New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his postgame press conference at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, October 26, 2008.
BB: Like I told the team after the game, this is a good example of having to play 60 minutes like we always have to do in this league. Those guys really stepped up and made some big plays in the fourth quarter. I am really proud of them. We got contributions from everybody. There is no way you could go down the line and name them all but a lot of guys stepped up. A lot of guys made big plays. At times we were moving along okay and at other times we weren't. In the end, they hung in there and fought all the way and made the plays in the fourth quarter that we had to make to win. I am proud of them for that and now it is on to Indianapolis. We know what kind of test that will be but we will enjoy this one for a while. I think St. Louis – Jim [Haslett] has done an awesome job with that football team in the last three weeks. They are tough. They play hard and they are good in all three phases of the game. We had our hands full just like we expected to today. It is just good to come out on top.
Q: Did you feel fortunate, given the turnovers and onside kick, to keep them to two field goals?
BB: Sure. We were scrambling in the third quarter. We had about four turnovers offensively as a team, the onside kick, getting stopped on fourth and one and the interceptions. We were hanging on. At times defensively I thought we played pretty consistently and then we had some big plays that marred that a little bit. But that was good in the third quarter and it was great the way the offense came back in the second quarter and got back on top going into the half. It was a good two-minute drive and good clock management there by Matt [Cassel] and the offense to get three [points], we almost had seven. So that was good. We just weren't able to sustain it there in the third quarter with the onside kick. But it was a big field position play.
Q: Can you talk about Matt Cassel's poise down the stretch?
BB: Matt is a good quarterback. He has played good for us all year. I thought he played good today. There's always things to work on. There's always things to improve on. It's not perfect. But he's played good for us all year and I expect him to continue to do that. He works hard, gets better, understands the mistakes and things that he hasn't seen before and goes on and usually those aren't a problem going forward. Him and a lot of other people offensively that stepped up and made some big plays and we really had to have them today.
Q: Did St. Louis not having Steven Jackson change your approach defensively?
BB: No. Not really. We prepared for him all week. We didn't really change anything in the game plan. There were no new calls or anything. Obviously he's a quality player but I think for the most part we played [the way we] expected to play going into the game. I can't tell you what would have happened if he were to have been in there.
Q: Are you pleased on the amount of pressure your defense put on St. Louis? It seemed like Richard Seymour and Adalius Thomas were in the backfield quite a bit.
BB: It seemed like we had some decent pressure on the quarterback. I am going to have to look at the film to get a gauge on it. But I think it could have been better a few times but we knocked him down, [we] were in the pocket and made him run out a few times too. That was good, probably could have done a little better but in the end it was enough.
Q: Already losing Rodney Harrison, was it tough to lose Deltha O'Neil and Ellis Hobbs for parts of the game?
BB: We were scrambling in the secondary. There is no doubt about it. We were scrambling in the secondary when Deltha went out and then when Ellis went out. Then Mike [Richardson] got hurt on that last kickoff and then they put the four wide receivers in the game, which is their two-minute offense so we expected that. But we were down on defensive backs. Brandon [Meriweather] had to move up to corner, Antwain [Spann] came in at safety. We took that time out there after the kickoff to get organized because we were trying to find bodies to put out there.
Q: There were no accepted penalties against you guys today, can you talk about the disciplined play?
BB: That is something we talked about this week. We really emphasized staying away from the personal fouls and we did that. You always want to play penalty free. That is a goal each week for every unit and obviously you are not going to go through a whole season without getting a penalty. But offensively, defensively and in the kicking game before each game our goal is to play penalty free in each of those units so that's great. Everything they get, make them earn it. They are going to get some we understand that but try not to give them second chances, try not to go backwards with penalties on offense and create long yardage situations that way. That was outstanding really. I can't remember how many of those we had but we haven't had many.
Q: I know Kevin Faulk's touchdown was in the far corner from where you were standing but what did you see on Faulk's touchdown catch?
BB: Well it was a double move. I saw a bunch of people cheering when he came down there in the end zone so I assumed it was good. Kevin has made some big plays out there as a perimeter receiver before whether it's screens, goes, double moves. We try to hit him a little bit earlier down there on our sideline, the ball was just a little bit out of bounds. We feel like him on linebackers is a pretty favorable match up. So we got him out there, [Matt] Cassel made a great throw and Kevin came down with the ball.
Q: How nice is it to have someone like Kevin Faulk who has been here forever, has done everything for you and still makes plays?
BB: Kevin is a good football player and, you are right, he has made a lot of plays since I have been here and before. He has been a very dependable and consistent player. It seems like you can always count on Kevin no matter what phase of the game it is in. Whether it is returning kicks, blocking, pass protection, catching, running, two point plays [or] being on the goal line. He is a clutch player and he is a good player. He does a lot of things well and I think he is a guy that we all have a lot of confidence in around here – coaches, players, quarterbacks, the whole football team. He comes to work everyday. He is one of the best team players we have. He is all about our football team. Whatever he can do to help us win he'd do – mop the floors, he'd mop them. Like Troy Brown, you just can't say enough about a guy like Kevin Faulk.