HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
October 25, 2019
BB: Alright, well, this week's gone quickly for us. Short week. I think the players have done a good job, though, of moving past the Monday night game and getting onto the Browns. We've still got a lot of work to do, but I think we're gaining on it. I just think the more you watch Cleveland, the more you appreciate the talent, the skill that they have at so many different positions. As I said before, it's a very explosive group that's very aggressive. So, those'll be big challenges for us Sunday.
Q: What changed on Wednesday with Josh Gordon's situation and the decision to keep Eric Tomlinson?
BB: Yeah, well, there were a number of things going on. In the end, we made the transactions that we felt were best for the team.
Q: Josh expressed surprise that he was put on injured reserve. Is that a conversation you have with him before, goes to the agent or does he find out after?
BB: We're just following the rules.
Q: Do you intend to part ways with Josh once he gets healthy?
BB: That's a conversation for later. He's not healthy right now.
Q: What have you seen from Mohamed Sanu in practice?
BB: Smart kid, picks things up well. We'll see what we can do here. Sometimes as it accumulates – early downs, third down, red area, situational stuff. We'll see what the load looks like, but he's made good progress both days. Works hard. Good kid. Is really in-tune and trying very hard to pick up things quickly and get on the same page as everybody else. That's obviously a long way to go, a lot of work to do, but he's working hard at it, so we appreciate that.
Q: Can you confirm that the team is trading Michael Bennett to Dallas?
BB: Yeah, there's some process going on there. I don't know exactly where it is.
Q: What went into the decision to trade Bennett to the Cowboys?
BB: There's a lot of factors. Multiple considerations on this. But, look, in the end, I think Mike's a good player. We brought him here; he helped our team. I think he would help us, but we've only get a certain number of – certain things we've got to work with and work around, and that's what we have to do.
Q: Did Michael request to be traded from the team?
BB: Yeah, I don't think that was ever part of the conversation.
Q: Does playing the team you trade a player to later in the season hold any weight in negotiations?
BB: I think in the end you always try to do what's best for your team, whatever that is.
Q: Did you have a vision for the defense when you traded for Michael that changed as you got into the season?
BB: Yeah, I don't know. As I said, there's a lot of things. There'll be a lot of considerations in this particular situation, and so it is what it is.
Q: What do you see when you watch Baker Mayfield? Does anything jump out to you that he's not doing?
BB: Yeah, you'd have to talk to Coach [Freddie] Kitchens and the Cleveland coaches about that. I don't really know what the assignments are and things like that, but he's a talented player, he's athletic. You saw the scramble he had against Seattle for a touchdown, and he can certainly make all the throws. He's a tough kid, I don't think there's any doubt about that. So, I see all those, and those are all dangerous qualities that we have to compete against.
Q: It seems like John Simon is undersized for his role on the defense. Is that correct?
BB: [He is] 250 pounds. I don't know.
Q: How impressive is it that he can set the edge?
BB: Yeah, John's got good playing strength. He's got good leverage. I don't think playing strength is an issue. I don't think it was an issue wherever he's been. It wasn't an issue in Houston, and I didn't think it was an issue at Indianapolis. Didn't think it was an issue at Ohio State. So, I'm not really sure where that's coming from. I think he plays strong. He always has played strong, that's one of his strengths.
Q: And his toughness too?
BB: No question. He's a tough kid, no doubt about that. Those are two of his strengths. And he's smart, very smart. Very instinctive. So, he's got some things going for him.
Q: How difficult has it been to deal with so many moving parts at wide receiver?
BB: Yeah, well again, as I've said before, it'd always be ideal to have everybody available all the time and use the same people every week of the season. That's just not the way it is in the National Football League, here or anywhere else. So, you control what you can control, and what you can't control, you try to work around, find alternatives to do the best you can with it. Sometimes that's a different position, sometimes it's at the same position, sometimes it's not that much, sometimes it's a lot. So, there's other teams in the league that it looks like they're dealing with injuries, just like we are, just like everybody else is. Or something. There are other things to deal with besides injuries, but it's the National Football League. It's a long season, it's a tough game. Realistically, do you think it's going to be the same people out there every single game all year long? I don't know. Show me where that's happening. I don't know, I just don't see a lot of it.
Q: How has it been working with Justin Bethel, and was it a surprise that he became available?
BB: Well, it was a surprise until [Brent] Urban got released, then it wasn't a surprise at all. It's what we expected to happen. So, he's been good. He's great. Great kid. Works hard, has a passion for his job, understands what it is, understands his role in terms of the kicking game first, and he's embraced the positions we've put him in. He's trying to – same as Sanu – trying to get up to speed as quickly as he can to get ready to go on Sunday. We'll see how all of that comes together.
Q: With Matthew Slater and Justin Bethel, can you think of a better special teams combination over the last seven years?
BB: Yeah, I mean, they're both good. Yeah. I'd say Jon Jones is pretty good too. You know, Jon has a bigger role for us on defense now, but I'd say the first couple of years in the league, I'd put Jon Jones in that conversation.
Q: When do you start talking about weather elements with your players and staff? How close or far away from the game do you start to have those conversations?
BB: As late as possible. I mean, the Giant game, it was supposed to be the monsoon and everything you hear, and like usual, there was not one drop of rain. And, I'd say minimal wind. Although, there was some wind, it was across the field, so it didn't really affect the game much. We went down to Miami, we thought it was going to be hot. We thought it was going to be hot when the game was scheduled, we thought it was going to be hot in training camp, we thought it was going to be hot the week before the game, we thought it was going to be hot the day of the game. And it was. So, predicting heat in Miami in September, whatever it was, 15th, or whenever we played them – you know, maybe you and I could figure that out. Yeah, the rest of it, look, I've seen the forecast, but this is the same exact same forecast we had for the Giants – not one drop of rain. So, we'll see. I mean, I don't know. I'm sure it's hard to get it right, especially specific locations such as this. Like, where it is 10 miles from here and where it is here makes all the difference in the world to us. So, that's the world we're in, so we'll see.
Q: Post-coaching career, do you see yourself dabbling in some weather forecasting?
BB: Yeah, we'll see what my options are after that.
Q: Does N'Keal Harry's development play any role in Josh's move to IR?
BB: I mean, look, something's got to – I mean, we're not going to carry 10 receivers on the team. So, something's going to have to happen. I don't know what. I can't imagine we'd carry that many players in one position. So, I don't know. At some point, numbers have to become a factor when they get high. This is the National Football League, this isn't a college.
QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY
October 25, 2019
Q: What do you think about working with Mohamed Sanu so far?
TB: It's been a good week, been a good week. It's been fun to get to know him. I've watched him for a long time, and always impressed by his abilities, his attitude. It's just been great to have him out there, so hopefully we'll get him up-to-speed as fast as possible. Everyone's working hard. It's going to be a big challenge for us, good team we're playing against. Very talented: good at corner, very athletic linebackers, a great front. Myles Garrett's one of the best players in the league, so it's going to be a great test for us.
Q: Is Sanu a guy you saw and thought his skills would transfer to your offense?
TB: I mean, I've watched a lot of football over a long period of time, so yeah. I watch a lot of tape and I'm basically familiar with every player in the league, especially at receiver.
Q: Is there a routine you go through with each new receiver that's similar to become more familiar with them?
TB: No really. I wouldn't say there's anything like a routine, per se. It's just them really trying to get up-to-speed with what we're doing, and that's probably based on what their overall football IQ is and how quickly they can assimilate into a new scheme, understand the routes. I mean, I don't think there's many routes we run that are different than what other teams in the NFL run, it's just how you call them and how they're combined with other things. So, that's it.
Q: How tough is it to see Josh Gordon go on injured reserve, and it is amazing to see how many receivers you've had here since the beginning of training camp until now?
TB: Yeah, it's just – you've just got to adjust the best you can. That's just the way it's been this year. So, sometimes it's like that at other positions, this year it's been that way at receiver. It's been that way at o-line some years, running back some years. But, we're just doing the best we can to try to make it work. So, I think we're trying to do is just improve. Every week, try to get a little bit better and understand each other a little bit more. But, it's good to win in the meantime.
Q: Is it tough to see Josh go down?
TB: Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah.
Q: What has made it a good week with Sanu?
TB: I think it's his willingness to embrace this opportunity. He brings a lot of juice, so it's good to have. It's good to see someone that's competitive. If you watch him play, he plays with an attitude. He's got a little chip on his shoulder, too, so I think we can relate to each other. And he can relate to a guy like Julian [Edelman], because he was often overlooked in his career, and I think he plays that way.
Q: Are you excited to see that when you're out on the practice field with a guy?
TB: Yeah, absolutely. I love that. I mean, it's nice when everyone – I think you have different relationships with different players, and there's a lot of guys that bring – and I've had a lot of them over the years – their attitudes are contagious. A guy makes a play, and it just gets everyone else hyped up. There's guys like that on offense, defense, and that's what a great team's all about.
Q: What makes Myles Garrett so scary?
TB: He just has all the traits. I mean, he's got every move: speed, power, quickness, inside moves, around the edge. I think his effort, too. I think he's got an incredible motor, just to get around the edge and even if he's chipped, double-teamed, whatever it is, he just keeps going, and I think he pursues. He's just a great young player. He's going to be trying to get me, so I've got to figure out somewhere to go with the ball and get it out. But, they cover well, too. They've got two really good corners in Greedy [Williams] and [Denzel] Ward, and they cover well. They've got really great depth at safety. They've been a little injured at corner, but those guys are back now, so they've got a very good defense.
Q: Around this last prime-time game, there was some discussion around your future and what that's going to lead to. How are you approaching that?
TB: My contract situation hasn't changed in many months, so I don't know why it gets brought up now. I don't know. I think it's just hype, media, and everyone's trying to make money and that's what it's about. I don't get into it. I mean, honestly, my situation hasn't changed. I'm just focused on what I'm always focused on, which is this week, trying to be a great quarterback for this team. As I said the other day, things happened at the right times, but this isn't the right time.
Q: Do you get tired of it, Tom? I mean, you are a human being.
TB: I'm a 42 year-old man, man. I get tired. No, it's just – part of it's just being Tom Brady, I guess.
Q: Miserable, rainy forecast this weekend. You've played well in bad weather before. How much of a factor is the weather?
TB: You're right, we've played in it quite a bit. Kind of worked on some wet ball stuff today, and just getting used to that's just what it is. You've got to up your concentration, and you've really got to think about the center-quarterback exchange, think about the handoffs, think about throwing the ball really accurately. It's just another level of concentration. So, I think it just falls into the mental toughness bucket at the end of the day. Being here in New England, as we all know, we experience many different changes in weather very quickly, and just being outside practicing every day is good for us.
Q: Do you think it's an advantage to be playing outdoors all the time when you face crazy weather?
TB: I like it. I think it helps us a lot. Against a team like Cleveland, they're probably in it a lot too. I think there's maybe some dome teams where it makes a little bit more of a difference, but I don't think against a team like Cleveland.