PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
August 11, 2023
Q: Morning, Bill. How are you feeling about the offensive play calling with Bill O'Brien's first full game of action, albeit preseason, as offensive coordinator?
BB: Yeah, well you know, in preseason, we go in with certain plays we want to see. It's not really a game plan situation. So, but yeah, it's been fine. Bill's done a good job.
Q: Last night you said you wanted to get a little more of a feel from the film before commenting too much on the game. So, just your thoughts on what you may have seen differently from the film than what you were thinking postgame?
BB: Yeah, I mean, some good things, some things that aren't so good, not consistent enough overall. But, there are some things to work with here and we'll see if we can clean up some of the mistakes that we made. But, it's kind of what it usually is.
Q: Is it difficult to get any sort of real evaluation, given the fact that a lot of the individuals that played were not necessarily individuals to be in that position when you get to, obviously, the regular season?
BB: I think there will be a lot of guys that got to be ready to do that, sure. So no, I think the evaluation is good. It's, I'd say, more an individual evaluation than a team evaluation at this point. But yeah, it is what it is. It was a good night; we got a lot out of it.
Q: Tyquan's [Thornton] catch last night was a standout play. What have you guys been preaching to him in hopes of him taking strides in year two?
BB: Just all the things that a good receiver needs to do. Releases, route technique, understanding coverage, obviously catching and protecting the ball, just all the receiver fundamentals. Nothing special that probably every other receiver hasn't needed to do. He has his own playing style that's a little bit unique to him. Each guy has their own unique playing style they need to be able to work with. But, the fundamentals of receiving are the fundamentals of receiving.
Q: Hey, Bill. Obviously, Case Keenum has played a good bit of quarterback in the NFL. Does that provide a unique challenge for maybe a younger defense that you guys put out there last night?
BB: Yeah, we really can't control and aren't that concerned about what they do. We're trying to focus on what we're doing, how to execute what we're trying to do and improve on it. So, I'm not really that focused on — you know, obviously from an evaluation standpoint, it's a little bit of an awareness of who guys are going against. But, we're just trying to crack the fundamentals and the things that we're doing.
Q: Hey, Bill. What did you see last night from Malik Cunningham in terms of toughness? The face mask in particular, bouncing back from that. That was one of the gnarlier ones I've seen in recent memory.
BB: Yeah, I think Malik's a tough kid. He showed that at Louisville, and as a receiver, he's different than at quarterback. But, he's had to block, go in and make tough catches in traffic and things like that. No, I think his toughness and competitiveness is good. You saw that in college and we've seen it in the time that he's been here.
Q: Last night, obviously a lot of rookies and young guys got a lot of reps. Demario Douglas specifically, offensively, not as many as some would expect on the offensive side of the ball. Just curious as to why that may have been, as opposed to some of the other later-round picks and undrafted guys?
BB: Yeah, well I mean, we look at the whole body of work here. There are a lot of guys that didn't get a whole lot of reps last night, and that's because most of them got a lot of reps in the practice sessions, more reps in the practice sessions. So, I'd say most of the players that played last night have gotten fewer reps in the practice sessions. So, as I said last night, it's kind of a balance of the guys that have practiced less played more; some of the guys that have practiced more played less. We're trying to get an evaluation and look at everybody.
Q: Morning, Bill. I'm curious what you learned about the effect of the new scoreboard in terms of the wind pattern in the stadium?
BB: Yeah, it wasn't a lot of wind last night; it was minimal. With or without the scoreboard, that wasn't a big factor in the game.
Q: More curiosity, just on the first kickoff with the new kickoff rules, I'm curious sometimes you see a kicker bounce one and it's by design, maybe? Maybe with the new rules, or maybe it's a miss hit. On the first kickoff, was that Chad [Ryland] experimenting with something? Any insight you can share on that?
BB: No, I'll pass on that one, Mike [Reiss]. Thank you.
Q: Good morning, Bill. We talked last night about Marte Mapu logging the plays with Steve [Belichick] and Jerod [Mayo]. A lot of the players have talked about his work in the classroom, asking questions and willingness to learn. Is him doing that stuff last night a reflection of those things, or is it just that somebody had to do it and he did it?
BB: Yeah, more of the latter. More of the latter.