Patriots Coach Bill Bilichick's Conference Call With Nashville Media





(on the Titans' running offense)

I think it's the best we've faced. One of the best in the league, I think it's outstanding. They've got a great offensive line and tight ends do a real good job. Running backs are obviously good, (LenDale) White and (Chris) Johnson have different styles but they're both very effective. They create a lot of openings in the running game. (Kevin) Mawae does a great job inside with (Jake) Scott and (Eugene) Amano cutting the defense. Those tackles and tight ends, (Alge) Crumpler and (Bo) Scaife, (Craig) Stevens or whoever's been in there do a good job on the outside part of the play of creating space out there on the edge or in that off-tackle area. A lot of times there's two or three holes on the play where the backs have more than one area to enter the defense. It happened a number of times against Pittsburgh and in the Houston game. I thought there was times where there was two or three holes in the defense. I think they do a great job. They're well coached, they got good players and obviously, great backs.

(on where Chris Johnson ranks as a breakaway running back)

I mean this guy, I don't think any team has got too many guys that can catch him. He's absolutely a threat to go all the way anytime he's got the ball. Just look at the Houston game. We're talking about big time here, now. This is as good as we've seen and as good as I've seen in quite a while. This Chris Johnson, go to the Houston game, he can go 90 yards on a draw play, third-and-10, third-and-20. He just takes it to the house. You can't give this guy any space at all. He's averaging six yards a carry. He's a terrific back. He's got speed. He's got quickness. He makes people miss. He breaks a lot of tackles. He's as good a back as I've seen in a long time.

(on how surprised he is the Titans are 0-5)

Well, this is a real good football team and I know the record is disappointing but when you watch them on film you see a good football team. They can run the football. They have a real good quarterback. Kerry's (Collins) accurate and makes good decisions. They've got good receivers, they're big receivers. They've got good tight ends that can catch and can block. They've got great runners and of course defensively they're very disruptive on the front seven. You can't run the ball against them. They're a good pass rushing group. The linebackers are big, they're physical. They are very experienced in the secondary. I know they've had to play a couple of young guys because of injuries, but I think they've held up pretty well, two good safeties. I mean, it's a good football team. (Mark) Jones is a good returner. They've got a great kicker so they're strong in the kicking game. You know, they've just come up one or two plays short in a couple games. When you watch them on film you see the team that looks just like the team that won 13 games last year to me. They're tough, they're physical, they're talented, they play hard, they look pretty good to me.

(on Jeff Fisher saying that teams should line up five-wide against them on Sunday)

Well the more receivers you put out there the fewer guys you got to block and there's a lot of guys you have to block on that front. It doesn't really matter who's in there. They've got as good a group of defensive lineman, as active and as quick as we've seen all year. (Jovan) Haye and (Tony) Brown inside, (Jason) Jones, (Kevin) Vickerson, those guys are very disruptive. Of course you've got (Kyle) Vanden Bosch and (Jevon) Kearse out there on the edge. (Jacob) Ford shows up and their linebackers are fast and disruptive. When they blitz them which they do a decent amount of the time somebody's got to pick them up. Yeah, you can put a lot of guys out there, you better leave somebody in to block or you're not going to be able to get the ball off. That's the dilemma you run into with them. It's always nice to put a whole bunch of receivers out there against anybody, but if you can't get the ball off then you've got problems on the other end. I think you've got to be careful about that. That's a good suggestion from Coach Fisher though. I'll try and keep that in mind in our game plan and meetings through the week.

(on Jerod Mayo)

Jerod's a real good football player and he came in here from day one and established himself as a guy that was very dedicated to the game. He worked hard, he studied, he learned his plays, he studied his opponents, he was very consistent in his approach, and earned everybody's respect in a short amount of time and has continued to gain it. He was elected a captain by his teammates this year in just his second year. I just think that speaks right there to the kind of leadership and respect he has on this football team. He continues to work hard and grow and improve and gain experience. He's a great young man to be around and coach. It's really a privilege for me to coach him. He's certainly added a lot to our football team both on and off the field. I'm really glad we have him.

(on what it has been like to be reunited with Floyd Reese)

It's been great. You know Floyd and I go back to the '76-'77 seasons in Detroit. We spent a lot of time together there. We lived a couple of blocks away and rode to work and worked on special teams together. We were both kind of the two youngest coaches on the staff. We were both learning a lot, but I was learning a lot from him. He was very much of a mentor type of guy to me. I was in my second year in the league and he had been in Detroit a year or two before I got there, I forget exactly what it was. He certainly taught me a lot about being a coach in the National Football League and different things you could learn as a young coach, particularly in that staff and that system. We've maintained contact through the years and of course it was always hard competing against them when I was in Cleveland and he was in Houston. We've still had our battles through the years and it's been great to have him on board here since February, I guess it was. He's done a great job for us on the contracts. He gives us a lot of insight as a former general manager, a guy that's really done everything you can pretty much do in football: coaching, and special teams, and strength coach, and assistant general manager, general manager duties, all the things that are related to contracts, league, players, coaches, administration, all those kinds of things. He's got a great knowledge base and gives me a great perspective personally. In all honesty it's hard to find other people that have had the type of experience that you have that good of a relation, or are that close a relationship with. He's been great to have him here.

(on how to guard against a drop-off when losing members of the coaching staff)

I think every team in the league goes through transition every year whether it be players, or coaches, scouting people, front office. It's hard to go more than, it happens every year of course. There's usually changes on the coaching staff, or in the scouting, or the administrative end every year or two, if not every year period. I think that's just part of it. You learn to adapt and adjust in the organization. You make the changes you feel like are best for your team and your club at that time, whatever they happen to be based on the options that you have available. I don't care who leaves, there is no one person that just can run a football team. You've got a lot of assistant coaches, coordinators, and a lot of people working together there. Of course you miss losing good coaches off your staff like Josh McDaniels or Jimmy Schwartz and guys like that, that I've had an opportunity to work closely with both of them. Of course you lose a quality person there, but there are other people in the organization that are contributing too. You rearrange those, you bring in new people and you go from there. It's never the same. Each year's not the same even if the same people stay. There's always some type of change or transition. That's just part of the game. We all have to adjust to that.

(on if there is a way to minimize the learning curve to get everyone up to speed as quickly as possible)

Well, I think each situation is different and it just depends on who the new person is, how those duties shifted, or what the new combination of new people are. You just go from there. It's a case-by-case thing. I don't think there's any set rule or formula for it. I know that's been the case for me whether it be Nick Saban in Cleveland or Charlie (Weis), Romeo (Crennel), Josh (McDaniels), those kinds of things. Each one's a little bit different. They're not all the same.

(on the Patriots not having a fullback on their roster)

You're always looking for good football players and everybody would like to have more of them than we have. We have five backs and we feel like they're all productive. They all contribute for us. We like those five backs on our roster. Last year we did have a fullback, or more of a fullback type. Heath Evans was kind of a part fullback, part running back kind of player. You keep the roster that you feel like is the best for your team and that includes offense, defense, special teams and the depth at different positions. Of course, some of that's related to your offensive scheme. If you don't have a fullback then you probably don't have as many fullback plays. If you do have a fullback then you probably do have a few more fullback plays, maybe a few less one-back plays. Titans do a good job of mixing in their two-back plays with their two tight end plays. It gives you a lot to prepare for on defense. The different looks that they can do doesn't really change. I think a whole lot of what they're doing, it creates different looks for the defense and they do a good job of that.

(on Randy Moss's maturity over the years and how to get him involved consistently)

I think Randy has a real good outlook on the game. He's really smart. He understands what the defensive schemes are, what the concepts are and what his role is on different plays based on what the coverage does and so forth. Randy works hard every week and he takes advantage of the opportunities that he gets. Some weeks they're more than others just like everybody else. That's true for pretty much every receiver. Some weeks they catch more passes than others. The most important thing to us is moving the ball and scoring points. However we can do that, that's what we're all for. If that's with one player, that's great. If it's with another player, that's great too. It's not about individual statistics, it's about the team being successful and scoring points.

(on Fred Taylor's impact on offense before his injury)

Fred did a good job for us. He, as we all know, had an outstanding career. He's really a complete all-around back that can run inside, outside. He has power. He's got quickness. He can catch the ball. Very team oriented guy and willing to do anything to help the team kind of attitude and leadership you really admire. He's just outstanding.

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