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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 8/9

Read the full transcript from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference on Tuesday, August 9, 2022.


August 9, 2022

BB: How we doing? Sorry for the schedule change here. We saw a pretty good band of thunder showers coming in this afternoon. So we thought we'd play it safe and try to beat those. I don't know if it'll happen or not but here we are. Couple days before the game, still working through a lot of things in training camp and really kind of up the preparations for the Giants tomorrow and Thursday morning before the game. But we have a lot of things we need to work on that don't have anything to do with the Giants. Obviously, it's some of what we run against the Giants but it's just really still - we're still in training camp here, like I said, kind of turn our attention more specifically to the game in the next 48 hours or so. But a good opportunity to keep stringing days together and keep improving.

Q: Is there one common denominator that you see to the difficulties of the offense is having being productive in 11 on 11?

BB: Um, no.

Q: Because we sit here and ask about well it's the scheme, it's the offensive line, it's the this, so any insight that you can lend to help us be a little more educated would be great.

BB: There's good things and bad things on every play. So some of the good plays that we had on defense were really not good plays if something else would have happened on the play. Some of the bad plays we have on defense, a lot of times, everything is right but one thing and same thing on offense. Everything is good but one thing is wrong. So go back and fix that.

Q: Is there a component maybe we are overlooking that the defense is playing its ass off a little bit? Cause we sit here and chart the plays that offensively aren't going great.

BB: Yeah. Well again, if you look at the result of the play, I mean that's one thing. If you look at the 22 components of the play, 11 on each side, that's a totally different- totally different breakdown. So there's an element of both but if you don't get the 11 things right eventually you're going to have problems. So it might look good on a particular play out here, might look bad if something different had happened on the play. If the quarterback had thrown to somebody else or if the right block had been made properly, it would've been a bad play for the defense. Or vise versa for the offense, so kind of look at everything. I know you're very results oriented. I get that, but there's more than just the result of the play. It's what all 22 people are doing. So punt protection, 10 guys are good one guy's bad you got a bad play, doesn't mean the other 10 are bad. But if you don't fix that one guy then it is bad. So I get it, but I mean we aren't going to get into a play-by-play evaluation out here. I mean there's just - that's just not what camp's for.

Q: So then where do you gage Mac's overall comfort with some of the changes? Because I think we've seen him, maybe more this summer than last, tucking and running or scrambling or eating the ball like is he seeing things the way you would like him to see with some of the changes?

BB: Look again, we all have things we can improve in. There's some plays that the quarterback could play better. There's some plays that quarterback's right and there's a breakdown in protection. There's some plays where the quarterback's right and there's a breakdown in the route. I mean there's a variety of things. The same thing for coaching or playing any other position on the field. There's good things and there's things we have to work on, and that's what we go back in and talk about. So when they all hit on one play sometimes that's good and sometimes that's a mistake on the other side that causes it to look good but really isn't good. So that's what training camp and coaching and watching practice is for.

Q: How do you balance install review and game planning in the preseason?

BB: There is no game planning in the preseason. It's easy. Zero. I mean close to zero, not zero, but close to zero.

Q: Do you anticipate Mac playing on Thursday night?

BB: We haven't even had those conversations yet.

Q: What's your level of confidence that you guys will be able to execute consistently in an actual game scenario on Thursday?

BB: We'll find out Thursday. Some of these guys have never played a game in the National Football League or for us. So I don't know. We'll see.

Q: When you go into saying there's breakdowns on certain plays...

BB: There's breakdowns on every play. There's good execution on every play. For the most part I'd say - like I can't - there's not many plays where like all 11 guys are wrong. That's just rare at this level. But there's generally corrections on every play, too.

Q: So what is causing those breakdowns to overwhelm where we don't see consistent success on the offense when it goes from play to play on 11 on 11s?

BB: Yeah I just answered that question. That's what we just talked about.

Q: We've seen Marcus Jones get some more opportunities maybe with the starting defense over the last couple of practices. What have you seen from him that has earned him those opportunities?

BB: Yeah no one has really earned anything. Marcus missed some time in the spring and has worked his way back in. We've moved some people around like we usually do, receivers, DBs, where we have depth, where we have multiple players that have versatile skill sets and work different combinations, or people in different spots. So nobody's earned anything. It's five practices in pads.

Q: Along that front, how comfortable are you with Jon [Jones] on the outside? As you were mentioning he moved around.

BB: Again, that's how you build your depth. You work people at different positions and let them have an opportunity to do those things, see how it works together. But we'll see.

Q: Tyquan Thorton has had a number of one-on-one splash plays. But as we look at the wide receivers position, is his being out there every single day for practices as big of a component of success as any catch or route would be?

BB: Well any player who is out there everyday, improves everyday. Any player who's not out there is not going to improve as much as the ones that are out there working hard. So it doesn't - it's not a final evaluation of anything. But if you want to get better, you continue to work at something, and do it over and over, and correct your mistakes, and do something else and develop other skills, then being out there everyday is how you do it. For the most part, most of our players have been out here most everyday which is a good thing.

Q: Is he just a consistent kid? He just seems very consistent?

BB: Yeah he's improved. Again, what we do is different than what he did in college. He's picked things up. He's smart. He's picked things up well. He's got a long way to go and a lot to learn like every rookie does.

Q: We saw David Andrews kind of meet with what looked like most of the offense after practice yesterday and spoke to us after just essentially relayed, 'we got to be better.' I don't know if you saw that meeting but when you see things like that, led by a guy like David what does that say to you?

BB: I think that's pretty common. Look, when one team practices against another, one side does well and then the other side doesn't do well. As we usually see in training camp, that pendulum can swing from day to day. It can swing quickly. Sometimes it swings from period to period. Again, the results are the results. But the components within the play, again there are a lot of things that are - that look good that aren't good. There's a lot of things that aren't good that are pretty close to being good and if we just do one thing, or one little thing a little bit better, it will make a big difference in the outcome of the play. So I mean I've said this like four times, but I don't know any other way to keep saying it. We can talk about what happened on a play, but we're going to keep coaching the plays. We're going to keep working to improve them, and I'm just telling you good plays aren't all good plays. There are plays that are not good plays that everybody oohs and ahhs about but they're really - they're not going to work. So I don't think I'm nearly as excited about those as maybe some of you are, just what it is.

Q: Have you seen this group have the ability to learn quickly and do what you want to do, come back watch film, correct their mistakes? How are they in terms of teams they've had in the past as far as learning ability?

BB: We're still early in the process. We'll see. But they're smart. They're attentive. They're trying. There's other good players on the other side of the ball. It's not easy to cover our receivers. It's not easy to block some of our front seven guys. It's not easy to cover some of the guys we have covering kicks, block them. Some of those things aren't easy. So that's a good thing. Competition's good. We'll see what happens against some other people.

Q: Some of the changes on the offensive line now with Cole [Strange] at left guard having vets like [David] Andrews and [Trent] Brown next to him, do you think that's helped ease him in and get comfortable at the end of camp here?

BB: Probably a little bit. But again, it really - the overall amount of teamwork at this point is not what it's going to be and not what it needs to be because honestly everybody is working on what they have to do and there are a lot of different combinations. We have a lot of different people playing with other people and there's not as much continuity as hopefully what there will be at a later point during the season or as we get into the season. So I think most everybody is trying to focus on what they have to and how they can do it. Within that, we're building our communication within the units and pre-snap communication. But I don't think - I know it's not what it will be. Does it help? I mean sure. Do we want it better? Yeah but training camp - the big part of training camp is the individual fundamentals. We spend all our time just talking about scheme and communication and all that, then our fundamentals aren't good. I don't think that's the answer. I think the answer is developing fundamentals and then the rest of that comes in due time. But if you don't have good fundamentals then you can x and o all you want, you're probably not going to have much.

Q: You've mentioned the input Mac has with the offense as it continues to develop. Does that input extend to the things that include what's on your practice day to day as you kind of find out what's working and what's not?

BB: Like what?

Q: Plays or concepts you want to work through or periods

BB: Well, I mean it's like player's aren't making our practice schedules if that's what you're asking. No. But again, in the implementation of a route, or a term, or the way a play is packaged, things like that, yeah we talk to the quarterbacks everyday about that. That's something we go through with them sometimes. Often they make suggestions. Brian [Hoyer], not [Bailey] Zappe too much. He doesn't make many. But Brian [Hoyer] and Mac [Jones] make suggestions on how to call something, how to term it, or what - just to make it cleaner, smoother, easier. So yeah that's a regular part of the process. Those plays run through the quarterback. We want him to be comfortable and suit him. No different than the defensive signal callers calling line stunts or secondary making coverage checks and all that. It's something that if they're not comfortable, they'll say 'hey can we call it this instead of that' or 'can we do it this way instead of that way.' Most likely the answer to that question is yes.

Q: You mentioned wrapping up your preparation for the Giants over the next 48 hours. Is that basically meetings? What does that preparation entail?

BB: Yeah, basically, meetings. We'll be out here tomorrow but we're not going to practice very heavily tomorrow. But yeah we'll be out here. We'll definitely go through things on the field. But a little more film, a little more meeting room type preparation. But offensively and defensively, you can't see the Giants do anything that we're going to see them do Thursday night. You have to go to Buffalo's offense or the Ravens defense or special teams that's different because T-Mac's [Thomas McGaughey] there. So there may be some carry over there. But you can't sit there and watch the Giants and say this is what they're going to do because it's not what they're going to do. They have a new coaching staff.

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