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Bill Belichick Transcript: 'They do a lot of good things offensively'

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media on Monday, December 1st, 2014.


Q:** Curious the morning after, from your perspective – I know it wasn't the result you wanted, but how much do you maybe appreciate how that game went in terms of the high level of play and the chess match between the two coaching staffs?

BB: Yeah, I think I talked about it after the game and I probably feel pretty much the same way. Obviously they're a very good team, they're well coached, they do a lot of things well. We were close on a lot of plays throughout the course of the game. [We] had some chances there at the end, but the result was they made a few more plays and coached and played a little better than we did and we give them credit for that. They did a good job. Things we needed to have done better to win last night, we just weren't able to do them all the way across the board.

Q: On the play just before halftime on the touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson – what was the play call? Was it a blitz? Was there anything they drew up that might have taken Devin McCourty's attention somewhere else? He had mentioned he could have taken a better angle. Did they just make a really good play and a couple of little things went wrong for you guys?

BB: Obviously they went wrong. We don't have any plays where we give up long touchdown passes. That's not really the design of any play we have. We just have to play and coach a little bit better. There's not a lot of margin for error against a team like that with the players that they have and the schemes that they have. We just didn't quite do it well enough and they made us pay for it, so we just have to do a better job.

Q: On the pass rush and the way that Aaron Rodgers can dissect the defense if he's allowed to move out from one side or the other…Even though he had a long time to throw – at one point almost 12 seconds – when you're in close like that in the red zone and you finally have to throw it away as he did, is that kind of the goal of it when a guy is that mobile and dangerous when he rolls and moves?


BB:** Well, again, they do a lot of good things offensively. They're a hard team to defend. Their receivers are a challenge. The running game is a challenge. The offensive line and the quarterbacks are a challenge. You've got to defend all of them. Some plays are not going to turn out quite the way you want them to defensively, wherever you play them – and that's true of every team that's played them that we've watched. That was true last night. I thought we made some plays. In the red area we certainly had a number of times where we were able to keep them out of the end zone, but they're hard to defend. There were times where we had pressure on them; there were times where we didn't. There were times we had their receivers covered; there were times where we didn't. There were times we stopped the running game and there were times that we didn't. It's a battle against that team. We had some moments that were good and then they had some that were good.

Q: Early in the game it looked like we saw some of those six offensive linemen packages with Marcus Cannon in the game, but obviously Green Bay got out to a big lead. Did the score dictate a change on that and you guys deciding to go away from that a little or did you maybe just not like how that package was performing when you did choose to go to it?

BB: I think we had a lot of opportunities to move the ball in the game. We missed a third-and-one early in the game. We came up on a fourth-and-one just short of the first down early in the game. We had a penalty to start the third quarter, so we ended up with some short drives which limited the number of plays that we ran. Offensively and defensively we weren't able to convert on third down as effectively as we needed to, which gave them extra plays, so you can probably say there were a lot of things offensively that we didn't do as much of as we wanted to because we didn't have the ball as much as we would have liked to have had it. That's a combination of our fault and their good play. Had we converted more third downs or had we been able to get more first downs whenever we converted them, whether it's on third down or on second down, then we would have had more plays and we would have been able to run more of everything. If we would have been able to get a few more third down stops, force some punts, instead of long drives and red area stops and field goals, that would have given us more plays and more time of possession and made them play defense longer, but it was one of the main areas of the game that we didn't control well enough. They did a good job of that, so yeah, you can look at every group and everything that we did and say 'Could we have done more of this?' and if we had the ball more and had more plays, we probably would have done more of it, but we didn't.

Q: When it came to your red zone defense on Sunday, other than maybe just simple execution, what were some of the commonalities in each one of those instances that allowed you guys to have that success each time the Packers got inside the 20-yard line?

BB: I don't know. It's always harder in the red area. It's less space. You've got the same number of guys; you've just got less space. [You're] just battling for every inch you can down there in the running game and the passing game. We were able to make a few plays. They took some shots in the end zone, hit a couple of them, missed a few of them. We ran into trouble down there too at the end. That's what the red area is: it's a lot of very highly contested plays with very little margin for error either way. Offense doesn't need much space and defense doesn't have much territory to defend and it's all just a little bit tighter down there. So you need really good execution on both sides of the ball to be successful. It's just really a game of inches down there. It's tight. We made a few; they made a few. It's probably the way it's going to be most weeks in the NFL – it's going to be real competitive and tight down there.


Q:** I'm curious about two specific plays after you got a chance to look at them. The first was the third-and-12 conversion for Randall Cobb in the second quarter when he sort of fought through I think Kyle Arrington, Jamie Collins and Patrick Chung in the area and it was really close. I was curious if there was any thought of challenging the spot? I know you guys ended up holding so it didn't end up being a big deal there, but I'm curious what you saw there. The second was the Aaron Rodgers scramble in the first quarter on the second-and-18 where it looked like Chris Jones sort of peeled out with an offensive lineman and looked like he was downfield almost diagnosing screens. I'm curious what you saw on that play from your perspective.

BB: On the scramble play, yeah that's pretty much exactly what happened. Chris made a real good read on the screen pass and he went out and had that covered. When the Packers run their screens, they run usually a pattern that goes with it, so a lot of times he'll throw the ball to the pattern and not even throw the screen, so Nelson was running a crossing route and Jamie Collins saw him coming, he went over and knocked him down, which was a good play, but as he kind of went to knock Nelson down, Chris went out to take the screen and Rodgers, as he's very good at, saw some space in the defense there and was able to pull the ball down quickly, get through the line, and the rest of our pass rush wasn't able to react quickly enough. We kind of lost a second level player there with Jamie jamming the crossing route. And it was really a pretty good play by us but it was a better play by Rodgers to see all that happened and just be able to split the defense quickly. And of course he's very athletic and turned a play that probably would have been a no-gain or incomplete pass type of play for them into a – whatever he gained, 15 yards or whatever it was. So those are the kind of plays that he makes that make him hard to defend. We just have to do a better job with our overall rush lane and integrity. But a screen pass like that, it's a hard – you know, we're trying to defend the play that they're running and he just was able to, with his great ability and vision, make something out of it. The other play was a close play. We didn't play it quite well enough and Cobb got the first down.

Q: Their defensive lineman Mike Daniels was a player for Green Bay that we didn't really ask you about leading up to the game but it seemed like he had a big impact on the game. What made him a difficult player to account for? And then was there any thought from the coaching staff to go for it on that fourth down at the end of the game?

BB: No.

Q: On Mike Daniels?

BB: They have an active front. [Letroy] Guion, Daniels, obviously [Julius] Peppers, [Clay] Matthews, [Mike] Neal, all those guys; blitz combinations and all of that. They have a lot of different people rushing, especially in their sub defenses when they get to nickel and some dime odd and their blitz zone schemes on third down. They have several different personnel combinations and within that they have different rush combinations and so forth. Yeah, I mean, they have a lot of athletic guys there that are – none of them are easy to block. Again, the scheme creates different combinations and so forth. They got us a couple times yesterday. We blocked them most of the time, but they got us a few times.

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