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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 9/21

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media at Gillette Stadium on September 21, 2018.


BB: Since the last time we met, we officially added Josh [Gordon] and Cyrus [Jones] to the roster, so it's good to get them here. I'd say really in both cases, those two guys have done about as much as they can do in the few days that they've been here, or been back in Cyrus' case. We'll see how it goes. I think Josh is a smart kid. He's worked hard. He's picked up a lot and Cyrus has gotten back into things quickly, so we'll see how it goes. Again, as far as Detroit goes, there are a lot of unknowns there. Offensively, this is a very explosive group. The kicking game is very explosive and defensively, what they've shown, they've shown, but we know there's a lot more behind the curtain than that. Nobody knows us better than Matt [Patricia] does. He's worked against our offense every day for a long time. I'm sure that he'll address it in ways that'll be challenging for us. We'll have to make some in-game adjustments and perform at a high level. Today will be a good day for us to move forward on that, work on some situational things and then be ready to go Sunday night.

Q: Is Josh Gordon a guy you wanted to bring in for a long time or did things come together rather quickly last weekend?

BB: Yeah, I mean we're focused on the players that are on our team and getting ready for the games that we play. That's what our focus is. So from time to time other things surface and we look at those in a timely fashion.

Q: Just from a raw talent perspective, is Josh a rare type of player that may not often come available on the trade market?

BB: Look, all players in this league are talented players or they wouldn't be in this league. We'll see. 

Q: How do you monitor Josh's overall health while he's here given his history with substance abuse?

BB: Yeah, I wouldn't talk about another players personal or injury situations, so I'm not going to do that.

Q: Was Gordon's 2013 performance against the Patriots eye-opening in terms of the talent he had out there that day?

BB: Well, it was a chance to see him firsthand; yeah.

Q: Matt Patricia mentioned to us that Josh may still be running from that slant he caught and took for a touchdown in that 2013 game versus Cleveland.

BB: Yeah, it was an impressive play.

Q: You've released ten players at the wide receiver position since the start of training camp. Is there one thing you can point to in this offense that has given that particular position such a hard time?

BB: We've released a lot of players since the start of training camp, as has every other team in the league. We'll just keep working through our process and take it day-by-day, week-by-week and we'll see how it goes.

Q: Do you feel that Josh is still the same talented player that you saw out on the field that day in 2013?

BB: Yeah, we'll see.

Q: Cyrus Jones missed some time during camp due to injury and joined the rotation later in the summer. What did you see from Cyrus over the summer that ultimately led to his return this week?

BB: Yeah, Cyrus was coming along, certainly making progress through camp. As you said, his window was smaller than - it was what it was. It wasn't a full opportunity to evaluate him but we had to make a decision so we made the decision that we made. Things have changed and we're in a different place than we were in August.

Q: Has he had much experience playing safety? What kind of traits does he have that good make him a versatile player in the secondary?

BB: Yeah, I don't know. He's an athletic player. He's done a lot of different things for us.

Q: With Josh joining the team this week, do you just try to get him focused on getting down the game plan so that he could contribute this Sunday or do you have to try to teach him everything?

BB: It would be impossible to teach somebody everything in a couple of days when other players have had months to learn it. That would be impossible.

Q: So is it more important for him to just focus on the Lions and this game specifically this week?

BB: Well, it's taking a segment of whatever the total is and taking the things that are most important and building on that day-by-day as time goes on.

Q: When you're calling a quarterback sneak, is there any thought of being careful given the possibility of the quarterback taking a hit there and not getting up?

BB: I guess it would depend on the situation. There's a play-calling element, but it would depend on the situation.

Q: Is there one thing or a multitude of things that have led to the team having a high conversion rate on those plays over the years?

BB: Good execution.

Q: What have you seen from Corey Coleman in the short time you've had to work with him?

BB: He's a player we want to work with. We'll see how it goes. We haven't had him a long time but he's done a good job with the opportunities that he's had. We want to keep working with him. We'll see how it goes.

Q: What did you see from Corey coming out of the draft at Baylor?

BB: Well, it was a different system, so we've gotten to know him a lot better. We know a lot more now than we did then, but again, he's a talented player.

Q: With Coleman's journey ending up on the practice squad, does it sort of show the unpredictability of the draft given his first round draft status?

BB: Well, I think we all know the draft is a pretty unscientific process. That's pretty well-documented with every team in the league every year at every position. You do the best you can but it's certainly far from perfection in that process.

Q: What have you seen from Kerryon Johnson with the Lions?

BB: He's done a good job for them. They used him in the passing game in the preseason some. He's a good ball carrier. He's very athletic. He can catch the ball and makes good plays with the ball in his hands. He's good in space. He's a strong runner. With [Theo] Riddick as really their passing game back, his opportunities have been somewhat limited in the regular season but he showed he could do some of that at Auburn and also in preseason. I think he's an all-around back that can really do multiple things. I'd say so far his role looks like it's a little bit more as an early-down back as a runner with LeGarrette [Blount]. But he also I think could be effective and has been effective in the passing game, too, but it's hard when you have a guy like Riddick who is exceptional. But he's got good skills on all three downs. He's got good size and he's a good runner, a good player.

Q: Has Riddick proven to be more versatile this year or is his role more as just a passing back?

BB: He can play on all downs. He's very good on passing downs. He has obviously a lot of trust and high confidence level with him and the coaching staff, the quarterback and the things they ask him to do. As they should be, because he's very good and very consistent at it. He's a hard guy to cover. He's good with the ball in his hands. He's smart. He reads coverages, runs good routes. He can carry the ball, too; sure.

Q: Are Riddick and James White pretty similar players?

BB: I don't know about that. I'd say they have a similar role at times.

Q: What do you see on tape from Tavon Wilson? Is it similar to what you saw in his time here or has he grown as a player?

BB: Yeah, Tavon's done a good job for them. They play all three safeties. Again, there's only been two games here so it's hard to tell exactly. That's going to change from game to game. That'll change from game to game based on the game plan and the matchups and so forth, but Tavon's really done all of the things that all three safeties do. Playing their big nickel, he plays strong safety, he plays free safety, he plays in the kicking game. He's a versatile player for them. It's a lot of the same things he did for us.

Q: How big of a factor is Detroit's use of disguises on defense and is that something more difficult for players that are picking up a new system?

BB: Yeah, you'd have to talk to them about that. I just know what we see, and I see they give you looks and then the same look and they do multiple things off of it. Sometimes it's hard to tell exactly what they're doing until after the ball is snapped, until it declares. That just can create a little bit of hesitation for the offense or the execution of the play. They do a good job of that.

Q: What makes Jonathan Jones a good player in the slot for you on defense?

BB: Yeah, Jon, he's had a lot of experience in our system so he was able to, I'd say, get back to his role and a pretty good level fairly quickly once he was able to get back on the field and finish the rehab. He has a role on defense, role in the kicking game. He's been solid for us and he's a tough, competitive kid. He really does a good job for us so it's good to have him out there.

Q: What have you see from Devon Kennard on their defense? Is he a player that you really have to watch out for?

BB: Yeah, he plays a role similar to some of the players that we've had here that were linebacker-defensive end types so he's a pretty versatile guy for them. He has some coverage responsibilities. He can rush. He plays on the end of the line, handles some of the, I would say, adjustable parts of the defense so he's got some versatility for them. That's a key guy, that's an important guy in the type of things that I think Matt's trying to do. You don't know exactly where he's going to be. He's one of the guys that it looks the same, but then he's one of the guys that's doing something different and can do something different whether it's rush, play man-to-man, play zone, play on the end of the line, drop off into coverage and so forth. He's done a good job for them, as I said, in a multiple number of roles.

Q: Would you say he's more of a 4-3 outside backer or more of a 3-4 outside edge player?

BB: Well, he plays the role that he plays in their defense. That's what I can tell you. He's usually on the line of scrimmage with multiple responsibilities based on the call and the adjustments that they need to make. He does all of those things.

Transcripts are provided by the Patriots media relations department as a courtesy to the media and are edited for readability. All press conferences are posted and archived in their entirety at

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