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Bill Belichick Press Conf. Transcript - 10/07/2002

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BB: On the injury front, we had a few guys with some sprains come out of the game but everybody was able to finish playing. So hopefully that won't be too serious. The guys that got hurt, as I said, were at least able to finish the game. There's no real news there on the injury front, no new news anyway. As far as the game went, obviously the way we played the first half is not the way we wanted to play the game. We just didn't do the things we needed to do to get off to a good competitive start. We ended up down 16-0 at the half and that of course dictated, or helped to dictate, a lot of what happened in the second half both on our side and the way Miami managed the game. Offensively we really weren't able to do much of anything. (We) ran the ball for about one yard per carry. (We) didn't convert on third downs, of course a lot of them were third and long. (We) had some trouble with pass protection, turned the ball over. So all of those led to Miami playing on a short field and eventually converting those opportunities into points. Defensively, we weren't as good as we needed to be on third down. We weren't good enough in the red area, which was also on third down. So those problems there led to points. As I said, in the second half, even though that was more competitive given where it started down 16-0, it's just not a good place to play the game from. We certainly weren't able to do enough in the second half to overcome the problems that put us where we were at half time. So that's disappointing. Whatever good there was at whatever point in the game was certainly over-shadowed by the outcome and the negative things that happened in the game. So at this point we have to continue to make those corrections. The things that we're doing okay, we need to do a little bit better. The things we're not doing okay, we need to improve them and then we need to get ready for Green Bay. That's what we'll be doing today, we'll be moving forward to Green Bay by the end of the day. That's a big game coming up this weekend, so that's the direction we'll be headed in by the time we get to the end of today, on Monday.

Q: Is part of your critique or analysis of this game, do you, Charlie (Weis), Romeo (Crennel) start looking at each and say 'hey you know something, we may have made some bad decisions at the beginning of this game.' Is that part of this?

BB: Well we'll do this game no different than what we do in every game. And certainly yesterday, the Dolphins out-coached us, they out-played us and their football team was better than our football team. I think that everybody on our team is accountable and takes accountability for every aspect of the game, playing, coaching, all the things that we were involved in. As we do every week, we'll look at what we planned, what we did and what happened and address it honestly. Not anything other than trying to find what we think are the honest answers to those questions. Things didn't go the way we wanted them to go, certainly there were some problems. We're going to try to solve those problems. I think it may or may not be exactly the same ones that come up against Green Bay, but nevertheless we need to critically look at what we're doing and try to do it better. And we do that win, lose or draw. Every week we go through the same analysis regardless of what the outcome is. Because it's still the same, it's still looking at what your performance was on Sunday, trying to analyze it, analyze every aspect of it, learn from it and improve it. So it won't be any different this week than it was after Pittsburgh, or the Jets, or Kansas City or San Diego.

Q: You talked about pass protection. How much of a problem are you having with run blocking right now?

BB: Well we had trouble running the ball yesterday. When you snap the ball 13 times in a first half and average one yard per carry, that's not what we're looking for. It's not good enough. I felt like going into the game we had some opportunities to run the ball, to keep them balanced, to keep them from unleashing the pass rush, but we weren't able to accomplish what we needed to accomplish in the running game. That led to a lot of third and longs and that led to some problems on obvious passing situations. So the first half wasn't much of an offensive attack, period. We couldn't move the ball.

Q: How much of a factor in the running game's failings yesterday was the fact that (Matt) Light needed help on Jason Taylor?

BB: Well, I think in the running game you've got so many guys to block and you've got to block all of them. I don't think it really had … I mean Jason Taylor in the running game, I don't think that's where his big production came. So, I mean calling a running play, I don't think it really, it's something that you overly game plan for.

Q: How do you assess Tom's (Brady) performance yesterday?

BB: I think everybody … offensively we need to be better in every aspect offensively. I don't think anybody played their best game. I think there is plenty of room for improvement in all aspects of our offense. Particularly the first half of the game where, again, so much of what happened in the first half then dictated where we were in the second half. So we need to do a better job all the way around, with everybody, players, coaches, everything. It was our worst half of football all year. Easily.

Q: Do you feel like you got adequate pressure on (Jay) Fiedler on the other side?

BB: Well again, that was situation where we didn't do a real good job on third down conversions. They converted over half of them. There was a certain point in the game with the score and the situation what is was, they weren't really any passing situations, they would have the ball on third-and-eight, third-and-nine, they could run when they want to run it, they could throw when they wanted to throw it. Defensively, when you have to play balanced like that you just can't generate your best pass rush techniques or your best pass rush defenses because it's too many runs in there and you leave yourself susceptible to gaping holes in the defense so it forces you to play a lot more honest. I thought, all things considered, the pressure on him was okay. I mean the ball came out on time, it wasn't like he stood back there all day and held it. The combination of the pressure and the coverage wasn't tight enough too many times on third down to be able to get them off the field. So we stayed out there on third down and they converted it and then we went through the whole process again too many times. That's not a formula for good defense. When you get them in third down, whether it's third-and-one, third-and-four, third-and-seven, third-and-whatever it is, you've got to be able to get off the field and convert those third down situations and turn the ball back over to your offense. We didn't do it often enough and that really offset some things that we did on first and second down that were okay. We had opportunities on third down but weren't able to convert often enough.

Q: Was the game lost in the trenches both on offense and defense?

BB: Defensively, again, I think we had more of problem on third down and in the red area, three yards a carry or whatever it was.

Q: The offense line ….

BB: Speaking defensively, I thought we did a reasonably good job in the running game. It was maybe three yards a carry, whatever (Ricky) Williams had. It was the number of carries and the number of carries was dictated by third down conversions and by the score in the second half of the game. They were able to keep running it. (They) didn't gain really much yardage running the ball and it was consistent two, three, four yards, but it was three yards a carry something like that. Which you take that a lot of weeks and if you get off the field on third down then you can have a whole lot less carries than he had yesterday. Now offensively, we didn't run the ball with much effectiveness other than some sub-runs in the second half and so that was a problem in the running game certainly the offensive line is a part of that.

Q: The red zone defense was so strong last year, this year it's not so good. Is that just indicative of the defense as a whole?

BB: I think it changes a little bit down there, the red zone offense and the red zone defense it's a little different because of the amount of field you are defending or attacking, so you can't do some of the same things in that area of the field that you can do out in mid-field, that's no secret. It's specific to that area. We gave up three touchdowns on third downs yesterday in the red area so it obviously wasn't good.

Q: Is there any way you can fix that?

BB: We need to fix it. We need to play better in the red area. We need to play better on third down. We've had problems in the red area on first and second down, not so much yesterday. Yesterday the problem was on third down and that carried over from being out on the field on third down. But the bottom line defensively is keeping them out of the end zone. That's the defense's job, is to prevent points. That's all it is. Is to prevent points from being scored and turn the ball over. If they score in the red zone then we've got to play better, we've got to tighten it up down there. That's always an emphasis every week. Nothing has ever changed with that. That's been the philosophy ever since I've coached defense is to try to limit the number of points the other team scores. The last line of defense is the red area and the goal lines. I don't think there is going to be any change in philosophy hopefully we can execute it better and keep them out better than we have. It hasn't been as consistent as we like it to be this year, there's no question about that either.

Q: When you say you got out-coached, does that mean they had a better game plan than you?

BB: We got beat by two touchdowns. So I am a part of the team, so are the other coaches, so are all the players. We all collectively got beat. One guy didn't lose that game, one guy is not going to win it. When we lose it, we all lose and we all need to do a better job, coaches, players, everybody.

Q: Not to take anything away from the Dolphins, but for the second week in a row you guys were without Troy Brown. How much of an impact does that have?

BB: Troy is one of the best receivers in the league. We would love to have him out there. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to go yesterday. That is life in the NFL. Guys miss games, that's part of the NFL. It's part of football. Guys that can play, play. The guys that can't play, somebody steps in and has to play for them. That's the way it's going to be every week for every team in the league. That's the way it's been, that's the way it's going to be in the future. That's just the way it is.

Q: Is it all technical? You have no questions about effort, about desire? Is it all technical issues?

BB: Again, when you play 170 plays, or however many plays we had out there yesterday, yeah there is going to be some plays where they were more physical than we were. There's going to be some plays where we were more physical than they were. There's going to be some plays where technique wise we weren't quite where we needed to be or they were, technique wise, a little bit better than we were. So I think it's a combination of those things. So did we get beat physically on some plays, sure. Did they get beat physically on some plays? Yeah there's some of those too. But in the end, they did a lot better job than we did in the first half in all aspects of the game. We turned it over. We gave up points. We had some penalties. We fell behind 16-0. That's not the way you want to play when you go on the road in a division game. It's just not the way you want to play. Every once and a while you might be able to dig out of it, but for the most part when you get into that situation, you're swimming upstream and it's just hard to make it up against a good football team which Miami is. I give them credit for the way they played and I also, on our team, we're capable of playing better and we need to play better. I think there were problems across the board. There were times where, absolutely that they beat us. We had guys to block them and we didn't block them. There were a lot of missed tackles in the game like we were saying previously which were also physical mistakes. You come and make a big 101 in pass coverage, they missed a couple tackles in the kicking game, so there were certainly some plays like that. I thought that given the situation at halftime, I thought we played competitively in the second half. It's not good enough. It's not even close to being good enough when you play that poorly and put yourself in that situation in the first half, just playing competitively for one half is not ever going to win in this league.

Q: Why did you choose to start running the ball first? What did you see in the film with Miami?

BB: We wanted to go into the game with a balanced attack and that's what we tried to do. We had problems throwing it early and we had problems throwing it early. So we had problems with virtually everything we did in the first half offensively. There wasn't much good in any of it.

Q: I know this is a totally different year but how are the similarities in the situation as opposed to ….

BB: You know what? I don't even care about last year. I really don't. I don't even care about last year. Right now we're 3-2, that's what we are. We can talk about last year. We can talk about 1987. We can talk about 1950. I don't care about last year. I don't care about 1950. All I care about is right now, we're 3-2. We play Green Bay this week. That's all I care about. I mean making comparisons to … every team in the league is different from last year. Every single team. So we're different, every team we play is different. We can look at each year and go year by year and have a chronology of it and all of that. That is not where we're at. So I don't really care about last year.

Q: How upsetting to you is it that in the fifth week of the season, the team is getting called for what seem to be stupid penalties? Where they don't seem to be thinking?

BB: Well we had a false start penalty. And we had a holding penalty on a kickoff return. As I said yesterday, I'm not going to comment on the penalty situation. I'm not going to get fined on it. I'm not going to comment on it and that's it. I'm not commenting on it. I'm not commenting on the officiating.

Q: I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about your players making plays. Like I think (Adrian) Klemm and (Mike) Compton (were) involved in a unnecessary roughness penalty, cutting into the pile after the play?

BB: Was it called? Yeah it was called. And I'm not commenting on the call. You want to ask the guy who made the call what he saw, then go ask him. I'm not commenting on the officiating.

Q: Were the penalties a result of a lack of discipline by your players? Are you concerned about that?

BB: We had a false start penalty. We had a holding penalty on a kickoff return and we threw a screen pass where the end dropped off into the screen. Tom couldn't throw the ball on time because the end was in the lane of the screen; he had to hold the ball. We had to wait until the back cleared the end, and during that time frame we had an ineligible receiver down field. That penalty was declined. I thought the end from Miami, obviously made a good play and recognized the screen. The quarterback instead of throwing an interception, held the ball, waited for the play to develop and by that point the lineman had released and gone down field. Those three penalties, that's the best way I can describe them to you. The false start, we went before the snap. It was not a good play. Holding on a kickoff return, three officials threw a flag, it was right out in the middle of the field, it was not a good play. I'm sure that the people sitting up in the 400 section saw that as well. It's not what we're looking for.

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