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Bill Belichick Postgame Press Conference Transcript

Posted Dec 22, 2013

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his postgame press conference at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, December 22, 2013.

(Opening Statement) "I thought it was a really good job from our team today. We had a lot of guys banged up coming into the game. Line-up changes, and all of that, but we had a good week of practice. I thought our players really prepared hard and played hard, and they played well. I'm really proud of the way they played. That they competed. Being able to finish and play 60 minutes is good. It's something we obviously need to do more of. I couldn't be prouder of the football team. They earned it today, and that's a good football team we played. But our guys earned it today. I'm happy to win and happy to win the AFC East, and, hopefully, we can build off this game. It was a good one for us."

(on seeking turnovers) "It's always important to turn the ball over. There's no statistic that correlates more to winning than turnovers. Turnovers are huge. Taking care of the ball and getting the ball – that's big."

(on pinpointing anything throughout the week in their preparation) "Every single guy. You need everybody, and we had everybody. We had contributions from all three units. Every guy that was dressed I felt played hard. It wasn't perfect. You have to have everybody doing their job in this league. You can't win with one or two guys. There's just too many good guys on the other side of the ball."

(on his running backs, specifically LeGarrette Blount) "He always runs hard – really hard. Those guys always run hard. I don't think you'll find too many players where they don't run hard."

(on the offensive line) "Again, that's a good defense. They competed well, and it wasn't perfect. But we gave the back some room to get started. And when they had a chance to get rolling, they made some yards on their own. It was good to be able to run the ball at the end of the game and pick up some short yardage situations. I thought our running game, as always, helped to set up the play action pass game and keep us out of long yardage."

(on the next-man-up mentality in the secondary) "Tavon [Wilson] had been playing for a couple of weeks in the middle of the season. So, he's been playing all year, and we have a lot of confidence in those guys. Everybody has to be prepared, and everybody has 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 play. We don't make our mind up on that. We just get ready to go when we are called upon and step in there and try to do the best we can."

(on Logan Mankins) "Logan's a good football player and a good competitor. He's a tough guy mentally and physically. I have never seen him do anything but meet a challenge head on. It looked like he did a good job tonight against some pretty good football players."

(on their drive with six minutes remaining) "You have to give credit to everybody. It's not just one guy. There was a lot of guys blocking, running the ball, converting third downs, getting the ball in the end zone, and getting tough yards. Defensive stops, special team field position plays. It was just everybody. I couldn't sit up here and single out one guy. They all contributed. It was a good team effort all the way across."

(on Tavon Wilson's interception return) "It was a nice play. I don't think it really affected the outcome much. But, once again, after the interception, he could have not done what he did, but he broke a tackle, and he finished the game and made the play that he could make. It was a good effort by him and the whole defense getting out in front and blocking and try to finish the game on a positive note. That's what competition is. You go out there and play your best for 60 minutes. All the other stuff that's going, you just have to go out there and play your best. And we did it all the way through to that play at the end."

(on Dont'a Hightower) "[Dont'a] Hightower has been playing pretty good. I have to watch the film, but he's been making a lot of plays, and it looked like he made a few today."

(on the team's mental toughness to bounce back from last week) "That's what it is every week in the NFL. You can't worry about last week. You have to worry about the challenges of this week, and we have another one next week with Buffalo. I don't know what happened, but they obviously played Miami a whole lot better than we did. So, it will be another challenge next week, but that's the way it is in the NFL. You have to bring it for 16 weeks."

(on the team's excitement) "We had a lot of energy on the field from all three units. It was a great feeling. Was kind of nice to be in a game that didn't come down to the last seconds. We actually had a lead with a couple of minutes to go. But that brings out excitement. When you can win in this league on the road, beat a good football team, they deserve the excitement."

(on the accomplishment of reaching the playoffs) "That's what we work for all year. We started with the off-season programs, OTAs, and training camp. We worked to put ourselves in position to have a chance to compete at the end of the year, and we did that. We got ourselves into position to qualify for the playoffs. That's good. We'll see what happens going forward. And that's what we play for – to be able to play in the postseason. Fortunately, we have that opportunity, and now we'll see what we can do."

(on the fourth-and-1 stop of Ray Rice) "There were a lot of big wins, but that was huge. We had a couple of players that seemed alert when [Joe] Flacco came up under center. We certainly had to be aware of the quarterback running the ball. Although with his condition, I don't know how they felt about that. He, of course, gave it to a great back in Ray Rice, and we were pretty alert when he jumped in there. And that was a close play – only a few inches, but it was definitely a heads up play from our guys up front."

(on his decision to take the team to the movies on Friday) "I didn't feel like they needed anything – just changed up the routine a little bit. We do different things from time to time. Mark Wahlberg, obviously, is a huge Patriots fan and a huge supporter. And I really appreciate everything that Mark did to make it possible to watch the show. He's a tremendous guy, and it was such an honor to meet him a few weeks ago, but I think the movie certainly had the messages of leadership, perseverance, preparation, and then execution. It's one thing to prepare; it's another to actually go out there and play the game and go through the battle that they did. So, that was a great message, no question, and a great movie."

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