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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 9/20

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


Press Conference
Monday, September 20, 2021

On the team's run defense against the Jets:

BB: The Jets do a good job in the running game, and you know, they gave us a few challenging plays, so at times it was okay. Some things we need to work on. Make sure the players understand and correct.

On the team's tackling against the Jets:

BB: Some of it was good. We missed a few.

On J.C. Jackson's improvement and impact on the team:

BB: I think each year J.C. gets a little bit more aware. A little better understanding of how to use his help, and you know, when to be aggressive and use his help and when not to. When he doesn't have any, he has to play things a little more honest, but you know, take advantage of the keys and the defense and the leverage that we have to try to get closer to the receiver. His run force has improved. His tackling has improved, and there's still things for him to work on, but he's consistently gotten better over each of the four years.

On if he feels like teams needs a number one shutdown cornerback to succeed:

BB: Well, it's always good to have good players at every position, so wherever you can get them, you try to get them.

On why there were more three-receiver and 11 personnel sets against the Jets than last week against the Dolphins:

BB: Yeah. l'd say a combination of things.

On why the tight ends have not been targeted much in the red zone:

BB: Everybody has an opportunity. Which ones come up and how it unfolds, that's a little bit unpredictable. We don't just throw the ball to one guy. Maybe on a screen pass, but so it just depends on how the play develops, but yeah. We have options for everybody.

On Devin McCourty's role in J.C. Jackson's first interception and if the play was a product of coaching the tip drill:

BB: I don't know. You'd probably have to ask them about that. I think we were just trying to make a play at that point. J.C. did a good job on the play-action riding the in-cut down there, and he was able to get his hands on the ball, and ultimately, you know, it got tipped to him, but I don't know. You'd have to ask Devin about that. I'm not sure.

On if Nick Folk will be on the active roster going forward with Quinn Nordin now on injured reserve:

BB: As I said a couple weeks ago, I think there'll be roster movement on most every team in the first few weeks of the season, and so we'll see how it goes.

On Brian Hoyer's mentorship of Mac Jones and what makes Hoyer a good mentor:

BB: Brian's done a great job for us in every area. He obviously knows the offense better than anyone, any other player or quarterback, so that's a big help when executing the play. There's the coaching version of it, and then as a player, there's kind of the execution of it. The little things that you remind yourself as a player that a coach sometimes doesn't, you know, it's just different when you're a player and executing the play and a coach trying to explain the play, and I think Brian adds a lot of good insight to that, and you know, how other teams defensively do things because they're all different. Brian helps me with things that he's seen. He's been with a lot of other teams. Been with other coaches. Been in other systems. We talk about plays in situations, and he has a lot of good either ideas or recollections of the way somebody else did something, which might be something to learn from or might be something that we can use and so forth. He's been good and knows the offense well, so Mac [Jones] has been able to take a lot of reps, but Brian's been able to go in there and execute the offense when he's needed to, whether that be in a preseason game or in practice, without taking a ton of reps so that we can give more of those to Mac, you know, since after the last preseason game, so that's really worked out well, too.

On if he instructs Brian Hoyer on how to mentor Mac Jones or if he trusts Hoyer to do so on his own:

BB: I think it's a little bit of both. Again, there's a lot of conversations during the game day. There's meetings. There's before meetings. There's after meetings. There's in practice. There's watching film of us. There's watching film of other quarterbacks against the defense we're playing. There's film of watching other quarterbacks and other teams and different situations, so it comes on a lot of different levels and a lot of different situations. I'd say Brian's done a good job of all of it, but there's no like definitive. It's all-encompassing because we talk about so many things over the course of the day.

On if he thinks Devin McCourty receives enough recognition for his play on the field and how McCourty should be viewed historically:

BB: Well, he certainly gets it around here. I mean, I don't know about anybody else. Everybody has their own opinions. I don't really know what those are, but certainly around here he's highly respected and appreciated for all the things that he does unselfishly to help our team on the field as well as off the field. I mean, off the field is one thing, but he's a critical person on the field because of his quarterbacking of the secondary of the defense and his play-making ability, his tackling ability and his ability to do the right things in coverage, and that's very, very important for his position because one mistake back there is, you know. It's not like the nose guard making a mistake. There's nobody behind him, so it's a very important position and any mistakes back there can have much bigger consequences than other positions on the field, so yeah. I think there's plenty of respect and appreciation for everything he does here, and he's done it on a consistent level. Shows up every day, every week, every year, and that's a huge thing, too.

On Ja'Whaun Bentley's growth and if he has received more responsibilities every season that he has been on the team:

BB: Yeah. I think that definitely is. He's done a great job of, you know, last year taking control of the defense with [Dont'a] Hightower not here and some of the other players who we had in '19, you know, Jamie [Collins], and last year and then moving into this year. [Bentley] has still continued to step that role up. He's very smart. Very good communicator. Physical player, but I think he's taking it to another level this year in training camp and even in the first couple of games in terms of his aggressiveness and instinct and just reading and recognizing things a little bit quicker. Just that split second at that position is a big, big difference a lot of times between a tackle for a loss and an 8-yard gain, so I think he's playing with a lot of confidence and playing a good physical style of football taking on blockers, tackling, jamming receivers. Doing all those things, and again, very smart to handle and make adjustments on the defense.

On if he is concerned with the play at right tackle and if he has thought about moving Mike Onwenu to that position if Trent Brown remains out due to injury:

BB: We still need to spend a little more time here going through the film and talk about things, but I think we're alright here. Got three players that have played it, and I think they've all done some good things. Trent [Brown], I mean not very much in the last two games, but you know, we know Trent can do a good job over there, and Yasir [Durant] and Justin [Herron] have both done a solid job there. We've had some breakdowns at really all spots on the line, all spots offensively. It's just we've lacked some consistency. Even though we have a lot of good plays, and we've moved the ball, and we've put ourselves into positive field position a lot of times this year, we just don't have enough results points-wise that what we feel like we should have, but I think that's really a whole team thing. Not any one individual, one guy. We planned to play Justin and Yasir both yesterday, and we did, and they both got some good experience, and they both had a lot of good plays, so we'll see where we are this week and go from there.

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