Coaches Corner 10/12/05

Mike Shanahan discusses this week's matchup with the New England Patriots, the importance of Tom Brady and legendary coach Bill Belichick. Check out the full transcripts.

Mike Shanahan
On the Patriots' recent success
"They've won three Super Bowls in four years. That's not too bad. I think the most amazing stat that I've heard is they've won 22 out of 23 games against teams with records of .500 or better since 2003. That's pretty impressive. They step up and play at a high level in big games against good teams."

On Patriots QB Tom Brady
"Well, he's an excellent quarterback. He's very aware. You can tell he's a great leader. His record speaks for itself. He's very productive, very poised. He's very competitive and plays big in big games. It's kind of like everything you look for in a quarterback."

On preparing for the New England defense even with the team's multiple injuries
"First of all, they play extremely hard. They are very well coached. You have to give some of the players credit, as well. When players go down, guys have to step up. Just like we've had a couple of our defensive backs go down, and guys step up. That's what you're hoping for – that you do have some depth and guys perform at a very high level. They've been doing it pretty consistently over the past few years. They've been doing it quite well. You have to take your hat off to them for them to win as many games as they have won over the last few years with injuries. To win those close games against good football teams is very impressive."

On whether the Patriots' loss of two coordinators in the offseason causes a head coach to make a lot of changes
"I think any time you run an organization like Bill (Belichick) does, there's not going to be any change in the defense because he's been a defensive coordinator. He's the architect of that defense, and things aren't going to change at all. Any time you take a look at the offense, you have a quarterback that is in the prime of his career that probably knows the offense as good as any of the coaches, if not better. He studies the game, and he knows defenses. He knows the things that he likes. They're very fortunate to have a quarterback that is very young, very sharp, aware, and knows what he likes to do. You're not going to miss a whole lot, especially in the National Football League, where you can go out and get some great coaches. That's what Bill has been able to do, especially with the type of tradition and as many games as they've won."

On New England Head Coach Bill Belichick
"I'll be honest with you. They asked me a question a number of years ago, and Bill (Belichick) just got the job. They asked me to name three coaches if I had to rank them. I said, ‘I had three guys that I like – Bill Cowher, Jeff Fisher and Bill Belichick.' They asked me why. I just said, ‘I just like the way he did as an assistant coach.' Everybody mentioned the Cleveland job. I just kind of laughed. I said, ‘I don't really care what happened at Cleveland. I just know what type of coach he is.' Obviously, the rest is history, and he's now at New England. Sometimes you can get put in a tough situation. I can't speak for him, but I think what he's done speaks for itself."

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