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New England Patriots Postgame Quotes 1/9

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, Quarterback Mac Jones and select players comment on their 24-33 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, January 9, 2022.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, January 9, 2022

BB: Obviously played poorly, coached poorly, didn't do anything very well. So just too many -- too many mistakes, way too many so... We'll go look at the film, turn the page here and make some corrections and move on to next week. So that's really about it.

Q: Bill, right before halftime on that fourth and 1, was the play just to try to draw the other team off sides?

BB: It was another poorly executed play.

Q: Was there any thoughts of going for it there?

BB: The whole thing was poorly executed.

Q: Is there a common denominator there of some of these slow starts?

BB: I don't know. Not sure.

Q: Bill, on the fumbled snap, was there something with David that physically that had him -- or was that more rotation?

BB: A poorly executed play.

Q: Bill, from what you could tell, was Miami in some sort of trap coverage on Mac's pick?

BB: Cover 2.

Q: What would you like to see out of your team this week as you prepare for the playoffs?

BB: Well, we'll go back to work here, like I said, look at the game today and get ready for next week.

Q: Is there any positive to take away how the team battled back there in the fourth?

BB: It wasn't good enough today so -- leave it at that.

Q: How much did the factor that you needed some defensive backs with Kyle Dugger down and Myles and not available contribute to not having Kristian Wilkerson elevated after his performance last week?

BB: Didn't really have anything to do with it.

Q: What was the factor that led to him not being elevated after his performance last week?

BB: Yeah. You're only allowed two standard activations.

Q: Have you received any update on Isaiah Wynn or Christian Barmore?

BB: No.

Q: When Hunter was up here, he said you guys needed to get back to playing clean football. Is there a key to that that you see?

BB: Yeah. Playing clean football. Yeah. Doing it. We're not doing it now.

Q: You know the Bills. Have you started scouting the Bengals at all?

BB: It's what we normally do, Ben. There's people in the organization that work ahead and there's other people that work on this game and they move into it. So it's the same thing.

Q: On the penalty on the punt illegal formation, is that just the player lining up over the snap or illegally?

BB: What do you mean?

Q: What was the -- I was curious --

BB: Yeah.

Q: That's what the penalty was?

BB: Yep.

Q: The pass interference on Jalen Mills in the end zone, big play. Seemed like kind of a questionable penalty. You didn't seem to thrilled about it. How do you feel about the way some of those penalties were called today?

BB: Go talk to the officials.

Q: Do you feel like they've been calling DPI tighter this year?

BB: I don't know. Go talk to the officials. It's not my job.

Q: The Dophins' offense, what did they come out with that put stress on you on that first drive?

BB: Again, a lot of poor execution, poor execution, poor playing. All right. Thank you.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, January 9, 2022

Q: I know you're anxious to move forward, right? Put this one behind you and head towards the playoffs. What can you learn from a situation like this, Mac?

MJ: Yeah. I think we just need to execute better. And that starts with me in practice and in the game. You've got to go out there and do much better than we did today. And it's super embarrassing, honestly, just from my point how I played. Wasn't good enough. And I can be better. And it starts with me. I'm the quarterback. And that's my job is to make people around me have success. And it starts with me, so we'll get it fixed. I think, like you said, you know, you've got to watch the film and learn from it and realize how embarrassing it is to play that way. But, at the same time, we've got a great opportunity next week. And that's all you can ask for.

Q: Pretty hard on yourself, Mac. Obviously, that start (no microphone) -- take solace in kind of some of the later play or -- I mean, you seem pretty hard on yourself right now.

MJ: Yeah. I think we lost. And that's all that matters. And we put the other units in kind of a bad position with the way we played. You can't blame or point fingers on anybody besides me and the offense. And we know we can play better. And we have great players on our offense. We know that. That wasn't our best product in terms of execution. I think we definitely fought hard, but we're coming up short. So if we can combine the execution part and the effort together, I think the result will be a lot better.

Q: You used the word embarrassing. That's pretty strong. Is that more a collective thing in the last month or just today?

MJ: I think we can play better, and that's what it was. I feel like we got to put a better product out there, especially to win big games. And the team we played tonight was the better team. And they executed better than we did. There's nothing we can really do about it now. But I think at the same time, you can't feel sorry for yourself. You've got to move on and learn from your mistakes and take the positives and then look at the negatives too. You can't just brush the negatives under the rug.

Q: Mac, can you describe what happened on the fumbled snap and sort of what lead to Ted --

MJ: Yeah. I think it was just one of those things, something that happened. And he had to go in there. And our job is to -- I mean, I've been doing that since Pop Warner, just get the ball from the center. Doesn't matter who the center is. It wasn't Ted's fault. It's my fault. I've got to get the ball and hand it off to the running back. It's not like it was some giant play that required a bunch of things. So you never want those things to happen. But now we know during pre-practice we can get more work, you know, just get back to the fundamentals of it.

Q: I know you're close to Christian. Did you get a chance to see him after the game?

MJ: Yeah. I did. I saw him -- I'm not sure exactly what happened. But I just told him that I love him and I have his back no matter what. He's a great player, and he's been a great teammate to me at Alabama and obviously here too. He's really positive. And I hope he's okay.

Q: Mac, during the week -- (no microphone) -- setting the table getting things right here. The level of frustrations --

MJ: Yeah. I think it's frustrating. But, like I said, we just have to put a better execution out there. That's the game of football. It's a little bit of an emotional game, but it comes down to the Xs and Os and the execution. I can execute better. And I know everybody on offense feels that way. I'm sure the defense and special teams can speak for themselves. But we just have to come together as three units and put the better product on the field and not feel the way we felt about when we walked off the field, like that wasn't how we wanted to play the game. So that's really the moral of the story.

Q: What did you think you saw on the pick six before the play started?

MJ: I'm not going to get into logistics. I knew what coverage they were playing. I just didn't see the outside guy. And I threw it too wide, and it was my fault. But it's just cover 2. There's nothing to it. It's simple. And I got to read it out and do a better job getting the ball to the right guy.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, January 9, 2022

Q: Brandon, how would you sum up what happened here today?

BB: We lost. Simple as that.

Q: What do you think contributed to that?

BB: We'll have to go back and look at the film but we just -- ultimately, we didn't score enough points on offense. And we didn't execute as well as we should have on special teams. I can't say nothing about defense because that's -- it's above my pay grade, honestly.

Q: Brandon, what can you guys do to not have some of these slow starts on offense?

BB: Get back to fundamentals. Start fast. There's a lot we could do, but there's a lot we didn't do today. So we've got to go back, get back in the film room. And we've got to, you know, find the answer to all of your questions, honestly.

Q: On your second touchdown, you saw a flag thrown. And you almost went to your knees like you've got to be kidding me?

BB: Oh, yeah.

Q: Right. Feel that way?

BB: Yeah. Most definitely. There's a lot of penalties being thrown out there today. And to see one on a touchdown -- it could have been anybody's touchdown. I'm like, damn, another one. I'm sorry. I mean, another one.

Q: You didn't feel like you touched the punter?

BB: Most definitely. I did -- I went in there and I was -- I was trying to get the ball off of him, but I did not touch him at all. So, you know, that's just how it goes sometimes. Ball don't bounce your way every time. And, you know, they call what they call.

Q: But those guys with their headsets. I mean, you'd like to think that, hey, we see the review real quick, let's get the right call out there, the PIs, all that stuff?

BB: Right. In a perfect world. Yeah. But, you know, that's not what happened. So we've just got to play the game of football as it's being called. And we just didn't get that one.

Q: You're a special teams guy.

BB: Yeah.

Q: What is it on special teams this year that set you guys back a little bit?

BB: Again, that's another thing we're going to have to go back in the film room and try to figure out. I don't even have an answer for you on that one.

Q: The culture here is you guys want to be building towards something towards the end of the year. What is the frame of mind the way these last four games have gone?

BB: It's not over. There's no reason to lay down and take anything. We've got a lot to fight for. And I know, me personally, that's how I'm approaching it. That's how I'm going into next week as not finished done playing with the season. Going into next week, take it like it could be the last one, but I'm going to fight like hell to have more.

Q: Is there any commonality for you in these last couple of days in preparation, something that started the game -- (no microphone.)

BB: I couldn't tell you team wise. I approach every game the same way.

Q: Brandon, what did you see from Mac in the first half, obviously, when you guys were struggling and those last few drives when you go down and score?

BB: A hell of a football player. He didn't quit. He stayed in the game the entire time. And coming from -- coming from a young quarterback or a rookie quarterback, that's what you love to see. And it's easy to get up and play for a guy like that.

Q: Can you see any sort of silver lining in a loss like this or a loss like Indy where you guys fall behind but do come back and make is a one score late?

BB: Me personally, no. We still lost at the end of the day.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, January 9, 2022

Q: What's the confidence level of the team going into the playoffs right now?

HH: I mean, it will be good. I mean, we're going to learn from this and -- I mean, we didn't play our best today, you know, offensively. I mean, we just gave them too much. Obviously, gave them a touchdown. Turned the ball over in the red zone. Some crucial mistakes just offensively. But things that we can learn from, I felt like we finished strong too. We've just got to play consistently. But, yeah, I don't think we lost any confidence. We know what we have in there. We've just got to play clean football. That's the biggest thing.

Q: Is there anything you can pinpoint with some of these slow starts? Any common threads?

HH: I mean, we've had games where we started fast and we've had games where we don't. So kind of goes hand in hand. We've got to execute better earlier in the game. They came out ready to play, and we just didn't. Put yourself in a hole like we did. It's very tough. And so I mean, we've got to learn from it and just keep going. It's a new season. It really is. So everything is on the line now.

Q: You guys will go to two different places depending on what happens tonight. How much will you watch the game tonight?

HH: Honestly, I don't even know. I'm just going to -- whoever we line up against and play, I mean, that's who it is. I mean, it is what it is. We've just got to go out and take care of business.

Q: You still have a rookie quarterback, and he's still had a few early mistakes, but we saw those drives. Give me a little bit more impression.

HH: I mean, he's tough. He's resilient. Obviously, it shows a lot. He obviously didn't play his best early, had some crucial mistakes. I know he's going to learn from them and grow. He's young. But, still, just the resiliency of him. The toughness of him taking some shots today especially. He's a tough, tough dude. And I'm glad to have him as our quarterback.

Q: Anything different you saw from them in the first half (no microphone) --

HH: Yeah. They were definitely bringing some pressure, mixing up coverages, doing different things that we just weren't on to the best that we should have. I mean, we threw a ball into a good player, made a play. And, I mean, we had two turnovers like that, it crushes us. And we put ourselves in a hole. It's tough early on. It kind of changes sometimes what we've got to do.

Q: Earlier you said you've got play clean football and that's a key. What is the key to getting back to playing clean football?

HH: I think it starts in the week, focusing on it every single day, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Just reminding ourselves in practice. I think that's the biggest thing is going out there and executing in practice and just being conscious of it. I felt like we protected the ball better as a skill group. We gave them two in the first game fumbles. And then, you know, no fumbles today, you know, the mishandled snap and the pick but, you know, just being conscious, all of us, you know, where defenders are and protecting the ball.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, January 9, 2022

Q: Do you think your team is ready for the playoffs?

DM: Don't have a choice. Start next week.

Q: Is it harder to prepare for a team like Cincinnati? When you land tonight, you guys are probably going to know who you play based on the outcome. Is it harder to prepare for a team you haven't seen as opposed to a division opponent you've already played twice?

DM: Yeah. You've got to definitely do more work. Like I haven't seen, really. I haven't seen Cincinnati much at all. So, yeah, as a group, we really got to jump in. But I would say no matter who we play, it's that time of the year that you want to know as much as possible about your opponent, not take it for granted even though we played Buffalo twice towards the end of the season, you don't want to take that for granted either. So no matter who we play, we're fighting. Come to work the next day. You want to put everything into it because if you don't, that's it. You know, we have another performance like this, that's it. So I think as a group -- you know, everybody individually, you just want to put your all into it because there's no tomorrow.

Q: Devin, the culture that's in place here, you always want to be building something. In the way these three of the last four games have gone, how concerning is it?

DM: One, I would say culture doesn't matter. Each team, you are what you are. I say it every year. We always talk about what teams in the past have done. It's really irrelevant to the current team. You know, those teams in the past had different players. And I think we can't rely on that and bank on that. We talk about it all the time. Obviously, you want to be playing your best football. We haven't. So we've got to turn the page and we've got to have a good week of practice and rely on that because we don't have the three, four weeks in a row of good football to rely on. It hasn't been our best. But I think if we sit there and say we've got no shot because it hasn't been our best, then we might as well not even show up next week. We've just got to put our heads down, get to work and go out there and play our best football. We know each Sunday is a different opportunity, kind of any given Sunday. And I think that's how we've got to prepare no matter who we play and go out there and try to get a win.

Q: Devin, what is it about these Dolphins that have given you trouble over the years?

DM: I wouldn't even say the Dolphins. I mean, what did we lose, 3 out of the last 5? I would say it's been more us toward the end of the season. We haven't played well you know, no matter, really, who we've played. So it hasn't just been the Dolphins. Obviously, division opponent and we come down here and the record is what it is. But today we happened to be down in Miami. But the way we played, I don't think it matters if we would have played the Dolphins down here or played at home against anybody else. It just wasn't good.

Q: Any comment to some of these slow starts?

DM: Bad football. I would say it's always something else. You know, it hasn't been one thing. It's been a combination of bad football, a bad play here. And then instead of having one bad play and moving forward, we have to two good plays and another bad play. We let them score on defense, then we throw a pick 6. So it's just a bad combination of complementary football, bad football on both sides of the ball. And then you look up, and you're in a hole. And, you know, we fought, you know, these last couple weeks. And I think we know we have heart to come back and fight. We've given ourselves a chance to win. But you get in the playoffs, and you get down 17-zip, it's going to be a long day. Everybody's a good team. Everybody's fighting to work the next week. You're not going to be able to do that. So whatever it is, we've got to find a way to, no matter what happens, kind of move on to the next play and try to string good plays together instead of having good, bad, good, good, bad -- like we can't live like that.

Q: What do you see from their running game? They had 195 yards on the ground. What did you see what they were doing to have that success?

DM: We'll have to watch and see. The running game is always tough to know exactly what it was, like, as soon as the game ends. But a couple plays on the edge, the one to Johnson and then the quarterback scrambles hurt us too. So run game is always about consistency play after play. And we just fell short today


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, January 9, 2022

MS: So we'll have to dig deep and make a decision what does this mean to us. And I believe it's important to us. I believe we care about it. But the talking is not what's going to get it done. It's going to be execution and playing well whenever we play next.

Q: Do you think that's an issue that guys maybe don't want it?

MS: No. No. I'm not implying anything. I'm just saying.

Q: That slow start is something that Coach mentioned this week. He said it popped up at different times over the course of this season. Anything you can put your finger on that as to why that keeps popping up?

MS: I don't know. I think it's a number of things. I mean, certainly whether it's energy, focus, execution, you name it. We're not doing anything well enough early in the games to give ourselves a chance to get in a rhythm and remain competitive early on. And, obviously, it's tough playing from behind. And now the next team we play will be the best team we've seen all year. So if we do that, if we play like that, it will be really challenging for us.

Q: And those games with the bad starts, whether it was today, Buffalo or Indianapolis, you guys still fought the second half, even in the losses, those three losses. Do you take anything away in the way you sort of rallied to get back in the game?

MS: I think it says a lot about our character. We're not going to quit. You know as well as I do, this time of the year, going out there and competing until the end doesn't mean anything if you don't have more points than the other team. So we've taken some solace and some competitive efforts early on, but at this time of the year, all you care about is winning.

Q: The last part of the game there are crazy things. Why do crazy things always seem to happen?

MS: I mean, I don't know. I can't put my finger on it. I don't know. But we've got to flush it, and we've got to move on to next week.

Q: Matthew, is playing from behind particularly hard when you're asking a rookie quarterback to lead you guys?

MS: It's hard for anyone. Certainly, we don't want to put the offense and Mac in that position. But it doesn't matter if you got a quarterback that's been playing 30 years. You could have Dan Marino out there. It's still going to be tough for you to come back from 17 points on anyone.

Q: The illegal formation call on the punt, how disappointing was that?

MS: I mean, it's -- you make it so hard on the defense. They get a stop, we're getting the ball back. We go from that to giving the ball and then them taking more time off the clock and kicking a field goal. And we end up losing by a field goal. So stuff like that just kills you. It's disappointing, but we've got to get it fixed. We can't have that stuff keep happening.

Q: Is this as surprising as it is disappointing to you?

MS: I wouldn't say surprising. It's National Football League. Any team can beat any team. I always tell my 6-year-old, I say, any team can beat any team, son. I'm not surprised. It's more disappointing that we went out and started the game as poorly as we did and then, you know, just ran out of time at the end.

Q: Like you said, you've got to flush it, right, because as the leader of this football team, you can't be too far down?

MS: It's over with. We better leave this game here in my Miami, better leave it here. I mean, look, it's real now. We've got to go. So however sorry we feel for ourselves or however down we are about today's game, we've got to leave it here.

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