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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 12/9

Read the full transcript from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference on Friday, December 9, 2022.


December 9, 2022

Q: With Kliff [Kingsbury], you have obviously the background with him as a player from drafting him in 03'. Since he's become a head coach, what has the dynamic or interaction with him been like?

BB: Yeah, good. Good. Yeah, Kliff's been always great to work with.

Q: Have you kept connected with him say from when he left as a player through his playing-coaching career?

BB: Yeah, occasionally. Yeah, obviously he had some players that we were interested in. So yeah, we stayed in touch.

Q: How would you describe his coaching style?

BB: Aggressive. Yeah, sees the game through the quarterback's eyes.

Q: See much of any marks of what he maybe learned here or did here when you watch it that stands out to you, or hard to say?

BB: I can't remember what we did when he was here. But I mean look, he has a good offensive program system. Saw that in college. Had a lot of explosive plays and players at [Texas] Tech. They're explosive at Arizona. Have been since he's been there. Aggressive on fourth down, aggressive in the kicking game, aggressive on defense. I mean their whole style is pretty aggressive. But offensively, they run it, they throw it, get the ball outside, get the ball down the field. The quarterback's athletic, so they've got a good attack.

Q: Are you keeping up with Croatia in the World Cup?

BB: Nill-nill.

Q: Extra time right now.

BB: Alright, keep me posted. Yeah, keeping our fingers crossed. Tough matchup.

Q: I know you have your team to worry about, but you have some ties to Holy Cross, and I'm just curious if you've followed their run to the postseason or what your interactions have been like with Coach [Bob] Chesney?

BB: Yeah, Coach Chesney's a great, good friend. Really have a lot of respect for the job he's done with their program. You know he visited here in training camp, and I've stayed in touch obviously with Amanda [Belichick] there. Yeah, they have a good connection there. But yeah, I wish him the best. They play tomorrow?

Q: Yeah, noontime.

BB: Yeah, ok. So yeah, pulling for the Crusaders. Big opportunity. Big game for them. Coach has done a good job there. They've beaten a lot of good teams. What, four years in a row that they've won their conference, whatever it is? So yeah, done a great job.

Q: When he's been here have you talked coaching with him or just kind of football in general?

BB: Yeah, again I've talked to him. We've talked frequently. Talked on the phone, talked in person, a variety of things so. Yeah, again a ton of respect for him, the job he's done. Some of the staff was here, so he obviously runs a great program.

Q: Any thoughts about the other game tomorrow?

BB: Yeah, it's a big one. Yeah, slightly favored. Are the quarterbacks healthy?

Q: As far as I know.

BB: Alright, good.

Q: You mentioned Arizona's kicking game. I'm just curious Andy Lee's been in the league longer than any player except for Tom Brady. As long as he's been doing it, how much respect do you have for a guy like that with the craftsmanship that goes into his role and whatnot?

BB: Yeah, very good. He's a very good directional punter. They have good special teams players. I think that's one thing you really notice about Kliff since he's been there that they've improved their depth and performance in the kicking game. You know, Coach [Jeff] Rodgers does a good job there. They're very aggressive. They block well in the return game probably as good as anybody we've seen all year to be honest with you. Between [Greg] Dortch and [Pharoh] Cooper, whoevers returning for them, they've had production in the return game. They cover well. They're aggressive. You know [Chris] Banjo, [Charles] Washington, [Dennis] Gardeck and those guys, I mean they cover well. The specialists are good but yeah Lee's a very good directional punter. Operates pretty quickly. He's a hard guy to – he does a good job. He helps their coverage out, and they cover well. That's a good solid unit. One of the better ones we've played.

Q: Throughout the course of your career, how much extra pressure is there coming off a loss compared to coming off a win?

BB: Yeah, I don't know. Try to play your best every week. Day after the game, put that game behind you and move on to the next team. I don't know what else you'd do.

Q: How has Jonathan Jones handled some extra responsibilities this year in moving to the outside? He obviously saw a lot of [Stefon] Diggs last week, how has he managed that?

BB: Yeah, he's been great. Yeah Jon's – again, he's played out there from time to time before, especially when we've matched up. But I mean he's been great. Played for us in the kicking game. A couple phases in there from time to time depending upon what the roles are that week. But we've had pretty good depth inside with Myles [Bryant] and just overall. With J.C. [Jackson] not being here, it looked like that was our best combination with [Jalen] Mills and Jon, and then Jalen's been out here a little bit. You know Jack's [Jones] played for us all year. Marcus [Jones] has worked his way in there for some playing time as well. So, but yeah Jon's been a good communicator. Would've been a solid guy for us on both defense and in the kicking game.

Q: Is he one of those leadership guys, too? He obviously has the Super Bowl experience, is he one of the guys that you trust?

BB: Yeah, he is because Jon does everything right all the time. Works hard, trains hard, always in good condition, takes care of himself. He's a tough kid. I mean he's out there – obviously, he suffered the injury last year but that was – everything he can do to be out there and compete and be ready to go, he always wants to compete. Go up against whoever the best toughest situation, toughest matchup is. That kind of leadership, communication, being ready to go, every day, every play, practice, special teams, defense, yeah that stuff's really valuable. It's not all about you know who yells the loudest. It's about going out there and being really tough, smart and dependable. He's all of those.

Q: Last week, Rhamondre [Stevenson] played I think almost every snap in the game and just from the outside looking in, the thought was like that's a lot.

BB: Well, we didn't really have the ball very much in the first half. I mean 20 something plays or whatever it was. So yeah, I mean look, we'll manage the game the best we can with all of our players. If somebody isn't playing much then somebody else is playing a lot. If somebody's playing a lot then somebody else isn't playing a bunch. Whether it's offense, defense, or a certain player, a certain position, or whatever it is. So, that's always going to fluctuate a little bit from game to game, but we'll try to manage it throughout the game with whoever that involves. It could be, again, a side of the ball, or a certain position, or a certain guy.

Q: That more stood out to me maybe just because of this specific position and that I don't know if it's fair to say, maybe that position takes more of a load?

BB: Yeah, again I think part of that conversation is the total number of plays. Right, a hundred percent of nothing is still nothing.

Q: Do you consider how he plays too when it comes to his management? Obviously, he's a very physical player.

BB: We consider everything that is relevant. So, there's no set formula but a guy breaks off a 60-yard run, that's different than a 2-yard run. Whatever, so it can vary on what the role or responsibility is, how the game is going, what's happened in the game. Again, not specific to him, I'm talking about any player. But yeah, that could definitely be a factor. What the player's role is in the kicking game, which Rhamondre doesn't have a big one there because of his role on offense, but some other players do, and those are things you've got to keep an eye on, too. But yeah, there's no like formula for it. This guy's got to play this many plays and pitch count. You've got to take him out after he throws 73 pitches, yeah it's not that.

Q: Yesterday Vance Joseph described your offense as looking like a defensive guy is calling it. I'm not asking you to speak for him, but do you agree with the premise that an offense can operate as he described it like a defensive coach would want, prioritizing time of possession and avoiding turnovers, a more conservative style?

BB: Yeah, I don't know. Like whatever he said, he said. So great, ask him about it.

Q: Do you see any common themes with perhaps head coaches with defensive backgrounds favoring that style offensively, a more conservative attack?

BB: I can't think of any offensive coach that I've ever talked to that has been in favor of turning the ball over. So, start with that and every coach who's involved in offense is always in favor of scoring points. So, score points and don't turn the ball over, I mean that's a good place to start. There's a lot of things that come after that. In the end, I doubt if you could tell me what the record of time of possession is this year in the league, right?

Q: I mean I wouldn't prioritize it.

BB: But I'm just saying you wouldn't be able to tell me that these teams had x time of possession, they won, they lost, you know that's not really a – turnovers, points, both those are two at the top of the list.

Q: Hunter Thedford, I'm just curious about him just from a standpoint of your management of the offensive tackle. I mean how's he doing in this practice squad, and would he be close to possibly being able to help you out at a spot that has been at a little bit of a?

BB: Yeah, we'll see. Take it day-by-day. He hasn't been here very long. That would be a lot to ask but I don't know.

Q: How has the reintegration process been [Conor] McDermott since he's been back?

BB: Good. You know Conor, that's a whole different situation. He's played in the league; he's played in this division and had a good training camp with us. You know we had a really good experience with him from when we drafted him all the way to the last cut, and we were hoping to get him back on the practice squad but he got claimed. So, it's kind of been a long winding road here but he picked up things quickly. He's a smart kid. He picked up things quickly and a lot of familiarity with teams in the division that we've played and that kind of thing, so that's all played pretty favorably. But yeah, he's picked up things well, about as good as you could expect for a player coming in like this. Maybe [Baker] Mayfield but you know it's still good. Pretty good.

Q: I've got some bad news for you.

BB: Oh, one nill?

Q: Neymar extra time. Brazil won in the fifth minute.

BB: Ok, I appreciate that.

Q: Final question, got to end it right.

BB: Ok, thank you.

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