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Bill Belichick Conference Call Transcript

Posted Oct 21, 2013

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his conference call on Monday, October 21, 2013.

BB: After going through the film, I’d reiterate what I said yesterday: we just didn’t do enough things well enough in the game. We had plenty of opportunities but we just didn’t make enough plays in all three phases of the game. Certainly the penalties hurt us: we had two in the return game, a couple on offense, a couple on defense. Then just didn’t make enough plays on third down- that was obviously a problem. Even though we had two touchdowns in the red area, we got close in the red area offensively and didn’t come up in the stats, but it’s the same thing, just weren’t able to get the ball in the end zone. That’s pretty much the story of the game. The field goal play at the end, I think Chris [Jones] is obviously trying to do the right thing by stepping up and taking responsibility but that’s not his responsibility, it’s ours. We just have to do a better job of coaching that. It’s not his fault, that’s one me [and] the coaching staff, we just have to do a better job there.

Q: Yesterday you mentioned you didn’t bring a player from the second level when discussing the penalty. Reading the rule after, it doesn’t mention where the player comes from, but I found a lot of references by [NFL Vice President of Officiating] Dean Blandino to the second level. Why did you have the notion of second level pushing being illegal but line of scrimmage pushing after the snap being legal?

BB: Because obviously we are wrong. What else is there to say? We’re wrong.

Q: How did the notion of second level get into your mind initially? I know it was in the proposal initially but did they do a good enough job articulating that second level is also illegal?

BB: Look, it’s our job to understand the rules. Whatever the bottom line is, we didn’t do it properly. So, what else is there to say?

Q: Against the Bengals, you had some issues on third down with a lot of long situations. Yesterday you had more manageable situations on third down, but couldn’t convert. Was that something to do with you guys or with what the Jets were doing?

BB: We just didn’t do a good enough job. The league average in those situations is a lot higher than what we were. They’re not impossible situations. The third-and-longs are third-and-longs. They are what they are, they’re hard to get. You have to get some of them too. The ones that we had better opportunities on, the short-yardage situations, including the third-and-1, twice we couldn’t make those either. We came back and made the fourth-and-1, but we just didn’t do things well enough to get the yardage. I would say it’s a combination of a lot of things. We have to coach better, we have to block better, we have to throw and catch better. We have to just execute the pays in the passing game and the running game. From the coaching standpoint, we have to do a better job there too. I’d say all the way across the board. I couldn’t point to one [thing], it wasn’t the same problem on every play but the results weren’t anywhere near good enough, what they need to be.

Q: You gave the ball to Brandon Bolden on third-and-1 and he was stopped and you gave the ball to Stevan Ridley on fourth-and-1. Why did you give the ball to a different running back in that situation or why not give it to Ridley on third down?

BB: We were in the no-huddle, we were in a no-huddle mode. On the third-and-1 play, they stopped, they measured it. It was an inch or two short whatever it was, it was very close to the first down. So we went with the play that we had for that situation. Those were the people that were on the field for that play. That’s why that happened that way.

Q: Going back to the Chris Jones situation, you talk about coaching it better but isn’t that just an instinct thing on the player’s part and a spur of the moment type of thing?

BB: No, we have to coach him better. What he did was basically what he was being told to do. We just have to coach it better. That’s not Chris Jones’ fault.

Q: What were your thoughts on how Rob Gronkowski fared in his first action back?

BB: I think Rob did some good things. Obviously he hasn’t played for awhile. I’m sure that with more playing time and practice time that he’ll improve. I thought he competed well and he definitely gave us some plays.

Q: When you enter a situation like that and you figure he’s not going to play every snap, how do you manage when to take him off? Was there any sort of set pattern there?

BB: He was in the game in certain personnel groups and wasn’t in the game in other groups. That was one way to manage it. Then just on the sideline watching how he was doing and talking to him, I think we got a sense of what the amount or level of plays were going to be for him as the game went down. I’d say a combination of those two things.

Q: When Geno Smith scrambled and just got to the sticks for a first down on third-and-14, is that a break in containment on that play? How did the space open up for him there?

BB: It was definitely a breakdown in our rush lanes with the pass rush. We could have possibly reacted to it a little bit quicker in the secondary. That might have saved a couple yards which would have made a difference but that’s the responsibility of the pass rush, to keep him from doing that. Everybody else was locked up in coverage. Once he crosses the line of scrimmage, some players are available or freed up at that point to leave their coverage and we could have maybe reacted to that a little quicker. We just didn’t do a good enough job on the pass rush of keeping him in there, which again is a combination of coaching and playing.

Q: It seemed like Chandler Jones was pretty disruptive in the game. Would you agree with that assessment just in terms of his overall performance? It seems like he’s giving you guys a lot and pretty much never really coming off the field.

BB: Yeah, I thought that Chandler played very competitively. Look, with every player there are always plays that could be better. I wouldn’t say that about anybody after almost any game. He definitely had some disruptive plays. I thought we had a lot of guys in the front seven that made some disruptive plays at times. We got them from Joe [Vellano] and Chris [Jones], Chandler, Rob [Ninkovich]. Like Rob’s play on the interception to [Logan] Ryan, he was right in [Geno] Smith’s face there. I don’t know if that affected the throw or not, but might have. Certainly Brandon [Spikes] was disruptive in the running game, Jamie Collins had some disruptive plays; [Dont’a] Hightower. I thought we had a number of those throughout the course of the game. Of course, we played too many plays on defense, was part of the problem. A number of guys were active up there and Chandler had plays in both the running game and the passing game that were disruptive and physical plays. I think that he’s strung a few weeks here together and hopefully we can continue, he can continue to do that.