Sun, 25 Oct 2020

Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 9/30

New England Patriots
01 Oct 2020, 20:34 GMT+10

New England Patriots

Q: When you watch Patrick Mahomes, what it is about him or the scheme that makes it difficult to bring extra rushers against him?

BB: Yeah, I mean, they're pretty good at everything. They've got a great quarterback and a pretty experienced offensive line, great play caller and good skill players. The skill players are hard to tackle, they're good guys with the ball in their hands, they can also get down the field and good route runners. It just creates some matchups. I mean, you force the ball at quicker, you don't have to cover as long, but you don't have much help. So, it's just a tradeoff there, like it always is.

Q: The Titans had some positive COVID-19 tests come back. How much have you looked at that situation, and how much does it reinforce the importance of staying disciplined in light of everything you're dealing with this season? How do you feel you guys are doing in that area?

BB: Yeah, well, we monitor everything every day. We don't just do it when there's a problem or something comes up somewhere else. We do it on a daily basis and make everyone, because this is everybody, it's not just players - it's players and coaches and staff and everybody else - make everyone aware or if we can do something better, then we talk to them about how we can do it better. So, we try to monitor it the best we can and we I think are pretty vigilant with really all of us, it's not any one person, but just all of us keeping an eye on things that if anybody sees something that's not the way we talked about it or maybe something's a little off or that we need to take a better look at, then we do that. So, we've had that situation come up multiple times as things have changed, as we went through the different phases of training camp, as we got into the regular season schedule, then we traveling and so there have been a variety of changes in our scheduling or in the way we're located or where or how we're doing things that have necessitated some type of modification or adjustment. So, we continue to monitor and do that, but yeah, it's obviously a good reminder for all of us of the situation that we're in. Regardless of what we have or haven't done up to this point, it really is about what we do each day going forward, making the right decisions and controlling what we can control. So, we'll try to continue to do that.

Q: What do you see in the relationship between Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes? Having been with one quarterback for a long time and won so much together, what is the benefit of them having a partnership and taking that partnership many years into the future?

BB: I appreciate the question. Really, none of that is too relevant to me right now. You'd have to ask Pat and Andy about their relationship. I really don't know exactly how that works. So, I wouldn't be able to comment on that. I mean, they're both great at what they do. Andy's had tremendous success in the league as both the head coach of the Eagles and each year at Kansas City. I mean, all the winning they've done out there from when he took the program over is very, very impressive. How the dynamics work between each coach and their quarterback and so forth, I'm sure they're all a little bit different. I really wouldn't have any way to make really any kind of intelligent comment on what they do or don't do or how it works out there. I really have no knowledge. All I know is what we see and what we have to play against. So, that's where we'll kind of keep our focus.

Q: Chris Jones seems to be an important piece to what the Chiefs do defensively. How do you see him and Frank Clark work together and help each other when it comes to being disruptive up front?

BB: Well, they're both very disruptive players and it's hard to 100 percent count on where they're going to be. Spags [Steve Spagnuolo] moved them around some last year - well, Jones, in particular - and we'll just have to see how they do that. I mean, it was situational. Sometimes, you can have an idea where he's going to be, but they change their front. Depending on whether it's an over or an under or whatever the front happens to be, that could affect the location, too, of the players - not just those two, but other ones as well. So, the bottom line is we have to be ready for multiple looks on defense, as well as offense. That's what they do. I'm sure they'll try to create positive matchups for Kansas City on defense, just like they do on offense, and they have some very disruptive players. Jones is right at the top of that list. [Tyrann] Mathieu is a ball hawking and very instinctive player in the secondary. They're a pretty experienced defense. A couple of the younger guys playing on the corner due to injuries, but once they get everybody back, we'll see how much that is - we'll see what [Charvarius] Ward's situation is - but it's a pretty experienced defense. [Daniel] Sorensen's had a lot of experience in the safety and kind of at the linebacker position on their dime defense with Mathieu and so forth. So, it's a pretty solid group. The linebackers are good, they're fast, they run well and they're very instinctive guys, too.

Q: How does the Chiefs' offense use motion and the running back vertically in the passing game and how does that stress you defensively?

BB: Yeah, the Chiefs motion on about 50 percent of their plays, give or take, which is probably in the norm for the West Coast offenses. It's about where we last week with the Raiders, as well. Some of that is back motion, more of it's wide receiver motion, and there's also some tight end movement in there, as well. So, all things that we've seen before, but they do cause an adjustment defensively and some type of communication. So, we know we're going to see it, we know we have to be ready for multiple formations and shifts and motions and formation indicators, things like that. They do a good job of that. So, that's probably an important part of setting the table for the play that they actually run, because what happens before is either a deception or to try to gain some type of advantage by putting a guy in motion to try to out-leverage or put a guy in a difficult position for the defense to handle.

Q: This week, four of your players on injured reserve are eligible to return. Do you anticipate getting any of those players back this week?

BB: Yeah, I mean, we'll see how it goes. I mean, the first step would be to practice a player that's on injured reserve and then whether he would be active or not would depend on what happened during the course of the week. Sometimes, those guys, they're not ready to play as soon as they start practicing. They need another week or two. So, if we do that, it would just be based on that player's individual situation and how we can evaluate the guy during the time that we have to look at him, whether that's a week, two weeks, three weeks, whatever it is. So, the first step would be to start him at practice and that starts the clock running on the activation process and then it becomes an evaluation process as we take it day by day.

Q: With as explosive as the Chiefs' offense can be, is ball control and playing keep-away important for you guys this week?

BB: Well, it's not as important as scoring points. I mean, ultimately, the game is going to be decided by which team has the most points, not who has more first downs or who has more time of possession or whatever other stats you want. You know, all that plays into it, but scoring is really the name of the game. So, our goal is to move the ball and score points offensively, same as it is every week. If that's a long drive or a short drive or whatever it is, then that's really what we need to do. Defensively, we have to play defense. We're going to be out there on defense. Whether that's after a short drive or a long drive or what the field position is, you really can't control that defensively. Wherever they get the ball, they get it, and it's our job to go out there and stop them. That's what we're going to prepare to do.

Q: As NFL offenses have begun to trend toward downfield passing attacks, how have you seen Andy Reid's offensive system evolve over the years?

BB: Well, Andy's definitely evolved the system. I don't know that the passing game has changed that dramatically, but they have very fast players and they have a very good quarterback, so those downfield opportunities for them are probably more enticing than they are maybe for some other teams. In addition to that, the quarterback can extend plays and so some of those plays show up on - plays like that, like what happened in the AFC Championship game to us. So, it's not really that play that's even designed to go deep, but when the quarterback extends it and then makes a great throw 30, 40, 50 yards downfield on the run, that brings the deep passing game into play, even probably when it wasn't intended to be. But, they're very good at those extended plays. Again, the receivers are good at making adjustments and are fast and they can stretch the field vertically. So, yeah, they're all problems. Every play is not a 50-yard post or a 50-yard go-route, but when they hit you on those, they can really do a lot of damage, like they did in '17. They hit us on the two long passes and they chew it all up in one play and you don't have any chance to stop them in the red area and the points will add up pretty quickly.

Q: Is the Chiefs' skill position talent the fastest group you've ever coached against?

BB: It would be up there. Yeah, it would be up there. I mean, those run-and-shoot teams, they had four receivers on the field - you know, [Darrel] Mouse Davis and that style of offense that Houston ran. I would say we played against them with other teams as well. But, June [Jones] did it in Atlanta and then Mouse did it in Detroit. When you put four receivers out there and a fast back, like a Barry Sanders or somebody like that, and you put four receivers out there than run probably 4.4 or sub-4.4, I mean, that's a lot of speed. Now, these guys have a lot of speed, too. But you talk about just speed, those run-and-shoot teams, they put some pretty fast players on the field, now - a lot of them, not just one or two. I mean, either four or five, depending on how fast the back was.

Q: How rare is your experience seeing a rookie like Mike Onwenu be able to bounce between two positions, right tackle and left guard, that he didn't necessarily play a whole lot of in college?

BB: Right, yeah, Mike's done a good job. He's a smart kid, he learns quickly and he played right guard at Michigan - he's played that some, but as you mentioned, he's played the other two more. So, his ability to adapt and adjust his footwork based on whether he's playing tackle or playing on the left side of the line and all that has been pretty impressive. But, we've had a lot of guys that have played well at a new position - [Joe] Thuney at guard, [Logan] Mankins at guard, even [Nate] Solder his rookie year really played right tackle and played some tight end. So, it just depends really on what we need and what the best combination of players are to get to that. But, Mike's done a good job. Day after day, he's just impressive. His consistency is impressive. He's a very strong player with good feet, good balance and likes football and understands football. Things come pretty easily to him in terms of instinctively on the field. Obviously, our system is not the easiest system to learn at any position, but just instinctively when he has to make a decision, he has to decide how quickly to combo to level two, what angle to take to block down on the guy, so forth. He just does a lot of little things well and does them right. He's done a good job for us.

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