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Bill Belichick Press Conference

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick speaks to the press about their loss against the Rams on Sunday.To read a full transcript, click below.



BB: Well I don't think we had any serious injuries coming out of the game, a couple of bumps and bruises, but nothing real serious. It was no mystery last night. We had our chances. I certainly like the position that we were in at the end of the first half, but in the end we just didn't make enough plays against a good football team and that is why they deserved to win. The big thing on this one is we can't hang our heads, we have got to move on. We are into a little bit of a different week this week with the schedule. We are going to bring the players in on Tuesday and Wednesday, give them off on Thursday and then come back with a regular Friday in our New Orleans preparation. That is why we are a little bit on the run today to try to accelerate our preparations to bring the players in tomorrow and start it up tomorrow. In a way it gives us an extra day at least mentally on the Saints which we could probably use. They are a pretty good football team. They have got a good defense, a good running game, a good quarterback, some good skill players and a real good defensive front that will be a challenge for us to block.

Q: The mistakes that you talked about, can you look at some of the interceptions and say there is nothing that we can do about that or is that never the answer?

BB: I think the interceptions that we had yesterday, one ball should have been caught and the other ball wasn't thrown very well.

Q: The fumble?

BB: You have got to take care of the ball. No I am not writing them off, I am not writing them off at all. We have got to play better.

Q: Aeneas Williams said after the game that he thought that you guys had made tremendous strides and that he thought you were a playoff caliber team. Is that complimentary or…

BB: Whoever is or isn't we'll know at the end of the year when the records come in. That is what it's about. Yeah I don't really have any comment on it.

Q: Is it too early in the week to ask who will be the quarterback this Sunday?

BB: I don't see any changes this week. We just got done doing the Rams game. We are moving onto New Orleans. I don't think this is the time to get into a big personnel evaluation, but I don't see any changes.

Q: Is the momentum swing at the end of the first half more frustrating because it seemed like at that point your game plan was working?

BB: I would have to agree with that. I thought at the half that...we ran that play that would have taken it down to the two-minute warning. There would have been a play or another play there after the two minute warning whether we had scored or kicked a field goal whatever. I feel pretty confident that we would have got on the board since we had the ball inside the five and there would have been, I don't know how much time, but probably not too much when St. Louis got the ball back. It took points off the board for us. It gave them an opportunity and they capitalized on it with about four big plays coming out of there that were poorly defended by us. I don't think momentum is any excuse for that. They threw them and they caught them better than we defended them. It wasn't obviously the way we were looking to end the half. I thought we positioned ourselves to come out in a lot better shape than we did, but still that being said it was a pretty close game at the half. We had our chances in the second half too.

Q: How do you approach it in terms of the blitz, did you layoff a little bit or did you bring as much blitz as you did say against Atlanta and Buffalo?

BB: We blitzed more than any time all year I would say by quite a bit. I couldn't give you the exact number right now, but I would say that it would have to be probably two-thirds of the time, some kind of pressure.

Q: How come you only got to him once, did they just check off well?

BB: No I don't think that they ever checked off.

Q: Did they pick it up well?

BB: Sometimes they picked it up, sometimes they didn't. Sometimes the ball got tipped. They made some plays. We made a few. We wanted to try to be a little disruptive in the passing game. Sometimes we were, sometimes we weren't. We tried to mix it up on them, but they made some yards and didn't score…I mean they scored enough points to win, I have seen them score more and they gave up a few so.

Q: I know there is no such thing as a moral victory, but is a loss like last night's going to be any less frustrating because it came against an elite team, rather than the first two games where you had a chance to win?

BB: I think we had a chance to win last night. So no, I don't feel any great consolation last night. I don't think anybody does. We went into the game, we expected to win, we expected to score points, we expected to play well defensively, we expected to play well in the kicking game and in the end we came up short and that is disappointing. So that is really the bottom line. I don't believe in moral victories and I am not taking any consolation in losing to the Rams, far from it.

Q: It seemed like you did get a very strong effort from your team will that make it hard for them to get back up enough for New Orleans?

BB: Well I don't know if it is hard or not, but that is what we need to do. Whether it is hard or isn't hard that is our challenge this week and that is the one that we need to meet and I expect us to meet it.

Q: You only scored twice on offense is that a statement to their defense being a little better than people give the credit for?

BB: I think when you fumble the ball on the two-yard line that is about as close to scoring as you can get. Look, they have a good defense. I said right from the beginning of the week they have got good team speed on defense, they have got good corners, they have some guys who can rush the passer, they have got good speed off the edge, their linebackers are active. They rank fourth or fifth in the league, something like that, in yards on defense. So I don't think anybody is advertising them as not being a good defensive team and I would say they are a pretty good defensive team. I'll give them credit for doing what they did; on the other hand I think we missed some opportunities. We dropped some balls, a couple of balls we should have caught and we turned the ball over three times and in the end those are big opportunities that we lost.

Q: When the Rams receivers are so repeatedly wide open in the middle of the field is that just because they are so quick and they run their routes and the timing with [Kurt] Warner is so good? It seemed like that was the most open wide receivers had consistently been against you this year?

BB: Yeah, sure, they were open at times, but look the Rams have a good offense. They have a lot of skill players, they have a good passing attack, they run a lot of short patterns, they run slants, they run some quick underneath crossing patterns that run those intermediate routes and they go deep on you. It is hard to just jump all over one of those routes without giving up the other one. Sometimes you overplay one and they happen to have something else on. A couple of times we were in zones and they threw it in behind the zones. A couple of other times we were in man and we just got beat on the man coverage. Again, I wouldn't say it was any one thing. They hurt us with some intermediate throws and that's the strength of their passing game and I think if you watch them play every week you are going to see them hit some of those. They hit more of them then certainly we would like to see get hit, but that's why they are a good passing team, that is why they lead the league in offense because they hit those kind of passes and we didn't defend them well enough. They don't hit the two yarders, when they hit them they hit them for 15 to 20 and that is where they are trying to throw them. For us to win last night we would have needed to defend those better than we defended them.

Q: Is it the fact that they are wide open or is that for the short time they are open Warner just does a good job of getting them the ball right at that instant to the guy, are they wide open…

BB: Both.

Q: …or when they get open he hits them?

BB: I think there were a couple of times last night where we didn't get very much pass rush and Warner was able to hold the ball and they came open pretty decisively. Then there were other times he hit them coming right out of the break where we were close and we are closing on him, but it is not close enough. I mean Warner, he is pretty good. He doesn't need a lot of…open is a relative term with him. All he needs is a spot to throw the ball and about six inches to get it in there. If it is within 50 yards he can usually get it in there pretty close. They got some separation and he hit them.

Q: Are they the offense that everybody is trying to become?

BB: I don't know if you see that offense come along very…The skill players they have and the depth that they have at the skill positions is, I am glad a lot of the teams don't have it, let me put it that way. They are pretty talented on the offensive side of the ball. Sure everybody would like to have that type of attack, but I think you really have to give credit to Charley Armey and the people at the Rams who have put it together. They have a lot of talent in the backfield, at quarterback, at receiver. They have a good solid tight end and they have been able to tradeoff their depth at the position of quarterback in the last couple of years to continue to strengthen the team mainly on the defensive side of the ball. You can even look at what they have got now and look back a couple of years ago when Trent Green and Joe Germaine and some of those guys were there and they replaced them with [Trung] Canidate and the receivers have improved [Az-Zahir] Hakim and those guys, but it is a pretty skilled group. Yeah, sure, everybody would like to have that kind of offense, hell they lead the league every year.

Q: How do you handle the practice snaps with the quarterbacks during the week?

BB: Let's just deal with that tomorrow. The starting quarterback gets most of the snaps, that is the way it is going to be. That is the way it has been regardless of who the quarterback has been and that is the way it is going to be.

Q: Is it tough balancing the situation when one guy is trying to come back?

BB: We are going to have to get the guy ready who is going to play, that is number one. We will do the best we can with everybody else. We have got to get the guy ready who is going to play.

Q: How close were you on Ted Johnson this past week and is there a possibility that he may be ready for this week?

BB: I think there is a possibility, yeah I think there is a possibility. I would say we thought up to Saturday, even Sunday morning, you know the workout before the game, that it had a shot, maybe a little bit of a long shot, but it had a shot. I think Ted is feeling better and yeah I think we have a chance this week with that. I wouldn't say there is anything certain, but I think we have a chance

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