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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Fri Sep 17 - 12:00 AM | Sun Sep 19 - 10:40 AM

Bill Belichick Post-Game Press Conf - 09/09/2002

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BB: Okay. Well, I thought that was, you know, I thought that was a pretty good football team we played out there tonight. I think the Steelers are going to win a lot of games and, you know, I am real proud of the way our team played. They played tough and, you know, made some plays there in the third quarter, got some turnovers on defense, and put some points up on the board in the third quarter. And I think this is a real good team victory. We had real good field position on the kicking game, scored on offense, turned the ball over on defense. We got contributions from a lot of different people and I think we've got to just understand that we are headed to New York in four days and we are playing our first division game on the road next week and it just is going to be tough every week. But I thought those guys did a great job out there today. The players really played well and they're the ones that really deserve the credit.

Q: (On establishing the run and throwing the ball 25 straight times)

BB: No, we wanted to establish the run.

Q: (On New England's offense)

BB: Yes, you know, we had some success spreading it out a little bit. I thought that offensively we could get a little bit better. The defense seemed spread out and would open up some of our roads for us and all. But Tom (Brady) did a real nice job throwing the ball. The line did a nice job on the reception. And it really just came down to really good execution. You know, they did a good job and they deserve all the credit.

Q: (On Pittsburgh's defense)

BB: Well, Pittsburgh is tough. We were lucky to get ten points on them in the first half. They are tough. You look at their defense, it is hard to run, it is hard to throw, it is hard to convert third downs. It is hard to move the ball against them so you take whatever morsels you can get. And we were able to spread them out a little bit in the second quarter and get a little movement there with the ball, but the first quarter was tough. We couldn't do anything and then we got a couple breaks in the third quarter and we were able to punch it in. But we were just trying to find a way to make a few plays. Tom hit that big O pattern to Patten on third down. I thought that was a big field position play and maybe that helped back them off a little bit.

Q: (On Pittsburgh's defense)

BB: I think they pretty much run their same package. When he was out in the last two preseason games and Fiala and Farrior were in there. They run their regular defense and they are pretty good at it. I mean he is a great player, don't get me wrong, but they are pretty good whoever they've got out there and that is a good unit. That was easy.

Q: Well, you guys came in and you go back a year ago, can you talk about how they rushed, they passed, but then you tell them to throw the ball. Why did it work?

BB: It worked because the players executed it well and we got the ball off quick. Tom did a good job of getting it out of there, getting the receivers good routes, they got open. Tom had somewhere to throw the ball and they caught it and then they made some good runs after the catch. A couple of those plays were short passes that turned into long plays and we had a couple real good catches out there in Troy and we got some production out of our tight end and we were able to spread the field a little bit and sometimes the tight ends were getting single coverage or were getting pretty light coverage inside so I don't know how many balls they caught but we fed it to them a few times. You know, Cam is a big target.

Q: Could you have run that game plan in your game last year?

BB: Well, we tried to throw it last year in the championship game. We just didn't. We weren't as effective as we were today. So again, I think the major credit just has to go to the players on the execution. The quarterback, the receivers, the tight ends and the protectors, because we for the most part we had pretty good protection.

Q: (On Terrell Buckley)

BB: Yes, not bad, not bad for no coaching. By the time we got him coached up, probably, you know, he would be giving up passes all over the place in a couple weeks. But Terrell is an experienced guy. He is really an experienced guy. He knows our system and he is a smart player and he knows how to play. And you know, he did a nice job jumping in there with only a couple of days of practice. But the secondary really worked well together. Of course, Pittsburgh was in for three or four wide receivers a huge percentage of the game and they got taxed out there quite a bit. But Terrell, he has got a lot of savvy. He is a smart player and he has got good hands so if the quarterback puts the ball around him, he will catch it. It is not like some guys that just try to knock the air out of it. He has got real soft hands and he can make them pay.

Q: And can you tell how well they (the Patriots) acclimated themselves?

BB: Well, this is where it has got to happen is in the regular season. If they can step up and make plays and contribute now, that is really what counts, you know, not in the fourth quarter of the preseason game. But Deion had a couple of nice plays, caught the ball well. Jarvis (Green) gave us a few nice plays. We have got to keep building with them and they have got to keep going. But at least they got off to a decent start here tonight and it was good to see them contribute a little bit.

Q: (On Willie McGinest)

BB: You know, he did. Yes, that is about the easiest hit easily he has had this year. You know, I mean we get on him a little bit about not being as physical as we want him to be. But I'll tell you, I thought he did a good job when he peeled back on (Lee) Flowers. That was an excellent play. I thought those were two of the greatest plays of the game. The play at the end of the game, even though it was ruled that Kordell (Stewart) was down, which was probably a good call but it still was a hell of a play by McGinest when he knocked Kordell down, got up, and instead of going to the fumble, peeled back so (Roman) Phifer could scoop it up and run it in. So those were two really nice plays right there. It looked to me like they really used good judgment on both those plays and helped us.

Q: How did Willie come to start tonight instead of Bobby Hamilton?

BB: You know, we don't really talk about starting lineups. Everyone plays, everybody contributes. It depends on what our package is and what we are trying to do. Sometimes some guys are in there, other times other guys are in there. It just depends what the call is and what we are trying to get done with a certain grouping. It is not about who starts and who is out there the first plays. It is who contributes and who makes plays.

Q: (On New England's defense)

BB: Yes. You know, they split us a couple times in there inside on us. But I thought we did a pretty good job on the off tackle on the outside game. And we tackled fairly well too. I mean we had a few misses. But those backs, they are good backs. They are lucid, they are hard to get down. And stopping the run is half the battle and then tackling the run is the other half against a team like Pittsburgh. So then again, the players did a good job, they pursued, they gang tackled, and that just gives the runners a little bit less space. I think they ran seven quarterback draws in the first half so the quarterback was a big part of the running game as well. And you know, it is a tough package to defend. You know, he got us a couple times. He's a good runner. Okay. Thank you.

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