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Bill Belichick Postgame Press Conference Transcript

Posted Nov 24, 2013

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his postgame press conference at Gillette Stadium on Monday, November 25, 2013.

BB: Well, that was a heck of an effort by our players. I’m really proud of the way they fought back. You spot a team like Denver 24 points – we just took it one play at a time, kept fighting all the way through. We say, ‘Play 60 minutes.’ It took a lot more than that tonight. I’m really proud of the way they played, they way they hung in there. It certainly wasn’t a very good first half, in any area, but we just stuck it out and in the end kept making some plays, had several plays in the kicking game, got a couple turnovers there in the second half after we’d given it up in the first half and those were big for us. The kicking game was good, our coverage was good. That was a great punt by Ryan [Allen] there at the end, getting it up there high and making it a tough play. We were able to take advantage of it. Steve [Gostkowski] knocked it through. We had a lot of guys [who] are heroes tonight. It’s a great night to be a part of recognizing the military and Veteran’s Day and just the whole what we’ve gone through in the last few weeks, relative to the league recognizing all those things and President Kennedy’s 50th anniversary assassination the other day and all that. It was good to be a part of all that good, be on the winning end of it. Now we’ll turn the page and head to Houston but we’ll enjoy this one for a little while – a couple hours anyway.

Q: Can you give us your thought process for the coin toss in overtime? What caused you to take the wind?

BB: The wind, it was a strong wind. We just had to keep the out of the end zone, obviously. I just felt like the wind would be an advantage if we could keep them out of the end zone on that first drive. We were able to do that. The wind was significant in the game, it was definitely significant.

Q: Can you talk about Julian Edelman and what he brought tonight?

BB: Julian did a great job. First of all, he did a good job of handling the ball, especially in the third and fourth quarter there. Made a couple good runs with the ball in his hands, also got open, caught the ball. The end route he got there gave us the field position in the overtime, it was a big play. Look, we had a lot of guys step up. We could rattle off 35, 40 guys here and be talking about every one of them. Hey, Julian is a tough competitor. I mean, all those guys are.

Q: What did you as a coaching staff forecast for the second half, how the game might change in terms of what Denver might do and how you had to approach it down 24 points?

BB: How the game would change? I don’t know why Denver would do anything different. They were up 24-0. We didn’t expect them to do much different.

Q: They started to milk it and went into a turtle package which really didn’t help them.

BB: That’s what they did the first half. They ran the ball in the first half. I would have done the same thing they did. They ran the same plays that they hurt us with in the second half in the first half.

Q: Well, there was a touchdown on a fumble.

BB: I understand that. I mean, they ran the ball – I don’t know, maybe we were seeing different games there. I think they hurt us with the running game in the first half and they continued to run the ball. They had a lot of success with it all night. What did they end up with?

Q: 220 yards for Knowshon Moreno.

BB: So, it didn’t surprise me that they kept doing what they were doing. If you have a 24-0 lead, you don’t go in there at halftime and say, ‘Let’s change what we’re doing.’ They didn’t. Fortunately we made some plays, we finished our drives, got the ball in the end zone, we turned it over a couple times and were able to get back in the game and make it a one score game there in the fourth quarter when we had the wind. That was key for us to be able to get back and make it a game in the third quarter. Turnovers obviously helped and finishing in the red zone helped.

Q: Could you feel the momentum shift? What made you click so well in the second half?

BB: I thought we were moving the ball pretty well in the first half but we turned it over. We couldn’t finish the drives. They ended up not only with the ball, but one time they ended up with a touchdown. You can’t move the ball when you’re losing it. We have to hang on to it. Once we started doing that, converting a few third downs, we had some big plays in the red area. This was a big red area game. We were able to get the ball in and not get held to field goals so that was huge for us, four touchdowns.

Q: Was it a surprise they ran the ball so much given what their passing game has done?

BB: Well, they have a good running game too. I’ve been saying all week they’re a well balanced offense. I don’t know anyone else that wouldn’t see that. I mean, it’s hard to stop everything with those guys. They have a lot of good players.

Q: You mentioned the wind, but obviously you had a lot of confidence in your defense. What did you think of their play in the second half?

BB: I thought we hung in there. We made some plays in the passing game, we played better on third down. I thought our guys competed well. They’re a tough offense to play against. Look, you’re not going to – it’s hard to hold them down yardage-wise, hold them down point-wise, but I thought we hung in there and battled. I thought our corners really had a – they deserve a ton of credit. [Aqib] Talib, [Kyle] Arrington, Alfonzo [Dennard], they’re all, nobody is 100 percent in that locker room but they’re all banged up, they fought through it, just wanted to go out there and compete. Devin [McCourty], Duron [Harmon], then we have Marquice [Cole] at the end, jumped in there, Logan Ryan. Those guys, they just went up there and competed against a great group of receivers. They made some plays but we made some too.

Q: Was there anything other than the wind that went into your decision to kick it in overtime? Did you look back at other games in the new overtime system?

BB: No, that was it. If it hadn’t been a strong wind, we would have taken the ball.

Q: Can you talk about Brandon Bolden’s production in the second half?

BB: I thought he stepped in, he gave us some quality plays; ran hard, broke some tackles. He’s a good back. All of our backs have been productive for us.

Q: [Asked by former Patriots linebacker Rosevelt Colvin] Fans want to know, who was the best linebacker you ever coached out of the city of Indianapolis, Indiana?

BB: [Laughs] Rosevelt Colvin.