Bill Belichick's Post Game Press Conference Transcript

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December 29, 2013 at 08:47pm ET

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"Well, once again I thought it was a good solid effort by our team.  We got great contributions in all three phases and obviously this was a tremendous game by LeGarrette [Blount], clearly the best player on the field.  He had a tremendous day.  But we got it from everybody here and I thought that Buffalo played hard, like they always do.  They're a tough football team,  they battled us all the way and fortunately we were just able to make a few more plays and make a few at the right time, get a couple stops, get a couple scores, make a couple plays in the kicking game, some situational football that helped us out there. So we're excited to be 12-4 moving into the playoffs.  We've still got a lot of work to do, I still think we can do things better than what we're doing, which we'll need to, whoever we play.  It will be a tough opponent, whoever the next opponent is.  So hopefully we can play our best football when that time comes in a couple weeks."

On how much the weather conditions dictated their commitment to the running game:

"Yeah, well it was tough out there.  It was tough to throw the ball, tough to catch it.  We saw a bunch of balls on the ground, more so than usual.  So it was definitely a factor, it got worse as the game went along.  But it was definitely a running game."

On the play of Blount in the kick return game:

"He did a great job running the ball, we did a good job blocking.  Guys in front of him did a good  job blocking, gave him an opportunity to get started.  He's a guy that if you can get him started he can really make some yards.  No back can run when there's no blocking.   But he did a great job, so did the guys on the kickoff return team.  We haven't had a lot of big plays in that area during the year, but over the past few weeks we got a little spark there from Josh and certainly from LeGarrette today, so those was huge for us."

On their ability to be mentally tough and overcome injuries:

"That's what we have to do, is go out there every week.  Everybody's got to deal with something.  I have everybody ready to go and whoever's called on, if we put them out there, we have confidence in them.  We wouldn't put them out on the field if we weren't confident in them."

On if he feels his team has good momentum heading into the playoffs:

"I don't think that has anything to do with it.  I think whoever plays good in the playoffs wins, I don't think momentum has anything to do with it."

On Julian Edelman's development:

"I don't think there's ever been any question about Julian's skills, his toughness, or his competitiveness.  You're right, this is the year he's been able to stay on the field and certainly his production has parallelled his time on the field.  He's done a good job with his opportunities.  He always practices hard, plays hard, prepares well, he's always a tough guy you can count on from that standpoint, and this year he's been healthy."

On Brady's form on his punt:

"Well it was, like third and half a mile.  Leonard made a good play to get back there and get it, but it was a play that we felt like we had good protection on and rather than go through the whole third and long, deal with a punt rush and all that, we were able to get a little cleaner play off there.  But he's done that for us a couple times in the past.  He's always ready."

On the first play of the fourth quarter, if he was committed to the field goal:

"The first play of the fourth quarter?"

When you drew them offsides?

"Yeah.  Well, I mean, they jumped offsides so it was a first  down.  We never even got a chance to kick it.  It wasn't much of a decision."

On his decision to switch from Vereen to Blount on the kickoffs:

"No, they've all returned them.  Shane has a little more experience back there just overall, ball handling with the conditions and all, but they've all done it."

On Blounts kickoff returns and despite his statements that "momentum" doesn't matter, how huge those returns were:

"Absolutely, no question.  I mean look, he had a tremendous day.  What the best day of all time for Patriots' total yardage?  It was a tremendous day."

On the emotional lift it gave his team:

"He carried the team on his back most of the day.  He had 330-something yards.  I don't know how much more we had besides that.  So yeah, he did the bulk of it, no question.  I mean, he had some help, but he did a great job.  Tremendous."

On a personal level when he brings a player and overcomes adversity, and if it's rewarding as a coach to see a guy come into their program and make that kind of progress:

"He's made contributions for us all year.  You were at the Atlanta game.  You've been at all the games.  He's contributed for us all year.  I think definitely I insist that this one has to go to our assistant pro personnel director [Aqib] Talib, who I talked to before we traded for LeGarrette.  Everything he's said about him is absolutely right.  He's a good football player who loves to play, who works hard, and is a team player, a great guy for the team in the locker room so he's been all those things."

On how happy he is for his team that they earned the bye:

"I'm happy for them, they definitely earned it.  You're right, nobody gave them anything, they had to go out and earn it, win 12 games, and a lot of them were very tough and competitive and came down to the wire.  This team earned it, I'm happy for them them, but at the same time, this isn't 0ur only goal for the season.  We need to play our best football going forward so we'll have another big challenge ahead of us in a couple weeks."

On how important the bye is in increasing their chances of success in the playoffs:

"We're in the second round of the playoffs now so...yeah.  I mean, we're in the second round."

On if he's surprised that a guy as big as Blount can return kickoffs so well:

"I think he's got good running skills.  I mean we've seen him Steve [WBZ's Steve Burton], he's not a fullback out there.  He's got some quickness, got good vision, got excellent elusiveness in the secondary and which is kind of what kickoff returns are.  I think the big thing for him is  judging the ball, handling the ball on those kicks since he doesn't have a lot of experiencing doing it but he's worked hard at it and I'd say he's definitely improved. Everybody's confident in him."

On what made him switch to Slater and Blount before Blount made his 80 yard run back:

"I think Slater was back there with him, if I'm not mistaken, with Vereen, but it was just the opening kickoff, the ball handling, the rain, the conditions and all that.  Shane's got a little more experience doing that.  But we have confidence in both guys."

On the contributions from Stephen Gostkowski:

"Yeah, well all three of those guys.  I mean, this is about as tough of conditions as you can snap, hold, and kick in.  I thought Ryan [Allen] did a great job of getting the ball down.  Danny [Aiken], of course, snapping it, and Steve kicking it.  I mean, it was, these are not easy kicks and the whole operation, the timing, and just the execution of them.   The balls were up, they were high, they were straight, and Steve did a great job.   So whole operation was good, it was a tough day to kick.  And I thought Ryan punted well too.  We could have obviously had another one down in there inside the five, we missed an opportunity but those guys did a terrific job  given the conditions, it wasn't an easy day."