It Is What It Is
Follow football writer Ryan Hannable at In addition, get the latest updates at
A Patriots Blog Blog Network

Highlight’s from Bill Belichick’s Wednesday morning Q&A in Tampa

08.22.12 at 11:58 am ET

Here are some of the highlights of Bill Belichick‘€™s Q&A with the media Wednesday morning in Tampa:

On if there is a limited number of snaps in the preseason he would like to see Tom Brady play:

‘€œWe’€™d rather get everybody up to their full potential. Everybody’€™s got to re-establish himself this year ‘€“ every player, every coach ‘€“ and that’€™s what training camp and the preseason games are for, to work our performance back up as high as we can and build on into the season. We’€™ve all got a long way to go. I don’€™t think anybody’€™s even close to where we need to be, and that includes all of us ‘€“ coaches calling plays; players doing their jobs, working with new teammates, getting new timing; new opponent; different look. We haven’€™t even started the season yet. We have a long way to go.’€

On his relationship with Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano:
‘€œI’€™ve known Coach for a long time, and gotten to know him better since he was at Rutgers. Of course, we would go down and scout their players and work them out, that type of thing. We both have a defensive background, so I think we have a lot in common there. He’€™s coached some of our players, going back to Vince [Wilfork] at Miami, guys like that. So we have a long relationship. My son went to Rutgers; I spent more time there watching him play lacrosse but also being around Coach. He’€™s come up to our practices and spoke to our team and observed us on the field, and vice versa. We’€™ve had a good relationship. I have a lot of respect for him and I think this is a great opportunity for him. I’€™m sure he’€™ll do well.’€

On the benefits of having a controlled practice environment as opposed to a game:
‘€œI don’€™t think there’€™s a whole lot of stopping and running it again. I think it’€™s just you run plays against your own team, and that’€™s great, but at the same time we’€™re going to see different looks besides the ones that we have. In all honesty, there are certain plays that we can recognize. Our offense can recognize certain blitzes that we run, our defense can recognize certain formations and motions. They start to anticipate and play the plays, and things like that. We kind of know who are go-to guys are. When you play against a different team, you don’€™t recognize those things as quickly. You have to learn who the go-to players are on the other team and that type of thing. It changes the whole dynamic of the game really, the matchups and the recognition, the anticipation, the communication. It just puts more stress on those areas. And that’€™s the way it is in game conditions. This is really good for us because we just played Monday night and we went through the film yesterday on our game with Philadelphia, so we don’€™t really have much of a scouting report. We haven’€™t watched any film on Tampa. We just know some of the basics and we’€™re going to have to figure it out as we go. But that’€™s good because that’€™s a realistic situation in games: How they’€™re using a particular player, what adjustments we have to make, what looks they gave us, how we would identify and handle those different looks the next time we go out there. This will be a real good learning experience for us on the field in practice, just like it is in a game. We’€™ll do some other stuff tomorrow, other situations, but all those things, they’€™re game experiences without all the game contact and all that. Mentally, technique-wise, communication, coaches having to coach ‘€“ again, [that’€™s] something we haven’€™t had a lot of time to prepare for. That’€™s good for us, too. It sharpens our skills.’€

On if he has to make allowances for players who played in the game on Monday:
‘€œLook, it’€™s training camp. The coaches are tired, the players are tired, but we’€™re going to have a short week during the season. We’€™ve got a Sunday-Thursday game during the season. That’€™s what training camp is for, to suck it up. It’€™s to be mentally tough and whatever situations you have ‘€“ you’€™re tired, you’€™re sore, you didn’€™t get enough sleep, you travel, whatever it is ‘€“ you block that out and you focus on what you can control, which is your performance and your effort. You go out there and you work through it, as a team and individually. That’€™s the way it’€™s going to be during the season. There’€™s going to be plenty of weeks during the season that somebody’€™s going to be tired or somebody’€™s going to be sore or some positions going to be a little short on numbers or whatever it is. You build your toughness and your resiliency and those types of things through training camp and it serves you well during the season. Then you look back during the season and say, ‘€˜You know what? Maybe this alright. We went through a lot tougher stretch than this in camp.’€™ You have the confidence you can do it. I’€™m not really worried about that. These guys came to camp in good condition, we’€™ve had a good camp, they’€™ve worked hard. We’€™re going to put a challenge in front of them and I expect them to meet it.’€

On if the players are more stimulated during joint practices:
‘€œIt’€™s just a different type of challenge. Every practice is a challenge. It’€™s challenging for us to go against each other, but it’€™s challenging for us to go against somebody new, somebody that you don’€™t know as well. Like I said, you’€™ve kind of got to figure it out. When you work against the same guy every day, you know what he can do, you respect it, but you know it. Maybe you’€™re confident in certain things he can and can’€™t do. When you go against a new opponent, you don’€™t know how hard that jab is, how good his hook is, how quick he moves, what it’€™s like to go against him. It forces you to play your techniques better, to be as good as you can at your specific individual fundamental techniques. But then from a team standpoint, your recognition, your communication, really making sure that we’€™re all on the same page and we know exactly what we’€™re doing because we’€™re not as sure about what they’€™re doing as we are working against ourselves where we see it more frequently.’€

On where the team stands with Sebastian Vollmer and Daniel Fells coming off PUP:
‘€œThey’€™re off PUP and they’€™ll began practicing with us. Sebastian’€™s already begun practicing with the team and Daniel will begin practicing with the team. We’€™ll take it day by day.’€

On getting Vollmer and Fells back:
‘€œThey’€™ve both been making good progress and we’€™ve taken another small step. Each day is a small step but in the end all those steps end up covering a lot of ground, and those guys have done that. Taking them off [PUP], this is a small step. Working them into practice gradually is a small step, and if they continue to progress then we’€™ll continue to do more. If we need to back off a little bit, then we’€™ll back off a little bit until they’€™re ready to resume that progress. We’€™ll just take it day-to-day.’€

On if there’€™s a minimum amount of preseason games one needs to evaluate a roster:
‘€œWell, right now I don’€™t really think my opinion matters too much. What I do is take whatever opportunities we have, work with the opportunities and make the most of them, whether it’€™s OTAs, number of days we can be in training camp, what we can do in training camp, preseason games, whatever it is. Whatever those opportunities are, we try to make the most of them and that’€™s it. We’€™ve had no OTAs; we’€™ve had a lot of OTAs’€™ we’€™ve had six preseason games; we’€™ve had four preseason games; we’€™ve had five preseason games, with the Hall of Fame Game; we’€™ve had varying practice schedules, what we can and can’€™t do, all that. Those decisions are all made by a lot of other people besides me. It doesn’€™t really matter what I think so I don’€™t really worry about it. I just take what we have and try to make the most of it. And that’€™s what I’€™ll continue to do.’€

Read More: Bill Belichick,



Player News
2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Patriots Headlines
NFL Headlines
Tips & Feedback