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Bill Belichick Post-Game Press Conference

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick talks to the press about their win over the Jets in the Meadowlands, 17-16.To read a full transcript, click below.



BB: I thought that our team had a real courageous effort out there today being down at the half on the road in the division and not starting off too well. They really hung in there. They fought back. I was really proud of them. I though we got a lot of good efforts from a lot of people.
Offensively, our offensive line came alive a little bit in the second half and blocked better and we got some pass protection. We made some good throws and some good runs after the catch.
Defensively, we were able to keep enough points off the board to win. It was a real strong effort by the whole team. This is a good football team and the Jets were leading the division, playing at home and coming off the bye and it took a real strong effort by us in the second half to do it. I'm proud of the players and the way they hung in there and played with courage in the second half – really the whole game because we could have been in trouble at the end of the [first] half, but they hung in there and showed a lot of courage.

Q: What does this win mean?

BB: We're 7-5. I know a lot of people didn't think we'd be in this position. This was a tough game down here, a division game, and we came from a long way back. It was a long fight uphill and it was pretty satisfying to see everybody play as hard as they did and for it to come out the way we wanted for it to come out.

Q: You talked earlier in the week about never knowing which play might put you over the top and be the difference in the playoff race. Were there examples of that?

BB: There were a lot of them today. Who heard of Fred Coleman before today? That was a big play, a big run. We had a lot of guys step up. I think it's going to be the same thing every week. For us to win, we are going to have to have guys step up and make plays. Marc [Edwards] had a big run down there to get in the end zone from the 4-yard line. I thought [Tom] Brady made a heck of a play. That last one, we really wanted to call that play. We called a timeout and called Tom over. I could see he was in a lot of pain and was hurting and he wasn't really too excited when I told him what the play was. But he sucked it up and ran hard and fought and got the first down. That was probably as good a run as we had all day by the last guy you'd expect to make it. But he showed a lot of courage out there today too. They have a good pass rush and we took a lot of hits out there early. Fortunately, we were able to get things under control a little bit in the second half.

Q: What adjustments did you make at halftime?

BB: We just executed a little better. We didn't start off too well on that first drive, but overall, we executed a little better in the running game. I think that caught them off balance a little bit and then we hit some third downs. Fred and Antowain [Smith] made good runs on short passes after the catch.

Q: What changes did you make when Aaron Glenn went out?

BB: Not much. [Ray] Mickens is another real good corner. I know the Jets have three good corners. Ray made a couple good plays on us down there. I have a lot of respect for Ray Mickens and he's not a guy you want to target or go after. He and Marcus [Coleman] are pretty good players in their own right. Is Aaron all right? Did they say what happened to him?

Q: It's a sprained right knee.

BB: Hopefully he's O.K.

Q: What's wrong with Brady?

BB: I don't know if it's ribs or whatever, but he was hurting in there. I didn't ask him what it was; I just asked him if he could run it. He said, 'give it to me.'

Q: How about the job you did on Curtis Martin?

BB: I thought they did a pretty solid job on Curtis. He's a tremendous back. He got a couple yards there at the end of the half when they were running out the clock. But he had a couple toss plays in the third quarter. He's a tough guy to contain. You just have to fight tooth and nail to keep him under control. Vinny [Testaverde] came out chucking like I know Vinny can do. He had some big pass plays early and that certainly kept us off balance and kept is from loading up on the running game, but that's Vinny. He's a terrific quarterback and those guys made a couple big catches for him.

Q: When did Brady get hurt?

BB: I don't know.

Q: Was Coleman in because David Patten was shaken up?

BB: Yeah, he was win when David was out and Charles [Johnson] bumped over. Charles is kind of the fill-in guy for us everywhere and Fred came in there too.

Q: Did you use shorter drops or make any adjustments with Tom Brady at halftime?

BB: No, we just tried to block a little bit better. We used some shirt drops in the first half too, but we had trouble with them. We had trouble with the deeper drops. They had good pressure on us in the first half. I thought the line did a good job of straightening out the pass protection and we just had a better rhythm throwing the ball in the second half.

Q: You seemed a little more excited on the sideline after this one.

BB: We were down by 13 points on the road against a team leading the [division]. So we talked about it coming in here at halftime that our season was on the line here in terms of competing in the AFC East. We had to either get it done in the last 30 minutes or we're going to be looking down the barrel of the Jets. We needed a lot of things to go right. We needed to play well in all three phases of the game and make enough plays to make up a 13-point deficit. After we got the first touchdown and gave up the field goal right away. They had a long kickoff return and a couple first downs and then Hall hit 50-yard field goal. That was a big kick. It looked like it just made it by a little bit, but he got in there and that was a big kick for them. That made it that much tougher, but it was pretty gratifying to see the team just hang in there and keep fighting and keep slugging it out and just go all the way and be able to make enough plays to win. That's really what it came down to.

Q: Could you explain why you called a timeout immediately after they did near the 2:00 warning?

BB: What we were doing was trying to see what their formation was. We wanted to see what they came out in and then take a timeout and then try to match our call against it. So that's what we were looking to do.


BB: There were a lot of plays out there today. Sure it was a big one. But we were just trying to get a look at them coming out of the huddle on the third- and fourth-down play as I recall. I think they took a timeout on one of them. But we were trying to look at them come out of the huddle and see what the formation was, take a timeout and then we made our defensive call.

Q: Talk about this game means to come back from that deficit and is it especially important for a young quarterback to win a game like this?

BB: I don't know. He did it against San Diego when we were down by 10 in the fourth quarter and came back and won that one in overtime. So he's brought teams back before. Brady can do that. We all know that. I don't think there is any question as to whether he can do it, but it's good to do it on the road and it's good to do it against the team leading the division and it's tough to do it when you're down all the way. We were never ahead in that game until the last kick.


BB: It's a big win. It's a big win. I don't want to take anything away from him, but he did it against San Diego. Hopefully we won't have to do it anymore. Hopefully we can be ahead and win, but if we have to come back and make plays and do it that way, then we're going to have to step up and make them.

Q: How big was Terrell Buckley's interception?

BB: It was fourth down and it didn't matter of he intercepted it or not. The big thing was for them not to convert that play and then we had to make one more first down to ice it. It was a good play; Buckley had him well covered. It looked like we had a little pressure on Vinny on third and fourth down and we were just able to step up and make them at the right time. The big thing there to me was not to let them get the ball to Chrebet because he is one of the best third down guys in the league. He killed us a couple times today so we wanted to make sure that didn't happen.

Q: Did you discuss Brady's injury with him before you ran for that last first down?

BB: It was the last play of the game. We didn't have time to have a cup of coffee. We had to make a call and get out there and run it. Can you run it or can't you? He said, 'yeah give me the ball. I'll do it,' and he did it.

Q: What kind of momentum builder is this going into next week's game?

BB: I don't think it means anything next week. I think what's important is that we start all over again on Wednesday with our preparation for Cleveland and do everything we can to get ready to go. I think if we think Cleveland cares about this game, we're wrong. We have to start all over again and it will be nothing-nothing when that game starts and until we start making plays and being productive, we don't have anything on Cleveland. They beat us last year. They have a good football team. We have to start all over again. We can't expect this game to put any points in the board next week.


BB: I don't know. The Jets are the Jets. That's their offense. They had that first third down situation, we had man coverage and Vinny threw it up and made a great throw to [Santana] Moss. They hit a couple big plays. They hit the flea flicker. Curtis came out of the backfield and ran 10 or 15 yards down the sideline. Those are the plays. Those are the ones we practiced against. They executed them well. They beat us on them. Give them credit.

Q: What was the call on that last play?

BB: It was a quarterback sweep on third-and-three.


BB: No. He had a couple blockers out in front of him. I don't know if they did any good, but they were out there.

Q: Is that

BB: We've run it before. We wanted to run the ball and make sure we kept the clock running and stay in bounds so that if we didn't make it, we could wind it down, punt it and force the Jets to come back with no time left on the clock. At the same time, we didn't just want to run it up in there behind the guard where we figured they'd have seven guys sitting in there. Sometimes if you come out of there naked and they have one guy back there checking it, you're chopped liver and it's a 5-yard loss. We pulled the guys so that if there was one guy there, he might be able to squirt through and basically, that's what he did. As bad a runner as he is, he made a good run on that play

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