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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 8/15

Read the full transcript from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference from Sunday, August 15, 2021.


August 15, 2021

BB: Morning. It's a good opportunity for us this week to build on what we did last week leading up to the Washington game and then in the Washington game. Had a couple meetings to make some corrections, and hopefully we'll be able to show some improvement, see a new team, see some new matchups, see some things that we haven't seen before. Not just in a game, but obviously in practice as well. Looking forward to the opportunity to move our football team ahead and improve it. It's a good opportunity for all of us; coaches, players, staff to go on the road, work on the road, work together and smooth out some of our operational things that will come up over the course of the year. We'll work out here today to kind of clean up some things on our end and then be ready to go tomorrow morning. 

On the importance of addressing the team's mistakes from Thursday night's game against Washington:

BB: Well we've gone through it on the tape, and we met on it Friday. Some of those things today we continue to address, but we also have to move on. Some of it will be improvement and corrections. Some of it will be some new things that we just have to move ahead with. 

On what the team needs to accomplish at home before traveling to Philadelphia:

BB: Yeah. Just what I said. Work on the things we need to work on and move ahead with some new installation and things we haven't done yet so we can be ready to run those against Philadelphia.

On the coordination process with Philadelphia for the joint practices:

BB: It's been good. Philadelphia's been great. They've given us everything we need. There's a few moving parts and things like that like there always are, but we'll work through those, and ultimately the benefits of working against the Eagles for two solid days I think will more than make up for whatever inconvenience there is. Not that there's a big one, but yeah. Just a little bit.

On the team's health after Thursday night's game:

BB: We got a few things we're working through. See how it goes.

On if there were any major injuries coming out of the game:

BB: I wouldn't tell any player if he's got an injury that it's not major. It's major to him. Career threating, probably not.

On if he has a relationship with Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni:

BB: No. Talked to Nick this spring but haven't really crossed paths with him.

On his impressions of Sirianni as a coach:

BB: He's had a lot of success as a coordinator, and I look forward to working with him this week.

On how joint practices over the years have helped his teams progress:

BB: It's part of it. It's not all of it, but it's part of it. We've certainly seen plenty of ourselves versus ourselves out here. If that's what it is, that's what it is. Last year that's all we had, but we have an opportunity to work with another team that helps players playing against different players, but it also helps us see different schemes. The way another team does something is different than the way we do it, so it's a great opportunity.

On when the discussion to participate in joint practices typically begins:

BB: Well, each team submits the preseason games they'd like to play, and if you've arranged that with the other team, then usually they do it that way. I don't know exactly how the scheduling comes down, but the way the preseason schedule came out was the way we expected it to come out back in March or whatever it was. Didn't come out until when, May? I don't know, but it came out the way we expected it to, so it's like, if it goes this way, can we do this? Yeah. The Giants, Philly and Washington. It all worked out, and again, this year was a little different because we have the one home game and two away games in preseason, and the NFC teams have the two home games and one away game, so because it's all in the same division, or same conference I should say, it all kind of worked out logistically fairly smoothly. The league is pretty good about that. Usually if you request it and the other team requests it, generally you do it. They got to make it all work, so somewhere along the line somebody probably doesn't get exactly what they want, but for the most part I'd say it's been pretty good. 

On how the team's veteran linebackers [Matt Judon, Kyle Van Noy, Dont'a Hightower] have helped the younger players and made life easier for the coaching staff:

BB: They can handle a lot more. Adjustments, and things like that on the field. Once you see your offense come out of the huddle and see where guys are aligned and what formation they're in, you know a lot more than you do when you call the defense on the sidelines, so Devin [McCourty] in the back end, and [Dont'a] Hightower, Ja'Whaun [Bentley] has got four years of experience, too. Ja'Whaun, Kyle [Van Noy], Matt [Judon]. It certainly helps to have players with the experience. Then they just have to understand what the tools are and when to use which tool and make sure we're all on the same page with it. They can just do a lot more than guys with less experience for the most part. [Jerod] Mayo is a different story, but there's not too many. Devin [McCourty] even, young when he was a second or third-year player, but yeah. Those guys, there's not too many of them.

On what he expects to see from the Philadelphia defense Thursday night:

BB: They got a lot of good players up front for sure. They got good pass rushers. They got some big guys, athletic guys, so they got a good front. It's similar to Washington in terms of good players in those positions. Obviously different players, but we'll see how we do. I'm sure that they're evolving in what they're doing, so what they played against Pittsburgh, what we'll see may be the same thing. They may add to their scheme a little bit. I don't know. We'll see. Whatever it is, it will be good for us, as coaches, to see it, adjust to it, make some adjustments on the field on Monday and Tuesday when the practices are a little bit different. Whatever we see it'd be kind of like a game. You'd have to recognize it, and after that series adjust to it. Figure out what you want to do if you need to do something to handle a formation or something they're doing or a blitz that they run or something like that offensively. You have to see that, so that's good. We don't keep seeing the same stuff over and over from our offense, and some of our plays, some of our periods are scripted, so we kind of know what's coming just so we can pick the matchup that we want to coach off of, but this is more of a game-like situation from that standpoint. It'll be good for all of us.

On how he prepares the team for preseason games:

BB: Well this week the game plan is practice. Can't get a better look at what they do. Like that's better than running off cards. We'll see exactly what we need to see from them. They'll see it from us, and that is the scouting report. The game plan will flow off of that. Deal with next week next week. It'll be a little bit of the same thing. Again, the game plan in preseason is pretty minimal anyway. I don't think there's a lot to game plan for. Team's basically running their main stuff. They're not running it specifically for you. They're probably running it more for these things we need to see, these things we need to work on. May or may not be what they would call an issue in a normal game anyway, but they need it to be ready for the season. This is really just a good opportunity to see those things quickly, without knowing exactly what's coming as a coach, figure it out, explain it to the players if it needs to be explained, and then make the right adjustment to handle it. Not wait until the game's over. Not wait until Monday morning. Try to do it in real time.

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