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Bill Belichick Post-Game Press Conf - 11/28/2002

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BB:It's really good to come out of here with a win. We expected pretty much the type of game that we got out there today, a real tough game. The Lions have had almost every game be that type of game here this year, so we fell good about coming out on top. We're 7-5 now and looking towards the last quarter of the season. I thought that there were a lot of things in the game that were pretty even, but fortunately we were able to make some of the right plays at the right times. We had some turnovers that we were able to convert into points and had some key third-down conversions and a few stops in the red area defensively. Any time you don't give up a touchdown in this league, you've got to feel pretty good about that performance, particularly when you have a couple of turnovers on the defensive side of the ball. Those are big plays. We also got a couple of plays out of the kicking game. We obviously gave one back with the blocked punt, but our kickoff coverage and kickoff returns continue to show up in a positive way at times in the game. Those are the big things. We had a couple of guys defensively leave the game with sore legs. We'll just have to wait and see how they are. I gave the team off through the weekend, so we'll get back to work on Buffalo next week. I want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.

Q: It seems like the defense was the star of the game here, with three interceptions, one returned for a touchdown.

BB:Well, it's good. It's funny, that play that Tedy [Bruschi] returned for a touchdown, we've actually been working on that play since the first day of training camp. We've messed it up a few times along the way, but it worked perfectly on that particular play. Tedy did a great job of coming across and getting in front of the slant pattern, and ended up catching the ball and ran it in. It was a very well-executed play defensively, particularly on his part. Bobby [Hamilton] made a nice read there on the screen pass. Defensively, we got some pressure on the quarterback, took advantage of a couple of throws, Willie [McGinest] made a terrific play there on that scramble pass. Big plays make big plays, and those guys have all stepped up and made big plays for us all year and they were there today.

Q: How injured is Bruschi?

BB: We'll just have to wait and see. He's a little sore.

Q: The running game, and particularly Antowain [Smith] got the yardage that you needed.

BB:Yeah, you know, the offensive line did a pretty good job of staying on the blocks. We were able to attack the ends a little bit. We had some plays go outside. Later on in the game we came back and made a couple of third-down runs, particularly inside. The last two counter plays and we had another inside run there on that last drive. I thought that the backs ran hard. Marc [Edwards] blocked well. We got pretty good blocking up front from everybody. That's a real good defensive line. They're a big, physical group. To be able to get a hat on them and give the runners a chance to get going, I thought the line did a nice job.

Q: Did you blitz more than usual since they have a young quarterback?

BB: We just wanted to mix it up. We blitzed some, we covered some, we did a little bit of both. We just wanted to mix it up and try to give a little different look from time to time so that they couldn't get into a real smooth rhythm offensively. I thought Romeo [Crennel] did a real nice job calling the game to keep mixing it up.

Q: Brady did well on that last drive in managing things to run out the clock.

BB:Well, he made a nice run on that bootleg. Usually he's a better passer than he is a runner, but he made a nice run on that play. He spun out of the tackle and knew what he needed for the first down and put his head down there. That was obviously a big play to run the clock out. I thought we could have ended it a little sooner if we had hit the pass a couple of plays before, but all's well that ends well.

Q: On that last possession when you had that third-and-long, [Troy] Brown looked like he was double covered, but still caught it. How does he do that?

BB:Well, he's a good player. In key times, you try to go to your best players. He's made big plays for us all the time. It was a nice throw and a nice catch there on the sideline and Troy does a nice job of putting himself in a position where we're open and he can get the ball and Tom did a good job of throwing it on that one.

Q: You were 0-4 in October. How important is it to come back in five games in 25 days, four of them on the road, to go 4-1?

BB:It was a tough stretch for us. It was a tough stretch, but the players really prepared well each week. They sucked it up and to be able to go on the road and win in this league, especially when our backs were a little bit to the wall there when we were 3-4, it's really a compliment to the guys and their diligence and their perseverance at this point in the season. But, it's always tough to go on the road.

Q: The play with Bruschi, was that designed for him to break it off, or did he just read the receiver?

BB:He made a prefect play on it. Just the way we practiced it since the first day of training camp. He made a nice read on it.

Q: Was that the hot read coming across?

BB: Well, we don't know what the pattern's going to be, but the way the line slid to Bruschi, he would have never got to the quarterback, they had him picked up, so he recognized that and pulled out of it.

Q: Was it the same as he did last week when he pulled out in front of the pass?

BB: Who did we play last week? Minnesota? No, this was a little bit different.

Q: It seemed like he knew what was coming.

BB:Well, I think he anticipated what was going to happen. When it happened that confirmed it.

Q: It seems like opposing coaches should try to just take Troy Brown away from you and take their chances with other guys. Either they try to do that and can't or they ignore him. I can't tell.

BB: Well, we've been in that situation a lot, too. When teams use different formations, and I think Charlie [Weis] did a good job mixing up the formations and the looks, it's easy to sit here and say, well, we're just going to double him. But, when he's in different places, that creates some moving parts defensively. In order to get the right situation, I'm not saying you can't do it, but sometimes it's a little bit easier said than done if you want to all-out commit to it. But there are nine, 10 other guys that aren't doubling and everything has to be in the right spot for them, too. That's what you want to do, but sometimes it's a little harder to do than you would think it is with all the rules and situations that come up on a team, multiple formations, multiple personnel moves. You don't always know defensively who's going to be in there and where they're going to be with all the different groups that you have, nickel, dime, regular, and so forth. I don't know what happened on the play, I don't know if they were or weren't, but that's the problem.

Q: Richard Seymour also got banged up today. What's his status?

BB: His leg's a little sore. We'll have to see later on. Hopefully it's not too bad.

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