Bill Belichick Post Game Press Conference Transcript

Ian Logue
January 22, 2012 at 07:54pm ET

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Here's the complete transcript from Bill Belichick's postgame press conference following the Patriots AFC Championship win over the Ravens on Sunday.


"Alright, well that was obviously a draining game.  Great to come out on top of it like we did.  As I said all the credit's got to the players.  Those guys just fought for sixty minutes.  It wasn't perfect, but they went out there, they played their hearts out, and sometimes good things happen when you do that."

"Got to give a lot of credit to the Ravens.  That's a good football team, it starts at the top with Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh, I mean that team's well put together.  They're tough, they're competitive. That was a great game today.  I just thought that our guys stepped up there in the end.  Our red area defense was big.  The fourth down touchdown, that was a great play by Tom [Brady] just to be able to recognize that he could make it over the top.  [It was a] back and forth game, three turnovers, usually not a good way to play  these games but fortunately we were able to overcome it and come out on top.  Feels great...feels great.  We're thrilled, and as I said I think the players deserve it, they worked extremely hard this year."

On his thoughts on Sterling Moore and his thoughts on the play he made on the final drive:

"You know Sterling's done a good job for us here for the last few weeks, going back to the Buffalo game and then last week in Denver.  He made some plays, not perfect out there, but he competes hard, he's a tough kid, he's got good ball skills, he gets around the ball."

On Brady saying "he sucked" and if he agrees with that assessment:

"Well I don't know.  I think there's a lot of things in the game that could have been better, I mean that's obvious.  We could have played better on offense, could have played better on defense, could have played better in the kicking game.  But we did enough things to win against a good football team. They made some mistakes out there too.  I think that's what happens when two good teams get together.  They make some plays, you make some plays, and it comes down to one shot."

On whether or not he was worried about Moore after he gave up the early touchdown:

"No, you can't play any position in this league and...if all it takes is one play, you're in the wrong business.  We all have bad plays.  Coaches have bad plays.  Players have bad plays.  You've got to bounce back and play the next play, and that's what the NFL is.  And we've got a competitive team.  Look, we've had a lot of things that haven't been perfect out there.  But we had everybody that will stand in there and fight and give it their best,  go the whole way through,  and that's a good place to be and that's what I like about this team.  They're tough, they're competitive.  They really don't lose their confidence, never get down on themselves.  They just go out there and keep competing and see what happens."

On the fact that his son jumped into his arms after the field goal but it didn't seem like he knew what happened:

"Well I couldn't really tell from the angle.  I mean I was standing there about where he kicked it from.  I couldn't really tell, I just heard the fans yelling and so I wasn't sure.  You know, look, you've got to make plays under pressure in this league.   That's not the first one."

On what he saw on the play to Lee Evans that Sterling Moore stripped:

"I didn't really see a lot.  I was all the way over on the other side of the field, [the play was] in the far corner of the endzone, so I'm sure you got a lot better look at it than I did."

On if he's surprised they didn't review it:

"I didn't really see the play.  From where I was standing, I didn't get a good look at it."

On his thoughts on Vince Wilfork:

"I thought Vince had a lot of big plays today.  It looked like there a couple of things in the interior part of our defense that could have been a little better.  I mean [Ray] Rice got through there a couple times.  But we hit the quarterback, we did a decent job in the running game, especially early, and then they punched a few through there in the second half.  But I thought our guys up front did a good job.  They do a good job running the ball, and for the most part we didn't really have our safeties involved too much in the run for us, it was pretty much with the front seven, and so those guys had to handle it themselves and I thought they were competitive doing it."

On if Wilfork lead the way there:

"He leads the way for us on defense, he and Jerod [Mayo].   Vince is obviously our most experienced player and he's been a great leader, a great captain.  All year his leadership's been tremendous, so has Jerod's.  You can't say enough about Mayo he does everything for us in terms of calling defenses,  making adjustments, the running game, the passing game.  He's the first guy in the building every day and the last one to leave.   So those guys have been great all year.   I mean I can't say enough about both of them.  And  Devin [McCourty] in the secondary,  now as a captain, he's done a great job for us.  All six of those guys really.  [Matthew] Slater, Brady, [Logan] Mankins, I mean it's really an outstanding group and I think our overall preparation over the last couple of weeks and their leadership and their confidence has carried over to the rest of the team.    They've set the pace and the other guys having fallen in step, and it's been awesome.  Certainly a lot better than some other years I can think of."

On if this is more memorable because of the lockout:

"No.  Every year is its own special year."

On his thoughts on the offensive line:

"Yeah, I mean those guys have done a great job all year.  Matt [Light] and Nate [Solder] outside, and of course Brian[Waters] and Dan [Connolly] and Logan [Mankins] inside.  We got some help from our tight ends at times doing some chipping.  Tom got the ball out quick, our receivers got open so the ball came out fairly quickly, we didn't have to hold it too many times.  But a couple times Tom was able to hang onto it back there.  But those guys, they've been great all year.   Dante [Scarnecchia]...we've played with four different centers, had a lot of moving parts in there, but no matter who's stepped in there, they've played well, played hard, and really given us pretty good protection.  I they did a good job in the run blocking today.  That was a big touchdown that Benny [BenJarvus Green-Ellis] had, I don't know from the 7, 8 yard line, whatever it was, but that was a big play for us.  And then we were able to run it down there to the one with Woody [Danny Woodhead], and you know the Ravens are an excellent Red Area defense, obviously, I mean we had trouble getting it in. But they're good against everybody, as good as anybody in the league, and being able to run the ball down there and get it either into the endzone or into position to score on a quarterback sneak, I mean that was huge for us."

On if he feels bad for Billy Cundiff missing the game tying field goal:

"You know, all you can do is go out there and compete and do the best you can.   Look, that's the way it is, you know?  That's competition.  That's the National Football League.  We had some to kick, they had some to kick, you know?  I mean...."

On the energy Brandon Spikes brings to the defense:

"Brandon brings a lot, he really does.  He brings a lot.  He's got a good style of play.  He's a tough player, he's a hard hitter and he's made some big plays for us.  But he definitely brings an energy level when he's out there whether it be in practice or in the games. And certainly when he makes plays, a lot of times they're impact plays.  Whether they're hard tackles, or turnovers or caused fumbles, forced fumbles, interceptions those kind of things.  So he's got a nose for the ball and really he's a surprisingly good pass defender.  He's got an instinctiveness that a lot of linebackers don't have, especially guys that are good run players.  But he kind of has a good sense for where the quarterback's looking.  He's long, he's tall and he's got long arms, and he's able to get to some balls that a lot of those guys can't get to."

On his team's toughness and what it means to him:

"Well I think mental toughness is doing your best for the team when everything's going right for you personally.  That's how we define it."


"That goes for everybody.  Yeah.  Things don't always go well for you, or your unit, or your particular thing.  But mental toughness is, keep hanging in there, doing your best, keep fighting, even though maybe the results aren't there, or maybe it's not going exactly the way that you personally want it to go, but you go out there and you keep doing your best for the team, and you appreciate the team's success.  That's what it's about."

On if he's been building on this all year:

"We've been trying to do that for 11-years.  That started when we got here.  I don't really think there was too much here when I got here in 2000, but over the course of the years, guys, like some of the guys that were there today, [Tedy] Bruschi, [Ty] Law, and Rodney Harrison, yo uknow,  those guys, [Mike] Vrabel, I mean you can go right down the line.  Guys  that showed a lot of mental toughness, it wasn't always about them. They always fought, they gave you their best, they hung in there no matter what the circumstances were. That's what mental toughness is about, but that's something that we tried to bring here since I got here in 2000.   It's always going to be important to us.  Some years it's better than others, but it's always a high priority for us.  We try to get that all the time."

On the fact he and Brady has ever been to 5 Super Bowls together, and if there's any satisfaction with him doing that:

"Anything that's associated with winning I'm proud of.   There's no quarterback I'd rather have than Tom Brady.  He's the best.  He does so much for us in so many ways on so many different levels.  I'm very fortunate that he's our quarterback and what he's able to do for this team.  Of course it's good to win with him and all the rest of our players.  If that's more than somebody else did, I mean I don't really care about that.  But it's nice to be able to win with him and the rest of our team.  Like I said right off at the beginning, I think the players deserve it, they've worked really hard this year.  We've had a lot of different challenges and those guys have stepped up there and tried to meet them every week.  Hasn't been perfect, but they've never backed down.  Didn't back down from Pittsburgh on the road.  Didn't back down...we've been down by 17, 21 points in a game, all that stuff.    Same thing today, they're driving...but we hung in there, were able to hold them to a field goal situation.   [Rob] Gronkowski goes out, somebody else goes in there, we drive the ball down the field, get in scoring position.  Like I said, that's a real credit to the players and I'm really happy for them that they're going to get to play in this next game."