HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
August 22, 2022
BB: How we doing here in Vegas? It's nice and cool here. Well, looking forward to the week here working with ourselves today and then with Josh [McDaniels] and the Raiders tomorrow and Wednesday. It's a good opportunity for us the next three days to really tighten some things up and keep moving along in terms of installation and situation and things like that, and hopefully get a few guys back that we didn't have last week. We'll see how that goes. We look forward to having a good week out here.
Q: What are some of things you look forward to working on in joint practices that maybe you didn't do last week or that you take from last week into this week?
BB: I don't think there will be whole lot new, more just different players, different match ups, different competition but last week was good. This week will be good, too. It's different but they're all good learning experiences. Hopefully we can improve our fundamentals but we'll see different types of players and guys with different skills and we'll have to adjust to them.
Q: I wanted to ask about Jonathan Jones who we've seen play in multiple spots for you, safety, inside, outside. How much is his versatility allowed you to be multiple on defense?
BB: Well, we do a lot on secondary anyway, just guys line up at different spots. Sometimes we match receivers depending on where their receivers match up or our disguises or things like that. John's a smart player. He's really played our position in the secondary, like a number of our guys have. So, good experience for him to work in different spots and we'll see how that – I'm sure eventually we'll use him and we'll do that with some other guys too and somewhere along the line that will be beneficial for us.
Q: You mentioned you're hoping you'll get a few guys back, a few of the offensive linemen that have been out like Justin [Herron] and Isaiah [Wynn] are those among the...
BB: Yeah we got a couple guys that have been – they're working their way back. We'll see where they are today.
Q: When you have joint practices on the road versus at home how good of an opportunity is it for these guys to bond maybe even more over the course of this week?
BB: It's a much better opportunity, nowhere to go. I mean we're in one spot. They enjoy hanging out with each other, doing things together, football or non-football. So, it's a good opportunity. It prepares us for the games we're going to have on the road this year. So, whether it's the whole travel routine, the operations and support staff, just getting things that you need on the road, whether that's food, treatment, whatever. So, just trying to pass the time constructively. Or again, depending on what they're doing but whether it's the training room or treatment, ice, massage, so forth, there's a number of things we can take advantage of here with the time that we have. So, I'm sure the guys are doing that.
Q: How big of a leap has Anfernee Jennings taken this summer?
BB: The big thing for Anfernee is he's out there. Last year he really wasn't out there much at all and his rookie year was okay and then the last two years really he's been limited. So the fact he's been out there everyday gives him an opportunity to improve, do things, correct them, improve on them, get them better the next day. He's been able to stack those days together and that's made a huge difference for him. I don't think he's changed that dramatically physically. I mean he's improved like everybody has but it's really been an opportunity to play and get consistent. So, that's been great to have him out there.
Q: Kind of relating to team bonding, Anfernee was saying a couple of week ago that the last year he had a chance to hang out with a couple of the other players, they rehabbed together but then they would watch games together. When he came in as a rookie there wasn't an opportunity to have that experience outside of the facility because of COVID. Is it a big difference for that class to now to have this year to have been through COVID with everything with zoom, limited contact then have the kind of opportunities they had last year to be influenced by veterans outside of team meetings and so forth?
BB: Yeah that's definitely different. Probably for each guy the experience is a little bit different. There's benefits like that, that you don't really think of on a big picture but for an individual it could be significant. The fact that he referenced it, I'm sure it was meaningful to him and important.
Q: Regarding the joint practices from one week to the next, the familiarity that so many people on that side, coaches, players, have with a Patriots practice and what the expectations are, does that lend to more communication, better idea of what to expect to maximize the time out here?
BB: Yeah I mean, look the coaching staffs, several coaches here, including people like Pat [Patrick Graham] and of course the ones that were at New England last year, I think it's just finding the right tempo. It's easier said than done and then things sometimes get a little above or below that and you just have to adjust to it. But, again other than a couple of plays last week, it really wasn't a problem. But there were a couple of plays and we all have to do a better job with those. So hopefully that won't come up this week. We're not expecting it, not looking for it. But we're here to play football. We're to get better. We're here to improve. I know that's what the Raiders want to do. So, hopefully that's what 100% of it will be and not 98%.
Q: There was a report that Tyquan Thornton is expected to miss eight weeks just what's the latest on his status?
BB: Yeah, no, we'll see.
Q: Do you believe dry heat is better than the humidity and the hotness that way?
BB: Nothing we can do about it. This is what it is. We're not going anywhere. We're here. We'll embrace it.
Q: You've been asked a lot through the years about the contrast between the training camp years ago when you got into the league and today. The number of practices, the two-a-days and so forth, the conditions today and what you've had in this training camp is that at least in some ways resemble the kind of taxing nature that past training camps were in compared to the modern era?
BB: I'm going to plead the fifth on that. I don't want to offend anybody. I don't want to offend our current players and I don't want to offend players from the 70's and 80's, so I'll just pass on that one.
Q: When you look around facilities like this...
BB: This is magnificent. I've been to a lot of good facilities and there have been some amazing college facilities, but I'd put this up there against any of them. I mean forget about the amenities, just the fields, the weight room, the offices, the indoor facility, the proximity, the ease of everything, yeah, this is as good as any I've seen. Better than any I've seen, not as good, it's better than anything I've seen. It's outstanding. It's great for us to be able to work here. It's ideal working conditions. We'll walk in right in off the field, lift, get refueled and hydrate and they've got stations right there in the weight room, it's set up good. We're only a mile away, whatever it is, so it's an easy transition getting dressed, getting taped, getting ready to go, coming over here getting off the bus then get ready to practice. It's great.
Q: Seeing the Raiders logo does it make you think of the history?
BB: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, absolutely. When you walk in the building you see the three Super Bowl trophies, the 'Just win, baby' sign and a lot of the Al Davis hallmarks. I mean it should be. This franchise has great tradition. It's no different than some of the other teams, like the Colts. They moved from Baltimore or whatever and they established their tradition in Indianapolis and those guys are doing it here. But yeah, you certainly think about it, it's still silver and black.
Q: When you come into this facility and the Al Davis quote is there to greet you, his imprint obviously is still very much on the Raiders organization with Mark running it, do you have some reflections on Al that come to mind when you walk around this place?
BB: A lot of them, yeah. I spent a day with him when I interviewed in Oakland in what was it? '98, after the '98 season. I spent a lot of time with Mr. Davis and we've had a good relationship through the years. We did some deals. The [Derrick] Burgess deal, the [Randy] Moss deal. Those weren't like five-minute conversations. They were multiple weeks, maybe even months. But yeah a ton of respect for Mr. Davis, everything he's meant to the National Football League and the AFL. He's one of the founders and what he's done for professional football. What he's done to bring equality and opportunity to so many. His championship level of performance and the standard that he set for himself, and his teams, and the organization are historical. It's tremendous. Tremendous man and was a huge influence on professional football. I'm sure the game would be a lot different if it wasn't for him, different today than if it wasn't for him. I think we're all indebted to what he's done to help this game and certainly as a coach and as a professional in the game, to me, he's one of the Mount Rushmore guys.