Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Monday, November 8, 2010.
BB: Alright, well after looking at the film, I don't think things look a whole lot different today than it did yesterday. We just didn't really do anything well enough or consistently enough and that happens. The fact that we lost by 20 points - that's really not that surprising. We [have to] correct some mistakes. We [have to] certainly do better in all areas. Starting with me, working all the way down - everybody that's involved - we've just got to do a better job and get ready for Pittsburgh.
Q: Are film sessions usually longer or more demanding after wins or losses?
BB: I'd say it's about the same. You go through the plays, look at the positive things [and] point those out. You try to reinforce the things you did well and the things that aren't right, you correct those and point out those mistakes. You have those on every play, no matter what the outcome of the game is - you're going to have those on every play.
Q: Several players have been pretty candid about practice sessions last week not being up to par. Was that your sense going into the game?
BB: Practice is practice. Part of practice is, unfortunately, that you make mistakes. Then you correct those and try to simulate it against what you are going to see in the game. They're never perfect, but they can always be better. We strive to have good practices and that is what we will continue to strive for.
Q: After looking at the film, how can you sum up how the defensive backs got after your receivers? Was it physicality that led to some of the timing issues?
BB: I thought [Cleveland] mixed it up, coverage-wise, pretty good. They did different things: they pressured, they played zone, they played different forms of double coverage. So, they had a mixture of stuff. I can't sit there and say it was one thing because it wasn't. They mixed their coverages up. I'd say there was, maybe, I don't know... [On our] first five third-downs there was different coverage on each one or something like that, so they mixed it up.
Q: How would you rate the likelihood of needing to bring in another kicker?
BB: It's a possibility; we'll see how that goes. It's possible.
Q: What is Stephen Gostkowski's condition at this point?
BB: We're still waiting for more information. So that's a possibility. We'll see what that is.
Q: Did you change anything in terms of the way you operated offensively because Stephen wasn't in there in the second half?
BB: I think we would have, but it never really came to that. The situations pretty much took care of themselves based on the score and the situation - it really didn't come to that. Wes [Welker] did a good job for us and we've seen that before, so we decided to go ahead and kick the extra point. That made it a 13-point game at that point. We thought about the possibility of going for two. Probably, if it had been a close situation, On our chart, we probably would have favored going for two just because of the kicking situation, but it never really came down to that. So Wes kicked the extra point. If we had scored again, we'd let him kick another one.
Q: You've mentioned before that you have a list of the best guys available and you are always bringing them in and keeping up with them over the course of the season. Is it similar with a kicker or punter?
BB: Sure; absolutely. Yes, absolutely. We've had a number of guys come in over the course of the season, at every position, it's just limited to... Certainly there might be more of an emphasis on one particular position at any particular time based on what our depth is at that position. But over the course of the first few weeks of the season, Nick Caserio and his staff bring in players at positions for various reasons whether it be to replace a 53-man roster player or whether it's a guy for the practice squad or maybe it'd be somebody we'd want to look at if, down the road, we had an opportunity or had an opening at that position. So, it could be for a lot of different things, but, yeah, we've had them all in.
Q: What allowed Peyton Hillis to run so well?
BB: They did a good job and we didn't, so I think that sums it up.
Q: There wasn't one particular thing they did?
BB: No. It wasn't one particular play. It wasn't one particular player. I think we just didn't do a good job. [Hillis] is a good back; he ran hard. They blocked well. But we just - I don't think you can single out one thing.
Q: What are your thoughts on Colt McCoy after seeing him play?
BB: He did a good job managing the game - made a few throws there that helped them out of the pocket. It wasn't a big passing game. They threw when they wanted to throw and he did fine.
Q: Vince Wilfork said last night that 'the ship has to be righted' with a tough game coming up in Pittsburgh. How do you go about doing that and getting better results from the team with a tough game coming up on the road?
BB: The same - it's just like any other game. It's having a good week of preparation, having everybody prepared, practicing well, going to Pittsburgh and playing. That's the only game we're thinking about.
Q: Is a kicker an easier position to fill in an emergency because of its special team nature?
BB: Every situation is different. I don't know. You never want to replace a player. If you have to, you have to, and you go with your best option. If you don't, then you don't. So, we'll just have to see.
Q: Has there been an injury during your time as head coach here to a kicker where you have to replace them midseason?
BB: No. We've had the snapper, Lonie [Paxton], [get hurt]. Lonie got hurt. And we've changed punters.
Q: Logan Mankins saw a lot of work yesterday. How did he rate out?
BB: I think Logan did some good things. It was his first game in a while, so I am sure it will be better going forward - I hope it will. But he did a lot of good things. [He was] solid, but it was his first time playing in a while, so the timing and some of the techniques and all that, I'm sure will improve.
Q: His game conditioning was no problem for him?
BB: Well, I don't want to say that. I think it will get better. It was okay; it wasn't a disaster or anything, but I think it will get better.
Q: Can you pin down why Jake Ingram is having such difficulty being consistent with his long snapping?
BB: Well I think this is one of those games where we can probably list every player that was active and talk about some type of inconsistencies - [even] coaches for that matter. It wasn't one of our better performances by a long shot. We all had a hand in it, so I think you can say that about everybody - there [are] some plays that they'd like to have back or weren't as good as we're used to seeing.
Q: Can you see any differences in terms of how much separation your receivers are getting? There just doesn't seem to be as much room underneath as there was at the beginning of the season.
BB: I think it depends on what player you're talking about. Welker underneath? [Rob] Gronkowski down the middle? Hernandez down the middle? You know, there [are] plays that are well covered and there are plays that I think there's plenty of space to throw it to. I think you're going to find that in any game.
Q: Just looking at the numbers for the wide receivers, Brandon Tate, for instance, only has had maybe four or five receptions for minimal yards the last few weeks, with the exception of the Minnesota game.
BB: He had a 65-yarder last week - I wouldn't call that minimal. If you look at the plays, there are some opportunities there.
Q: Sammy Morris had a twenty-two yard catch on fourth-and-one in the second quarter. Were you going for it regardless of the kicking situation?
BB: It might have gone either way on that one, but I think once we got it... What was the play before that?
Q: It was third-and-one, BenJarvus Green-Ellis for no gain.
BB: Right, third-and-one. We had pretty much committed to going for that on fourth down prior to the third down play. The kicker was probably a little bit of a factor in that... Where was the ball? Twenty...
Q: The twenty-four.
BB: Twenty-four. So a 41-yard field goal. Yeah, well look, if it had been fourth-and-nine, then we were probably looking at kicking it, but fourth-and-one, yeah, that definitely pushed it into - we thought we could have a pretty good chance at picking that up.
Q: Did you know that Gostkowski was having problems going into the game?
BB: No. His legs tightened up on him a little bit in the pregame warm-up and then he kicked at the beginning of the game but it got to a point where he couldn't finish.
Q: Would Zoltan Mesko ever handle an extra point or a field goal?
BB: The holding duties. I think if [we get] an emergency situation, we handle it the way we did yesterday with Wes, and let Z [Zoltan Mesko] do the holding instead of flip over to the other side with that lefty.
Q: Some coaches have been known not to show their team a film after a dismal performance. Have you ever done that in the past?
BB: No, but I think each week is its own week. Every week is different, so you never know. I don't think there is any set formula for myself or our team or other teams [that] I've been with. It isn't exactly how it goes. A lot of it depends on what your schedule is and so-forth, especially this time of year after you've seen a lot of games. Usually in the early part of the season, you definitely look at them, but a lot of times, depending on what our schedule is later in the year, we either have time or don't have time to show that film or we feel like there's more of a priority to do something else. So we just take it on a case-by-case basis; game-by-game.
Q: What was the reason behind the Terrence Wheatley decision?
BB: To bring Logan Mankins on the roster.
Q: Was he not progressing?
BB: No, we had to make room on the roster. So, basically, it is going to come from the inactive list of players. If you look at our inactives over the past few weeks, I don't think you necessarily want to bring a player onto the roster and release one of your active players that is playing, so you go to the list of players that [aren't] active and that's probably where it starts. I'm not saying you couldn't do it differently.
Q: Is Terrence still practice-squad eligible?
BB: He is; yes.
Q: When will you get word whether or not he has passed through waivers? Will you find that out today?
BB: Yes, today. Can you pull up [that information]?
Q: What is the cutoff for practice-squad eligibility?
BB: It's a complicated system. It depends on a lot of things: the 53-man roster, the amount of years, the number of games active, the number of games... Really, we had a player that we talked about that had been in the league seven years that was practice-squad eligible and then there are other players like Kevin O'Connell, when we had him, that wasn't practice-squad eligible his second year because he was the number two quarterback basically all season when [Matt] Cassel was the quarterback. So even though he took - I don't know what it was - like five snaps the whole season in '08, he wasn't practice-squad eligible in '09. And, again, there was an example of a six or seven-year player that still had practice-squad eligibility - one of the guys we worked out earlier in the year. So it's an unusual formula based on active, playing, 45-man roster, number of games and so forth.
Q: Do you have to keep track of that or does the league tell you if they're eligible?
BB: No, no, no, no. That's a great question and the answer to that question is, because of the general difficulty of determining that, that's always included on the waiver wire. So when a player is on the waiver wire, it states whether he is or isn't practice-squad eligible. And on more than one occasion, we've gone back into our records and the league wire will have it one way and we'll have it another and sometimes they're wrong, sometimes we're wrong. But I'm just saying, it's one of those things [that is] kind of tricky how it works. I don't know all the rules, but it's a combination of those things. But that's a good question and they actually post it on the wire, and I'd say probably 99% of the time, [the league's] right, but I remember a couple of cases where it was different than the way we had it, and then, it turns out, somebody had miscounted or miscalculated the formula.
Q: I knew that was going to get a better answer than the Tate question.
BB: You know me like a book. Wednesday, I'll let you come up here. I'll give you the sweatshirt. You can answer that. They can transcribe it and you can just give [the media] the answers.
Q: You'd like it out here [in the media].
BB: Oh yeah, I would. I'd love to get you up here just one day - if I knew you weren't going back [to the media]. I'd love to see you answer some of those questions