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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 11/3

Q: With the trade deadline today, what has Nick Caserio relayed to you about the landscape around the NFL from his discussions with other teams? Has COVID affected what would normally be the talks at the deadline?

BB: Yeah, I'm not sure about the COVID, Mike [Reiss]. I think you'd have to ask each team that question. I don't really know. I don't think that would come up in a conversation, like we are or we aren't doing something because of COVID. I'd say it's probably about the same as what it normally is.

Q: Is it too early to say for you guys if you envision any movement, whether it's acquiring a player or trading a player?

BB: Yeah, I don't know. Yeah, I don't know at this point.

Q: With Carl Davis, that seems very unfortunate to sign him off the practice squad and hardly get to see him based on his injury. Is this a situation where it looks like a long term injury, or is there maybe some optimism that you'll get a longer look at him on the practice field sometime soon?

BB: Yeah, that's a good question. I think you articulated the situation accurately. We'll just have to see. I mean we brought him in so that we could look at him, but that's been very, very brief. So, would we like to be able to do that? Yes. Will we be able to do that? I don't know.

Q: The last two weeks we've seen Tashawn Bower play after getting elevated from the practice squad. What has he shown you in the opportunity that he's had in game action?

BB: Yeah, well Tashawn's a hardworking kid and he's tough. He's showed a lot of competitiveness and toughness. There's certainly things for him to work on, like any young player, but he did some positive things. So, it's good to be able to get him a little bit of experience.

Q: What have you seen from Bill Murray's development in terms of the first day you got him in to now? Obviously, that's a probably a pretty big jump there that he's trying to make from William and Mary.

BB: Yeah, for sure. Well, Bill worked hard and performed well enough to be on the practice squad. Then he missed a couple of weeks, so that didn't help his development. But he's been back now and is tracking back to where he was prior to that missed time. So, we'll just keep going. He's smart, he works hard and he's definitely gotten better.

Q: What is today like for you with the trade deadline, between balancing preparing for the Jets and conversations with Nick Caserio about teams that are calling you?

BB: You know, again, like a lot of things in this general subject, there's a lot more talk than there is action. So, Nick would summarize or has summarized kind of generally what he feels is going on. There may be other avenues of information that we have from one source or another or conversations, whether that's myself or an assistant coach or whoever. So, we kind of put that together and determine the level of interest we would have in talking to somebody else or not. I'd say those things kind of sometimes, as I said before, they seem like they're eminent and they never happen. Sometimes it seems like this is really a dead issue – we're not interested, they're not interested based on the conversations – and then in a short amount of time, something changes and all of a sudden there's a conversation that's on the table or there's a transaction that occurs and it goes from not happening to happening or vice versa. It goes from it looks like the ball is going to roll into the cup, and then at the last second, it spins out. So, you just have to take it as it comes in and see. Sometimes, again at a time like this, sometimes a team could be involved in a trade and then you feel like, 'OK, we can trade this player,' and then you find out that maybe a player at his position is going to be out for a couple of weeks and then it falls through, or vice versa. You think that you don't have anybody available and then all of a sudden, maybe the team makes a different trade or something else happens and then they do have a player available. So, it really is a little bit unpredictable, but if something were to come up during the day, then Nick would grab me and we'd discuss it and whether it's talk to Robert [Kraft] or a position coach or somebody that might have information on the subject, then that would probably be the next step.

Q: You spoke a little bit about the salary cap binds coming into 2020, but how much does your salary cap situation in 2021 figure into this trade deadline? You are projected to have some of the most cap space in the NFL in what could be a tight market with COVID impacting how much money the league has with the salary cap going down. Are you thinking about trying to preserve that position of power that you guys have at the deadline or how is that at play?

BB: Yeah, that's definitely an accurate perspective that you've identified, and when you're looking at salary cap and player salaries and things like that, you just can't look at it in a short-term window. At some point, you have to take a longer look at things. So, we would take those things that you mentioned into consideration and as we look at our team currently, as we look at any potential acquisitions or any transactions with our players, we'd have to keep an eye on all those things. I think you've really articulated it pretty well. Those are all considerations that you'd have to be aware of if you got into any discussions like that. So, I guess the answer is, you just try to do what's best for your team and try to balance all those out. I don't think anything would preclude a transaction from happening or not happening, but you'd have to be aware of all those things, and again, try to make the best decision, both long term and short term, for your team. There may be one thing that overrides another, but in the end, that's what the decision would be would be how much does this help us now, is there a cost in the future and what is that cost, so forth? Or, what would that gain be if we were to trade a player away? It just depends on whether you're bringing one in or one's going out. So, there are some implications that we would work through on the financial side or the people that handle that information and not just again currently, but over the coming years. So, it would really be a conversation that would look at all those aspects of it.

Q: How much, if at all, do you weigh the potential impact on the locker room or the players you have on your roster when considering trading a player away? Is that at all part of the equation when you're thinking about these types of moves?

BB: Sure. The composition of your team is definitely important.

Q: I guess not even necessarily the composition of the team, but maybe even like if there's any sort of emotional impact on the team. Obviously you've traded players away in the past but I'm just curious if that is a factor at all for you?

BB: Well, it's certainly something that is going to come up if you were to do that. I mean, it would come up immediately. It would come up the next time the team's together. So, you have to address it in some fashion. Does it have an impact? I mean, you know, it would have some, certainly in the management of the team. Would it ultimately affect the decision to trade or not trade or acquire or not acquire? I don't know. I guess it could if it was big enough.

Q: How much progress have you seen from Jake Dolegala since he's been on the practice squad?

BB: A lot in terms of learning a new system and getting acclimated to the way we do things, the way we call plays and so forth. So, that's all been good. He's had some opportunities to participate in certain aspects of practice. So, those are good evaluation tools too, but it's not really the same as being able to run our offense. There are some, but limited, opportunities for that. So, yeah, Jake's smart and he works hard. He spends a lot of extra time here and very willing to do whatever we need him to do to help our team on the practice field or walkthrough or any other situation he's involved in. So, I'm glad we have him. He's done a good job for us.

Q: What is your evaluation of J.C. Jackson, how he has evolved and where he is at right now?

BB: J.C.'s gotten better every year. He's worked hard to improve his techniques and fundamentals and leverage and tackling, and I think those things have all shown up at times this year. So, like all of us, working for a little more consistency, but J.C.'s shown that he can be competitive against every receiver he's had a chance to cover so far in his career, so that's a good thing.

Q: Jason McCourty described him as a No. 1 cover guy yesterday. What specific attributes do you look for in a No. 1 cornerback?

BB: That's a hard question to answer. Really, it's the summation of the player. All things that are important to that position are evaluated. Not every player – even the good ones or the great ones – not every player is elite in every single thing. Some things they do maybe better than others. So, you just have to – depending what you're doing, what type of scheme you're running, if you're in man coverage a lot, how you're matching up the man coverages for what you need him to do – then you evaluate him based on that, but it's hard to find guys that are just elite at everything. But, sometimes they're elite at two or three things, and that's certainly a great place to build on.

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