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Bill Belichick Conference Call - 12/20/2010

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his conference call, on Monday, December 20, 2010.

BB: Okay, not a whole lot new on this end from where we were last night. We talked about some good plays, some not so good ones. In the end, [we had] enough plays to win. You've got to give the players credit for playing 60 minutes and finishing the game and now we've got to get on to Buffalo who's really playing well. It's always a big challenge to go up there and that's the way it will be this week. They're a good football team; they're playing very well. We've got to have a good week of preparation. Obviously, it's Christmas week and all that. It's an important time of year for all of us and our families and so forth, but with that being said, we've got an important job to do and we'll try to balance those things out this week.

Q: In looking back at the film from last night, were you able to put a finger on why it was tough at times to get off the field on third down?

BB: Well, I'd say it was a combination of things. At times we didn't tackle well, didn't cover well, didn't have enough rush or the combination of those things all going together. We just need to do a better job all the way around: coaching, playing, and overall execution. We just have to be more consistent. At times it was fine, but at other times we didn't do well and we gave them opportunities that, really, I think we should have been able to convert on but we didn't, so they did it better than we did. We've just got to work harder and do a better job on it.

Q: What did you think of the fitness level of some of your defensive players, specifically Vince Wilfork, who played like 80 games?

BB: I thought Vince did a terrific job for us last night. You're right, he was out there for a lot of plays - 74 plays or whatever it was - I forget the exact number, but it was a lot. I thought he played hard. He really had an outstanding game. They had a lot of attention directed at him, which is understandable, but he had a bunch of double teams and slides on the protection coming his way and those types of things. He really played hard, played well and did a lot of things to help us win. I thought he was outstanding - probably one of the best games he's played. He's played a lot of good ones, but I'd say that's one of the best ones he's played around here.

Q: You mentioned after the game last night that the team will have to play much better or you won't make it much further. How much do you think this game could emulate the Cleveland game where the team seemed to respond pretty well?

BB: Well, I don't know. I don't really know the answer to that question. I think there are circumstances that are different now than what were in place in the middle of the season or earlier in the season or at any different points in time. So, we just have to deal with what our current situation is and the adjustments that we'll have to make with the teams that we'll play and things that we're doing and [do] better all the way, in all three phases of the game.

Q: What broke down on the James Jones 66-yard touchdown? What should have happened on that?

BB: Well, it shouldn't have been a 66-yard touchdown, but it was. There were a couple of things that came up on that and we've just got to do a better job. We can't have those kinds of plays - a third-and-long play and end up giving up a long touchdown. So, we've got to coach better [and] we've got to play better. We just can't give any team three-quarters of the field on one play, on a play like that. All of us are accountable - all the coaches, all the players, everybody involved. There were a lot of plays in the game that we have to do a better job of. Like I said last night, I've got to do a better job in coaching the team and preparing them and making sure that plays like that and the onside kick and strip sacks and stuff like that - that stuff can't happen. It can't happen or it will kill us.

Q: Brett Favre was upgraded from "out" to "questionable." Did you know teams could do that?

BB: Yeah. You change a player's status when his status changes. I mean, we've done that a number of times, downgraded... If his status changes, then we change it. Sure.

Q: On the Devin McCourty helmet-to-helmet hit, it took a long time for the flag to come out. Did it surprise you how much time elapsed before the flag and would it bother you if they, in fact, used video replay to look at the play, since they aren't suppose to use replay to review calls like that?

BB: Well, I don't really know what the exact conversation was between the officials. They all got together and collectively talked about it like they usually do on plays like that. And [referee] Ed [Hochuli]'s explanation to me was basically what he said when he announced the play. So, it doesn't really matter what I think about it. It's their call. Whatever they call, they call.

Q: Having covered the team for a while, a lot of us expected the tenor of the team to be a little more morose, having not played a great game. It seemed that you were a little more accepting of the fact that you didn't play up to your potential, but you have the potential. Am I accurate in trying to look at it that way?

BB: I don't know. We haven't met with the team today. Guys aren't in. I think I told you kind of how I feel last night and some of my comments here today about the game. That's really about all I can say about it. I can't tell you what anybody else thinks and all that. I just don't know.

Q: That was a poorly-phrased question; I'll take the heat for that.

BB: Alright, you can have it.

Q: After Wes Welker and Deion Branch had some really solid games over the last five weeks, what did Green Bay do to limit the production of those guys? Was there something specific scheme-wise they did or did they just have two good corners covering them?

BB: Well, Green Bay definitely did a good job. They've got a lot of good defensive players. They've got good pass rushers. They have good coverage players. They have a good scheme. They're the best team in the league on defense. I think that's obvious that they know what they're doing on that side of the ball. They gave us some problems with what they did defensively with their scheme and their good personnel. I think we gave them some, so in the end, there were some good plays on our side and there were some good plays on their side.

Q: How much closer is Mike Wright to getting back? Has he improved a lot?

BB: I'd say Mike is definitely improving, but we list him each week based on what his condition is and what we have to work with, so that's what we've done [and] that's what we'll continue to do. I would definitely say he's improved but he wasn't ready to go last night. We'll just have to continue to monitor that and take it as it comes.

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