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Matt Patricia meets with the media

Matt Patricia meets with the media

MATT PATRICIA

MATT PATRICIA

Q: What are your thoughts on the number of Patriots’ takeaways thus far and what would you like to see going forward?
MP: I don’t think we focus on that number in particular. We’re trying to make sure that at the end of the game we’re doing everything we can to win that particular game whatever the circumstances may be. Just in general for us, we’re always trying to do the best we can to get the ball turned over. We spend a lot of time on it and we always make sure that’s a point of emphasis for us. Obviously the turnover portion of the game is part of the game. It’s something that we always want to try to do at a very high level just kind of like all of the other situations that come up. Certainly for us we’re always trying to pressure the ball to the ability to get it back to our offense whenever we can. It’s kind of what we’re trying to do.
Q: How has Malcolm Butler changed, if at all, since the biggest play of his career in Super Bowl XLIX?
MP: Well, I think just kind of in general with Malcolm [Butler] progressing through his years in the league is really what you’re looking at as far as him trying to get a good grasp as far as how the league is, understand how to prepare, and how to attack each week game plan-wise. Certainly he’s come a long way from that standpoint. Really our focus is trying to get him better. We do try to make sure he’s improving in all the things he has on the field but also off the field – in the meeting room, being attentive, making sure we’re studying the opponents and understanding the game plan, understanding big picture concepts – which is something that I think any young player, rookie, new player to our system, whatever the case may be. It’s always going to take you a little bit of time to understand that holistic point of view. I think in general for us that is part of his growth as a professional football player and someone in our system is just to improve every week on and off the field – technique, fundamentals, seeing consistency in your play – are things that we’re going to put an emphasis on. Then your study off the field and understanding the opponent and what they do. We’ll get into a lot of situations where we’ll play a team like Seattle who, like Coach [Bill Belichick] mentioned, we’ve played here now a couple times, have a certain system that they use and there are going to be a lot of things that relate from whether we’ve played them before or other teams that we’ve played against with similar offensive philosophies or backgrounds and trying to be able to tie that together in a big picture standpoint is really, at this point, what you’re trying to get out of guys who have been in our system for a couple years. They can look at it and say ‘This looks like this system’ or ‘This is this system’ or ‘These are the things we need to defend based on what they’re doing’ or ‘These are their players that are really good and productive’ or ‘This is the type of quarterback they’re playing’. Just things like that that they should be able to look at on their own and come back to us when we’re looking at a team and say ‘OK, this makes sense, this is how we’re game planning, this is what we’re trying to do’.
Q: What sticks out the most to you in the moments leading up to Malcolm Butler’s interception in Super Bowl XLIX? What might you have learned in the closing moments of that game to help you going forward as a coordinator?
MP: For me, as far as that question is concerned, I think that’s something you and I can talk about 30 years from now. I think it’s kind of not really respectful as far as what the Seahawks are right now and what we’re getting ready to defend. That game was obviously a great game in our past and all of those things are good but unfortunately I’m staring at a really good Seahawks team that is different in a lot of ways and similar in a lot of ways. You know they have a great quarterback, Russell Wilson. We’ve got to be able to contain and make sure we have him handled in both the run and the passing game. And the run game with [Christine] Michael back there, [they] do a good job of being able to exploit the defense. The receivers – [Doug] Baldwin, obviously doing a great job for them, [Jermaine] Kearse, [Tyler] Lockett and then the addition of Jimmy Graham which brings a whole different element to their offense. That’s really where my focus is right now. It’s on their team right now getting ready to defend against them here coming up and obviously a lot of respect for what they do week in and week out. Coach [Pete] Carroll does a great job preparing his team and I just want to make sure that’s where our focus is.
Q: What are your thoughts on Doug Baldwin? What makes him tricky compared to some other receivers you see that work out of the slot?
MP: Yeah, great question because they’ll move him around a little bit, too. He’s definitely a guy that’s one of the core guys on the offense, leads the team in catches and targets and all that. [He’s a] really good route runner. He’s got this great burst that allows him to separate from coverage when you’re in man-to-man situations. So it might be you’re in tight man coverage and he just has this ability to break away from you at the last minute and create enough separation where the quarterback, who is obviously a great player, can get the ball in. So he changes speed very quickly and creates that separation. He finds the space in zone coverage, he understands when to sit down and allow the quarterback to put the ball on him and just an extremely good, dangerous player with run-after-catch, a guy that is very good with the ball in his hands. Someone that I think they’ve done a good job, Coach [Darrell] Bevell has done a good job of game plan, implementing some plays to get him the ball out in space and be able to be productive. They move him around a little bit. They put him in some different positions to get him the ball. [He’s a] versatile player. Really, really good in their offense right now.
Q: What does Jimmy Graham bring to this Seahawks offense? How does it compare to the player you guys saw with the New Orleans Saints back in 2013?
MP: Yeah, I’ll just speak on the present as far as him right now. Very big, long, receiving-type tight end who has actually improved a lot as a blocker. Obviously this offense will spend a lot of time with the run game, something that he’s definitely improved on. He’s got great length, great size. They put him in some different positions, they do some things formationally [from a formational standpoint], you’ll see him on the back side of a lot of formations whether he’s attached to the formation or split out which kind of puts the defense in a little bit of a bind. Back there on the back side he obviously becomes a matchup player. You can identify if he’s singled up on the back side or if he has help which allows the quarterback to be able to get a pre-snap read as far as what they’re getting on the back side. I think he’s someone who is trying to become an overall better player in both the run and the passing game and I think just another challenge for us defensively to have to defend. Like I said, with his length and his size and the situational plays that he gets the ball in, it just becomes a big problem for us. I see a very solid player, very good player for them, someone that’s in a different system, a different offense, but has adapted very well. You know there’s a lot more plays in Seattle where the pocket may move, [Russell] Wilson may get out of the pocket whether it’s an extended-type play or a particular design like a boot or something like that. When you have those bigger type of tight ends that can push the ball vertical down field, those become very difficult plays for the defense to handle and where you’ll see him have a lot of production also.

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