Patriots head coach Bill Belichick discussed the first Tampa Bay-New England joint practice, the talents of Bucs rookie RB Doug Martin and Greg Schiano's knack of producing NFL players at Rutgers in his Thursday press conference.
New England head coach Bill Belichick spoke with the Tampa Bay, New
England and national media from One Buccaneer Place on Thursday in
advance of the second Bucs-Patriots practice.Belichick's opening statement:
“Thought it was a good day for us yesterday. I think we really got a lot done. We improved our team. Saw a lot of things out there that we haven’t seen. Of course, competing against another team is good for us. We spent a lot of time last night going over the films with the players and as a staff. It’s part of critiquing ourselves as coaches and what we need to do better. Also, the players and how they competed against each other and the different match-ups that we saw in practice yesterday and so forth. I spoke with Coach Schiano and we have some things planned for today that we want to try to get accomplished. I am sure we will have another good day out there. The Bucs are great to work with. The facilities here are outstanding. Their staff and players have been very cooperative. It has been very competitive, but at the same time mutually beneficial. We are getting a lot out of it. Hopefully, we will have another good day out there today.”What was your team’s evaluation of Bucs rookie running back Doug Martin coming out of the draft this year?
“Outstanding player. He does a lot of things well. He can run and catch. Good in the passing game. Good in the running game. Guy is a value on all downs. Solid kid. Hardworking kid.”How is today’s regimen going to be different than yesterday’s?
“It is the day before the game so we will tempo it down a little bit. We have some specific situations that we want to get covered offensively, defensively, and then game – a little more emphasis on those today then yesterday. Yesterday was more kind of the core stuff. You know – first, second and third down. Today we will work on some specific situation – end-of-game things. Kicking situations that might only come up once or twice a season, but we work against those things against each other. We know what we do so if you work against another team you see a different play or a different defense or a different punt rush or whatever it is so it just makes you better prepared for those situations whenever they come up. They are so critical when they do happen.”
How do you think Jeff Demps fared in his first practice?
“It was like his first practice. He has a long way to go.”What criteria goes into doing these joint practices?
“Well I would say the number one thing is not really about beating somebody in practice. It is about working with somebody and getting better. We are not here to try to win a drill or trick Tampa on something. That’s not the point of it. The point is to work on what we want to work on and work on what they are working on so that we can become better. When we walk off the field, we are a better team than we were when we walked on it. That’s the way we practice against each other. We compete against each other, but we compete in a way that we can improve each other. Not get guys hurt. Not get piles or fight and get all caught up in the ‘Did he gain five yards? Did he gain two yards? Did we sack the quarterback? Did we not sack the quarterback’? We pull off and we don’t hit the quarterback. We don’t hit guys. The same way we wouldn’t hit any our guys in practice. We take care of each other, but we work hard. We set up the drills so that they are fair, competitive drills. It’s not tilted one way or the other so that you can have an equal competition or equal evaluation. We made some plays out there. They made some plays out there. Both teams can learn from both those situations. It’s not about going out there and winning the practice. It’s about going out there and improving your team. Making sure that when the players are on the field they are at comparable levels, too. We want to compete both athletically and also schematically with their experienced players and the best players. At the same time, our younger guys and some of our less experienced guys just are not ready to handle some of the things, [but] they should compete against simpler plays [or] simpler formations. They could do something formation-wise or blitz wise that we just are not ready to handle with that group of players. So what good is that that we are not ready for it? We are not ready for it, so okay, they did it because we are not ready for it. So we want to try to compete on an equal level and let the players play. Then as they develop and grow then obviously they will be able to move to that higher lever. You have to evaluate them on what they know how to do first. A lot of things like that go into it. It is just again working together. Not just Greg, but the entire staff has been great to work with. The assistant coaches and the coordinators working together and so forth that we have tried to create game-like situations, but structured in a way that we can get the right people on the field and be competitive with each other. Not get into a situation where somebody is overmatched or undermatched.”You said before that Greg Schiano had players at Rutgers that were NFL-ready. What did he do there that made them NFL-ready?
“I couldn’t tell you that exactly because I was never there in his program. I would just say that he has had a lot of players that have come into the National Football League whether they were drafted or undrafted – whatever it was. A lot of those players play in the National Football League. A lot of other colleges have ‘X’ number of guys in the league, but only a fraction of those actually stay and last in the league as professional players. To me what that showed was that if the player had enough talent, Coach Schiano had the player ready to go to the National Football League. If he didn’t have enough talent, then he didn’t have enough talent. The players that got that opportunity and got that far – there is a very high number of them that are still in the league on a percentage basis. I think that speaks a lot to the program and also the separation and how exactly they did it. You should ask him that. He would know better than I would. I think the professionalism that I have experienced with those players like some of the ones we have had on our team: Devin [McCourty], [Tiquan] Underwood, and [Alex] Silvestro last year. Guys like that they come to work [and] they are ready to practice every day. They are ready to work. They are prepared in meetings. They are in good condition. Football is important to them. They are not looking to cut any corners. They are trying to do their job and usually a little bit extra. I would say that has been the common theme of those players that I have worked with or that we have even scouted coming out of Rutgers. [George] Johnson, who is here. Guys like that. Those guys are guys that do extra. They work hard. They are tough. Football is important to them. That’s why they last as long as they do.”– Scott Reynolds contributed to this report
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