HEAD COACH FRANK REICH
Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, November 6, 2022
FR: Injuries, Jelani Woods had a shoulder. Disappointed, it was a poor performance, especially on offense. You know, we'll go back. All we can do is – each person has to go back. Starting with me, right? That's what I said in the locker room. The offensive performance, that's why I was brought here. That's my responsibility. So we got the players. We've got the players that are plenty good enough. I have to do a better job. It starts with me on offense. I need to do a better job getting the guys ready to play, putting guys in a good position to win and having answers when we face problems. You know, I thought the defense played well. Special teams has been great all year. Obviously, had the blocked punt. That was a big play so maybe not the best day there. But overall for the year, special teams has been good. But, ultimately, all you can do is go back and look at each play, play-by-play. Obviously, I haven't seen film yet. Obviously, it's going to be hard to comment too much on the specifics. But offensively, it starts with me.
Q: Frank, you guys made the quarterback change. You fired Marcus Brady. Given what happened today on offense, do you still feel like those were the right moves to make?
FR: You know, every day you're trying to make the right decisions to get better. Every decision is what's best for the team. Those decisions can't get weighed in a day or a week. They have to get weighed over time.
Q: Frank, you do say that everyone gets evaluated after every game. So after a day like this, are you going to go back and look back at the quarterback position? Would you consider another guy there, either Matt Ryan or Nick Foles?
FR: Everything gets evaluated but to say would we look at anyone else, I can't say that right now. I have to go back and look. Like I said, it's hard for me to look at anybody else right now. I just felt like I've got to do a better job. I've got to do a better job.
Q: Where do you think specifically you can make a change right now? Where do you start?
FR: I – listen, my experience tells me – and I know this doesn't carry any weight out there, but you're never as far off as you think. I don't care what anybody says. I've been around too long. So you start play-by-play, coach-by-coach, player-by-player, trying to make the right decisions, trying to make the right adjustments, trying to find ways to get better.
Q: You fired the OC, you traded a running back, you bench your quarterback. It looked like today you didn't have any answers offensively. Does it feel like you're going to find those?
FR: I always believe we're going to find them. I mean, shoot, I've been doing this a long time. I've been through some rough seasons before as a player and as a coach. And I know, I believe, there's answers out there. I mean, that's why as coaches and players we do what we do. And you always have – the competitor in you knows that there's answers. The competitor in you knows that it's not that far off. So keep fighting and scratching.
Q: When you benched Matt Ryan, it was about the turnovers, right? And you're not getting turnovers now, which is certainly a fortunate thing. But you're also not putting the ball in play very much, being very aggressive. You can't win like that either. I mean, what's the lesser of two evils?
FR: Fair statement. And a true statement. We've got to do more on offense. And we got to do more on offense. And like I said, that starts with me. You know, we've made the moves that we made. Everybody's responsible. Everyone has their role to play. But, you know, I'm the leader of the offense. I'm the leader of the offense and that's my responsibility.
Q: Do you feel that the offense has regressed under Sam Ehlinger at all?
FR: I don't think I can say that. I mean, if we're going two games with Sam – you know, listen, you know who's going to come up – it's going to be hard coming up here in Foxborough against Bill Belichick and against this defense. You know, I certainly did not anticipate today. I really didn't. I mean, I was really anticipating good things. I think we all were. But I think that's why we're wired like we're wired. That's why we do what we do. Because we believe. We believe in what we're doing, we believe in who we're doing it with. And so we fight, we scratch, we claw. And sometimes it works out for you and sometimes it doesn't. But you keep fighting.
Q: Is it fair to say that your offense is going to go nowhere until the line starts to play better? Nine sacks, I mean, that's the most they've allowed before – I mean, since the year before you showed up.
FR: Yeah, I can't – I mean, I understand that's the big number. I got to look at it. You know, was I putting them in the right position? Are we giving them the work that they need to be ready for that? You know, was the ball coming out to the right place on time? Were the receivers – it's everything. I'm not going to put it on the O-line. You know, I've been in games where we had nine sacks before as a player and as a coach and then you turn it around. So I'm going to believe we can figure that out.
Q: Frank, where do you think you have gone wrong? Taking blame yourself, where do you think you've gone wrong this season?
FR: Yeah, I mean, you know, I think we're, what, nine games into it? It's not been pretty. It's hard right when you're in the middle of it, not going to give any big self-evaluation, you're always critiquing yourself week-by-week, play-by-play. But, you know, ultimately the offense, I'm the head coach. And so, we had higher expectations than where we're at right now. I don't want to stand up here and say, "we can still do it." Although we can – you know, we can and we've seen it, we've been a part of it. But I'm not too worried about that right now. I'm worried about doing my job better, which means trying to get this team ready.
Q: Frank, assuming that coming into the game, Matthew Judon was a focus. He had three sacks within three quarters. They were pressure sacks. And then a fourth if they didn't call a penalty. What was he able to do? How good is Judon?
FR: Yeah, he's a really good player. We had a lot of focus on him. We were trying to put the back to his side but they were running games with him. They beat us on some games. You know, they executed some games pretty well that we didn't execute on. He's a great player. Obviously, he leads the NFL in sacks. We knew that coming in. We had to try to get him a lot of attention coming in, chip him and slide to him when we could. But, obviously, we didn't do a good enough job.
Q: Do you think Will Fries has a significant role in the offensive line moving forward after his benching earlier this season?
FR: You know, I mean, we think Will Fries is a good player. And he had some struggles there early. And so, we've been talking about maybe rotating Will in because of what he's been doing in practice. So that was the decision, you know, that was made. Like I said, I always look to a lot of the position coaches to kind of handle that in-game rotation. So Strausser just kind of gave me the heads up that he was going to make that rotation and let Will play some. So we'll take a look at the tape and see how each of those guys played.
QUARTERBACK SAM EHLINGER
Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, November 6, 2022
Q: Sam, what were your general thoughts today? What did you see out there?
SE: I mean, that's an offense that's unacceptable. Our defense kept us in the game. And we didn't do anything out there to help them out. They were playing their tails off and couldn't get anything going in every phase.
Q: Sam, nine sacks, I think 80 passing yards, or something like that, three points. Have you ever been a part of an offense that has that much struggled to move the ball to score at any level, going back to high school?
SE: I mean, the NFL is a different beast. I don't know, it's a hard game. That's not an excuse. We've all got to get better, take ownership, find out what we want our identity to be and build and grow.
Q: What can you do better?
SE: A lot. I mean, everybody's going to look at the nine sacks and think, "Oh, that's on the offensive line." And it's on everybody. You know, route disciplines, route spacing. For me, getting the ball out on time, taking checkdowns when they're there, not holding on too long. I thought, you know, there were a handful of them that were on me. And it sucks because they're going to take the heat for that. But, you know, it's on everybody as an offense. When you're running the ball well, they don't know when you're going to be in a passing situation all the time. That helps them out. When you're on the right route disciplines, you're on the timing as a quarterback and the ball's coming out of your hand, the defense can't tee up. Yes, that's the stat that everybody's going to point at. But it's not representative of – it's not all on the offensive line.
Q: Do you think there's some instances where you can be more aggressive and just pull the trigger? I know we're mentioning turnovers and all that, do you think there were instances where, you know, you can let it fly?
SE: Well, I need to look back at the film. And you know there's some smart players over there. And absolutely. Got to pull the trigger. You know, you can't get timid. You can't start worrying about what's going to happen if you let it rip. You just got to let it rip. Especially in a game like that. So, yeah, absolutely.
Q: This is a hard game and Bill Belichick has a long track record of doing this to quarterbacks. Were there things that he was doing or the defense was doing that caught you guys off guard or that you just didn't anticipate until you were out there?
SE: No, I thought we did a good job upfront. They had a few wrinkles in their – upfront in their schemes and a few of their blitzes. But we did a good job adjusting and picking up twists. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary. We just didn't operate and do what we needed to do.
Q: Is there anything more that could have been done from the quarterback perspective or is it just, you know, a collective thing?
SE: Yeah, I think I can do a lot more. And I can do a lot more to help everybody; getting the ball out on time, getting the ball out of my hands quicker. We can do a better job of – I can do a better job, I guess. I think we were in the right calls, we were ID'd well. But I can definitely do a good job – a better job of getting the ball out.
PLAYERS IN THE LOCKER ROOM
Parris Campbell, Wide Receiver
(On not being able to convert on third down and what the Patriots did defensively)
"I think they did a good job of getting to the quarterback. It seems like they had tons of pressure and we just couldn't get into a rhythm."
(On where they go after their third loss in a row)
"There is nowhere to go but up. We can't get any worse. We have to keep practicing, studying film and getting better."
Brandon Facyson, Cornerback
(On the play of the defense)
"I thought collectively, as a unit, we played well today. It just wasn't enough. We have to find a way to do a little bit more. The score of the game didn't quite reflect how hard we played. We just have to get back to work and learn from our mistakes. I thought we played well as a defense. We have to find a way to do a little more and help the team. At the end of the day if we don't win then it doesn't really matter. No matter how good we play we have to go back to the film and the things we did do well, we have to do better. The things we didn't do well, we really have to do better. At the end of the day we have to keep fighting. Keep fighting for each other and keep fighting for the organization."
Stephon Gilmore, Cornerback
(On being back in the visitors' locker room)
"I think it was a year ago today that I got traded. It feels like I was just here, but it's part of the league, and you have to move on. It was a tough loss today. They have a good football team, and we didn't do enough to win."
(On the Patriots)
"They are well coached, they don't make mistakes. You got to beat them if you want to win. They have good talent. They wait on you to make mistakes and they did that today."
(On Mac Jones)
"He's a great player, making plays, great decision with the ball. He's a good player, he's going to get better each and every year."
Deon Jackson, Running Back
(On the offense)
"We have to execute better. We just have to execute. The game is over now. We have to look at the film and make corrections on the stuff we have to fix and just move on to the next week."
(On getting hurt)
"I just got banged up a little bit but I'm all good. It was a slight hyperextension but I'm alright. Just trying to tough it out. That's all I can say about it, just trying to tough it out."
Ryan Kelly, Center
(On his thoughts about the game)
"We missed assignments. The chances that we had, we were one guy away from a good run game. They are a good front seven, they pride themselves on stopping the run. The game got to the point where we were living in second-and-long, third-and-long and they knew we were passing the ball. We weren't able to put drives together and we hung our defense out to dry. It was as bad as I can ever remember."
(On Coach Reich taking responsibility for the loss in his post-game comments)
"He can't go out there and play the game. Everybody has a job in this league. It doesn't matter what your role is, you have to do your job. Certainly on offense, we didn't get it done collectively. We had times where guys were doing it and times where we had some momentum, but those were few and far between."
(On giving up nine sacks today)
"We'll look at film but nine is a lot. I'm not downplaying that, but it's not one guy getting beat every single time. Whether it's a coverage sack or there was some miscommunication and a guy didn't hear it. I thought we did a good job handling some things on third down, but our ability to run the ball has just been our Achilles' heel."
Quenton Nelson, Guard
(On the play of the offense)
"We have to protect better. We need to perform better offensively. I mean, going from week to week hearing the defensive players saying they have our backs. They've been holding teams to field goals and getting turnovers but we haven't helped them. We have to figure it out offensively and it starts with the film and holding each other accountable."
(On what he thinks the offense needs to do)
"We need to get into grooves and you can't have run plays going for one or two yards. We consistently have to get four or five yards a run. We have to get on our guys and moving them off the ball and finishing. We have to get back to some of that nastiness."
(On allowing nine sacks)
"I'll have to look at the film for sure. The offense is a team effort but we have to do our jobs better. We have to be communicating better and win our one on ones."
Kwity Paye, Defensive End
(On being back in New England)
"It's a dream come true being able to play in front of friends and family. I grew up here, it was cool seeing my mom. That was the first game seeing me play and seeing friends from back home. It was amazing. It meant everything to play in front of my mom. She was wearing her jersey she got on draft day."
(On his career day today)
"I was just trying to show off for my mom, just doing my thing, but we came up short. I was just trying to do my part and I try to make her happy every time I go out there. "
(On the frustration of playing well but not getting a win)
"It was weird. Throughout the game I kept telling the guys it felt weird, it doesn't feel like we're losing right now. We had a couple mistakes which put their offense in good field position. They kept capitalizing on their field goals and what not. So we just got to be better."
Michael Pittman Jr, Wide Receiver
(On not being able to get things going offensively)
"It's really tough to tell. I have to go back and take a look at the film to really see what happened. I really don't know what happened. I have to be better, I have to do whatever I can to help this team. I've got to do more."
(On early going of the game)
"The defense played lights out again. It's really tough because the defense is playing really great and we want to be there for them. Credit to our defense, they come out and play every single week, and we've just got to be better."
(On if the offense is getting closer or further away from being better)
"I like to think we are getting closer. It may not have reflected today, but we just got to keep working. It's no one person's fault, it kind of falls on everybody."
(On the frustration of the loss)
"Whenever we lose like that everyone is mad, right? So frustration doesn't help anything. So we got to find fixes to all of our problems. Just walking around being mad at everybody doesn't help. So I'm just going to do my best to keep a calm head and try to be the fix to it, and not create more problems. We just got to stick through it and keep pushing."
Jelani Woods, Tight End
(Asked if the Patriots defense did anything unexpected)
"No, not really. We just didn't execute our game plan. That gave us a hard time. We just have to look deep into the film and go through all the details of what's going on and try to correct it as fast as possible."
(On the ball on the sideline ruled incomplete)
"I don't know. I probably have to watch the film. I wish I would have (caught it inbounds)."
(On the problems with the Patriots pass rush)
"I honestly don't really know. Tomorrow morning we will have to watch film to see what was going on and try to correct it."