Bill Belichick's Post Game Press Conference Transcript

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January 01, 2012 at 05:27pm ET

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"Well it's good to finish the year 13-3.  Gotta give the players a lot of credit, they did a good job this year.  Unfortunately we had another slow start.  We blew the 21 point lead in the first game, and then overcame a 21 point deficit today.  Good job by the players of battling back, [they] made some plays as the game went along.  I thought it was good to win.  We'll move on now to try to keep working at getting ourselves better and then see what next week brings.  I thought the players did a good job today, kind of, once we got going.  Got to give them a lot of credit.  Buffalo was ready to go, they played well early.  Fortunately the players were able to bounce back and make enough plays here to win."

On what he attributed to the defensive turnaround:

"Players played better."

On if there were any adjustments in the scheme:

"I don't think anything dramatically.   Players stepped up, made some plays, turned the ball over, made a few stops on third down...all those things were good.  Same thing offensively.  We couldn't do anything offensively, and then finally got it going, made a few plays.  That what it's about."

On the personnel decisions at safety:

"Just trying to improve our team.  Worked with him and Patrick [Chung] back there all week, thought it looked good this week in practice so we went with it during the game.   I'm sure it could be better, but I thought they gave us some things back there.  James [Ihedigbo] came in and played a solid role for us too, so we got good play out of all those guys.  We had some guys step up at the corner position.  Sterling [Moore] and Antwaun [Molden], so that was good too. Got a lot of snaps out of Julian [Edelman]."

On if he's identified a common thread prior to today about their slow starts:

"Well if we did, we would have done something about it today, so I mean, I guess not.  We weren't trying to start out that way, but again give the players credit for turning that around.  They made plays, they played good, good on the coverage teams, we had good field position defensively, the punt and kickoff coverage, specialists kicked well."

On his thoughts from a coaching perspective seeing the starts when they're bad in the first quarter, and then great over the last three quarters - if they focus on the first quarter or the last three:

"Just try to play sixty minutes every week.  Try to start fast, finish strong.  We've done some of both, some of neither.  Keep trying to get better every week."

On Stevan Ridley's performance, if he feels they've established a 'dual threat runningback' situation with BenJarvus Green-Ellis:

"It doesn't really matter.  Whoever we play next, we'll have to go out there and play well against that team, whoever it is.  We have confidence in all of our players.  We got good snaps out of all our backs.  Benny and Stevan,  Danny,  and Polite when he was in there, I mean he gave us some snaps too.  So whoever's in there we have confidence in them and hope that they can be productive, which they have been."

On the reports on Bill O'Brien being a candidate for the Penn State head coaching job:

"We're just trying to beat Buffalo today and then we're moving on to whatever's next.   I don't have anything to say about any other situation other than the New England Patriots."

On the next two weeks looking forward if he's more encouraged about the fact they came back, or if he's discouraged over falling behind:

"Every week's it's own week, it's own set of challenges and whatever our challenges are next, we don't know yet.   We don't know who that opponent's going to be.  We'll keep working on the things that can make us a better football team and whoever our opponent ends up being, then we'll try to prepare and do the best we can against that team.  It's the same thing we do every week."

On getting guys like Patrick Chung and Brandon Spikes back:

"Sure.  Yeah, sure it's good to have a lot of the players that we had back, at least out there getting snaps.  And it's always good to have as healthy a team as you can have, no question.  It's good to have them back there. I'm sure that they'll be able to build off today and get more reps in practice and get their timing back and all that.  I don't think it was necessarily great in every area, but it was good to have them back and it looked like they did some things to help us win.  So that was good."

On Tom Brady getting to 5,000 yards and Gronkowski's milestone:

"I mean they've obviously had great years, yeah no question.  They had great years."

On his thoughts on playing complimentary football and if the defense getting energized after they started their comeback:

"Yeah, sure, we talk about it, we try to do it.  Sometimes we do it better than others, but yeah, of course.   If we get good field position...if our special teams gives us good field position defensively,  and then we can get the ball back for the offense, and especially if we can get it back in good field position for them and then they're knocking on the door, and  it can snowball a little bit.  I mean, especially with the kickoff rules the way they are now, you know, you can either have good coverage or get a touchback...I don't know how many touchbacks we had today, must have had...I don't know, five?...I don't know, it was a lot.  So you have a chance to start with good field position defensively after a score, and then if you can hold it, and get the ball back, then you can set your offense up, and it gives you a chance to go on a run, or vice versa.  If you give up a score and then they pin you back, and you can't get out of the hole, then they can get on a run. So that changes the dynamics of it a little bit, but, sure, we try to feed off eachother and give eachother the best opportunities that we can."

On what it means to go 13-3 and to give up the number of total yards and passing yards:

"Well, it's good to be 13-3.  That's our goal is to win every week.  I know that's not a big priority with everybody else, but it's a big priority with us. So if we win at the end of the day, then we've done more good things than bad.  There's room for improvement, there's always room for improvement."

On the last passing play [from Brian Hoyer to Gronkowski] if they tried to get Gronkowski some more yards to break the record:

"Yeah, that last play, I had Billy [O'Brien] call that because I wasn't sure exactly where he was, and I thought that he deserved a chance to go up and try to make another play.  He's had a great year, and he's worked hard.  I thought he deserved that.  I'm not really sure where it stands or doesn't stand, but we threw it up there one more time to him.  He made a nice play on it."

On the fact they played more man under and two man than what we've seen in weeks, and if it's important to have that in their arsenal heading into the playoffs:

"I mean it depends on what the other team's doing.  It could be, I don't know.  Depends on what you're trying to stop.  There's advantages and disadvantages to all of our calls.  The defenses, all of our plays.  So if there's an advantage to doing something, then we'll try to do it, but I don't know what the next challenges are going to be, or whether some of the things we ran today would even be in the game plan two weeks from now, I mean I have no idea.  So we can't really worry about that.  We just try to go out there and win each game, and play the best we can on that given day, and then we'll worry about next week next week.

On the play of Sterling Moore recognizing several plays:

"A couple of times, yeah he did a good job of recognizing the route pattern and undercutting the route, or playing the route aggressively and being able to make a good play on the ball too.   We got our hands on some balls, we didn't always catch them, but we caught a few of them today.  He made two real nice catches, one with kind of the receiver on his back, and then the other one where he undercut it and it looked like he bobbled it a little bit on the catch, but they were both tough catches...plays that he anticipated well and made the play on, so it was good."

On if he feels the secondary has come a long way since the beginning of the season despite all the personnel changes:

"Well, I don't know.  I mean there were a lot of guys that we had at the beginning of the season that we don't have now, and that isn't going to change a whole lot in some cases.  Brandon [Spikes] played, Patrick [Chung] played,  but there's a lot of guys we haven't played with for a long time.  We have what we have, so does everybody else.  Everybody in the league's had to deal with injuries and that kind of stuff.  We've dealt with them, so has everybody else.  We'll do the best we can."

On the importance of having the number one seed:

"I don't know.  What's important is how the teams play next week and the following week.  We've seen a #6 seed win the Super Bowl, we've seen first seed teams win the Super Bowl, we've seen teams in between win.   I think what's more important than where you're seeded is how you play in the playoffs.  We'll try to play the best that we can.  That's what we'll do."

On the fact he's the only coach to lead a team to 13 regular season wins five different times, and what that means to him:

"Really, I think it's a compliment to the players.  They're the ones that won them. They went out and earned all those wins.  I didn't throw any blocks, make any tackles, catch any balls, make any kicks.  So give them the credit.  They're the ones that went out there and won it today, and they deserve it.  It's just been a privilege for me to coach some of the great players that I've had the opportunity to coach in my career, both as an assistant and a head coach.  I think all those wins are reflective of the team and to the players that were out there on the field making the plays.  They're the ones that really deserve the credit."