New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his post-game press conference from Gillette Stadium on Thursday, August 20, 2009.
BB: I think it's pretty obvious out there tonight that we certainly have a lot of work to do and a long way to go. I think we were pretty sloppy in every area of the game: had a lot of penalties, didn't convert on third downs, missed too many tackles – just generally had too many mistakes, too many errors in every phase of the game with every unit, pretty much in every area. It's just an inconsistent performance that even though there were some positive things out there, especially offensively, [they] were overridden by mistakes. Quite a few of them were self inflicted. We had our opportunities and didn't take advantage of those as well as we should have either and the same thing in the kicking game. We have a long way to go. We have a lot of work to do. We'll have to get back at it tomorrow. We have a long week for Washington and we'll take advantage of that time and try to get a few of these things straightened out so we can perform a little bit better in game conditions. So that's it.
Q: [On Fred Taylor's first live action]
BB: I thought it was ok. I thought it was alright. Fred's done a good job for us all camp. It was good that he got some live action, got a chance to carry the ball. Look, I don't think anything out there was great tonight, but a lot of guys got a chance to play. We looked at a lot of people and we'll take a look at it on the film. It's good we got just about everybody in there.
Q: You played some no huddle offense. Is it safe to say Fred Taylor is up to speed on the offense?
BB: Yeah, I think all our [running] backs are up to speed on it. They've all run everything. They've all run all the plays, so yeah.
Q: It looked like your backup quarterbacks got some good situational work in.
BB: There was a lot of good situational work in the game. Unfortunately, we didn't execute the situations very well, but there were a lot of situations to learn from. I just wish we could have done a little better with them. I think I need to do a better job of coaching those and making sure we can get our team to do what it needs to do in those kinds of situations. Obviously, I came up short on that one too, but we had a lot of situations that called for a certain thing to happen, for us to do and run a certain play in those situations. I would say for the most part we didn't get it done the way we'd like to.
Q: Can you talk about Brandon Meriweather's play and his progress?
BB: Brandon's done a good job for us. He's been a big contributor since his rookie year. I think each year he's taken a jump in the offseason and then through the course of the year, and then another jump the next offseason and through the practice sessions in the spring. In training camp he's a guy that's improved pretty steadily, as I said, with a couple big offseason jumps. He's smart, works hard and he's really kind of starting to quarterback the secondary now. He and James [Sanders] both do a good job of communication back there and getting everybody on the same page. He's had a very productive camp for us this year.
Q: What kind of improvement have you seen in Jerod Mayo's pass rushing?
BB: I don't think anyone blocked him on that play, but Jerod's improved quite a bit from…You know, he was obviously a good player last year, but he started off at camp this year on a much higher level: knowing the defense, knowing the calls, knowing a lot more than he did and he's built on that. I think he's improved in all aspects of the passing game: pass coverage, zone drops, blitzing – all those things. He's worked hard at them. He continues to improve. He had a good year last year and he continues to improve. He's shown a lot of progress in training camp this year.
Q: Mike Pereira was here today. Did you get a chance to talk to him and what did you talk about?
BB: Yeah, I did. I talked to Mike before the game and we talked about a lot of different things. I'll just leave it at that.
Q: The team took a half step back, did that surprise you?
BB: No. I think each game is an opportunity to get out there and work on things individually, collectively and you evaluate those when you get done. I'm sure that we're going to see some things individually that were better than they were last week and obviously we had some breakdowns during the course of the game and that affected some of our overall production. We'll take a look and see how we did on an individual basis and see if we can get our overall execution to improve a little bit.
Q: The hit that Tom Brady took, do you think it was a situation where his monkey is off his back now? He mentioned last week when he didn't get touched that he just wants to get it out of the way.
BB: I don't know. I guess you'll have to ask him about that. There was a foul up on the play and he was a part of it, so that's what happens when you don't do the right thing against another good football team - they make plays and they hit you. I give Cincinnati credit for taking advantage of our mistakes.
Q: Can you comment on Chad Ochocinco's field goal?
BB: That was the difference in the game. It reminded me of when [Wes] Welker kicked against us in Miami. It doesn't surprise me really. Chad is a great athlete. He has a lot of confidence. He's a guy that pretty much you could probably challenge him at anything and he'd compete in it and do his best. I thought he stepped up there and obviously made the kick and kicked the ball off pretty well, better than…I thought he was the best kicker out there, not that that was saying a lot there. Best kicker they put out there, yeah. That's Chad. He played well tonight both in the kicking game, which I didn't think I would be talking about that but also as a receiver, run after the catch, breaking tackles and all that. He made us look bad out there a couple times and he's done that before.