Bill Belichick's PostGame Press Conference Transcript

Ian Logue
November 27, 2011 at 09:25pm ET

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Here is the complete transcript from Bill Belichick's press conference following New England's win over the Eagles:


"It's good to come down here and win.  It was obviously a short week, but I thought the players did a good job here of bouncing back.  With the short week, the Thanksgiving break and all that just trying to cram everything in here,  I thought they really did a good job the last couple of days of pulling together on the game plan and going out...I thought they really tried to play the game the way we wanted them to play it today and did a good job in all three phases of the game.  It's good to come down here and win.  I hope we can build on this and keep improving every week here."

On the team responding after getting down early:

"It was good.  We certainly didn't want to start the game the way we started, giving up a couple of long passes, and what did we get - one first down on offense and then gave the ball up?  We kind of stumbled out of the gate there, but it was good to see us bounce back and kind of fight through it on the road similar to the Pittsburgh start, but we were able to respond better and get a little bit more done.  I think the players hung in there for 60 minutes, we knew it was going to be tough.  The Eagles have a lot of tough players of good players and they're well coached.  We knew it was going to be a tough game but they got off to good start.  But give our guys a lot of credit, they hung in there."

On if it was important to be disciplined with LeSean McCoy:

"Yeah, absolutely, he's...all of them.  I mean [LeSean] McCoy, [Vince] Young, obviously DeSean [Jackson], they've got a lot of explosive players, [Brent] Celek, I mean, he's a tough guy too.  So absolutely."

On what impresses him in the secondary as the season has progressed:

"I just think as a team, we're trying to hang in there.  We battle through different challenges every week.  Whether it's personnel or other things that come up, we just try to deal with it, keep our head down, and keep moving forward."

On the offensive line improvement over the course of the game:

"Again, they've got a good pass rush.  They've got a lot of good players on the front.  Give our guys credit for blocking them.  Tom got rid of the ball, he stepped up and took advantage of some openings in the pass rush where they looked like they got a little up the field and he either scrambled or stepped up and was able to deliver the ball. So it was a good job by both him and the line of creating some space and then Tom finding it and being able to get it off.  They hit us on a couple...they ran one blitz and we didn't quite handle it right and I think [Mike] Patterson got us, and [Trent] Cole had a little...some pressure on the edge there, [Cullen] Jenkins had a good rush early on that first drive.  They're an explosive group, especially the first time you play them, which we haven't played these guys in a while.  I know it was preseason last year but it's a little bit different when you see them live and face them.  They're a very talented group. "

On Julian Edelman's performance and what he did down on the goal line in the nickel and dime packages:

"Julian's worked hard on that.  He's had to keep up with what's going on on offense and also in the kicking game, but he's worked hard.  He's spent a lot of extra time with [Patriots DB coach] Josh Boyer and kind of splitting time between meetings between offense and defense, and of course he does all the special teams stuff too.  He's worked hard and he's really been a huge help for us.  We've been in a couple of tight spots here, and we were in it again today moving Sterling [Moore] back outside at the end of the game.  So he's worked hard and he's really helped us."

On how different the game plan is against Vince Young vs. Michael Vick:

"I think they're pretty much, they run the same offense.  I mean obviously you know, right handed quarterback, left handed quarterback...I don't know if there's another quarterback in the league like Vick.  I can't say there's no difference.  I mean that guy is as dynamic of a player as there could be at quarterback, all the things he can do.  But I think fundamentally other than kind of the rightie, leftie thing and knowing that Vick's Vick, it's still basically the same offense."

On what adjustments they made after the Eagles first drive:

"We were trying not to give up post patterns, yeah.  Trying not to give up 50 yard post patterns, that was the first thing.  But they made good throws and good catches.  We were trying to tighten up a little bit on them and they got over the top on us so we just didn't do a good job there.  Antwaun [Molden] had a big interception there that really, even though we didn't score off  it, I think defensively we stopped them and then Antwaun got the interception and put us in good field position.  So that was another big stop for us defensively and we finally, you now, really made a play on defense so I think that helped us in our confidence a little bit."

On Tom Brady's performance:

"I think Tom did a good job of really pressing the issue.  He felt like we had them on the run a little bit with some of the empty stuff and some of our match-ups.  We felt good about our running game too, but we just felt like we had some match-ups we could take advantage of.  Tom just kept pressing it, and he took the guys that were open, I mean everybody got involved there.  That's what Tom does best, he finds the open guy, puts the ball on the money and he did it many times today.  Did a very good job of avoiding the rush, not so much the yardage he got scrambling, but just staying out of bad plays, keeping us on track with some positive yardage and giving us another chance to line up and make another good play and not being in second and eighteen and stuff like that.  I mean that's suicide against these guys."

On if he's seen improvements on the defense as a whole:

"I think there's some things that are better, but it just seems like we're just trying to catch up here kind of on the treadmill.  If it isn't one guy, it's somebody else.  Guys going in and out of it, at linebacker and in the secondary.  It seems like we get one thing...kind of getting some continuity and consistency and then something else happens so we just have to kind of fight through it.  But individually yes, collectively, I don't know...yes and no.  Hopefully we can progress quicker."

On at 8-3 if he sees things coming together the way he'd like:

"I don't know, we've got a long way to go.  There's a lot of football left.  Eight games, I mean that's isn't going to win you anything in the National Football League, it's going to take a lot more than that.  Hopefully we can continue to improve and play better.  I thought our play in the kicking game was defintely better today.  We got some good coverage, we did better on the kickoff returns. If we can keep taking those steps every week in every phase of the game then I think we can be competitive.  But we've got a long way to go, I don't think we're where we need to be."

On if the message early against the Eagles was not to give up the big play:

"That's always the message.  We never go into the game saying, 'let's give up the big play'."

On making the Eagles offense grind it out:

"You never want to give it up on one play, of course.  You always want to make the team drive the ball down the field.  We don't call defenses trying to give up 40-yard completions."

On the potential of grabbing the number one seed in the playoffs:

"I don't even think about the big picture.  Big picture right now is Indianapolis, that's the big picture.  I'll leave that to all the experts to figure out.  I know you guys spend a lot of time on that, but I really, right now, I think our focus is how to improve our team on a weekly basis, how to get ready for Indianapolis and be competitive against them, that's really the only thing that we can do anything about.  So all the rest of its just a bunch of garbage."

On getting Branch and Welker more involved in the offense:

"[They've] played every game."

On whether they're trying to get more passes thrown their way:

"We try to move the ball and score points, it's not about individual stats and who has what stats and all that, that's not what we try to do we try to go out there and win.  Whoever that is, whoever's productive, however we can best have the offense move the ball and score points, then that's what we're for, that's what we try to do.   We don't go out there and try to feature one player so he can get some stats.  No, we don't play that way.  I hope we never play that way."

On if they're trying to exploit match-ups with those players:

"Sure, of course.  We're always trying to exploit the best match-up.  We're trying to get the ball to the guys that are open that can make plays.  That's what Tom does.  But we're not trying to go out there and throw so many balls to this guy so.... No, we're trying to win."

On what worked so well against LeSean McCoy:

"I think our players were very aware of him.  He still got outside there one time and had a big run.  But they were very aware, we tried to be very disciplined.  We knew he could cut back, bounce out,  and he was a very hard guy to tackle.  We studied a lot of film on him.  We really tried to, like you said, be disciplined and contain him but also play good technique inside so we wouldn't give up seams trying to run around guys  and all that.  I thought they really tried to do that.  He's a hard guy to handle, that guy's as good a back as we've seen all year.  He's really a good player."

On if this was a more meaningful game based on the fact it was a short week against a tough team:

"It was a tough week.  Yeah, it was definitely a tough week.  The Eagles are a hard team to get ready for. They have a lot of good players.  Andy does a good job, I think he's one of the best coaches in the league.  The players had a short week, we were banged up, tough game against Kansas City.  We had some guys that weren't able to play obviously, and other guys that played banged up.  So give the players a lot of credit for sucking it up.  Not just physically being out there, but mentally, all the preparation, the film work, the studying that they did, the extra meetings and everything that they did to really try to prepare for this game.  Absolutely it was a great effort by the players and the assistant coaches too.  It's a tough week on them when you've only got six days, you've got a holiday right in the middle of it.  Like you said, you're all the road and all that. But that's the NFL schedule.  Those guys did a good job, they deserve a lot of credit."

On if he was surprised the Eagles didn't go to McCoy more :

"Well they did go to him. They went to him a couple times right?  I mean he scored on the first series.   Look, they're not going to do the same thing every time, that's why they're a tough team to defend.   They use McCoy, they use [Brent] Celek, they use the receivers, the quarterback moves around in the pocket, they give you a lot of things to get ready for.  You can't just go in there and say you're going to stop one guy.  They have too many weapons and they use them all, and you've got to defend them all.  I wouldn't expect them to do that anywhere, 'all our passes are going to go to this guy, or all our runs are going to...' they keep you off balance and that makes it tough, it really does."

On the players sucking it up, and if that's been consistent this year:

"Yeah, they've given good effort.  I think they're trying to do the things we tell them to do.  I think sometimes we've got to do it better.   We can coach better, we can have things maybe a little cleaner for them.  But I think they're trying to do their part in terms of physically and mentally, day after day, week after week, be consistent, be dependable and do what we ask them to do.  I know we demand a lot, this isn't an easy place to play and I'm not an easy guy to play for, but they have tried to respond and I give them a lot of credit for that."