Bill Belichick Q&A, 9/3

Posted on September 3, 2007 
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Here’s the complete transcript of the Q&A between Head Coach Bill Belichick and reporters this morning at Gillette Stadium:

BB: I think you got a list of transactions. Certainly the last 48 hours, a lot of that time has been consumed with our different personnel decisions. I’m sure that by the time this week is over there will be some other ones. There were a lot of tough decisions. There’s been a lot of movement and a lot of transition. Some of that is a work in progress and of course in the end, as we always do, we try to take everything into consideration and do what’s best for the football team both short term this week and long term in building the team for the anticipation of the regular season schedule. It’s always a tough day when you have to release players that have been with you and that have been through the wars with. That’s the difficult part of the job. Unfortunately it’s a necessary one. Rodney [Harrison’s] situation came up last week. Of course this is unfortunate. I thought that his statement and his comments were pretty thorough. I thought he said as much about it and covered it pretty thoroughly, so I don’t really have anything else to add to that. Obviously it’s unfortunate and we’ll see him when he gets back in four weeks. All of that being said, we are moving forward with the Jets. We’ve played three games spaced pretty evenly throughout the season with them last year, the second game of the year, middle of the season, playoffs. Now we open with them again this year. We’ve studied them very thoroughly, all of the games last year, of course all of the preseason games this year. We’ve seen a lot of the Jets since the beginning of last training camp and they do a really good job. Eric [Mangini] has done a good job with the team. They’re very competitive. All three of our games came down to…two of them came down to one possession and the playoff game was that way too late in the game. I think that’s very indicative of the competitiveness of the two teams and what a fine line there is between coming out on top and coming out on the short end of the score. Everything is important. All of the situations, plays, assignments – one thing could swing a game like this based on the history of the competitiveness of the two teams. That’s where we are here. This is a team that we know well, but it’s opening day and I’m sure there will be a lot of things that will happen that you can’t really predict or anticipate. I think we need to be ready for that type of a game, as you always need to be ready for opening day, but probably even more so with a team like the Jets that knows us as well as we know them.

Q: How did you get the news on Rodney?
BB: I don’t think it really matters. I don’t have anything more to add to the situation.

Q: Are you disappointed?
BB: I said all I had to say. I don’t think there’s any more to add to it.

Q: Where do you go from here? Is James Sanders the next logical guy?
BB: A lot of our defense, especially against a team like the Jets is situational and they use a lot of personnel groupings and so forth. James played quite a bit for us last year, played well and did a solid job. I’m sure we’ll call on him to do some things, but how exactly all of that will unfold, some of that is dependent on what our situation is and who the Jets have in there and so forth.

Q: Can Asante [Samuel] catch up in time to help you guys on Sunday?
BB: We’ll take it day-by-day. He’s been here for a few days. There’s a lot of things that he needs to do, but he’s working hard at them. He’s been here before and he at least has an understanding of the system and so forth. We’ll just take it day-by-day.

Q: Can you comment on the decision to place Richard Seymour on PUP?
BB: I think based on all of the information that we had that was the right thing to do. I don’t know how else to put it.

Q: Moving forward, Jarvis Green is an option for you. Can you talk about his ability to fill in for Richard in the past and the production he’s had?
BB: Well Jarvis has been a good football player for us. He’s been a very productive player, both in the running game and in the passing game. He can do a lot of different things. I think we have a number of players on the defensive line that can contribute. We’ll just have to see how all of that unfolds, in this game, but also in a game-by-game situation. It might not be the same in every one of the games that we play. That might vary from week-to-week and by the opponent and by the situation. We’ll just take it from there.

Q: Randy Moss has missed some time. Will he be able to play in the game on Sunday?
BB: We’ll take it day-to-day. We’ll take it that way with everybody. We’ll see where he is and evaluate it on a day-to-day basis and move forward. We’ll do what is best for the football team. We’ll have to see where we are and where everybody else is. When it’s time to make a decision, then we’ll make one. In the meantime, we’ll just do everything we can to get everybody as ready as we can for this game. Ultimately, we’ll settle on a final 45-man roster and go play the game. That’s the way it is every week.

Q: How difficult is it to evaluate a guy like Randy or a guy like Asante when you haven’t seen them in game conditions?
BB: That’s what practice is for. That’s as close as we can get to game conditions. We’ll just make them based on what we see out there. Randy was here for the spring camps. He was here for part of training camp. Asante has been here for four years. It’s not like we’ve never seen those players on the field, like we just got them from another team yesterday or a situation like that. The information is limited. It’s less thorough than it would be on a player who has been out there everyday since the beginning of camp, there’s no doubt about that. We’ll just do the best we can with it and make what we feel like is the best decision for the team.

Q: With the amount of time that Randy missed, was there any thought to possibly placing him on the PUP list?
BB: There’s thought given to every personnel decision we make on the roster. In the end, we do what we feel like is best for the football team and that’s done on a case-by-case basis.

Q: What are some of the things that make Jerricho Cotchery tough to defend?
BB: Well, he’s a good receiver. He has good size. He’s fast. He’s quick. He catches the ball well. He’s good after the catch. Really you can say that about just about all of their skill players. Justin [McCareins]. Laveranues [Coles]. Jerricho. [Leon] Washington. Thomas Jones. Justin Miller in the return game. They’re strong. They’re fast and they’re quick and they’re elusive. Those guys make a lot of big plays for them. Cotchery and Coles last year were one of the most productive receiver combinations in the entire National Football League and we know there are a lot of good receivers in this league. But those guys were right there in terms of catches, yards and total production. I think what they’ve done pretty much speaks for itself. They did it against us too. We definitely have to be aware of them, not only on the long passes, but on the short passes that can turn into big plays by losing leverage and missing tackles and just not keeping them contained.

Q: Since you’ve come here, this team has stood for a lot of things. Do you fear that Rodney’s situation taints that image at all?
BB: I think we’re going to continue to do what we feel like is best for this football and best for the organization. Going forward, nothing has changed. Nothing has changed in terms of the way we approach things or the way we do things. I don’t have anything else to say about that situation.

Q: Would you like to see the league implement blood testing?
BB: I’m just trying to coach this team and get them ready for the Jets. I don’t really have any comment on what the league policies are, what their rules are or what their deal is. They have people doing that. They certainly know a lot more about it than I do. We’ll leave that to them and the people who make those decisions.

Q: What is your team policy regarding this? Do you counsel your players on this?
BB: I would just say that we talk to players about everything that we feel is important, which that covers a lot of things. You know the situation on this as well as I do. What the league is and what their comments are, that’s what they are. I’m not going to speak for the league.

Q: Do you have an education program in place?
BB: We talk to the players about everything that we feel is important to the players, to the football team and to all of the things that are associated with it. Everything that we put into that category, we talk to them about.

Q: Do you have confidence that this is an isolated incident?
BB: I don’t have any more knowledge of it than anybody else does. However the league monitors and does those things, it’s all outside of the team. We all know what the policies and the procedures are. I don’t think there’s any need for me to go through them. That’s a matter of record.

Q: Brad Childress said on a radio show yesterday that he had a conversation with you about Garrett Mills.
BB: I talked to a lot of people in the league over the course of the last few days. That’s part of the whole process of player transactions and so forth. I’m sure that all of the coaches in the league are trying to get their team ready for opening day and the regular season and I’m trying to do the same thing. That’s what I do and that’s what all of the other coaches do too.

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