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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 9/29

Read the full transcript from New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.


Press Conference
Wednesday, September 29, 2021

BB: What's going on? Been any stories this week? It's been really interesting to watch Tampa. Obviously, it's a team we don't play very often, but they got a really good football team. Did a great job last year around the middle of the season and really kind of finding their stride and their rhythm, and they score a lot of points. Don't give up many. Turn the ball over a lot. Don't turn it over much on offense. You know, do a lot of things well like you need to do to win football games like they have, and you know, they've obviously brought everybody back from last year, and they have a lot of experience now, and you can see that in their overall communication and execution. Some of the adjustments they make offensively and defensively against, you know, the stuff they've had to face, they handled it pretty, I would say, easily. A lot to get ready for. It'll be a big challenge for us this week, obviously, facing one of the top teams in the league, if not the top team. I know some of the players well, Tom [Brady] and Rob [Gronkowski] and guys like that. Certainly, Rob and Tom have done a lot for this organization. A lot for me, and I appreciate everything they've done and have a ton of respect for them, but you know, this Sunday we're on opposite sides of the field. We're going to do what we can to not make them enjoy the night. I'm sure they'll do the same to us but look forward to the opportunity and the challenge and look forward to Sunday night.

On if he is surprised by Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski's production on the field this late in their careers:

BB: Nothing Tom does surprises me. He's a great player. Works hard and takes care of himself. I mean, he's talking about playing until 50. If anybody can do it, he probably can.

On what he's observed from Tom Brady that makes him think that Brady will play until age 50:

BB: I mean, they're leading the league in passing. They're leading the league in scoring. They play very well offensively. They execute well, and they have a lot of good plays. They string a lot of good plays together. They do the little things as well. They do the big things well, so, again, he's part of a good team. They have a good offensive line. They have good tight ends. They have good backs. They have good receivers, and they put it all together consistently.

On if Bruce Arians' offense this year with Tampa Bay varies schematically from his teams in the past:

BB: Totally. Yeah. 100%.

On the offense Tom Brady is running in Tampa Bay:

BB: It's the offense he's run his whole career. Well, I mean, as it evolved here, but you know. The running game is the running game. The running game is different, but passing game's the passing game. That's pretty similar. I mean, you could call almost every play from the flare control to the protection, you know, similar to the way we do it.

On the magnitude of the opportunity Sunday night to play well in front of a large crowd:

BB: Every week is a great opportunity for us, and certainly this is, like I said, probably the top team in the league, so a big challenge for us, but a great opportunity, and we're looking forward to it.

On if he thinks N'Keal Harry will practice today:

BB: It's possible.

On if he anticipates having to manage his emotions on Sunday night given his relationship with Tom Brady:

BB: No. I'm just going to focus on what I can do to help our team win Sunday night. Same thing I always try to do.

On if it is true that he preferred to speak with Tom Brady over the phone regarding his free agency decision in 2020:

BB: No. That's not true, and I've heard a few things about this book and sounds like it's a lot of second, third and fourth-hand comments, but I'm not going to get into that. I'm going to focus on this game and try to prepare for the Bucs.

On Todd Bowles' blitz packages:

BB: They mix it up. I mean, they're not a heavy blitz team. Similar to New Orleans, but they do enough to keep you off-balance. They bring some secondary players, and you know, when they get into their base defense, it's a lot of five-man pressure with their edge guys who are very good, so if you want to call those blitzes, then they blitz quite a bit in that formation when they're in that group, but when they get to their nickel group, you know, they mix it in there. They play a variety of zones. Mix in a little man. Mix in a little pressure, and they keep you honest, so he does a good job of that. It's not the same every week, and it will vary from week to week depending on the opponent and what he's trying to do.

On if he plans on having any contact with Tom Brady before Sunday's game:

BB: I'm just planning on getting ready for the game. I don't know.

On what was incorrect about the report that he preferred to call Tom Brady about his free agency decision in 2020:

BB: I'm going forward, Greg [Bedard]. Yeah. I'm going forward on that.

On if the interaction regarding Brady's free agency decision was in-person:

BB: I'm going forward on that.

BB: On how remarkable it is that he drafted Tom Brady in 2000 and is still playing at a high level this season:

BB: I mean, Tom's had an unbelievable career. There's not enough superlatives and adjectives to compliment him on everything that he's achieved and continues to achieve, so yeah. It's unbelievably impressive.

On if he thinks Tom Brady will know what the Patriots are doing on offense given his previous experience with the team:

BB: I think there's a little bit of that with anybody that you play. Other coaches. Other players. Certainly Tom has an intimate knowledge of everything that we do here. More so than any other player in the league by far, so I'm sure he'll use it his advantage. I would expect him to. I don't think it will be in our best interest to go in there and, you know, do everything differently than we've done it all year. What we need to do is continue to do the things we do and do them better. That would help us more than anything else, so that's what we'll try to do.

On what he would say to Patriots fans that wonder why Tom Brady is on the opposing sideline:

BB: I'd say all that's in the past. Right now, I'm looking forward to the game.

On if he wanted Brady to be the Patriots quarterback after the 2019-20 season:

BB: We've already addressed that, so our focus is on the Bucs.

On his relationship with Tom Brady right now:

BB: I think it's good. It's always been good.

On if Tom Brady is a tough quarterback to defend:

BB: Yeah. He's as tough as any quarterback there is or ever has been. Enough said. I mean, his numbers are incredible. He's about to pass the all-time passing record. He's done more than any other player at that position in whatever measurement you want to take, whether it's yards, completions, touchdowns, championships. You name it, so put anything out there you want, but it doesn't get any tougher than him.

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