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Bill Belichick Postgame Transcript: 'I thought we showed some aggressiveness in the running game'

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media following a preseason game versus the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, August 15, 2014.


BB:** I thought that we played a lot more competitively tonight. I thought the team did a good job out there overall. Certainly not perfect by any stretch but I thought we showed some aggressiveness in the running game. Defensively we knocked a couple balls loose, made a couple plays there at the end of the game, the goal line. There were definitely some positives: moving the ball, scored some points. Still, a lot of things to work on. They do a good job – Philadelphia does a good job offensively. Chip [Kelly] puts a lot of pressure on the defense. There are certainly some things we could have handled a little better on that end of it. We kind of kept them in the game with those two big turnovers in the first half. But we hung in there and battled and made some plays. I think I would say just the team played real competitively tonight all the way through from the first quarter to the fourth quarter. It wasn't always great, it wasn't always perfect but they battled, they played hard and we need to do that.

Q: Do you see the value for the regular season in the number of flags that have been flying now or is it starting to be –

BB: Yeah, I'm just trying to coach our team. I'm not worried about what everybody else is doing. I'm just trying to coach our team.

Q: But in coaching the team, does the number of flags flying –

BB: I can't control that. I'm just trying to coach our team.

Q: Were you pleased with the way all three quarterbacks played today?


BB:** You know, we'll take a closer look at it tomorrow. I'm sure there are some things that were good and there were some things that we need to do better. But you know, it's always good to see 42 points up on the board. That's good. But you know, it's a lot of guys involved in that. I thought we ran the ball well. We had a couple hundred yards rushing, whatever it was [250 yards].

Q: There was a play in the first quarter after Julian Edelman – the pass interference or illegal contact. You seemed unhappy at something. I'm just trying to get clarification on what that was.

BB: Yeah, I was trying to get it myself [laughter].

Q: Was it defensive interference or illegal contact or what?

BB: All of the above. I was trying to get clarification myself.

Q: When you look at the turnovers forced, were they good fortune or you guys making plays? Do you evaluate it at that level?

BB: We always try to aggressively attack the ball. We'll go back and look at it. It looked like we knocked the ball out of the receiver there on the first play. It looked like we stripped a couple balls. [We] made a good play on the wheel route. I don't know, maybe they dropped it, maybe we punched it out. It was close. Nate [Ebner] made a nice play on that. I thought Duron [Harmon] made a good play on the ball. So, yeah, look – if you get an opportunity, you have to take advantage of it. I'd say that's the main thing. You get an opportunity, defensively you need to take advantage of it. [Whether] it's dropped interceptions or missed fumbles or plays like that, they're just foul balls. Those can be game-changing plays so when you get a chance to make them, you need to make them. It looked like we made most of them.

Q: How valuable is a preseason game like this to get a lot of looks along the offensive line?

BB: We got a lot of plays tonight offensively. I think we had 50-some last week and 90-some this week, so that's almost not quite two games, but it was a lot of snaps. So, that's a good evaluation. I think the week of practice was a good evaluation for the offensive line but the whole entire team as well as the scheme and team work and situation work that we did, the individual one-on-one pass rushes and things like that. We got a lot of good evaluations all week and then in the game, so it was productive.

Q: You had 38 minutes of possession and converted 7-of-10 third downs in the first half. Were you pleased with that offensively?

BB: Yeah, it's good to have the ball. We had it and part of it was because they ran it back for a touchdown and then the turnover happened quick. Some of it was circumstantial. We could have taken advantage of our opportunities a little bit better but you're right, we did possess the ball, we did convert some third downs so that was good.

Q: What has impressed you about Malcolm Butler?

BB: Malcolm, he works hard every day. He competes hard. I'd say he's played a lot of snaps in these first two games and gotten a lot of snaps in practice but he competes hard every day.

Q: Do you think Ryan Mallett played with more rhythm tonight and more relaxed?

BB: I don't know. I think we were productive for the most part offensively and that's all 11 guys out there. Everybody has to do their job. I thought all three quarterbacks handled themselves pretty well. There weren't a lot of major problems.

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