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Bill Belichick Post-Game Press Conf - 08/22/2003

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BB: I thought that was a solid effort tonight by the team. Some things were better than others, but overall I thought it was a good, solid effort. Offensively, we converted our third downs better, which was a big improvement. We turned the ball over and got hurt by penalties at times, but overall the third down conversions kept us on the field and gave us an opportunity to run some more plays and control field position and not keep the defense out there all day. Defensively, I thought it was decent keeping them off the board. We had a few problems out there. We had a few penalties as well, but overall I thought it was a decent effort tonight, against a good football team in a good atmosphere here. This is a good, energetic atmosphere for this preseason game. And it's good for us to be able to deal with that.

Q: Do you have any thoughts on Ted Washington from when you had him in there? Did you play him as much or maybe more than you expected to?

BB: We planned on playing him through the first half and that's what it was. I'm not sure how many plays it was. Maybe twenty…but I'll have a look at it on tape. It seemed like it was okay, but I'll reserve judgment until I see the tape.

Q: Can you talk about [Tom] Brady's play, particularly that last drive in the first half?

BB: I was really glad we had that opportunity to have the two-minute drive. I thought that he managed the clock pretty well. We made some first downs and got down there in the scoring zone. Hopefully at the worst, we would have come out of there with a field goal, but we made a nice play, beat the blitz there and hit the touchdown before the half. I thought that that situation was well handled by the team offensively and of course by Tom [Brady] as well.

Q: How about his play just overall?

BB: Some things were better than others. You know you don't like to lose the ball. He made some good throws. He made a couple of good throws down the field. We will take a little closer look at it on tape, but I thought we moved the ball better. We converted our third downs and got the ball in the end zone in the red area. So those were all positives.

Q: The team seemed to get some significant pressure on [Donovan] McNabb on the first couple of drives, including the forced fumble. You've had good pressure in all three games now, is that encouraging or do you not make much of it?

BB: It's always encouraging, but we'll see what the results are when the regular season starts. But it's encouraging to have some guys that…I think we have a little more quickness, a little more speed up front than we had last year so hopefully that will translate into a little more pressure.

Q: Offensively you saw maybe a basic rush package from them, do you think it was a little less tonight than what you'll see in the regular season?

BB: Oh I don't know. I don't know what the game plan will be in the regular season. I mean they do what they do. They play over. They play under. They blitz their linebackers. They blitz their strong safety. They blitz their weak safety. We saw all those combinations. Whether it will be more or less, I don't know. But they do what they do and at times they gave us some problems with it. They are a good defensive football team. I mean they are a good football team period, but they are a good defensive football team.

Q: The situation with [James] Thrash, is that hard? Do you sense a let down with guys thinking about it?

BB: It's a tough situation. I've been through a few of those and they are all tough. I did talk to coach [Andy] Reid after the game and told the team tonight that he seems to think that Thrash will be okay. So that was good news. But yeah, it's a tough situation. You are out there competing. It's a physical game. But you never want to see those kind of plays…or those kind of injuries. There was nothing wrong with the play, it was just unfortunate. But hopefully he'll be all right.

Q: Do you need another preseason game or is this team ready?

BB: Well we have another preseason game and we'll try to take advantage of the opportunities next week to sharpen up some things that we need to work on. There are still plenty of things we can improve. Believe me, we are a long way from being anywhere yet. But there have been some encouraging signs and we'll take advantage of every opportunity we have in the practices this week and the game to try to correct some of our mistakes and be a little more prepared for when these situations or plays get run again.

Q: Will you have a healthy center next week?

BB: I hope so. I think Damien [Woody], when I talked to him when we left on Thursday, was feeling better and Dan [Koppen] looks like he's got a sore arm, but hopefully that won't be too bad either. If not then we'll just have to fill in with Billy [Conaty] if he's healthy or [Russ] Hochstein, if they are all…if those three can't play.

Q: You are 3-0 in the preseason against three teams that you will play in the regular season. What does that mean?

BB: It means we are 3-0 in the preseason.

Q: You can't really take any definite encouragement or concrete proof that you are matching up well with these teams?

BB: We'll find out in the regular season. I think we played competitively with all three teams. But I think they played competitively with us too. I don't think it really means much.

Q: Tyrone Poole?

BB: His leg tightened up on him a little bit last week and we worked him out before the game. I think he was close, but he needs a little bit more time.

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