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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 12/27

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, December 27, 2017.

BB: Alright, so, we're rolling here on the Jets. This is a team that's been in a lot of close games. They do a lot of things well. They've been close really all year. Obviously, we had a tough game against them down there. Offensively, [Bilal] Powell and [Robby] Anderson are both having big years for them. I thought [Bryce] Petty was impressive. [Josh] McCown had a good year for them, too, but Petty has come in and kind of, I'd say, plays a similar style to McCown. They have really good backs, really explosive backs, good skill players, good receivers, tight ends. Those guys - [Austin] Seferian-Jenkins is a good player. [Eric] Tomlinson has a solid role for them. They do a good job there - [Lawrence] Thomas at fullback. They have a lot of guys that have solid roles for them. Defensively, very much of a game plan team. They give you a lot of different looks. They do a good job up front. They have good team speed - their linebackers, and safeties and secondary players - so they mix it up pretty good and force you to execute offensively against a lot of different things, different pressures, man, zone, combination, quarters coverage, things like that. In the kicking game they've added the returner - [JoJo Natson] - another explosive guy, solid coverage players. I think overall it's a good solid team in all three units. They really jumped on the Chargers last week, opened with the onside kick and hit Anderson down the sideline. [They] had a lot of big plays in the running game from their backs. We'll be challenged in all three units. We're going to have to play better than we did in the first game. They're better than they were in the first game. We'll need to do a lot better than that.

Q: How would you describe James Harrison's playing style?

BB: He's played outside linebacker for the Steelers. We'll see how it goes.

Q: Is there carryover from what they asked him to do and what he could do for your team?

BB: Yeah, I don't know. We'll start working with him and see how it goes.

Q: What are your thoughts on his career?

BB: Good.

Q: How much of a factor did his experience in big games play a role in the decision to sign him?

BB: Yeah, we can't control any of that.

Q: You guys have a lot of experience playing against him. Is the process different when bringing in a guy like that as opposed to someone with less experience?

BB: Every player is different.

Q: Do you put any stock into the fact that he could provide valuable intelligence given his familiarity with the Steelers and their system?

BB: Well, we're playing the Jets this week. I don't really know what that has to do with it. Maybe I'm missing something. I don't know.

Q: What about looking ahead to any possible matchups in the playoffs?

BB: Well, we play the Jets this week.

Q: What has allowed Robby Anderson to emerge as one of the Jets big play guys?

BB: Well, he had a good year last year. He's built on it, [has] more experience. They have a very good vertical passing game. Coach [John] Morton kind of runs the New Orleans - a similar style offense that the Saints run. They do a good job on the vertical passing game and using their backs and that's what they've done. They've thrown the ball down the field and they've gotten a lot of production out of the backs.

Q: How would you characterize the contributions that your rookie class has given you this season?

BB: Good. Those guys - they've all worked hard and I think they've all improved. Some have gotten a little more playing time than others. A couple of guys haven't played much for different reasons. They've contributed and they're getting better. We're going to need them.

Q: Has Malcom Brown made a bigger jump this year than he did from his rookie year to second year?

BB: I mean, Malcom's done a good job for us. He missed some time this year in the middle of the year, but Malcom's a smart guy. He works hard. He's a team player. He does what you ask him to do for the team concept and tries to play disciplined football. He's done a pretty good job of that since he's been here.

Q: Do you talk to the team at all about securing the No. 1 seed in the playoffs with a win this week?

BB: Haven't mentioned it; no.

Q: How important has the work been of some of the guys you've rotated at the outside linebacker-defensive end spot? There has been a lot of moving pieces at that spot going back to training camp.

BB: Yeah, there's been a lot of transition there. We've put a lot of time into that position and the players themselves have put a lot of time in, even though it's been a number of players. It's probably getting close to double digits now. We've got a lot of guys that have worked hard at those spots in various roles or assignments in different personnel groupings and so forth. We'll just keep working at it.

Q: When you coached the Pro Bowl, was James Harrison a player of yours? Did you have any familiarity with him prior to yesterday?

BB: Yeah, not too much.

Q: Was important to just meet him yesterday and try to get to know him a bit?

BB: It's always good to meet somebody.

Q: Do you view it as a positive when someone like him comes in late in the year and doesn't have a lot of wear-and-tear on their body from earlier in the season?

BB: I don't know. We'll see how it goes.

Q: When evaluating a potential player, do you weigh more heavily what the player can do or what the player can't do?

BB: I think you bring players onto the team for what they can do.

Q: How much of the Jets offense is centered around Bilal Powell this year?

BB: Yeah, he's a key guy for them. They have good backs. [Matt] Forte has got more catches than Powell does, but they're both very good in the passing game. [Elijah] McGuire helps them in the passing game, too, but Powell's been an explosive player for them. He's had a lot of explosive runs. He's got good vision, good quickness. And Forte is a very dangerous guy, too - good runner, good balance, catches the ball well. Those guys are, again, including McGuire in the group, those guys are all dangerous players. As I said, when you combine that with a vertical passing game, you create a lot of separation in the defense. It's hard to get everybody. 

Q: What makes Leonard Williams such a disruptive player?

BB: Pretty much everything. He's good at everything. He's long, an explosive player, so he's hard to block. It's hard to get into him. He uses his hands well. He's well-coached, plays on his feet, he's got good balance, good quickness. You hardly ever see him get cut or get on the ground. He's got good quickness on the pass rush, good length, uses his hands well. He's got good power, so you can't just wait for him to make a move or he'll run over you. If you just sit there and wait for him to run over you, he'll make a move. He's good on pass rush games. He's got good patience on those, sets them up well working with the ends and the tackles. He's a smart player. He's instinctive. He reads traps and screens and misdirection plays, things like that, well. He's as good as we play against. He's good at everything. It's not for run plays or pass plays - good in pursuit, runs to the ball, makes plays on backside, screens, plays like that. He can run. He's long. He's a problem. 

Q: Deatrich Wise has had 5 sacks this year. What have you seen from him in terms of growth during his rookie season?

BB: Yeah, Deatrich's worked hard. He's played several different positions for us. He's played outside on both sides. He's played inside. We've played him a little bit on the center and kind of in that area early in the season - not so much lately. Most of his snaps have been on the outside. He's had to take on some coverage responsibilities, which I don't think he had much experience with that. But, Deatrich - you can't outwork him. The kid's here early, he stays late, he's always working - working in the weight room, working in the film room. Trey has done a real good job with him - Trey Flowers - I'd say of kind of mentoring him and helping him because they play the same position. I think that's helped Deatrich. But, he's gotten better. He's a lot better than he was earlier in the year. He has a lot better use of his hands. He's a lot better at recognizing blocking schemes and reacting to plays that he didn't see a month or two months ago. He sees pretty well now. He sees very quickly. He plays them a lot better. But, really, I'd say the main thing with him is his work ethic. He's out there every day. He works hard on the field, off the field, in the classroom, in the weight room. He's a good kid, works hard. 

Q: Is Marquis Flowers a player that has some upside on defense?

BB: We'll see. Yeah, he's done a lot of different things for us. He's a guy that's been grinding it out all year and got an opportunity last week and really took advantage of it. [He] primarily played inside linebacker with the Bengals, which is where we've played him a lot, but he's also played some on the edge. He's got some length, so he has a little bit of versatility to be able to go between those spots. But, he did a real good job in the Buffalo game - showed up on a lot of plays in the running game and in the passing game and in pursuit. So, hopefully he can build on that. We've had a couple guys in recent weeks get a little more playing time than they had in the past. Hopefully they'll be able to build on those experiences and gain confidence and gain some playing experience and continue to help us.

Q: With Wise, it seems like we've seen more production from his as a pass rusher. Is that a result of him playing more on the outside or just him understanding things better?

BB: Well, I think he has experienced that he gets better every week. So, more experience doing something over and over again, seeing guys the second time around - the second time we've seen Buffalo, so that second preparation for a team when you've never really done that before, which most guys in college don't play the same team twice in the same year, learning things like that are, I think, beneficial. So, he takes it in. I mean, he's still got a lot of upsides, a lot of football in front of him, but he's improved a lot over the course of the year. I wouldn't base it on one game or two games, but I think when you look at a stretch of double digit games, you see a lot of growth in that player. 

Q: After the game on Sunday, Dion Lewis gave credit to Mike Gillislee for his professionalism this year. What have you seen from Gillislee over the last several weeks?

BB: Mike's been great. Mike works really hard. In practice, sometimes when he's - well, all the time, really - when he's running the other teams' plays - because we don't have any practice squad backs on our roster, so our backs run the other team's plays - he gives us a great look on whoever those backs are. And I know every day, every week when he gets his opportunities, he's ready to go. He's alert, attentive and makes the most out of them. I would 100 percent second everything that Dion said. He's been a great teammate and he's done everything that he can to help the team in whatever capacity he's been asked to do it in.

Q: Lewis was just named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week. Did you always view him a player that was capable of handling upwards of 20 or 25 touches in a game?

BB: Well, he did that in college. He carried the mail in college. This is different. This isn't college, but he's a guy who's had some, I'd say, solid production in single games. It's a little bit different in this league. So, I don't know. I mean, he can do both. He's done both. We'll see how it goes. He's a durable kid, though. I mean, he's tough. He takes some hits, but he's been pretty durable. He's tough. He gives out some punishment, too. He runs hard.

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