Bill Belichick looking forward to working with Greg Schiano again
|08.12.13 at 3:06 pm ET|
FOXBORO — As they did with the Eagles, the Patriots will scrimmage and practice with the Buccaneers before Friday’s preseason opener at Gillette Stadium. The big different this week will be the fact that the Patriots face Tampa Bay in just over a month when it counts – in Week 3 of the regular season – at Gillette Stadium.
Bill Belichick does have a lot of familiarity with Greg Schiano, as the two held joint practices last year in Tampa before their preseason game. And, of course, Schiano was a long time head coach of Rutgers, where Belichick’s son played as long snapper and several current Patriots played in college.
“Well, we know we play them again,” Belichick said. “Schiano and I talked about it and think there’s a couple of things we feel like we’ve just assumed to not work with, work on. But there’s plenty of other things we need to work on, so we’ll do that.”
Belichick said he embraces another chance to go against a team in practice with a different look, noting the Bucs used a base four-man front defensively while the Eagles primarily use three down linemen.
“The schedule we’re on is what we have so we’ll use to the best we can,” Belichick said. “The following week, when we have the whole week to work just here with ourselves, we’ll try to get the most out of that too.”
The Patriots play in Detroit Aug. 22 before finishing up six days later against the Giants at Gillette Stadium.
Quarterback Ryan Mallett, who sustained a head injury when taking a blow to the face from Eagles defensive lineman Damion Square, was back on the field Monday afternoon for practice. He was joined by defensive backs Ras-I Dowling and Alfonzo Dennard, both of whom missed Friday night’s game in Philadelphia.
Here is the remainder of Belichick’s press conference from Monday:
“This is another big week for us. We had a good week down there with Philadelphia. Today is a day we can work on some things ourselves and try to get a few loose ends tied up which we need to do then start tomorrow with three good days against Tampa. That should be another good experience for our team; good opportunity for us to do a lot different things and see somebody new. [We’re] excited about the opportunity this week. Like I said, we have a lot to do, a lot we can accomplish and hopefully our team will be able to take advantage of this opportunity to straighten things out today and then work against the Bucs the next three days.”
Q: What is the biggest thing that you took out of your time with the Eagles and what do you look to take out of your time with the Bucs?
BB: Just moving ahead as a football team. I don’t think it’s any one thing. It’s a combination of working on our scheme against somebody else, seeing somebody else’s schemes, seeing the matchups, different matchups all the way across the board, seeing different things in the kicking game, going over situations – it’s all good, it all helps. I don’t think there’s any one thing you can say, ‘Well, this is 80 percent of it.’ Incrementally everything is important. Same thing going forward: we’ll see another good football team that obviously does things differently than we do and that will be good for us to see. Tampa is a four-man line, Philadelphia is primarily a three-man line so that alone. Same thing offensively: Philadelphia’s offense, Tampa’s offense are quite different but it’s good, we need to see them.
Q: Does the fact that Tampa is on your schedule in the regular season, especially early in the season, change the dynamic of anything you do this week?
BB: Maybe a little bit, but I don’t think we can worry too much about that. I think we have to concentrate on moving ahead as a football team. We need to be a better football team at the end of the week. That’s what our goal is. We’ll worry about the regular season game when that comes. We have to prepare our team for the opener for the 16-game regular season schedule. That’s what we’ll do. We had a great working week with them last year. I hope for the same thing this year.
Q: How does it alter it, even if slightly?
BB: Just we know we play them again. Coach Schiano and I have talked about it. I think there are a couple things we feel like we’d just as soon not work on, but there are plenty of other things that we need to work on so we’ll do that.
Q: Would you say you’re better equipped to evaluate watching your guys go against another team in practice as opposed to your team every day?
BB: There are advantages to both. The schedule we’re on is what we have and we’ll use that the best we can. The following week when we have the whole week to work, just here with ourselves, then we’ll try to get the most out of that too.
Q: Are you pretty pleased with the tight end unit overall, especially the rookie?
BB: I think this will be a big couple of weeks for all of our rookies. Now that we’ve been through most of our installation, we’ve been through a game, they have a better idea of what to expect. There’s not a lot of new installation. A lot of it is going back over things we’ve already put in. There a couple new things we have to deal with but probably 90 percent of it is some type of review or application of something we already know how to use it. We’ve been through a practice week, we’ve been through a game so we’ll see how the rookies do; how the young guys do with it. [If] they’re able to take that experience and build on it or whether they can’t, or how well they do it. I think these next couple of weeks are big evaluation times for them. The first week is always good to see but at the same time, we all learn the first time we do something, how to do it better the next time hopefully. We’ll see if that’s the case going forward here the next couple weeks with our younger guys, or guys who are in their first year in our system.
Q: What are your impressions of punter Ryan Allen so far?
BB: I think he’s had a solid spring and training camp. It’s a competitive situation. He does a lot of good things. Like everybody, we’re all striving for more consistency. He’s had some good plays, good punts but he’s very competitive.
Q: What drew you to bring in a second punter?
BB: We usually have two specialists. We had two kickers earlier in camp in the spring; we had two snappers, we had two punters. At other times, we’ve had two. Occasionally we end up with one but if we can go with a couple guys, then we do that.
Q: One of the long snappers got cut and came back, one of the kickers is gone. Is the fact that he’s still here a positive reflection of his play thus far?
BB: Every team has people coming on and off their roster at this time of year. I wouldn’t overanalyze that.
Q: How was his operation when he had the chance to hold on Friday night?
BB: I think that’s been OK. He needs more experience in working with Danny [Aiken] and Steve [Gostkowski]. I don’t think we’re there yet but he’s doing alright.
Q: The Eagles cornerback admitted he started that fracas with Aaron Dobson. Do you think that’s garbage?
BB: I don’t know. I didn’t even see it.
Q: He basically said the Patriots –
BB: We’ve moved on. We’re coming to Tampa.
Q: He said the Patriots were practicing dirty. Is that something you feel the need to respond to?
BB: We’ve moved on.
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