|01-13-2006, 07:46 AM||#1|
Join Date: Jan 2006
Transcript of Belichick's press conference yesterday
Here you go I've taken out some earlier stuff about the kickers which if you want to see it is here:
Q: On Denver's defense, is one guy you have to be really sure of where he is John Lynch?
BB: They involve John in quite a bit of their pressure defense, so they probably blitz him out of the secondary more than any other player. So from that standpoint you've got to be aware of him. Now, he doesn't always blitz. He probably blitzes, I don't know, four or five times a game. Like in the San Diego game, if he blitzes and you don't account for him then there's strip sacks and hits in the backfield and all of that. Those can be huge plays. I think John is definitely a guy you have to account for, but it's hard to get past Al Wilson. It's even harder to get past Trevor Pryce. You've got to be real careful with Champ Bailey. And all those linebackers, as blitzers, are very fast. I'm talking about [Ian] Gold and D.J. [Williams] and Al, when they blitz him. So they're all problems too. I definitely don't think you can say, 'Well, it's just one guy.' Lynch is a good player, he's certainly a problem with the things that he does. I think [there are] a lot of other guys that are a problem too. And the way they play their defensive line, which is very unusual, really. A lot of people rotate - five or six guys through there, they really rotate eight. They have two full sets of linemen. Not only are they fresher and they're playing fewer plays, but the matchups from one player to the next is different. You take a guy like Trevor Pryce who literally can play all four spots across the line and he's an outstanding player. This guy is as good as anybody we've played. [He] can play end and tackle and plays both sides. He's a tough matchup for everybody, and they've all got to be ready for him to know exactly how that one's going to unfold, where he's going to be. But he's a problem no matter where he is.
Q: How does that rotation go? One at time? Two at a time?
BB: For the most part it's two groups, but within that players like Pryce play more than some other guys. [Michael] Myers, [Ebenezer] Ekuban, [Courtney] Brown, [Gerrard] Warren, they're deep and they're good.
Q: In terms of coaching challenges as the year unfolded, is there anything that you had to do as a coach? Were there different areas you had to go to more so than you had in recent years? Different emphases?
BB: Yeah, sure. I think each year is different from the next and even though, generally speaking, I am in a lot of the same areas. I would say this year I've probably spent, time wise, a little more time with the front seven than say last year.
Q: Does Champ Bailey have uncommon ball skills as a corner?
BB: Outstanding. Outstanding ball skills. He's a smart player. He anticipates well and I would say that he has a number of interceptions where, what does he have this year, like eight or nine this year? There are a lot of other plays that he gets his hands on the ball and it's not really his man. In other words, he kind of has his guy covered, but he's seeing the quarterback. He sees the ball thrown and then he breaks on the ball. Like if they're trying to high/low him or if they're trying to run a guy outside and then hook up a guy inside of him and he has the outside guy but he sees the quarterback kind of come off that one and look inside, then he'll cheat to that and he'll make some plays on passes that really it's not his guy, but he has his area under control and he has the anticipation and then the speed, the quickness and the ball skills to close to the ball and then be a factor on those plays too. So, even though they're not throwing to him, a lot of times when they're throwing around him, he becomes a factor on those plays, when most corners wouldn't.
Q: A guy like that who played receiver in college, does that knowledge help a corner with his ball skills?
BB: Oh, sure. Sure. I say this in jest to the defensive players, especially the defensive backs, that if they were really good offensive players, they would be on offense. Their coaches would have left them on offense, whether it be high school, college or whatever it was. If they were that good of a receiver or that good of a running back or quarterback, whatever position those guys play, if they were that good, it's hard for me to imagine a high school or college coach saying, 'Well, we don't want that 150 yards of receiving this guy can produce,' or, 'We're not really interested in that 130 yards this guy can run for. Let's get him over there at safety.' Usually they're on defense because they don't quite have the skill to play offense. Not always, both for the most part. Now when you get a player like a Champ Bailey, who has exceptional ball skills, then that's what you're going to see. You going to see a guy that has superior talent and then has those seven, eight, nine interceptions, whatever it is, that another corner is going to have four, but he's going to drop those other four that Bailey is going to catch. That's where a lot of those guys get those big numbers because they have the ball skills to go with their coverage ability. That's what really makes an exceptional player an exceptional defensive player because now those result in turnovers and those change games, etcetera. Again, it's hard for me to imagine a high school coach who has the best receiver saying, 'You get over there on defense. We have a couple of other guys that are better than that.' Hey, you run into the Barry Sanders, Thurman Thomas every once in a while, that type of a set up and you keep them there. Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams. But in a lot of cases when you have a Ronnie Brown and you have another guy who is not in that category, then you get him over there at safety or you put him over there at corner because he just doesn't quite have the skill. Now those defensive backs don't want to hear that. I think there is something to be said for that.
Q: You hear about college players, 'Oh, they take their best options and put them on defense,' and it has kind of become cliché. Should we dismiss that notion?
BB: From my experience, that happens a little bit if a guy, early in his career, the guy comes in as a freshman or a sophomore and they have pretty good players at that position and he's going to play two or three years behind them, then a lot of times you say to that player, 'Hey, we're not going to really be able to get you on the field because we have these two guys playing in front you and they have two more years left and you're not going to beat them out, but you could start at corner.' And a lot of times, that is where the conversion comes. But I'm telling you, if you're a college coach and you're sitting there and here comes this freshman and he's better than the two junior receivers you have, you're not going to kick him over there on defense. You'd have to be crazy to do that. You work him into some kind of three receiver set and you bump somebody else out of there, if he's that good. That's what I would do. I think that's what most coaches would do. But a lot of times you do see guys that come in and were recruited as big-time running backs or big-time receivers and then they get there and there's already a couple of guys there, you're playing behind LenDale White and Reggie Bush, and okay you have two or three years behind those guys. And they say, 'Okay, we think you could start at corner next year.' Maybe the kid, in that scenario, [says], 'All right. I'll think about that.
Q: What goes into your decision whether you go shotgun on first down?
BB: I think there are a lot of factors. It changes your protections. It gives you the ability to change your protections some when you're out away from center. When you're under center and they walk people up then you just can't have the backs come up and get those guys because they can't get them, so the linemen have to take them. Whereas when you're in the shotgun, you can have backs come up and take guys that are blitzing in the center/guard gap or sometimes the guard/tackle gap. You can handle those protections a little bit differently. I think the timing of the passing game is affected because it does take you a certain amount of time in the shotgun to catch the ball, get it handled and then look downfield and throw it. Versus when you're under center, as soon as you have the ball, your eyes are immediately down field and you can get rid of it a lot quicker. The shorter passing game is tougher to execute out of the shotgun because a) it takes longer, but b) I don't think the quarterback sees it quite as quickly because he does have to handle the ball and get a grip on it and be ready to get it into the technique of throwing it. Now in terms of the down the field throws, I think that those can be timed out. We have plays in our passing game, like a lot of other teams do, that it doesn't matter whether we're under center, in the shotgun, we could do either one and be perfectly comfortable with it. There are other plays that I think you would only want to run under center and other plays that you might rather be in the shotgun, but you could run them under center. Like for example, like when there are no backs in the backfield. Most teams go to shotgun on that just because it gives them a better view of the field and it's easier to see where the defense is deployed. But you don't have guys right on top of you, like you do when you're under center and there are no backs in the backfield. You know they are rushing because you really don't have any run threats. I think those are some of the things that you go through. Sometimes it's a technique thing between the center and the quarterback. Some quarterbacks are more comfortable in the gun. Some are more comfortable under canter having the ball in their hands. Some centers, it doesn't take very many bad snaps to chase you out of the shotgun. I could tell you that from experience because you don't know when they're going to happen. It happens on third down or it happens in the fourth quarter, it happens in the two-minute drive, that's all it takes. You're done. If that's a concern at that position, then sometimes you go ahead and push them up under center.
Q: Is there anything the quarterback needs to do in a shotgun specifically with the center? Something the quarterback needs to do really well?
BB: Again, I think it just gives him more separation from the line, I think it's easier for him to see the entire field. Because when you take the ball and turn and back out, you lose some vision over here. Now if you back out and take it back out like this, you're not backing away from the line of scrimmage as quickly. Quarterbacks that back out have better field vision. They don't have as much depth from the line of scrimmage. Quarterbacks that turn and drive out, can get away from the line of scrimmage quicker. They don't have quite as much vision on the entire field, teams that will corner blitz and things like that. It's harder for them to see. They can still see it or a lot of times you'll see a quarterback come back and he'll actually look back there to check it. Whereas when you're standing in the shotgun, like right now, you can see everything here. But when you turn you're going to lose some of it.
Q: Do you see that anymore? I know Dan Fouts did it.
BB: Yeah, some quarterbacks do it. You'll see [Doug] Flutie back out. There's one. A lot of times they do that, based on the coverage, they know they're going to throw to their left. So if it's a normal play then they would just turn and drive out. But okay now they see the rotation or whatever their coverage key is that tells them, 'Well, I'm going over here.' Then they back out to it. That now becomes the primary side. The defenses can kind of key on that too. A lot of times a good safety, a good linebacker, when they see the quarterback back out, that's the tendency which some of them have, then they'll start to cheat back to that way, because now they know that his primary side.
Q: Would you say you have trick plays per se, like the passes to [Mike] Vrabel and throws to [Tom] Ashworth?
Q: It's just part of the offense?
BB: Well, it's kind of X's and O's. When we put the play in, whatever play is called, '137-Cross,' if that's the name of the play. Here's what we're running. It's not, 'Well, we're running this play and this guy is going to be here.' That could be Ashworth. It could be Vrabel. It could be [Daniel] Graham. It could be [Christian] Fauria. It could be [Benjamin] Watson. It could be [David] Givens. It could be a lot of different guys. And we just learn the play. Then whoever is playing that position, then that's what they do. You might not want to call that play if it's a certain player in there. I'm sure if you asked our linemen on plays like that, they wouldn't be able to tell you who that player was. It doesn't matter to them. They just hear the play and they run it.
Q: So the idea of saving stuff to shake things up, kind of like Pittsburgh last week against Cincinnati...
BB: Well, I don't know. I heard [Bill] Cowher talking about it. He said that that was a play that they've had in for quite a while. I think that's true of a lot of deceptive plays like that, is you have you have those plays in. It's not really very time efficient to put in a triple reverse pass. 'Okay, we're going to run the triple reverse pass this week against Houston.' Now the game is over and you haven't called it for whatever reason. The situation hasn't come up and all of that. 'Let's throw that out and next week let's work on the double flea flicker.' You can only practice those plays so many times in practice. You have a lot of other stuff to work on too. It's a lot easier if you just say, 'Okay here are some deceptive plays that we have. We have a halfback pass. We have a double reverse pass. We have some other lateral play.' Whatever it is. Okay, you put it in. You kind of work on it every week. 'Okay, we don't want a call it this week. Let's work on this other one this week.' Then eventually you get to it, but your players have some familiarity with the play because, again, when you call that, you don't know exactly what's going to come up. It could be man. It could be zone. It could be blitz. It could an over/under. So, if you run the play once a week for five, six, seven weeks cumulatively, now you've had some experience with the play and then probably whatever happens you have a pretty good chance of handling it. If you put in the triple reverse pass and think they're going to be in two-deep zone and, uh-oh, now they're coming with Sam-Will blitz and you lose 13 yards, that's the kind of stuff that happens because you've never really seen that. I think you're a lot better off with those plays if you just kind of have them in your offense and you have a familiarity with them and then when the right time comes to call them maybe you say, 'Hey this week, that halfback pass looks pretty good. We're going to run it a couple of more times than we normally would.' Then it comes up in the game and then you call it.
Q: How would you know when that was?
BB: It's like Cowher talking about the play. They've been running it every week. It's been in their offense all year. That makes perfect sense to me. Okay, now you run it. No, you don't know what it's going to be, but each of those weeks that you practiced it, you practice it against a blitz, a zone, a man-to-man call, or whatever. So now by the time you finally get around to running it, it doesn't really matter. You think they're going to be in this, but okay if they're in something else, we'll here's how we're going to handle it. We've already coached it. We've run it. We know what to do. And they work a lot better like that. Boy, I'll tell you, when you put in plays and say, 'Okay. We're going to run this play and here's what they're going to be in and this is going to score a touchdown.' Every once in a while that might work, but it's so hard to know that that's exactly what they're going to be in and if you're going to get that perfect look. Then you get something that's a little bit different and then the play gets blown up. Then you come in here Monday morning and say, 'We can't do that. We've put all of our eggs in one basket and then they do something a little bit different and then you're dead.' You guys think we just have a million chances out there, but honestly in a game you don't have that many plays. When you take out the goal line, short yardage, third down situational plays, red area plays, you take all out all of the two minute, you take all of those plays out of the game, which are all very situational specific and say, 'Okay, well here's the plays that we have to call.' Maybe you have 35 plays. Whatever it is, 40 plays if you're lucky. You start throwing plays away. You throw one away here. You throw one away here. You throw one away...those are drive stoppers and those are lost opportunities. So when you call something, you want to feel pretty good about it. You don't want to let them just do something that's a little bit different that shouldn't be any big problem but because you have such a gadget going on, you just can't handle it.
Q: You said you ended spending more time with the front seven. But your secondary had far more issues, injuries, turnovers, new personnel, etcetera. How did it end up you spent more time with the front seven?
BB: Well, I spent time with them too. There was a point in the year where I met with those guys on a regular basis and I still do meet with some of them individually on a weekly basis. I think the question was from more of a time commitment standpoint, I would just say this year I've spent more time with the front seven than I have in the last couple of years.
Q: How did that play out? Was it because until those guys are coordinated up front, it doesn't matter what's going on behind them?
BB: Well, for a combination of different reasons. I just felt that that was going to be time well spent. Let's put it that way.
Q: How has Ty Warren been doing?
BB: Ty has had a good year. Ty has had a good year. I think he's improved a lot through the year. I could say that about just about everyone of our defensive players, that every one of them, no matter what their experience level has been, that they've played better as the year has gone on. But, I would say it was particularly true for Ty, that he's really made some good strides say from where he was in the first third of the season to maybe the last two thirds. I think he's been a very consistent player for us. With him and Richard [Seymour] or him and Jarvis [Green], however it works out there, that we've gotten good balanced play from both of those ends, as we have from outside linebackers with Willie [McGinest] and Rosie [Colvin] or even Mike earlier in the year. So I think being balanced on defense has helped us. Where there's not a big imbalance, where they are going to run the plays away from this guy and that type of thing, that we've been pretty consistent across the board there.