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Bill Belichick Press Conf. Transcript - 9/8/2003

Belichick: It was a division game on the road and we didn’t play or coach well enough to deserve to win it.



BB: Well, there is not really a lot to add this morning from where we were yesterday afternoon. The game was disappointing to say the least. It was a division game on the road and we didn't play or coach well enough to deserve to win it. They beat us in every phase of the game and the Bills deserve credit for that. We've got to go back to work. We've got to play and coach better than we did. That is what we are going to be about. It is one day at a time. There is no way to wave the magic wand and have things that happen in seven days happen in one day. It just doesn't work that way. It is going to be a process that we will just have to go through hour-by-hour, day-by-day, and perform better in every area of the game in order to win. That's really where it is. That is what we have to do. There weren't nearly enough positives yesterday to talk about and the things that were negative we are going to work to correct. That is my take on the game.

**Q: Were there any specific things you saw on the tape this morning and say, 'I can't believe we did that?'

BB:** We really didn't do a good job in any area. It's as simple as that. We didn't take care of the ball. We had penalties. We gave up some big plays. We didn't get the ball in the endzone and we gave up 31 points, however they were given up. It's a little bit of everything. It wasn't just one thing. It was a number of errors, and sometimes those vary from scheme, to playing, to coaching, to good execution on their part to whatever it was. In the end, we know what the result was. Those are the facts.

**Q: Last season was good at coming back from behind. How come they couldn't come back from this yesterday?

BB:** We didn't make enough plays.

**Q: How did Antwan Harris play?

BB:** I don't think anybody on defense, offense or on special teams played as well as they can play. I think every player had plays that they would like to have back and that goes for everybody. You can put any name you want in there and I would say that about every player who participated in the game without exception. I would say the same thing for the coaches too, myself included. From a coaching standpoint, there were plays that we could have coached better and there are plays that we could have played better and that goes for everybody.

**Q: In the past you have been able to get pressure on Drew Bledsoe. Can you just tell us why you weren't able to get any pressure on Drew?

BB:** Relative to the other two games, the situation was totally different than what it was in the previous two games if that is what you are referring to. We didn't do a good enough job of that. I don't know what else to say. We just didn't do a good enough job of it. Part of it is situational but part of it isn't. We've got to create more pressure on the quarterback. We have got to cover better. We have to tackle better. All of those elements in our pass defense and they are all related – the coverage, the rush, the ability to play technique. They are all related to pass defense and we need to do a better job in every area.

**Q: Do you feel like there is a need for someone to step up and take a leadership role to replace [Lawyer] Milloy?

BB:** Collectively, I think that all of the players and all of the coaches on the team all have a role of leadership. I've always felt that. I have always said that everybody is a shareholder and everybody has a vote on the team. Everybody is a leader in one way or another. I don't think it will ever be any different. All people have different styles and different ways of conducting themselves on a team and there are a lot of different ways to do it positively and we need that from every player regardless of who they are or what position they play, how many years they have been in the league or anything else.

**Q: Did you feel like there was a certain emotion lacking from the players?

BB:** I think it is hard to say. It is a tough question because the way the game went we didn't stat off well defensively. We didn't start off well offensively. We had a penalty in the kicking game and that was another touchdown that they returned. There wasn't really a lot for us to build on and that is because we didn't make enough plays for us to build positively on. I think it is hard to be emotionally positive when things aren't going well and they certainly didn't go well early in that game and that is our fault.

**Q: Do you keep the perspective of this is only one game out of 16 and there is still the rest of the season?

BB:** Sure. There is a lot of football left to be played. I don't think that is really what our focus is right now. We're not looking to November or December or anywhere else. We are looking at Monday before the Eagles game, Tuesday before the Eagles game, Wednesday before the Eagles game and Sunday against Philadelphia. That is really what we are looking at right now. It is short term and it is day-by-day. For us to improve and correct the mistakes and play better than we did yesterday, we will have to do that on a daily basis and that will all lead up to the game on Sunday. I don't think there is any short cut around that. Whatever happens later on, happens later on. Right now what we have to focus on is making improvement in the very near term and that starts with today and we will continue through the week.

**Q: How hard is time wise juggling between correcting the mistakes from last week and the preparation for Philadelphia?

BB:** Well, I think most of those things have been done well at one time or another. It's not like we have never seen it before but we didn't see enough of it yesterday. I think there are some examples to build on through the course of this season whether it be in training camp or preseason games or practice sessions, whatever it is we need to do it under pressure in game conditions better than we did it yesterday.

**Q: Did they come out and do anything that shocked or surprised you?

BB:** They have a good scheme. They tried to attack us. We all saw the game. I think that is the way that they play. It wasn't like they came out in a 'wing-t' or anything. They did what they did. They made some subtle adjustments. They changed up some looks and all of that. It's kind of a normal game plan thing. You never know exactly what you are going to get. You see some variations. We had some and they had some. In the end, they executed and played and coached better than we did yesterday.

**Q: Are you more angry or embarrassed at the lack of execution from the coaches and players?

BB:** Disappointed. I would probably put a lot of other adjectives in there too. The one's that you threw in there; there is an element of that which would apply. No doubt.

**Q: How much credit or blame was Lawyer Milloy and the information that he took with him to Buffalo?

BB:** I don't' know. You would have to ask Buffalo how they feel about that. I think from our standpoint, we understood the situations. We made some adjustments in the way we called things. In terms of what they knew and what he told them, I don't know. You would have to ask them that.

**Q: Do you in any way regret the timing or the move itself with Lawyer?

BB:** I said when we made it that it wasn't good timing. It's not something that we wanted to do and it certainly wasn't the timing we were looking for but it was, unfortunately, the way it came down. It wasn't scripted to happen that way, no.

**Q: There is some talk about tampering and Lawyer Milloy. Are you going to ask the league to look into that?

BB:** I've read some of the things that have been written on that. It sounds like there may be some things that weren't totally above board, I don't know. But, that is a league matter. It is not a team matter. Whatever the league is doing about it, you would have to ask them.

**Q: Do the teams sometimes ask the league to look into it?

BB:** The league monitors what goes on with the teams and throughout the league. Whatever they are doing, you would have to ask them about it. It's not a matter that we have any control over.

**Q: What are your comments/reaction to Lawyer Milloy and what he had to say after the game on how he was treated by the organization?

BB:** I don't feel any differently about Lawyer than I felt last week. I have a lot of respect for Lawyer personally and professionally. I think he plays hard and works hard. I felt that way about him when he was here and I still feel that way about him.

**Q: Are you disappointed he would take those departing shots?

BB:** It has been an emotional week for everybody, probably him more than anyone. At this point my main concern is with our team and what we are doing. I really don't think I can devote too much time to that. I have got to look at our team and what we need to do to get ready for Philadelphia. That is really where my focus is. Not on anything else.

**Q: Tom Brady had an uncharacteristic performance yesterday. How much of that was him and how much of that was what Buffalo did defensively?

BB:** Again, I would say the same thing about every player. There were plays that I am sure that each player would like to have back that weren't their best plays. That includes everybody. That is obvious for every player and every position. I think we all feel that way. I know I do. I am sure we all feel that way. We are going to work hard to make it better. It wasn't good enough yesterday and nobody is saying it is. Nobody is trying to make any excuses for it. It wasn't good enough and it needs to be better.

**Q: Given the fact that you couldn't work out a deal to have Lawyer stay here, do you think that your team is mad at you still for not getting the Milloy deal done?

BB:** I have to look in the mirror and look at myself and I know that we did everything organizationally that we could do and it didn't work out. How everybody else feels, you would have to ask them that.

**Q: Just on the emotional impact this week may have had on the players, do you think that is why the team was flat yesterday? Is there any reality to that or is that just a media creation?

BB:** I didn't get a great sense that was the case at the end of the week. I think talking to the players before the game and even after the game; I wouldn't characterize it that way. I am sure other people will and they might, but so be it.

**Q: Is it your sense that the team had gotten over the whole Lawyer Milloy thing going into Sunday? Are you confident of that? Last Week you said that you had to get over it.

BB:** Well, that was Tuesday. I don't think we were talking about it in the succeeding days. That was mainly on Tuesday. Again, the way the game started off and our inability to make many positive plays early in the game and the fact that Buffalo did make them, and we contributed to some of them, that had a lot to do with not only the start of the game but also the emotional level of the crowd, and to a certain extent, the psyche of the teams as the game progressed. When it was 21-0, which it was fairly early in the game, that is not a good situation for anybody to be in. Not that it was anywhere near over at that point, there was still a lot of football left to be played, but you are talking about emotional levels and that kind of thing, that is not really what you are looking for to start the game off.

**Q: Were you surprised by Lawyer's effectiveness with the amount of time that he had to practice with Buffalo?

BB:** I have said earlier that I think that Lawyer is a very smart player and one of the smartest players that I have coached. I am sure that he prepared hard and got down whatever it was that they asked him to do. We brought Ted Washington in a couple of days before the Philadelphia game and played him basically the first half. I think when you have a veteran player, depending on the circumstances, sometimes you can get those guys ready in a fairly short amount of time, yes.

**Q: Did you find yourself saying at any time during the game saying, 'I wish I had that guy on my team still?'

BB:** It just wasn't possible.

**Q: When you are game planning, do you prepare for the possibility that you can fall down early? How do you go through that?

BB:** I don't think you necessarily write out a game plan for when you are down 21-0 or up 21-0 but just through experience and Romeo [Crennel], Charlie [Weis], Brad [Seely] and Dante [Scarnecchia], all of the coaches, we have been through a lot of different game situations. When they occur, then you try to re-address them as the circumstances in the game change and try to re-address them for what you think is the best thing to do at that time, given not only the score, but the opponent and the circumstance of the game and what you have to be able to address it. I would say that is pretty much the way we went about it yesterday.

**Q: Did Buffalo play at a higher level than you expected?

BB:** I thought Buffalo played well. They certainly played better than we did. I will give them credit for playing well and that includes all of the players. They did a better job than we did.

**Q: Can you talk about Kevin Faulk's afternoon?

BB:** Probably one of the better things from yesterday, and I wouldn't say it was good, was to mix in the running game and create some positive yardage in the second and third quarters. I thought that our backs in general, which includes all of them, I thought they ran hard in some of those sub-situations where the defense was spread out. We had an opportunity to pick up some positive yardage there, some decent blocking and running. Some of that was situational too.

**Q: Any injuries from yesterday?

BB:** We'll have to take a closer look at it today. At this point, I don't have anything significant to report. But, there are a couple of guys that we will have to take a little closer look at and see what the story is

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