Bill Belichick's Post Game Press Conference Transcript

Ian Logue
December 22, 2013 at 09:16pm ET

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"Well, it's a...I thought a real good job by our team today. Really proud of the way those guys played.  We had a lot of guys banged up coming into the game, a few line-up changes and all that, but we had a good week of practice.  I thought our players really prepared hard.  I thought they played hard for 60-minutes and they played well.  So I'm really, really proud of the way that they played, the way that they competed, being able to finish and play 60-minutes is good, something that we need to obviously do more of.  But it was good today and I couldn't be prouder of the football team.  Those guys, they earned it today, they really did.  And that's a good football team we played.  But our guys earned it today.  So happy to win, happy to win the AFC East, and hopefully we can build off this game.  It's a good one for us."

On his thoughts on how important it was to get the turnovers early in the game:

"It's always important to turn the ball over.  There's no statistic that correlates more to winning than turnovers, except points obviously.    Turnovers are huge.  Taking care of the ball and getting the ball.  So yeah, it's big."

On if there's any moment this week in the preparation he can pinpoint on it being a good week of practice:

"Every single guy.  Look, you need everybody and we had everybody tonight.  We had contributions from all three units.  Every guy that was dressed I thought went out there and just played hard.  It wasn't perfect.  But you've got everybody doing their job in this league.   You can't win with one guy or two guys, there's just too many good guys on the other side of the ball."

On the way LeGarrette Blount has been running the ball, the fact he's been running hard the last few weeks:

"He always runs hard.  Ridley always runs hard.  Those guys always run hard.  I mean I don't think you can find too many plays where they don't run hard.  They always run hard."

On if he was pleased with the offensive line's run-blocking today:

"Well, I mean, again, that's a good defense.  They competed well.  It wasn't perfect, but we gave the backs some room to get started and when they got a chance to get rolling, they made some yards on their own.  So that was good.  It's good to be able to run the ball in at the end of the game.  It's good to be able to pick up some short yardage situations.  I thought our running game, as always, helped set up the play-action pass game, keeps us out of long-yardage , so it was a good complimentary game."

On the "next man up" mentality in the secondary with Duron Harmon coming in when Devin McCourty went out:

"Well, Duron played when Steve [Gregory] was out for a couple weeks there in the middle of the season.  He's been playing all year, we have a lot of confidence in all those guys.  Look, everybody's got to be prepared, everybody's got to be ready to go.  You never know when you're going to have to play.  You might have to play a lot or more than you think you're going to be playing.  We don't make up our mind on that, we just get ready to go.  When we're called upon than we step in there and try to do the best that we can."

On the challenges that Logan Mankins faced moving over to tackle with the Ravens' pass rush:

"Well, Logan's a good football player.  He's a great competitor.  He's a tough guy, mentally and physically.  I've never seen him do anything but meet a challenge head-on with his best.  I'll have to look at the film and all but it looked like he did a pretty good job out there tonight again against some good players."

On the job the entire offensive unit did on their four-and-a-half minute scoring drive in the fourth quarter:

"Again, you've got to give credit to everybody.  I mean, it's not one guy, there's a lot of guys blocking in front of them, guys running the ball, converting third downs, getting the ball in the end zone, getting tough yards, defensive stops, special teams field position plays, I mean it's everybody.  I couldn't sit up here and single out one guy, I just can't do it. they all contributed.  It was a good team effort, all the way across the board."

On the play by Tavon Wilson at the end of the game:

"Yeah, it was a nice play.  I don't think that really affected the outcome of the game much, but I thought, once again, he could of, after the interception, he could have not done what he did.  And he ran hard, he broke a tackle, and he finished the game and made the play that he could make.  So that was a good effort by him and our whole defense trying to get out in front and block for him, and finish the play in a positive way.  That's what competition is, just go out there and play the best you can for 60-minutes.  You can't worry about all the other stuff that's going on, you've just got to go out there and do the best you can and they did it all the way through to that play at the end, so that was good."

On if this was one of Dont'a Hightower's best games:

"Hightower's been playing pretty good.  I don't know, I'll have to watch the film but he's been making a lot of plays for us.  It looked like he made a few more today."

On his thoughts on the mental toughness of his team and the way they were able to bounce back from last week:

"That's the way it is every week in the NFL.  You can't worry about last week, you've got to worry about the challenge of this week.  And we've got another one next week with Buffalo.  I don't know what happened but they obviously played Miami a whole lot better than we played them last week.  It will be another challenge this week, but that's the way it is in the National Football league.  You've got to bring it for 16 weeks."

On the fact it seemed like everybody on the sideline was in on this game:

"It was.  We had a lot of energy on the field, again, from all three units from every guy, so it was a great feeling.  It's nice to be in a game that didn't come down to the very last second of the game.  We actually had a lead there with a couple minutes to go.  That brings out excitement when you can win in this league, win on the road, beat a good football team, and they deserve to be excited."

On how much it means to him to be able to have accomplished what they've accomplished

"Well, that's what we've worked for all year.  When we started at the beginning back during the offseason program, the OTA's and training camp and all that, you work to put yourself in position to have a chance to compete at the end of the year, and we did that.  We got ourselves in a position and today we were able to qualify for the playoffs.  So that's good.  We'll see what happens going forward, but that's what we play for is to be able to play in the postseason.  Fortunately we have that opportunity, and now we'll see what we can do."

On how big the fourth down stop was on [Ravens running back] Ray Rice:

"Well, there were a lot of big ones, sure.  That was huge.  Yeah, absolutely.  I thought that we had a couple players who really seemed alert, you know, when [Joe] Flacco came up under center, I think...I don't know, we certainly had to be alert for the quarterback running the ball from the gun, but probably in his condition, they probably weren't...I don't know how they felt about that.  So he got up under center and of course gave it to a great back in Ray Rice and we were pretty alert when jumped up there.  It was a close play, it was only a few inches, but fortunately we made it.  It was definitely a heads-up play by our guys up front."

On what went into his decision to take the team to the movies on Friday and if he felt they needed a moment:

"No, I don't feel like they needed anything.  Just changed up the routine a little bit.  We do different things from time to time."

On if it was good:

"Yeah, it was great.   Yeah, it was great.  Yeah, I think [Mark] Wahlberg obviously, he's a huge Patriots fan, a huge supporter and I really appreciate everything that Mark did to make it possible and Marcus Luttrell, I mean another tremendous guy.  It was just such an honor to meet him a couple weeks ago.  But I think the movie certainly had the messages of teamwork, leadership, perseverance, preparation, and then execution.  It's one thing to prepare, it's another thing to actually go out there and play the game or got through the battle that they did.  So, there were some good messages in it, no question.  Great movie."

On how they've been able to go out and execute each week with all the line-up changes and what he feels it's a testament to:

"I think everybody on the team has to have the same attitude.  They've got to prepare.  They've got to be ready to go.  You never know when those situations are going to come.  Well, sometimes you know going into the week if somebody's out, then somebody else could be in.  You've got to be ready for those things during the game.  I mean, that's the National Football League, every team in the league has that.  Every team's got guys on injured reserve.   Every team has players that aren't playing in certain games, that are inactive and all that.  That's the league we're in.  It's a war of attrition."