New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his postgame press conference on Friday, August 22, 2008.
BB: I thought we played a little more competitively there in the second half obviously giving up 14 points on returns in the first half put us pretty deep in the hole. We still have a lot of work to do. Philadelphia is a good football team and we all know that. There were certainly a lot of things were could have done better out there tonight but I think it was a good learning experience for us. We saw a lot of things we are going to need to face somewhere along the line this season so it was good to get that exposure and play against another good football team. We will get back to work tomorrow, it is another short week and we keep trying to improve here. Work towards the [New York] Giants this week [and] Kansas City two weeks from Sunday. So that is where we are at.
Q: Is special teams the last thing you get to put together in training camp?
BB: No I wouldn't say that. You work on them right along with everything else.
Q: Can you talk about the play of Matt Cassel?
BB: Some good things. Some could have been better. Protection at times is a little bit of an issue. I thought he made some good throws. There were probably some plays that he probably would have liked to have back but that is pretty much true for everyone. There is always some positive plays and some that we can improve on and that goes for all of us.
Q: After the punt return for a touchdown [at the end of the second quarter] you were talking to Chris Hanson. Would you have liked to see that ball be kicked out of bounds?
BB: Yes. It wasn't good situational play. We didn't execute the play we should have in that situation. I'll take the responsibility for that but regardless you still have to cover him. It wasn't very well handled at all.
Q: How do you think Matt Gutierrez competed in the second half?
BB: I thought we competed well in the second half as a team. I thought Matt [Gutierrez] did a good job at leading the team and the opportunities he had. He hung in there. He took a few hits but he stepped up and threw the ball. He made a nice throw coming out of the end zone, it looked like a guy was in his face when he threw that one to [Tyson] DeVree. Again, they hit us on some pressures and some things we could have adjusted to a little bit better but I thought overall he hung in there well and I thought the whole group did really.
Q: In the first half, did you notice an extra amount of missed tackles?
BB: It seemed like we missed a few. I am not sure how many that was. I don't know. You would always like to tackle better, that is something that you hope improves as you go along in the preseason. We don't do a lot of live tackling in practice so the opportunities we have to do it are in the preseason games. Hopefully, we can keep improving in that area. We need to.
Q: How much stock do you put in the final score in these preseason games?
BB: Well, I think certainly the score is relevant and that you played a game that way. There is a lot of things we need to work on, on a play-by-play basis and teach and correct and coach on and improve on. That is really the big part of it. We have been on both ends of these kinds of games. It is not a game on the standings. It is a reflection on what happened on that particular night but there is still a lot of things that we can learn from on all those plays tonight and that is what we will try to do.
Q: Do you have any concerns that some of the performances that we have seen in the preseason games will trickle over into regular season?
BB: Well, I don't know that any game impacts the next game. I think each game is it's own entity. Again, we have been through a lot of those. I think each game, it is whatever team plays better that night, that is the team that is going to prevail. But nevertheless, there is a lot of things you can learn from the plays in the games that you play. I think there is certainly a lot you can learn from them and we can coach off. But I don't think, if you complete a long pass this week that you will complete one next week and if they complete a long pass this week then they are going to complete one next week. It doesn't mean that it is not going to happen but it doesn't necessarily mean it is going to happen either. I think that we have all seen enough of that to know that is not necessarily the case. Certainly, you always want to play well and you want to do everything right and want to have as few corrections as possible but there are always going to be some.
Q: How much impact does two games in six days have on the individuals?
BB: I think like it does any other time. The less time you have, the less time you have to recover. You still have to process the same amount of information from a game plan standpoint, all the different situations and how you want to handle them. You know; goal line, short yardage, third down, two minute, red area, blitzes and so forth and so on. You just have to do it in a condensed amount of time. We will have plenty of those weeks during the season so it is not like it is not going to come up again. That is the way it is so we just have to do what we would normally do in seven days, in less time when that is the situation. That is the way it will be this week and the same thing from a physical standpoint. Guys could always use an extra day and we have a couple of short weeks here, with Tampa to Philadelphia and Philadelphia to the [New York] Giants. But we will have a couple of extra days on the other end of it going into the Kansas City game. In the end it all evens out. With every long week is a short week and with every short week is a long week. We just have to utilize your time as efficiently as you can in whichever one of those situations you are in. That is what we try to do. There is nothing we can do about it and no point in making a big deal about it. If it is short than use that amount of time. If it is long, than use that amount of time.