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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 12/24

PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

BB: We're going to get rolling here on Buffalo this week. It's good to be back in the division. Defensively, this has been a really impressive group. They don't give up many yards, turn the ball over, really good up front, make a lot of negative plays, sack the quarterback, tackles for loss, turnovers. They're really good in their kickoff coverage, punt coverage units. They do a really good job on that. Those are mostly defensive players. Offensively, some explosive players - running backs, tight ends, receivers. [Derek] Anderson's obviously a really experienced guy that both Brian [Daboll] and Sean [McDermott] have a lot of experience with. I'm sure he'll be able to handle things the way they want it done. We know it'll be tough up there Monday night. It's always tough in Buffalo. I'm sure there will be a lot of energy in the stadium given all that they have going on and so forth. This will be a good test for us on the road to go out and play well in the division.

Q: Have you seen Brian Daboll put his imprint on that offense?

BB: Sure, yeah.

Q: What are some of the things that he's done particular to him and his style that has shown up in their offense?

BB: Look, he's been a coordinator multiple times before. I think this is similar but obviously adapted for the personnel and the situation that they have. A good balance between the running game and the passing game, play-action. They do a good job of spreading the ball around, getting it out on time.

Q: Do you have much experience facing Derek Anderson?

BB: Not too much.

Q: How do you prepare for a situation like this then?

BB: Yeah, well, he played last week. He's been in the league. We saw him at Carolina, saw him at Cleveland. I mean, there's plenty of film on him. Yeah, but I'm sure there will be some things that we're not preparing for that they'll do with him that may be different than what they did with [Josh] Allen.

Q: Josh McDaniels mentioned that Buffalo's defense really makes you earn your way down the field. Is that something you've also noticed on film?

BB: They don't give up much. Yeah, they've only given up one big passing play this season. Again, a lot of sacks, a lot of negative runs. Coach McDermott does a real good job with his defense. They use multiple blitzers, a combination of zone, blitz-zone, man, games, stunts. You have to block a lot through the course of the game and handle it, and they usually get everybody a few times with something and either turn the ball over or knock the offense out of the drive.

Q: How have they been using Tremaine Edwards thus far? He seems like a guy who doesn't come off the field much.

BB: Middle linebacker.

Q: So he does he stay in the middle pretty consistently?

BB: Yeah.

Q: Will they bring him on blitzes at all?

BB: They bring everybody. Everybody blitzes. Corners blitz, safeties blitz, linebackers blitz. Everybody blitzes. Everybody gets a turn.

Q: Given their loss last week in Indianapolis, do you have to remind your players that this team is capable of big wins, citing their big victory they had on the road in Minnesota earlier this season?

BB: Yeah, they've won a couple of big games. It's a division game. It's always tough with them up there. We know that. I mean, we know it's going to be tough. We talked about it, but talking about it is the easy part. It'll be dealing with it Monday night that will be the hard part.

Q: What have you seen from their punter, Corey Bojorquez? Is it similar to what you saw from him here in training camp?

BB: Yeah, a big leg. He does a good job in the plus-50.

Q: Was he someone you guys were hoping would stick around on the practice squad for you?

BB: Yeah, well, we didn't really have that option. He was claimed.

Q: What is the extra day of preparation going to be used for this week? How do you stretch the days out this week?

BB: We've been in this situation a couple of times before this year. Houston, Kansas City, so it'll probably be similar to that.

Q: Does Derek Anderson fall into the similar category as some of these athletic quarterbacks that you've faced throughout the season?

BB: Yeah, sure. If we don't do a good job of defending it, he'll do it.

Q: Does LeSean McCoy look as explosive as he has in past seasons?

BB: Sure does; yeah. He's had a lot of great runs. When the hole is there, that's a problem. But he makes plays when the defense overpursues and he cuts back. He's very good in the passing game, good short yardage and goal line runner, gets tough yards. I mean, he can do it all. He's a great player. He's hard to tackle, hard to stop.

Q: What have you seen from Kenneth Farrow in his time here as he has been on and off the roster?

BB: Yeah, he's worked hard. He's tried to do everything we've asked him to do.

Q: Is there any part of you that starts to study up on a guy like Josh Allen, knowing that he may be the future of their franchise, even though he is not likely to play this week?

BB: Well, we've seen him play this year. If he's been ruled out for the game then we'll focus on the players that aren't ruled out. But of course we've seen him, so it's impossible to miss him watching all of the other games.

Q: How much has Micah Hyde made a difference in their secondary over the past couple of years?

BB: Well, Hyde and [Jordan] Poyer do a good job. They work very well together. It's hard to talk about one without talking about the other one. They do an excellent job of disguising their coverages and the blitzes because they do pressure a pretty fair amount. They are both very instinctive and make some plays based on anticipation, experience, recognition of offensive formations or plays as they develop. They react to them pretty quickly. Both of those guys do a real good job. But Hyde has also stepped in for them as a punt returner and he's got very good ball skills. He has corner experience, so when they're in man-to-man coverage situations and he's asked to do that he's pretty competitive as a coverage player as well as a zone player, both short and deep. Middle of the field or half the field because they play both split and post-safety coverages. He's a pretty versatile guy. Poyer, similar, but a little more of the strong safety role. But again, they work very well together and they're somewhat interchangeable because the defense is balanced and there's a lot of strong rotations, a lot of weak rotation. There's a lot of split-safety coverage. There's a lot of strong safety pressure, weak safety pressure or pressures from that side. They're pretty interchangeable and that makes them a well-balanced defense. It's hard to take advantage of one thing or the other because they're both pretty good at both.

Q: What has impressed you about their rush defense?

BB: All of the negative plays that are created. Again, they do a good job with movement. They bring guys off the edge and get their linemen involved in stunts and movement. They play base and they're just hard to block. [Jordan] Phillips has done a good job for them. He's a good, young player. Obviously, Kyle [Williams] is always a problem in there. [Trent] Murphy has done a good job for them. He's a strong guy that's hard to block on the edge, as is [Jerry] Hughes, [Lorenzo] Alexander. They have good players up there. They play them straight. They stunt them and they stunt them in combination with other players - secondary players and linebackers, so that creates some issues for blocking patterns and so forth. But a lot of negative plays, a lot of strips, a lot of balls on the ground, and then that creates long yardage and they sack the quarterback. They hit the quarterback.

Q: What have you seen from Tre'Davious White in his second season in Buffalo?

BB: He usually matches up on the No. 1 receiver. Not always, but usually. Depending on where the guy is and who it is and so forth. But clearly they want to get him on a certain player and then they work opposite that with [Phillip] Gaines or [Ryan] Lewis or whoever the other guy has been. It's been Gaines, but then he was hurt so Lewis played some for him and then [Taron] Johnson really plays the nickel position inside.

Q: Do you hope to have Rob Gronkowski back this week?

BB: Yeah, we hope to get everybody back. We'll see.

Q: Do you have any update on Sony Michel's status?

BB: Nope.

Q: What are some of the teaching points that you try to emphasize with your team about how to stop mobile quarterbacks?

BB: Yeah, well, we could be here for a while on that one. Essentially, it depends on what the call is, what our responsibility is, how many people are involved, three, four, five or six-man rush? Whatever it is. There are a lot of varying factors - what the protection is. But fundamentally it's the responsibility of the players that are rushing the quarterback to maintain leverage on them. We'll keep working on that.

Q: Did you get a chance to watch the voice over on the FOX broadcast of the World Series last night?

BB: Yeah, I saw it. Yeah, I was honored to do it. The World Series is a great event. That's one that, as a kid, there was no Super Bowl. That's how far back I go. There was the World Series, championship boxing match. That was really the big event. That was a big event in sports. Yeah, that's always got a special place. Two great franchises and a big win for the Sox last night.

Q: Growing up in Maryland, were you a fan of some of those early Baltimore Orioles teams? They had some good teams back then.

BB: They were good.

Q: You guys blocked a punt the other day and it appeared to be a result of Joe Judge seeing something and having an idea to put it in the game plan and it worked well. What is it like as a coach when you want to try something new like that and it works well on the first attempt?

BB: Well, I'd say there's some of that every week based on who you play and how you want to try and play the game. You do things that are either different or a little bit different. Try to do the same thing with a little different look or something like that. Yeah, sometimes those things work out. Sometimes they don't work as well as you hope they will for one reason or another, but that's part of the process. The flip side of it is you prepare for things and you see some of the things you prepare for and then you see some things usually that you haven't prepared for. Maybe you prepared for some version of it but the way they do it is a little bit different, that type of thing. There's really not that many plays in practices. Unlike college, you don't have the full scout team. You only get maybe half as many plays in practice as you would get in the game on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday covering early downs, third down and red area. The number of plays that our opponents have run are way more than what we could possibly run in practice so matching things up in practice the way they hit in a game is hard to do, I would say. There's an element of kind of every play that you run or that they run. There's a few that hit the way they do in practice, but there's quite a few that it's a pattern against a different coverage or it's a different pattern against a coverage with similar concepts but maybe they are in a different formation, things like that. That's just all part of it. Players have to make adjustments in the game and we have a lot of experienced players and guys do a good job of that, of seeing something that's sort of what we covered but it's a little bit different because that's the game plan and you don't see it until Sunday.

Transcripts are provided by the Patriots media relations department as a courtesy to the media and are edited for readability. All press conferences are posted and archived in their entirety at patriots.com.

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