PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
December 21, 2018
BB: OK, so just on yesterday’s news, I spoke with Josh [Gordon] yesterday morning, as I have several times since he’s been here. It’s obviously an unfortunate situation, and personally, I wish him the very best, as we all do on this team. He’s made a statement, the organization’s made a statement, the league’s made a statement. I’ve spoken on him at length over the last three months, and so I don’t really have anything at this point to add to that. It’s a private matter, and I hope that he’s able to deal with it successfully. So, otherwise, we’re moved on to Buffalo and big challenge ahead of us on Sunday. Today will be a big day for us, and we need to make the most of it and be ready to go.
Q: Did you find out yesterday when you spoke to Josh that you would be moving on?
BB: Yeah, I’m not going to – again, everything’s been said. I have nothing to add to it. That’s it.
Q: A lot of the players have expressed sadness for a teammate they really liked. They also talked about moving on, like you just did, and how there’s a process in that. What have you noticed from the players and how they’ve responded to this situation?
BB: Yeah, I mean, it’s a big game. We know Buffalo’s tough, we know they’re going to compete and what we need to do to be competitive against them. So, we practiced with that in mind yesterday. We’ll do it again today, Saturday and be ready to go on Sunday.
Q: How difficult is it to get this news on a Thursday in Week 16 when you guys are getting ready for the stretch run?
BB: Yeah, well, it is what it is.
Q: How much do you anticipate losing Josh is going to change the offense?
BB: Yeah, look, we have a lot of good players. We have a lot of people who have contributed and performed well for us, and we have a lot of confidence in them and the whole team.
Q: Do you feel like you guys did all that you could for Josh while he was here?
BB: Yeah, I’m not going to address or make any comments on that.
Q: Are you going to continue to work with him or part ways?
BB: We’re going to get ready for Buffalo and play Buffalo on Sunday.
Q: What has Phillip Dorsett brought the team this year?
BB: The same thing he brought it last year – smart guy that’s versatile, can play multiple positions, been a dependable player for us.
Q: How would you describe Dorsett’s attitude and work ethic after playing so much in the first month of the season and then having to take a backseat when Julian Edelman and Gordon came on?
BB: Phil’s tremendous. He’s a tremendous kid, great teammate. I think he has everybody’s total respect in the locker room on everything – his preparation, the way he treats other people, how unselfish he is, how he’s always ready for his role. You saw that in the Super Bowl last year. So, I don’t think you could ask for any more than what he gives the team.
Q: How much confidence do you have in your remaining players here?
BB: I have confidence in our team.
Q: Would you look into potentially adding a wide receiver at this point in the year, or would it be too hard for anybody to come in at this time?
BB: Yeah, we’re going to try to put together the best game plan and be as competitive as we can against Buffalo on Sunday. That’s what we’re looking over right now.
Q: Did Josh impress you with his ability to fit in and be productive right away? That seems fairly rare for receivers.
BB: Yeah, Ben [Volin], we’re going to focus on Buffalo. I think I’ve commented on that multiple times. I’m sure we have plenty of transcripts on that if you want to read up on them.
Q: What have you seen from Cordarrelle Patterson in the last couple weeks as he’s played more receiver?
BB: Yeah, well, he’s played multiple positions for us, going all the way back to the spring. So, we’ll see how it goes. We have a lot of confidence in the things he can do, and he’s done multiple things for us.
Q: Is that something that the coaching staff has to try to handle during the season when there are changes made to the roster, just in terms of updating players on what the expectations are from them or what their roles might be?
BB: Yeah, it’s the National Football League. It’s pretty much like that every week on every team at some position – not every position but at some positions.
Q: When you think of a Sean McDermott-coached team, what stands out to you?
BB: Well-coached, very fundamentally sound, play with great effort and toughness, disciplined, make you earn everything, defensively very sound.
Q: When it comes to Josh Allen, it’s interesting to see how he’s performed versus what some of the projections were on him coming out of college. Is that a position where it’s difficult to determine what a quarterback will give you based on physical skill set alone?
BB: That’s true of, I’d say, the majority of the rookies. Take them out of college, put them into whichever system they go into and then evaluate how that goes. It’s sometimes quite different, especially if the systems are different. I mean, anytime you take a player from one system and put them in another system, you see things that you didn’t see before, and maybe you don’t see some of the things that you did see before because it’s a different system. So, he’s a good player, he’s very athletic, he’s got a good arm, he’s a good competitor, he’s tough. He’s done a good job for them.
Q: What have you learned about Damoun Patterson since you signed him to the practice squad?
BB: He’s done a good job for us. He’s learning the offense. Most of his reps come on the scout team, but he also is learning the offense and is able to do more and more things each week for what we do, so there’s that. All practice squad players kind of go through that where they work on the fundamentals and techniques in simulating the other team’s players, and at the same time, learn what we do in fewer opportunities to do it because the players who are playing get most of those. But, he’s making progress.
Q: How has Chris Hogan handled his role this year?
BB: Yeah, he’s been healthy all year, so that’s a good thing.
Q: Do you have any thoughts on losing Eric Smith from the practice squad and losing that layer of depth?
BB: It’s the National Football League. We see those transactions every week. I’m sure we’ll see them again next week somewhere in the league. I mean, that’s the National Football League.
Q: Is it more common at this time of year that teams come after practice squad guys?
BB: Every week. Look at the transactions every week. Didn’t Buffalo just sign a guy off of San Francisco’s practice squad?
Q: I was thinking more time of year. Like, do you see more...
BB: Wasn’t it this week?
Q: I know. But this time of year, do you see that more than in Week 3 or 4? Are teams taking guys off practice squads more this time of year?
BB: Yeah. You don’t claim them at the 53, they’re on somebody else’s practice squad, you need a guy, you sign them. Yeah, if you have a spot and you like the guy – I mean, I don’t know the frequency of it, but again, it happens all year long. It happens. I mean, every team. Like, we’ve lost them, we’ve signed them off other team’s practice squads, they’ve signed them off ours. It’s the National Football League.