HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
December 1, 2021
BB: Obviously we're looking at a real good Bills team here. I think that Brandon [Beane] and Sean [McDermott] have done a real good job of putting this team together. They're very talented, well-balanced, well-coached with Leslie [Frazier] and Brian [Daboll]. They really do a good job on offense, defense. They're really solid in the kicking game. They're well-balanced there. They've got a big, core seven or eight guys, plus [Tyler] Bass, plus [Isaiah] McKenzie. From top to bottom, just a good football team that does everything well. They're statistically at the top of the league in categories in every area, and they deserve to be. Well-coached. They play smart football, and they're tough. As I said, they're very well-balanced. Offensively, it really starts with [Josh] Allen. He can do it all. They've got a good offensive line. [Dawson] Knox has done a good job for them. Multiple receivers. Multiple backs. All those guys are productive. Defensively, they've added a couple young players to their front there: [Boogie] Basham, [Greg] Rousseau. Otherwise, they're a very veteran, talented, disruptive group. They lead the league in tackles for loss and things like that. They really do a good job of creating negative plays. Obviously, they haven't given up a lot of points. Linebackers are very good. [Matt] Milano and [Tremaine] Edmunds are probably as good as anybody we play. Safeties. Secondary. Again, well-coordinated defense. Really physical in the kicking game. They brought back all their key players from last year: [Tyler] Matakevich, [Taiwan] Jones, [Andre] Smith, the whole crew. They have good size. They have good speed. They're disruptive. They're physical. Good field goal kicker. Just really solid there. He's done a good job there with that group. They're very sound. Just from top to bottom, good team. Good, solid team. Good as anybody we've played. We know it'll take a good effort from us Monday night. That's what we're getting ready to prepare to do. Play well. Coach well. Be ready to go on Monday night.
On Josh Allen's improvement since his rookie year:
BB: His improvement has just been tremendous. Where it was three years ago, completion percentage, passer rating, decision making, production, it has just gone [up]. It's risen at a really remarkable rate. It's just remarkable how good he has become. Last year, this year, he's built on that, what it was when he came into the league, but he's really made tremendous improvement and has a lot of command of the offense. They audible a lot. They change things. They, obviously, have a lot of confidence in him. He handles them well on the line. Every other they'll run a bad play where they run into a bad look or a blitz or something like that. He doesn't get fooled much by anything. It's really, really impressive to watch how he's developed there.
On if he takes anything from how the Bills develop and coach their players:
BB: We look at 31 other teams in the league. That's all we have to look at. We're not going to get anything from other football conferences, leagues, and stuff like that. Whether it's the way teams have done anything successfully, from contracts, drafting, free agency, player development, schemes. If there's anything that we identify that's good with anybody, then we take a look at it. Some teams we see closer than others, like our division teams that we play twice a year, but, definitely, we look at everybody in the league. If there's something somebody else is doing well, we try to figure out what it is, see if it can apply to us, and how we can use it and so forth, but without a doubt, we're always looking to find a better way or to look at what we do and see if there's a different or better way to do it or how we can improve. Absolutely.
On if he can compare Josh Allen's development to any player he has seen before:
BB: I don't know. He's been pretty good.
On how Brian Daboll has maximized Josh Allen's skillset:
BB: You'd have to ask Brian that. I don't know. He does everything well. Brian's a good coach. He puts a lot of pressure on the defenses every week. It's not always the same thing. He's creative, comes up with different way to attack different defenses and different ways to utilize his personnel. You'd have to ask him. I don't know.
On Dawson Knox's effectiveness in the red zone:
BB: He's a big, athletic guy that can catch the ball. He's got a good quarterback. They're down there a lot. He does a good job. They've got a lot of other good players too. You just can't concentrate on one guy. I don't know.
On how the Bills utilize Matt Milano:
BB: They basically play the same defense all the time. They're in a nickel defense. It's him and [Tremaine] Edmunds. They do what they do. They play a lot of zone, blitz zone. They play a little man, and they blitz a little bit, but not an extraordinary amount, but they're effective when they do it. They're good at everything. Edmunds is really one of the top players in the league. He and Milano complement each other well. Matt's a little lighter, but Edmunds is a big guy. He's a thumper. He's fast. They're both very instinctive. They work well together. It's similar to [Micah] Hyde and [Jordan] Poyer, the way they complement and work off each other at safety with their disguises and just kind of playing off each other times as plays develop, misdirection plays and things like that. Again, it's a very well-coordinated defensive unit. The players work well and adjust well with each other on things that come up. I don't know if that's exactly the way they want to cover or handle certain things, but they work it out, handle it, and it's effective. They work well together, Milano and Edmunds especially.
On how the Bills utilize Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer:
BB: They're interchangeable. They can both do the same things. They play off each other well. They disguise well.
On if the Bills are aggressive against the run:
BB: Definitely. The whole defense is aggressive in everything. It's why they're one of the best defenses in the league. They're aggressive on the run, aggressive on the pass. They cover well. They rush well. They play zone, play man-to-man, they blitz and mix it up. They're good at all of it.
On if the Bills defense is similar from year-to-year:
BB: I think last year was a little bit different. Again, they do have a good variety in their system. I'm not saying they just do one thing. They don't do that, but the things they do complement each other well. It's hard to tell which one they're doing because they all kind of look the same. They're basically in the same personnel group. It's hard. It's hard to know which safety is coming or if it's a boundary corner or which linebacker is coming or if they're going to drop out and fake like they're going to come, if they're going to stunt the line, if they're going to play base, if they're going to rotate, not rotate, and they just do a good job on all those things.
On how big a loss Tre'Davious White is for the Bills:
BB: He's a really good player. You'll have to ask them. He's a really good player. They seem to be very good at having depth, using their depth, and being able to have enough people to play well through an NFL season. They went 13-3 last year. Nobody goes through a season without having to deal with something. They've done it. [Matt] Breida's given them depth at running back. As I've said, they've got a couple defensive ends. They juggled some guys on the offensive line with [Spencer] Brown and [Daryl] Williams going inside. They have a deep team. They just keep going.
On Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson:
BB: We have confidence in all our backs. They've all been productive. Brandon's [Bolden] been productive. Rhamondre and Damien have been productive. James White was productive. J.J. [Taylor] was productive when he had an opportunity, as many as the other three guys, or four guys including James. We, fortunately, have good depth in the backfield, and they've all been productive.
On if there are similarities in the running styles of Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson:
BB: They're both bigger, physical guys. I don't know. They're both productive.
On if there is a reason why he tends to use multiple running backs throughout a season:
BB: Not necessarily.
On how much of a challenge the noise factor will be in Buffalo on Monday:
BB: We prepare for it every week. It's probably louder out there in practices than in the game. Either way, it's loud. Yeah. I don't know.
On how Emmanuel Sanders complements Buffalo's other receivers:
BB: They all complement each other well. Gabe [Davis] plays a decent amount. He's in there, and he plays all three spots. He could be in there for any one of the big three. Sanders is obviously a very crafty receiver, an excellent route runner, primarily plays X but not always, and they use a lot of formations with all three receivers on the same side. [Dawson] Knox back side, some of that too, and empty, things like that. He definitely moves around, and he's effective in all spots. He played slot in college. He's played inside before, primarily outside. He's good in both spots. Good hands, does a great job on the sideline keeping his feet in bounds and making those sideline catches, and obviously [Josh] Allen can zip the ball out there. You have to defend every inch of the field against these guys in the passing game. He's a smart, crafty guy that runs well, has good quickness and is a very good route runner.
On if there is any overlap with what Jalen Mills did in Philadelphia and what he does now in New England:
BB: I'm sure some things are similar, some things are different. Their core coverage or, I would say, the lead coverage they used in Philly is not one we use a lot of. Again, Jalen has played a lot of football. He played at LSU. He played at a great program down there. He's been in the league five years. He's played off-man, press-man, three-deep zone, two-deep zone, quarters coverage, blitz coverage. It's not like he's never done those things.
On teaching Kendrick Bourne stiff arm techniques and what it is like to see players pick up on his coaching:
BB: Well, as a coach, you love to be able to help a player improve or do something better. I think there's a lot of mutual satisfaction when that happens. Help the player do something, and he makes a play. He feels good about it, and you feel good about it. That's kind of what we get paid to do for a living.