Bill Belichick Post Game Press Conference Transcript

Ian Logue
December 08, 2013 at 05:56pm ET

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"Well, that was another wild one.  Once again, have to give our team a lot of credit for the way they played, and the plays they made there at the end of the game.  Some real good individual efforts, got a lot of, obviously, contributions from everybody.  Huge kick by Steve [Gostkowski], and a couple big scores there offensively and we were able to keep them out of field goal range at the end.  Cleveland played about like I thought they would.  I mean, they're young, they're aggressive, they played hard, they played well.  We certainly have a lot of room for improvement, a lot of things we've got to do better, but it's always good to come out with a win in spite of everything that happened.  Rob [Gronkowski] was taken to the hospital for observation and evaluation on his injury, so that's all I have on that."

On what these unbelievable comebacks say about his team:

"I don't know.  I mean each one has its own dynamics and own special circumstances, but we had to make just about every play that we made at the end today and fortunately we did.  Usually when you put yourself in that kind of situation it doesn't always happen that way and if one little thing goes wrong, then it doesn't work out.  Fortunately it did today."

On the type of onside kick they picked in that situation and what went into that decision:

"I'd rather not talk about the strategy of that.  That stuff's going to come up again.  We do what we think's best, let's put it that way."

On whether or not there's more disappointment to be in a situation like that to begin with or if there's elation that they won the game:

"No, we're excited to win, absolutely.  We're excited to win.  It's hard to win in this league and Cleveland's a good football team and they played well today. No, we're definitely excited to win.  Yeah."

On if he had any issue with TJ Ward going low on Gronkowski in that situation:

"I think that's a question you should take up with the league Tom [Curran]."

On if he's ever had a feeling like this after a game like that, and how he even puts it into words:

"I mean I just tried.  Sorry if it wasn't good enough for you. [Room Erupts in Laughter] I tried the best.  We put ourselves in a bad situation, we were down by whatever it was, 12-points, went into our 2-minute drive, hit a couple plays, got the ball down the field.  We had an extra timeout because we didn't stop them down there, they threw the two passes in those kind of 'run it' type of situations that were good calls by [Browns offensive coordinator] Norv [Turner] and well executed, obviously, by Cleveland.  So we didn't get to use our final timeouts and fortunately had one left there.  We tried to run the ball in and they stopped us.  So we had an extra timeout to use there to give ourselves a little bit more time and then the onside kick, and trying to get the ball down the field again.  We're just playing them one play at a time. That's all you can do.  You're down by two scores, all you can you is score once, and then get the ball back and then score again.  I mean, you can't score 14-points in one play.  It's a sequence and series of plays.  I don't know how else to put it.  I'll find something more eloquent to do that."

On the contributions by the running backs today:

"We got contributions from all of them like we usually do.  I've got a lot of confidence in all those guys.  They all do a good job.  We ran with the ball, we caught it, made some big plays in different ways coming out of the backfield, checkdowns, runs, getting it in the end zone, so those guys did a good job.  I mean obviously we have to play with more consistency.  We had our moments, and then we had a lot of moments that weren't very good too.  But we had some production."

On if from where he was standing if he saw a problem with the hit on Gronkowski:

"That's not for me to judge."

On if the victory is tempered at all because of his injury:

"Anytime a player gets hurt, you never like to see that.  But I don't even know what the extent of his injury is yet so I don't want to jump to conclusions on that."

On what this game says about Tom Brady:

"Obviously we've seen Tom do this many times before, so I think it's probably all been said before.  But he did it again, that's what it says.  He did it again.  Him and a lot of the other guys, he had a lot of help out there."

On with all the injuries if he's ever been in a situation where it's been this bad:

"What, now?"

On the "next man up" with all these injuries, and the fact this is really stretching it:

"You just take them one play at a time, one day at a time, one game at a time.  Whatever it is, we'll deal with whatever we have to deal with."

On the play buy Matthew Mulligan when he tried to jump over the defender, if that's something he's coached:

"Just being aggressive, trying to make a play.  A lot of times when you see a big guy like that running with the ball, those guys will come in and try to tackle low.  I mean certainly Cleveland's defensive backs do a lot of that, so he was trying to hurdle the guy he probably  thought was going to go low."

On how Shane Vereen has evolved positionally:

"Shane, the more opportunity he's gotten, the more he's been able to do for us.  His rookie year in the Kansas City game, in the limited chances he had that year he was productive.  Last year we had some depth in our backfield and when he got an opportunity to play, he did a good job.  He obviously had a good game against Buffalo and then missed the next eight weeks.  So when he's been in there, he's been pretty productive for us. It's just there have been times and reasons over the course of his career, for one reason or another, where his opportunities have been somewhat limited.  But when he's been in there...and our other backs have done well too.  It's not like they haven't been productive.  They've all taken advantage of their opportunities, they all deserve to play, and they've all done well for us."

On the fact his team plays well with the game on the line, and how he's able to keep his team and have them not panic when there's a sense of urgency down the stretch:

"Well, I mean we practice all these situations.   So I think it's just the recognition of,'This is what the situation is that we've practiced, this is what we need to do in this situation, we have to try and go out there and try and execute it'.  I think that's really the short end of it.  You never know what's going to come up, you don't know what situations are going to happen in a game, you just have to take them as they come and as they come then you have plays, or you have calls or you have things that you've prepared for in those situations and you just have to recognize that, 'This is it, and this is what we need to do'.  I think that really is the entire team, that's not one guy.  I mean one guy can't tell ten other guys what to do on every play.  As a team we have to recognize that,  'This is  the situation, this is  the play, this is what we're looking for, this is what we're going to try and do'.  Again, overall our team has done a reasonably good job of that this year, particularly today.  I mean that's about as hard as it gets today with being down by two scores with two minutes and, I don't know, twenty seconds or whatever it was left in the game, something like that. We dug ourselves in a big hole but they made the plays they needed to make to get out of it.  So you have to give them credit for that.  But that's what we practice for.  Probably think we should practice the other stuff and avoid those situations, right?  Do a better job of that? [Smiles]."