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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 9/15

Read the full transcript from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference at Gillette Stadium on Friday, September 15, 2023.



September 15, 2023

Q: What have you learned from Tyrone Wheatley [Jr.] since he's been here?

BB: He works hard, has a good skill, works hard and learning. He's a young player, developing player but he's getting better. 

Q: Does he look like a guy that could maybe play both spots?

BB: Yeah, Wheatley has played both spots, [Vederian] Lowe has played both spots.

Q: How about Lowe, too? What could he bring?

BB: They've both been good. I'm glad we have them. They're good to work with and they're getting better, so it's good. I'm glad we have them.

Q: Do they have the versatility to play at guard?

BB: We'll see, I don't know. He's playing tackle for right now.

Q: Coach, what has Ty Montgomery [II] brought to your team over the last couple of seasons?

BB: Well he only played in one game last year. He's great to have. A very versatile guy, really smart. He's got a great skill set, plays in the kicking game, can do more things offensively. You know, missed most of training camp this year, all of the preseason games but has been able to get in a couple great weeks of work. I'm glad we have him back on the field to work with. He's a talented guy that is really smart, has some experience and he's able to do some of different things for us. It's good to have that kind of versatility.

Q: What did you see from Isaiah Wynn last week playing guard? Is the same thing you kind of saw from him the last five years?

BB: Yeah, he didn't play a lot of guard here. He's made the transition inside. His frame is probably a little bit more of a guard frame but obviously he's played tackle. They have [Terron] Armstead out there so they moved him inside. It's the same player that we've seen, he's strong and athletic.

Q: For the Dolphins, their young pass rusher [Jaelan] Phillips, how talented is he? He had a pretty disruptive game this past week.

BB: He's a very talented player, you know, trouble on the other side. Those three guys on the other side are pretty good, too. So, they have a good front, big, strong and disruptive front. Hard to block. Different from what we saw last week but similar in that they are both very good. They play a little bit different structure but a lot of good players at the line of scrimmage.

Q: How have you seen there scheme from the more Brian Flores oriented defense to now the Vic Fangio's system?

BB: Yeah, well Flores wasn't there last year and neither was Fangio. In any case, I think [Jevon] Holland put it very well. I think what he said was that what they did last year and what they did this year are 180 degrees different. He would know better than I would. He's down there, but that comment looks pretty accurate to me. Jevon should know, so I would go with what he said.

Q: Speaking of rushing the quarterback, not a lot of blitzing from Fangio against the Chargers. But, when he did, it was very effective – a couple of key sacks late, one in the third quarter as well. Is it situational, what you've seen over the course of going against his defenses? Is there a knack to picking that time?

BB: Right, well, I guess it depends on how you define blitz and what exactly we're talking about here. When they're in their base defense, they bring five over half the time, so if you want to call five men a blitz, then they blitz over half the time in their base defense. They were in their dime defense; they blitzed a couple of times at the end of the game in a two-minute situation. But, you know, look, Vic's an experienced coordinator. I'm sure if he sees something or gets a feel for something, or just wants to mix it up or whatever, then he's going to call it. They have it, how much he wants to call it depends on whatever the reasons are for the calls that he makes. Always got to be ready for it, and what one team does against one opponent and what they do against somebody else is not always the same, either. In their base defense, five guys come over half the time, so that's a lot of pressure.

Q: Now that the rookies have one game kind of under their belt now in the NFL, what difference, if any, do you see when they make that jump to the second game?

BB: They have a long way to go. They'll have a long way to go after they play 17 games and go into next year. We'll just take it one game at a time. I'm sure they'll learn something every week, and they all have a long way to go at every position, every player. There's a lot to learn. Play against different players every week, and they'll learn something every week by matching up against a different opponent, even though we'll have three games against repeat opponents – they'll learn something in those games, too. But, they're just going against a lot of really good players that they just didn't go against in college. These guys are a lot better than the guys they went against in college, and the schemes are different, so they'll learn ever week.

Q: Boston College has its red bandana game this weekend. I know last year, during the Tewaaraton Award ceremony, you talked about Welles [Crowther]. Will you talk about it with the team this week or honor him in any way on Sunday?

BB: Yeah, we'll be with him in spirit. I'm sure it'll be a great day tomorrow, Florida State, right? So, he was a great inspiration, what he did, his story, his legacy, and what his family and foundation and everything that he stands for. The way that's been carried forward, I think it's an awesome message, great tribute to him and what he did and what he stood for. The bandana is really a good signature piece for everyone that appreciates and respects what happened and what the message is going forward.

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