New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his postgame press conference following a preseason game against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium on Thursday, August 28, 2008.
BB: We certainly got a chance to look at a lot of players tonight. I am anxious to see the film and see how all that turned out. It is hard to evaluate from the sideline but we will get a good look at it. That will certainly help us with our evaluations. The game tonight was a lot different than the last time we played them here. That was a high scoring game. We didn't play too much defense. The Giants are a good football team. We got a good test. We will see how it all comes together. We will make some decisions here over the weekend and start getting ready for Kansas City.
Q: I know you want to look at the film first but it looked like there was a distinctive improvement between the first time the defense was on the field and the second time.
BB:I think that is hard to evaluate. Sometimes you just have one guy breaking down and some other people doing the right thing. Sometimes you get one or two people doing the right thing and there are multiple people breaking down but it doesn't really show up. We will see what it looks like on film. The results were better.
Q: Now that the preseason is over, are you looking forward to stating the regular season and getting most of your regular starters out on the field?
BB: I think you always look forward to the start of the regular season but we have a lot of work to do between now and then. We have a lot of decisions to make. We will start getting ready for Kansas City with the game plan, practice and all of that. I am sure when that game comes we will wish we had a little bit more time. In the meantime we will try to use what we have and make it as productive as possible. I think everybody is looking forward to the start of the regular season. You have a lot of practices and four practice games. Now we are getting ready to play the regular season schedule. We are excited about that.
Q: You had offensive tackle Matt Light out there tonight. How nice was it to have more of a complete offensive line than in the previous preseason games?
BB: Yeah, it was good to have all the players that were able to participate. It was good for Matt [Light] to get a few snaps. I don't think it is monumental or anything. It was good to have them all out there – all the ones that played.
Q: Was playing quarterback Tom Brady a consideration for tonight or are you just pointing toward the regular season with him, similar to what you did with receiver Randy Moss last season?
BB: Well, we wanted to see Matt [Cassel] play. Tom [Brady] wouldn't have played very much in this game anyways. We wanted to see Matt [Cassel], [Matt] Gutierrez and Kevin [O'Connell]. That is what we got done.
Q: You seemed to struggle on third down on both sides of the ball tonight…
BB: Yeah, if the numbers appear that way.
Q: Was it good to see receiver Chad Jackson rebound? I know on the interception at the end of the first half it looked like he slipped but he did bounce back with a touchdown later on. It seems like he didn't mentally go in the tank there…
BB: No, he [Chad Jackson] made several good plays out there. He does a good job with the ball in his hands.
Q: Did quarterback Kevin O'Connell check off on his touchdown pass to receiver Chad Jackson?
BB: Yeah, we had an option on the play based on the look they gave us. Kevin [O'Connell] did a nice job on that. He got us into a good play. More importantly, he made a good throw. Chad [Jackson] ran a good route. He got in the corner [of the end zone] and Kevin [O'Connell] threw it up there and gave him a good chance to get it.
Q: Did the three quarterbacks who played in the preseason show you different things?
BB: Yeah, they are starting at different spots but they are all young. [Matt] Cassel has the most experience in our system and [Matt] Gutierrez has the next most then Kevin [O'Connell]. They have all worked hard. They really competed well and have taken advantage of the snaps and opportunities they have received. Tom [Brady] practiced a lot this year so it is not like they got a lot of [snaps] in practice. They got more of a percentage of the snaps in the games. I thought they all improved in a number of different areas and they all have a long way to go. We will figure out how we want to manage the roster and that will certainly be one of the decisions – How to handle the quarterback position and what to do there.
Q: Do you feel like you were able to gather any positive momentum heading into the regular season?
BB: In terms of experience, we gained a lot of experience. With four games, individual guys were able to establish a certain level of play, things they can do and all of that. Is it nice to win the games? Yeah, but it doesn't mean anything. We have had good records in preseason and we have had bad records in preseason. What counts is how you play in the regular season. That is what matters. It doesn't mean that the performance, individual performances, some of the group performances and how you execute plays aren't important. It is important. It is important and it leads to your execution at a later point in time. I would say that is what you gain from preseason.