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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 8/19

Read the full transcript from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference with the media on Wednesday, August 19, 2020.


August 19, 2020

BB: Two days of pads. Today, we'll be in our shells, so a little different pace to the practice and so forth, but still obviously a big day for us, big working day for us. So, we'll again just try to keep stacking these days together. We've got a decent amount of time here to work with, but we're trying to stay in a productive schedule and give everybody an opportunity to know what to do so we can evaluate them going forward. We're still, I'd say, a little ways off from that, but getting closer, and that's just a step-by-step, day-by-day process. But, I think the team has worked hard. They're really trying to, I'd say, be attentive, correct things from one play to the next or from one day to the next. When we make emphasis points on things we need to try to do better, either individually or collectively as a group, they've really responded and tried to fix the things that needed fixing. Not that we've got them all fixed by any means – I'm not saying that – but I could see progress. I've seen consistent progress over the last really four practices and then the two this week, so really the last six practices where we've started to, like I said, take things from the meetings and the corrections out onto the field and improve on them the next day and so forth. But, they're doing a good job. We've just got to get a lot of things done here. The wheels start spinning a lot faster in a few days, but for right now, we're just trying to stay at a good teaching pace and be able to get some time to work and improve on our fundamentals, some of the basic things that we need to do, on almost every play. Hopefully, we can build a good base as we move forward. 

Q: What led you to bring Lamar Miller onto the team?

BB: Yeah, well, I think there's going to be a lot of player movement in the early part of training camp, and I think you see a dozen or so transactions every day throughout the league. Our roster was at one point down around 75 maybe, somewhere in there, 74 or 75. I can't remember, but it was significantly below the 80-man roster limit. So, if we can add quality and depth to our team, then we'll do that. Of course, you know Lamar missed the season last year and is coming off last year's injury, so we'll see how that goes. But, hopefully he'll be able to work his way back onto the field, and we'll see where he's at. 

Q: Damien Harris had just four carries last year, but it seems he's making progress this training camp. What was he doing behind-the-scenes that impressed you over the last year?

BB: Yeah, well, he had a lot of opportunity to work as the scout team running back and do the things that those players did, whether it be in the running game or the passing game. He's a smart player and he has a lot of skills that I think we'll be able to utilize. He's had an opportunity to get quite a few reps here in the work that we've done to this point, so I think that's helped him, but he seems like he's in good shape and ready to go. Looking forward to seeing him. 

Q: Do you feel like you can continue to split reps with the quarterbacks throughout training camp? Or will there be a point where you need to decide on what the plan is going to be because you have to start getting ready for Week 1?

BB: Well, obviously, there's some point where that's going to happen. But, right now, we want to try to, like I said, give everybody an opportunity to get the basics, and we're really doing that at all the positions. I mean, everybody's rotating through and we're trying to give everybody an opportunity to run the basic plays, get the basic fundamentals down. Yeah, of course at some point, we'll have to not equalize the reps – I mean, that's obvious – but we're not there now. 

Q: What have you seen out of Justin Rohrwasser so far and what makes you confident about him going into the season?

BB: Well, we'll see. Again, that's a process that we're working through, as well – the snapper, kicker, holder operation – and obviously, he can kick off, too. We'll see how all that goes. It's the same for all of our young players, trying to get them to get down the basic fundamentals of their position, understand the basic things they have to do, and then we'll take it from there based on how that goes. 

Q: With no preseason games, will you build situations into practice to help the coaching staff with problems that might arise during games with communication and things like that?

BB: Yeah, absolutely. We definitely need to do that and I think we have to get into, let's call it, football reaction and conditioning and coaching, just like the players do. We've tried to incorporate some of those things into practice. We'll do more as we go along, but that's definitely a challenge for us. Again, regardless of if we have some new coaches on the staff, we also have some of us that have been here awhile, but it doesn't make any difference. It's the same for all of us. We have to be able to do our jobs effectively, be able to communicate and make adjustments and make sure that we can have the right kind of in-game communication. We're a ways off from that, but I think the first thing we've got to do is just be able to do a good job of coaching and seeing things on the field and making corrections and making adjustments and things like that. So, yeah, it's definitely a part of this is geared towards the coaches' development as well as the players' development, absolutely. Again, we've already started that, but that's a process that we'll probably need this whole time for to be able to work that in in various stages and to build toward ultimately a game situation.

Q: Could you ever envision a scenario in which it might benefit the team to use two quarterbacks in a platoon style? Or would that bring up too many complications for your offense? If you have two quarterbacks with different skill sets, might that benefit the team?

BB: Yeah, it might. Look, I always say I'll do what I think is best for the team, what gives us the best chance to win. Whatever that is, I would certainly consider that. If it's run an unbalanced line or double-unbalanced line or 23 personnel or whatever it is. If it helps us win, then I would consider anything. 

Q: What have you seen from Devin Ross working with him over the last year and into this season?

BB: Yeah, Devin's a hardworking kid. I think when we got him last year, I'm not sure that he was 100 percent healthy. He was healthy, but I think he's gained – plus he's had an offseason, even though it's not been supervised in the building, it's still been supervised training. I think that he's improved from this year to last year. We'll see how things go here, but yeah, he looks like he's ready to go and ready to compete, and we'll see how that all comes together.

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