over the quarterback position at practice, how does that change the offense, if at all?
BB: Yeah, well, his job and his responsibility is to know the game plan and be able to go out there and execute it. That's what we expect and that's what he does and can do. If we go out there and call a play, he needs to be able to go out there and run it and he can. He does a good job of that.
Q: You guys had Ted Larsen of the Dolphins on your roster briefly back in 2010. Are you surprised that he has been able to kick around and survive as a roster player in the league, or was it just a matter of you not really having a place for him at the time but saw that he could develop over time?
BB: Well, I don't know. There's, like, 70-somethign guys in the league like that have been here that are playing for somebody else. I don't know. Whatever the number is, it's a lot. 70 to 90, somewhere in there depending on how you want to count the practice squad players and todays waiver wire versus yesterday's waiver wire. There's a lot of guys out there. It's one of the highest numbers in the league. There's a lot of guys out there.
Q: Do you mean the highest number of guys that have been here in New England that are now still on rosters elsewhere in the league?
BB: I think we have more players that are playing on other teams. I don't know if we're the highest. We're one of the highest; I can tell you that. I think we're up there pretty high. It depends on how you want to count them - starters, roster players, IR, practice squad. You can run all of the lists that you run and count them up however you want to count them up, but however you want to count them up, I think we'll be up there pretty high. Let's call it 90 players - there are 30 teams – that's three per team. We can talk about that every week, but we won't.