BELICHICK CONFERENCE CALL
Q: Jordan Richards has been inactive the last two games. What have you seen in terms of his growth and development? How beneficial is it for a young player to watch and learn from sidelines?
BB: No, I think he would play well for us. If we could have probably dressed one more player it would have been him in both those games. Like to get him in the game, like to get him there, but we’ve had some situations at other positions that have unfortunately affected him, but nothing that he has done. I think he has really done a good job for us both defensively and in the kicking game. We just have to see how things work out, but no problem at all with him playing. We have a lot of confidence in him and I think he’s making great progress.
Q: How much can a young player gain by sitting back and watching the game?
BB: I think it’d be better if he was playing. It’d be better for him and hopefully we can get to that point, but again we have good depth at that position. I mean look, everybody learns something every day, but I’d like for him to be able to play more if the circumstances could work out.
Q: How close are you to finding a final offensive line combination for the rest of the season? How do you balance finding some consistency with giving guys a chance to earn a starting spot?
BB: That’s a great question. I think there are a number of things in play here. First of all, for the majority of the year we’ve dealt with some kind of … We haven’t had everybody available for one reason or another. You know what the deal is on all those, so some of what we’ve done has been a little bit by necessity. Earlier in the year when we had three healthy tackles in Marcus [Cannon], Sebastian [Vollmer] and Nate [Solder], that was really kind of a luxury there to have three players of that quality, but we ended up with none of those guys playing at one point. The center position has been somewhat in transition, same thing with the guards, so we really haven’t had an opportunity to do that, to just have the same people in there, because guys just haven’t always been available. If that could happen and it could all come together and everybody was available, maybe we’d be able to get to that point and it would probably be a good thing, but we’ll just have to see how all that goes. I’m not against it, that’s for sure.
Q: Would you be more inclined to stick with a certain group and let them work out their kinks, or would you be more inclined to move pieces around in order to find more consistency?
BB: Honestly I don’t feel like a lot of that is in my control. It’s up to the players how they play. We try to coach them and give them an opportunity and then what they do with that opportunity is really up to them. I can’t control that. I think once a player is established at any positon – this isn’t just a line discussion – at any position once a player has established that he’s the best player of that group then he’s going to play. If that’s not the case then maybe more than one guy deserves to play until it somehow or other works itself out or becomes clear what the roles should be.