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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 9/22

HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

Press Conference
Wednesday, September 22, 2021

BB: Getting ready for the Saints here. This is clearly one of the best coached teams in the league. They do a real good job all the way across the board. Of course Sean's [Payton] record and reputation and all speaks for itself. Nobody attacks defenses better than Sean and Pete [Carmichael] offensively. They do a great job with their schemes, and they have tremendous production on offense since Sean's been there, and defensively I know Dennis Allen does a tremendous job, too. This has been a top run defense now for the last few years, and they're really, really hard to block and run the ball effectively against. They got a real good third down scheme. Very experienced defense, and especially in the secondary are the guys that have played a lot of football, and they really know what they're doing, and then the kicking game, you know, Coach [Darren] Rizzi has done a great job there, and one of the top units in the league with some great players, you know, led by [Deonte] Harris, but they cover well on both punts and kickoffs. Return well. Block kicks. Very good situational team. Sean's got his team very well prepared for all the one play-type of situations and game situations. Things like that, so it's a lot to get ready for. Obviously, a team we're not very familiar with personnel-wise or scheme-wise. We haven't seen these guys in quite a while, so got a lot of work to do this week, but very, very good football team, and, as I said, very well-coached and play a lot of smart football, and they really know what they're doing in all three phases of the game, so there's no plays off this week. Hopefully we get off to a good start here today and string some days together and be ready to go on Sunday.

On what makes Alvin Kamara so good:

BB: He does everything well. Very good in the passing game. His production has been phenomenal. 59 touchdowns or whatever it is, and you know, his yards from scrimmage he's been at the very top since he's been in the league. He's got good speed, quickness. He's tough to tackle. Good vision. Versatile guy. Get him the ball a lot of different ways, and they do, and he produces with it. He's a guy you got to keep your eye on at all times. He plays on all three downs, so he's always in there.

On if good coaching in the NFL means good schemes, good techniques or something else:

BB: All of above. Yeah. All the above, so they definitely know what they're doing

On how the players on the Saints defense complement each other under Dennis Allen:

BB: Again, there's quite a bit of experience there, and they have some young players work in there, but you know, the ends and certainly the secondary, the safeties have a lot of experience there with [Marcus] Williams, [Malcolm] Jenkins, and middle linebacker to safeties, the ends and some experienced corners. There's not a lot of situations where they get caught on plays that, you know, try to hit the defense on. Misdirection plays, you know, traffic-type patterns are tough reads for certain zone coverages that you try to stress one or two of the zone defenders, and they just do a real good job with that, and again, the running game is, yeah. That's a lot of technique and discipline. That's guys that can defeat blockers and defend their space. Good run support, and obviously good tackling, but they do an excellent job of playing good, disciplined defense across the board. They're a hard team to hit big plays on, and they mix in enough pressure to keep you honest. I mean, just really solid across the board.

On how Chris Hogan has looked so far this season:

BB: Chris plays for them in the kicking game and a little bit on offense. Chris is a tough kid. They run the ball well, and they use their receivers in the running game effectively. He's one of them, [Ty] Montgomery. Obviously, [Cameron] Jordan is a big key for them there in the running game as far as the receivers go.

On how Sean Payton leverages Alvin Kamara to attack opposing defenses:

BB: Well, they use so many different formations and personnel groups that it's really hard to predict who's going to be in the game, and it's definitely even harder to predict who's going to be where, so you have to have a real awareness of where their guys are and what they do from those spots. Sean's very, very good at creating those situations with the defense in conflict, and they go fast and they get on you quick, and a lot of times you just recognize it just split second too late, and you know, they hitch on it, so it's really, and a lot of it is out there, I would say precision execution and timing, you know, and tempo that they play that.

On the importance of discipline and awareness for the overall play of the team:

BB: It's becoming more and more important every week. Teams that run plays that can hit many spots across the board, however they're designed. If you take one part of the play away, then the ball can easily end up in another part of the field, so it really magnifies the importance of good team defense and everybody being accountable for the responsibilities that they have as the offenses do a good job of getting the ball to those spaces if you avoid them.

On how he game plans to go up against a Sean Payton-coached team:

BB: Well, it's really hard to predict what Sean's going to do, and they have a huge playbook. They have a lot to choose from, and he does a lot. You can't prepare for it all, and then you got to be careful of the things that hurt you that they'll come back and get you with, but then there's also a lot of things the Saints do well that are hard to stop, and he has good compliments to all the plays, so if you stop one thing, he's got something else to go to. It's hard to stop both of them, so between all of what he has and exposing the defense's weaknesses from week to week, that's why they've led the league in offense for the last 15 years.

On Josh Uche's performance this season:

BB: Josh was like a lot of guys from year one to year two, you know. Worked hard in the offseason. He's had a lot of improvements in his game and is gaining more experience, so hopefully he'll continue to work hard and benefit from those snaps and experience and continue to be productive.

On if there's anything Uche can improve on that would lead to more snaps in the running game:

BB: I mean, there's things everybody on the team can improve on, so there's room for all of us to improve, so I wouldn't exclude anybody from that list.

On why he wants to keep Jameis Winston in the pocket on Sunday:

BB: Well, if you've seen him run with the ball, then I don't know why you'd want him out running with the ball in space. I don't think that's a good idea at all. He's hard to tackle. He's fast. He runs over people. I don't think you want him running wild in your secondary.

On if Jameis Winston looks different in Sean Payton's offense compared to when he was in Tampa Bay:

BB: He's a really good quarterback. He threw for 5,000 yards in Tampa, so it's not like this guy isn't that productive. He's big. He's strong. He's accurate. He's got a good touch on the ball. The offense that he ran at Tampa is a lot different than the offense he's running in New Orleans, but I think fundamentally he's just a big, strong guy that can throw the ball accurately. He's very good down the field. He's a tough guy to tackle. He's strong in the pocket. He can make every throw on the field. I mean, he's pretty good.

On how the young players on the team are balancing game preparation with improving their skills and technique:

BB: It's pretty much the same for all of us on that. Doesn't matter if you played one year or 20 years or coached a bunch of years. You look at the things you have problems with. After the game you figure out how to fix them or correct them or address the problem. However you address it, whether it's a coaching thing, technique thing or whatever it is, and then you move on and get ready for the next team. You balance both of those. We can't keep making the same mistakes over and over again, but at the same time you got to move on. I mean, no new team's going to run the same exact play that the team before it ran. That just doesn't happen, but there's definitely an element of if you're having trouble with something, somebody else is going to do it against you, so on their side of it, it's a question of how easy it is for them to do that and how much they want to replicate what somebody else is doing versus do what they feel like they're doing well and what they're successful with, so it's not all one or the other, but you have to be aware of your weaknesses and have a way to address them.

On what he remembers about Deonta Harris coming out of Assumption College:

BB: That's one of the top guys in the league. He's fast, quick. He's an explosive guy. He's obviously not very big, but if he gets the ball in space, he's dynamite.

On if he remembers scouting Deonte Harris in college:

BB: That goes with what I was just talking about.

On what makes Taysom Hill special and if he is comparable to anyone else in the league:

BB: He's a pretty special athlete and a special player. He does a good job in the kicking game, and he's fast. He's got good size. He's pretty instinctive in terms of as a defensive player, finding the ball and playing with leverage and that kind of thing, and then he gives you plays at tight end or he's got size to be competitive as a blocker and the speed on over routes, crossing routes, seam patterns, run after catch, things like that, and then he can go in the backfield, as you said, throw the ball competitively and also be part of the quarterback run game, so, in fact, he's smart enough to do all those things. He has enough technique or skill at each of the positions to do them, you know, and keep up with whatever the game plan is, which again, I know Sean has a pretty extensive playbook there, and I think that says quite a bit about the player and his versatility and his skills. Not too many guys can do that. You know, they just either don't have one of the qualities that you need, but I would say also that Sean has a number of players on his team that do multiple things. A guy like [Ty] Montgomery who has been a kick returner or a receiver or running back. He's a good blocker. He can do a lot of different things, so you take guys like that, you know, [Juwan] Johnson, who was a college receiver, and he's a tight end, and so he's a little bit of a hybrid tight end receiver or whatever you want to call him, but he's a good player, and he's a very tough guy to handle in the passing game. [Sean Payton] has got a bunch of guys like that, you know, he uses in different roles and very effectively and complements with our players who do other things that play off of those kinds of tough matchup players.

On if the Saints have the breadth available to handle Sean Payton's extensive playbook:

BB: Yeah. Well, they showed that last year.

Different style quarterbacks though. Do they emphasize maybe one thing over what you're used to seeing this audience obviously was quarterback about one guy for one,

BB: They emphasize doing whatever the defense is not very good at. That's what they emphasize. If you're not very good at something, you better expect to see a lot of it to even show them that, you know, then they'll go to something else, but he's got plenty to choose from.

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