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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 12/3

Read the full transcript from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference on Friday, December 3, 2021.


December 3, 2021

On if Quinn Nordin is joining the practice squad:

BB: He is.

On preparing for games in bad weather and when he will start considering the weather in his preparations for Monday night's game:

BB: Usually we talk about it once we know for sure when it is, which, a lot of times, that's when we get to the stadium. It's hard to really hang your hat on one of the predictions here. We'll go with the known information understanding, obviously, what it could be. We're not expecting overheating and fans on the sideline.

On how the team prepares during the week when bad weather is expected:

BB: I would say, on the weather, we don't really spend a lot of time on that. We practice in a variety of conditions from the start of training camp to the end of the preseason, so whenever they come up, they come up. We learn from those. Those may or may not be what we get that particular week. Somewhere along the line, it could come into play. We talk about that, how it would affect certain plays, situations, ball handling, et cetera. It's kind of a continual conversation we have on that.

On preparing for bad weather:

BB: I don't think there's too much we haven't seen. We haven't seen a lot of snow this year, but I don't know what we could do about that. We practice in wind. We practice on sunny days, cloudy days, windy days, calm days, hot days, cold days, wet days, dry days. What's it going to be? Whatever it is, it is, and if we haven't done it, then we'll adjust to it. We've dealt with almost everything.

On if having the late bye week this season has impacted some of the team's rotations up until this point:

BB: Honestly, the decisions each week are pretty much based on that week, what we need to try to do to win that game and then deal with next week next week. On a specific injury or a player's physical condition, that could be a different part of the conversation. Just in terms of playing the game and doing what we need to do to win, that's hard enough every week. We put everything we can into trying to win each game. When the game's over, we tee it up and be ready to do it again.

On Brian Daboll:

BB: We've gone against Brian a number of times before in Buffalo and on other teams as well. He's a good coach. He's well-prepared. As a game plan coach, he attacks what you do and does a good job of it. He puts a lot of pressure on the defense. I'm sure we'll see that again Monday night.

On how the team's defense complements each other:

BB: It's all about complementary defense and playing good team defense. One without the other is not very effective. When you can combine good pass coverage with a good pass rush, then that leads to negative plays. It could lead to sacks. It could lead to interceptions. It could lead to pass breakups, pressures, and things like that. Absolutely. Team defense is what we're always trying to do well. If you can match the coverage and match the rush at about the time the quarterback's trying to throw the ball, that's really what you're looking to do. As I said, one without the other, you can probably make a couple plays on that, but overall, in the long run, it's just not going to be enough because if you have a good rush, the ball is out, and it's completed, or you have them covered with no rush and eventually the quarterbacks and receivers are too good in this league and they'll get open. You've got to try to marry those together.

On how his teams have been so successful defensively over the last 20 years:

BB: Well, I've been coaching a lot longer than 20 years, but you try to do whatever you can do to win that week. That's really what it comes down to. Each week is different. Each week has its own challenges. You look at the way the game matches up, what your opportunities are, what your opponent does, and try to figure it out from there. Ultimately, it's about the players. They're the ones that make the plays. They're the ones that execute the, whatever it is, offense, defense, special teams that are out there. You can ask me that all you want, but you need good players to win, and the games that we've won, our players have played well enough to win. They've made the plays they need to make. It really comes down to having good players.

On what fuels him to keep coaching:

BB: Not a lot that's happened in the past really means anything. We've won some. We've lost games, whatever it is. Right now, this week, it's the challenge of this team against Buffalo in 2021. First time we've played them. We've played them a couple times here in a short period of time, but this is the game to focus on. Put everything we have into this one, go up to Buffalo, and try to be as competitive as we can against a good football team that's well-coached, that plays well, that competes well and is tough. We're going to need our best game. That's what we're striving for each week.

On the criteria for the Pro Football Hall of Fame:

BB: I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this. I've never advocated automatic anything. I think every rule can have exceptions, especially on something like this. Whatever the criteria is, there can certainly be a person that doesn't meet that criteria that's worthy of that selection if everybody agrees and thinks that they are. I just think it'd be a lot easier if you had something to at least ballpark measure what we're talking about here, but right now I'm focused on Buffalo and the Bills. I'm not going to worry about that.

On the challenges of losing a player like Tre'Davious White:

BB: Every team deals with that every week. You have to have backups for every position. You get into the kicking game, you might need to replace a guy on four, five teams. It could be multiple guys, again, depending on what the person's role is and so forth. Every time you go into a game, you have to know, who's your backup this? Who's your backup that? Who's your backup kicker? Who's your backup punter? Who's your backup quarterback? Backup everything. That's football. That's competitive sports. We all deal with it every week. You never know for sure when it's going to happen. If a person's out for a longer period of time, then you make your best arrangements that you can based on what you have. That can change on one play in any given game.

On Star Lotulelei and the Bills defense:

BB: Another good player in it. They're very good up there. They have good depth and good talent. They just keep coming in waves. They've got a couple of waves of guys there. They're all tough. They're good playmakers. They're consistent. They have a good defense, obviously. They're one of the best defenses in the league. They're good at everything. They've got a good front. They have good linebackers, and they have a good secondary. They're experienced. They play together. They certainly know how to execute the defense, make adjustments, and it's hard to fool them. You've got to earn it. They don't make many bad plays. They're very well-coached. Sean [McDermott], Leslie [Frazier], and their staff do a really good job fundamentally. They do a good job schematically. Obviously, one of the best defenses that we've played and we play year-in, year-out. They always make it hard, and they'll make it hard Monday night. We'll have to, as I said, do a good job, play aggressively our best game. 

On Dawson Knox:

BB: He's a good player. We've certainly had trouble with him before. Very competitive in every phase of the game. Good hands. Good receiver. Can make plays down the field. Coverts third downs. Good in the red area. Competitive blocker. Can detach from the line from the formation, sometimes in the backfield, not a lot, but has the versatility to go back there and do things. He's a versatile player that Coach [Brian] Daboll moves around and utilizes in different ways, different matchups, different formations. He's done a good job for them. 

On how important special teams will be on Monday night:

BB: It's always important. Buffalo's always a challenging place to play because the wind will affect the kicking game more than it will the passing game as it relates to field position, ball handling, field goal range, direction of the kicks, so forth. Obviously, it's a big, key factor in the game, depending on what it is. It's part of the challenge of playing there. It'll be the same for both teams. We'll see how everybody handles it, but it'll definitely be a factor. Again, more of a factor in the kicking game than the passing game, although, it could affect the passing game, but it'll affect the kicking game first.

On Nelson Agholor possibly pursuing coaching after his playing career:

BB: Nelly's a smart guy. He's got a good level of experience. He's played in a couple different systems and played multiple positions: inside, outside, and, as I said, played in different passing systems, so he has a pretty good familiarity with different aspects of the passing game and, obviously, the way that they're defended. He's a smart guy. I'm not sure exactly what his career goals are. I think the immediate ones are to go up and play well against Buffalo. That's what we're looking for. He's a smart player, and I'm sure he'll have a great career after football in whatever area he chooses to pursue.

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