Bill Belichick's Post Game Press Conference Transcript

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October 13, 2013 at 09:39pm ET

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Here is the complete transcript from Bill Belichick following the Patriots last second win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.


"Sorry if you had to rewrite some of those stories there at the end.  What a football game.  Feel like it took about five years off my life.  Really proud of our team.  Obviously that's a good football team, number one.  Saints are a real good football team.  It was a great sixty minute battle.  They made a lot of plays, we made some plays, and in the end we made a big one similar to the one that they made to put them ahead.  I just felt like our team really battled, we played situational football at the end, holding them to a field goal, getting the ball back, getting down there at the end and being able to get the ball down the field and having a couple of chances there at the end to throw into the endzone.  We only needed one, but we probably had time for two plays on that.  And once again, it's all about the players, they stepped up and made the play.  I mean [Tom] Brady, [Julian] Edelman, KT [Kenbrell Thompkins] obviously, and Austin Collie stepped in there with a big catch.  Hooman [Michael Hoomanawanui], there's  so many guys that made big plays for us today, just can't rattle them all off.  So it's a good team win.  I thought we really prepared hard for this game.  Obviously after we didn't have a good outing last week in Cincinnati, I thought the players prepared hard, they practiced hard, and it was satisfying to go out there and beat a good team like New Orleans today.  You'll be hearing from them plenty, they're pretty good."

On the complimentary play from all three sides and their time management situationally there at the end of the game and how cognizant he was of everything as he was trying to process it:

"I mean you just try to do the best you can on that.  Obviously, you know, Zo [Alfonzo Dennard] had a tough play there in the endzone on [Kenny] Stills and then came back and made a huge play, the incomplete pass there on, it was 2nd down right? Yeah,  I think it was second down.  That saved us a timeout.  That was a great play, he went up and made an excellent play on the ball.  Once again, it's the players making the plays.  I mean I think managing the clock, you just do what you do.  You have so much time, so many timeouts, you just try to get the most out of it.  but it's the players that are out there that are making the plays.  We played good up front to be able to get the ball back and then our offensive line, our receivers, obviously our quarterback did a good job of going down the field after we had not moved the ball very well overall in the second half.  That was a huge drive when we needed it the most.  All the credit goes to the players, they're the ones that made the plays."

On the effort of Aqib Talib shutting down Jimmy Graham:

"Right, there's two good football players right there.  Aqib really competed hard and in the end, I don't think either one of them were on the field.  So, both guys ended up being out.   But it was a great battle and a great match-up.  I thought Aqib battled him.  He just went toe-to-toe with him the whole way.  So it was a good match-up."

On his decision to play Aqib on Graham and also the fact they played much of the game with 5 and 6 defensive backs:

"Well, it's because they played so much of the game with three receivers, really four receivers because you've got to count Graham as a receiver.  Even when they're in there with him in two tight ends, it's really one tight end.   They've got a lot of receivers in the game,  luckily we have some depth in the secondary and guys like Logan Ryan and Duran Harmon came in for us and gave us some key plays in the second half.  They weren't in there in the first half and and then when Aqib got hurt and we went to some six DB packages, those guys came in and did a good job and competed really well.  But they had a lot of receivers on the field so we felt like we wanted to get some defensive backs out there to to try and match them.  Then they started running the ball.  They hurt us on some runs, right there at the start of the third quarter they had some successful running plays.  We had to battle that problem too.  They can hurt you in so many different ways.  Not just throwing the ball, they can run it too."

On the play of Kyle Arrington:

"All those guys played, Devin [McCourty] who went from safety to corner, Kyle with the interception, a couple big tackles there in the secondary too after they hit a couple of those runs.  They got through the line, luckily they weren't 50-yarders, they were only 12, 15 yards, whatever they ended up getting.   The tackling in the secondary and just really all those guys, you can't say enough about...because it was all of them, it wasn't just one guy.  We had to cover all those receivers."

On the thought process of going for it on 4th down on his own 24 and if it was because they were trying to give the Saints a short field:

"No, we were trying to pick up the first down.  It was fourth and whatever it was, 4, 5, 6, whatever it was.  I mean if it was fourth and 13 or something like that, we wouldn't have done that.  But we felt like we had a shot at it and I think we did have a shot at it, we just couldn't make the play.  But there was only a little over two minutes to go at that point right?


"That's right.  We felt like if we didn't make it, we were going to have to stop them and then we needed a touchdown."

On the confidence he had giving the majority of carries to Ridley instead of the running the ball by committee:

"Well, we have confidence in all our backs.  So whichever one of them is in there, we have confidence in. We don't put a player on the field we don't have confidence in, let's put it that way.  I don't care what the guy plays or who it is.  If they're out there, we have confidence in them.  If we don't, then they're not on the team, they're not on the field, they're not active, one or the other."

On the play of Austin Collie making a play after only recently being signed:

"That was huge and we just felt like on that last drive we went with the four receiver group to try and get a little more speed on the field.  Then when Julian kind of came up after he made a catch over the middle, Austin stepped in there and made a huge play.  So yeah, absolutely, he's worked hard.  Chad O'Shea, our receiver coach, and Austin worked very hard on the assignments and plays, formations, and all that.  Those guys spend, it must be, 2, 2 1/2 hours a day, after everybody else does just going over stuff, walking through it, and it really paid off today.  So you've got to give Austin a lot of credit for coming in here and being ready to go, like you said, really at the most critical time in the game."

On the touchdown play to Kenbrell Thompkins and what it means to the rookie receiver:

"Hey, KT's played good for us since we started the OTA's.  He's made plays and catches like that in practice and we have a lot of confidence in him.  Obviously Tom did because he went to him, but he gave him a good high ball and KT's good timing, was able to go up and get the ball and come down with the play.  I think those of us that are around KT on a daily basis aren't surprised to see him make a play like that because he's made plenty of them.  But we're going to have to keep making more, there's still, obviously, there's a lot of things we can do better in the passing game, protection, throwing, catching, route-running and so forth.  I mean, I don't think we're where we need to be, but we were on that play.  So that was really good situational football by Tom.  He got the ball out of there early and had that been incomplete, we still would have at least had another play, another chance at throwing into the endzone, another chance to win.  Just try to give the receiver a chance,  and he made it."

On the fact Brady threw the interception and then came back "sort of with a vengence":

"I think the whole team is like that.  But Tom's a great competitor.  Everybody's've got a short memory in this game.  Same thing was the other one, on the long pass and then the break up on the go route in front of our sideline.  You've got to have a short memory, you've got to come back and play the next play.  Look, we all have bad plays out there.  Every one of us missed blocks, missed tackles, bad calls, bad throws, drops, whatever it is.  But competitors come back and keep competing and come back and get it the next time.  Nobody's going to play a perfect game, we know that.  But you've just got to keep competing and make as few of those mistakes as possible."

On if they felt going no-huddle was what caused the Saints trouble:

"I don't know, you'd have to ask them that.  We just felt like it gave us the tempo that we were looking for.  We worked on it all week and we felt like it gave us the tempo that we were looking for and it was...I don't know, you'd have to ask them what they thought about it.   It wasn't as much about them as it was about us, about us playing fast, getting to the line, being confident in what we were doing, and getting it up tempo andjust  feeling like we wanted to go out there and try to be more aggressive.  So that's why we did it."

On the 54 yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski:

"Yeah, that was a great kick.  Steve kicked the ball well, kicked off well, and Ryan [Allen] punted the ball well too.  Our specialists did a good job, I mean [Darren] Sproles is obviously a hard guy to handle, that's one of the best returners in the league.  We covered well and we kicked well, so it was a good job by all those guys."

On what makes Brady so clutch at the end of games:

"He's obviously one of the best players in the league.  He's good in all four quarters."

On why they ran the ball so much following Arrington's interception:

"We were running plays that we felt like were good plays.  We ended up earlier in the game as you know down there, they dropped everybody off into coverage and we stood there and held the ball for about 10 seconds and everybody was doubled.  We felt like we had some good opportunities in the running game, and we did.  We had some good plays, we ended up, what was it, first and ten, first and goal at the nine and we gained like one yard and we were down to the three and we thought we had a good play there on third down and the end stunted inside, and we just couldn't get off track.  Look, we had trouble throwing the ball down there too with all there three man rush coverages, so we mixed some runs in there."

On if with a team win like this if he learns something more about them that he didn't know before:

"Well, look it was a great effort today.  I thought everybody, we competed right to the end.  We competed right to the end.  But we've got to do it every week.  We can't have one of these weeks and then go out and not have one the next week. We've just got to be consistent.  As great as today was, we've got to turn the page.  We've got to get ready to go down to New York against the Jets.  We know what kind of battle that's going to be.  We'll start to see what kind of team we have, how consistent we can be.  We've got two big division games in a row here so, going down to New York on the road, we know that's always tough.   We'll find out.  We'll start putting these games together.  We've got some guys banged up, we'll have to be able to count on everybody and fight through some bumps and bruises and all that.  We'll see where we're at.  But we'll get tested here.  We've got a lot of good tough games coming up and we'll have to answer the bell."

On the fact they don't have their two tight ends and their slot receivers and how challenging it's been for his offense and for Tom:

"Well, I think every year you're in somewhat of a transition offensively or defensively, whatever you want to call it.  We've been there before and I'm sure we'll be there again.  I don't think anybody returns all eleven starters very often in this league.  Sooner or later you either lose guys, or somebody gets hurt, or something happens.  It's a transition league.  You've got to find a way to win every year and every week.  So that's all we're trying to do is just try to find a way to win.  We're not trying to replicate anything from some other year or team, or whatever it is.  We're trying to find a way for the 2013 team to win.  Whatever that is, offense, defense, special teams, whatever those 45 guys can do, that's what we're trying to do.  We're not trying to be anything other than that."

On in that situation at the end of the game, if there's still anything Tom Brady does that surprises him at this point:

"No, he made a couple good throws - it looked like we had a shot at the seam pass there on the one, the incut,  we had good protection, that's number one.  He did a good job of reading the coverages and threw the ball very accurately.  He gave the receivers a chance to make the play and we made enough of them. I mean, that's what he does. That's what he gets paid for, that's why he's so good. He does a good job of throwing the ball accurately and making good decisions and he made several of them on that drive."