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bill belichick football quotes

"Once players understand concepts, you have the flexibility to interweave the concepts into sound, fundamental plays that deal with the concepts an offense throws at you. If you can take 75 plays and boil them into 10 concepts, then a player only needs to learn 10 things before he can get out on the field." si, jan 2007

on when you set your defense "The two things you can control on defense when you make the call in the huddle is down-anddistance and personnel. So you know what the down and distance is, you know what personnel they have in the game and so now you make your call. Now, at that point you could have a call that just plays against everythingor you could have a call that maybe plays like this against one set and like something else in another set. Like if they lineup one back in the backfield you play one thing, if they lineup two backs in the backfield you play something else, or if they lineup in a slot formation you play one coverage or one deal and then if they lineup at something else you play something else. So there could be an element of that where even once you see the formation then you check the defense based on formation. So really the two elements you always have are down-and-distance and personnel, and then once you see the formation you have some ability to adjust your defense at that point." 17 sept 2007 if he regards extra points as automatic "No, I don't think it's automatic play by any stretch. I think it's an important play. When I watch a team, one of the first things that I look for when I'm looking at a team for the first time, we're getting ready to play the team 'X', you go through and you look at the team, I always watch their field goal and extra point rush. I think that gives you a good indication of what type of team and what type of effort they have. You see teams on the extra points where if they want to consider it automatic and just stand and watch the guy kick it, I think that tells you one thing about the competitive level of the team and that unit. Then there are other teams that it's an extra point and I tell you, you better buckle up because they're going to roll you over. You might have just scored on them, but now you're going to have to work hard if you want this extra point. I think that says a lot about the competitiveness and the toughness of some of the individual players on that team, and the overall team. Because a lot of times when you watch that play, you don't see everybody on the rush going at 100 percent maximum effort. You might see some players going at maybe their best effort, and there might be other guys that might be a little bit less than that. I think that starts to give you a little bit of an indication of what some of those players are about, as well. Without trying to over dramatize the play, I'm just saying when I look at it, it means something to me." 28 dec 2006 differences in the fundamentals of ball security "Some players have certain preferences and feel more confident having the ball in a certain hand or maybe catching it a certain way. If they're able to do that successfully and consistently, then I don't have any problem with that. That's not the way I would teach it necessarily to a young player who didn't have a preference that was a habit for him. Again, it goes back to my experience with a player like Everson Walls who did a lot of things that weren't technically probably the way you would teach. It definitely wouldn't be the way you would teach a young defensive back to do them. The guy had 56 career interceptions. I think there's a certain amount of latitude for a player within techniques and his playing style, as long as he can do it productively and effectively. Basic fundamentals of catching the ball, depending on where the ball is located, proper hand placement, thumbs together, thumbs apart,

securing the ball at the three points of contact, the nose of the ball, the outside forearm, rib cage, playing with good body lean. There are a million things that go into it and you teach all of those things and you teach them from day one. Again, some players don't do all of those things by the book, just like some passers throw three-quarter sidearm. Some receivers don't always use great hand placement or they body catch a little bit, but if they're consistently productive, then you can accept some of those things." 22 dec 2006 the defensive line and the linebackers "It definitely all starts up front. It all starts up front. If you're playing linebacker, for you to play consistently, the guy in front of you has to play consistently. If he doesn't do his job consistently, then you're always kind of playing off of him. Do you go wider? Do you go tighter? Do you back up? You never really know where the guy is going to be on different blocking schemes and it's hard for you to play consistently. If you know where that person is going to be, then it allows you to play aggressively because you're confident in where he's going to fit on different running plays and you can attack your responsibility. It starts on the defensive line and it works back to the next level at linebacker and it works back to the next level in the secondary. In order to be consistent and be good on defense, it has a start up front. It has to start up front. If it doesn't, if you're not consistent there, then it's just going to roll down hill and pick up speed. If you're good up front, then that gives you a chance to be consistent in the areas that play behind you. Just like the secondary when they come up in their run force, they're depending on the outside linebackers. If they know where the outside linebackers are going to be, then they can fit off of them and play aggressively in the right spot. If they don't, they always have to wait and see where the linebackers are going to show up and they can never really go where they're supposed to go because you can't count on linebackers to be there. So it's the same thing. Anytime you're playing behind somebody, it's hard for you to be consistent at the second level until they're consistent at the first level. That's just fundamental football." 06 dec 2006 expectations "I try not to have too many expectations with players. I'd rather just coach them and see what they can do." 27 nov 2006 what makes a good holder "A good holder is a player that, first of all, has good hands, and second of all, can get the ball right on the spot on a consistent basis. If that ball is off the spot forward, backward, sideways then that affects the kick and that increases the margin of error. Ideally, you'd just like to place the ball on [one of] those little holders there where you place the ball and the kicker walks off his steps. It's like teeing it up on the driving range. But the snap and the hold and getting the ball right on that spot, it's never exactly on it; there's always a little variation, but you want it there as closely as possible. And when the holder looks up to get the snap and then takes the snap then reaches down and re-spots it and puts the proper lean on it and all that, sometimes the snapthere's a little variation in that. So to get the ball right there for the kicker, that's a big part of the operation. And when it's not there, then the kicker, who's already kind of left off his right foot right, or is leaving off his right foot right as the ball is being spotted, then whatever variation there is in the hold, he has to try to make that adjustment between the time his right foot leaves the ground and his left foot hits it so he can have a consistent plant and kick. It's definitely a skill. And really the only way to watch a holder is to have a good closeup film, where you have your cameraman at an angle where the holder is really the whole guy in the picture, because that is the margin of error on the hold and the lean of the ball and so forth. That is how you try to coach it and shoot it. It's sort of hard. You can see it with the naked eye, but it's a lot better when you get good, close-up, slow-motion film." 24 nov 2006

when asked what he thought the major differences were between offensive game-planning against a 3-4 as opposed to a 4-3 defense "I think it depends on what type of defense you're playing against. There are a lot of different versions of a 3-4 and a 4-3. You have 4-3 teams that are over and under teams, that are blitz zone teams, that are man-to-man coverage teams, that are pretty much zone teams that mix them. Same thing with 3-4 defenses. So I think it really depends on not so much what front they line up in, but what style of play they have and what you're going to try to do with it how to attack it from a coverage standpoint and how to deal with the pass protections and your assignments in the running game. And again, that to me really depends a lot more on how they play it than what they initially line up in." 22 nov 2006 explaining Cover-2, Cover-3, and Cover-4 "Those numbers signify how many players are in the deep part of the field. So in Cover-2 you have the two safeties that are in the deepest part of the field and basically five players in the underneath zone. In [Cover-] 3, you have three players in the deep part of the field and basically four players in the underneath zones. And in 4-coverage, you have four players potentially in the deep part of the field if they send four receivers deep; if they only send three receivers deep then you'd only have three and if they only send two, you'd only have two. But it's how many players defend the deep part of the field and that, naturally, is reciprocal to how many players you have defending the underneath areas. So if they're throwing short, you'd like to be Cover-2 and have that extra guy down there. If they're throwing deep, you'd like to be in Cover-4 and be able to carry four vertical receivers. If you want to be somewhere in the middle, then that's kind of Cover-3. So that's sort of where that comes from." 20 nov 2006 about Vince Lombardi "It was a little bit of a different game when he coached it. I think the big thing with Lombardi was that he was all about execution. It wasn't like they'd had a lot of new or exotic plays or things like that. Pretty much everybody knew what they were going to do, but they had a hard time stopping it. They had good players, and he was a very disciplined coach and they executed their plays extremely well on a consistent basis. So whether it be [Bart] Starr and the passing game, or [Paul] Hornung and [Jim] Taylor and the offensive line and the running game, or with [Ray] Nitschke and [Willie] Davis and all those guys on defense. They were just a solid, consistent, week after week...like the [Don] Shula teams were, except I thought that the Shula teams had a lot more variety, kind of a little bit of the Paul Brown-type of offense and defense where it seemed like they were more innovative and creative. And I'm not taking anything away from anybody, I'm just saying it was just a contrast in styles."

about Lombardi saying that only two things mattered in football, blocking and tackling "I think they're very important. I think that throwing and catching and covering have a lot more to do with it now than they did 40 or 50 years ago. Without blocking and tackling you can't block and you don't have much on offense; and if you can't tackle, you don't have much on defense. So it has to start there, no question about it. But I think that the skills that we see on a weekly basis in this league, as it relates to the passing game, they're pretty important too." 16 nov 2006 protecting the quarterback "Tell me a game where the quarterback hasn't been hurried. Let me know when one of those games comes along so I make sure I identify it. Every quarterback gets hurried and every quarterback gets hit. You want it to be as few as possible. Sometimes you break down on your protection or your pickup, sometimes they have a free guy and you have to get the ball off before he gets there and he still gets there. There are a lot of different things that can happen. You always want your protection to be better. But the best way to protect the quarterback is to have a big lead, run the ball, and throw it

when you feel like throwing it because they're not really rushing, they're playing the run. So if you can ever get into that situation, that's the best way to protect your quarterback. But that's not always the situation you're in." 13 nov 2006 playing time "As players have heard me say many times, they don't control playing time, they control their performance when they're on the field. Coaches control playing time. That's what a coach's job is: call plays, make substitutions, prepare the team. A player's job is to be ready to play when he's called on. And when he's called on and gets the opportunity, go out there and play the best he can. That's what every player's job is. They're all told the same thing." 13 nov 2006 a particular player's potential to be a good leader "First of all, I think every player on our team has leadership qualities. They have different styles some guys are vocal, some guys aren't, some guys lead more by example, other guys get more into groups and kind of work with groups and kind of bring them together. So that's an individual type of thing. But I think in terms of Ellis' [Hobbs] work ethic, his toughness, his competitiveness, his real ability to want to help the team and want to play well and play within the team concept, I think those things are definitely positives. But I think every player in that locker room has leadership ability. Any person in any group has the ability to be a leader, and that leadership comes with their attitude, it comes with their preparation, it comes with their work ethic. If somebody is prepared to work and they come in and work hard and they are committed to the group, whatever it is, then how can the group not respect him and not see that as positive leadership? That's kind of what we feel about our team. But I would see that in any group, I think." 09 nov 2006 playing an opponent who is coming off of a bye week "Each team normally has seven days to prepare after the game's over on Sunday night. So the challenge from Monday or Tuesday, whichever day you want to say is your starting point, until let's say Sunday at kickoff, is which team is better prepared? And one team is better prepared than the other. I don't know which one it is, but one of them has to be better prepared than the other based on their film study, their meetings, their practice sessions and so forth. And then you go out there and play the game. So you can gain an edge on your opponent in those practice opportunities and meeting opportunities. Again, it's hard to measure, but hey, they have the same amount of time as you do; who is doing more with it?" 06 nov 2006 getting over a loss "You get to a certain point where you're done, you've mourned, you've had the funeral. It's time to bury it and move on and get on with the next game. That's the only choice." 06 nov 2006 playing the same team twice in one season "I think you can take the information and analyze what happened in other games, but ultimately it doesn't really matter what happened last week or last year. The only thing that matters is what's going to happen this Sunday, and how the two teams this Sunday compete against each other and how they play. It doesn't matter who the better team is, it doesn't matter who has a better record, it doesn't matter how many Pro Bowl players one team has or the other team doesn't have, it just matters how good you can go out and play this week. I think that's really where I try to generate my energy, and our coaches do, is how to get our team to play its best football collectively on Sunday afternoon." 18 oct 2006

why some guys are better at punt return than kickoff return "It's a totally different skill. The ball handling is different punts are harder to handle than kickoffs. On kickoffs, you catch the ball and run, whatever, 15 or 20 yards before you really run into any opponents. On punt returns, a lot of times you have a guy right on top of you as soon as you catch the ball. So you're talking about a different skill, a different amount of space. Speed is a factor getting back up the field on kickoff returns. Where a lot of times on punt returns, speed is not a factor until you can get into the open field and get running. So quickness is an issue, to be able to make somebody miss who is right on top of you and get away from the guy in a short space. Obviously, it's good to have all three. It's good to have strength, speed, and quickness, and then no matter what you're dealing with, you have a good way to handle it, if you have the ball in your hands. But if you only have one or two of those I mean, I'm sure they're all good for all returners, but I'm saying really at the exceptional level, like with [Miami Dolphins WR Wes] Welker. He's very fast and he's very quick, so he's tough on kick returns because he builds so much speed and he's so fast hitting the hole, and he's quick to make people miss. Whereas on punt returns, he's quick to make people miss and then once he gets a little bit of space then he's fast, and that's where a fast punt returner is really dangerous, because when you're covering a punt, you just aren't covering with as many fast people as you are with a kickoff you have a snapper, you have a punter there, you don't have the kind of leverage that you have on a kickoff, where everybody is balanced and running down the field. You have guys coming off blocks, and they're trying to get into their lanes, and it's just not as clean. So you hardly ever start with the coverage fanned out like you do on kickoffs, where it's all fanned out and then it condenses. On a punt, you get guys banged around, so you have too many people over here and not enough over there, and you're kind of trying to weave back into the lanes. Like I said, you're covering them with bigger players because they have to protect, whereas on kickoffs you're just looking for guys that can run and play in space. You have a better team covering kickoffs, athletically and speed-wise, usually than you do covering punts. Plus, like I said, you don't have a long snapper out there, so you have one more guy." 06 oct 2006 the practice squad "Those guys are important because they show the complementary group kind of what to expect, and run the plays as close as we can get them to the way that ... whoever our opponent is does it. Those guys are an important part of the team. They kind of go unmentioned and unsung a little bit because they don't play in the games. In terms of preparing the team, both on a scheme basis, showing the team the way the players look, and also individually after practice, like if you want to work on something with a particular player against a speed rush or against a certain type of route or blitz pickup, then those guys do a great job of that, too. They're really an important part of the team even though, again, they don't play. What they do to prepare the team to play is very important. ... They're certainly aware of the things that we're doing because we've all seen, just like last week ... how on Saturday they could be called up and be playing on Sunday. We also try to make them aware in some other individual meetings and stuff like that, kind of aware of what the opponents do and how they do it so that they can simulate that in practice." 05 oct 2006 the passing game "What the passing comes down to is the timing and execution. That's true of every team in this league. It doesn't matter what level you throw the ball at. It's a combination of the throwing and the catching of the skill players and the protection of the blockers, which includes backs and tight ends. If a team pressures, they are involved in the protection, too. What you want to do is protect the quarterback. Whether you're throwing three-step drop or seven-step drop or whatever the pattern is, protect him long enough so he can drop back and get set and throw the ball on time. The receivers need to get open and come open on time when the quarterback is ready to throw. Not a second before he's ready, not a second after he's ready. That's just not the way to do it. You might get away with one here or there, but that's not the way to do it. So all of that needs to be synchronized and if it

is, then you have a well executed passing game. If it isn't, then something's going to go wrong. We are all part of that. Sometimes the receiver is open and the quarterback can't throw. Sometimes the quarterback can throw and the protection is good and the receiver is not able to get open on the route, or the distribution of the receivers is wrong and then the quarterback doesn't have a clear throwing lane. Sometimes the guy drops the ball. Sometimes the quarterback makes a bad throw. Sometimes it gets tipped. There's a lot of things that could happen in the passing game. If you throw the ball well, you're completing in the mid-60s, the high 60 percents. Not 90 percent, that's a good passing game. You're completing 68, 67 percent of your passes, that's good. If you're the best passing team in football, you're probably going to miss one out of three. The difference between hitting one or two more per game is the difference between having an okay passing game and having a good passing game." 04 oct 2006 the father of pro football "Paul Brown really, to me, he's the father of pro football. There are so many things that he did as a coach, with the Browns and the Bengals, it's what we do now. He was half a [century] ahead of his time in so many areas preparation, plays, techniques, communication, nomenclature. Pretty much everything that is done in the NFL, he did. Now, there are different systems, there are different ways of doing it, but nobody did it before he did. A lot of what we do now really has its roots with Paul. The West Coast Offense, that clearly is Paul Brown's offense. That's what he ran. All the elements that have trickled through in the various decades, that's really the origin of it. But preparation, scouting, game-planning, taxi squad, draw and screen passes, blocking techniques he did it all." 29 sept 2006 how a defensive back can overcome the size differential against a taller receiver "The first thing is position, and the second thing is timing. It's not always about who's the tallest guy, but it's timing and how much you're able to elevate and get up there to the highest point. It's like rebounding in basketball. You get a guy like Charles Barkley that led the league in rebounding at, what was he, 6'4"? You don't have to be 7'2" to lead the league in rebounding. You have to be able to jump, you have to be able to get position, you have to be able to get the ball that's true whether you're a receiver or a defensive back. It's not all about height. That can be an advantage, but unless that guy is also the highest jumper and has the best timing and best hands and all that, that may not necessarily be an advantage. It may just be part of an advantage, not the total picture." 27 sept 2006 if the quarterback reads the receiver's body movement "That's what a good receiver should do. A good receiver should, with his body movement, basically be telling the quarterback, 'I'm getting ready to make my break. Now is when you want to throw me the ball.' Without anybody saying a word, that's kind of what the quarterback should see and that's what the receiver should do. He should give some type of an indication to the quarterback, 'Get ready because this is where I'm going to make my break. This is where I'm going to make my move.' That's what the passing game is." (This press conference includes an in-depth explanation about the technique of receivers.) 22 sept 2006 if players keep books on the guys they go up against "When you play against a player, you want to do your preparation on him [and] keep it on record. The next time you go against that guy, whether it's with that team or somebody else, there's going to be certain things that are going to carry over. The scheme might be different, but the player is still going to have his basic physical strengths and weaknesses, and he'll probably use some of the same techniques on his routes, whether it's head-faking or stuttering, uppercut release or swim release, whatever their techniques are. I think that's across the board, whether it's linemen against linemen, or wide receivers against DBs, tight ends against outside linebackers. I think that's what a good football

team and good football players do. I think they should all do that." 22 sept 2006 playing good defense "Defense don't make it too complicated. Our job on defense is to get the guy with the ball. That's it. It doesn't matter who's got it, where he's got it, our job is to get him and get him down. If you haven't done that, then you're not playing good defense. Whoever's got it, we've got to get him down. Whether we trip him up by a shoestring, whether we wrap him up and have a perfect form tackle that ends up on the highlight reel however you get them if you get them, then that's good. If you don't get them...you could do ten things right on a play and then miss a tackle and it's a bad play. You can do ten things right in covering a receiver, and then miss-play the ball or miss-time the jump or something let him take it away from you and the guy gains whatever it's a bad play. So, finishing plays on defense, making the tackle, getting the guy with the ball, like I said, don't make it too hard. If we do that, then it's a good play. If we don't, then we're not going to be happy with it." 21 sept 2006 the biggest challenge of defending the no-huddle "Communication, whichever side of it you are on. If you were running it or you were defending against it, everything goes a little bit quicker. You just have to have communication with all 11 players, however that's done. When you huddle, it's a little bit easier because you have them all right there, although a lot of times that changes after the huddle breaks anyway based on if the offense is audibling, if the defense is checking a coverage or whatever. I think the big thing is communication." 13 sept 2006 stopping the opponent on fourth down "I think it's like a turnover. A fourth down stop is like a turnover. A missed field goal is like a turnover. Those plays don't go down as turnovers, but they really are. It's no different if you intercepted a pass or recovered a fumble. Of course, the key thing after that [is being] able to do something with it offensively. " 10 sep 2006 reactionary football "Defensive football is reactionary football. No matter what position you play, you have to, in some degree, react to what the offense is doing. That's every position across the board. Whereas offensively, you're playing more assignment football. Based on where they are there's a certain thing we've got to do to execute the play, and you follow that assignment. Then as you do that, then you have to react to the defense moves after the snap which a lot of times they do, so then that becomes reactionary. But I think defensively, really, it's all reactionary. I mean, yeah, you have a basic assignment, but that assignment, there's no way it can be the same on every play. It depends on what the offensive guy does, what your offensive keys do. Then, you have certain reactions to those actions. ... But each player has a little bit different playing style. Even though you give a player a certain basic assignment on the play, it can vary from individual to individual on, sometimes, how they play it, or because of their strengths or weaknesses in their particular playing style, or physical abilities or whatever it is. One guy might play it a little bit differently from the next guy but still play within the framework of his responsibility." 24 aug 2006 two-a-days in training camp "When we went to training camp at Baltimore [in 1975]...it went from July 5 until the middle of August. It was like six weeks of two-a-days. I look at the two-a-days in the league now and it's like six, seven or eight days. It varies a little bit from team to team, but that's about the average number. These guys have no concept of what training camp was 30 years ago. You can't tell them that, I tell them that but they don't really want to hear that." 28 jul 2006

what a good football player is all about "It was certainly a great opportunity for me to have the privilege I really mean that, the privilege to coach Harry. He's as easy a player as there ever was to coach. He's well prepared, worked hard, and always put the team first. That's really what, to me, a good football player is all about." 18 july 2006 consistency "I think it's always easier for everybody when there's consistency around them. That doesn't let them off the hook, but it makes it easier to execute their assignment when everybody else is consistently doing a better job with what they're doing." 05 jan 2006 about the coaching staff he assembled in Cleveland "It was special and I knew that at that time. I told the owner that several times too, when he had some questions about how the coaching was going. I thought it was a pretty good staff then and you could throw a lot of other people in there with that too. The Chuck Bresnahans and other guys that are coordinators like that, Jimmy Schwartz. You can just go right down the line. Scott O'Brien. There are a lot of good coaches there. Rick Venturi. Jim Bates. Jacob Burney. You could start a list on a lot of them. Hey, not that we didn't make mistakes in Cleveland. I made plenty of them and there were certainly things that we could've done better, but I don't think the quality of the coaching staff was the major problem there. I definitely wouldn't say that. I do take pride in that. They are good coaches and I learned a lot from a lot of them, most of them. I learned a lot from Nick. Nick is a great coach. He brought some ideas and brought some things to that programs that we certainly wouldn't have had without him. That was a great learning experience for me. I know he said he learned things in Cleveland, but I might have learned more from him than he learned from me. I'll tell you that. He's really a good coach. He did a great job. He brought a lot of good things to that program." 29 dec 2005 on-field celebrating "Jim Brown and I talked about this. He feels as soon as the play is over, you should be thinking about the next one. There were times when Jim played that he was slow getting back to the huddle, and it might have looked like something other than it was, but in his mind, as he was walking back, he was already getting himself into the proper mind-set to think about the next situation." Belichick said spontaneous celebrations are fine, but staged antics have no place on the field. "This is the way I was brought up. It's the only way I've ever seen it. At the Naval Academy, it was all about teamwork and what the team embodied." 25 dec 2005

about record-holding receiver Don Hutson "We were just going over a little history. Going back a little ways. Don Hutson, we were talking about a real receiver. He still holds 10 NFL records. With Jerry Rice and Steve Largent and all of the other guys that have played, can you imagine him still holding 10 records? ... He revolutionized the game ... He was the first receiver. The first guy that really ran pass patterns. He really ran patterns and was kind of the forerunner to Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry, there were a lot of guys in between, but you know guys that actually ran routes as opposed to just go out and throw them the ball, split out. It was pretty revolutionary." 09 dec 2005 mental errors "Mental mistakes are always an issue with every team. You're always trying to minimize them, and the fewer you have the better off you are. Sometimes you have them and they don't hurt you. Sometimes you make a mental error, but the play is such that it doesn't matter, it doesn't hit that point. There are

other times when it does. Our goal every week is zero. I'm sure that is every team's goal. Probably no team ever hits it, but that's the goal of every week. You want to go in there and try not to have any mental assignments. If you get beat, you get beat physically but you don't get beat mentally. That's what everybody tries to do. But there are always going to be some things and they try to create them. That's what the other team tries to do. They game-plan you and try to put you in a stress situation where you have to make a call, you have to make an adjustment, you have to do something on the run, and sometimes you don't get it. Have we had them? Yeah, we've always had them and I'm sure we always will have them. We'll never be satisfied with them; [we'll] always try to get them out of there. Unfortunately, it's like dropped balls or missed tackles or guys slipping down on the ground. Unfortunately that stuff is going to happen to every team. You just want to have it as few as possible." 02 dec 2005 overcoming inconsistency "You keep working on it. You keep stressing the things that are important to your team playing good, consistent football. All of those things. Knowing the play. Communication. Technique. Assignment. Certain things to anticipate on different plays or against different looks. All of the fundamentals of leverage and hand placement. All of those things. In the end, that's what leads to good football, is doing all the little things right. So you keep coaching those. You keep working on them." 02 dec 2005 the most important aspect of dealing with players "Be direct with them. Don't tell them what they want to hear, but rather the way that it is." 20 nov 2005 what coaching is "I think coaching is getting the player to do the right thing in the right situation, and, make the right judgment.... It's about decision-making. That's read, recognition, and decision-making." 17 nov 2005 preparation "That's how we prepare for every game, is that we expect for it to come down to critical situations at the end of the game. We need to understand how those teams historically, or by our scouting report, play in those situations what they do, what we should be prepared for and we work on that. We work on the 2-minute offense, when we're behind and need to score. We work on the 4-minute offense, when we're ahead and are trying to protect the lead. We work on different kicking situations, no-huddle field goals, last rush, all those kinds of things that it could come down to, those kinds of game-deciding type plays. We work on those every week. Because, again, the expectation is that in this league, when half the games are going to be decided by less than a touchdown anyway just playing the percentages that's the type of game you're going to be in an awful lot. You'd better be ready for all those situations, because that could decide the outcome." 11 nov 2005 intimidation "I think what's intimidating on a football field is good team football. That's what's intimidating. When you have everybody playing well together and complementing each other and have a good complementary game and the whole team working together as a unit, whether it's offense, defense or special teams, or all three of them, working collectively. I think that's really what the hardest thing is for an opponent to deal with, as opposed to waving a towel or that type of deal." 20 oct 2005 execution "If you can execute the play and make it work, then you're going to create your own momentum. If you don't, then there's only so much that can come externally. It's got to come from the execution on the

field or the play sequence that you choose to employ at that point." 17 oct 2005 defensive football "What you need to think about is how do I defeat the guy who is assigned to block me? That's what defensive football is really about. Everybody is assigned to block somebody, how do I defeat him and get to the ball? Not, 'Where is the shortcut? How can I cut across this lot and get to that point without having to walk all the way around the sidewalk?' Well you know what? There's a fence there. It just doesn't work that way. You have to do that and you have to deal with whatever is in your way as you meet it. You interview these guys coming out of college, 'How do you see yourself as a defensive player?' [They will answer,] 'I can run to the ball, like when I'm just set free. I can cut it lose in pursuit.' Great. [There are] 11 guys on defense who would love to have that. Nobody blocks them. They just run free. They make the tackle. It's so ridiculous.... "They just have no concept of reality in a lot of cases. In the end they might be good athletes, but a lot of those guys are really not very good football players because they don't understand what being a defensive football player means. You have to deal with somebody along the way. 'Well they blocked me and that's why I couldn't make the play.' Well, yeah, they're going to try to block you. Your job is to not get blocked. Not, 'Well they blocked me, so somebody else needs to make the play.'... "The right answer to the question is the way that Pepper Johnson played football. And his attitude, [was] 'You can't block me. I'm here. Go ahead. You can't block me.' That's the way it should be for everybody. 'You can't block me. You want to cut me? I'm going to get over that cut block. You want to come in and be physical with me? I'm going to knock you out of there. You want to run outside? I'm going to run you down. I know you have somebody assigned to me. That doesn't mean anything.' Everybody has somebody assigned to them. Just the way Pepper would talk to the secondary. He was great. You couldn't ask to coach a better guy than Pepper. [He would say,] 'You guys just stay out of our way. We'll handle the running game. Just get out of the way. We don't need any of your help. They're not going to block me. They're not going to block...' right down the line, 'Jim Burt, [Lawrence] Taylor, Harry [Carson], [Carl] Banks. You guys just stay out of the way. We'll handle the running game. They're not going to block all of us. They might get one of us every once in a while, but they can't block us. You guys just cover the pass.' Really that's the way Taylor looked at it. That's the way Banks looked at it. They knew there were guys assigned to block them. You think they were going to run a play and let Lawrence Taylor go unblocked? 'You can't block me.'" 14 oct 2005 penalties "All of the penalties fall into basically four categories, other than a few random plays. It's four categories. So if you can ever improve in one of those four categories, or improve in all four of them, then you would be the least penalized team in the league.... Block in the back in the kicking game. Offensive holding. Defensive-pass type of penalties interference, illegal contact, holding, whatever you want to call that stuff. Then line of scrimmage penalties false starts, illegal motion, the plays that involve a lineman at the line of scrimmage. Too many guys in the backfield, all of that. That's what it comes down to. It's line of scrimmage. It's defensive pass penalties. It's offensive holding and it's penalties in the return game, in terms of blocking in the back. Those are the four major categories. You're going to have an intentional grounding. You're going to have a delay of game. You're going to have a late hit. There are going to be some of those, and they're no good either. But, the majority of the penalties, probably 75 percent of all penalties, fall into those four basic categories." 13 oct 2005 field goal ranges "I think you need to know defensively what the maximum field goal range of your opponent is. If you're calling defenses, you have to know what that line is. There are two field goal ranges: there's what I would call a desperation range and then there's what's legitimate field goal range." 10 oct 2005

players fitting the system "You definitely go through a stage, most coaches do, where you see a good player and you get enamored. You really like what the player does, but then when you put him into your system, it's not quite the same player that he was in another system. He has some strengths, but you can't utilize all those strengths. If you try to utilize all his strengths, you end up weakening a lot of other players who are already in your system." 07 oct 2005 positives and negatives in every game "I think there are always positives. When you win there are always some negatives, some things that you could do better. When you lose there are always some positive things, either plays or things within a play that were positive, but collectively it needs to be better than that. And there are too many negative things that overwrote it, that's for sure. So the ones that were good we'll try to build on, and we'll try to correct the ones that weren't. But that's pretty much the way it is every week." 03 oct 2005 footing "I think that if a player doesn't play with proper body control and doesn't play with his feet under him, then he's going to end up on the ground. If he ends up on the ground, that's usually not good." 23 sept 2005 adversity in football "Football is a game where everybody gets knocked down sooner or later usually sooner. Then you get up and then you get knocked down again. That's what football is. It's a lot like life in some respects. You're always going to have to deal with some form of adversity in this game. Every team is. Every player is. Every play is not an 80-yard touchdown. Every play is not a strip sack. Some bad things happen on plays. Some good things happen on plays. That's the ebb and flow of the game, and it goes like that within a season. It goes like that within a career, just about anybody's career. Maybe how one person handles it at one point and how they handle it at a different point, maybe that is the same. Maybe it isn't. But, everybody goes through it and everybody is going to have to deal with it. Every team has it. Every player has it. Every coach has it. That's just part of it. Just like it's part of life, it's not all roses." 21 sept 2005 crowd noise "All stadiums are loud on the road. It'll be loud next week. We'll have to deal with it. Everybody deals with it when they come to our place. That's the way it is in the NFL. That's the way stadiums are. That's football." 18 sept 2005 offensive football "A lot of times, offensively, you just end up BYOB be your own blocker. You gotta run over somebody." 16 sept 2005 what makes a great play "I think his ability to block out the situation, to block out any exterior distractions and just focus on the execution of that play. Ultimately, what makes it a great play is the execution of the play the throw, the catch, the tackle, the kick or whatever it is and that's just being able to totally concentrate and focus and execute on his assignment on that particular play. So, to be able to take out the situation, to take out the crowd, to take out the magnitude of the play and just deal with the execution of that particular skill at that point. To me that's what it is." 15 sept 2005

what he looks for in a player "That's really what you're looking for out of any player, is somebody that can be dependable, can be consistent and can do things right on a basis that you can really count on." 15 sept 2005 playing at a high level "I think that any player, once they step out on the field and start playing, they better play at a high level or it might not be a happy ending." 18 aug 2005 hitting "When you step out on the field, you're trying to hit them, they're trying to hit you. That's the game." 18 aug 2005 practice "Practice preparation becomes game reality." 02 aug 2005 the 3-4 defense "Joe Collier was my first exposure to the true 3-4 defense as we know it. Prior to that I was at Detroit. In Detroit we ran the 3-4 defense, but we ran it out of a 4-3 and the linebacker over a tight end was a down lineman, that was Kenny Sanders. And it had all the principles and elements of a 3-4 defense. It just had a defensive end on the tight end but they still had the two bubbles on the guard, still had a weakside linebacker pulling him off on the open side. In that particular defense which was Jimmy Carr was the coordinator, Jerry Glanville, Fritz Shurmur, Floyd Reese, that was an all-star staff. That was predicated on pressure, and when I say heavy blitzing, I'm talking in the neighborhood of 50 blitzes per game in some games, extremely heavy blitzing and pressure. When I went to Denver, Joe's defense was the true 3-4 with multiple fronts. Most games we went into with 50 fronts, so it wasn't the straight 3-4, it was the shaded noses, kicked-down ends, walked-up linebackers and that kind of thing. So the scheme of that was a lot different and we never blitzed, twice a game maybe. It was all primarily coverage-oriented multiple, multiple fronts. And so that was the big contrast between those two systems. It was interesting. And both of them were very successful. Then when I came to New York we were 4-3 defense in '79 and '80. But when Bill (Parcells) came from New England he brought that defense down, and (Chuck) Fairbanks and those guys ran it with the Patriots, and it was back to the traditional 3-4 but without the front variation that we had in Denver. And we played the same front in New York with (Jim) Burt on the nose, (George) Martin and (Curtis) McGriff at the left end and (Leonard) Marshall at the right end. And there was hardly any fluctuation on that, and we tried to expand the coverages and pressures a little bit. It's an interesting combination. I'd say what we do now has elements of all three of those in it. Just going back to that for a second, one thing there was a lot less to defend. There was a lot less one-back that we saw until Joe Gibbs came to Washington. There was very little shotgun. There was very little nickel. It was almost 3-4 on first down, second down, third down in the red area. Now it's everything but that. I think that had a lot to do with those systems. We're dealing with a much different set of problems on the offensive side of the ball, whatever defense you're playing these days." 04 feb 2005 game management "I think game management is something you probably learn a little bit about in every single game. You prepare certain situational strategies, and plays to use in those situations, at the beginning of the season, and sometimes modify them a little bit as you go through the year maybe as new situations occur, or as your personnel changes, or your groupings get modified a little bit through the course of the season. But they're not always quite the way you draw them up. There are always some little wrinkles field position, field conditions, the weather, time, timeouts, score, etc. So I think you're always learning on that. And it's something that as a coach, and as a quarterback, and as a

coordinator and a play-caller, you've always got to stay on top of. You've always got to keep thinking about it. And the more you think about it, I think the quicker you can react when those situations do occur in the game. But it's tough. It's a lot easier when you can plan ahead. The toughest ones are the ones that change in a hurry." 03 feb 2005 field conditions "I'm sure the field will be the same condition for both teams." 12 jan 2005 halftime adjustments "We don't wait till halftime. By the second series in the game, certainly by the end of the first quarter, unless it's a very unusual game, the game is declared." jan 2005 what he wants in a player "A coach wants consistency and he wants dependability. There isn't really a higher adjective you could put as a compliment to a player than a consistent, dependable player. You want to know what you are going to get and you want to be able to count on it. If it is at the player's approximate potential level, then what more can you ask for? But it's hard when you go out there, and when the ball is snapped and you just don't know what the guy is going to do. [He] might do the right thing. [He] might do the wrong thing. He might make a good play, he might make a bad play, he might make a bad decision or he might make a good decision. You just have no idea. It's hard to count on that, and it's hard for his teammates to count on that. Sometimes it's inexperience and hopefully it will improve. If it doesn't then you just have to really wonder how far you can go with that type of performance." 15 nov 2004 if a certain receiver would see the ball a lot that week "If he's open." 20 oct 2004 goals and football "Football is a lot of short-term goals." 08 sept 2004 quarterbacks: "The quarterback is the most important position because, basically, the ball is in his hands the most. He has a lot of responsibilities and has to make decisions based on what he sees or thinks. It's important he understands what the head coach is looking (to accomplish). By nature, he is the coach on the field because he has the ball so often. He needs to understand what we, as a team, want to accomplish. That's not to say he doesn't have (leeway) in making decisions." the coach/quarterback relationship "Respect. It's the most important aspect of a coach and quarterback relationship. The quarterback has to believe in what the coach wants to do. And the coach has to trust the quarterback." Marchibroda & Jones Ted Marchibroda and Bert Jones had a very good working relationship. They had two distinct personalities. Bert was an outspoken, excitable player, probably a little more than Ted would have liked. But they both respected each other's role. Bert respected what Ted wanted done. They won a lot of games together." Phil Simms "Phil did not get or seek special treatment. He'd lift weights with the offensive linemen. He'd talk to guys on defense all the time. I think the players see that and respect it. His teammates looked at him as a football player, and not just the quarterback. It means a lot." 05 sept 2004

consistency "Our overall philosophy is to try to be consistent, not to do everything and try to have this one big year and the next year we know we're going to pay the price. Anybody can do it once, but whether it's your effort in the weight room, your performance on the field, the team performance over an extended period of time over the season, it's always brought back to consistency is what a champion does." 08 aug 2004 a lack of versatility "If you can only be good at one thing, you'd better be really, really, really good at it, and it better make a difference in the game, or we can't afford it." 08 aug 2004 mixing their defenses and coverages "Really it goes all the way back to the Giants days. We had a three man line with the Giants. We had Lawrence Taylor and he rushed 85-90 percent of the time. You can call it whatever you want 3-4 or 4-3 but we had four guys coming and he was usually one of them. That transitioned to when I went to Cleveland and playing with a true four man line where (Anthony) Pleasant and (Rob) Burnett were the defensive ends. At the Jets we were a combination 30-40 team and that's been true since I would say '97 where we've used both fronts in the same season on a number of occasions and by different game plans. Coverage wise we've had a number of different coverages, and of course cover 2 is a key component for us. On a game plan basis, week to week, we try to do what we think we need to do to stop the other team's passing game, running game and general overall offensive attack." 28 jan 2004 playing physical "Football is a contact sport. Being able to control the line of scrimmage, and cause turnovers with contact, and jam receivers and that kind of thing, is very important in terms of controlling the tempo of the game. Offensively it's the same thing, they're trying to do that to you and you've got to be able to hold your ground and battle back on that. I think that is always a significant part of the game, being physical, initiating the contact, being aggressive and making sure that on the football field you are able to hold your ground and control your turf." 28 jan 2004 when he started breaking down game film "I felt comfortable breaking down film as a teenager. ... I did some my first year with the Colts in a job I didn't deserve. I wasn't being paid anything. I wasn't worth anything." 20 jan 2004 injury information "We comply with the league mandates and the league rules about injury information on a weekly basis to the best of our knowledge. There is no perfect situation when you are dealing with that because nobody can accurately predict exactly how long an injury is going to take. I remember when Michael Vick got hurt in preseason he was going to miss six weeks. He didn't play until December. There are plenty of cases where you can be wrong on that when you try to read that crystal ball. Our situation is we evaluate them day to day. When they are better and they are well enough to play we put them out there. When they are not, they don't." 15 jan 2004 being a complete player "I think to be a player you have to be a complete player. You can't just run one route or just do one thing, have one move. If that is all you have, it better be really, really special or they are going to take it away." 12 nov 2003

bad plays "You have to have a short memory at corner. Everybody gives up a completion at corner. You have to have a short memory at quarterback. Every quarterback has interceptions. You have to put those plays behind you and be able to go on and still make a good play after that and not let it drag you down." 2 oct 2003 how much a player needs to practice "My first year that I came into the league with the Colts in 1975, the middle linebacker was Mike Curtis. About six or seven games into the season he was traded and Jim Cheyunski was our middle linebacker. We won like the last eight or nine regular season games, I forgot what is was, and ended up going 10-4 and winning the division that year and lost to Pittsburgh in the playoffs. Cheyunski was a guy that we had gotten from Buffalo and he had bad knees. When we got him, there was kind of a split feeling between, 'Yeah he is a pretty good player, but his knees are so bad, he is never going to be able to play.' And the decision was made, 'Well, we got to get him because we lost Curtis because they traded him, so we have to get him. We have to do what we have to do to get him and get him out there.' So Cheyunski never practiced on Wednesday. He never practiced on Thursday. He went out there on Friday and did the walk throughs and probably did about 10 plays in practice every week. He played hard and played well on Sunday and I am thinking how is this possible? How can a guy really not practice, and it wasn't like he was with us in training camp either, but go out there and play as well as he did on a consistent basis week-after-week. Then he would come in on Monday and couldn't walk, and then start the process all over again. By Friday there was enough oil in his joints where he could go out there and take a few plays and then play on Sunday. I don't know how he did it then and looking back on it I still don't know how he did. But I learned a lesson right there that first year that guys are different. Some players can draw from their experience and take mental reps and convert it into physical execution on Sunday with less practice time. They can also take a situation where you look at a guy and say, 'This guy can't even walk,' and then somehow he plays. Again, he played on a division-winning team. It wasn't like we just lost and we were just terrible. He played well and the team played well. I found that out my first year. That has stuck with me all the way through. You just don't count guys out. Everybody is different. I am not saying that everybody could do what he did. Some can and I am sure some couldn't. That is what separates individuals." 2 oct 2003 defenses that fit the situation "To me, in all phases of the game, you have to have enough so you can counter your opponent but keep it simple enough so your players can execute. You don't want to give them too much, but you don't want to be predictable, either. So that's where you are constantly finding that balance. You can't stop everything on offense but you do stop the variable that is most important in your particular matchup. So, I want defenses used in a game that are structured for situations for stopping a particular player, for the two-minute situation, for when teams are throwing the ball. I want defense that addresses problems." 15 sept 2002 http://web.archive.org/web/20071021020508/www.allthingsbillbelichick.com/quotesfootball.htm