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Replay: Best of the Week on Patriots.com Radio Thu Jun 13 - 02:00 PM | Tue Jun 18 - 11:55 AM

Bill Belichick Post-Game Press Transcript

Belichick: We expected this to be the toughest game of the year and I think it was. That was 60 minutes of football out there.

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BB: Well, first of all, I think it was right about what I said in the beginning of the week. We expected this to be the toughest game of the year and I think it was. That was 60 minutes of football out there. Tennessee is a really good football team, not to mention Eddie George coming in. And I have even more respect for him now. We played him twice. On our side we had a lot of guys step up in a lot of different ways; passing game, defensively, kicking game just a total team effort, a lot of contributions from everybody. It was a tough physical game and there was a lot of hard hits on both sides. I was really proud of the way our guys hung in there and made some fresh plays there at the end. I think it was everything that we expected in the game. All the key players played well and we were fortunate that we were able to come out with a couple more plays than Tennessee did today. But it was a well played football game and good to come away with that one for a win. It was tough and hard fought and we're going to be ready to suck it up and to go again next week.

Q: Was there a point on the field on that last drive when you decided whether you were going to come back at them a little more?

BB: Yes, I thought we had a couple chances there at the beginning of the drive to make a couple plays and we didn't make it.

Q: Can you discuss that play by [Willie] McGinest with [Frank] Wycheck, that first and 10 there. It seemed to turn the whole game around.

BB: Well, it looked like they were trying to run a double pass. I was standing right there on the play. It looked like it was a lateral check. Willie read the field out, read the play and was able to get to Wycheck before he was really able to launch the double pass. So obviously it was a nice play by Willie reading the screen and getting out there, not fouling it up.

Q: How about Adam Vinatieri coming up big once again?

BB: Big kick. We get in those kind of situations and that is what he is here for and he certainly comes through many times for us. We have a lot of confidence in him. And it was a good operation all the way around. You know, it just barely cleared but, you know, it was right at the edge of his range.

Q: Any thoughts to go ahead there right on the edge as you had said?

BB: Yes, there was. It was like fourth and three, I think. Yes, we definitely considered it, but we felt like it was a chance to get some points on the board. And we put one of our best players out there and let him kick it.

Q: Is that like a conscious decision you make at the two-minute mark there to just go for the blitz as opposed to you kind of sitting back defensively and moving up the field on Steve McNair?

BB: I think the whole series led up to it. We had him up there about 25 after the kickoff and they hit a couple first downs. And we thought we had a pretty good defense, a pretty good coverage. He had a little too much time to throw and he made a couple really good throws. And was that [Drew] Bennett on the sideline there, he made an unbelievable, the line challenge, was that Bennett, he made an outstanding catch. We had to force the issue. And fortunately, we were able to come out with the win.

Q: On fourth and three, was that play just designed just for Troy Brown?

BB: No. We were spread out. I think we were in an empty set on that, empty and four wides, whatever it was. So we tried to spread the field, take the best matchup, and Troy had a good matchup on that. And Tom [Brady] made a good throw, a well executed play.

Q: This game was won by a field goal but you guys were able to block a field goal as well, by Richard Seymour.

BB: Obviously, [Gary] Anderson is an outstanding kicker but he doesn't have the elevation of his ball that some guys have. And Richard is a real good field goal blocker. He has made some big plays for us in the kicking game, not bigger than this one and the one in Miami. They had two attempts and we had one that missed today, and Adam hit the later one. That was a huge play by Seymour, no doubt about it.

Q: Playoffs are all about advancing. Talk about now advancing to your conference championship game.

BB: Well, I mean it's huge. It is a big step for us. I am sure that whoever we play, it is obviously whoever we play is going to be another real good football team, real explosive offensive football team. We are going to have to do a little preparation work on both of them, but we will obviously accelerate that now.

Q: Did you adjust the blitz package? It looked more effective in the fourth quarter.

BB: I think we were able to time it up a little bit better. It was pretty much the same look, but I think the timing and just the location where we were able to hit a couple of those. [Tedy] Bruschi was hitting the line of scrimmage running, [Rodney] Harrison was hitting the line of scrimmage. [Steve] McNair was kind of drifting away from them and finding an extra second or something to make the throw. I think we had a better timing on there in the fourth quarter.

Q: Can you talk about the field position exchange there in the end.

BB: That was big. We got the ball on our five-yard line. Antowain [Smith] hit it out. We good a kick out of Kenny [Walter] and coverage. We were able to hold the field position defensively, which was key, and then Troy [Brown] returned it to whatever it was, the 35, 38-yard line, whatever it was, I forget. But it was a huge field position swing from our -- that was great.

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