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Bill Belichick Post-Game Press Conference

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick speaks to the press about their win over the Browns, 27-16, today in Foxboro.To read a full transcript, click below.



BB: Well I thought that was another real good team win for us today. We went up against a team that is tough, physical and we had to play that way to win. Luckily we got some big plays from a lot of different guys. It has kind of been the formula for us here week after week. Obviously a tremendous job by Troy Brown on the punt return and he made some big catches for us. He is having a terrific season. I just can't say enough about him. But on that play we got some big blocks there, [Richard] Seymour, it looked like Lawyer Milloy got one in there, so we had some guys really step. Some of our guys that are regulars, stepping in for extra duty on our return game and we really worked hard on that punt return this week, so it was good to see that come out well. Defensively I thought we did a decent job, giving up three field goals, they had a couple of long drives, but we were able to keep them out of the end zone and those are big points to save. I think [we] sputtered along there a little bit in the second half there on offense, but Antowain [Smith] really came through with some big runs there on that last drive and that is when we needed it. We know we are going to have a tough fight on our hands in Buffalo, it was tough here a couple of weeks ago and I am sure that it will be tough here, but this team will just have to suck it up again this week and get ready to go up there and play Buffalo, but we are in a fight and we are probably going to get these games every week, just like this, just like we had last week.

Q: Can you talk about the pooch punt by [Adam] Vinatieri and the play by [Jermaine] Wiggins to keep it out of the end zone?

BB: Yeah that was really a big play. It is one of those plays where we have been working on that play since the first week of training camp and we run it every Friday in practice. It is the last thing we do before we end practice on Friday and then we usually work it again on Saturday. We have been doing that every single week for however many weeks this is now, 17 weeks, however many games it is, that is 17 weeks. Every single week and you know you do it and after about the fifth or sixth week of it the players roll their eyes a little bit, 'As if we don't know how to do it.' But that has looked good every single week and we just had the situation today, I thought it was the right time and it was really well executed by Adam and believe me it has looked like that practically every time we have run it. Maybe not at the one, but right down there inside the five. It was just an excellent play by Adam and Jermaine really did a good job of staying in the field of play and tipping it back in. That was obviously a big play.

Q: Your general impressions of Terry Glenn today?

BB: Well you know he gave us a lift. He stepped in there and made some plays and we used the three-receiver offense a little bit and got some plays out of it and then Charles [Johnson] came out. He got hit in the shoulder or the neck or whatever it was, so then Terry got a little more playing time there and it was a good lift for us. Everybody contributed today. We got some catches out of the different receivers and it was good to get them out of Terry.

Q: Do you manage his playtime a little bit?

BB: Not so much, are you talking about for conditioning and that kind of thing…Bryan it is good to see you back here too by the way, congratulations…No it just kind of worked out that way, it just kind of worked out that way. He was in on some three wide stuff and when we happened to be in those sets he happened to be in there. It could have been more, it could have been less, it just worked out that way.

Q: Can you talk about Brown's performance?

BB: He just keeps on trucking. I mean I think Troy is a good football player. He was pretty good when I was here in '96, but I really think that he has gotten a lot better. He has got great quickness and he has tremendous confidence in his hands. He will put his hands out there and catch any ball away from his body, which not all receivers will do, but he has great confidence and as we see in punt returns and a lot of his plays after the catch he is tough with the ball in his hands. He can make guys miss. He has got probably as good as strength for his size as anybody does. So he has got good balance, good strength, runs well after the catch and he has tremendous confidence and obviously the quarterbacks have a lot of confidence in him and not to mention the coaches.

Q: Did Troy Brown hand you the ball after the punt return?

BB: Yeah, we did something this week, usually we don't work on our punt returns until Friday. Usually we work on them on Friday and we go out in shorts and do it on Friday and Coach [Brad] Seely and I talked about it on Monday and we said, 'If we really execute our punt returns we think we have a chance this week.' We think we match-up pretty well against them. So we practiced it on Thursday instead of Friday and we made a big point on Thursday of saying, 'Look fellas we are going to be out there a little bit longer in practice today. It is going to take a little bit longer, but we are going to hit these punt returns in pads. We want to get the timing and the tempo of it because we think we can make a play on this in the game.' Not everybody is excited about that, about lengthening practice on Thursday. We were out there in pads pretty long anyway, but I think it really paid off because the returns that we worked on on Thursday and then we reviewed them again on Friday, usually we just do that phase once on Friday, but we did it Thursday and Friday and we were able to make a big play in the game. So we kind of looked at each other like saying, 'Hey that extra work is worth it when you make a play like that.'

Q: Was it supposed to go right up the middle?

BB: Yeah, it was a middle return. Hey you never draw them up to go all of the way. You want to get started and have a good return, but Troy made a couple of guys miss and then he got a couple of big blocks there from Lawyer and Seymour. Those guys played a lot of football for us on defense and for those two players in particular to give the extra effort and make those big plays on that return, that is why we are winning. Extra effort, guys hustling, making an extra block, that is why we are winning.

Q: How did you think the offensive line handled the linebackers today?

BB: Well I thought we had our moments. We moved the ball down the field some, stalled there in the red area. Cleveland has got a good red area, a good goal line defense so we punched it in a couple of times, but they stopped us a couple of times. I thought it was a battle and they did a pretty good job defending the running game overall. So we had our work cut out for us there, but we hung in there and scored 27 points so you usually feel pretty good about that, although we left some out there on the field, we certainly could have scored some more today.

Q: As well as Tedy [Bruschi] has played for you this year it seemed as though he turned it up a notch today?

BB: Yeah, Tedy has come up big for us really all year, but it looked like he had another solid effort out there today. He played real well against the Jets and played well the week before that against New Orleans. He stepped in there in the middle and has really done a fantastic job. He has played outside linebacker here for two years or a year and a half and then when Bryan [Cox] and Ted [Johnson] weren't available here for the last few weeks he jumped in there and now they are starting to come back so we are getting a little depth back at that position.

Q: What can you say about your team, they knew what the game meant and they went out and did it?

BB: Yup they did and you know what, every game we win has made the next one a little bit bigger and that is the way it is going to be next week. It is good to go out there and win, but then when you win it just puts a little more importance on that next one. I thought the team really responded well. It was a tough week I think for the players because they came off a big win against the Jets and we went out and practiced in pads on Thursday, had a pretty hard practice and we had a long practice on Wednesday because Cleveland does some things that are tough to get ready for. We spent a little extra time on special teams, but they just put their nose to the grindstone, went down there and did the work and it paid off in the game beacuse we got some things executed in the game that really helped us. Also let me just say, look, I know it was a tough day out there today, but I thought that the fans were tremendous. They gave us a big lift in the game. They were real supportive and we had a lot of trouble even getting to the stadium ourselves, even as early as our guys come over with the backups and so forth and I thought that the fans were really into the game. They gave us a tremendous lift throughout the game as they have all year and I just want to thank them for it. We have great fans here.

Q: Richard Seymour, he showed up as you said in the punt return, a couple of knocked down passes, a couple of sacks, today was the day that he was on the other side from Gerard Warren, can you just revisit drafting Richard and touch on his progress?

BB: I think Richard has continued to improve. At first some of the things that we were asking him to do were a little bit different from what he had done at Georgia, by the end of preseason I thought he was coming on a little bit. He missed a couple of games there and then missed a couple there around mid-season or so, but he is starting to get into a little bit of groove here the last few weeks where he has been playing consistently and getting more playing time where he is not off the field very much now, he is even playing some plays on fourth down on the field goal rush and punt return and that kind of thing. So his stamina is improving and he is giving us plays. He is giving us plays in the running game and he is giving us plays in the passing game and we need him for them. I think his improvement has been good. If he keeps working hard I think Richard can be a real good player

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