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Bill Belichick Press Conference

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick talks to the press about the upset in Denver on Sunday.To read a full transcript, click below.



BB: Well it is disappointing to go out to Denver and put ourselves in position to win and not be able to come out with it. I thought that in the end that we just made too many errors and didn't capitalize on our opportunities. Denver is a good football team, but we still had some chances that we just didn't take advantage of and you just can't do that against a good team like Denver. I think one of the big stories of the game as it always is with Denver is the red area. We weren't able to finish some drives and they were, so in the end that was really the difference in a four-point game. Had we been able to get the ball into the end zone or even take care of the ball a little bit better, we had some penalties and some mistakes, not always in the red area but down there in what we call the fringe area somewhere between the 35-yard line in with some penalties and false starts, fumbled snaps, lined up in the wrong formation a couple of times and that kind of thing. They are just mistakes that you cannot afford against a good team like Denver. That is really the bottom line. I thought overall on special teams we held up pretty well against their units. We had a chance for a couple of bigger plays than what we had and vice versa, we probably were fortunate to hang on a couple of times against, one time in particular against [Chris] Cole on a kickoff return, but overall those two units were pretty evenly matched. The difference in the game came from our ability on offense and defense to make some big plays and execute at critical times in the game, particularly in the red area.

Injury-wise Bryan [Cox] has a fracture in his leg. I am not sure exactly what that means, it will be a few weeks, that's for sure. [Matt] Light hurt his shoulder. I am not sure what the extent of that is. I think everybody else that didn't play due to injury is, we got back pretty late I really haven't had a chance to see everybody this morning, but from what I understand we are making a little progress there. We will just have to see how that develops a little bit later in the week. So I don't have anything on Light and other than Cox being out a few weeks, I really don't have a specific time on that, but he certainly will miss a couple of weeks here.

Q: Will the injury to Cox, the way he was hit, is that something that the league should review?

BB: Yeah I think they should review it. I think it was a clip, it was a clip. I don't think there is any doubt about it. There is no part of his body that is in front on the block. A lot of Denver's cutting comes on the running plays and everybody has talked about that and I think the majority of that is legal, it is within the legal clipping zone. That's the way they do it, but that play was out in the middle of the field, it was a screen pass, I can't speak for the league, but I can't imagine that that is what the league is looking for.

Q: Also in that vein, do you think it was intentional on the part of the defense to try to intimidate [Tom] Brady? They had the two late hits and Al Wilson took a whack at him on his way down to the end zone to celebrate the touchdown?

BB: I don't know, I think you would have to ask them that. I can't imagine that Denver is very happy about getting a couple of personal foul rushing the passer penalties. I can't imagine that's what they were looking for. Those hurt them and ultimately cost them some points and a lot of field position. So I doubt very seriously…look, I know Mike, I have a lot of respect for Mike Shanahan, I think he is one of the best coaches in the league without a doubt, I can't imagine that that was what he was really looking for.

Q: Bryan Cox made a statement after the game saying if and when he comes back he wants to come after [Dan] Neil, I don't know if you are aware of it, but could he possibly be fined for those comments?

BB: I have no idea, I have no idea.

Q: Are you aware of the statements that he made?

BB: No, but…I am not aware of them so I probably shouldn't make any comment on it.

Q: Conversely if the league doesn't fine Neil will you be upset?

BB: It's out of my hands, it's out of my hands. I can't comment on anything the league or I can't make any decisions on what the league does or doesn't do. I can tell you that I don't agree with everything they do, do. I think if you just go back to the 1999 season and my short tenure with the Jets and what lasted after that, I think it is pretty clear that I don't agree with everything that they do. So I am not going to say whatever they do or don't do is necessarily the way I saw it, but in the end they have the final jurisdiction so whatever it is, that is what it is.

Q: Can you talk about what the loss of Bryan will mean to the team even if it is for a couple of weeks and what he has meant to the club this year?

BB: I think he has meant a lot, I think he has meant a lot. I think he brings an attitude about playing the game and preparing for the game and a teamwork that is important and I think well received. I think he has got a lot of respect on this football team and in this organization, but unfortunately, as we all know, injuries are something that happens in the National Football League and every team has to deal with them and we will have to deal with this one. It is unfortunate the way it happened, but we really can't change that right now we have to look forward and move ahead.

Q: Do you imagine that some of his persona has rubbed off in his short tenure here and that there will not be this huge void because guys have seen how Bryan Cox did it and maybe they can pick it up for him?

BB: Well I hope so, yeah I hope so and look he is still with us, I mean he may not be on the field, but it's not like he…

Q: Sometimes after this happens guys become invisible?

BB: I can't imagine Cox being invisible. We will see him and we will hear from him, but…

Q: What did you tell Matt Stevens after the play where he failed to touch the receiver on the sideline?

BB: He should have tagged him down. In this league the play is not over until the runner is tagged down and the whistle blows. He should have tagged him down. It was a mistake. It was clearly a mental mistake.

Q: Your team this season has been outscored 69-16 in the third quarter is it not making the proper adjustments or is it making the adjustments and the players aren't executing on the field in the third quarter?

BB: We have talked a lot about the third quarter situation for about the last three or four weeks. I think everybody on the team is aware of it coaches, players. We have done some things in practice to try to simulate first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, fourth quarter type things and I have looked into it. I have done a little look at that situation to try to put my finger on exactly what the reason for that is. I can't say that it is any one specific thing. I think it is a combination of things, but the bottom line is that it has not been a productive time for us. I really don't think it is about halftime adjustments because we've spent quite a bit of time talking about that and looking at what happened from a schematic standpoint in that timeframe and also talked to the players about it. We did make an adjustment on that maybe the first or second week of the season, when I talked with the players and the coaches talked with the players a little bit and we addressed it then. This isn't something that came up last week we talked about it early in the year maybe after the Jet game or somewhere in that neighborhood. We did talk a little bit about some halftime things and we had a couple of minor changes there and I don't think that's the problem, but the bottom line is that we haven't really fixed the problem so until we do then it is obviously an area of concern.

Q: Do you sense a different attitude or feeling from your club as they come out of the locker room?

BB: No I don't. I don't sense that and you know we have had several instances in the third quarter where we have come out and got a defensive turnover and put the offense in good field position. We haven't always been able to capitalize on that even though we have moved the ball well, but for some reason we haven't been able to capitalize on those situations even though we have moved the ball and driven for some field goals like in the Indianapolis game or we scored yesterday in the third quarter after Matt's [Stevens] turnover, but it is not as productive as we need it to be and we have had some defensive breakdowns that have been costly. If I could open a jar and say this is the remedy I would do it, but we are aware of it, we are working on it and there isn't any reason why it shouldn't be better so we need it to be.

Q: You said it was a combination of things, but just now you mentioned that there have been some defensive breakdowns can't one intimate that is more the defense's fault than the offense?

BB: Well when you don't score I don't think you can blame that on the defense. Whatever it is 99-16 or whatever the numbers are, if you only score 16 points in the third quarter of seven games it is hard for me to say that that is really defensive inefficiency there, it is a combination. Defensively we are not playing well enough and offensively, even when we do move the ball we are not finishing drives and getting it in the end zone and scoring enough points.

Q: What do you hope that Tom Brady takes away the most from yesterday's game, he obviously had a rough fourth quarter, but is there something that you really want him to take away from it?

BB: I don't think he had a rough fourth quarter, I don't think he had a rough fourth quarter. I think he had one throw that was not a good throw and I think two of the interceptions weren't really his fault. He was trying to make a play at the end of the game with fourth and 30 or whatever it is and just throw it down there and try to hit the guy on the end cut and they pick it off. But he made one bad throw in the red zone the other two, I thought he put the ball where he should have put it. The receivers did not do a good job on the routes. He will take the blame for it and it is partially his fault too, but the receivers were, a big part of it was on them, a lot bigger than it was on Brady. I think what Tom should take from the game is basically exactly what I told him at the end of the game that he did a lot of things well, he needs to learn from his mistakes, each time he goes out there to be better and not repeat those mistakes and that is really what I think he needs to do. I think our passing efficiency was good in the first half, I think it was good through the third quarter. We had some dropped balls in there, but even in spite of that it was pretty good. What we weren't able to do was finish drives and get the ball into the end zone in the fourth quarter and that is ultimately one of the big reasons why we didn't win the game.

Q: I know you didn't like the results of the throw into the end zone, but did you like the decision-making process because it appeared that Patten was open would you have preferred that Brady tuck it and…

BB: No throw it out in front of the receiver, throw it out in front of the receiver. Yeah Patten was open, the read was good. He stepped up and he just didn't get the ball far enough out in front of the receiver. He had two steps on him and Walker under cut him at the end when the ball was behind him. It wasn't a bad read, but look in the red area you can't hang the ball, you have got to put a lot of zip on it, you have to keep it out in front of the receiver. The coverage is too tight down there if guys are open they are not open for long and you have to throw it hard and you have to get it in there. Tom has made some good throws in the red zone area the touchdown pass this week, he hit a couple last week, San Diego, I mean those balls were good, sharp, tight throws and that is the way that they need to be down there in the red area. You can't float it in the end zone and have good things happen very often, not that he was trying to do that, but I think that's a fundamental thing that he should and will learn from.

Q: With the fracture that Cox has could he come back and play this year?

BB: Sure. I certainly wouldn't rule it out. I definitely wouldn't rule it out. We will see how it heals and how long it takes and all of that, but no the idea of putting him on injured reserve and thinking he is going to be out for that length of time, right now I don't think that's the right thing to do.

Q: How does that reconfigure your linebacker core?

BB: About the way we finished the game with [Tedy] Bruschi and Ted Johnson. Then Larry [Izzo] can also play inside and then we got good rotation out of our outside linebacker's yesterday with [Willie] McGinest and [Roman] Phifer and [Mike] Vrabel. Really the inside linebacker situation we really haven't had all three guys healthy for very long this year, Ted Johnson, Bruschi and Bryan. It has been two of the three and they have been in different combinations. Unfortunately pretty much all of the way through training camp somebody has not been there. All three of them haven't been there together for very long where we have really had a three-man rotation going. A legitimate three-man rotation has been very short in the overall timeframe from the beginning of training camp until where we are now. It has been two of the three and whichever two it has been then those are the two that have been in there. That was basically the feeling in signing Cox when we brought him in here was to try and make sure that we had three guys there. I mean we were looking for three, but as it turned out we have only had two of the three, each guy has been affected by an injury.

Q: Any status change on Terry Glenn?

BB: No, again we got back late last night and I really haven't had a chance to sit down with the doctors and see exactly where we are going into this week.

Q: Was he close to going on the trip?

BB: No, no, not at all.

Q: What is your plan for Drew [Bledsoe] this week?

BB: Same as last week, same as last week. I think he will do about the same in practice. I doubt if it will be any more. It probably won't be much less, but I would say about the same and we will build on that. Then at whatever point the doctors give us the go ahead to up the activity then we will up it, but I think we are in another week of about the same activity that we had last week assuming there are no setbacks then he will be the third quarterback.

Q: The next step is contact?

BB: Well or just being in team situations. We don't encourage contact with the quarterback in team situations, but sometimes it does occur. A guy could fall or step into somebody, the back could go the wrong way and could have a collision with the quarterback, that kind of thing. Again, not that we are setting up a heavy contact drill, but sometimes it can occur. So until he's cleared and the doctors feel okay that if that were to happen that he would be all right to handle it then we really can't put him in that situation until we get that clearance. Again it's not that we are looking for contact, but there is a possibility that it could occur and I think that is where they want to be on the safe side.

Q: So it is probably a minimum of two weeks before you decide on which way you are going to go?

BB: With?

Q: With Drew?

BB: Really it is week to week, it is week to week. When the doctors say we can move ahead then we move ahead and at this point this week will be the same as last week so that's the way we are looking at it right now. I really couldn't tell you what November or December is going to bring or when they are going to clear him to move on or not move on.

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