Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick
December 28, 2022
BB: Alright, well it’s an exciting week here getting ready for the Dolphins. It seems like it’s been a long time since we were just down there, but it has been. A lot of water under the bridge since then. Good football team. Look a lot like they’ve looked all year, like they’ve looked in the past offensively and defensively. Big physical team on defense. Have some fast players in the kicking game, some other physical guys and they’re explosive on offense. So, they’ve looked really impressive at times. We know it’s an important game here, obviously. So, we’ll do everything we can to play our best game on Sunday. That’s what we need to do and that’s what it’ll take. That’s what we’re preparing for.
Q: You’ve always said that you prepare for everybody that’s on the roster. You’ve got Tua [Tagovailoa] and you’ve got Teddy Bridgewater with the situation this week. Is this a case where you have to prepare actually two different things because Tua and Teddy Bridgewater, they’re definitely different quarterbacks and they do different things?
BB: Yeah, but we’ve been in that situation before. You can’t go into a game with two different offenses, it’s impossible. So, one’s right-handed and one’s left-handed. That definitely affects some things right there. But we could be looking at a different quarterback, just like when we were in Arizona in the first series of the game. So, you have to be ready for – you know who to expect to play, but that could change. Certainly, it’s changed for us. We’ve got players who have gone out in the first series, and we’ve had to play with different players. They’ve got to defend different players than they were expecting to defend on the other side of the ball. So, I mean that’s football.
Q: Mike McDaniel’s told reporters down in Miami that Teddy will start on Sunday. Assuming that’s true, what have you seen from him on film?
BB: Yeah, I’ve always had a ton of respect for Teddy. I like Teddy. Good athlete, good arm, smart kid, athletic. Presents a lot of the same problems that Tua does.
Q: From a play calling standpoint when you watch the film of Teddy from earlier in the season when he was out there, does it change much from him to Tua or do you think they pretty much run the same stuff?
BB: I’d say it’s a high percentage of the offense. Sure, they’re things they’d do specifically for one guy or the other, but generally speaking that’s the offense.
Q: And [Skylar] Thompson? Just because Teddy started earlier this year, after one snap Thompson came in to play.
BB: Yeah, we’ll have to get ready for all three. We’ll see what happens.
Q: What have you seen from Thompson or is it limited?
BB: Yeah, we’ll have to do a little bit more work on him. We’ve been focused on the other two guys. But they can all run their offense, there’s no doubt about it. Still going to be the same thing. You’ve got two very explosive receivers. You’ve got a lot of other players that are good players, too. They’ve got good running backs. You’ve got [Liam] Eichenburg back on the offense line. I don’t know, whatever his status is. This is a team that can move the ball. They’re production on the first down is extremely good. That’s been with a number of different players, quarterbacks, you name it. So, it’s a big challenge for us.
Q: Are the practice fields available to you if you wanted them?
BB: Yeah, no not really. We’re inside.
Q: Yeah, is it just the weather? They’re frozen over?
BB: They’re just not ready.
Q: What type of problem does [Christian] Wilkins cause for your offense?
BB: Yeah, they have a real good defensive line. [Zach] Sieler, [Raekwon] Davis, Wilkins, [John] Jenkins. They’re all a bunch of big strong guys in there. Wilkins, big, athletic, hard guy to move. Power rusher who’s got some good quickness. Runs well. He’s a good player. Play anywhere across the line, really. Play anywhere from nose to 5-Technique. He’s usually more of a 3-Technique, but I mean he has the ability to play any of those spots.
Q: Bradley Chubb wasn’t there when you guys played them week one. What have you seen from him since he’s been on the Dolphins?
BB: He’s been a good compliment to [Jaelan] Phillips on the other side. A lot of passing situations. So, he mainly plays on our left and Phillips mainly plays on our right. Those are two good edge rushers, both a problem.
Q: With what you guys have been through the past couple of weeks, how good does it feel to come in here with an opportunity on Wednesday, to if you guys can do what you do here to compete?
BB: Yeah, it feels great. It’s a great opportunity for us. So, I think we’re all looking at it that way. Again, we want to get ready to play and coach our best game on Sunday.
Q: How much of a challenge does Mike Gesicki present with the two speed guys on the outside to cover?
BB: He’s a hard guy to cover. Long. He’s a good, crafty route runner. He’s slick, but he can get down the field. Very good hands, makes some acrobatic catches. Has enough quickness to separate. That’s another hard guy to cover on third down, well on any down. But when you talk about those possession downs, he’s effective.
Q: How concerning is your own tight end situation, as availability wise with all three of your guys not finishing the last game?
BB: We’ll see where everything is today.
Q: Do you expect DeVante Parker to practice today?
BB: Yeah, we’ll see where everybody is today.
Q: Mac’s [Jones] block on Eli Apple in the Bengals game. Do you have any issue with anything he did on that play?
BB: I’ll leave it to the officials to officiate the game. Doesn’t really matter what I think.
Q: Some players, including Eli Apple, have called Mac a dirty player. Do you think he sometimes gets too close to that line or goes over it?
BB: You’d have to talk to those guys about that. I don’t know.
Q: What is Matt Sokol on the practice squad, I was just asking about the whole tight end thing, what does he have going for him that has kept him on the practice squad all year and called up for that one game?
BB: Yeah, well he’s been here since the spring. He knows our system well. He’s a tough kid, works hard. I’m sure he’ll be ready to go if we need him. We need everybody ready to go this week. So, however that plays out, plays out.
Q: How much of a problem do [Jaylen] Waddle and Tyreek Hill present on the outside?
BB: As much as anybody in the league.
Q: What are your thoughts about Jevon Holland and his importance to the defense?
BB: Yeah, good player. They use him in some different ways. Plays a lot on the deep part of the field but they blitz and he comes up close to the line. He’s a pretty versatile player. He’s done a pretty good job tackling for them, keeping plays from being anymore from what they are, 8-10 yards, whatever plays. He’s instinctive, reads the quarterback well, reads the pass pattern route well. Does a good job of taking away some routes that maybe not every safety would take away. It’s from his instinctiveness and anticipation.
Q: Where are they pressure wise defensively, in terms of how often they are one of the higher-pressure teams in the league?
BB: Depends on the game. They can be but not necessarily.
Q: The plays in which they send Tyreek Hill in motion far out wide and kind of kick starts his routes vertically. Obviously, the benefit seems to be to get one of the fastest players in the league a head start at the snap. Is there any sort of benefit defensively understanding his route tree at that point might be more limited, or what are the upsides and downsides of the way they use him in that way?
BB: Yeah, I mean first of all it depends on what you’re in defensively, what the coverage is, what the call is. So, there would be a lot of different scenarios depending upon what you were in. Could start with that. What exactly you’re trying to do would depend on what play they have called and what it matched up against. It would be something that they would scheme up from a coaching standpoint and coach the quarterback on. The defense does this than we do that, if they do this than we do something else. He’s not the only guy on the play. You have to deal with the rest of the play, too. Whatever the quarterback’s reads are, that’s what they are dependent on the play. Might depend on the defense.
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