Coach Schiano talked to the media Thursday afternoon about wrapping up two days of practice with the Patriots, playing time for the starters Friday night and his relationship with Bill Belichick.
What did you guys get out of today’s workout?
“It was good. There were a lot of different situations that we got to address. I wouldn’t say we are ready to handle them, but we addressed them. In the next 15 days we better get ready to handle them.”Speaking of the 15 days you have a countdown clock in your locker room what is the significance of it?
“The biggest—you can’t do anything about your opponent. They are who they are. They do what they do. That’s their business. The one enemy that we have is time. We are constantly fighting to use it the best and most efficiently. That’s why the clock is ticking all the time. Now granted you will get used to it if it’s in there all the time, but the numbers are moving and you feel that. Just to kind of subconscious we are racing the clock to get ready.”Is that an encouraging thing, or inspirational thing, or is it a sort of a warning?
“It is what it is. I guess it is something different to everybody depending on where their mindset is.”Will it reset every week?
“Oh yes.”What was your thinking of the way you set the players up in the locker room since noticed they are not in groups?
“There is a reason. That’s just my thoughts on how to mix the team up. I want the team mixed up. You spend so much time with your position group. Right? Then second to that you spend the next amount of time with your unit—offense or defense. We have done several things to try to make everybody know each other [and] understand each other and grow closer as a team.”What are you looking for most of in tomorrow night’s game?
“Well I want to see our operation become more efficient. I want to see us perform. We are going out there. It is a game. We need to perform.”
You talked about this being preseason for your staff as well and how are things coming along and are you guys where want to be as well?
“Well, I don’t know if you say, ‘this is where we want to be’. We are getting better. I think the clock applies to everybody right now. I hope we are a heck of a lot better later in the year then we will be in September. We are trying to be as good as we can be in September.”Will you try to get a look at Jordan Shipley tomorrow and does he know enough about the offense to play?
“Yes, we can kind of spoon feed it in the situations he gets in there. It will be later in the game.”How does he look to you in these first couple workouts?
“Good. He moves well. He is efficient. Natural under the ball in punt returns.”Does he seem to be favoring that knee at all?
“I don’t notice that.”Are you planning to play Donald Penn?
“Oh yes. Yepp.” From a passing game perspective since this we probably be his last best look in a preseason game is it to you for him to be on same page with his receivers and move ball through the air?
“Well, I think move it through the air [or] move it on the ground we got to move the ball period. That’s where we certainly last week were deficient. Most deficient I should say. We are deficient in a lot of areas, but most deficient in just moving the ball. Forget putting it in the end zone. Just moving the ball. So Josh (Freeman) is a big part of all of that. Whether he throws to a receiver or whether he gets us in the right run. All those kinds of things. There is a lot to do. So this will be good. It is going to be a good night for him Friday.”Is there a big difference between coming from a West Coast principle attack to what you’re asking him to do now?
“Yea, there are differences. There are also a lot of similarities. There are only 11 guys so you can only position them in so many different ways, but there are some things that we do that he’s never been exposed to. And then there are some things he used to do that we don’t do. There are a lot of things, being able to see things in the pass game and you have to adjust properly.” Do you anticipate the starters going into the second half tomorrow?
“I think we’ll see our guys play for a little bit. I hate to stand up here and say something and then it not be the case, because you get into a game and like last week, we had nine possession that we defended in the first half. That’s near three quarters. In some games you’re into the fourth quarter with the ninth possession, so to sit here and say they’ll be out and then they don’t go, that’s why I don’t box myself in, but I sure hope if the game goes like a game should that we’re playing them in the second half.” Do you hope to use halftime like you would during a regular season game?
“I’ve said this before but it warrants saying again. I really think halftime adjustments are overrated in a big, big way. I think halftime is for taking care of your personal business, right? Go to the mens room, get a drink and maybe something to eat because you ate three hours before kickoff or four hours before kickoff for some of these guys, now you’ve played now it’s an hour and a half later and you’re looking at possibly five and a half hours since any fuel has been put into your system. You like to go over a couple of things, but I think you have more time than you do at halftime if your offense goes out. If you’re a defensive player and you sit on the bench and your offense goes out and has a 12 or 14-play drive with clock stoppages, real time, its’ a heck of a lot longer than what you have at halftime. And we have pictures that I love getting back to the NFL with pictures. In college your pictures are what you see. Here you actually have Polaroids that you can coach off of so in between every series it should be an ongoing meeting throughout the game. So the fact that you’re in a locker room, you just don’t have a crowd yelling and you’re not out there sitting out in the open air. Other than that, to me it’s one ongoing teaching session.”You and Coach Belichick interacted a lot this morning and do you plan on talking on the phone after all this?
“We kind of talked just about personnel and stuff as we go. I don’t know if we’ll do that. We’ll probably talk just because we talk every once in a while. But I don’t think there’s any structured plan on that. It’s very helpful, though. I really liked practicing with these guys. It’s been very good.”What are you looking for from you defense against Tom Brady?
“Well, you better be precise because he’s going to be precise and they’re going to be precise. So we need to be precise and we need to pressure the quarterback. You can’t let him just stand back there, he’s too good. At the end of the day you’re looking at a first-ballot hall of famer, so he’s as good as you’re going to see, so it’s good for our defense, great work.”Is the no-huddle tempo good for the defense?
“For years, everything trickled down to the college game. Now there are a lot of things that are trickling up and certainly the no-huddle and the gun run game have all kind of trickled up.”
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