Thursday November 4th, 2014

Posted by on December 4th, 2014  •  0 Comments  • 

Want to go to an NFL coaches press conference?  Here’s the summary from both the Chargers and Pats workouts.


Bill Belicheck-Patriots coach-comments I thought you’d enjoy reading as New England prepares for Sunday’s game against the Chargers, practicing the entire week at USD’s Torero Stadium.  Belicheck more open and complimentary about opposing players than you ever hear him.




Q: How are your first few days going out here?


BB: Good, going great. The facility has been great; the cooperation. We’ve just got a lot of work to do on San Diego.


Q: What’s the advantage of being out here for the week?


BB: We just thought it fit our schedule well and would give us an opportunity to practice in the conditions we’re going to play in.


Q: Do you think it’s an opportunity for you guys to bond a little?


BB: The most important thing is getting ready for the Chargers, so that’s really what it’s all about.


Q: How big of a challenge does that offense present, starting with Philip Rivers?


BB: Yeah. They’ve done a great job. They’re well coached. They have a very good group of players. It starts with Rivers; really good skill players, backs – they have a lot of depth in their backfield. All those guys are healthy running the ball; a lot of options in the passing game. It’s tough to defend. They have a good scheme and do a good job attacking the weakness of the defense. We’ll have to do a great job of coaching and playing. Everybody will have to do a good job. There are really no weaknesses in that offense.


Q: Any concerns about people thinking they’re on vacation this week?


BB: We’re here to work on the Chargers.


Q: Can you talk about any similarities you’ve seen between Rob Gronkowksi and Antonio Gates?


BB: Rob has done a good job for us and been on the field a lot, plays in a lot of situations, been productive in the passing game and the running game. Gates seems timeless. He’s a hard guy to defend. He’s got great size, athleticism, hands, does a real good job setting up his routes, beating man or zone coverage. Rivers obviously has a lot of confidence in him. He has a big catch radius, so wherever Rivers puts the ball it seems like he can get it. He’s really good. [He’s a] tough guy to defend, real tough guy.


Q: In 2006 Gates was at the Pro Bowl with you. Did you guys develop any kind of relationship?


BB: I think it was ’09, but yeah, [I] love Rivers. [He’s] really a football guy; very into it. We had a lot of great conversations about just football and he’s very competitive, really smart, has a great understanding and feel for the game. I really enjoyed coaching him. He was outstanding.


Q: Did you have an opportunity sometimes to learn from the Aaron Rodgers, the Tom Bradys and guys the way they see things and then explain it to you at all?


BB: I mean, it’s the Pro Bowl, so I don’t think we got that far into it. [It’s] one coverage; not one hard coverage to read because that’s the only one they’re allowed to play.


Q: Any reason for the change in facilities?


BB: We’ve used multiple facilities as part of this trip and it’s all worked out well.


Q: Were you able to get any insight from Josh McDaniels from his time with Mike McCoy?


BB: I mean, I think what we get on the Chargers is what we’ve seen. They’ve played 12 games this year and played really well; playing good football. I don’t think something that happened three, four years ago is really that relevant. I think what’s relevant is what they’re doing now, what they’ve done this season. They’ve played in a lot of close games, played against a lot of great competition and won and I think that’s really who they are. Whatever it was or wasn’t three, four years ago, I don’t really know how much that has to do with it.


Q: Have you seen an evolution or change in Rivers between Ken Whisenhunt and Frank Reich as opposed to the quarterback you’ve had to defend in the past?


BB: Well, each offense has its own characteristics, but I think fundamentally he’s very much the same player. He can attack the defense at all three levels, has great poise and presence in the pocket. He has deceptive mobility. He runs and is more active maybe than what he gets credit for, what you think he is. He’s got a good touch on the ball, does a good job using all his receivers, gets the ball to the backs, obviously the tight ends, the receivers down field on catch-and-run plays and on downfield routes. [He] reads blitz and those type of coverages well, gets the ball out in a hurry. He’s been pretty good for a long time.


Q: With Junior Seau being up for the Hall of Fame nomination this year, any reflections on your time with him?


BB: Tremendous. [I] loved Junior and his family. [I] was out here for the funeral and it was very emotional. Nobody loved the game more than Junior did. Nobody would be more deserving to be in the Hall of Fame than Junior Seau. [He’s the] all-time leader in tackling, but more than stats, his love of the game, his passion for the game, and the high level that he played at at a very difficult position. I mean, him, Clay Matthews [Jr.], guys to play as long as they did at that position as well as he did is phenomenal. He is so deserving. I hope it happens.



Mike McCoy’s comments were more generic in nature, especially about specifics on players….


How was it practicing in the rain today?

It was good. We had an outstanding practice. It was very efficient. We got a lot of good work in. It was the first step in the preparation part of practice for Wednesday in order to get ready for a very good football team coming in here.


Did the Patriots kind of outsmart themselves coming out here and getting this kind of weather?

They are putting their plans together. You know, they are just trying to do what is best for their football team and they have a good football team. We are doing the same thing here. We are worried about the Chargers right now and preparing for a very good football team.


On Keenan Allen’s production over the last two weeks:

Probably more opportunities. I think he has had more balls thrown to him. I think that from week to week, you look at the plays and there are plenty of plays where his number was called or there are progressions of the play, certain things you do. The way we play and with the type of players we have defenses are going to take certain things away at times and play a certain coverage when we might be expecting something else. With the quarterback that we have, he is going to go through a progression every play and week in and week out it is going to be a different guy. This week we had a number of guys step up and have big plays. Keenan was one of them and had an exceptional game. It was great to see him get in the end-zone a couple times and he has worked extremely hard so I am happy for him.


On the matchup between Keenan Allen and Derrelle Revis

There are a number of good corners in this league and we are going to play against a number of good ones this weekend. We are going to go out there and he (Allen) is going to have his best game of the year technique wise, coming off the ball, doing the little things.


Can you predict what corners are going to match up against Charger receivers?  

I think you have a feeling but we will find out Sunday afternoon how they are going to do it. They make changes week to week like every team does and whether it is strategically they want to match up a guy certain ways or if it’s down in distance. So, we will go out and make adjustments as the game moves on.


What kind of a matchup problem does Rob Gronkowski pose?

His performance over his entire career speaks for itself. He is a headache for all teams because of the way he plays the game. His competitive nature, size, strength and athletic ability make him a very good football player. He is one of those guys you have to account for and understand where he is. He has made some plays for them and he is a very good football player.


On defending a team that has been using a committee of running backs 

They’re going to put a plan together that is in the best interest of their football team and move the ball down the field. They use a number of different bodies. It’s not just the running back position but it’s other positions too. They rotate guys through the game and I think they do an outstanding job using their players with what they do best and they aren’t afraid to make a change. I think you have to give a lot of credit to what they do and the way they prepare and get the players prepared.


Is their running success based on scheme or player talent?

Their system is in place I think, but you can go in strategically and say ‘what’s the opponent you’re playing against going to try to take away?’ Where is your advantage in the personnel department to go against somebody?  Which way you are running certain things and then what does that player do best also?


What is it like to have Ryan Mathews back the past three weeks?

We love to have him out there. He is a physical runner, does a great job with the protection part of it and running routes and understands his role. We have a great group of guys and I think they work well together and complement each other. It’s nice to have him back in the backfield and get those tough yards you need. He has worked extremely hard to get back to where he is today. So, I am very happy for him.


On having history with Josh McDaniels: 

He was in New England obviously before. Their system has been in place for a while and every year you add things, you change certain things. There are certain things you do different; your personnel changes. It’s a league of thievery. You see certain things, you steal ideas from teams and I think that all staffs do that. So, I think that Josh has done an outstanding job of adjusting to the personnel they have and making those changes when needed. But, it is a system that has held up year in and year out. It’s a good football team.


On having number 39 working at running back today:

That was Ryan’s (Mathews) idea. Ryan came out with that idea and looked good in 39.


Do you like being the underdog at home?

I like playing the game. We are very fortunate to be in the NFL and we got a great game. It should be a good environment and we need our fans to get there early and get there before kickoff, get in their seats long before kickoff so we can have the best crowd of the year when we need it. They have a very good football team and it’ll be a great opportunity for us to play at home.


On the challenge on the coach to maintain consistency after going through five centers this year:

It’s been an interesting year at that position this year. From the opener with Nick and then kind of go the way we did. Give credit to the players. Whether they came in late or however long they have been here and the changes we had made throughout. Trevor got in the game the other day and did an outstanding job. When Chris has played he has done an outstanding job. The three other guys before them did a great job. Give Joe D and Andrew a lot of credit and Frank for adjusting and doing certain things, especially for Phil to make the adjustment of what he needs to do different with different guys coming in at different times of the game. Give the players all the credit in the world for stepping up. I think when you have a good group of guys that work extremely hard the way our players do. They stick together and the cohesiveness of the offensive line room, learning each other and picking one another up on a short notice like we have had to do a couple times. I think they have done a tremendous job.


On the Success of the two tight ends this week:

They are both different in a number of different ways. They are two of the best in the business. I think their playmaking ability, they energize their football team and there is a big difference between their ages. It’s a matter of the way they play the game. This is how you’re supposed to play the game and I think it shows why they are so successful. They both love to play. You watch those two guys week in and week out. They do what they do. It’s no shock, obviously I’ve never seen Gronkowski in practice but I’m sure he works extremely hard and that carries over into the game.


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