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Bill Belichick Transcript: 'Players played hard and I think they deserved the win'

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media following the team's Week 11 game against the Indianapolis Colts.


Opening Statement:**
"That was a good win for our team today. I was really proud of our offensive line and the running game. I thought those guys did a really good job at controlling the line of scrimmage and really helped the game get under control, but overall a good solid team effort. Two weeks gave us a little more time to prepare for this one as well as the Colts did. I thought our guys really worked hard in their preparation and really came out here and we limited a couple of mistakes that we made, when we did make those, I felt that we did a really good job at trying to play the game the way that we wanted to play it, so hats off to the offensive line and the tight ends, (James) Develin, Jonas (Gray), those guys blocked well, ran well. Rob (Gronkowski) had a great run there, Julian (Edelman) had a great block and we did a good job at our run defense, those guys up front, the defensive linebackers did a nice job too making it more of a dimensional game. A lot of things the Colts are able to do here this year, fortunately they weren't able to do them tonight so what our guys did, players played hard and I think they deserved the win."

You're always talking about players making the most of opportunities they have. Jonas Gray seems to be grinding it out like he should be grinding it out?
"Yeah absolutely, and he did that for us in preseason. He does it for us every day out there on the practice field and works hard. I thought he ran hard tonight, real hard."


You guys ran the ball late last year, is that carrying over this year?**
"Well it's working and you can't keep working those runs when you're only getting a yard so if you're handing the ball off and making yards then we will keep calling them. If you're not, same thing throwing the ball and you're hitting them and gaining yards then you keep throwing it, but we aren't just going to run it, just to run it and gain nothing. We had a lot of good plays today; I thought Cam did a good job, (Michael) Hoomanawanui, Cam, and Rob (Gronkowski) played tight end on the edge along with those inside guys, (Nate) Solder and (Dan) Connolly, (Ryan) Wendell, Sebastian (Vollmer), those guys did a good job. James Develin did a great job at a lot of those lead blocks with power plays and some of those edge plays. It's a good team effort and you have to block them all. It's not only one guy so it was good execution from our entire team and the coaching staff did a great job at putting a good plan together, plays complemented each other and we were able to keep them off balance."

Did you go into the bye week addressing the running game and make it a point of emphasis?
"We really looked at everything. We try to look at everything in that period of time. The offense, the defense, special teams, running game, passing game, all the situations. We tried to look over everything and make it better. We got rid of some things that weren't as productive as we thought they would have been when we put them in and moved on to emphasize some things that we thought we feel were better for us and will be better for us in this game, hopefully in the second half of the season and see how it goes. Once again, I think the coaches did a good job and the players, during that Wednesday practice and Tuesday meeting really embraced what it's like to play us and what we do well and what we don't do well, what we need to do better for a team to play us and hopefully improved on some of those things."


What stood out to you about Jonas Gray as you worked with him?**
"Just like what we saw at Notre Dame. He's just a smart, hard-working kid. He's got good power. He runs hard. His game is what we saw tonight. That's what it was in college, and we talked to Coach Kelly and some of the other players at Notre Dame that we had on our team or that were familiar with Jonas and they all kind of said the same thing. That's just what we saw. But he works hard every day. It's not any one thing or one great epiphany. It's just something that he comes to work every day, does his thing and gets better. Things he needs to work on, things the coach thinks he needs to improve on, splits his pickoff, his assignments in the passing game, his reads in the running game, and he's gotten a lot better at those."

You get to the end of camp, there's always tough decisions to be made and you can only have 53 guys, how tough was it at the end of camp? You might lose him there.
"Yeah because he was productive in preseason. We talked about that long and hard. We really talked about bringing him up on the roster several weeks before. We did, even after the Buffalo game when he came up, but I had several conversations with him in previous weeks telling him, 'You know that you're close. We want to try and get you on the roster right now but we have a couple of other issues that we have to deal with.' I think that we all felt as a coaching staff that he would be playing for us at some point this year at that final cut. Obviously we didn't want to expose him, but we did what we felt was best."


Rob Gronkowski has always been a very physical player. The last couple of weeks has he got more physical or have the plays he's got involved in been more physical?**
"Well, I think that Rob has always been obviously a great player and does a lot of things well, but I think he has the determination when he has the ball in his hands that he's going to have to make guys work harder at tackling. He's not going to go down easy, he's not going to go out of bounds and he's going to make them put more on the ground. He's taken a real aggressive attitude toward that and he's been a hard guy to tackle."

What's the explanation on the kick? It seemed like the ball was going to die inside the five-yard line, the game was 28-10 at the point.
"The impetus of the kick is what put it into the end zone."

It looked like the Colts pushed it in.
"Right. Well, the explanation was that it was still the impetus. I understand what you're saying. I asked the same question, but the explanation was that the impetus of the kick was still eventually what drove the ball into the end zone."

Is there a confidence when you score first?
"I don't know. I don't think, we try to score every time we go out there. If we score first, great. There's going to be a lot of possessions after that. There's a lot of football left. That's not enough to win a game or not win a game, but it certainly helps. You always want to try and score first and play from ahead. No question about that. We always try to do that."

Where did that interception toward the end of the first half that was kind of an uncharacteristic throw by Tom Brady come from?
"Well, obviously we had two turnovers in the first half and that's not being productive at all there. Maybe have fewer penalties with fewer turnovers that had penalties on them. Punt returns, we had two turnovers. We need to do a better job of that."

The challenge, how much was that maybe to just slow things down a little bit?
"A little bit of both. It looked like a good catch, but it was a really close play. And that's what they said up in the booth, he's probably in, but it's really close. At that point it didn't look like we'd be the one to stop the clock a lot in the rest of the game. It did slow things down a little bit, gave us a chance to talk about our red area defense. Obviously when (Dwayne) Allen went out of the game, then all of the matchups and everything that we had gone into the game with changed a little bit. So (Jack) Doyle and (Coby) Fleener and not Allen, so some of our things in our red area didn't let us get a chance to get that right. We were not taking the time out there anyways."

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