New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference following the Patriots preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, August 17, 2008.
BB: Well, I think it's pretty obvious that we've got a lot of work to do, based on tonight, really in all three phases of the game. I just didn't think we played as well or as competitively as we're capable of playing, certainly. Those little things add up to big things. Starting with me, we all have to do a better job. We see another good team this week against Philadelphia and, hopefully, we can get a little better performance than that.
Q: Bill, you got an extended look at Matt Cassel tonight. Did you see positives in his performance?
BB: Yeah, I thought for sure there were positives for everybody and I'm sure there were negatives for everybody. We'll look at the tape and evaluate that. We got some experience against a good team, against a fast team, against a playoff team. As I said, there are a lot of things that we are going to need to do better. Hopefully, we can work on those and get it done.
Q: This was your first opportunity to see John Lynch play. What has been your first impression of him after a couple of days of working with him?
BB: He was only in there for a couple of plays, but at least he got some exposure in our system and got a few plays so we're on the way. We've got a long way to go, but I'm sure we'll gain a lot more ground this week than we did in one day of practice last week.
Q: Bill, are you concerned at all to another loss in the secondary with Brandon Meriweather going down?
BB: Well, we'll see how that goes. I'm not sure exactly what his situation is, but I hope that it works out not to be a problem.
Q: Is Matt Gutierrez still a little banged up?
BB: We wanted to get a good look at Matt [Cassel] and Kevin [O'Connell] and we did that. I'm sure [Gutierrez] will be ready to play.
Q: If this were a regular-season game would Tom [Brady] be ready to play?
BB: This wasn't a regular-season game.
Q: Was it a last-minute decision?
BB: Was it a last-minute thing? I don't know. There were a lot of players that didn't make the trip so the guys that were here played and the ones that didn't, obviously, didn't. They didn't make the trip; they didn't play. If they weren't going to play, they weren't going to make the trip.
Q: You always say that when one guy goes down, there's an opportunity for another guy to step in. Did that happen tonight in a couple of positions?
BB: All the guys that were down here got an opportunity to play and that was a good experience for everybody who played in the game. I'm not saying that we all did a great job, but it gave them an opportunity to play. It gives us a chance to evaluate them and it gives us a chance to get better and learn from it.
Q: You seemed to move the ball effectively when you went into the two-minute offense at the end of the first half.
BB: We really weren't in a two-minute mode even at that point. We just took our timeouts and we had a lot of substitutions at that point. Rather than try to get into something with a lot of different people, we really just kind of took our timeouts and it was a nice kick by Steve [Gostkowski] at the end of the half. That was a good kick. Luckily, we got the ball in position. But we really weren't in a full two-minute mode there.
Q: Shawn Crable was able to create another turnover tonight. Did you think there were many positives on defense?
BB: We had a few moments on defense. But you give up a 17-play drive to start the game and you miss a couple of tackles on a couple of short passes and they turn into long passes. I think there were some positives out there, but there are certainly a lot of things that we need to work on. We'll try to build on the positive things and work on the negative things and see if we can improve our game a little bit.
Q: This is a short week coming up for you guys.
BB: That's the way it is in the preseason. We'll take advantage of the opportunities we have and try to make the most of them.