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Bill Belichick Postgame Presser - 9/14/2008

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his postgame press conference from Giants Stadium on Sunday, September 14, 2008.

Opening statement...
That was a very good win for our team. I like the way we stepped up and played. We had a good week of practice and I thought we played a very good Jets team, who were riding high off of last week's win over Miami. I'm really proud of the way we played. I know a lot of people didn't expect much today, but these guys came in with a lot of determination. I thought they played a very solid game. It was not perfect. There were some things we need to work on. It's always good to get a division win on the road and we are certainly happy to do that. We are on to Miami next week, but we are going to enjoy this one for a while. It's good to come down here and win at Giants Stadium.

On QB Matt Cassel's performance...
I thought Matt did a good job and all our players played hard. Matt took care of the ball. It wasn't perfect, we had some rough spots there. He did a good job making some good decisions. He didn't put us in any bad situations and made some good, positive plays. I thought he managed the ball well.

On the running backs' contribution as a whole...
We had a lot of backs who all contributed. Kevin (Faulk) did a great job for us. Laurence (Maroney) ran hard and blocked well. Sammy (Morris) had some big catches and blocks, as did LaMont (Jordan). I think our depth at running back definitely helped us in this game. We struggled during the first three quarters running the ball, but in the end we got some tough runs when we needed them. Certainly, LaMont is a tough guy to tackle. When he gets his pads down, he runs hard. Sammy had a couple big third-down conversions for us that allowed us to drive the length of the field for a field goal. That was a big drive and there were some big conversions there, especially the third-and-two that Sammy picked up.

On if DB Brandon Meriweather's third quarter interception was a turning point in the game...
It's always great to get a turnover. It was a great field position play that we were able to capitalize on offensively. It's just good team football. Defense sets up the offense and the offense takes advantage of the opportunity to score. It was great.

On LB Adalius Thomas'sack in the fourth quarter...
Adalius is a good football player who does a lot of things for us. He plays a lot of coverage situations. He rushes a lot and plays at the end of the line in the running game. He has made big plays for us since he got here. With he and Mike (Vrabel), they are two big guys at the end of the line. It's tough to pick out one or the other that you would really want to deal with. They both do a good job and Adalius had some good plays in there today.

On if the team had any extra motivation going into the game...
I think this team was going to come down and do what they did today regardless of what anybody else thinks. That is who they are and that is their job. I don't think it really matters what you think, that's just what they are going to do, regardless.

On the defense's improved red zone performance...
It was good to get off to a good start down there. Last week there was a big stop against Kansas City where you make three plays on the goal line. I thought today was huge. I thought we didn't play too well the second time they got down there. They threw a pass and popped a run. We just didn't play those plays very well. The first series where we held them to a field goal was a big stop. It kept them from offsetting our field goals with a touchdown. I thought that was a big goal line stop and you are right, we didn't have many of those last year. It was good to see that one come through.

On K Stephen Gostkowski's performance...
Stephen kicked the ball very well. Obviously, the wind was a bit of a factor, but even into the wind he kicked it high and long. That's the best kickoff coverage you can have when you just kick it out of the end zone. He gave us some big plays, especially against the Jets, who are one of the best kickoff return teams in the league. They are very challenging to cover, and trying to stop Leon (Washington) and their blocking schemes. That really helped us.

On rotating all three defensive strings throughout the game...We did that last week and this week. Certainly the heat was a part of it. I feel like we have good depth and we tried to use it. I think we got most of those guys a break somewhere along the lines, for the most part. Gary Guyton and Pierre Woods got some snaps in for us, along with all six defensive linemen. Le Kevin Smith, Mike Wright and Jarvis Green all played. As long as everyone keeps doing a good job, we will keep playing them and try to keep them involved in the game. That was a good play Brandon (Meriweather) had for us. I was glad he was in there for that one.

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