New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his postgame press conference from Qwest Field on Sunday, December 7, 2008.
BB: It was a great example of 60 minutes. I thought our team did a good job of hanging in there today. We didn't get off to a real good start, but they hung in there and kept fighting. They plugged away for 60 minutes and came out of there with a win. I think it is a real credit to the players, the way they fought in the fourth quarter on the road. We got behind a couple of times. We closed the gap and then they stretched it out again. So, it was really a heck of an effort by our football team. We had a few guys banged up in the game, but people stepped in, they stepped up and made plays that we had to make to win - third down, fourth down, offense, defense and special teams. It was a good win for us. Now it looks like it is a three game season. We just have to pick up the pieces here today, have a good week here and get ready for Oakland. But, it is really good to win here. It was a good effort today. I thought the players really played hard and showed a lot of toughness, both mental and physical toughness out there today.
Q: You came into this game shorthanded and lost Tedy Bruschi, Vince Wilfork and James Sanders. Do you ever allow yourself to think when is this going to stop?
BB: No, not during the game. We will take stock of where we are heading into next week. I am not sure exactly where all that is going to be. During the game we just have to go with what we have. Those guys stepped in: [Antwain] Spann, Mike Wright, Le Kevin [Smith], Junior [Seau] and Rosie [Colvin]. A lot of guys ended up playing probably more than what they thought they would have. They came through for us. You hate for that situation to come up, but it's good that they answer the bell.
Q: What does it say to you that Junior Seau and Rosevelt Colvin came in and played as much as they did?
BB: They are professionals. They both prepared hard all week. Of course, Junior didn't get here until early Friday morning. He only had one day of practice and a walkthrough yesterday. He's a pro and so is Rosie. Rosie worked hard all week and did a lot of things extra to be ready for the game and we sure needed him.
Q: On third-down offense...
BB: They gave us a lot of pressure today. We had to hang in there, deal with it and make some plays. We finally made some plays in the fourth quarter that really helped us. That was critical. Third down is a big down and [also the] red area. Those are two areas that we still could have done better at today. We didn't stop them on defense and we got held to a couple of field goals offensively. We still have to keep trying to work and do better on that. Of course, fourth and one was a huge play. That is where we had to have it and we got it. It's good make them when we had to.
Q: How impressive was Wes Welker today with his 12 catches?
BB: Wes is always impressive. He is a good receiver. He's a competitive guy, a smart guy, quick, good hands, good concentration and is tough. He does a lot of things well and today was a big day for him.
Q: How limited where you defensively given the loss of players on defense?
BB: We had to cut it back a little bit. We had a little trouble, obviously, the first couple of drives. Seattle had a lot of quick, up-tempo plays and we were scrambling a bit to get where we needed to be. We tried to settle down a little bit. That, combined with some people that weren't able to finish the game, it all added up to, let's get back to the basics. In the end that served us well.
Q: Does the fight in these guys amaze you, given all the injuries?
BB: I think we have a lot of tough people in that locker room both physically and mentally. This time of year everybody is banged up and they played through. Mentally we have had our ups and downs and now on the road. There's a lot of crowd noise out here, a lot of energy from the fans and the Seahawks. I thought that team played hard. Their competitiveness and the level of play on their team is certainly better than what their record is. That's a good football team and they play hard. They can move the ball. They can play defense and they are good in the kicking game. So, that's a good football team. I can't imagine that they're not going to win some games that are left because they just do too many things well. I really take my hat off to our players. They played hard on the road after a tough loss against Pittsburgh. But, they came back and battled for 60 minutes.
Q: On playing basic defense...
BB: I thought we had good pressure on the quarterback on a lot of plays. We just couldn't tackle him. He was elusive back there, he scrambled out. Wallace had a couple throws on us. He scrambled around, he ran a couple of times. So, at the end we just brought everybody and hoped that he wouldn't get away from us because that was a big concern with the amount of time, especially at the end of the game. We were a little bit winded. The quarterback running around, what happened on the first down play where we seemed like we had two or three guys in the backfield and he ends up scrambling through for 25 yards. We wanted to make sure that didn't happen again.
Q: It seemed like you were able to get pressure up the middle on Seattle's offensive line. Was your plan to go after the inexperienced guys?
BB: We tried to get pressure all the way around, outside, inside and tried to keep the quarterback in there. We weren't very successful in doing it. We had pressure, but he was elusive back there and we couldn't get him. You have to try to keep him in the pocket and hem him in, but Wallace is a hard guy to do that against. We knew how athletic he was and as I said, at the end we ended up bringing enough guys so there weren't any extra gaps in there.
Q: What are your thoughts on where the team is in the AFC East now?
BB: It is a three game season. We are 13 games into the year and it is still a real close race. We just have to suck it up here, get ready and try to go down there and have a good effort against Oakland. We know they are a very physical team. They beat the Jets earlier this year. We have seen them play good, hardnosed, tough football. They are very physical, so we are going to have to do a lot of things well. Hopefully, we will have a good week of preparation out here, get as many guys as we can back out there and compete on Sunday against them.
Q: Personnel wise, why did you activate Tyson DeVree over David Thomas?
BB: I think Ty has been working hard. He has made some plays in practice. I think he has earned the opportunity to play, in his practice effort and his playmaking in practice when he has had a chance to play. He has been on the roster for a few weeks and we thought he might be able to get a chance to see if he can make some plays for us today.
Q: Have you seen a rise from Jonathan Wilhite?
BB: I think Jonathan, in the opportunities he has had, has played competitively. Deltha [O'Neil] stepped in and gave us some good plays in the sub today too. We are going to need everybody. I wouldn't read too much into who is playing ahead of who, who played and who didn't play. We are going to need everybody to play going forward and want to make sure they are all ready. I think that's what the players are trying to do, just everybody be ready. They know their number will be called on here at this point in the season. Everybody has to contribute.
Q: On Deion Branch...
BB: He is a good receiver, we all know that. Deion ran a real good route down there in the red area, the corner route in the end zone and it was a good throw. The other play, I really thought he was out of bounds on that and that's why I challenged it. But, he is a good runner and we have seen him do that before.
Q: Can you comment on Mike Holmgren's last year here in Seattle?
BB: I have all the respect in the world for Mike. I think he's had a great career. If it is over then it is over, but he certainly has a lot to be proud of. His championships, the contributions that he has made to the game and the way he has kept the west coast offense in tact from the way he ran it with Bill [Walsh] and his disciples that are out there running it. The contribution that he's made to the game has been outstanding. I have all the respect in the world for Mike. His teams are always ready to play. Offensively, they are always hard to stop. I'd like to have his record.
Q: On LaMont Jordan...
BB: It is good to have LaMont back. I thought he ran hard. There were some tough yards in there. There were a couple times it was only two or three yards, but I thought he got all he could out of some of those plays where honestly it didn't look like he was going to get much of anything. They were blitzing a lot. They had a lot of people on the line of scrimmage. We just didn't want to throw it every single down. We threw it a lot but at least it felt like you could punch a few runs in there and try to slow them down or try to make them at least respect the run so that it wasn't a pass every time the ball was snapped. I thought LaMont ran hard. I thought Sammy [Morris] ran hard. Kevin [Faulk] certainly gave us some plays both running, the passing game and on the slip screen. We had to use those screens in those running plays to get the ball out there and like I said, not to have to go back and block them every single play with all their safety blitzes, corner blitzes and with [Josh] Wilson coming off the slot. They gave us a lot of pressure today.