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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Fri Nov 27 - 12:00 AM | Sun Nov 29 - 10:40 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conf.

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            **B:** I thought that was a real good football team we played out there today. The Colts are real talented and we were fortunate we were just able to make a few more plays maybe at the right than they did. It looked like it was two really evenly matched teams. It kind of flowed back and forth throughout the game, but fortunately we were just able to come up with some key plays. We had some guys step up, a couple of rookies and a couple of other guys that maybe haven't been getting a lot of play time, they stepped up and made some big plays when they had to. It was just a real good team effort. Certainly a lot of things out there that didn't go the way we wanted them to go. Indianapolis is a real strong offensive football team and they certainly didn't have much problem moving the ball, but we were just fortunate to be able to keep them out of the end zone most of the time and score enough points on our side to win. It is a good win for our football team. We still have a long way to go here, but we are starting to do some things better than we have been doing them in the past and that has been real encouraging the last couple of weeks.  

Q: What made you think that fake field goal would work at that time?

B: It is a play that we had been working on and we just thought that we might have a shot there. Brad (Seely) put it in. We have been working on it for awhile and it was really well-executed by Lee (Johnson) kind of getting the team out there and getting set and Brad has really done a good job for us in the kicking game. I thought our special teams played well today and that was a big play that we really needed.

Q: The Colts held the ball for almost eleven minutes on one drive, but not only did you just hold them to three points, but you came back and responded much like you did last week. How important was it to not only hold them at that point, but to be able to respond with a drive of your own?

B: It was real important. You always want to try to keep those points off the board and you are right it was the same situation as Denver last week after the kick off return and it was good to answer back and get some points on the board no doubt about it. In the last couple of weeks we have had some big drives offensively and a lot of different players stepping up and making plays and that's what it is about. Our execution has just been better and that's the way it needs to be. No question about it, it was big.

Q: What was the thinking behind having (Michael) Bishop come in to throw the Hail Mary?

B: We were a little bit further out than we were in a couple of the earlier games and Michael has a strong arm and he's got some mobility and sometimes you need to buy a little time back there to get a receiver the chance to get downfield and we've practiced that play. I thought those two plays right there at the end of the half were the kind of situational plays that as a coach and as a team you try to take a lot of pride in. The squib kick that return was a very good return for us. Tony did a nice job, but the blocking was good and we wanted to try to get the ball up to where we would have a shot for the end zone and the Hail Mary just came down for us. That's a play that is a little bit a flip of the coin, but fortunately somebody was smiling on us today and we were able to come up with a big one. That was a big swing right there at the end of the half.

Q: After you responded with a score after their long drive did you get a little more aggressive going after the quarterback?

B: We try to do the same things, but at that point it was pretty clear that they were going to be throwing the ball and the defensive line didn't really have to play as honestly as we had to at other points in the game. It is always tough offensively when you have to throw on the road and they know you have to throw and they can't hear the snap count and all that and that is a good time defensively to try to rush the passer. We were able to get a couple of good pressures there and that was a big factor there in trying to slow them down in the fourth quarter.

Q: They had those two long drives with Hail Mary in between, were you worried that the defense might be getting a little winded?

B: Sure, sure there is always concern when they hold the ball for a number of plays. They did a good job and we did a poor job there on those third downs. We had a number of third down opportunities and we just didn't do a good job of making the plays on things that maybe they get one or two of them, but they must have had five in a row on that one drive and it was just too many. Then Antwan (Harris) came in there and Antwan really made a couple of key stops for us and of course got the interception. He stepped up and really did a good job on the slot there and that was big for us.

Q: Did you do any [substitutional] things there to give guys a blow at that point?

B: Well we kind of were rolling them through the whole game. I don't think there were too many people on defense that played the whole game other than the corners. But I think the lineman, the linebackers, safeties, well Lawyer (Milloy), but other than Lawyer and the corners I think other than that the linemen, the safeties, linebackers that there were different groupings and different rotations out there so that we weren't out there all the time. Nevertheless, no question they drain it out of you when they hold the ball for I don't know how many plays I they had it, I think they had it for about an hour.

Q: Could you also talk a little bit about Max Lane in the starting lineup and what your plans might be for the people that you are rotating in and out for right now?

B: Max started the game because Sale Isaia violated a team rule so when that happens we don't start the player in the game. It has happened a couple of other times this year. Hopefully we can get past that point, but that is the reason why he started the game, but Max has the experience to play guard and tackle and that is always a good extra lineman to be carrying there because of the versatility he gives you. It is good to finally get him back.

Q:

B: I don't know. I think the team has been confident. I think we have been confident every week. You see it differently than we do because we are here everyday and all that the fans and the media can evaluate is what happens out there on Sunday. If that is the way you see it I am not going to argue with you about the way it is, but I can just tell you internally that amongst the team and the coaches and the organization that we have confidence in ourselves. I think the coaches have confidence in the players and I hope the players have confidence in the players and the coaches. I can't speak for everybody, but that's just the sense that I get. We are going to keep working hard and every week is going to be a dog fight, it is going to be a battle just like these first six have and hopefully we can continue to make enough key plays at the right time to produce results.

Q: Why were you so successful against Edgerrin James?

B: I think you have to give credit to the play of the defensive line and the linebackers. Every week now we have gone up against some really good running backs and we are going to see another great one next week in Curtis Martin. Every week those guys look at the film and they realize the challenge that is in front of them and how quickly these guys can gain a lot of yardage and they really take it as a personal challenge to try and stop the run and stop it, not slow it down, but stop it effectively. They look at a lot of film. We've practiced the running game hard in practice every week really. The inside running drills are very hard-hitting competitive drills and that's how they get themselves ready and I think it is paying off.

Q: How enjoyable is this game for you personally?

B: It is always enjoyable when you win and I am happy for our football team. I really am. I am happy, these guys deserve it. They work hard, they prepare hard, we go through those situations out there on Saturday morning. The Hail Mary plays, the squib kick and sometimes you can kind of see them rolling their eyes that for the hundredth time we've got to go through this we know how to do it, but they do it and they don't complain and they go out there and do it, but I think sometimes they kind of feel like, 'Is this ever going to end I think we've got this now.' Then when you see it work and you see it come through for you, our fake field goal, that was a play that we spent probably an extra ten minutes on yesterday in practice and Saturday practice is not the time when everybody is looking to hang around and find a lot of extra stuff to do. But we went through it and we did it. We flipped it both ways and went through all of the different situations that could come up and thankfully when we got the opportunity to do it. We executed it well and it was a big play. Again, I give a lot of credit to the players for their [sticktoitiveness], their preparation and that is what it is going to take every week.

Q: Assuming it works like it did today do you give kind of a little wink on the side…

B: You know what that was a play that everybody contributed to. The offense got off the field so that the field goal team could get lined up. The field goal team got lined up. Lee got the thing lined up pretty quickly so that we weren't moving and jumping around and didn't give Indianapolis a lot of time to see it. If the offense had been dragging themselves getting off the field it would of, you know, there were a lot of people involved in that play twenty or twenty two people however many it was. Of all the different moving parts and it is good to see it work, but anybody could have screwed that up. We could have had a guy in motion, we could have had somebody late getting off the field, we could have had any one of twenty things go wrong, but as a team they executed it well and that's what it's all about.

Q: It is the key to that right get out, get setup and bang the balls out?

B: As long as you get everybody off. You don't want guys wandering around not off the field or then they can't snap the ball. Then the defense is over there saying, 'How come they haven't snapped it yet what are they waiting for, oh there's a guy out there.'

Q: What did you see the first four weeks that made these last two possible?

B: I saw improvement every week. I saw our football team, every week we would go in and say 'These are things that hurt us in the game, these are the things that we need to get corrected.' Look they haven't all been fixed. You can still look out there and see some problems, but we spent a lot more time in the red area on both sides of the ball, we spent more time on special teams, we tried to address the areas that we came up a little bit short in, the two-minute offense, the two-minutes defense and some of it is a little bit better and some of it isn't. The things that aren't we are going to keep working on and hopefully improve them a little bit, but it has been just a continuous progression and I think the players have responded again to the fact that, 'Hey these are the things that we are not doing well enough, we've got to work harder at them and improve our performance.

Q:

B: That is the plan every week you never want to give up big plays. That is the easiest way for the offense to score when it is sixty or seventy yards in one play, but at the same time you have got to be competitive enough on the short and intermediate plays which we really weren't in the first half and the first drive in the third quarter. That is where Peyton (Manning) was putting the ball and the receivers were doing a good job of getting open and catching it.

Q: Greg Spires had a couple of nice wacks on Manning was it something that you schemed or was it mostly him?

B: I think what happened on a couple of plays was there was a little mix up in blocking there and we were up there blitzing and faking some blitzes and I think what happened on the play, I'm not positive, but I think what happened on the play was that they had a little miscommunication on the pass protection. One guy thought the other guy was going to take him or whatever and they didn't and Greg has been rushing well and has been getting off on the ball well and coming with speed and a combination of speed and power. Even going back to the Carolina game he has rushed pretty consistently for us now for six or seven weeks and consistently been in the pocket and giving the quarterbacks trouble and that's a credit to him in terms of developing a couple of moves so that they just can't key in on one thing, but I think that a couple of plays that you are talking about were really a combinations between Andy (Katzenmoyer) and Tedy (Bruschi) and Greg and Brandon (Mitchell) in terms of how the protection was trying to pick it up and I think the might have missed it once or twice.

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