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Conference Call: Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick



(on if he is looking forward to the start of the season)

Sure.  It is always exciting to start the year.  It has been a lot of preparation and it is time to go.

(on his impressions of Jake Locker and if it is harder going against a quarterback that doesn't have a lot of film to go off)

You know we got a look at him in a couple games last year and did some offseason work on the Titans and saw him there.  Of course he has played in the preseason and we did a lot of work on him coming out of college a couple of years ago too when he came out … an athletic guy, good arm, a real good talent and it looks like he has adapted well to the Titans system.

(on the potential problem Jake Locker's speed may cause the defense)

It is definitely a problem.  He is very athletic and runs well and can buy time in the pocket.  They also use him on some moving-pocket plays, bootlegs and roll-outs and things like that to make it a little tougher on the defense to find him.  That is definitely a big challenge for us.  They have real good speed in their backfield at the running back position and the quarterback position, as well as tight end and wide receiver.  They are a fast team overall on both sides of the ball.

(on the chemistry of the Patriots offensive line)

All those guys have experience.  They have played for us before.  They are working hard and are working well together.  It is always a challenge to block any front in the NFL, particularly an active one like Tennessee.  I think those guys have worked hard and done a good job.  We will see where we are at come Sunday afternoon.

(on the Titans youth on the defensive front seven)

Yes, absolutely.  It is a very good group.  They are young.  They are fast.  With the addition of Zach (Brown) in the linebacker group that gives them a lot of speed back there to go with the speed and athleticism that they already had and a front that is a very active group there.  Like you said, they added (Mike) Martin and the young guys and of course (Kamerion) Wimbley is a veteran player.  We know him.  Along with those other defensive linemen, (Karl) Klug did a great job for them last year.  (Derrick) Morgan, (Sen'Derrick) Marks and (Jurrell) Casey they are all very disruptive.

(on the play of Colin McCarthy)

He has been impressive.  He is a playmaker for them in all phases of the game.  He makes a lot of tackles in the running game.  He is around the ball in the passing game.  He has had some pressure on some blitzes, not that he blitzes a lot, but he has done it a few times and has come in there on that.  You know he is an impressive guy, but that whole group (Patrick) Bailey and (Tim) Shaw and Zach Brown in the kicking game, those guys are active.  (Zach) Brown has started to play a little more on defense.  I don't know what their plans are for him, but he is another good, young player in that front seven group.  Overall, I think that is a big strength for them.

(on the strengths of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez)

They have both been productive for us.  They are both smart guys that we can do different things with.  We are able to change formations and they are versatile enough to get down the field, get those short to intermediate routes.  They can both gain yards after the catch and are competitive in the running game and pass protection.  They give us some different options offensively.

(on whether the addition of Brandon Lloyd helps the tight ends)

I think Brandon will help our football team.  Definitely, that is why we got him.  He has had a solid training camp and preseason so we will see how it all comes together here in the regular season.  He is a good player and I'm glad we have him.  I think he will definitely help us.

(on if the replacement officials meeting to discuss calls has the ability to slow down a no huddle offense)

There isn't anything we can do about that.  We just have to play the game and do what we can do.  I really don't have any comment on the officials.  Whatever it is, it is.  We will do our best to play within the rules.  However they are calling the game then we will have to adapt to that.  That is the way it always is.  Whatever happens out there that is beyond our control, we really can't worry about.  We just have to focus on our execution and going out there and doing the things that we are able to do.

(on his impressions of Kendall Wright coming out of the draft)

He is another good player and another good weapon to go with a pretty solid group that they already have offensively.  They have the tight ends and they have some depth at receiver.  I know (Kenny) Britt's situation is not quite settled yet, but once they get him back in there that really gives them a strong group at receiver.  They are very strong at running back and quarterback and have an experienced offensive line.  It is a good football team all the way around.  Wright is young and he's fast and he's athletic and makes some plays after the catch.  He is a versatile guy that can do a number of different things as he did in college, played inside and played outside and caught the ball down the field, a run after catch guy.  I think he is a good player that will definitely help them.  He is another weapon for them and for Coach (Chris) Palmer to use with his offense.  They have quite a few of them.  He is another one in the bag.

(on if he is happy with the McCourty brother on his team)

Very much.  Devin (McCourty) has done a terrific job for us.  He has really stepped in since day one when we drafted him and been a solid player for us in the secondary.  He's had a good preseason and training camp at corner.  He had to play a little bit at safety last year at the end of the season when we had some need in there, but he is a solid guy.  He does his job well and he is a great teammate and has the respect of all the players and the organization here.  He is a great leader, a hard worker and good football player for us.  We are very excited to have Devin on our roster.

(on how similar Devin's skill set is to Jason McCourty)

I have never actually coached Jason.  I just scouted him coming out of Rutgers and seen him with Tennessee.  It looks like both players are fast and they are willing to tackle.  They make plays on the ball and in the running game and tackling.  They are both pretty smart and pretty dependable.  They both try to play their technique and the way they wanted to play the technique on defense, they are pretty consistent.  Those things look pretty similar to me.

(on if he visited with Colin McCarthy in Miami and how has he grown as a player)

I did.  We were with him and several of his defensive teammates there at Miami prior to their school workout date.  It was good.  McCarthy was impressive in terms of his knowledge and understanding the defense and being able to explain what the offense was doing, what the defense was doing, what adjustments they would make in different situations.  In things like that he was sharp, alert and obviously had a good understanding and good control of what they were doing defensively.  He had a good workout down there at the University of Miami on their pro day.  He is a very good player in the league.

(on what he remembers about Chris Palmer from working with him)

Chris and I were together in 1996 here.  He was the quarterbacks coach and I came in to coach the secondary, so we worked together a lot on a daily basis with seven-on-seven drills, passing drills, one-on-one drills and things like that and would set up things to help each other to either show the other side … we would run their defense for them or he would run the routes the way we were going to see them that week.  We also talked a lot of football and exchanged ideas and thoughts in the passing game and offensively and defensively and playcalling and all those kind of things.  It was a real good year with Chris.  I certainly learned a lot from him and had a lot of respect for the job he did with Drew (Bledsoe) that year and the job he has done throughout the course of his career offensively developing quarterbacks and offensive systems in all the different places he has coached at.  We had a good year here and I have a lot of respect for Chris and the job that he does.

(on Floyd Reese)

Floyd is doing well.  I don't think he has changed too much since our days going back to Detroit.  He is still a real upbeat guy.  He does a good job for us with contracts and scouting and so forth.  We will have to see exactly what his schedule is this week.  He is doing a combination of college scouting, pro scouting, contract work and front office things.  He has done a good job for us.

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