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Bill Belichick Post-Game Press Conf. - 08/24/2002

To read the full transcript, click below.



BB: Well, obviously, we got off to a little bit of a slow start here in the first half. And I think I was happy to see offensively us have some good drives there in the third quarter and come back. That was encouraging. Defensively, I thought that we had a pretty aggressive night. I thought those guys did a good job. You know, Carolina's defense is aggressive. They did a good job. They did a lot better job that we did in the first half. And I thought that Brady came back and had a few plays there in the second half and that was definitely encouraging. Overall, I thought our kicking game was decent against a very good special teams unit. And they have got some good players there, you know, Smith and Sauerbrun and Cooper, that's a pretty good lineup. We had quite a few guys out of the game. I think we had 15 guys that didn't dress and, you know, nothing really I think out of the ordinary, just that they didn't feel like they were ready to go. They had a couple bumps and bruises tonight. At this point it doesn't appear to be anything dramatic. You know, we probably will know more as the days go by. So that is the story on that. I went down and saw Robert this afternoon and he was in real good spirits. He was up and he looked pretty good really. And I think it probably turned out to be a blessing the way that it happened and they got the problem before it became more serious. And I think he will be
probable for the opener.

Q: Day-to-day?

BB: No. Not day-to-day. It is going to take him a couple of days. But he is doing well. But he is probable.

Q: Are we going with the chest on the injury?

BB: Yes, upper body.

Q: Bill, being kind, you say your offense sputtered in the first half.

BB: Yes. Well, any time you are zero for nine, you are down conversions, you are not going to have the ball very long. And we couldn't convert a run or the passing, and in the second half we executed a lot better, some big plays. We were a lot sharper. You know, it is a fine line in this
league between making those plays and not making those plays and, you know, a lot of little things. But they were certainly better in the second half.

Q: Bill, Tom had a tough first quarter and has been kind of -- are you concerned that he is not where he should be or --

BB: Well, I think it is the third preseason game. I don't know if anybody is, you know, where they are going to end up. You know, it is not mid season and I think your team, I think any year your team is going to improve it should improve in training camp. It should improve the first month of the season. It could improve in the second month of the season. And you know, in the past that is what we have always tried to do and tried to work for. Would you like to be further along than it is now, sure, absolutely. I think it is that way every year. So you know it is what it is. We still have got a lot of work to do in all three phases of the game and we will try to improve on it again next week. We need to keep improving every week. It is not going to happen overnight. It is not going to be a one-day process. We are not going to walk in here Tuesday after practice and say, Okay, we have got it down. Just it is unrealistic.

Q: Bill, with Tedy Bruschi out and with Ted Johnson not available, Tuitele ended up playing an awful lot in the game.

BB: Yes, it was nice, yes.

Q: Without the benefit of the films, do you think how he fared tonight and how he handled himself –

BB: Well, I think he has done a pretty consistent job for us the whole camp. It would be hard to pick anything out tonight, but it didn't seem like there were any major screwups. He had a couple that the plays could have been better for sure, but Maugaula (Tuitele) has been in our system for a while. He knows it pretty well. He does a good job of managing the defense and he does a pretty nice job when he is in here. But I think those other two guys will be back. I don't think they'll be out. And Maugaula, you know, certainly has given everybody a run for their money and, you know, he has done nothing but improve in the time that he's been here with us. And I think he really benefitted from going to Europe, getting more playing time and, you know, he is quicker and I think he is reacting better. He is a little more instinctive than he was here.

Q: David Givens started tonight and played pretty well also. Has he developed a great deal so far from your camp?

BB: I think David has had a decent camp. He played in the three receiver sets and was in on special teams. You know, that is a guy we want to take a look at especially with the other two receivers, Branch and Hayes, not dressing tonight. So it gave everybody a little more opportunity, it gave them a little more opportunity and, you know, we want to see how he can compete against, you know, better people in the first half. But you know, he has had a pretty solid camp.

Q: Bill, besides the yardage, what impressed you about David Patten tonight?

BB: You know, David has had a real good camp. He is a lot, a lot further ahead than he was last year. And you know, he has done a lot of little things with this game in terms of route running and precision in the passing game and that has really shown up in a lot of practice sessions out there as well as out here on the field, you know, preseason games. So you know, I just would say that everything, just about everything he is doing is better than what it was, you know, this time last year. Even some things during the season, you know, just better on his routes, better understanding of where to be and how to beat people. And you know, he has caught the ball well so, you know, it is not like it was just a play or two out there tonight. He has been doing that kind of thing for us the whole camp. He really has had a good camp.

Q: Bill, three sacks early, is that attributable to the number of changes that you had to make in the offensive line to put a team out there?

BB: No. I think we just didn't block. I really think we just didn't block. We should have had those picked up. And we had people out there. It wasn't like they would get us on something and just cut a guy loose. We should have had a block and we just didn't block them. You know, when you get hit as many times as we got hit in the first half and you can't make third and one a couple of times, that is how we were looking for our offensive line. It has been pretty consistent this year. I think that first half is not one of their best halves. It is preseason and we looked a little better in the third quarter.

Q: Bill, you got catches from the top three tight ends tonight. They are starting to get involved in the offense a little more. How do you feel that is coming along?

BB: Well, I am glad they got some opportunities. You know, we don't necessarily try to force them into it. But I am glad they got some opportunities and they got a chance to handle the ball. You know, that position is competitive. It looks likes it is still competitive and hopefully we can get contributions from all those guys because they have shown in practice and even tonight got an opportunity to, you know, show all aspects of their game. And you know, I think we can get some production out of that position. But you know, tonight it's a little more likely a step back from the tight end spot from what we saw in those two games.

Q: If could you just comment on the running game. You mentioned a couple times you couldn't get third and one and it has got to be a little frustrating to not be able to pick up those guys on that situation. Obviously, you said you need improvement but it hasn't really --

BB: Well, we ran the ball well last week. I thought we ran it well against Philadelphia. That was an overall pretty consistent effort. You know, tonight it was sporadic and we certainly would like for it to be better. It wasn't, you know, it was poor against the Giants. It hasn't been consistent. You could say that about every phase of our game. The running game falls in there. You know, in the first half we had a little bit of a problem too.

Q: Is it that the offensive line isn't working with each other consistently in camp or –

BB: No, I wouldn't say that. I mean we had big plays. They beat us. Sometimes we blocked them, sometimes we didn't.

BB: Okay. Anything else? Okay. Thanks, folks.

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