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Bill Belichick Press Conference

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick talks to the press about their win over the Saints, 34-17 in Foxboro.To read the full transcript, click below.



BB: Well first things first I just want to wish my son Brian a Happy Birthday. I'll tell you that was...I told the players I thought that was really a tremendous win today. I thought that they really played probably their best football game of the year today as a team. Charlie [Weis] and the offensive coaches did a real good job of moving the ball and getting it in the end zone. We had good running and a lot of production by everybody on the offensive side of the ball. I thought the offensive line really did an admirable job against a good front. That was a good win defensively. We made a lot of plays, played well in the first half, gave up a little bit in the second half, but hung in there. You know it was just tough chasing that guy around for four quarters. It seemed like they went basically no-huddle the whole second half. We had to chase him for a half and it was tough, but those guys did a good job. We made a few plays when we needed to. I just think it was a real good job by our team of bouncing back after the St. Louis game and coming in here and being ready to go against a real good football team. They are well coached and they have a lot of good players and we had to play well to beat them. I thought that this was probably our best overall game.

Q: I know the score often dictates a team's game plan, but were you at all surprised that they didn't stick with [Ricky] Williams throughout the game and try to pound it a little bit more?

BB: Well I don't know. They were down, they were down by 20 points and they had the wind there in the third quarter. I elected to give them the wind in the third quarter so we would have it in the fourth, what there was of it. It was kind of on and off. So it didn't really surprise me that they tried to hurry up and get in the plays while they had it in the third quarter and then the fourth quarter they were down by two or three scores at various times. So I am sure that they would have liked to run Ricky in there more, but sometimes the score takes it away from you. It would be hard for me to second-guess what they did. I think in a comparable situation you would have to consider that.

Q: It has been a tough couple of weeks for Tom [Brady] with all the quarterback controversy swirling around were you surprised that he sort of answered the bell tonight the way he did, probably playing his best game?

BB: Yeah I thought Tom played well. Tom's had a good week in practice. A lot of the plays that he hit in the game were very similar to the way they hit in practice. Sometimes it just works out that way. Tom has done a pretty good job. This is nine weeks; he has done a pretty good job every week. Not perfect, but pretty good. We had three or four touchdowns today, whatever it was and I thought that throw at the end of the half was really a heck of a throw. I mean if we don't get that in I am not sure if we get anything there. That was a big time throw to make sure that CJ [Charles Johnson] was in the end zone on the catch. I thought he did a good job and Tom has been doing a good job for us so I am not that surprised that he played well.

Q: It seemed that you were able to use their own aggressiveness on defense against them time and time again, was that the idea going into the game?

BB: They tried to pressure us quite a bit, particularly early in the game. They played a lot of man coverage and we were able to isolate some receivers and then Antowain [Smith] split a couple of runs when they were all packed up in there. If you could ever break through the line then you can get some extra yardage and that is what happened, but that's the way New Orleans plays. They play aggressively; they bring their front four and then usually another linebacker or two and mix it up and try to keep you off-balance. They pretty much have done what they have been successful doing and we were just fortunate that we were able to take advantage of it. Really I thought two of the biggest plays in the game were on that second and 17 before the half when Antowain ran it out of there and got the first down. That enabled us to go into the two-minute drive those were…I thought that they were decently blocked up front, but he ran hard and got some extra yards that we needed. I thought that he was really the spark on that drive as much as anything and overall the offensive line did a pretty good job of run blocking.

Q: Your pressure didn't get to [Aaron] Brooks per say, but it did, as you said, chase him all over the field, how responsible was that for basically taking him out of what he wanted to do?

BB: We tried to mix it up. We pressured him some, but we also tried to cover and he had a couple of big plays on us and he beat us on a couple of scrambles, but we were able to disrupt him a little bit. I wouldn't say we exactly shut him down, but we were able to do enough to keep him off-balance a little bit, but he is tough, he's tough. He has got a big arm. He's athletic. He's accurate. Their receivers made a couple of threatening catches. Both of them were right in front of us there on the sideline. I don't know how they came down with those balls, but they were excellent plays on their part. You just have to give him credit. He is tough to handle. We tried to keep him off-balance, but he made his share of plays.

Q: You guys didn't seem distracted at all by any of the events last week, has it been tough to deal with al of the changes?

BB: Again, there really haven't been a lot of changes. I am not really sure…Tom started last week against St. Louis and he started this week against New Orleans and he is probably going to start next week against the Jets so I am not sure really what the big change is and what the events have been. That is the way it was, that's the way it is going to be and I think it is pretty clear cut.

Q: David Patten besides being effective catching the ball he also seems effective in getting a lot of pass interference calls, is there anything to that, he seems to get a lot of attention from the referees?

BB: Well I think he has a lot of speed. He got on top of the (defender). I thought Tom made a real good decision on that third…I think it was about third and six, third and seven, somewhere in there. We were really trying to pick up the first down. We had a lead and [Fred] Weary came up and pressed Patten and David got on top of him and let it go. Really that is what we had talked about is in third down when they try to come up and really challenge the sticks, but sooner or later we are going to have to try to throw one up on them. I thought it was a good decision and a good throw and it looked to me like Leary just ran him right out of bounds. But he has got a lot of speed and he can get on top of guys in press coverage.


BB: Oh sure we were very concerned about the Saints running game and Ricky, I don't know, I think he is leading the league or the NFC in all-purpose yardage or whatever it is. He has put up a lot of big numbers and he is a tough runner. I think really that Tedy Bruschi is a little bit of an unsung guy. The last couple of weeks he stepped in there for Ted [Johnson] and Bryan [Cox] and really played well in the middle both in the run and the pass and made a couple of plays last week. I think he has done a nice job and we played a little bit more four-man line with Richard [Seymour] and Brandon [Mitchell], [David] Nugent, Riddick [Parker]. All of those guys have rotated in there along with [Anthony] Pleasant, [Bobby] Hamilton and [Willie] McGinest. So I think you just have to give credit to everybody. They stepped up and [Roman] Phifer and [Mike] Vrabel have given us good play at the outside spots. So overall it has just been a good team effort, but there is no question that at this time of year you are going to lose a guy or two and somebody is going to have to step up and make those plays when a guy is out, but in the middle linebacker position Tedy has really done a nice job the last couple of weeks switching over from the weakside spot.


BB: Well we played more of a four-man line. Before we were playing with Bruschi and Cox or Bruschi and Ted Johnson in the middle with some odd looks where we had the guards uncovered. Now we have basically put a defensive lineman in there to replace one of those linebackers and Bruschi played the middle, he just slid over. So really one of those defensive linemen ended up taking either Ted or Bryan's spot, however you want to look at it.


BB: Well actually we have been doing that all the way through, we really have. We played a little bit of that look early in the year even against the Jets and Miami some, not that it was real effective against Miami, but we used it there and we mixed it in there. It has been in place there from time to time. We have gotten a little more action on it the last couple of weeks because of the lack of our depth at middle linebacker. But again I would say that even though Bruschi is playing on regular downs, he is playing some on third down, he is on the punt team, he is one the kickoff return team, you just can't say enough about Tedy. That kid is just a football player. You put him out there and he just plays good no matter what you ask him to do. He would probably play on offense if we needed him

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