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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 9/15

Read the full transcript from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference from Wednesday, September 15, 2021.


Press Conference
Wednesday, September 15, 2021

BB: There is a game on the road here, so good opportunity for us this week and our football team. Good challenge. Obviously, there's a lot of things we need to do better from last week, so we'll start working on those on the field here today and get ready for the Jets. This is a young, aggressive team. Coach Saleh has brought a lot of energy to the program. A lot of new faces, and they play hard. They're a physical football team, and they're an explosive team. They've got explosive players at all three areas of the game, and we're going to have to do a job on them. Get to work out there today and try to get ready for Sunday.

On his impressions of Zach Wilson's first start on Sunday and what he has seen out of him prior to that:

BB: He's an explosive player. He's got a great arm. Live arm. Makes all the throws. Athletic. Like any young player, you know, they gain experience and get better every time they go out there.

On the challenges of defending Corey Davis:

BB: Tough. He's an outstanding player. Catches the ball and makes a lot of contested catches. Tough guy to tackle. Good blocker. He really competes hard. Does everything well. He's a key guy for them.

On his message to the team after Sunday's loss:

BB: I'm not going to get into all things that go through the team. Obviously, we need to do better.

On Zach Wilson's ability to scramble outside the pocket:

BB: Out of the pocket. In the pocket. It's the unpredictability that comes with players like that. You have things under control. You have a pattern covered, and then something happens, and they make a big play. They can turn plays that don't start good into explosive plays offensively, and that's a big challenge for us, to play every play all the way through., finish the plays and compete for the entire down. He puts a lot of pressure on you and so does the offense.

On how similar the Jets' defense is schematically to the 49ers' defense led by Robert Saleh last year:

BB: It's pretty similar. Different players, but same basic schemes on both sides of the ball.

On the importance of selflessness at the quarterback position and what he's seen from Mac Jones in that area:

BB: I think it's important for everybody to understand their job relative to the overall team concept and what the team's trying to do on a particular play or a situation or game or whatever it is. We all need to put the team first, so it's a message for all of us. Mac's done a good job of it, and so have all our other players, but that's what we need to do.

On the coaching points he has made to his defensive backs on defending a mobile quarterback:

BB: Well, we have to defend the play until it's over. We have to anticipate that certain things are going to happen when he scrambles and whether he scrambles to you or away from you. I think we have an idea of what the defenders or the receivers like to do, but they're going to try to get open. They're not just going to run the coverage, so we have to be able to finish the play. That could create an opportunity, too, if it's an errant throw or if we're in good position, but that's the game. There's going to be some of those in the games. No doubt about it.

On the thought process behind keeping Mike Onwenu at left guard:

BB: We always talk about all of our options, and ultimately, we try to do what's best for the team. I don't think that'll change.

On if there is a process to determine how much he puts on a rookie's plate:

BB: I think it's pretty much the same with every player. They're all different. You have to decide with each player what responsibilities you feel comfortable with, they feel comfortable with, and what you're going to do going forward. Some players you know more about than others, but I'd say with every player there's an element of that.

On what he sees as some of the characteristics of Coach Saleh's teams over the last few years and if it seems like Coach Saleh is trying to build a similar team in New York:

BB: All the characteristics schematically that we've seen from those teams that run the Seattle three-type of defense. Coach [Saleh] has done a good job with the teams that he's had, whether it be as a position coach or the last four years at San Francisco as a coordinator, of executing those plays, making adjustments and adding his own wrinkles to what they do based on the players that he has and the teams that he faces and little game plan adjustments that they make. He's done a good job with that.

On if he knows Robert Saleh:

BB: A little bit.

On what Jamison Crowder and Keelan Cole add to compliment the Jets' offense:

BB: They're both good players. We've seen a lot of Crowder in the past and saw Cole. Did a lot of work on him in free agency. Pretty familiar with him, so both good receivers. Crowder has spent a lot of time as an inside receiver, but he can do other things. Cole has got a lot of versatility to play inside or outside, and I know [Elijah] Moore's played both as well, so I don't know what the plans would be for him, but that could be a little different than they were last week with those players available. They have players on the practice squad, too, which we all know those are potential easy and quick elevations, so guys like Vincent Smith and players like that they could factor in as well. We have to be ready for everybody.

On if the team did research on Corey Davis in the offseason:

BB: We look at all players in free agency.

On what the Jets lost with Mekhi Becton going down with an injury last week:

BB: I mean he's a good player, obviously, but [Morgan] Moses has been a starting tackle in this league for a number of years, so flipping [George] Fant over and bringing Moses in, I mean Moses has a pretty good track record as a tackle in this league, too, so Fant's a guy that made the switch. I think they're still pretty good at that position, and they have [Chuma] Edoga, too, so I mean that's really, I'd say, that's probably one of the deepest positions on their rosters is tackle even without Becton. Obviously he's an outstanding player. Outstanding young prospect, but even without him, they've got pretty good depth there.

On the challenges of facing the Jets' zone-blocking schemes:

BB: I don't think there's a team in the league that doesn't run zone-blocking, so we see it every week. That's not all they do. They have plenty of gap schemes and other misdirection plays and RPO-type concepts and things like that, so they have a pretty diversified attack. They have a real good running game. Some of it is with two backs in the backfield or two people in the backfield, wherever you want to call them. Some of it is with one. Some of it is with a couple tight ends. Some of it is with three receivers. They do a good job of challenging the run defense on a lot of different types of plays, blocking schemes, formations, motion. They have a very diversified thought out running attack, but it's certainly not all zone. I mean, they run a lot of zone, but i's not all zone.

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