Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his postgame press conference on Sunday, December 12, 2010.
"I'm proud of our football team today. It was a short week, coming off a tough game against the Jets, and then coming in here and playing the Bears. It was a big challenge for us, but they really rose to the occasion. I'm really proud of our guys on offense for not turning the ball over. It was tough conditions out there, but they did a really good job of protecting the ball for the most part. I know Chicago had a couple of chances to get it there, but overall, we were able to keep the ball. We had good field position and were able to get points on the board early. We took advantage of turnovers and opportunities. Of course, the play to Deion Branch at the end of the half - that was two great players there, making a great play. I really have to give Tom and Deion a lot of credit on that one, for great execution. It's good to win, and it's good to come out here and play well against the Bears. The Bears are a good football team, and I'm sure they have a lot of football left. We will just go back and turn it around against Green Bay."
On his decision to throw the ball despite the wind
"I think anytime you get into a game like this, you have to see what you feel like you can do and can't do. Some plays you will feel good about and other plays you probably want to get rid of. It's just seeing how it goes in pre-game warm-up, and as you get into the game, you get a feel for what you will be able to execute and what you're not."
On the game conditions
"The wind was a factor. The snow on the field in the beginning and the flurries made it hard for the skill guys to see. It changed though. At times, it was still out there, and other times, the wind was a big factor. Certainly, footing was an issue."
On the play of Gary Guyton"Gary did a great job for us. He has played well for three years, and he does a lot of things for us. It's always good to have him in the game. He makes a lot of plays for us, and he has all year. Going back to the Cincinnati game, he started us off on the right foot for that game. He had a good play today, scooped it up and had the interception. Nice play by Devin McCourty getting the ball out, and we were able to turn that into a score. That was a big play for us."
On the Patriots playing well in bad weather"It's probably a combination of mental toughness and execution. It takes extra concentration. You have to deal with a lot of things. It's less than perfect out there, so you have to find a way to execute the plays you called, in whatever conditions you have to play in. Sooner or later, you're going to get all the conditions. We practice in them. Whether it's Chicago or New England or someplace else at this time of year, sooner or later you're going to get them. The credit goes to the players. They were able to execute and do the things we need to do. They've done it before, and they stepped up and did it again today. I'm really proud of the way they performed."
On the play of Wes Welker and Deion Branch
"I think they performed well. They're good football players and that's what good football players do. They play well in all conditions."
On whether the impact of the Cleveland game earlier in the year
"We learned a lot of good things in that game. Each game is its own game. We had challenges this week against Chicago that were different than what we had with the Jets, that will be different from what we'll have next week in Green Bay. We have to take each game one game at a time and try to figure out what we need to do to compete against that particular opponent. That's the way we treat every game. I can't imagine that it will be any different."
On how Tom Brady prepared for the game"Tom prepares as well as any player I've ever been around. He is very capable of getting ready to play and going out there and playing well. He has been doing that for a long time. I coach Tom just like I coach all the players on the team. I try to help him when I can. But in the end, what it comes down to is players going out and making plays and playing well. Tom did that again today."
On whether Tom Brady saw the weather as a challenge
"I think any quarterback would love to play in 70 degrees, no wind and ideal conditions. That's the best for throwing the ball. But we have to play in whatever we get. It's the same for their quarterback as our quarterback, and their running back and our running back, and their pass rushers and our pass rushers. Whatever it is, we can't control that and can't worry about it. We just have to go out there and do the best we can in it. Tom's always done that. I don't think it really bothers him. Whatever it is, he does the best he can and tries to make it work."
On Devin McCourty not returning"His injury or anyone else's injury is decided by the medical department. If they clear the player, he plays. If they don't, he doesn't play."
On the play of Shayne Graham
"Good, aside from the extra point. The easiest kick ended up being the hardest one. I thought he kicked the ball well in tough conditions. A lot of the credit needs to go to Matt Katula and Zoltan Mesko for the whole operation. It's not just the kicking; it's the snapping and getting the ball down. It was a tough day to kick, to snap, to hold and return. But we got some plays in the return game from Julian Edelman, and the Bears returners ran well too. There were some good special teams plays out there. A couple of them aren't what we want to see, but the returners did a good job."
On how he prepared for coaching in bad weather"When you get to the end of the week and you have a pretty good idea of what the forecast is going to be or what the actual conditions of the game are going to be, then you can talk a little more specifically about that. It's hard to talk about that several days in advance. For this game, the forecast changed 20 times in three days. But once you know what it is, then you can be a little more specific about it. We did that, and we always try to do that. We try to cover the things that we feel are significant to the game, whatever they happen to be. Certainly, the weather was going to be included in that list this week."
On comparison to their final game in Buffalo in 2008
"There wasn't any snow in that game and the field was dry. I would say not as windy, not nearly as windy. That wind - I've never been in a game with that kind of wind. It was windy, but not nearly that bad today."
On whether the warm-ups were helpful
"Yeah, definitely, sure, absolutely. Those are the conditions, and they aren't going to change too much. I mean, they could, but they didn't today. It didn't change too much from the warm-ups to the game conditions. As far as throwing the ball, running routes, kicking, all those things - what we saw in pre-game warm-ups is pretty close to what we saw during the game. You get a feel for what a player can do at that point, and then you base your decisions on that as you go into the game. As the game goes along, sometimes you have to change that, but for the most part, usually unless the conditions change, that's what it is."
On the Jets losing today
"Oh, we can't worry about that. We can't be scoreboard watching and worrying about every team in the league. We worry about ourselves and just try to play well. Whatever else happens, happens."