New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conferenc at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, September 3, 2009.
BB: OK, well that's, I thought, a good way for us to end the preseason. Obviously, spotting them 21 points isn't the way we want to start the game. But I thought we came back, competed hard and played at a good level after we kind of got the things righted a little bit there in the second quarter. And then at halftime, I was proud of the way those guys played. We moved the ball, made some stops on defense. We didn't turn it over. We took care of it and we were able to make some plays when we had to - some big plays. So it was good. Those guys showed me a lot out there that played tonight - 34 of them, or whatever it was. [It is] time to move on. We have a lot of work to do, a lot of decisions to make and get ready here for Buffalo. We're going to have to turn the page here pretty quickly. I thought those guys did a good job tonight, I really did.
Q: What went into your decision tonight to play Brian Hoyer all game?
BB: We just wanted to see him play, see the different situations and, as it got going, I thought he would learn from the ones that came up all throughout the game.
Q: How did you feel, overall, Brian Hoyer's performance was?
BB: Not bad. I mean, there were plenty of things that could be better [and he] needs to work on. But I thought he moved the team. I thought he handled the ball fairly well, threw it accurately. We'll look at the film.
Q: Defensive starter Pierre Woods played a lot tonight. Why was that?
BB: Well, the guys that played, played because we felt like they needed to play. So that goes for everybody. Pierre's done a good job for us. He's done a good job all of camp. He's doing a lot of different things: kicking game, pass rush, regular down defense. So he's got a lot of responsibilities. I thought he held up pretty well out there. He and Rob [Ninkovich] both as far as playing a lot of snaps, playing in the kicking game and playing hard right there till the end of the third quarter - rushing the passer. It's good to see what kind of stamina those guys have. We saw some other guys play last week and we got a good look at them this week.
Q: How would you assess the competition at tight end? Benjamin Watson and Alex Smith both played a lot tonight.
BB: I think I've said a couple times in training camp that's probably one of the most competitive positions on the team and I would still say that. I think that all the players we have there, over the course of the preseason, we've gotten a pretty good look at and I think it's very competitive.
Q: What was the reason Andrew Walter didn't play today?
BB: We played [Brian] Hoyer. You know, we had him in there. The way the game went, we were coming back [and] we felt like he deserved a chance to keep playing and see what he could do with the outcome of the game.
Q: Has BenJarvus Green-Ellis earned a spot on the roster with what he did tonight?
BB: We'll make all our roster decisions here in the next couple days. But, BenJarvus does a lot of things for us - going back to last year.
Q: Brandon McGowan made a big play tonight. He didn't get to play a lot last year in Chicago. What were the things about him you liked to want him here?
BB: Really, pretty much everything. He's a tough kid, tackles well. He runs well. He's fast. He has good range, pretty good man-to-man coverage, pretty good zone player, good in the kicking game. He's from Maine, went to Maine. He's got a lot of things going for him, athletically, competitively. He's got some experience. We were happy to bring him onto the team and I think he's done a good job in all the areas we've asked him to work in and he's been very ... He's a versatile guy. He can do a lot of things for us. He's been solid all the way through.
Q: Were you impressed with Sam Aiken's speed after the catch?
BB: You know, Sam [Aiken], this is really a good chance for him to play at receiver and to, as you said, not only catch the ball, the run after the catch and block. He was involved on blocking on some of those multiple receiver running plays and key blocks in terms of controlling the secondary. I thought he did a real good job. I thought he did a good job with the ball in his hands. He had that big play last year, the slip screen [for] about 30 or 40 yards. He's shown us those flashes in the past and he really got a good chance to play tonight and he made some plays. He's done a good job for us since he's come here in all areas, offensively in the roles that we've asked him to play in and certainly in the kicking game.
Q: Terrence Nunn was pretty inspirational. Can you talk about his play on the field?
BB: Well, Terrence [Nunn] came in here [and] we got a little bit of a late start in the spring. We signed him, but he was a very productive player in college at Nebraska. He's just worked hard and has gotten better and better. He's been working with a lot of veteran receivers: Randy [Moss], Wes [Welker], [Joey] Galloway and guys like that. He's very attentive. He takes coaching well. The veteran players work with him and he accepts their advice and things like that. He's improved his game on a lot of little things and some of those showed up as bigger things. We also used him some in the return game, a little bit on special teams. He's got some versatility for us as well. When he's gotten a chance to play he's made some positive plays.
Q: Are these some of the toughest days for you with having to make cuts?
BB: Well, yeah. It's always hard when you go to training camp with 80 players to getting down to 53 and have to release 27 players, one way or another. Basically that's, in round numbers, what happens. That's always the hard part. Making decisions can be hard as players compete and get very ... getting in there pretty close and making the decisions tough. Then the actual talking to players and telling them what the decision is when it doesn't go the way they want it to go, that's hard, too. Especially when guys have come out and really worked hard over the course of training camp, done what you've asked them to do, have played hard and [have] come close, but maybe come up a little bit short relative to somebody else. We all know that's the nature of the business. We know it's competitive and not everybody can make all the teams and not every team can win all the games. Somebody's got to win, somebody's got to lose. Somebody plays and somebody gets a release. So that's the National Football League. It's not like college when everybody gets a letter sweater. It's a little bit different here, but that's the way it is. It's tough, but that's the NFL.