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Replay: Patriots Postgame Show Sun Oct 17 - 09:58 PM | Mon Oct 18 - 08:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conference

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BB: It was a good win for us over an NFC team. We hadn't done that or didn't do that last year. I think Atlanta's a good football team. We had a few things go our way today. Defensively, we had a lot of guys step up and play good team defense. We really rallied to the ball, had a little pressure on the quarterback and I thought our defensive backs did a pretty good job in pass coverage for the most part.
We had a couple of big drives in the first half. We were able to answer their touchdown and then right before the half, the team went the length of the field — 89 yards just before the half. I thought those were big points for us.
Defensively, we did a much better job on third down then what we've been doing and I thought that was the big key to the game because Atlanta was one of the best third down teams in the league. They really stepped up and answered that challenge. We did a good with it offensively. We were able to convert some third downs and particularly in the first half, which enabled us to have some good drives. So overall, it was a good win for this team and we're back to .500. Hopefully we can get over the hump here when we come back home. We won two out of three on the road — we felt like we should have won all three, but we didn't — but we got two. Hopefully we can use that momentum and win a game.

Q: Did you consciously decide to open it up a little more in the second quarter allowing Tom Brady to throw more?

BB: No. I think Charlie [Weis] had a good game plan with a mix of run and pass. We felt like we needed to run it at them. We just couldn't throw the ball on every down. We kept sticking some runs in there; we hit some, we didn't hit some, but I thought Charlie's had a nice mix in the game plan. We were just trying to keep them off balance. There were some throws there, particularly in the second quarter, and we were able to gain quite a few yards on them.

Q: Coming into the game, did you think you would be able to pressure the quarterback the way you did today?

BB: We wanted to mix some pressure in and we did that. I thought Romeo [Crennel] did a nice job trying to keep them off balance. We mixed in some coverage and some pressure and tried to keep them off balance. I thought our defensive line did a nice job getting off the ball and used some good pass rush techniques. Winning those one-on-one battles up front is always the key. It looked like we might have won a few of them today.

Q: It looks like Willie McGinest is making his way back to full form.

BB: I think Willie has gotten better each week. He's been healthy and been on the practice field working on his technique trying to get better. He's stepped up and had several plays in each of the last few weeks and we can really use those from him.
Him coupled with Richard Seymour — I thought Seymour gave us a couple plays inside today too. There were a lot of guys, but it was good to see them back on the field making some plays from where they were a month ago.

Q: Did you blitz more often or did it just seem that way because it was so effective?

BB: I think we called a few more pressures than we did the last couple weeks thinking back to Denver and Indianapolis. There was probably more pressure.

Q: You showed a lot of emotion to the fans that were here when you were coming off the field. Just how important was this victory to you?

BB: What was emotional for me was seeing the amount of Patriots fans that were here. There were a lot of Patriots fans in the stands wearing their jerseys and we really got a lot of support from them. There was one time when I was over talking to the offense and I heard the fans screaming and yelling and I thought Atlanta had made a play and it was our fans after we had tackled the quarterback. They were vocal. I don't know how many there were, but they were represented well and they were loud. It was nice to hear it down here.

Q: Can you comment on Troy Brown's touchdown (off the deflection)?

BB: It was just the way we drew it up. That was the Patriots version of the immaculate reception. Sometimes you take them any way you can get them. We've certainly had some go against us so we'll take that one and feel fortunate that it came our way.

Q: Could you comment on how Tom [Brady] rebounded from last week?

BB: I though Tom had a good week of practice and he made some real good throws in the first half and was able to move it down the field. One thing about Tom is that he's real consistent. He really is. Day after day he goes out there and you pretty much know what you're going to get with him. He's been that way for five or six weeks or however long he's been in there.

Q: What's it mean to be 4-4 now with three coming up at home?

BB: I think it means a lot if we can do anything with the games that are coming up. We were 3-3 two weeks ago and slid back and had to come back this. It's not about where we are or where we were, it's about where we're going. Buffalo is a big division game. We have some big division games coming up and some NFC games. Those are like division games because everyone in our division plays those teams; it's a lot of common opponents. Seven of the next eight games are either division or NFC games so hopefully we can take advantage and capitalize on the little bit of momentum that we got this week.
Buffalo is really aggressive on defense and they are a tough club and we had two overtime games with them last year. So I know it will be a dogfight and we'll have to play well next week. We won't be able to just slap it out there; we'll have to play well.

Q: When Michael Vick came in, did you consider avoiding bringing the pressure because he is so elusive or did you think that was the way because it had worked so well?

BB: I think we tried to mix it up. When you pressure him, there are less lanes for him to run in. When you don't pressure him, he has more lanes to step up in. We spied him a couple of times and I thought that was OK. With the pressure, if we got up the field on him, then there's no place for him to go but back up inside. So sometimes you can contain him a little bit with the pressure as long as you don't let him out of there. But if he breaks that wall, it's like a punt return and he's gone. So the defensive line and the linebackers really had to be disciplined on those blitzes to make sure we filled all the lanes. It looked like we came clean a couple times.

**Q: Do you have any reaction to the report that Terry Glenn is filing a lawsuit against the NFL?B: No.

Q: Did Grant Williams do a good job filling in at left tackle for Matt Light?

BB: I thought the offensive line overall did a pretty solid job. We ran the ball in the fourth quarter when we needed. Grant has filled in for us all year. He's played left tackle and he's played right tackle. He's been a dependable guy for us whenever we needed him and we needed him today.

Q: What was the difference between the defense today and the inconsistent version we've seen recently?

BB: I think defensively — I know a lot of the defensive players got together this week and you'll probably want to talk to them about it — and I just heard them say, 'The offense has been carrying us for a couple weeks; it's time for us to do our job and we're going to start doing it. Have confidence in us and keep calling some aggressive defenses and we'll come through for you.' I think the defensive staff and the players regrouped and bonded a little tighter. I think that's probably what happened. It was an attitude from a team standpoint.

Q: After Otis Smith's interception, you had the four penalties on the next possession. It looked like a meltdown. But you got points and it had no long-term effect. Was it good to overcome that?

BB: That was a terrible series with one penalty after another. The best play was completing the 16-yard pass to get us into field goal range. We were just trying to get enough yards to kick a field goal. It was a terrible series and any time you commit four penalties, there's no chance. You could put the Bad News Bears out there on defense and when you jump offside and hold and false start and all that, you can't move the ball against anybody. We just can't do that to ourselves. I don't think we're good enough to overcome that. It was a miracle that we were able to get a field goal out of that.

Q: How big was the drive before the half to extend the lead?

BB: It was a long drive and there were a lot of key plays along the way. I thought there were a lot of good throws and catches and a couple good runs after the catch. It was a great drive. It was one of the best drives we've had all year. We went right down to the wire, used up almost all of the clock and made a lot of key plays. When Tom hit Edwards on the swing route down the sideline, it was just a terrific call by Charlie and a great throw by Tom and nice job by Edwards to stay in bounds and get it in. That was a big drive for us.

Q: Does Seymour just have the strength to push up the middle because he is so big?

BB: Seymour is a real explosive player. He doesn't look it because he is so tall and skinny, he looks like a basketball player, but he's string and explosive. He really is.

Q: Two of three road wins changes the whole season.

BB: We have to take it one week at a time. That's how we approach it. That's how we approached the Indy game and then we got rid of it. That's how we approached the Denver game and then we got rid of that one. Then that's how we approached the Atlanta game. I know they had a couple weeks off with the bye and we knew they'd be ready to go and they gave us some problems.Question:**

BB: Right now we just have to take the eraser, clean off the board and get ready for Buffalo. If we don't carry it through to the Buffalo game, then we'll look back and this won't mean anything. I think that's a little bit of what happened in Denver. We didn't beat Denver and that took some luster off the Indianapolis win.

Q: Clearance to talk to Romeo?

BB: Check with the PR people, but we can probably work that out.
soo

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