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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 8/20

Read the full transcript from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference from Friday, August 20, 2021.


August 20, 2021

Q: Between the joint practices and the game last night, it seems like you got a lot of good situational work. How valuable is it for you in the preseason to get kind of unique situations to work on and put the team through to prepare them?

BB: The ones in the game we can't, of course, control, so whatever comes up, comes up. We try to learn from those and then practice. We try to set things up so that we, depending on what it is, get it covered. Maybe get it covered multiple times so that we can see different things happen or try to do it better the second and third times and get it down. They're all beneficial. There's never enough time to cover all the situations but try to do the best you can and take advantage of the ones that come up in the game because those are really great learning situations. You just don't know what it's going to be.

Q: We had a chance to talk to Chase Winovich last night. He was pretty excited, maybe even almost emotional a little bit just to be back on the field in a game situation it sounded like. I wanted to ask you what you thought of his night after being able to re-watch?

BB: It was good to have Chase back out there, and he got some reps in practice. Like all of us, we all have a long way to go, and Chase is a little further behind because he missed some time here in training camp and at the end of OTAs. But he'll work hard, and he'd be able to pick things back up. He's had some experience. Just keep pushing here through training camp and try to get him caught up.

Q: If I could follow up with one that's sort of a similar position with Harvey Langi. I know he's been a special teams guy and on the edge before. It looks like he's been playing some off the line as well. Is that something he did his first go around here? Or is that something that he's kind of picked up along the way? What have you seen from him in terms of his versatility?

BB: Well, he did quite a bit of it with the Jets. Did some of it with us. Played more on the line when he was here. There were some different emphasis points there. He has ability to play on and off the ball. Our depth off the ball, obviously, took a little bit of a hit when we lost Raekwon [McMillan], and that's given him an opportunity for some added play time. It's also given Cassh [Maluia] some opportunities. The more that a player can do and the better he can do it, the more value he has to the team. Harvey's done a good job of that, but he's had a lot of experience off the ball the last couple of years in New York.

Q: I want to ask you about the penalties. In the first preseason game, you registered nine penalties and last night the team had eight penalties. Are the players still trying to find the pace and are penalties something that you are looking to focus on or improve on?

BB: Well, we've had an opportunity to work with the officials twice, once here and once in Philadelphia in practice sessions and then in games. It's a little bit different in games because of the tempo of the game and so forth. Penalties are different in nature and we had five special teams penalties last week. Didn't have any on defense. Last night we had a couple on defense, so different guys and so forth. I think it's really, sometimes concentration, sometimes it's a learning experience. Just a couple of calls there that probably need a little further explanation on, just to make sure that we're teaching and doing the right things based on what the officials are seeing. I've had a lot of good conversations with the officials and then attempt to have a consistency between what they see, what's permissible, what isn't and how we're coaching it, what the players are doing, so we'll just continue to work through that process.

Q: We saw N'Keal Harry in a sling last night. What is his status?

BB: We just got back here a couple of hours ago, so we'll see how things are today. I'm not sure.

Q: Josh Uche also left early last night. Do you expect him to miss some time?

BB: Yeah, again, we've only been back here a couple hours, so it usually takes a day or two on the day after the game to kind of resolve everything and so, we'll just see how that process goes. I really don't know.

Q: I want to ask you about Quinn [Nordin]. How much of what you or Cam [Achord] do with him when you're coaching him, how much of it is technique or how much of it is mental?

BB: I think when you go through any player's performance in the preseason and really in any game, player or coach, they're always some good plays and then some plays that we'd all like to have back. I thought Quinn did a good job of rebounding there in the second half, came back and hit the ball well, but obviously a big part of everybody's game and certainly the specialists game is consistency and so, let's say that we've seen a little bit of that from all the specialists in the first two preseason games. We're all obviously working for more consistency and especially when you have a three-man operation there with a snapper, a holder and a kicker, then there's an element of that. We'll keep working through it and see where it goes.

Q: How has the operation looked to you without Joe [Cardona]?

BB: Well, again, it's all of us. With Joe, without Joe, there's still an element of timing and consistency that we can all do better. I don't think we're where we're going to be or where we need to be but everybody's working at it and we've had some moving parts there. But that's part of it too, is working with different people and so forth, so that's actually a good thing in the long run, even though in the short run, it probably affects the overall performance and consistency. But again, I felt the good part of last night was, we got those things straightened out later in the game and the ball went through. The bad thing is we left five points on the field that we should've had, so we're going to go back to work and learn from the experience and hopefully Joe will be able to participate, and he can get back into it as well, but the time he missed, he's going to have some work to do as well. Just as an entire unit there we have to, and that team only goes on the field for one reason. So, success and failures couldn't be more clear-cut. We've got to get the ball through the uprights, so obviously we need some work on it.

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