Bill Belichick Q&A, 11/11

Posted on November 11, 2008 
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Here’s the complete transcript from Bill Belichick’s Q&A this morning at Gillette Stadium:

BB: We are trying to put this on fast forward here this week. It has been a challenge to try to prepare the team the way you normally do when you have a Sunday-to-Sunday week. Especially a team like the Jets, it gives you a lot of things to work on. They did a lot of extra film work yesterday on their own. It will be a little bit of a longer day today, but we will just have to cram it all in and do the best we can to cover all the bases for Thursday night. Of course the Jets are working on the same time frame so it’s no advantage, I am just saying it is a little bit different than the way it normally is. We will go out there today and try to get some situations covered, clean up a few things tomorrow and be ready to go.

Q: How different are they with Kris Jenkins in the middle?
BB: From the first time we played them? I wouldn’t say they are much different at all.

Q: I meant more this season?
BB: Well, he is a good player. He is a hard guy to block. He is one of the hardest guys to block in the league – run and pass. He is a good pass rusher too. He has good power. He has some quickness so he is tough.

Q: You had experience with putting Vince Wilfork in a 4-3, how impressed are you that Kris Jenkins has progressed this fast?
BB: Well, Jenkins was a good player for Carolina so it is no surprise to me or probably the Jets or anybody else that he’s a strong player in there for them. You couldn’t block him in Carolina.

Q: I know it goes both ways but is having seen a team before easier to prepare for them in a short week?
BB: Well, I think you are familiar with some things. The personnel is something you are more familiar with but the Jets are a hard team to prepare for. They are a good team. They are playing really well right now. They have a good scheme, they have a lot of good players and that is very challenging. That is tough. It wouldn’t make any difference whether it is four days, five days or eight days they are still a hard team to prepare for.

Q: Do these games on a short week feel any different than when you play Sunday to Sunday?
BB: Oh definitely. It feels like we played Buffalo a week ago. A lot has happened in the last two days. Normally on a Tuesday you still have a little bit of the after effects of the game. In this case it seems like it has all moved on so quickly, we barely had time to watch that game. I spent all day yesterday on the Jets, gave players a scouting report, did a lot of work on the Jets and the Buffalo game seems way in the background right now. I know it wasn’t even 48 hours ago but it seems that way now so that is kind of unusual.

Q: When you actually hit the field does it feel any different?
BB: Yeah, sure. We don’t practice on Tuesday and a lot of time on Wednesday’s we have guys that aren’t ready to practice and they practice on Thursday and Friday. This week we will have – it is the tenth game of the season so everybody is banged up a little bit and the players have to do what they can to get their treatment, massages, cold tubs and rest, all the stuff they normally do to get ready and put it on the treadmill and turn up the speed – put it on fast forward, we are going quick here. It’s definitely a different time clock there is no doubt about it.

Q: The way the Jets defense is playing, are they one of the best that you will play against?
BB: Yeah, they are do a good job. They are playing the same scheme they have played in the past. They are a game plan team so what they give one team isn’t necessarily what they are going to give someone else. They change it up from week to week depending on who they are playing and what they are trying to defend and how they are trying to deal with them. You look at 10 games, you are looking at 10 different game plans.

Q: It seems like their offense is firing on all cylinders right now, they put up 47 [points] last week, is there anything you can attribute that to?
BB: Well, they strike quickly in a lot of areas: defensively they’ve gotten a lot of turnovers, they have had defensive scores, they have had a lot of returns in the kicking game both on punts and kickoffs so they can score quickly there [and they can] block kicks. They are a quick strike team. I don’t think anybody is really safe on any play. The backs can make plays, the tight ends can make plays, the receivers can make plays. They strip sack the quarterback, they get fumbles, they get interceptions, they run them back for touchdowns, they return punts, they return kickoffs, they onside kick – they do a lot of stuff. They can score in a hurry and they do. They have gotten a couple of big first quarters in the Arizona game and the St. Louis game for two and pretty much are running out the clock by halftime. They can do it in a hurry. It is not just the offense. The offense is potent but they are doing it in all three phases of the game.

Q: Where surprised about Ty Law’s signing with the Jets?
BB: It didn’t surprise me that he signed with somebody. I didn’t think he was really looking at every team in the league so, no not really.

Q: Had you maintained contact with him?
BB: I haven’t talked to Ty in probably a couple of months.

Q: Will you spend time preparing for Ty Law?
BB: It will be as a defensive back in whatever role they put him in.

Q: You don’t really know where they will play him….
BB: He was down there in 2005. We played him. I think we all know what Ty’s skills are. Where they put him or what they do with him, you never know that until the game starts.

Q: How has BenJarvus Green-Ellis responded to being thrown into the role?
BB: The same. He is the same guy; he is the same guy he has been since training camp.

Q: [BenJarvus Green-Ellis] has been pretty consistent…
BB: Yes, he is very consistent. He works hard. He’s very well prepared. He is diligent. He gives very good effort on the practice field whether he is on the scout team or running goal line plays with the first offense. He’s a serious kid. He works hard. He has good talent and football is important to him. He wants to do his job well and I think everybody totally respects that. He is young and his is learning but he puts a lot into it and he is doing the best that he can and that is not bad.

Q: What kind of challenge is it to replace Adalius Thomas defensively?
BB: Every week you always have to be ready to make adjustments sometimes during the game, sometimes during the week. Whatever they are we will do the best we can with that just like we do every week.

Q: How has Pierre Woods come along?
BB: Pierre has done a good job for us defensively and in the kicking game. He has been able to play multiple roles for us as an outside linebacker, defensive end in some sub situations [whether] it’s a run play at the end of the line and sometimes inside in man-to-man coverage, zone coverage and rushing the passer. They have a variety of jobs just like everybody who plays that position does, as does he. He has improved in all of those things.

Q: Because of Adalius Thomas’ versatility, will one player be able to replace him or will it have to be a few players?
BB: Well, again we try to prepare for each team individually and game plan each team. So, whatever we will do against our next opponent, that’s what we will do with whoever the players are.

Q: What do you attribute to the Jets’ running game getting better, are the backs running better or is the offensive line blocking better?
BB: I think when you are successful at any phase of the game offensively that there is a compliment there. I would say that they whole offense compliments each other. I don’t think its any one thing or one guy like everyone wants it to be. I think it is a combination: they are throwing the ball well, they are blocking well, they are running well, they have a lot of people involved in the offense that are productive so you are not trying to stop just one guy. They area all doing a good job so they are well balanced and that makes them hard to defend.

Q: They also propensity of getting quarterbacks to fumble, is that attributable to the fact that they have a lot of sacks in general?
BB: Yes. If you look at the stats you see that they quarterback fumbles more than any other position. You sack the quarterback a lot you are probably going to have more fumbles.

Q: Is there any science or art to getting the quarterback to fumble?
BB: Yes, of course. Well, if the quarterback has the ball away from his body or you are hitting him from the blind side, in addition to tackling him you can use different techniques to try to punch the ball out and get it out of his hands in addition to making the tackle or sometimes in lieu of making the tackle. Sometimes those turnover techniques, we have seen them one hundred times. Everybody does them and the Jets do too. The more you hit the quarterback and particularly when you hit him from the blind side you have had more opportunities to do that.

Q: Will that be an area to focus on this week?
BB: It is an area of focus every week. It is an area of focus every week for the offense to protect the ball, make sure we have it at the end of every play. It doesn’t get any more basic than that; that is always an area of emphasis.

Q: On a short week how do you balance rest and preparation?
BB: You don’t. You do the best you can. You have to prepare your team but not at the expense of having them tired or dragging during the game. So, you have to find that mid ground. We have talked to the team about it I think everybody understands what we are going to do and we will try to balance those two areas. We want to have as much preparation as we normally do, we want to have as much practice time. We will still try to get as much preparation as we can in the time that we have so that we will have everyone as healthy and as fresh as possible for a quick turnaround game. That’s a challenge for both teams but that’s what we try to do.

Q: How much better is Matt Cassel now than he was in week two?
BB: It’s the Jets. I don’t know we will find out on [Thursday]. Each team is it’s own match up. It’s its own game. I don’t think we compare this Jets game to the last Jets game until we have played. Matt has worked hard over the last two months, he has gotten a lot of snaps, he has improved every time he’s addressed the game of football whether it be in meetings, on the practice field, in film study. He has learned something everyday. He has had enough game experience where he is able to apply some of those things that maybe in the past he has talked about but didn’t really get a chance to experience them. Now he has had a lot of those experiences, he has had them in our system with our players and the plays that we are running first hand. That experience is valuable to a little coaching points and the finer points that come up when you are doing it. So, he has done a good job of that all the way through.

Q: Without Adalius Thomas who will fill the outside linebacker spot?
BB: We will do whatever we think is best for the football team.

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