|Bill Belichick: Wes Welker is ‘one of our smartest’||09.17.12 at 6:52 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Playing time for Wes Welker, trash talking from Patrick Peterson and the health status of Aaron Hernandez were all subjects at Bill Belichick‘s Monday press briefing at Gillette Stadium.
Belichick debunked one theory about the lack of playing time for Welker. Belichick was asked if the receiver’s departure for several days from the team for a funeral had caused him to behind others in the team’s offense.
“Wes has a lot of experience around here,” Belichick said. “I think he’s one of our smartest and obviously most experienced players. I don’t really see him behind.”
Welker, who was not listed on the injury report, did not start in his customary slot receiver position on Sunday, with Julian Edelman taking his place. Welker played in 63 offensive snaps on Sunday while Edelman took part in 75. Belichick said it’s not unusual for a player like Welker to get fewer snaps than others because of game situations.
“I’m sure you’ve seen us play before. We have different combinations of personnel groups in every game all the time pretty much every week. That’s pretty much the way we run our offense, and we have for quite a while,” Belichick said. “The players we have out there are the ones we feel are best for that particular play, situation, however you want to look at it. That’s the way we set up the plays, the offense. When they’re called, we put that group out there. So, whatever is out there is what we feel is best for our team, that time, that situation.”
Here is the entirety of Belichick’s Q and A with reporters on Monday afternoon:
BB: I think after going through the film last night and this morning, there’s really not a whole lot new from yesterday. Basically, we just didn’t do a good enough job across the board as a team in any area consistently enough to win yesterday. We all just need to do a better job; go back and obviously look at the mistakes and improve on the things that we’re doing, all do them better. I think there’s plenty of room for improvement all the way around. I’m sure that every player and every coach that was involved in the game looked back and sees some things that we could all do a little differently, certainly do a little better. Hopefully the next opportunity we get we’ll be able to improve on that. Just wasn’t a good enough day for us yesterday. It was disappointing but we’ll turn the page and move on.
Q: The Danny Woodhead nine-yard loss – was that setting up for a potential pass?
BB: It was a play that obviously didn’t go the way we wanted it to go. We just didn’t do a good job on it. [We] need to coach it better, need to execute it better – it just wasn’t a good play.
Q: A lot of the players said they did not feel that they practiced well in the week before the game. Is there any reason that they just didn’t have it?
BB: I don’t know, you would have to ask them that. I think practice is practice. Practice never goes perfectly. That’s what practice is for: you work on new things, you work on things that the team you’re playing is doing and you correct those and sometimes you get a chance to run those plays again in practice but usually you really don’t. We just don’t have that many plays by the time you get in all the situation ways – third down, red area, goal-line, short yardage, all the special teams things, second-and-long, second-and-short, all that, you just don’t have time to go back and repeat everything three and four times. There are corrections on every play; that’s what we practice for.
Q: Wes Welker made a reference this morning to the time that he missed due to a death in the family possibly setting him back. I do not know if he is talking terminology or what he’s talking about. Do you sense that he’s still catching up or not in the rhythm he should be in with this offense?
BB: You’d have to ask him about that, I don’t know. I don’t know what terminology you’d be referring to. Wes has a lot of experienced around here. I think he’s one of our smartest and obviously most experienced players. I don’t really see him behind.
Q: With Aaron Hernandez being injured, how does it affect what you can do offensively going forward?
BB: I don’t know. We’ll have to take a look at Baltimore, put together the game plan, do what we feel is best to play the Ravens this week, whatever that is. I don’t know, we haven’t really started that process yet but we’ll do the best we can, take advantage of whatever options we can. Obviously they’re a very good football team. [We’ll] put together whatever we think will work.
Q: Did Aaron Hernandez suffer any broken bones yesterday?
BB: I don’t really have any update on his status yet, I think they’re still looking at him.
Q: How is Dan Connolly coming along?
BB: He was active for the game yesterday, so we’ll take him day-to-day. We’re not practicing today, won’t be practicing tomorrow so we’ll see how things are Wednesday. He wasn’t able to practice last Wednesday; we’ll see where things are at this week.
Q: How did you feel Sterling Moore played yesterday?
BB: I think, as I said in the beginning, I’d put everybody kind of in the same boat. We did some good things out there; there were a lot of positives. There were things we could have done better. I think that goes for all of us. Like is said, there are plays we’d all like to have back, whether it’s a few or more than a few or whatever it is. I think we all feel the same way about that. I’d really put all the players in pretty much that same boat. Some good things, there are other things that could be better and that’s true across the board.
Q: Patrick Peterson mentioned yesterday that Stephen Gostkowski might have been a little scared on the last kick based on how good the Cardinals are at blocking kicks. What’s your reaction to that?
BB: I think they’re a good kick blocking team. We kicked four field goals before that.
Q: What happened on the punt block and the protection? Was it just Nate Ebner missing a block?
BB: No, it was a combination of things. We just didn’t do a good enough job on the play. We need to do a better job all the way around – our technique, our execution. There were several things on that play that could have been and need to be better.
Q: In a situation like that, does Nate Ebner have help or was it just too quick?
BB: Like I said, there were several things that we need to do better on that particular play. There were other plays in the punting game that I’d say the same thing on. There are things that we need to do better, there are things that obviously Nate could have done better but there are other people involved too that could have… we’ll coach that, point it and we’ll get it better.
Q: So if Wes Welker is not behind because of time missed then is it just that there are situations where Julian Edelman is a better option for certain sets and plays?
BB: I’m sure you’ve seen us play before. We have different combinations of personnel groups out there in every game, all the time, pretty much every week. That’s pretty much the way we run our offense and we have for quite awhile. The players that we have out there are the ones that we feel are best for that particular play, situation, however you want to look at it. That’s the way we set up the plays, the offense, when they’re called then we put that group out there. Whatever is out there is what we feel is best for our team for that time, for that play, for that situation.
Q: Do you have any preliminary sense of how long Aaron Hernandez may be out?
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