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Bill Belichick Press Conf.

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            **B:** I know we're not going to the playoffs this year, but when you walk in that locker room in a few minutes, you'll see that that game meant a lot to these players. I'm very happy for them that we were able to pour it out. Obviously it was a game played in very difficult conditions and it was pretty interesting how the first three quarters [unfolded]. There was a lot of running on both sides and then in the final quarter and overtime, it was really an aerial game in tough conditions.  

As usual, I thought [Doug] Flutie did an exceptional job. We just couldn't stay with him on those bootlegs. He's just too quick in the open field and made some great throws. Fortunately, we were able to keep those field goals from going through. Of course, the last kick might not have looked like much from upstairs in the press box, but believe me, down on the field, those plays were very difficult to execute. Lonie [Paxton], Lee [Johnson] and Adam [Vinatieri] did a great job getting it through.

It was obviously a tough game and it meant a lot to our players. They played hard. We made a lot of mistakes and we had to overcome some things – particularly in the first three quarters – we had a couple of turnovers (they actually had no official turnovers) and penalties and things like that. In the end, they kept fighting and fighting.

Q: How difficult was the decision to kick the field goal rather than go for a touchdown considering the conditions?

B: That's what we were trying to do on first and second down and we decided just to go ahead [and kick it] on third down. It was basically an extra point, but in those conditions, it was tough. I thought we had a little better chance at an extra point than trying to score from the 2- or 3-yard line.

Q: How would you rate these conditions in games you've coached or played in?

B: I don't know. I couldn't rate them, but they were severe. The wind was swirling at times and at times it was blowing very, very hard. At other times, surprisingly, it died down for 15-20 seconds and then picked right up again. The combination of the cold, the snow and the swirling, gusting winds made it very challenging. I think both teams handled it pretty well. There were plenty of mistakes out there, but it was pretty tough weather.

Q: How is J.R. Redmond?

B: I don't know.

Q: Will you comment on Lee Johnson? He broke the all-time punting record, but he had a couple of miscues and was the center of attention.

B: He had a couple of plays that I'm sure he would have liked to have done better on. He also had a couple of great kicks into the wind and was able to drive the ball in very tough conditions. It was a tough day and he had some good plays and some bad plays. Luckily we were able to put a good one together at the end.

Q: Does the game plan go out the window when you show up on a day like today with these type of conditions?

B: In all honesty, we weren't expecting it to be 75 degrees. At this time of year, you have to have a game plan that takes into account less than perfect conditions. You never know what they're going to be – whether it will be windy or rainy or cold or icy. You certainly have to prepare for it. When we're playing in this part of the country, we try to take that into consideration. In the passing game, we threw some short crossing routes and tried to run the ball. Throwing the ball outside was tough. The three that [Doug] Flutie hit out along the sideline – to [Eric] Moulds and [Jay] Reimersma – we pretty much went into the game saying that we can't defend that area of the field; we have to try defend the inside part and if he can get them in there, he has to make a great throw.

Q: You said how difficult it was to throw into the wind in these conditions and surely it was, but that's what you did with the game on the line?

B: Yeah, but really, they were short throws. The ones to [Jermaine] Wiggins and to [Terry] Glenn – those balls probably didn't travel more than 10 or 15 yards in the air. We had Troy Brown on the quick screens in what was a ball basically thrown behind the line of scrimmage. They were passes that gained a lot of yardage, but it wasn't like a lot of those balls were thrown well down the field. It was tough to do that. Drew hit the runners in stride and they were able to pick up yards after the catch. Jermaine and Terry ran well and Tony [Carter] did a good job on the screen at the end of the game. It gave us a chance to win. There were some good catch-and-run plays and that's what you need in these conditions.

Q: What does it say about your club that in a game some people would call meaningless, they played that hard for that long?

B: I'm proud of the way they played. I'm disappointed that we didn't play like this more often. I think we would have had better results if we could have gotten this level of performance in some other games. But that's water under the bridge. We hopefully learned from some of those performances and I hope that this is a game we can build on. We now know -- not that we shouldn't know -- that this is the way we have to play. This is the way it's going to be. If we can play like that, we have a chance. If we play like we played like we did against Cleveland and Chicago, it's probably going to end up like those days.

Q: Had you won the overtime-coin flip, would you have elected to receive or take the wind?

B: We would have taken the wind – the same thing Buffalo did.

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