Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media in his postgame press conference on Sunday, September 26, 2010.
BB: It seems like it's always one of those types of games with Buffalo like it was today - coming down to the last possession or so, whether it's low-scoring or high-scoring. Today it was high-scoring. [It's] a good win - a good division win. I thought we did some good things out there. [It was] far from perfect. We've still got a lot of work to do. We had our moments when I thought we did things really well and then other times we didn't and they did. We're still looking for a little more consistency, but it's good to come out of there 2-1 and now we head down to Miami. That's where we're at. Typical Buffalo game. Typical Buffalo: it's always tough against those guys. They do a good job.
Q: With a defense that is pretty young, are there going to be times when your offense will need to come out and have a game like this to help them a little bit?
BB: I don't think you ever know how the game is going to go. You just go out there and try to do your best in all three phases every week and hope it's enough. Whether it's 3-2 or 50-49 or whatever, it's just trying to come out with a few more points than they do.
Q: Coming into the week there were concerns about what to do on third down without Kevin Faulk. How pleased are you with your third-down efficiency this game? And it seemed like you were getting a lot of production on second down and avoiding dealing with third-down situations. Where you being particularly aggressive with play calling on that end?
BB: We're always trying to run the best plays we can, believe it or not. We always try to work good plays, whether it's first, second or third down. Our efficiency was good in the second half. We had our moments. We had some good ones. We had a couple that didn't work out so well, but overall we were fairly productive on third-down. We were able to have a couple long drives there and got a couple plays from Woody [Danny Woodhead and] our spread offense, so that was good. That was good, but not perfect though. We've still got a lot of work to do.
Q: The rushing game looked better this week.
BB: Yeah, it was a lot better than the two yards per carry that we had last week. It was productive. We got our production from a lot of different types of runs: some sub runs, some big people runs. We got outside. We hit some inside plays, reverse. I think we had good balance out of all of it.
Q: Was Danny Woodhead limited to a certain package of plays, having only been with you guys this week?
BB: Danny really did a good job. He came in here and really started grinding through it on Monday and then Tuesday - the off day - and Wednesday. He had a pretty good week. We put him in practice on Friday and he was pretty good on all of his assignments and everything he had to do. We didn't ask him to do everything, but I think he's working pretty hard at it. He picked it up pretty quickly. He seems like a smart guy.
Q: Can you talk about the decision to go with Kyle Arrington over Darius Butler? Was it something he showed you this week in practice?
BB: Both guys played. Kyle has been practicing well, so we thought we'd give him an opportunity there. Early in the game he made a couple plays, so we kind of stayed with it. We have confidence in call those guys - Darius, Jonathan [Wilhite], Devin [McCourty], Kyle, whoever it happens to be. You can put any of them out there.
Q: What's your thought on Devin McCourty's performance so far as a rookie?
BB: I'll take a look at the film from today, but Devin is working hard. He's a tough kid. He really studies the material and tries to play the technique, tries to play the defense just the way you want it played. There are still a lot of things that he or any rookie would need to learn or get experience on, but he's a quick learner. He's got good instincts. He tackles well. He's tough and he runs well, so he's got a lot of things going for him. He's doing a good job. There's still a lot to learn and a long way to go.
Q: Was the idea in going to the no-huddle in the second half to quicken the pace a little and slow down Buffalo's pace?
BB: Well, no, it was something we talked about during the week that we thought we'd do, so we did it. That was the plan.
Q: Does Ryan Fitzpatrick make them tougher to defend than Trent Edwards?
BB: I think they're both good quarterbacks. We've played against both of them. They're both good quarterbacks. They've got very good skill players. They've got a lot of guys that are dangerous with the ball in their hands, as we saw: the backs, the receivers. They're tough to defend. They've got a lot of guys out there. The quarterbacks do a great job of getting them the ball. Fitzpatrick does a nice job, but so does Edwards. I think they've got two good quarterbacks.
Q: Can you talk about overcoming the adversity after Buffalo's long first drive?
BB: We just let them get outside on a couple plays. I thought they made some yards in the running game on the perimeter. We didn't do a real good job on that. Fortunately, we were able to get a stop down there deep and hold them to three [points]. But that's obviously not the way we want to start out - a drive of 50 yards or whatever it was. We just didn't do a good enough job on some of the outside plays early and fortunately, we were able to tighten up, get some pressure there on third down. I think they tried to go to [Lee] Evans on that one and we were able to break that up and get out of there with a field goal. As usual, if you can make plays on third down, then you probably won't be giving up a lot of points.
Q: Are you proud of the way your secondary stepped up?
BB: They've competed well all year. It certainly could be better, but they're making some plays and they're aggressive. They're getting better. We've just got to keep working at it and just come together more as a unit, do a little bit better job coaching. I think those guys are really trying hard. I have a lot of respect for what they're doing. They'll keep improving.
Q: You had over 200 yards rushing. Was that a point of emphasis this week?
BB: That's always an emphasis point, believe it or not. We never go into the game saying, 'We hope get two yards per carry.' We always want to run the ball. We always want to have positive plays and stay ahead on the down-and -distance and get into some second-and-fives and second-and-fours, and be able to hand the ball off on second-and-eight, and get into some third-and-twos and that type of thing. Whenever you run the ball, that makes everything else that much easier: your play action game, you're not in long yardage. That's always a point of emphasis and some weeks we do it better than others, but it was good production today and that obviously really helped us.
Q: Can you explain the rule on back to back timeouts? It didn't seem like the announcers knew what was going on?
BB: If you do it on a kicking play...If you do it on a field goal play, it's a penalty like what happened in the Indianapolis game. They changed that rule after the Colts lost to us there in the opener in '04. You're not allowed to do back-to-back timeouts on offense or defense, but there's no penalty; you're just not allowed to do it. What should have happened was the timeout shouldn't have been allowed. They called the timeout and then, since it was an officials' mistake, it was a mechanic's mistake, then they said, 'Ok, you're not allowed to have a timeout' and then they reset the 40-second clock to 25 seconds and went from there. The officials made a mistake on the play. They made it [and] they followed the mechanics of when they make it, just like we all make them out there - coaches, players, everybody else. They made one. They acknowledged it. They did the right thing. I was just upset because I didn't really know what happened, I mean, I knew what happened, but then they reset the clock and it was fourth-and-one and we had to really rush and get everything that we were...we just didn't get it as quickly as we should have. I thought the play should have been stopped and [they should have] said 'Ok, here is what happened.' I think their feeling was, 'Well, we already blew it by giving them a timeout when there wasn't a timeout, so now there is no timeout, so now you've got to go.' They didn't want it delayed any further by coming over to talk about it. I understand what John [Parry] did. I think he handled the situation okay. It was just frustrating that that mistake happened. But we made a lot more mistakes out there than they did, so I don't really have any issue with it.