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Bill Belichick Transcript 9/8: 'We have to get back to work'

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media during a conference call on Monday, September 8, 2014.


BB:** I think after going through the film, it looks pretty much like I thought it looked yesterday after the game – just inconsistent in every area of the game. We had a few moments out there where we did things OK, but just not enough of them and too many where we didn't. I think it's a total – we had a 10-point lead at the half, so it wasn't like it was disaster from the beginning. But we just didn't do a good job all the way through. We have to get back to work. We all have to coach and play better and play smarter and be more disciplined and just do a better job at the things that we're doing. I don't think there's any magic wand. We're just going to have to work at it and improve.

Q: We saw both Jordan Devey and Ryan Wendell mixed and matched at different points in the game. What goes into the decision on when to make a change one way or the other there? Is it based on the situation or is it just a way of managing the number of plays for both guys?


BB:** Well, in this game we planned on playing all of our linemen, which we did. We used Cam [Fleming] in some of our personnel groupings as a tight end and we used four guys to play the three positions inside. We felt like they all had played well, deserved to play, so that's how we played them. I would say we didn't really have a lot of communication issues. We just had some fundamental and technique – we had more fundamental and technique breakdowns than we did just bad – an assortment of mental errors. That was true defensively as well. I don't think it was a game where there was a lot of missed assignments. It was more, I would say, a lack of execution of good fundamentals.

Q: You moved the ball fairly well in the first half. How much of that was related to the fact that you were put into second-and-short situations? What are your thoughts on getting away from that – obviously converting a third-and-long is not typically successful?

BB: No, that's right. Certainly third down is related to first and second down. We were fortunate in the first half to convert that third-and-10 when we were backed up, which ended up being part of the [94]-yard scoring drive. It's not a situation you want to be in. Our issues in the second half were penalties, which put us in some long-yardage situations. We had good field position in the fourth quarter, with the game certainly still in balance at that point, we had an interference call, we had a run called back on a holding penalty that, again, would have created those type of first downs or moving the ball opportunities and ended up in long-yardage. We ended up with – on a facemask penalty – third-and-19 or whatever it was. Yeah, third-and-long isn't where you want to be. That being said, we weren't very good converting the third down in medium situations, either. Our third down efficiency wasn't very good. I think four of our five conversions came on running plays, short-yardage plays or Shane's [Vereen] run there on the third-and-10 that I just referred to. [We] need more consistency from the running game, need more consistency from our passing game on the early downs. That's absolutely right. When we had our scoring drives, we really didn't get into a lot of third down situations. We made our yards on first and second down, which is definitely what you want to try to do. We just didn't do a very consistent job of it. When we did, we had penalties that negated them. All that needs to be fixed.


Q: Rob Ninkovich was off the field for quite a few snaps. Was that just a personnel decision or did he get banged up in the game? **

BB: We had some different personnel groups going into the game, but we weren't exactly sure what Miami would give us – what groups they would use and how that would match up with our personnel. The way it turned out yesterday, they were in a lot of multiple receiver sets, three wide personnel and sometimes with [Charles] Clay in there, which is really kind of like four wide. The number of snaps that he had was somewhat related to that.

Q: Did you feel that there would be no loss on the offensive line with all that mixing and matching because of the familiarity or did you feel like you lost something there, but gained something by mixing and matching?

BB: Again, this is the same question we talked about after the game yesterday. Our intention was to go down to Miami and really play everybody except for our backup quarterback. We wanted to play all of our players in every position, including the kicking game, to try to use our depth and nobody really has played a full game in preseason at any position. Being a one o'clock game in Miami and all that, obviously stamina and conditioning is going to be somewhat of a factor, although I didn't think it was a big factor in the game. But it's still a factor in terms of managing the game. We went down there with the idea of using all of our players and that's what we did. I don't know – we've done that pretty much all through the preseason and practice to tell you the truth. I don't think it was anything that we hadn't done before in any area – offensively or defensively or the way that we used our players in the kicking game. We just have to do a better job of what we're doing.


Q: You mentioned there weren't lot of mental errors. In terms of the offensive and defensive line, did you feel like you got pushed around a little bit? Is that based on technique issues? **

BB: We have to do a better job in the running game on both sides of the ball. I think we have to do a better job in the passing game on both sides of the ball. Probably a little bit of everything involved there.

Q: Going forward, do you see Bryan Stork factoring in at the center position? Could he bring some continuity into the line if Marcus Cannon and Dan Connolly stayed at guard?

BB: Bryan fell a little bit behind in training camp when he missed about three weeks there. If and when he shows that he's ready to play or plays better than the players that are in front of him, then he'll get an opportunity to play. Until he does that, the people that are in front of him will play more. That's the way it is at every position. Guys who have performed the best play the most. The guys who don't play as much need to perform in their opportunities better than the guys ahead of them in order to move up. That's the way it is at every spot on the team.

Q: After watching the film, how did you see Dominique Easley's play yesterday?

BB: I think there are a couple guys that didn't play much in preseason that played more yesterday and I think that being their first game action, there were some positive things, some things to build on, but also a long way to go and a lot of things that they can improve on. We all need to do that, but certainly the guys that haven't had a chance to play in the preseason games need to use this game as a game to build on now they've had game action and build on it for next week and the coming weeks.

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