Patriots HC Bill Belichick



November 21, 2023


BB: Good morning. Did everyone recover from the bye week? You know, it’s a good opportunity for everyone to take a deep breath here. We’re excited to get back out on the field, get ready to go here, and have a good week getting ready for the Giants. It’s a good look at the Giants. We saw them the first game last year in preseason, and now we’re kind of two years in. You can see the stamp that Coach [Brian] Daboll has put on the team in all three areas, offense, defense and special teams. They definitely have a good group of quality players. Some guys that are tough to deal with. Certainly, [Dexter] Lawrence on defense is one of the top guys we’ll see, and [Kayvon] Thibodeaux. The safeties – [Xavier] McKinney and [Jason] Pinnock are playing well. An aggressive play style that they have. Offensively, obviously [Saquon] Barkley is a major force, a go to guy for them. Pretty good group of skill players, and they do a couple unusual things in the punting game that we’ll have to deal with in terms of formations. A little different from what we normally see. But, a good, solid group overall. I think the way that they played against Washington is kind of the way that they’re successful playing. Good defense, turn the ball over, hit a few key plays offensively, wheel route to Barkley, [Darius] Slayton, short yardage play-action pass. Brian’s a really good play caller, does a really good job keeping us off balance. We saw that certainly in multiple games against him in Buffalo.  We’re going to have to do a really good job there being disciplined, following our rules and be ready for the unexpected for anything from no huddle to gadget plays to just their normal conventional game planning. They’re a good game planning team, both on offense and defense. So, get started on them today and get ready to roll and have a good week.


Q: Bill, has a decision been made on the starting quarterback for this weekend?

BB: I’ve told all the players the same thing, be ready to go. So, hopefully they will be.


Q: Have you made a decision on the starting quarterback regardless of what you’ve told the team?

BB: I’ve told everybody to be ready to go.


Q: Yeah, but there is a difference between what you’ve told them and whether or not you’ve made a decision.

BB: Well, I’ll let you know on Sunday.


Q: Bill O’Brien said yesterday that Will Grier got some reps with the first-team offense. Is that the first time that that’s happened this season and how do you work in those opportunities?

BB: Well, last week, we had an opportunity to kind of give the guys who didn’t play as much an opportunity to run more of our stuff, less stuff off guards and scout-team things. So, that was true for everybody across the board. We didn’t work on any scout team plays, we just ran our plays. So, everybody got to run what we ran. We had some guys who were out there, some guys weren’t out there. A lot of the guys who have played a lot didn’t practice as much.


Q: With the uncertainty right now, do you feel like there is a possibility that Malik Cunningham could have a fair shot?

BB: I told every player to be ready to play. So, we’ll see how things go, and we’ll go from there.


Q: Whoever does start at quarterback on Sunday, wouldn’t it be more advantageous to have them take the bulk of the starting reps to prepare for the Giants?

BB: I want everybody to be prepared.


Q: How much of a challenge will that be when you have three, maybe four, possible guys?

BB: It’s everybody’s job to do the best they can to be prepared. We’ll play a game on Thursday where there will be even less time than we have now.


Q: Have you given any thought to having a few different players play quarterback on Sunday, the kind of thing where you might sort of mix guys in depending on the situations?

BB: Yeah, I’ve told all the players to be ready to go.


Q: Would it impact how you guys game plan, just not knowing who is going to be playing quarterback?

BB: Yeah, I think whoever we put in there will be able to do what we ask them to do. Otherwise, we wouldn’t ask them to do it.


Q: Abstractly speaking, when would a head coach generally want the player, the offense and the entire team to know who is going to start at that position? Wednesday, Thursday?

BB: Everybody needs to be ready to go. So, that’s where we are for today. Today’s Tuesday, go out there, be prepared, be ready to take advantage of their opportunities. Then, we’ll go to Wednesday.


Q: But, is it like Friday, you want people apprised of the decision?

BB: One day at a time. Today is Tuesday.


Q: So, is it a competition this week?

BB: I’ve told everybody to be ready to go.


Q: Will your decision, whenever that happens, will it be based on this week?

BB: It’ll be based on what I think is best for the team, and I’ve told everybody to be ready to go. Hopefully they will.


Q: Are you guys still working without Adrian Klemm?

BB: Yes.


Q: Is Trent Brown here today?

BB: Everybody’s here.


Q: Bill O’Brien said yesterday there are enough reps in practice for the quarterbacks to have two compete for the starting job. Do you agree with that?

BB: Look, at the quarterback position, you could run four times as many plays as we run and probably still not have as many reps as they’d want to have. All of the quarterbacks, they can go all day. They can take a lot of snaps, and they want to, going back to Tom [Brady] and all the other quarterbacks we’ve had. They’ll take as many snaps as we can run.


Q: From a coaching perspective, to see a large enough sample in practice, if you were picking between multiple options, could you afford those quarterbacks enough reps to make a proper assessment?

BB: Everybody needs to be ready to go. You saw what happened in the Dallas game. [Daniel] Jones went out, [Tommy] DeVito went in. That could happen on the first play of the game. It could happen in the middle of the game. Everybody needs to be ready to go. That’s our job right now, to prepare the team to play well on Sunday. That’s all of them. Not one of them, not two of them, but all the guys. The guys who are active, if they get a chance to play, then hopefully they’ll play well, and we’ll coach well.


Q: What are some things you’ve seen from Tommy DeVito?

BB: Well, he came in in the Dallas game when Jones got hurt – what was that, middle of the second quarter, something like that. Made some good decisions, made some big plays for them. There’s a little bit of lack of experience, but he seems to be pretty football-savvy, street-smart. He made some key plays on third down in the red area and does a pretty good job taking care of the ball.


Q: Do you anticipate Riley Reiff being on the 53 and available to you on Sunday?

BB: I don’t know. We started practicing him last week, so he is eligible. We’ll see how it goes.


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