New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his postgame press conference at Gillette Stadium on January 12, 2008.
BB: It was a good win tonight. You know,.Jacksonville is a good football team. [They] certainly gave us all we needed and could handle, but in the end [I'm] proud of our players. [They] stepped up [and] played well in the second half. Offensively, we had a pretty decent night moving the ball and defensively [we] finally got some stops--a couple in the red area and one down there at the end. I thought our kick coverage was good, which was helpful. You know, in the end, it was a good football team. [We] played well enough to win, made enough plays that we needed to make when it was a critical time and now we're on to next week. We know it keeps getting tougher every step of the way through the playoffs, so now whoever it is, we know we have to play better, play our best football next week. It's good to be playing football next week and [we're] happy about that. Credit Jacksonville for their season and the way they played and competed tonight.
Q:(On pass defense)
BB: We didn't play real well defensively in the first half. They took advantage of a couple of errors that we made and they hurt us with them. I believe we can do a better job coaching and a better job playing it.
Q:(On the other side the running game seemed to do pretty well against a physical and defensive line)
BB: I thought Laurence [Maroney] ran well and our line blocked well. We had some good holds. Our receivers did a good job. They ran a lot of multiple receiver sets, and [Terry] Cousin, [Brian] Williams and [Rashean] Mathis are all top of the running game. So I thought they did a very competitive job there, too, and Laurence ran well. Kyle [Brady] helped us, too, on the edge.
Q:(Regarding throws by Tom Brady).
BB: Yeah, [it] was a little disappointing, the two he missed. You know, Tom, has been a great quarterback for us and his whole career here he's been great in the big games and [he was] outstanding tonight. I thought he managed the team well. There was some audibles and stuff like that that he did a good job of. Of course, he threw the ball well. I thought that the play action with both Tom and the line was good. We got a couple big plays off of that and those were well-executed plays and certainly he had a strong role in them. He's a terrific player and he's had a great year for us.
Q:(On using other receivers and Randy Moss)
BB: They were in a lot of two deep zone most of the night. I thought Tom did a great job of taking who the open guys were and that was sometimes the back, sometimes the tight ends, sometimes the inside spot receivers. We were in quite a few four receiver sets and with a lot of balls going inside. Donte' made a couple big plays for us as well on the perimeter. The scramble pass there and the last play on third down, the little hitch down there that he broke a tackle and got the first down. It was an outstanding job by the outside receivers and Randy tonight.
Q:(Regarding the Statue of Liberty play).
BB: That was a play that we used against Jacksonville, kind of piggybacking off that previous play that we had run against them, I thought it was well-executed and the faking the line was real aggressive. And Tom hid the ball well, so it worked out well.
Q:Is Laurence a better receiver now than he was two years ago?
BB: I think Laurence does a good job for us in the passing game, yeah. I think he's done a good job for us and he's certainly improved there in the two years since he's been here and he's worked hard in all phases, blitz running, route running, spacing, catching, those kind of things. He's worked hard and he's done a good job and he's improved dramatically in two years, no question.
Q:Can you comment on the overall tempo? It seemed like a slower paced game.
BB: There were several kind of long drives in the first half, where one team took the length of the field and the other team took the length of the field. So there were not a lot of possessions. [I] thought it was important that we made the most of our possessions and for the most part we did. You know, we got the ball in the end zone four times, and had two field goal attempts, but we need to make those count. And of course the turnover early in the game was big. That set up a short score for us and we were able to capitalize on that. But our red area offense, we had, obviously, the penalty at the end of the half, and a missed field goal so we didn't get any points out of that. Had we not done that, we sure would have had a better chance of score rather than it being second and 26 or whatever it was.
Q:(On being aware of how much playing time running backs get)
BB: During the season? I'd just say where we are right now, if somebody has to go all way, they got to go all the way. I think we're at that point in the season where if any of our backs had to play the whole game that they should be able to play it, and I think they would go in there and play well, whether be Heath [Evans] or Kevin [Faulk] or Laurence. So if that's what it came to… otherwise, we'll utilize them how we feel is best for our personnel and personnel groupings and try to maximize our efficiency offensively and that includes everything.
Q:Who would you like to have next week?
BB: Whoever wins. We don't have any control over it. They are both great teams. We have played them both and they are both outstanding football teams. That will be decided tomorrow. There's nothing we can do about it. We've just got to try to get our team ready to go and play as well as we can.
Q:On their first touchdown, did you think about challenging it?
BB: It was just too late by the time we got a look at it. I'm not sure if it was or it wasn't. I know it was a close play, but we just didn't really have enough time to see it.
Q:(On the Jaguars being uncharacteristic on defense)
BB: I'd say they did what they usually do. They played more six defensive back starts against us. We've seen them do that. We probably got a few more snaps of it than we've seen over the course of the year and then they played a little of the three three nickel package, and again, we've seen that but we probably got a few more snaps of it. I wouldn't say it was anything new, but we maybe got a little bit higher, a little bit more frequency than what we've seen overall. We've seen all their games and we probably got more than any other team, I'll just put it that way. We've had some four receiver teams like Pittsburgh and that, so we probably got a little more of it but it wasn't anything that we had not practiced against or we had not seen them do.