Bill Belichick Q&A, 12/3

Posted on December 3, 2008 
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Here’s the full transcript from Bill Belichick’s Q&A with the media this morning at Gillette Stadium:

BB: We have gotten a chance to watch a lot of Seattle film the last couple of days. I think this is a good football team. It is not indicated by their record, but when I watch them play they have a lot of good players and good coaches. They are a good football team. I think it definitely starts at the top with Mike [Holmgren]. Mike has had a tremendous career and a great record. His teams have been good everywhere he’s been. Jim [Mora] on defense, I think they have an excellent coaching staff. They do a great job. They have a lot of outstanding players. It is a very veteran team. I know [John] Carlson is playing for them and doing a good job at tight end on the offensive side of the ball. [Lawrence] Jackson is getting a little more playing time now because [Patrick] Kerney got hurt, but otherwise it is a very veteran team of guys at every position that have played a lot and in most cases have played a lot for Seattle. They know what they are doing and they do a lot of things well. They have very good skill position players, offensively. The offensive line is big. Walter Jones is one of the best tackles to ever play this game, eight Pro Bowls and 180 starts. [Matt] Hasselbeck has given them a lot of outstanding plays through the years. It looks like he’s back to his normal form after missing a few weeks in midseason. Defensively, they have a very explosive front – big guys, powerful guys. [Rocky] Bernard is a really good football player, all of those inside guys are: [Craig] Terrill, [Brandon] Mebane. The linebackers are active – [Leroy] Hill and [Lofa] Tatupu. [Julian] Peterson and D.D. Lewis are also excellent pass rushers. They have good corners. [Josh] Wilson has done a good job for them — and he’s an excellent kickoff returner — so has [Marcus] Trufant and [Kelly] Jennings is their third corner. Deion Grant at safety is a guy that we have seen a lot of in the past. [Olindo] Mare is having an excellent year kicking the ball. I think they have a lot of football players. I know they have good coaches. They have a good scheme. We had a hard time with them here the last time we played them, especially defensively. I know what their record is but that does not diminish the amount of respect I have for their team, their program and their individual talented players, which I think is pretty significant. We have a lot to get ready for so we are rolling. We have a lot to do but we have to start flipping through the pages here.

Q: Can you talk about the thought process of bringing back Rosevelt Colvin?
BB: We got depleted at outside linebacker. Rosie has been here before. He certainly knows what we are doing and knows the defense. There is a much smaller learning curve with him. We went with some younger players and I think they did a good job. It was good to work with them. But, right now we are a little thin at that position.

Q: Is it possible for him to be in the lineup this weekend? Is he in good enough physical condition?
BB: We haven’t practiced, so we will see. He is on the roster so it is possible.

Q: Are you also taking a look at Victor Hobson?
BB: We signed Rosevelt Colvin. That is the only player we added to the 53-man roster.

Q: What do you like about your defense?
BB: Our third down defense was better last week. It was much better on the goal line. We are doing some things well; we are just not doing them as consistently as we need to. We have plenty of good plays in the running game. Plays in the passing game and pass rush are just not as consistent as what it needs to be and we need to turn the ball over a little bit more.

Q: Going out west back to back is a unique thing. Can you take anything from your earlier trip?
BB: I think we will do things similar to what we did on that trip. Right now, we are getting ready for Seattle. That won’t take place until next week. We will go out there like we did last time, play the game on Sunday and worry about next week next week. Right now, we are putting everything we got into the Seattle game.

Q: It is really loud in Seattle, how do you practice and prepare for that?
BB: Make it a little bit louder. We use the noise every week. We use it when we are on the road offensively and that will be the case this week: in the kicking game, like punt protection and field goal where there is some communication. We haven’t played out there, but we heard the same thing that you have in talking to other coaches and other teams that have. It is definitely an issue so we will crank up the noise and make sure we have some experience with not being able to hear. We have been at plenty of loud stadiums before, but we will have to have good concentration. Or, we will do our communicating visually or some type of signaling and make sure that we are all seeing the same thing. They do a lot of things defensively that you have to be able to recognize. That will be a challenge for us and it is for every team that plays out there.

Q: What are your expectations of Rosevelt Colvin given that he hasn’t played for awhile?
BB: We will take it day to day. We will have him go out there today, see how it goes and come back tomorrow and build on that. We will see.

Q: When Rosevelt Colvin was here what did he bring to the table?
BB: Rosie played a lot of football for us and he played on all three downs. He did a good job. We won a lot of games when he was here. He’s a high character guy, smart player, works hard on and off the field and prepares well. He unfortunately had a couple injuries. But his effort, preparation and toughness, we never had a problem with any of that.

Q: You mentioned being depleted at that position, does that make it more difficult to hang on to Adalius Thomas?
BB: With all of our players, we will do what we feel like is best for our football team. Whatever it is, that is what we will do. We will make those decisions as they come. Right now, we are where we are. I’m not saying that won’t change and I’m not saying it will. Where we are right now is where we feel like is the best place to be. If we can improve it, then however we can, we will. It is definitely something we want to keep looking at, but until we definitely feel like we can make a positive move, we won’t make one.

Q: How is Wes Welker feeling?
BB: I think he is doing alright. He seemed to be OK on Monday. I talked to him this morning and he seems to be doing alright.

Q: What does Deion Branch bring to the Seahawks and what do they miss when he is out?
BB: I think we all know what kind of receiver Deion is. He is a quality receiver. He missed some games. He primarily plays the Z on the strong side. [Koren] Robinson plays the weak side and [Bobby] Engram comes in the slot when they go to three receivers. Deion is a good football player. He is a good route runner. He has good hands, good quickness. He is smart and he understands coverages and route adjustments. He is a real good football player.

Q: What has allowed John Carlson to make the kind of impact he has been able to make right away?
BB: He seems like a smart guy. Their passing game gives their tight ends opportunities. In their passing game — the way it is designed — they have always had productive tight ends going all the way back to the West Coast offense when they ran it in San Francisco or Green Bay. He is involved in a lot of those inside possession-type plays. He has made some good plays and good catches. They run some corner routes and double moves. Again, that is part of their offense. I don’t see a lot of plays that feature anybody. It is the West Coast offense. They run what they run and they get the ball to the open guy. He has been open and he has caught it.

Q: How extensive are the tests you put somebody like Rosevelt Colvin through before you sign him?
BB: The workout is pretty much the same for all the players other than the position specifics. Obviously, what a linebacker would do is different than what a running back would do and that’s obvious. We don’t run the marathon because if you sign the player you want to go out and work with him the next day. You don’t want to get a workout that is so extensive that it sets them back going forward. But you want to see what kind of condition and playing shape they are in and evaluate their playing skills. Regardless, if it is a player you know or you aren’t familiar with, through experience we have worked out enough players at all the positions to have some kind of evaluation of if it was a good workout or not. If you are familiar with the player, then it is relative to the last time you saw him. Was it better? If he is coming off an injury, maybe it is better; but maybe it is not as good. Then, you go forward with that information, make your decision, put him out on the field, start practicing and evaluate him in a football setting. It is a lot different working a guy out by himself on a field with no one else there than putting him out there with 21 other guys and playing football. The workouts — that is all we can do so that is what we do. Once you get a player on the field then you can start evaluating his playing performance. That is how the process works. It is not scientific; it’s subjective. You go with what you see and what the evidence is there in front of you. It is not complete, but it’s what you have so that’s what you use.

Q: How was his workout?
BB: There were plenty of guys that we brought in to work out and after we worked them out, we felt, “He is just not ready now.” Either you decide not to do it or you tell him the things he needs to work on and look at again later. Sometimes you can do that and sometimes you can’t. Sometimes you have to sign someone else. If we feel like the player is ready, he’s able to participate and ready to play. In Rosie’s case, he was in training camp. It isn’t like he was out of football. He was in training camp for six weeks. We felt like he would be ready to participate today and that’s why we signed him.

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