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Bill Belichick’s Press Conference Transcript From 3/27 NFL Coaches Breakfast

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
6 months ago at 10:22 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

Bill Belichick’s Press Conference Transcript From 3/27 NFL Coaches BreakfastJan 1, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watches from the sideline as they take on the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s what New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, had to say during his press conference on March 27, 2023:

On closing in on Don Shula’s wins: 

“I haven’t really thought about it.”

On if he’s aware of it:

“I’m aware of it.  Yeah.”

On the fact he’s a football historian:

“Look, I mean, look, I have great respect for the game and all that, I’m not really focused on that right now.   The 2023 season is what I’m concerned about.”

On JuJu Smith-Schuster:

“Good player, good guy.  Look forward to having him.”

On if he feels they’re getting the same player they saw in Pittsburgh a few years ago:

“Think we’re getting a good player, yeah.”

On if there’s a specific part of his game that he likes:

“I’ve never worked with him before so I’ll get to know him.  Look forward to it.”

On what went into the decision to bring back Bill O’Brien:

“Thought it was the best thing for the team.”

On why he thought it was the best thing for the team:

“It’s a number of reasons.”

On if he can name one:

“I have a good relationship with Bill.  We go back a ways.”

On whether or not there will be major alterations, or if they’re still in the planning stages:

“We’ll work through it.” (Nods)

On if Matt Patricia will be working for the Patriots this year:

“I’m not sure.”

On how he would describe Joe Judge’s role on the staff:

“We’ll talk about the staff later on in the spring.”

On if he expects Jerod Mayo to have an additional title:

(Shrugs) “I don’t know.”

On what stood out about Mike Gesicki:

“Tough guy to game plan for.  Hard to cover.  I’m looking forward to working with Mike.  We’ll see how it goes.  He’s kind of a unique player, so hopefully, we’ll be able to use him productively.”

On Dante Scarnecchia being recognized by the NFL Hall of Fame:

“Well-deserved.  Yeah, Dante’s a great football coach and obviously a long, long, long history of working with the Patriots, multiple roles.  But when I was here in ’96 with Bill [Parcells], it was Dante, Romeo [Crennel], Al [Groh], and I on the defensive staff.  Those were three great people to work with and, of course, with Bill.  So I got to know him pretty well then, and of course, when I came back, he was coaching the offensive line, so I kept him as the offensive line coach.  He made a huge impact on our team and me.  Just a wonderful guy to work with on all levels.  Hard-working, dedicated, unselfish.  Good fundamental coach.  Understands offense, defense, kicking game.  Very good teacher, detailed, tireless worker.  Well-deserved.”

On with the additions at offensive tackle, Smith-Schuster, Gesicki, if he believes they’ve done enough to improve the offense:

“Well, we’ll see.”

On the additions on the coaching staff, if that’s what they’re counting on:

“We don’t have a game for a while, so we’ll see what happens between now and then.”

On what he likes about Reilly Reiff’s game:

“Been in the league for a long time, very experienced guy, played multiple positions.  Smart, tough guy.  Glad we have him.”

On if they’ll try him on both sides:

“We’ll see.  He’s played both.  He’s also played guard.”

On if Trent Brown will potentially play on the right side this year:

“Yeah, We’ll see.  We’ll see.”

On the fact he talked about the fact they’ve been one of the lowest spending teams in his previous press conference, and what he meant by that:

“Well, I think we’ve been pretty competitive every year that I’ve been here with the Patriots.   That’s our overall plan and so I expect it to continue that way.”

“I think the team’s been managed pretty well over the last 20-however-many years.  So, I think we’ll continue managing it that way. We’ve been competitive every year and I expect we’ll continue to be competitive.”

On the notion of where the Patriots fit in the grand scale when it comes to spending …

“My comment was a correction.  So, I was asked a question about high-cash spending and how high it was and some other things that went along with it.  And the fact is, that’s just inaccurate.  In a Polaroid shot, yes.  But anybody that knows anything about the cap understands that it’s spread out over a period of time.  So you have high cash spending, then you have low cash spending.  You can look at every team in the league, and there’s no difference between our team and any other team.  If it’s high, it’s going to be low.  If it’s low, then eventually it’s going to be high.”

On what impressed him about Adrian Klemm and what went into hiring him:

“Yeah, I think he’ll do a good job for us.”

“Smart guy.  Played in June [Jones]’s offense.  Has a really good understanding of, I’d say some of the more complex things on the offensive line.  I think he’s performed well in his coaching positions at various spots.”

On if it’s fair to say Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe will be competing for the starting job over the summer, or if it’s Mac’s job:

“Well, everybody will get a chance to play.  We’ll play our best player.”

On if it’s still kind of a competition:

“Everybody will get a chance to play.”

On if that’s specific to the quarterback:

(Shakes head)

“Every position.  Everybody will get a chance to play.  Everybody that’s on our roster, if they earn an opportunity to play based on what they do in practice and all that, then they’ll get an opportunity to play.  Certainly, veteran players that have been on the team, if they’re still on the team, they’ll all get an opportunity to play.”

On what specifically he’d like to see Mac improve on from last year:

“Yeah, we talk to all the players individually about things that they can do and things that we can do, and so forth.  Just keep that between myself and the individual players.”

On how much he feels Bill O’Brien will help the quarterback position:

“Bill’s a good coach.  I think he’ll help any position.”

On his previous comments last spring about Mac and if he was disappointed in his 2022 output:

“Well, as a team, we didn’t perform very well last year.  So I think we all need to do a better job.  That’s all of us.”

On if he views a scenario where the Patriots would sign Lamar Jackson:

“I’m not going to talk about players on any other team.”

On the fact he’s a free agent:

(No response)

On if he was happy with some of Mac Jones’s reactions on the field last season:

“We’re looking ahead to 2023.  I’m not going to go back and rehash 2022.”

On if Jones needs to make corrections in that area:

“I think we all can improve.  All of us.  Starting with me and every other player and coach that’s here.  That’s for all of us.”

On if he’s happy with the group of receivers they have or if that’s a position they can see adding to:

“Yeah, I don’t know.  If we can improve our team, we’ll try to improve our team.”

On the fact Devin McCourty played such a big role and if there’s anyone he could see filling that role:

“I don’t think you’re going to replace Devin McCourty with one player.”

On how he sees the draft and his thoughts on this group:

“Working through it.  Just finished with free agency.  Seen a lot of players in the draft, but we’re certainly not there yet.  We’re a month away.  Matt and his staff have done a great job, so … ”

On if the Shrine opportunity was helpful:


On what Jonnu Smith brings to the Falcons:

“Well, Arthur had him at Tennessee, so I think he knows the player very well.”

Just trying to get some commentary…

“Jonnu’s a great kid.  Loved working with him.”

On Jack Jones’s rookie year and what he’d like to see from him in year two:

“Again, we’ve talked to all the players about things they need to work on and improve on and so forth.  I’ll just keep that between myself and the players.”

On how the late-season suspension affected the team’s ability to count on him going forward:

“That’s over.”

On if he sees Marcus Jones as a defensive player with offensive ability:

“We’ll see how that goes.  We’ll see how it goes.  Certainly showed a lot of ability in all three phases of the game, so we’ll see.”

On if he sees Ty Montgomery the same way:

“Well, Ty didn’t play any defense last year.  But offensively, in the kicking game, running back, receiver, yeah.  Versatile player.  Look forward to having him healthy.”

On the pin he’s wearing:

“It’s Mr. Kraft’s initiative.”

On his thoughts on it:

“I support it.”

On McCourty’s presnap responsibilities and how he’ll approach replacing that aspect:

“Well, there’s always an element of more than one person.  You have two sides of the defense, there has to be some kind of communication on each side.  It’s hard for one person to do everything.  But somebody’s got to take control.  So, we’ll work through that.”

On if it’s something that Adrian Phillips, or Jabril Peppers or Kyle Dugger could do?

“Well, you have to have more than one player ready to do it in case something happens to the person who’s doing it.  So we’ll see how it goes.”

On the hip drop tackle and if he’s seen that technique escalate:

“Yeah, I wasn’t really a part of those conversations yesterday, so I’ll have to catch up on that.”

On his views on it in general:

“I’m going to wait until I look at it a little more closely to comment on it.  Thank you.”

On his view of flexing Thursday Night Games:

“It doesn’t really matter what I think.”

On his thoughts on what the Bills are getting in Damien Harris:

“Damien’s a tough player.  Very strong, downhill runner.  Contact player.”

On what he likes about James Robinson:

“Productive player, Jacksonville, and the Jets.  He’ll give us some depth in the backfield. We’ll see how it goes.  Haven’t ever worked with him before, so looking forward to it.”

On the main reason why they kind of switched Jakobi Meyers and JuJu Smith Schuster:

“Free agency is a process.  It wasn’t a trade.”

On the strengths he sees in Smith-Schuster:

“It wasn’t a trade.  It wasn’t planned that way, it worked out that way.  I get the question, but it wasn’t a trade.”

On the fact he said the season wasn’t up to the level and how he feels they’ve closed the gap:

“Well, we’ll see.  We’ll see.”

On how much pressure he puts on himself when he has a year he’s not happy with:

“The start of the year is the same every year.  It doesn’t matter what happened last year.  The start of the year is the start of the year.  I’ll do the best job I can this year just like I did last year and the year before that and the year before that and twenty years before that and twenty-some years before that.  I’ll do the best I can.  I’m sure not everybody will be happy with it, but I’ll do the best I can.”

On if he can reflect back at all to like January 2000 and to be within where he is within reach of Shula’s record:

“I appreciate the question, but they’ll be a time to reflect back.  Right now is not the time.  Looking ahead.”

On if we’ll have a nice reflection press conference someday:


On the fact he’s talked about coaching Lawrence Taylor, Tom Brady and Matthew Slater being the greatest to have done it on their respective positions …

(Nods) “Right.”

… what was the common thread that he saw when they stepped out onto the field?

“Yeah, you can write a book about each one of those guys.  So I’ll just leave my comment as it is.  I feel fortunate to coach the three greatest players at their position.  In my opinion.”

On if he has any interest in Odell Beckham Jr.

“I’m not going to talk about any players that are not on this team.  Period.”

Free agent or not:


On his comment about the cash spending, that he said they were 27th in spending:

“Wait a minute, I’ve never said that.  I’ve never said that.  When did I say that now?  I never said that.”

On the fact he said it at the end of the season:

“That was about the previous three years at that point in time.  I don’t even know where we are now.  So it doesn’t really matter.  But we’ll spend to the cap, we’ll have a competitive team, and anybody who knows anything about the cap, and I’m sure you’ve studied it, knows that over a period of time, it evens out.  So that’s all I’ve got to say about it.”

On if he has the ability to spend what he wants from ownership:

“I’ve said all I’m going to say about it.  We spend to the cap every year.”

On his thoughts on Cam Achord and special teams:

“Well, last year was last year.  There were a lot of things that weren’t good enough.”

On his thoughts on Cam Achord:

“Led the league in Special Teams in ’19 or ’20, whatever year it was, ’20.  Yeah, I don’t think that’s a problem.”

On how important it was to keep Jonathan Jones:

“Yeah, that was a big one.  Especially with Devin, he gives us a lot of leadership presence back there.  He’s been a great player for us for a long time in a lot of different roles, including in the kicking game, which is where he started.  He epitomizes what we want in a Patriot player.  It’s great to have him.”

On how he’s looking forward to working with Chris Board and what he brings to the team:

“Yeah, looking forward to working with all the players we’ve added to the team and the guys that we have on the team that are coming back.  Look forward to all of it.”

On if there have been any discussions with Jerod Mayo or Bill O’Brien about possible succession plans:

“I’m planning on coaching this year.  Trying to do a good job this year, that’s my plan.”

On Jake Bailey’s comments where having to do squats impacted him last year and if he agrees with those comments:

“Jake’s comments are Jake’s comments.”

On if he has any plans for the summer:

“Just working on April for right now.  One month at a time.”

On the fact Devin McCourty said everything starts in April:

“It starts long before that as a coaching staff, but the players start coming in in April.”

On how he’s said in the past that media’s the conduit to the fans and what he’d say to the fans:

“Long way to go.  It’s March.  We play in September.  Got a long way to go.  A lot of work to do.”

On what he’d say to them to give them a reason to be optimistic for what’s ahead:

“I don’t know.  The last 25 years.”

On the fact he’s said month-to-month and if that’s how he divvies up his time compared to “day-to-day” during the season:

“My offseason?”

This offseason, your offseason:

“There’s a lot of stages to the offseason.  There’s free agency, there’s the draft, there’s staff changes, there’s new opponents. It’s all a bit different.”

On if he feels good about the groundwork they’ve laid so far:

“I think we’ve taken steps to improve the team.  We’ll see how it goes.”

On if he feels good about where the roster is:

“Again, it’s March.  We haven’t snapped the ball … it’s March.”

On Vic Fangio being with the Dolphins:

“Good coach.  It will be a lot different from what we saw from them last year.”

On Aaron Rodgers potentially coming to the Jets:

“Still not commenting on players that aren’t with our team, I’m going to try to be consistent on that, yeah.  I’m trying to stick with the Patriots right now.”

On filling out the rest of the roster and if that will be done through the draft and undrafted free agents:

“I don’t know.  You know, there’s a lot of ways that you can acquire players.  I wouldn’t rule out any of them or rule in any of them.  If we can do something we think can help the team, then we’ll do it – given the context of whatever it is.  But we’re not afraid to do whatever we need to do that will help the team, whatever that is.”

On Mike Gesicki’s versatility:

“I think that’s true, we’ll see.  I’ve never worked with Mike before, so look forward to working with him and we’ll see how it all fits together.

On if he thinks he’ll go to any Pro Days:

“Yeah, probably.”

On his thoughts on potential new TE coach:

“We’ll make our comments on the staff a little bit later on here in the spring when we get everything settled.”

On if he thinks the evolving skillsets at the college level is going to make the dual-threat running quarterbacks more prevalent:

“Yeah, I don’t know.  If you’re looking for a quarterback that will help your team win games, whatever that is …”

Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: 2023 NFL Coaches Breakfast Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcripts

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