PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
August 16, 2023
BB: Alright, so we're looking forward to working with the Packer's organization here. They've been great; made accommodations with us transitioning in here, so we're looking forward to a couple of good days of work and then the game on Saturday night. This is a team that's had a lot of success, won more games than any team in the NFC in the last five years. So, it's a really solid program, well-coached, pretty well-balanced team with Rich [Bisaccia] on special teams and Joe [Barry], Matt [LeFleur]'s offense. So, it should be a good week for us. We look forward to it.
Q: Just your thoughts on Ezekiel Elliott, his signing was official just a few minutes ago. Your thoughts on bringing him on board?
BB: Yeah, it's good to have Zeke. We had a good visit with him, and I look forward to working with him.
Q: What does he bring to the team?
BB: Yeah, we'll see. I've never coached Zeke, but I'm glad we have him. I spent time with him last night and on the trip, on terminology and plays and protections, things like that. We'll work him in there when he's ready and we'll see how that goes.
Q: Will he be participating in practices today or tomorrow?
BB: We'll see how it goes.
Q: How much of Jordan Love have you seen prior to this week?
BB: Well, you know, we had to be ready for him last year. Of course, [Aaron] Rodgers played the whole game. We saw him a little bit in the Cincinnati game last week, but the guy's a talented player. He's got a good young group of receivers, a lot of high draft choices, and tight ends—a couple of new tight ends this year. So, obviously a great running back, running game to go with it, a very experienced offensive line. It's a good offense, good offensive system. They're well coached, don't turn the ball over, can run the ball and have some explosive receivers. They've got really good depth at the receiver and tight end positions.
Q: Just to clarify with Elliott, is he with the team today?
BB: Yeah, he's here.
Q: As a student of NFL history, what does it mean to be in Green Bay? You've been here before, but just the history here?
BB: Yeah, there's a lot of it. There's a lot of it. They're the oldest franchise in the league, going all the way back to [Curly] Lambeau and starting the team and all the success they had with [Don] Hutson, [Clark] Hinkle, [Cecil] Isbell and all those guys. Then, [Vince] Lombardi and most recently with [Brett] Favre, Rodgers and now with Matt [LaFleur]. You know, his first three years here, double digit wins every year. It's a great program, a lot of history to the game here. Third oldest sporting field behind Fenway [Park] and Wrigley [Field], so it's very moving to walk out of the locker room down onto the field when you think about all of the great, great players and coaches that have done that through the years. Great part of football, great part of tradition, and it's an honor to be part of it and be here.
Q: How about the uniqueness of it, too, Bill? With the guys walking across the street to the practice facilities with the fans there. David Andrews, a couple of the guys stopped and said hi. Everywhere you go around here, there's Green Bay, it's Packer land. How much do you appreciate that?
BB: Yeah, well, most teams have that kind of local support. But, we did that when I was at the Colts. We walked across the street to Eastern High School. It wasn't quite this nice, but we walked across the street, pressed the 'walk' button. But yeah, it's a little different setup here. I mean, the facilities are great, the indoor is great, the outdoor fields, the stadium. So, great facilities. Again, we look forward to working here.
Q: Bill, how would you describe your conversations and relationship with Coach [Matt] LeFleur and the Packers' staff, and the run up to this?
BB: I know Coach LeFleur, and obviously coached against him last year. We have a good relationship. Of course he was at Tennessee with Mike [Vrabel], in LA with Jedd [Fisch], Sean [McVay] and those guys out there. So, we've crossed paths a few times and talked about this in the offseason. They're in the NFC, we're in the AFC, so it's good. We're not too close to each other, competitively, so it's good. Their system is different than our system, both offensively and defensively, and they do a great job in the kicking game with Rich [Bisaccia]. It's a good opportunity to work against different players. Good scheme, good program, well-coached and they have great facilities here. So, it all worked out.
Q: Lawrence Guy was drafted back here 13 years ago in the seventh round. What testament is that to him, that he's had that long of a career? What does he do right?
BB: He does most everything right. He works hard, really grinds. He's been with multiple teams; I don't know, five teams? Whatever it is. He shows up to work everyday. He's a tough, physical player, smart. He knows his role. He knows how to play within the system. He doesn't try to be somebody he's not. He's good at his strengths and he plays to them. So yeah, he's had a heck of a career. Way more than most seventh rounders, that's for sure.
Q: Bill, we'll get word later today on whether or not Robert Kraft passes on through to the next stage of the Hall of Fame voting. I'm sure you've spoken on this a little bit before, but—
BB: Yeah, we're keeping our fingers crossed that we get the vote this year.
Q: Any update on Mike Gesicki? Did he make the trip? Obviously, we saw him leave the field the other day during practice.
BB: Again, we have a number of players that are in various levels of participation. So, we just take everybody day by day.