New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during his postgame press conference at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, September 7, 2008.
BB: It is always good to win on opening day. I am proud of our football team especially defensively. We had a tough year in the red area last year and to come up with four big plays around the five yard line at the end of the game, even though we are disappointed they got down there, but they did. I was really pleased the way our defense stepped up and played there at the end. We had some big plays throughout the game, kick-off return, 98-yard drive and some good plays on defense. I thought the team played well. I thought they stepped up against a good Kansas City team. [Kansas City is] a tough team and they tried to run the ball. They have some big receivers [and are] pretty good on defense. It was a tough, hard fought game that came down to a couple plays. I don't have any update on Tom [Brady]. They are looking at him [and] doing some tests on him, so we will see how that turns out. But I don't have any information on him. I doubt anybody is interested in that but just in case you were going to ask about it.
Q: Did you sense any emotional let down here today?
BB: I think everybody has to go out there and do their job. Regardless of who is playing any position, quarterback or anything else. Everyone has to try to do their job and that is what the team tried to do.
Q: What was your assessment of Matt Cassel's play?
BB: It was good. It could have been better, but I thought he handled the team well and made some accurate throws. I thought that was a big play coming off the goal line. He hit [Randy] Moss. That was right in front of me. I got a good look at that one. He made a great throw on that coming out of the end-zone. I thought overall, he threw the ball pretty well. He managed the team well. We didn't have a lot of misaligned plays and miscommunications. There is a lot of room for improvement but I thought he stepped in and did a good job.
Q: What did you see if anything on the play that Bernard Pollard hit [Tom] Brady on?
BB: I didn't see it. I saw [Randy] Moss catch it.
Q: What was your reaction as you look back at the other end of the field and see your quarterback down?
BB: You never want to see anybody on the ground. We will see what happens. I am not sure what we are dealing with yet.
Q: All we were told is it was his knee. Do you know anything more?
BB: No, I don't. I think it's his knee.
Q: You said, 'they are working on him [Tom Brady].' Can you expand on who 'they' are?
BB: Medical. I just got off the field. I went in [to the locker room], talked to the team and came in here. I am sure [it's] someone with a medical background.
Q: On the team rallying around Matt Cassel after Tom Brady left the game.
BB: I thought the team played well. I thought they played hard in all three phases of the game. We played hard in the kicking game, hard on defense and played tough on offense. It wasn't perfect. There were certainly a lot of things we could have done better but it was a little better than what Kansas City had and Kansas City fought hard. They took us right down to the last play. Being able to make that stop there and get the last three points, which was big on the field goal kick by Stephen [Gostkowski]. The offense put us in a position to get a seven-point lead. That was huge too. We made some big plays in the fourth quarter and I thought the team played hard today. We played a lot of people and I thought that was good too. I thought we showed that we had a little bit of depth and I am sure we will need that as we go.
Q: When the trainers were looking at Tom [Brady], were you contemplating a challenge on the fumble?
BB: Yes. I took a look at that play. I think the question was, did he give himself up and go down or whether he slipped and it looked like he slipped.
Q: When [Tom] Brady was down, you were thinking about taking a look at that play?
BB: Yes that was part of it.
Q: What did you see on the last play of Deltha O'Neil?
BB: Deltha had outside leverage on him and [Dwayne] Bowe released out into him. It was two guys fighting for the ball. I asked the official about it after the play, 'Did they push us or did we push them?' There was probably a little bit of both going on but it is two guys battling for position and going up for the ball. He didn't feel like there was any advantaged gained by either player so that's why there was no call.
Q: Is that something you expected out of Deltha [O'Neil] when you signed him?
BB: Yes. He is an experienced corner. He has played in a lot of big games. He has been out there against a lot of good receivers in the course of his career and has done plenty of damage against us too. It is good to have him on our side.