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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 Monday, November 21, 2011.

BB: I thought our team kind of came together a little bit once we kind of got out of the slow start. We got great contributions from our offense, our defense, [and] our special teams. It was a good, solid team victory. We're going to have to turn the page on this one quickly; this is a short week going down to Philadelphia. That's a big challenge ahead of us, but that's a good win here and like I said, it was good to get good contributions from really all the units and a lot of players on those units. It's nice to be 7-3.  

Q: Can you talk about Rob Gronkowski's play tonight and in general?  

BB: It looked like he caught a couple passes and broke some tackles like he usually does. He runs hard, he's a tough guy to bring down, and you get him out in the open and he's a tough guy to tackle. He's done a good job for us all year.  

Q: You mentioned the slow start and that's kind of been a trend lately for your offense in the first quarter. Is that troubling? Can you put your finger on why that is?  

BB: Well, if I knew exactly what to do, we would have already fixed it. We have to work harder on it. We've just got to do a better job of coaching and getting off to a better start, [with both] play calling and execution. The players have got to do a better job; we've got to do a better job of coaching.  

Q: Obviously you liked Rob Gronkowski picking him that early, but did you think he would make the contributions he has the last two years, specifically in touchdown passes?  

BB: I mean, we thought he – yeah, we thought he was good. The only real issue with Rob was he didn't play his junior year. He missed his entire junior year, but when he was healthy his sophomore year, he played pretty well for Arizona, too. He's a good player.  

Q: Size? Speed? What really caught your attention?  

BB: Size, speed, yeah, blocking. He works hard, tough kid. The coaches love him down there. [Mike] Stoops had a lot of great things to say about him. [He] likes football. He's got a lot of things going for him. He just missed a year of football and lacked a little bit of experience, so you don't know exactly where a guy like that is going to get to, but he's a talented player.  

Q: Obviously there is a lot of familiarity between what the Chiefs do on offense and defense and what you guys do. Do you think that led to some jockeying for position early? Did they do a good job of knowing what was coming from you guys?  

BB: Yeah, I mean, give them credit. Things they did, they did better than we did. You've got to give them credit for that.  

Q: Do you find it more challenging to face a coordinator that's more familiar with your offense and what kind of adjustments did you have to make?  

BB: Well, we feel challenged every week. Every game on our schedule is challenging. Every team we play has good players, good coaches. They work hard, they do things to give us problems, so every week is a challenge. Of course it's hard to go against Romeo [Crennel]. He's one of the best coaches that I've ever worked with and he did a good job with giving us trouble with some of their schemes. They have some good players on defense; they covered us and they rushed us, so they did a good job.  

Q: How significant was Julian [Edelman]'s punt return and how well has he adapted to his new role as a defensive back?  

BB: Well, he's learning how to play defense. He's got a long way to go, but he's working hard, he's getting reps and he's getting better at it. We've been talking about the return game for quite a while. I feel like we've been close to breaking off a big play – one block away or one better hold-up or just one thing, and we got it today. Our punt return team has been doing a good job. They've been working hard, we've been close, and it was satisfying for them and for all of us, really, for that to happen, because I do feel like we've been close. I feel like we've been close on the kickoff returns. We didn't have much to show for [kickoff returns] tonight, but I do think that's getting better and hopefully we're close to breaking a big one there, too. Those guys work had and Julian has worked hard trying to make it happen. Sometimes you get frustrated because you're just a step away or you get a bad kick when you get good blocking or you get a good kick and miss a block, or whatever it is. But today it came together. He broke a couple of tackles and we kind of had them sealed off there. It was a big play in the game, I think it really – I don't want to say put it out of reach – but it certainly put a big gap in the game.

Q: Can you talk about the defensive backfield tonight with the picks?  

BB: It looked like two of them were on tipped balls. Kyle [Arrington] has been very opportunistic this year being around the ball a lot. When you're around it and close to it, those are the kind of plays you make. And then it looked like it was a throw there into coverage that Phil [Adams] got. I thought that Kyle and our safeties there – it looked like Sterling [Moore] got a good hit on that first slim post route and batted it up in the air. Look, the more times you have guys around the ball, the better your chances are coming up with it, so we're just trying to get close.  

Q: On those tipped balls, how much of that is being Johnny-on-the-Spot and how much of it is being very aware.  

BB: Certainly part of it is … Look, like I said, the closer you are to the ball, the more chance you have of getting it. But quick hands, quick reactions and Kyle's ability to – look, we've seen plenty of those dropped, too. So you've got to give him credit for making the play and being close enough that when the receiver bobbled it, he was able to come up with it.  

Q: Considering the pressure that Kansas City had, especially early in the game, did Romeo Crennel maybe dial up some different stuff than you hadn't seen before?  

BB: No, I wouldn't say it's anything we haven't seen before. They did a good job. They gave us a couple of different looks and they gave us a couple of strong-side blitzes with [Javier] Arenas and the linebacker over on that side. There were a couple times where I think we had them blocked and we just didn't block them. And there were a couple other times where we missed the guy. Even on the touchdown to Gronkowski, I think that was [Donald] Washington coming free and we didn't have him and Tom was able to just get rid of it before he hit him because Rob was open; he could throw it quickly because Rob was so open coming over the middle. You know, Romeo does that; he does a good job of that. He does things that give you problems and he did that tonight.  

Q: Did the play to Rob Gronkowski maybe back them off that a little bit? It seemed like they sent a little bit less.  

BB: I don't think so. That was against their regular defense and most of the other plays were coming off their sub defense. I think Nate [Solder] was in at tight end and we were in a play action pass and they kind of lost Rob over the middle, but that was their weak safety blitz off their regular defense. So, I think that was a little bit of a different look.  

Q: Is that usually the first place Tom Brady would look, because he came off that left side as Tom looked to the left?  

BB: Well, Tom knows who's blocked and who isn't and they kind of rolled into it. So if he sees a guy who isn't blocked, then he knows he either has to throw it away or get it off before the guy can get to him. He definitely knows that.  

Q: It seemed like they had a linebacker who should have picked up Rob Gronkowski.  

BB: Yeah, I'm sure somebody was supposed to get him. Yeah, I'm sure there was somebody that was supposed to get him, but the thing is the quarterback – and the thing I was concerned about was we didn't have the safety picked up in that particular protection. And he did a good job of timing it up – I think it was [Donald] Washington – did a good job of timing it up and was free. Tom made a really heads-up play in being able to get rid of the ball just before Washington got to him and Rob was open so he could throw it to him. It was a good play by Tom and it was a good blitz by Kansas City. If it was just maybe half-a-step late or if the coverage had been better, it would have been a tougher play for us.  

Q: Even though he was only out there for a few snaps, but was it good to see Marcus Cannon out there, considering what he's gone through in the last few months?  

BB: Yeah, I'd say the last six months. Yeah, it's good to have Marcus out on the field, period. He's been out there for about a month now. He's worked hard and I'm glad he's getting an opportunity to play. He's got a long way to go, but he took a step tonight I think.

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