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Bill Belichick Post-Game Press Conference

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick talks to the press about their win over the Colts, 38-17.To read a full transcript click on the button below.



BB: I thought our football team was ready to play today. We spent much of the week working on special teams and we worked out butts off all week and we were obviously disappointed with the performance the last couple of weeks but they came up big today. I thought our kicking, our coverage and our overall aggressiveness in the kicking game – we made some big and that really set a big tone for us. I thought we had a pretty decent day offensively. [Tom] Brady was pretty sharp. Indianapolis came up and played us real close to the line of scrimmage a lot to really try to put a lot of pressure on us like they usually do and we were fortunate to be able to hit the big plays behind them. We got a couple of good throws and good catches with a couple of fast guys that made some plays.When I think about this game, two of the key players in the game were [David] Patten and Brady. Probably the guy that's most responsible for both those players being here is Dick Rehbein and it's with a great deal of gratitude that I say that. Even though Dick is gone he's certainly not forgotten by any of us.I've never been as concerned with a 21-point lead eight minutes to go in the game as with these guys the way they move the ball, but defensively we were able to keep them out of the end zone and that drive at the end of the game was big to eat up the clock and that's really the best way to keep their offense off the field – to take the air out of the ball.It was a good team win; I'm real proud of the players. The coaches had a great game plan and these guys came ready to play today.

Q: Can you talk about David Patten and his play?

BB: It's funny because when we started running the play in practice we had Troy [Brown] doing it and when he threw it to Patten and he caught the ball and whipped it back about 30 yards over everybody's head letting us know he could throw it every bit as good as Troy could. Then we had tryouts after practice and ended up feeling pretty good about David's arm and accuracy so we ended up switching those two guys.

Q: What made you come up with the trick plays today?

BB: That's just the way it went. The Colts played a lot of tight coverage early and I felt we had to try to get behind them. That's easy to say but it takes real accurate passing, good route-running by the receivers and a little extra protection by the line and fortunately we had that in a couple of situations today.

Q: How about the blocked field goals we had?

BB: Big plays, they were big plays in the game. I thought the first one was a 10-point swing. [Mike] Vanderjagt's pretty much automatic from there. I think Brandon [Mitchell] got the first one and I think Tebucky [Jones] got the second one. But it's just a great overall effort. One guy gets the credit on those blocks but it always three or four people that push and create a gap for somebody else to get through. Being able to turn that from a potential three points against us to putting the ball at the 29-yard line and being able to score going the other way is a big swing in points. That's what special teams can do for you – it swings field position and big plays and fortunately we made a couple early today and that gave us a big boost.


BB: It's our first win on the road and it's good to get it. I wish it hadn't taken us this long to get it. It won't get any easier next week in Denver. We'll have to bring our A-game out there against the Broncos just like we did here against the Colts. Defensively, I'm glad we don't have to go against them again. This is a high-powered group.

Q: Can you talk about some of the people who helped plug up things inside the 10 down close?

BB: It's kind of tough to see down there but it's good team defense. You have to be respectful of [Marvin] Harrison outside, who ended up getting one on us anyway, and [Reggie] Wayne and [Marcus] Pollard and then at the same time try to play decent in there on the running game. I thought we had a lot of big plays – the play on the goal line on the inside run – covered a couple of passes and it looked like [Peyton] Manning overthrew one there which helped us. It's just team defense; I don't think I could single out one guy but certainly Ted [Johnson] inside, both safeties Lawyer [Milloy] and Tebucky – I thought those guys did a pretty good job in there trying to defend the middle of the field and stop the running game. It's just a tough offense to defend against because they have those tight ends running down the field and they're handing the ball to [Edgerrin] James off tackle and it's tough to be both places at once.

Q: Did you anticipate close coverage up on the line and try to take advantage of that?

BB: It's kind of the way they played us in the first game, they played us with a lot of man-to-man coverage. We weren't able to run with a lot of consistent 4- or 5-yard runs in the first game, we had a couple of big runs but not a lot of consistency. We felt like if they were going to try to do that again that we were going to have to try to throw it over them. If they had eight or nine guys up there you can't get them all blocked, especially playing on the road with the crowd noise trying to get off the ball. We felt we had to try to throw it deep to loosen them up.

Q: The reverse to Patten, did you have a point you wanted to try to use that?

BB: Charlie [Weis] and I talked about that on Friday and the play looked pretty good in practice and Charlie wanted to open the game with it as long as we weren't on our own 1-yard line or something like that. They're such a good pursuing team that we thought maybe we could go back against the grain and they might over-pursue it early. It was Charlie's idea and I said fine let's go with it so we told the team that Saturday and maybe it sent a little bit of a message that we were going to be aggressive and try to come up with some big plays. It was well run, Brady finally got a block on the play after we practiced it a lot of times with him whiffing out there, I think he finally stumbled and got in the way. Once David hits the seam he's got a lot of speed.

Q: How did Dick Rehbein help bring you these two guys?

BB: Dick was with David with the Giants and last year, in the spring of 2000, we had David up for a couple visits and tried to sign him as an unrestricted free agent and he went to Cleveland. He went there on a one-year deal and this year we sat down and talked and said we can't lose out on this guy again. Dick vouched for him again about what a top kid he was and how he was a big-play guy and how fast he was and thought he really could add some juice to the offense. None of us had been with David, we'd seen him on tape but Dick had been with him a couple years in New York. The quarterback situation, prior to the 2000 draft, with John [Friesz] being a guy who was getting up there in age I felt I wanted to take another quarterback and I sent Dick to see two guys and he liked both of them and I really put his back to the wall and said which guy are we going to take here. So he came on strong with Brady and said this id the guy. A lot of people questioned keeping four quarterbacks last year but I obviously don't think Tom was ready last year but he certainly showed enough to warrant continuing to work with him. Not only Dick was the strength behind the recommendation of drafting him but also the work he put into developing him. This all didn't happen overnight. I know a lot people think Tom Brady woke up yesterday and started becoming a great quarterback, but it's been a lot of hard work, both on Tom's part and the coaching and direction he got last year from Dick.

Q: Is it tough for a defensive guy like yourself to say, "Let's try this fancy stuff."?

BB: Whatever we do to get the ball in the end zone I'm for. Running it, passing it … I don't have any preference. I think the more balance we can be the better off we can be offensively. But if people give us a chance to throw the long ball I think we're going to have to step up and throw it and try to back them off us a little. If they're not, we're going to have to do a better job of throwing it underneath and moving the chains and getting first downs and moving the ball that way. We need that complement. Once you get that in it makes everything else go a lot easier. The biggest thing is when you get the opportunities you have to hit them. We've all seen receivers out there that re open and the ball not end up in their hands for whatever reason and today Patten and Brady both hit real long passes. Anytime you split a reverse that's just luck; you never design that to go all the way. You hope to get about 10 or 12 yards, you're not looking for a 30-yard touchdown run.

Q: Was the play from the 9-yard line the same thing as earlier … the Colts were too close and you threw it deep?

BB: We had another pattern called but when Tom saw the coverage and saw that David had a chance to get on top of them he cut it loose and made a great throw. It was just a terrific throw. That's not coaching; it's throwing.

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