Bill Belichick talks logistics, London with English media
|10.26.12 at 12:21 pm ET|
Bill Belichick met the English media on Friday morning shortly after the Patriots landed overseas, and he touched on a variety of topics — both football and non-football. He did acknowledge that the team brought a few players who could be game-time decisions because of their health.
“We’ll probably have some guys that are game-time [decisions] that we’re not 100 percent sure about. We’ll have to see how that goes,” Belichick said. “We have a lot of guys who are working really hard, getting a lot of extra treatment, coming in early, staying late and doing everything they can to be ready, whether how ready they’ll be, what they’ll be able to do and all, I’m not sure we know that 100 percent.
“Our last practice was Thursday, so that’s still a half week before the game — a lot of times it takes a couple days more than that, sometimes it takes up until game time to really figure that out for sure. We’ll see where some of those guys are.”
While the Rams went over early in the week, the Patriots made the decision not to travel until later, touching down on Friday. Belichick decided not to practice as the team continued to adjust to the time change in anticipation of Sunday’s game against the Rams.
“We’ll get done what we feel like we can get done productively,” Belichick said when asked about the Friday off-day. “We got three days of practice – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday — last week and this week so that’s the three days we normally have. Saturday will be a normal Saturday for us. [Friday] is kind of a transition day.”
Logistically, the trip and travel isn’t easy, but Belichick said it’s something they’ve faced in the past. In the end, the key is making sure you’re ready to go come game day.
“We have normal weeks, we have short weeks, we have travel weeks, we have home weeks, but I think you always try to get to Saturday, Sunday or the day of the game, day before the game, you try to have consistency at that point in the week,” he said. “Sometimes, you have to modify or adjust what happens before that. When you get to game day, you want that to be a fairly consistent routine that the players and the coaches and the organization are comfortable with. Hopefully the day before that, your final preparations are consistent as well. That’s I think the most important part of it.
“Like I said, we’ve played on four-day weeks, three-day weeks, two weeks, 10 days, but in the end it’s the final lead-up to the game that I think is the most important part of the consistency of the week.”
Here are a few other highlights of his Q&A with the media on Friday:
How does this year compare to a few years ago?
“I don’t know, just got here. It’s London. A little overcast, some traffic – it’s like everybody is up and at it this morning.”
Will you be able to do anything in London or is it strictly football?
“I don’t know, we’ll just take it one day at a time here. We’ll see if we can get organized, finish up our preparations on the Rams. We still have a lot of work left to do.”
It’s been 10 years since you beat the Rams in the Super Bowl. What do you remember about that team and that game?
“It was a great moment for our team and our organization. But in all honesty, we’ve kind of put all that behind us. We need to focus on this week’s game. Obviously everything is different. We just have to focus on the present. We need to play better against these NFC West teams; we haven’t done well enough so far. Hopefully we can have a different outcome this time but our focus is in the present. Whatever happens, great. Whatever happened in the past is the past and we have to zero in on what we have to do now.”
What is it about the NFC West division that has caused you some issues?
“We’ve had a little bit of trouble with those games; we just didn’t play well enough. The Rams present a lot of issues. They’re very good defensively: fast, good pass rush team, good coverage team, they have a lot of good corners. Offensively, the running backs are very talented, of course [Steven] Jackson and [Daryl] Richardson. They have an explosive group of receivers. They’re good in the kicking game – good punter, good kicker, good returners. They’re good in every area. They’re very competitive from where they were last year. They’re young but they’re good. They play hard, they’re fast, they’re aggressive so there will be a lot of challenges.”
In your last three games, you’ve been outscored 34-6 in the fourth quarter. How do you prepare to change that?
“We have to do a better job and play four quarters and 60 minutes. Fortunately we were able to outscore our opponents last week in overtime but we have to play 60 full minutes of football. That’s our goal every week. We have to do a better job than we’ve done, no question. We’ll keep working on it and hopefully we’ll have better results this week.”
There have been some issues with racism in English soccer. Can you describe how that’s changed the NFL?
I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
But how has racism changed the NFL?
“I’ve been in the National Football League for 38 years. I think there’s a good rapport and mutual respect all the way around for all different types of lifestyles, races, religions in the league. Professional football in the United States is a very diverse community. People come from all areas of the country, foreign countries, all different races, religions, economic backgrounds, social backgrounds and it all comes together on a football team. I’ve been around it for 38 years and I haven’t seen any changes. I don’t know anything about the soccer league.”
Are you leaving right after the game?
“No, we’re going to leave in the morning.”
Are you excited for the game?
“We’re excited about being in London, we’re excited about playing the Rams, we’re excited to get on the field. We play once a week, so we practice the rest of the week. We have one opportunity every week to go out and perform. It’s always an exciting time, that’s why you put in all the practice and all the hours of preparation and training and everything else, for that one opportunity to play during the week whenever it comes. It’s coming on Sunday in London and we’re excited to play, as we are every week.”
The Olympics were here this year. Do you think football could ever be an Olympic sport?
“You’d need to some other teams, some other countries to play.”
What about Canada and the CFL?
“I don’t know. That’s a long way down the road. I haven’t seen a lot of international football [at the level] where our football is, but maybe someday.”
Do you think the Rams are a better team this year than they were previously?
“Yeah, I think Coach Fisher has done a real good job with that team this year. Just watching them all the way through the preseason and their seven regular season games, I think they’re very young, they’re one of the youngest teams in the league, they might be the youngest team in the league but their players are improving on a weekly basis. Their overall chemistry and execution as a team, you can see that from the beginning of the season to now we’re kind of at the halfway point. Obviously they’ve worked hard, they’re well coached, they have a lot of good players. You can definitely see them getting better on a weekly basis. Jeff’s done a real good job.”
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