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Bill Belichick Press Conf.

Mile High Stadium - Denver, COBill Belichick speaks to the press.



            **B:** Well, I was really happy for our players and our organization for the game to turn out like it did. These guys have been working hard for the last several weeks, and we haven't had much to show for it for a while. I'm really happy for the team. Their hard work and perseverance paid off. I thought that, obviously, the difference in this game for us was better results in the red area on both sides of the ball. We had better results on third downs, and we were able to make some big plays. That was obviously very significant in the game. Denver is a good football team, and this is a tough place to come in and win. We feel fortunate to come out of here with a victory.  

Q: How important was it to quiet the crowd early?

B: It's always important to get off to a good start, especially against a team like Denver. They are so explosive on offense and they pressure you a lot on defense. They know if they have the lead, and you have to throw to catch up, that it's hard to come back against this type of team. So getting off to a good start is always important.

Q: What was the difference in the offense tonight?

B: I'd say better production in the red area and we made some big plays. We had a couple plays that weren't long plays, but they turned into long plays. Guys like Terry Glenn were hustling down field and making blocks to spring Troy [Brown] and Kevin [Faulk] after they caught the ball. Those little things make a difference. You just never know when the 10-yard play is going to become a 60-yard play. But if you just keep hustling all the time and keep working, good things will happen. We had some good things happen for us tonight.

Q: What did you think of the improvement in the red zone?

B: We played better in the red area on both sides of the ball. There's no question about it. We got it in, and for the most part we kept them out. That's at least a four-point difference every time. That's going to make a difference in a close game. Again, it's gratifying to see some of the hard work we've put in those areas pay off. In the last two weeks we've probably spent about one-third of our practice time on drills related to third downs and the red area. We might have short-changed some of the things on the field, but we wanted to try to get better results. Thankfully that started to show.

Q: Why did you take the safety?

B: We were on the 1-yard line, and it's a tough situation to try to punt and cover. We had a pretty good lead, and the safety cut it to a 16-point game. That's two [touchdowns] and two two-point conversions. So we felt that the field position they probably would have gotten there would have been worth the two points. But we obviously negated that plan by not covering on the kick after the safety. What could have been a good field position play wasn't because of the long return. You have to give them credit. We had a couple of shots at him, but we couldn't get him down. We were just trying to create better field position. Really they still had to get four scores, two touchdowns and then two two-point conversions just to tie it.

Q: Did you do anything different on offense?

B: For the most part we were just trying to run the things that we've been running. We just wanted to run them better. We haven't tried to reinvent the offensive game plan; we're just trying to execute it better. Today we got good pass protection for the most part and our receivers were open. We had more crispness in our passing game. We also had some big runs after the catch. Those things all fell positively for us.

Q: How proud are you of Drew Bledsoe?

B: I thought Drew hung in there and did a great job today. I congratulated him on breaking the all-time passing record for Patriots. I was happy to be able to do that when so much of his passing led us to the victory. The individual records in this game really don't mean that much because it's so much of a team game and anything that an individual does accomplish is because he has so many people around him to achieve it. Even still, what Drew has done is pretty remarkable. He certainly deserves all the credit in the world for his performance over the last eight years.

Q: What did you think of J.R. Redmond's play?

B: J.R. has made steady improvement since the second or third week of training camp. As we've been saying, for each player every week, the sooner that they can establish a role for themselves and be able to get on the field to do something, than the more opportunities they are going to get. J.R. was on the kickoff return this week, and Shockmain [Davis] wasn't. There were some opportunities on offense [Redmond] was able to take advantage of, and that's kind of how it works. You never really know. I certainly didn't know going into the game what was going to happen with J.R. out there. When you provide a player with opportunities, and they capitalize, that's a positive sign. That's what it is all about when you are a young player.

Q: Your schedule doesn't get much easier this week. How do you come back for Indianapolis at home?

B: They are a good football team. They are explosive on offense, and they are capable of making big plays on defense. They are aggressive with some of the things they do. They are a good football team. They are the AFC East champions until somebody beats them. That will be a big challenge for us next week.

Q: What was the key to how you handled their offensive line, especially on the runs down near the goal line?

B: I thought our front seven, and a couple times our safeties, overall did a pretty good job against the running game. They are very good at running the ball, and I feel very fortunate that we were able to play it the way we did. Make no mistake about it, this team can run the football. They gave us some problems with some runs, and they are going to give everyone problems.

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