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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 12/22

Read the full transcript from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference on Thursday, December 22, 2022.

HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

Press Conference
Thursday, December 22, 2022

Q: When Logan Wilson was coming out, did you have the chance to interact much with him?

BB: Not too much.

Q: Do you view him as sort of a linebacker that fit in any scheme? Or was he sort of the type of linebacker that might be better in a specific?

BB: He definitely has a lot of strong points. He could probably play in anything.

Q: How do they use [Ja'Marr] Chase and [Tee] Higgins? Are those guys pretty interchangeable? Or do they have set roles?

BB: They're versatile. I mean they do certain things more than others. I'd say there's a degree of interchangeability. I don't know, that's a question for Zac [Taylor] really.

Q: What does it look like that makes Chase a hard guy to bring down? It feels like he does a lot of work after the catch.

BB: He does. Yeah, he has a ton of production after the catch. Very good.

Q: Any trait that he has that helps him as far as that goes?

BB: Fast. Quick. Strong.

Q: What has made Matthew Slater and Devin McCourty such great leaders over the years with you here?

BB: They both have a lot of natural leadership. They're very passionate. They set a great example. So it's easy to lead when you kind of do everything right, which they do. They're very unselfish.

Q: Matthew Judon said that you called him last night and told him that he made the Pro-Bowl. How enjoyable has he been to coach these past two seasons?

BB: Yeah, great. He's got a great attitude. Works hard. Puts the team first. Got a lot of energy every day. Great on and off the field, and in the locker room.

Q: Did you get to take a look the past couple days at the rookie offensive tackle there [Andrew] Stueber? Is this similar to like [Joshuah] Bledsoe last year, when you got him in at the end of the year? Does he maybe even have a chance to possibly help you here at the end of the year?

BB: I don't know [inaudible]. He's only been out there two days.

Q: How's it looked in two days? You actually haven't even been in pads, right?

BB: You're exactly right.

Q: Good to have him back?

BB: Yeah, it's good to have every player out there that we have out there. For sure.

Q: With Joe Cardona on the injury report, Tucker Addington to the practice squad last week, what have you seen from Tucker on long snaps?

BB: Getting acclimated. It's timing and acclimation to punt and field goal protection. Obviously, punt protection there's a lot more to it. But calls, blocking assignments, coverage responsibilities and so forth.

Q: I want to ask about the weather on Saturday. I know it's your favorite topic. But as far as the winds that are projected, could be 30-40mph throughout the game. How do you account for that in your preparation when obviously it's not that windy out for practice?

BB: We talk about what it could be. But like you said, it's a lot easier to wait and see what it is. Instead of waste time on 10 different forecasts and then figure out which one it actually is. We've practiced in wind all year.

Q: What do you remember about Ted Karras and the impact he had here in his time with you?

BB: Great, yeah. Ted's - all positive. Came in as a rookie, worked hard. Got bounced around a lot but he hung in there. Was on the practice squad for a short time, I think his second year. David [Andrews] got hurt, started at center all year. Tough, good energy, smart, plays hard, always plays with high effort.

Q: One thing he said this year is that he learned how to be a leader here because there are so many leaders in that locker room. Is that something you could kind of see that personality from Ted, grow and develop in terms of becoming you know he's a captain there now?

BB: He's got a very positive personality. Every day big smile on his face ready to go. But working hard. He smiles and he works hard. Smiles when things aren't going good, but looks forward to the next play. He doesn't dwell on anything negative in the past. He's happy when he wins. He looks ahead to the next opportunity if things don't go as well. He's got a great outlook.

Q: I think the first thing you mentioned yesterday when we asked you about [Joe] Burrow was toughness. Why is that an important characteristic for that position?

BB: Because you get hit.

Q: Is there anything to like that position setting an example maybe even in terms of what they show there?

BB: Yeah, sure. That position is the center piece of every pro offense. So, there's a lot of things that position carries.

Q: On the long snapper, could it be difficult to introduce somebody into that operation this late in the season with how much timing it requires there? Obviously, it's not something you've had to deal with in quite a while with Joe playing every game since he's been here.

BB: It's not ideal. We wouldn't go into the year saying, 'We hope this is what happens.' But when it happens, that's why your personnel department always has who your next up players are at every position. If you have to go to those players, like Conor McDermott or whoever, then you go to them and try to get them ready. Or if they're on your practice squad, you already have them in your system, then great. If you don't then you have to go out and get them. It's hard to carry back-ups or depth at every single position across your team. You do the best you can. But you have to make decisions on who they are based on their skill, and the position depth that you have there, or don't have. That can change pretty quickly. But yeah, you have to bring somebody in. I would just say there's a lot more to bringing in an offensive lineman and him learning the offensive line system than there is a long snapper learning the snapper system. Not diminishing that there isn't a degree of timing and execution in both of them, there is. But every team in the league has to go through that, so it is what it is. It's the National Football League.

Q: You mentioned yesterday Burrow that he sees the game well, manages it well. The importance of disguise on Saturday, how high is that?

BB: Always important.

Q: How do you feel like your defense has done in that regard lately? I think Adrian [Phillips] put it to us the other day that defense is mysterious, that sort of what he was getting at hat it feels like they've been doing a good job at disguise. Do you feel like that's been a positive aspect?

BB: Always try to do it and always try to do it better. Always room to improve.

Q: The other side of the ball, I wanted to ask you the RPO package that you guys have had. Maybe I'm wrong, but as far as I can tell they've been one or two downfield and breaking RPOs versus what seems to be mostly bubbles for the routes that are incorporated about that. Why is that best for the offense relying mostly almost entirely on those bubble routes versus kind of a wider, more diverse tree?

BB: I don't know. I'm not sure exactly the whole pass offense you're referring to. But I'd say the general concept of the RPOs is inside runs versus outside passes. If you want to throw the ball down the field, just throw it down the field. If you're going to try to throw it behind the guys, then that's really play-action RPO. It's the same concept. The timing on it is a little bit different, but it's really the same concept. That's what play-action generally does is draw somebody up and try to throw it behind them. So I'm not sure the specific plays you're referring to. But if you run the ball inside and throw the ball inside and everybody's inside, I'm not really sure what you're trying to accomplish. Unless you're trying to throw it behind them, then that's the concept I just talked about.

Q: Yeah, I was curious more because of Mac's [Jones] success with throwing glance routes to the single side at Alabama, something he seemed to do a lot of. I know you guys have incorporated more RPOs this year than last season. Why has it shifted more in that direction as opposed to something he had done then at least less down field I should say?

BB: Yeah, I don't know. You'll have to go back and watch the Alabama games or whatever. I don't really know. But if the concept is the defense to pack the middle of the field, then you run the ball inside and then throw the ball inside, like I'm not really sure I understand what the point of that is. Maybe I'm missing it?

Q: So, when teams throw that slant or something on RPO, is that usually because they're running a wide run fake?

BB: Well, there's somebody that's drawn, there's somebody outside to open that up. The idea of RPOs is basically to attack the width of the field. If you want to throw behind them, then that's a different concept. Similar to a play-action pass that you throw behind the front part of the coverage.

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