Belichick talks Welker, Crumpler and Holt
|08.17.10 at 10:36 am ET|
Bill Belichick met with the media before Tuesday morning’s joint practice between the Patriots and the Falcons and touched on a variety of subjects, including the status of Wes Welker, who is in Atlanta with the team. He also discussed the performance of tight end Alge Cumpler in camp and if there is still a role for wide receiver Torry Holt.
The following is a transcript of the media session:
Bill Belichick: We’re excited to be here with the Falcons. It looks like we’ve got a pretty nice setup. Coach [Mike] Smith has been very accommodating, so we look forward to seeing how this goes.
Q: Are you trying to get the same thing accomplished as you did last week with the Saints?
BB: Yeah, we’re just trying to get better. [We’re] trying to get better in all phases of the game. We have some individual work and some group work and some team work and some special teams stuff. So hopefully we can be a better football team when we leave here than when we arrived.
Q: In your coaching career, when was the last time you have been on the road for a joint practice?
BB: I’ve done it with the Giants. [I] did it with Arizona [and] did it with the Bears – three or four times.
Q: Do you remember when that was?
BB: We did the Bears every year when I was at Cleveland up in Wisconsin. Arizona in Arizona in ’95 [with Cleveland]. The Giants when I was at Cleveland was kind of a home and home thing. Those are the only ones that I remember. We’ve had teams come in, but those are all road visits.
Q: You talked about how seamless the practices were last week with the Saints because of philosophies and the structure of practice. Do you expect it to be similar here?
BB: Yeah, I’ve talked to Mike several times and Thomas Dimitroff. Everything seems to be going pretty smoothly, so that’s what we’re expecting.
Q: How did you handle who would travel? Did you treat it like a game where if they’re not going to play, they’re not here?
BB: We brought the people we thought it would be beneficial for them to come. Other people that we didn’t, we felt like we’d get more done with them there and they’re in New England.
Q: Are there probably a chunk of guys – five or 10 – that didn’t travel?
BB: Probably. [There are] a little over 10. I’m not sure of the exact number.
Q: Is Wes Welker here?
BB: Wes is here.
Q: What musical selection did you pick for pre-practice?
BB: I think we’ve got a little Bon Jovi. I think we have a little Kenny Chesney. We’re doing a home and home there with Thomas [Dimitroff] on the music.
Q: Because there is another franchise here, are there things that you actually don’t do because they’re here?
BB: Not that I can think of.
Q: Are you at all curious to see another facility since you’ve been in Foxborough for 11 years? Does it at all interest you?
BB: Absolutely. You go to a lot of colleges in the spring, but it’s not the same. Just being on the field with the Saints last week was interesting, just watching their guys work, their coaches, their drills, their operation. Yeah, you’re right; it’s something we haven’t done in a while and it is interesting to see what another team does, just even simple things.
Q: Does it make you wish you had done it earlier?
BB: We just felt like, for a number of reasons, it was the right situation this year. We never ruled it in or ruled it out before, it just fit right this time.
Q: How much was it your familiarity with Tom [Dimitroff] and going back to your days at Cleveland that this was able to come about?
BB: That probably was the starting point. Yeah, that probably was the starting point. We had talked about it in the past, ‘Hey, if we ever get the chance to do it, it’s something we’ll look into.’ When the preseason schedule came out, then it fit. If we hadn’t played them in the preseason, I don’t think this would have happened, but the fact that it’s one of the first two games… We talked about it – Coach Smith and myself – and we both thought it would be beneficial to do one day with the teams, and so that’s what we’ll do.
Q: Coach Smith talked about five situations that you wanted to get through. What are your objectives here in the joint practices?
BB: As I said, everything that we do, we’re just trying to get better as a football team – offense, defense, special teams. We have first, second, third-down situations, red area, special teams. We’re not doing everything. We’re not doing goal line. We’re not doing two minute, but the situations that we’re working on I think will benefit us. In one day, it’s just hard to get everything in, so we wanted to concentrate in certain areas and feel like we’re making progress in those. Instead of just doing one of everything, we’ll put a little more time into third down and red area stuff.
Q: Looking forward as far as your offense goes, are you starting to get a little more of an idea what it will look like and what kind of identity it will have?
BB: As usual, I think it would depend a little bit on who we’re playing and what they’re doing. We want to try to have – [on] offense, defense and special teams – a broad enough package to attack and defend the things that we see on a week-to-week basis throughout the course of the year. Some weeks that could be more of one and less of another and vice versa. From game to game, we’ll do what we think gives us the best chance to win. At this part of the season, it’s kind of getting a good foundation so you have that flexibility to be in a different type of mode. I’m sure there’s going to be times in the season where we’re going to have to throw and everyone knows we’re going to have to throw. There are going to be times we’re going to run and everybody knows we’re going to run and vice versa. We’re going to have to stop the run and we’re going to have to stop passing, so right now we’re just trying to build a good base on all of that.
Q: You guys spend three practices against Drew Brees and then now here against Matt Ryan. Are the quarterbacks similar at all? What challenges does Matt Ryan bring?
BB: They’re similar in that they’re real good, which is good. We work against good quarterbacks in practice, and we saw Brees last week and we’ll see Ryan this week. I think that’s great. That’s about as tough as it’s going to get. They’re as good as anybody in this league and so that really presents a challenge for our defense, not only on the individual plays themselves, but the disguise and trying to keep the quarterback from just seeing what we’re in and then chewing it up. It’s great work for us. It’s great work for us.
Q: Is this different than last week with the Saints? Is there any sort of different focus because of the point of preseason that you’re in or is it the same?
BB: The practice schedule is structured a little bit differently, but I think in general we’re trying to get the same things done.
Q: Is it weird being on another team’s practice field?
BB: It’s a little bit different but I think it’s good. We were out in San Jose for two weeks there in ’08 and other years we’ve been in other places for one reason or another, so it’s not that unusual.
Q: How is Alge Crumpler doing for you guys in camp?
BB: He’s doing great. He’s been a great addition to our team, on and of the field [with his] leadership, his experience. He adds a lot to our team. He certainly adds a lot to that position. Again, he has been around pro football his entire life. He really understands the game on and off the field. [He’s] very professional. [He’s] very well prepared. He’s been a great addition. He is really a model type of player. I don’t think there’s much you could ask him to do that he hasn’t done, given the opportunities that he’s had. Since he’s been here he’s been tremendous.
Q: Since Torry Holt went on IR, is he going to stick around and help as far as a mentoring role or anything like that?
BB: I don’t think so.
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