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Belichick meets with the media prior to taking on the Raiders

Belichick meets with the media prior to taking on the Raiders

BB: Well, we’re obviously wrapping it up here today. We have a good opportunity to get back and review everything and then head down to Mexico tomorrow and be ready to go Sunday afternoon. So, a few things to tighten up. Again, a lot of things to get ready for with the Raiders. They present a lot of problems, but we’ll just keep grinding our way through it.

Q: One of the themes we heard from the players yesterday is that this week is about the Raiders and not other activities or being in unique locations.

BB: 100 percent. Couldn’t agree with it more.

Q: How has the set up here been conducive to accomplishing that purpose?

BB: It’s been great. It’s great, but our job here is to get ready for the Raiders. That’s what we’re here for.

Q: Have you felt like you’ve been able to do that?

BB: Yep, we’re working hard on it.

Q: What are your thoughts on the setting of the game in Mexico and the challenges that come with that?

BB: Yeah, well, we’ll do the best we can. I don’t know. I mean, I’ve never been there before. We’ve got other people that are planning for it. We’ll figure it out when we get there.

Q: Was Mike Gillislee‘s inactive status last week due to injury or more performance based?

BB: I mean, the injuries are part of the inactive list. The rest of the inactive list is based on the players that are active for the game and the ones that we feel like give us the most competitive opportunity to win. That’s the way it’s always been.

Q: Is this is a deeper group of running backs than you’re used to having?

BB: Yeah, I mean, all the backs have been productive for us.

Q: You talked in the offseason about how you felt the offense was at times predictable because of the personnel you had last year. Do you feel like having multiple backs that can run the football and catch coming out of the backfield has aided the offense?

BB: Well, again, I think all of our backs have been productive. I think last year, that’s so far in the background. I don’t think that has any relevance about anything. So, we’ll do what we feel like is best for this game with the players that are physically able to play and put the most competitive team out there we can at every position.

Q: When Ted Karras was at Illinois, he was mostly at right guard. How have you noticed his ability at center, given that he didn’t have much background at that position before coming into the NFL?

BB: Yeah, most of those inside players have played all three positions all the time that they’ve been here – some more than others, but they work at all of them.

Q: How would you assess how Karras has developed since you’ve had him on the team?

BB: Ted works hard. He loves football. He gets there early, stays late. He hasn’t had a lot of playing time in the regular season. [He] did at the beginning of the year last year when Shaq [Mason] was out.

Q: How has Cole Croston come along this year?

BB: Yeah, works hard. Works hard, making progress.

Q: Is Croston showing you he has the ability to play at tackle, guard or center?

BB: Yeah, again, we work our players at a lot of different positions, so it would depend on the situation and circumstances.

Q: With the way that college offenses are run now, it would seem that linemen might come out more polished in the run game and need more attention in pass protection. With the prevalence of the pistol-style offense in college football, what changes have you noticed in terms of linemen coming out into the NFL?

BB: I mean, that’d be a long answer. But, I mean, first of all, colleges are limited with the amount of practice time that they have, so that affects it. I don’t think that, in general, college offensive linemen are particularly well-prepared for the National Football League game, period, with the exception of a few offenses but not very many. So, it is what it is.

Q: On the first offensive play Denver ran where Emmanuel Sanders was in the flat and then turned up field, Malcolm Butler appeared to be in good position and seemed to lose contact. What’s the coaching point there?

BB: Yeah, well, there’s a lot of coaching points on every play. So, there’s a lot of other players involved in that play besides those two, so not really going to get into all that.

Q: David Harris‘ snaps have been increasing lately. How do you see his progress in your system?

BB: Yeah, David’s very professional, works hard, very thorough at preparing for his job and does a good job of communication. He’s got a lot of experience, seen a lot of football, so it all comes pretty quickly to him. But, he’s been a great teammate, great guy to embrace his role, prepare for his role and gives us everything he’s got with whatever we ask him to do. Couldn’t ask for anything more than what he’s doing.

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