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Fri., Aug. 26, 2016 5:05 PM to 7:15 PM EDT
Fri., Aug. 26, 2016 7:15 PM to 10:30 PM EDT
Fri., Aug. 26, 2016 10:30 PM to 11:45 PM EDT
Bill Belichick Conference Call Transcript
BB: As I said last night, it was a highly competitive game. It was a good football game. I'm proud of the way our team fought from the beginning to the end. Came down to a handful of plays that, you know, I'd say, that ultimately probably decided the game. They just had a few more of them than we did. We have to do a better job of taking advantage of our opportunities. Obviously the red area was a big difference in the game from a scoring standpoint. We just need to do a better job with the opportunities that we have and that's what we're going to keep working to do. Our effort, our competiveness, our ability to hang in there and it was a back and forth game and as I said, it came down to a handful of plays. I don't really have any comment to add about the officiating or any of those calls. If you have any questions on that, you can talk to the league office and the officiating department, let them give their explanation on them. It's not really our job to call the game, it's to play it and coach it. Whatever calls they make are the ones that we live with. We can't let that affect what we're doing, we just have to do continue to coach the techniques and do the things that are right and within the rules and assume that they'll be officiated accordingly. So that's how we'll handle that. We have to turn the page here quickly, get on to Denver. Good football team, playing well, obviously their record reflects that. We have to correct some mistakes from the Carolina game but move on to Denver and have a good week of preparation and be ready to go next week.
Q: What's your take on how Shane Vereen looked in his first game back? I imagine there was some good and some bad but specifically his level of fitness and how he looked in his first game action since Week 1?
BB: It's pretty much what you described; what I said after the game. It was good to have him back. He missed two months of football. I think he'll be better as we go along. He's worked hard, definitely made some plays that helped us in the game. I think he'll improve and get better, like any player will with more reps and more opportunities to practice and play. It's definitely good to have him back out there. There are plenty of things for him to work on but he's a diligent, hard working kid that always gives you a solid effort. I'm sure he'll continue to do that.
Q: Have you seen the pool report on the explanation on the last play of the game?
BB: As I just said, I really don't have anything to add or comment on that. It doesn't matter what I think. It's whatever the officials think is the only thing that matters. It doesn't matter what any of us think. They're the ones who make the calls. It's their explanation and their judgment that we all have to abide by.
Q: How do you describe the challenge of preparing for Denver after the Monday night game and the travel plus the Denver offense? How challenging are these next few days?
BB: It's challenging every week. Every team in the NFL is a good football team. They all have good players, good coaches, tough schemes. They work hard, prepare well – they all do that. It will be a challenging week but every week in the NFL is challenging. We'll just take the time and the opportunity that we have and try to make the most of it. Some weeks are long weeks; some weeks are short weeks. We all play the same number of games over the same time period so it all evens out in the end. If you have a long week, you have a short week. If you have a short week, then you have a long week. We've dealt with those before. We played on Thursday night this year. Whatever time we have to prepare for the game, we'll use that to the best advantage we can, go out there and compete on Sunday night.
Q: Looking at Denver, how much, if at all, have they changed what they do with the addition of Wes Welker?
BB: I'd say Peyton [Manning] is running the same offense he ran in Indianapolis and basically the same in Denver. They have a few modifications to it, but it's the same offense.
Q: You've often used the phrase, 'Coach it better and play it better.' Cam Newton had three runs that were really long and crucial on third down. Is that a case of coaching and playing better or is that a case of Cam Newton making athletic plays and there's nothing you can do about it?
BB: Well, I think there's something we can do about it. Yeah, as I said, we need to a better of coaching and we need to do a better job playing it. I don't think that's necessarily the challenge that we'll see this week but we'll see quarterbacks like that, that are athletic and can run and make yards with their legs and all that. We have to do a better job – we were certainly aware of it going into the game and we just didn't do a good enough job, especially in those situations that you mentioned.
Q: Last night you deployed two punt returners and really set up in great field position. What went into that decision and the circumstances and your choice to use Danny Amendola along with Julian Edelman?
BB: I think the wind was definitely a factor, more of a factor in the kicking game than the passing game, like it usually is, but most definitely a factor in kicking it into the wind. The first punt that they had at the beginning of the game, [Brad] Nortman hit a really good ball and it went the same direction and it carried well down the field. But we had a punt rush on so we only had one returner back deep, obviously with Edelman. But on the return, you're kind of trying to do two things: you're trying to field that ball that he hit in the first quarter but you also have to field the ball that he ended up hitting like he did there in the fourth quarter. The two-deep just gives you a better opportunity to cover the field and I think those are a good example on those two punts, they were the only two punts, but there's a good example of how much of a difference you can have in the ball on a night like that. It gave us better field coverage and Danny made a good play and was able to add some yards to the shorter punt, set us up in pretty good field position.
Q: How has Wes Welker looked in that system and getting up to speed in the first 10 games with the Broncos?
BB: I think Wes looks like Wes, like the player we've seen. Most of the time he lines [up] in the slot and he plays like we've all seen him play around here for the time he was here. Read