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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 9/4

Read the full transcript from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference on Sunday, September 4, 2022.


September 4, 2022

Q: What are the benefits you hope to get out of the early trip to Miami? What's the motivation for doing it this year compared to in prior years?

BB: I think there are a combination of factors, but in the end it all looks like it's set up fairly well here. So, make the travel on Tuesday instead of on Saturday. We'll already be down there. We'll be able to just focused on the Dolphins.

Q: Looking ahead to Sunday how do you go about trying to game plan against a first year coach? Do you take much from preseason or is it more just what he's done in the past, what systems have looked like that you're familiar with?

BB: That's the $64,000 question on everything. Opening day is opening day. Nobody is really showing much in preseason. The cards will be on the table on Sunday. Like every opening game, I'm sure we'll have to make some adjustments. Once we see what they're doing and vice versa. That's always the way it is. So you have to leave room for a little bit of the unknown, things that they've been working on that they haven't shown. Or things specifically game planned for you that you've had trouble with at some point. They've had a lot of time to prepare for the game, several months, as have we. So there's a big part of the unknown. I think all of that will clear up in the first two to three weeks of the season when teams settle into their style of play that they want to bank on. But right now that's not necessarily known. Again, league wide for playing time for a lot of the key players on every team is low, so it's hard to tell how some of their players are going to be used but we know guys that they're going to feature. We'll have to see how it goes.

Q: On Jonnu Smith, what have you seen form him this offseason which indicates that he may be in a better position to have success coming into this year?

BB: Jonnu's [Smith] had a really good offseason. Starting in the spring, he's in real good condition, fundamentals, and techniques are good. He's a hard-working kid. He's out there every day, smart player. So he's off to a real good start, and we'll see how things go in the regular season. But he's put himself in position to, I think, go out and play well.

Q: I'm curious about what you have observed and how you would characterize the leadership among players so far this year?

BB: Yeah that's something that we usually don't talk a lot about. It's kind of, it happens, there's different forms of it. People have different styles. But I think just in general we have a lot of people that contribute to that. Really, everybody contributes to it, everybody on the team contributes to leadership in one way or another. Some more vocal than others but that doesn't take away from guys who set a strong work ethic and example that aren't necessarily vocal. So it comes in a lot of different forms. Could be positive in a lot of ways.

Q: DeVante Parker just getting the chance to work with him on a day-to-day basis, what have you learned about him over that time that you've been able to work with him on a day-to-day basis that maybe you didn't necessarily know prior to trading for him?

BB: Yeah DeVante's [Parker] been good. Works hard, really takes a lot of pride in what he does. Has very good understanding of his role in the passing game, and with the quarterback, and what he needs to do, and really works hard and does it well. He's been a pleasure to work with. I look forward to working with him in the regular season and game planning and things like that. But he's been good.

Q: You mentioned the Miami Dolphins will unveil their brand of football and you'll come to see what it is over the first two, three weeks of the season. I'm guessing you guys haven't unveiled your particular brand of football. Is there an excitement level that exists on the coaching staff and with the players to say 'alright well now we are going to unpackage what we have been working on that other teams haven't seen?'

BB: Sure, I think there's always an excitement for opening day and to get the season started. That brings a lot of different things into the conversation. It's really just taking all the work that you've done in the offseason and training camp, as players, as a staff, everybody involved and now focusing on a single opponent, whatever that actually means. So you just direct it there and that rolls into a lot of different aspects, but it's just to have a high performance on the one time a week we get an opportunity to compete and that's what we're all going to shoot to do. So I think we're all ready for that opportunity and excited to have it be pretty close to being here. No different than any other year. There's a training time period and then there's a competition time period, and we're heading into the competition time period. So it changes things a little bit in a good way.

Q: One change that has been is obviously Josh [McDaniels] is elsewhere, so the coordination of the offense is different. How much can you unveil to us how the process has worked going into this game? I mean is it a collaboration? Is Matt [Patricia] at the forefront? Is it a mind melt of everybody? Just any kind of insight you can afford us because we just keep battling about it.

BB: We have a good staff. We have a lot of people on both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively, everybody contributes. Ultimately, I have responsibility for everything that happens on the field. In the end, I'll take responsibility for that. But we have a lot of great members of the staff. A lot of different ideas come from different areas or a collaboration of ideas. We'll see how it goes.

Q: Who sets the script? I know you guys probably script a little bit. Is it you and Matt [Patricia] and Mac [Jones]? You Matt [Patricia], Mac [Jones] and Joe [Judge]?

BB: Script what? What are you talking about?

Q: I would imagine you guys must script some plays. Like your first third and long, you're going to look to do this. Or whatever. I know that in the NFL teams who have scripted plays for a long time. So I guess I'm presuming that there's probably some scripting.

BB: Yeah, again generally if you were to talk about a situation like that you talk to the entire staff there and say, 'okay first third-and-one here's what we practiced, what are we thinking?' Somebody might say 'let's do that,' or 'this will be a real good time to do that and then come back with that one the second third-and-one.' Those suggestions, those ideas, can come from everybody and anybody. And I'd say that's the way it's always been.

Q: What, if anything, has impressed you about Jack Jones?

BB: Jack's had some nice plays out there in practice, and in the preseason games and practices. Like every rookie he has a long way to go, and what we see in the preseason isn't necessarily what we'll see in the season. A lot more game planning, a lot more attacking individual players than what we see in preseason. So, he's done well. He has a lot to learn. He has some things going for him. For all of us, but especially the rookies that haven't played in this league before, it will be interesting to see how things go when the competition and the attacking of schemes and players shows up in the regular season, like I said, it really hasn't in the preseason.

Q: What traits would you say that he does have going for him?

BB: Jack's got very good hands. He has good quickness and change in direction in a short area. He really has a lot of experience playing perimeter corner at USC and then at Arizona State for good DB coaches too, like Marvin [Lewis] and Herm [Edwards], guys who have coached in this league. I know other players have college experience, but I'd say his college experience relates more to pro experience than some other players. I'm sure he's benefited from that.

Q: I'm not sure if we ever asked about DeMarcus Mitchell this summer. So he obviously wound up making the roster. So I'm just wondering what did you see from him this summer on special teams and on defense that have helped him earn a spot on the roster?

BB: Well [DeMarcus] Mitch [Mitchell] started off in the kicking game in training camp, not in the spring, but in training camp with a very physical style of play and carried that into the preseason games and in some of his opportunities on defense. So he's athletic, runs well, plays physically, I feel like he'll be able to help us in the kicking game.

Q: In talking to Rhamondre [Stevenson] in Vegas he said two of the areas he really wanted to improve in is pass catching and blitz pickup. I'm wondering what you've seen in those areas from him this year?

BB: Certainly an effort to improve and that's a great thing. All players, no matter how good they are, and we have a lot of good players, have the obvious strengths and that's what carries them to this level in the National Football League and to the opportunity to be productive on this team. But we all have weaknesses, and it's good for every player to identify what he needs to work on, and then address it, and try to improve that so it doesn't continue to be a weakness. It's something that he now has shown that he can do. Or it might even become a strength. So I really admire [Ramondre] Mondre [Stevenson] for doing that and for the effort that he's put into it. We haven't had a lot of blitz situations, live blitz situations come up. But we'll get some I'm sure, especially from Miami, and same thing in the passing game. A lot of our passes the last couple of weeks have gone to players who are right now on the practice squad, like Kevin [Harris] and J.J. [Taylor], people like that. So he hasn't had a lot of chance to do that in games. But he's done it well in the past at times. I think his attention to the details of his route running and passing game have certainly shown up in practice, and hopefully they'll show up in the games now.

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