Q: How encouraged are you by the deep ball from
BB: Well, I mean it was a situational route. Obviously Pittsburgh was being aggressive, trying to get the ball back and all that. It was a great play call by Josh [McDaniels] and well executed. It was something we talked about during the week and the situation came up and we hit it so it was good.
Q: How impressed were you with Tom Brady's decisiveness and his ability to look off the safeties?
BB: Well, Tom is a good quarterback, he's made a lot of good plays. He had a lot of them today. We had a lot of help. We had good running, we had good throwing, good catching, made some big plays, we got through the secondary a few times on seam routes, go-routes, overs. The backs ran well, we had some good field position with the defensive turnovers and a couple punt returns so there were a lot of things that helped. But yeah, Tom did a good job like he always does.
Q: Did you make a conscious effort to run more this game?
BB: No. No, we made a conscious effort to win. That's what we try to do every week is win. That's what we're here for, is to win. We're not here to produce stats or do any of that stuff. We're here to win. That's what our job is, to win.
Q: Can you talk about
BB: Yeah, it was a big play for us after they tied it up at 24. We were able to make a couple plays there and get ahead by 10 points. The returns were obviously big. Kickoff coverage, we had a good kickoff coverage play after the field goal, backed them up down there around the 10 or something like that. So, yeah, we played complementary football: kicking game, offense, defense, taking advantage of our scoring opportunities. It all ties into together. It's great when it happens, it's great to see it happen that way.
Q: What does it do for your team to go into the bye with a big win like this?
BB: I don't know. I don't know.
Q: Going into the bye with a win?
BB: I don't know. It's always good to win. We have a big game against Carolina when we come back. We'll turn the page on this one and move on and start getting ready for Carolina.
Q: Did it seem like
BB: I think the more he practices, the more he plays, yeah, sure. Obviously that helps.
Q: Can you expand a little bit on Rob Gronkowski's impact, especially on third downs and in the red zone?
BB: We had a couple big third down conversions in this game. That was an area that we hadn't been great in the past couple weeks. We got them from a lot of guys, so that was good. But yeah, certainly his third-down conversions and he had a couple big plays there that helped us. We just did a lot of things better. I don't think it was one guy or one thing. We ran the ball, we pass protected, we threw it to a bunch of different guys, we made some good catches, we scored in the red area. It was a lot of good things that we did, more than we've been doing the past few weeks against a pretty good defensive football team. I know it wasn't their best day out there, but we went out there and tried to do what we could do. It was good to see that production. It's just a lot of hard work day after day by everybody, not one guy or one play or one thing. Just a good team effort; good, solid team effort.
Q: Can you talk about your defense? You lost a
BB: Obviously it's more points than we want to give up but it was good enough to win. Sometimes we win some games giving up seven to 10 points. Sometimes you win giving up 35 when you score 55. Look, they hurt us on a couple plays. They had a couple good field position situations where we gave them the ball on a short field, they were able to convert it and we weren't able to stop them. There were definitely some things we could do better defensively.
Q: When you play teams like you have defensively over the past month, like the Jets, Bengals, Saints and Dolphins, with all the different things they do, does that inevitably help your team offensively with all the things they can learn?
BB: I think we learn something from every game. But every game is different too. I mean, the matchups and the schemes and everything, all the teams you mentioned, they all have differences. But sure, we learn. Look, we're a lot better now than we were two months ago in September. I don't care if we won or lost or whatever it is, we're a better football team. We're doing things better than we did then. There's a lot of football left to be played and we have to continue to improve. There are still a lot of things that we can do better. Certainly we've learned from all the weeks, not just these last four, we've learned from all of them. And all the practices that have gone with them, because obviously there are a lot of things that we go over on the practice field that don't come up in the games but eventually will come up at some point and we have to be able to handle it. Like not being able to score down there on the one-yard line, we got off the hook on that one with the interception and we came back and scored on the next play but that's seven points that we missed that were able to get back, but you can't always count on that.
Q: Can you talk about
BB: [He] made a couple big plays down the field, had a couple third-down conversions. Danny works hard. I think he's getting a little bit better each week here since he's been back. He's able to do a little bit more and the timing and the execution with our whole offense is I think improving bit by bit. A lot of things came together today. We'll see how he is going forward.
Q: How does your team create so many turnovers?
BB: It's a credit to the players. It's just ball awareness: playing the ball, trying to strip it out on fumbles, being aware of it when you hit the quarterback – not just tackling the quarterback but trying to knock the ball out there. We work on it, but there's no way to – players have to make those decisions in the game. They have to make tackles and play the ball in the air and make those decisions as to when to go for the ball, when to go for the man, when to break it up and those type of things. It's good judgment by the players and good awareness by the players. Sometimes it's hustle and effort because sometimes those balls are on the ground and they're 50-50 balls and anybody can get them. It seems like we get our share and I think that's because the players hustle and believe in it.
Q: Can you talk about how
BB: I thought Stevan did a good job. It was really a tremendous play by [Troy] Polamalu. He did a great job. Stevan caught the ball with his back to the defender. As he turned, Troy came in there and instead of making a tackle he was able to dislodge the ball. He anticipated Ridley turning up and Troy made a good play on it. I don't think Stevan really had much of a chance to do anything but turn. Sometimes turnovers are a result of real good defensive plays. Sometimes they're the result of sloppy plays offensively. I would, unfortunately, have to credit that one to Polamalu. He made a great play on it and that's one of those things you have to live with. Stevan ran hard, like he always does. He always run shard. He's a tough runner, he gets his yards and he then always gets a few more because of his running style and his toughness and his pad level and getting downhill. He gave us that again. But he pretty much gives us that every week. So does LG, LeGarrette [Blount] ran hard too, like he always does. One thing about those guys, when they get the ball in their hands, they're working hard to make yards.