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Bill Belichick Postgame Press Conference Transcript

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his postgame press conference at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, October 9, 2011.

BB: It's good to come in here after a win against the Jets. It always is. A division game, a hard-fought game like it always is. I'm really proud of our players. We stepped up and that was a great drive there offensively to answer the touchdown, field goal. I thought we played better on defense. There were some good things to build on. We've still got a long way to go, and we'll see them again in a month, as well as the rest of our division teams later on this season. It's good to win and I'm really proud of our team. They had a good week of practice, they worked hard, pushed through a lot of bumps and bruises – banged up and a long trip back from Oakland and all of that, but they hung in there and I thought they really did a good job this week. It was one of our good weeks of practice, so hopefully that was reinforced by what we did in the game.

Q: I looked like BenJarvus Green-Ellis was able to put together some really good yards, especially in the second half. What allowed him to be so effective in there?

BB: I think everything helped – throwing the ball, they played a lot of sub defense, a lot of extra DBs. Our line did a good job. Our tight ends did a good job. Tom [Brady] checked some plays and got us into some more favorable runs that maybe what were called. I think it was a good job all around. Benny ran well, of course, like he always does, runs hard, gets a lot of runs after contact. It was a good solid job all the way around. The receivers, they blocked on that last third-and-four play we ran around the end, we got a couple good crack blocks from the receivers. So, everybody did their job.

Q: Can you talk about the way the defense responded with Jerod Mayo being out?

BB: We had our moments. We had our moments. We had some three-and-outs. We didn't play very well in the red area and we still gave up 21 points, but it was enough to win. Certainly, there are things we can improve on, but I think we have improved and hopefully we keep building on that and continue to get better each week.

Q: You talked about Tom getting into some better running plays. Was this a game that was heavy on needing to make adjustments at the line based on what they were doing?

BB: Yeah, there's always an element of that with the Jets. They give you a lot of different looks. They stem in and out of things and overload and then switch it and just change things up on you, so you've got to be careful about running plays that just have no chance. You want to stay out of those and try to give yourself something that you at least have an even fight, fair numbers on. That's the quarterback's responsibility and a couple times we just got caught in it. They did a good job. They maneuvered in a way that we weren't able to do that, but I thought he did a good job handling that.

Q: There was a drive were you had multiple consecutive runs and then a touchdown. Was that a drive in which their personnel dictated that?

BB: No, that's just the way it turned out.

Q: On Wes Welker's long reception, what did you see?

BB: [It was] a play action pass, he came over the middle, it looked like the safety dove – whether he was supposed to run or not, I'm not sure. And then he split [Darrelle] Revis and I think the safety was [Eric] Smith. I'm not sure whether they were comboing that because the tight end blocked, or somebody obviously got caught short. Tom put it out there. We had a couple other chances today where we were behind the defense and we just overthrew them by a yard or so. But I think we've got to keep taking those shots. You're not going to hit all of them, you want to, but we hit one and we've hit them in other weeks. If they want to come down and clamp us, then we've got to be able to go over the top. It was a great throw and Wes made a heck of a play. That was a huge play in the game

Q: What did you see from Aaron Hernandez in his return?

BB: Aaron has really worked hard the last couple of weeks to get back out there. He's in here early, he stays late; he's leaving when the coaches are leaving. He's getting a lot of extra treatment. He was able to come out and practice later on in the week and handle a little more each day and kept getting better, so we felt confident going into the game – and he felt confident going into the game. Again, he got behind the defense a couple times, so he obviously got his speed back. I thought he had a good couples days of practice at the end of the week and was able to carry it over into the game. He's a tough guy to match up against. He's a good player.

Q: You must have had a lot of confidence in him to keep him in the game.

BB: Yeah. He seemed to be doing fine. We checked with those guys as they're coming out. We had a few guys banged up offensively that were fighting through some stuff, but they hung in there and when we needed to give them a break, we did so.

Q: Can you give us an overall analysis of your team this year thus far? Also, how do you feel about always being the team to beat? Is it a badge of honor and do you like the fact that everyone expects this team to be good every year?

BB: We don't really care about all of that. We'll just get ready for Dallas next week. I don't think now is the time to reflect on anything. We'll look at this game, we'll correct our mistakes, we'll analyze things we did well, things we need to do better and we'll get ready for the Cowboys. That's what we'll do next week.

Q: What are some of the areas you think you need to improve in?

BB: I think we can do better in everything. I think we can do better in all three phases of the game: our running game, our passing game, just our overall execution and keep building on it. Red area, you can go right down the line. We're not playing a perfect game. We've got to work on everything. Do a better job of coaching, get our guys out there executing better, just try to refine, take care of the little things. Some of the big plays come from some of the little things on the execution, so better coaching – hopefully that will lead to a little better playing.

Q: Without Mayo, how was the defense overall as well as getting the right plays?

BB: I didn't think we had a lot of coverage [problems] or defensive adjustment problems where we couldn't get things lined up or that kind of thing. I think Patrick [Chung] and James Ihedigbo did a real nice job. James did a great job for us today in his overall communication and of course he was pretty familiar with the team we were playing. He's a smart guy that really works hard, communicates well and practiced well this week. I thought he did a good job when he was in there, delivered a couple big hits and played well, so he helped us with the communication as well as Gary [Guyton] and [Brandon] Spikes and [Rob] Ninkovich. Those guys have been playing together and especially Spikes now has had a few weeks where he's been in there, and Gary and Rob, they had a good week of practice. I think it's going better. It's not perfect, but we're making progress and definitely getting better.

Q: There were two big challenges that you threw the flag on this game. Can you talk about those two?

BB: I mean, good plays, good calls from upstairs. Our guys up in the booth got a good look at it and felt like Deion was touched before the ball actually came out. He was still down; had he gotten up and the ball got punched out, that would have been a fumble, but it looked like he still had his knee or whatever part of his body – I think it was his knee – still on the ground when he got tagged and then the ball came out after that. That was a good call upstairs and then the same thing on the catch there on the sideline. It looked like [Plaxico] Burress bobbled the ball a little bit, but that's always a tough call because he did come up with it. I thought he bobbled it a little bit, but then the guys upstairs said his toe came down on the line, so I think that really was why they called it incomplete. I don't know about the bobbling part, although to me it looked like he did bobble it. But they called his foot on the line, or toe on the line, whatever it was. Good job by our assistant coaches, the guys upstairs: Ernie Adams and the other coaches that saw that.

Q: In last year's playoff game against the Jets, they played a lot of defensive backs and it looked like they did again today. Did you feel like you were going to need to run the ball more this time around to capitalize on that?

BB: We try to have balanced offense; we try to run it and throw it. We've done that every time we play them. We did that today. We did it last week. I'm sure we'll do it again. They do a good job defensively. They give you a lot of different looks. Sometimes they put a bunch of defensive backs in the game and try to bait you into running it and then they all come up there and swarm you and they've just got more bodies than you do, even though they're smaller, and you can't get them all blocked or you don't have good blocking angles on you. They keep you honest. They do a good job and it's a little bit of a chess match between the play callers and the quarterback on the line of scrimmage trying to recognize it and, like I said, try to keep us out of bad plays. That's the most important thing. In the end, you've got to block them, you've got to throw it, you've got to catch it, but if you call a play where you just have no chance because you've got a guy standing right there or they blitz a guy that you can't block, those are the ones you want the quarterback to keep you out of. Tom did a great job of that, like he usually does. He's very good at that.

Q: How would you describe the physicality of this game?

BB: It's always physical against the Jets. They're physical. We try to be physical. They ran the ball, they came in aggressively. Their front is physical. Our offensive line stood there and battled with them. Our backs ran hard. Defensively, we slugged it out with them up there in front. So, it was a hard-fought game and that's the way it usually is. Same thing in the kicking game: there were some good hits on special teams and both teams played aggressively. That's the way it usually is with the Jets.

Q: Second straight game you guys had a good mix of running and passing. Do you see improvement, especially in your offensive line?

BB: Again, I think the running game is a team thing; it's not just the line. It's the line, it's the tight ends, it's the backs, part of it's the quarterback, part of it's the receivers, and of course it's the guy carrying the ball. Everybody has a hand in that. I think he better you run it, the better you can throw it. The better you throw it, the better you should be able to run it, so they kind of play off each other. It's hard to keep calling runs when you don't gain anything. After you call three or four of them and you're second and 10 every time, it's hard to keep calling them, especially if you're moving the ball through the air. If you can match that production and have good positive gains in the running game and have them in the passing game and then, as a play caller, you feel confident and comfortable calling pretty much anything. Again, that's a credit to the team. We called a lot of different stuff and they executed it well. Again, they had to make some tough adjustments against some of the things the Jets did, but they did a pretty good job of it. It was a good team win. I don't think you can give it to any one guy. There were a lot of people who played well today and I think everybody feels good about it.

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