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Replay: Patriots Postgame Show Sun Nov 28 - 06:00 PM | Mon Nov 29 - 08:55 AM

Bill Belichick Post-Game Press Conf - 11/10/2002

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BB: That was a wild one. I can't remember too many games like that that I've ever been a part of. We had a couple of come-from-behinders last year, but not really anything like that. It was really just a situation where we had to do so many things right in the last 20 minutes of the game for the game to end up like it did. It was pretty amazing and there was just big play after big play by the defense, by the offense and a couple in the kicking game. You really have to give the team and the players a lot of credit for hanging in there, for fighting and even though we were down by 21 in the third quarter and just gave them some easy points, they didn't give up. They just kept grinding away and I am really happy for them. Tom [Brady] did a great job of moving the club and bringing the team back. There were a lot of close calls. You guys probably saw them better than I did. I am really proud of the way that the team played. Obviously we had some mistakes and the Bears capitalized on them. They are a good football team. You have to give them a lot of credit for the way they played today. They fought as hard as they could fight too. But I am glad to get out of here alive.

Q: Those last two touchdowns, were they the first options? That blitz where Tom hit [Kevin] Faulk?

BB: Yeah, that's who we wanted to get it to, was Faulk on the blitz. The last one, actually Tom came up with that play. He came over and said, 'what do you think about this? I am going to look them off and throw it back.' He executed it perfectly. We had talked about it, but it was really Tom's idea, Tom's suggestion and he made it work.

Q: I take it this team doesn't surprise you anymore?

BB: I'll tell you, I almost had a heart attack out there. We had a couple of games similar to this last year. After the kickoff they gained eight yards on first down, so it was second-and-two. If they make that first down they are going to run out the clock or come real close to it. So it was similar to the San Diego game and similar to the Oakland game last year where we had to make a second and third down stop and our goal line defense came up big. We were able to get the ball back and at least give ourselves a chance there with the last possession. They've done it before, but we overcame a lot more this time. The three-touchdown lead in the third quarter was a lot of ground to make up.

Q: After Tom's fumble he seemed a little rattled, but came back strong. Does he anything that he does surprise you?

BB: Tom's got a lot of poise out there. I don't think he was rattled. I just think that…we had a lot of third-and-shorts. We wanted to try to get into some third-and-short situations. We got into a lot of them and we just weren't able to convert them. They covered us tight. They knocked the ball down or we didn't get it or we weren't open or whatever. We just weren't able to convert those third-and-twos, threes and fours. We just have to do a better job of that or else you are off the field offensively and that happened to us a lot. I don't really think it was a case of us getting rattled. It was not being able to get the things done that we need to get done. Once we went to the no-huddle, two-minute offense, not that it was all two-minute because we sprinkled in so other plays there, but it certainly helped give us a little more momentum and get things going.

**Q: When Tom tried to spike the ball but the officials had blown the whistle you didn't have to waste a down, kind of similar to the other weird stuff?Belichick: I don't know. I am not really sure. When you get into those two-minute situations, there are all those replay situations and maybe they were looking at it to see where the spot was on the quarterback sneak to get the first down. I don't know. That's just the procedure of the way the game goes. We are not going to change that.

Q: Before the replay on the possible interception did you think you still had a shot?

BB: Yeah, I thought he dropped it all the way. I was standing right in front of it. I thought that he kind of juggled it, bobbled it. I didn't think he had it. I mean I wasn't right there on top of the play, but it looked to me like he didn't have it. And then the Bears were up at the line. They almost snapped the ball before they blew [the whistle]. I couldn't believe they weren't going to at least look at that play again because it did seem to me that he didn't have possession. I'm sure it was a close call.

Q: Can you challenge that?

BB: No, not in the two-minute. In the two-minute it is out of your hands as a coach. It is strictly with the replay official upstairs.

Q: Do you consider yourself maybe the biggest fan of replay in this league?

BB: When they go your way it's good, but that evens out in the long run. We've certainly had them go the other way too.

Q: Did you think David [Patten] had both feet in bounds?

BB: That was on the far side of the field and it was hard for me to see. They showed it up on the screen and it looked like he might have. But that's a close call too.

Q: That quarterback sneak, it seemed like kind of a long one?

BB: I think it was fourth and a little over two. It's a situation where if Tom felt like he could get in then it's up to him. He is the only one that can make that judgement out there on the field. You can't sit on the sideline and think that you are or aren't going to make two yards on a play like that. That's something that he has to determine and he made the call on that one.

Q: What was happening early where you had nothing going offensively?

BB: We didn't convert on third down.

Q: That's it?

BB: That's a big part of it. We had a lot of third and shorts and we didn't pick them up. I mean I don't know what the numbers were but we had the ball third-and-three, third-and-four, third-and-two, whatever it was and we couldn't pick them up. If you can't pick them up on third down you are off the field. You are punting.

Q: Did you want to throw the ball down the field? It looked like you couldn't do that, was it just good coverage?

BB: They play a lot of zone coverage. They dropped back and played a lot of zone coverage.

Q: But yet the linebackers were also up tight to make the play when you threw the short stuff?

BB: We hit them on some screens and we hit them on some underneath stuff.

Q: Is that one of the better tackling teams that you have seen this year?

BB: They are a good football team. They are good on defense. They've got good linebackers. They have good speed. The secondary is good. They are well coached. They are a sound team.

Q: Why not take the penalty on that third down situation?

BB: We thought about it. It's a tough call. If you take it then they run another play, run some more time off the clock, kick it and maybe make it anyway. Now you are going to lose some precious time. But it was a decision that could have gone either way. We certainly thought about it but you are probably going to lose 50 seconds or so if you take that.

Q: Kevin Faulk has come up big the last two weeks, can you talk about that?

BB: Kevin always works hard. Kevin is a guy that is always well-prepared. He works hard. He's gotten a couple of opportunities and he's really been able to do a lot with them. We needed a good lift from everybody and he's certainly given it to us several times this year. He came up big today. It's a shame we had that draw play called back at the beginning of the game. That was a tough call.

Q: Towards the end of the game you chose not to onside kick and kicked deep. Was that [Jim] Miller's injury?

BB: No. We would have done that against anybody. There was like 2:40 to go in the game. We had two timeouts and the two-minute warning. So if we stop them we are going to the ball back. They were kicking into a little bit of a wind so we should have an opportunity. If you onside kick it and you don't get then even if they don't move it they punt you down there and you are on your 10-yard line and you are out of timeouts and you have a long way to go.

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