New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his postgame press conference on Sunday, December 14, 2008.
BB:That was a good win for our team today. I was really proud of the way our guys played. We talked about, going into the game, how important it was to get off to a fast start. They came out from the opening kickoff to the first three possessions. We had some big stops on defense. The offense took advantage of the field position we got on defense and on special teams and converted those into points. That was really huge for us. We are happy for several guys, LaMont [Jordan] and Randy [Moss] of course. They did a great job all week of helping us get prepared. They both had some big plays in this game today. They played very well. I am glad they are on our football team. They certainly helped us. The offensive line did a terrific job. We ran the ball well. The backs ran hard. I just can't say enough about Matt Cassel. Having been through that myself a couple of years ago I know what that is like. I thought he did a great job in his preparation, his focus and showed a lot of commitment to the team. He carried us a long way today. He deserves all the accolades he gets for this one. I know it was a tough situation for him but he really stood up to the challenge and played well in not the greatest conditions out there. We are back at it now. We have another big game coming up here against Arizona. We will have to gear up for them. It's great to come out of here and win these two on the West Coast. We will head back to Foxboro and get ready for the Cardinals.
Q:On Wes Welker's two third down catches and touchdown later in the game...
BB:Offensively, we had a lot of guys that had a lot of big plays for us: Wes [Welker], Randy and certainly the [running] backs. Wes has been a clutch player for us all year and he did it again. A lot of man to man coverage as the Raiders always do. Rob [Ryan] and Al Davis had their defensive scheme and they tried to get up on the receivers tight. It was up to those guys to get free and get away from them. They did a good job on that. I thought Josh [McDaniels] had a great game plan. Really, offensively and the offensive staff, those guys did a great job of getting the players ready and putting us in some positions where we were able to make some plays, and the players went out there and made them.
Q:You were able to run ball spread with different running backs, was that the game plan or based on what the Raiders called?
BB:No, it didn't affect what we ran. We were out there a lot and have a lot of plays on offense with just the way the game went. But, I thought all of the backs ran well. They all have different styles but they are all productive. We just try to use everybody a little bit.
Q:When Sammy [Morris] stays healthy he's had some big games for you...
BB:Sammy is good. He is a good player and a good back. He catches the ball well. He runs hard. He has good quickness and plays with good power. He does a lot of things well. Again, all of our backs have been productive. They have different styles, different ways of doing it but they gain a lot of yards for us.
Q:You said LaMont Jordan and Randy Moss did a great job all week with helping you prepare...
BB:They are familiar with this team and we haven't played them since 2005. They are familiar with the team, the players and some of their tendencies. It was helpful. They gave us some insight into how different guys played, what their strengths and weaknesses were. I think that helped us in our preparation too. Also, I thought we had a really good week of practice. This is LaMont's best week. For quite awhile he has been out. He had a little bit of time last week but this was really a good week of preparation for him. Randy had a great week too. I was glad to see it show up out there on the field.
Q:You mentioned getting off to a fast start, did you have any kind of wakeup call in last week's game?
BB:You never want to start the game down 14-3 like we did last week. We talked about that this week. We watched film of several games. We watched the Baltimore game. We talked about the San Diego game. We watched the Atlanta game. There were some teams that were able to get on top of the Raiders early. We just felt like if we were ready to go and did a good job in the three different phases that we might have those opportunities as well. The first kickoff we got them inside the 10, forced a punt, had good field position and capitalized on it. Got them again, short punt, good field position again and capitalized on it. We were able to turn those opportunities in all three areas: offense, defense and special teams. We played a good complimentary game in the first 8-10 minutes of the first quarter. That was huge for us. We talked about it all week and the guys really focused, prepared and they did a great job of executing out there.
Q:On Randy Moss...
BB:Randy practices well all of the time. He is a good practice player and is a good game player. He is always excited to play. He always looks forward to the plays we have in that game plan, the way they play their coverages and how to attack any opportunities that he has as well as the rest of the offense. I don't mean it like this was something that was unusual. He had a real good week of practice and we played well. But, he practices well every week. He really does. I think offensively, we all felt that like we had opportunities to move the ball and score some points and we were able to take advantage of them.
Q:Did he give you a sneak preview of that touchdown celebration in practice?
BB:No. I didn't even see that. What was that?
Q:Pointing to his name on the back of his jersey.
BB:No. I missed that.
Q:Do you feel like you have your back is up against the wall because you have to win the remaining games?
BB:We always feel like we have to win. We know we are in a tight race in the AFC East. Miami and Jets both won today. We know every game is important this time of year. It's good to be playing in these games. We know they are big this time of year, there's no doubt about it.