Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick Transcript
September 28, 2022
BB: Good afternoon. How are we doing? Great. Good. We have been looking at all of our film here on the Packers. To start off with, you see the films scan, on the scoreboard and you see those names up there, and the great players and coaches they’ve had there. It really brings back a lot of memories and appreciation for what this franchise has done and really how great they’ve been. [Cecil] Isbell, [Clarke] Hinkle, [Don] Hutson, [Curly] Lambeau, [Vince] Lombardi. You just go right down the line. Isbell and Hutson, great combination there. Hutson started the draft, first real receiver Isbell, Hutson combination [Cecil] Isbell [Don] Hutson. Now we see those throughout the league. Every quarterback receiver combination. It all started eighty something years ago with them. You look at the Packers the past couple years. Number one seed in the NFC. Some things don’t change too much. This is a really good football team. Well coached. Well balanced. I think we saw that last week in the Tampa game. You know defensively, in the kicking game. Solid performance. Of course, offensively this is a great, great, great quarterback. Good running backs. Good skill players. Very efficient offensively. These guys really know what they’re doing. They’re well coached. They execute well. You can see they’ve made some adjustments and improvements defensively and in the kicking game that showed up the early part of the season. It’s a good football team. Good opportunity. Good challenge for us. Great football environment always in Green Bay. So, excited about the opportunity to compete there. It’s been good to go up and take a good view at the Packers and how they do things in close detail. It’s not a team they’ve played in a while. But they’re good. They’re good. They’re good players. Well coached. All three units. Rich [Bisaccia] has done a good job for them. Offensively and defensively. Their numbers, their performance speaks for itself. Saw Mac [Jones] a little while ago. Definitely getting better. Probably won’t practice today but made a lot of progress here in the last, whatever, 48 hours. So keep plugging away. Take that day-by-day. See how it goes. And that’s where we’re at for today.
Q: Do you expect Mac [Jones] to start on Sunday for you guys?
BB: Take it day-by-day.
Q: When you go through the process of preparing the game plan and you have that level of uncertainty at quarterback, what impact does that have on that process as you start to put the game plan together?
BB: Not too much. Brian’s [Hoyer] got a lot of experience. He’s done everything that we would want to do. Mac [Jones] would be able to do it with I think minimal practice if that is what is was. So just take it day-by-day. We’re not really doing anything differently.
Q: Is the plan for Mac [Jones] to have any kind of procedure to help with the process here?
BB: Day-by-day Phil [Perry]. Day-by-day. That’s the plan. Day-by-day.
Q: Are you and the team on the same page as Mac [Jones] and his team when it comes to the injury on how to progress and move forward?
BB: Yeah, I’m not really sure what the nature of that question is. Day-by-day it’s getting better. See how it goes. Day-by-day.
Q: Does he have a high ankle sprain?
BB: Day-by-day. What do I look like? A doctor. An orthopedic surgeon. I don’t know. Talk to the medical experts.
Q: What do the medical experts on staff say to you?
BB: Day-by-day. We’ll evaluate him. What difference does it make to me? What do you think? I’m going to read you the MRI? That’s not my job.
Q: But it’s there and they talk to you about it right?
BB: Yeah, it’s getting better day-by-day. We’ll see how it is tomorrow. It’s a lot better than it was yesterday. We’ll see.
Q: You mentioned Brian [Hoyer] earlier, would he start on Sunday if Mac [Jones] can’t go?
Q: What have you seen from him over the years to where he is at as far as knowing the offense?
BB: He knows it better than anybody. I mean from an overall experience standpoint, this year is this year. But Brian [Hoyer] has had a lot of experience. He’s been in a lot of different systems. Seen a lot of football. Taken a lot of snaps for us in various capacities. I thought he played well in the preseason. If we need him to go, he’ll be ready to go.
Q: How do you balance getting Bailey [Zappe] work potentially if Brian [Hoyer] is starting and Bailey is a snap from getting out there?
BB: It’s the same situation every week. Whoever takes the snaps there’s snaps for the other player. Most of them are on the scout team. But we’ve been down that splitting quarterback’s reps. Goes back to [Tom] Brady and [Drew] Bledsoe back in 2001. We stopped doing it after the Rams game. 20 or however many years ago.
Q: What kind of progress have you seen from Baily [Zappe] since the start of the summer? Joe Judge yesterday was saying that he’s starting to grasp the bigger picture and he’s done a good job at not making rookie mistakes?
BB: Like any rookie quarterback, he has a lot to learn and he’s learned a lot. He’s learned a ton. He’s a smart kid. He processes information well. Processes it well. Every snap helps him. Whatever it is, walkthrough, scout team reps, one-on-ones. Things like that. But he’s got a long way to go.
Q: Is there any kind of an emotional impact for a locker room if a quarterback misses time in your experience? Or could there be?
BB: I don’t know. Brian [Hoyer] will be ready to go if he has to be ready to go. I think we all know that. So I don’t really worry about it.
Q: Obviously with Aaron Rodgers you’d call him as good as anybody. Is there an added importance on a guy like that where you can’t show pre-snap what would tip him off in any way?
BB: Try to do that every week. Try not to give the quarterbacks any more information than we need to. You have to be in a position to play. So sometimes the formations force you to do a little bit. But yeah, we certainly don’t want to give him anything more than he already has. He’s seen it all a million times. They don’t turn the ball over. He doesn’t make very many mistakes. He never has. He’s a very resourceful quarterback. He makes the plays that are there. Then he makes a few plays that really aren’t there. Then he rarely makes a mistake where he has a bad play. There’s very, very few of those. I think that’s one of the things that makes him a great quarterback. He’s got a great arm. He’s got a great touch. He’s accurate. He helps the team win. He does the things that they need to do to win. He makes the plays that there’s not many guys that could make. But he doesn’t try to do that all the time and he makes good decisions. Certainly he’s very protective of the ball and the operation of the offense. And he has a lot of freedom which he should. He makes a lot of good decisions.
Q: Complementing Aaron Rodgers as good as the Packers have been for a long time, it’s only three games. What have they shown you situationally? From the field position game you referenced Rich Bisacci on special teams.
BB: Yeah, well they lead the league in field position. Defensively they aren’t on the field more than any other team. I think that’s two things. One, not turning the ball over on offense. And two, having good coverage in the kicking game. They’ve got three very explosive coverage players, and a good core, and good specialists, and a good returner, and a good coach. So they’ve put together a good core group. So they’re better probably than when we looked at them last year in the offseason. I think they’ve definitely upgraded that. They’ve played well. They can rush. They can return. They can cover. And they can protect. So that’s what hurt them last year in the playoffs, a field goal. Protection’s better. I know Rich [Bisacci] is one of the top special team coaches in the league and has been. We saw him in Oakland. Whenever that was. Two years ago. Three years ago. Whatever that was. Always had a ton of respect for Rich [Bisacci] and the job he’s done. He’s very thorough. Aggressive. His units always play well. And his team played well last year at Oakland, so yeah.
Q: Coach, what do you see from the way that they horizontally stretch the defense on offense with bootlegs and stuff like that?
BB: They attack every inch of the field. They stretch it horizontally. These backs are really good. It’s as good of a combination of backs as we’ve seen, both these guys are tough. They’re good in the running game. They’re good in the passing game. They make a lot of yards on their own. Read blocks very well. Sets up blocks well. They are tough to tackle. Aaron [Rodgers] uses them well in the passing game, but he uses everybody well. It’s hard to cover all five guys. He always finds the right guy. The guy who has the least coverage. The guy who has the best leverage. Whatever the pattern happens to go. They attack the width of the field. They attack vertically. They attack down the field. Everybody is at the point of attack defensively. There’s no plays off when the quarterback has the ball in his hand. He can throw it anywhere when these backs have it. Better be ready to defend them anywhere. At the point of attack, bounce outs, cut backs. Be ready to tackle them. They run hard. They break a lot of tackles. They’re tough. [Aaron] Jones is tough.
Q: Over your career, what makes a team better at not turning the ball over as the season goes along? What kind of things you need to emphasize? How much of it is coaching? How much of it is a mental part? Physical part?
BB: I mean there are some contact plays that are contact plays, but ball security is the responsibility of the people that have the ball. And the execution of the plays. If the quarterback gets stripped sacked because of a missed block or mental error on the protection or something like that, that’s not really the quarterback’s responsibility. There’s a few of those contact plays, but generally speaking, if you have the ball, you got to secure it. We haven’t done a good enough job of that. So coaching, playing, accountability, and responsibility, we all have do a better job of it.
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