PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
BB: Well, I thought we had a really good day yesterday with Tennessee. As I said yesterday, I think Mike [Vrabel] and his staff have really been accommodating. We've had great cooperation with him, really everything we've needed. The competition, the work was good, so we'll expand on that today, do a bit more in the red area and some two-minute situations. But, this definitely helps our football team, so we're excited to have another opportunity to do it today.
Q: Did it bring back memories to hear Mike Vrabel's voice yelling across the practice field yesterday?
BB: Yeah. I mean, Mike's an active coach, like he was at the Texans when we worked against him, and as a player. So yeah, Mike does a great job.
Q: How will the quick turnaround, having joint practices and a game on Saturday then another game next Thursday, affect your preparation?
BB: Well, we'll try to get the most we can out of this week and then let's see. We'll worry about next week, next week. We have some things that we want to try to get accomplished this week in practice and in the game, and then based on how that goes, we'll go from there.
Q: How does the process change from yesterday to today, based on what you saw yesterday?
BB: As I said, it's similar. We've just emphasized a couple situations today that we didn't do yesterday.
Q: During the meetings before and after practice, do you usually just go over tape from practice, or are there other things you're looking at?
BB: Well, generally the first meeting after practice we go over the practice tape and corrections, and then at some point we move on and prepare for the following day, the following practice – what new we're going to do, or what changes we're going to make. Or if it's a new situation, [we] go over what we're going to do in that situation. But, we're going to call how we're going to handle it and so forth.
Q: What was your impression with how your team handled the heat yesterday?
BB: It was good for us. It was good for us to be out there. Yeah, there's no substitute for it, so it's good for all of us.
Q: What have you seen out of Nashville-native Joejuan Williams from Vanderbilt in camp that you like?
BB: Yeah, Joejuan and Adam [Butler] are both from Vanderbilt. Yeah, Joejuan's had a good camp. Like every rookie, he's got a lot to learn, he's got a long way to go. He's learned a lot of different things technique-wise, competition, style of play, being a professional and so forth. But, he's from a good program, as Adam is here. Good program, Vanderbilt with Coach [Derek] Mason. They do a very good job with their players and their kids down here, but still, the NFL's a big adjustment. He's making it like they all are.
Q: How have you seen Mike Pennel conduct in this system?
BB: Good. Yeah, Mike's smart, works hard, has experience at the position. So yeah, he's adapted to it fine.
Q: How do you view the cornerback position and how they're performing so far?
BB: Yeah, we've had a lot of good work there. Last week was good. This week's good. Yeah, I think we have good competition at a lot of positions. So, we'll see how it all plays out.
Q: Where is Duke Dawson right now, based on his recovery from being injured last year?
BB: Way ahead of where he was last year, for sure – way ahead.
Q: Have you seen J.C. Jackson maybe take a second-year leap as well?
BB: He's way ahead of where he was last year, too. You know, he had a really good year for us, but a lot better understanding of our system, again of pro receivers, pro football schemes and so forth. I think all of our guys from last year have progressed forward this year, as they should.
Q: How the diversity of skill sets at the corner position help you, to have different types of players there?
BB: Yeah, I mean that's what part of this process is for, is to see how players match up with different players and so forth. We're not obviously going to get into that at this point in the season, that's not really what training camp and the preseason games are for. But, it does help us, and it helps them build versatility and depth in our defense. So, we'll see when and if that's needed during the season. If those are moves that will help us, then at least we will have some background in doing them. But, I'd say that's part of the evaluation process now, is to see how all of that looks.
Q: A few years ago, you came to town to spend time with Bill Wade before he passed away. Why was it important to spend time with him?
BB: My dad coached Bill Wade and Don [Wade] before Don passed away when he was at Vanderbilt. Bill was always very close with our family, when he played for the Bears, when he would come to Baltimore to play the Colts with Coach [George] Halas and Coach [Chuck] Mather, who was Coach Halas' defensive coach. Whenever we could, we would go up and see them, see them after the game and so forth. We've always maintained a close relationship with Bill. My dad did, and I did through my dad. So, it was important for me to see him. He was another one of the great Nashville, Vanderbilt, NFL players. Single-wing tailback, T-formation quarterback, championship quarterback on the '63 Bears team. I mean, he has a tremendous legacy and was a tremendous person.
Q: Guys like Derek Rivers and Chase Winovich are standing up a bit more than what they've done in the past. Has that been an adjustment for them?
BB: Yeah, probably. You'd have to ask them about that. We have a lot more guys standing up, period. So, it's probably an adjustment for a lot of guys.
Q: How different is it for guys to stand up on the edge versus having their hand in the dirt?
BB: You know, there are advantages and disadvantages to that, but based on what we do and what we ask them to do, we feel like that's the best way to play in some situations. But, there's a place for both and they'll do both before it's over and have done both.
Q: How impressed are you with Isaiah Wynn and how he's handled what you guys have asked him to do?
BB: We'll just go day-to-day like we are with all of our players. Every day is an opportunity for all of us to get better, to work on the things that we need to work on, to improve, develop consistency, and find our role on the team. Whether it's a coach, a player, whatever role the player's in, whatever year he's in, it's an opportunity for all of us, so I want everybody to take advantage of it. I think he has, I think they all have.
Q: Have you passed along any country music requests here in Nashville?
BB: Yeah, I might have to put in one or two.