HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
Thursday, October 10, 2019
BB: Once again, I'm really proud of our football team. These guys came in after the Washington game, put a lot into it this week in terms of preparation and film study and went out and played hard tonight. We dealt with a few things offensively. We were just kind of down to one grouping there the whole second half. I thought Josh [McDaniels] and the offensive staff did a great job of managing the game. It was kind of an odd game. Anytime you get three scores in a game that are non-offensive touchdowns, that's kind of a season's worth and it all happened in one game. A couple of big plays for us on the blocked punt, on the fumble, scoop-and-score by Kyle [Van Noy]. Those are great plays and we took advantage of those opportunities, had some turnovers. I thought we played the ball well and got our hands on some balls. That was good, too. Offensively, those guys showed a lot of toughness out there today and just battled through the situation that we ended up being in. It was a really good job by those guys and by the offensive coaches.
Q: What have you seen from Brandon Bolden that's allowed him to play a bigger role in the offense than we're used to seeing from him?
BB: Yeah, Brandon is a talented guy. He can play on all four downs and play well. We're very fortunate to have him. He gives us great depth and is just another good football player to put on the field.
Q: Was your defensive depth put to the test tonight after all of the injury announcements and how hard is it to coordinate the defense with so many players coming in and out of the game?
BB: Yeah, we dealt with some things offensively that limited our personnel groups. Defensively, yeah, there were some guys in and out as well. Yeah, again, our depth helped us in that situation and the coaches did a good job, players did an excellent job of managing those groups with different people subbing in for them. That's football. Things like that happen. You just have to be able to adjust to it. But our players do a great job of just working with whoever's in there and making sure we get the communication and the assignments right. Sometimes it's a little tricky, like, "Who are you? Are you this guy, that guy or that guy?" But they do a good job of sorting it out so that there's no confusion. I don't really think we had any assignment problems out there today. I'm sure we'll look at the film technique-wise and there's some things we can do better, but I don't think we had any assignment problems so that's a good thing, especially against an offense like the Giants that gives you a lot of different looks.
Q: Can you talk about Stephon Gilmore's play tonight?
BB: Yeah, Steph, he does it every day in practice and does it on Sundays. He does such a great job playing the ball and had some good breaks. That last play down the sideline was a really good finish where the receiver had the ball and he got it on the way down, but he had some great pass breakups. I mean, look, he's a very talented player and works extremely hard to prepare for the game, study his opponents and study the passing game that our opponents are going to run. This is a good example here on a short week of how diligent he works and it paid off. He's done a great job for us.
Q: How would you describe the wind and the factor that it played in the game tonight? Also, on the opening drive on fourth-and-1, was there any thought to challenging the spot of the ball on that play?
BB: No, it looked like it was alright. Yeah, the wind, it was a factor. I'd say we've played in worse, but it was definitely a factor in the game. It really, I don't know how much it favored either direction. Maybe a little bit towards the closed end, but mostly it was towards our bench so kind of the opposite of the Jets game, so it was really more of a side wind than it was a wind that really helped, because we touched back both ways and they hit the balls well both ways, too, so I don't think that was – it was really just pushing the ball over towards our sideline in the kicking game. In the passing game, I don't think it had a big effect on the passing game. Maybe on a couple of long balls but I don't think anything intermediate or short. Not that big of a factor. It certainly could've been a lot worse.
Q: Does the continued effort to run the ball, even if you're not particularly having success with it, come from the standpoint of trying to establish the run in order to be able to set up bigger plays such as play-action throughout the game?
BB: Yeah, well, look, not every play's going to be a 20-yard gain. Sometimes you run runs and you don't gain anything, but when you look at the play you feel like you're close. If we could've just done this a little better or done that a little better, we would've had a solid play. I think as long as you feel like that you're willing to stick with it. Like I said, every play doesn't have to go for 10 or 15 yards. You can feel good about the running game sometimes even if you don't have a lot of production on it. If you feel like you've just got to do a couple of things, do one thing maybe a little bit better on that play or you may have ran it and gotten a bad look and the next time if you get the right look or a better look than what you're anticipating, then it might be better. Each one of those is a little bit different but that's part of it as well. Look, in the end though, you have to produce, so if you're not getting production out of it, I mean, you can't keep doing something forever that's not working. Again, sometimes it doesn't work but you're still encouraged or there's enough reason to continue to do it. I think that was the case tonight. There was times where we felt like we should've gained more than what we did. We talked about it, got it worked out and later on we had some better plays with some of the same plays we ran earlier.
Q: How much can a play like the blocked punt on special teams spark your team?
BB: Yeah, a lot. Again, any of those defensive or special teams touchdowns are really kind of bonus points. You don't really think about getting those when you go into the game so to be able to get 14 of them was huge. That was a big spark. Again, give the Giants credit. They battled back and they hit us on a big play and then they got a scoop-and-score and got back into the game as well. We've got to avoid giving those kind of big plays up to offset the ones that we make. In the end, we made enough plays in the second half to come out on top.
QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY
Thursday, October 10, 2019
Q: How would you describe tonight’s win?
TB: How do I describe it? Happy we won. Happy to get to 6-0. Yeah, we just grinded it out pretty good. Got kind of forced into one grouping there in the second half. I don’t think that’s ever happened in 20 years, but defense played great, special teams played great. Outside of a few plays, it would have been pretty good. So, we’re hanging in there.
Q: Can you describe what happened on the interception?
TB: Bad decision. It was a bad decision, trying to squeeze it in there.
Q: You already have 1,000 yards rushing on your resume. Are you going to add goal-line ‘back to that after your two scores tonight?
TB: I know. We were low on some bodies and had some opportunity there, so tried to just get it in.
Q: When you are forced into one grouping, what is your mindset? We saw you hit rookies Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski, but what is your mindset when you’re limited like that?
TB: I thought guys just kind of refocused. It’s a short week anyway, so there was kind of a lot of – we didn’t have real practices but a lot of walkthroughs, and then you’ve just got to make adjustments. So, guys kind of just filled in. We knew weren’t going to have Phillip [Dorsett] tonight after whatever, yesterday or two days ago, and then Josh [Gordon] got hurt. So, yeah, just dealing with kind of what everyone else deals with this time of year, a lot of injuries and attrition and so forth. So, it was good to win.
Q: Might it bode well or build some confidence for those younger players down the road to have to come through like they did tonight?
TB: Yeah, I hope so. Yeah, for sure. I mean, anytime you can get in there and play – you know, they made some really good plays, so happy with what they did. That was great contributions and real happy for those guys.
Q: You’ve talked in the past about how difficult it is for first-year wide receivers to learn this playbook. How do you see those guys coming along on a day-to-day basis?
TB: Yeah, they’re working hard at it, and I appreciate all their efforts. When you’re a young player – I mean, I always said when I was young, I just was trying to be on time and not forget my playbook anywhere. These guys are kind of in a different role than that. They’re playing in games and contributing. So, again, I’m happy for those guys to come in there and help us win a game. That’s what we needed. Anyone who’s on the active roster has to be ready to go. So, it was just good for those guys to catch some balls and gain some confidence.
Q: Was the wind affecting passes much tonight?
TB: Not for me, no. I mean, yeah, a couple, I think. There was a few directions where it affected more than others, so yes.
Q: What’s your assessment of where you guys are as an offense right now? Do you think it’s been good enough?
TB: We’ll see. We’re 6-0, so try to get to 7-0.
DEFENSIVE BACK DEVIN McCOURTY
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
Thursday, October 10, 2019
Q: Do you guys expect to keep making these turnovers every week?
DM: I mean, we talk about turning the ball over. I think I keep saying it’s a whole defensive effort. It’s pressure, it’s disguise, it’s guys when the ball is thrown to them, catching it. And I think that’s something we know we have to do as a defense. It makes us a better team. Tonight we did a good job of taking advantage of our opportunities that came up.
Q: Golden Tate walked into the end zone for a touchdown in the first half. Did seeing that give your defense some motivation to come out stronger in the second half?
DM: No, I mean, we gave up a play but I think the good thing about having experience on our defensive unit is we know if we give up a play, it’s one play. Let’s focus on what’s coming next and I think that’s what we did a good job of. They made one big play and just making sure we didn’t give up any other big plays and locking back in on what we need to do.
Q: What challenges arose on defense tonight given the injuries during the game and also trying to coordinate the defense on a short week?
DM: I think that’s where our depth showed up. When you get short weeks like this, it’s a lot of walkthroughs, it’s a lot of meeting time. Especially with this game, we weren’t 100 percent sure what they would do because all year they’ve had a lot of guys missing that were a big part of their offense. I think that’s a good thing about our team, how it goes down. Jamie [Collins Sr.] took over the huddle, [Ja’Whaun] Bentley comes in, like all of those guys have played a lot of football for us, so we don’t really miss a beat, but it’s tough. We’ve got guys in there that have played a lot of football for us but each guy knows when something happens, you’ve got to step up and be ready to go.
Q: The fumble recovery by Kyle Van Noy, it looked like a Giants offensive lineman had the opportunity to recover the ball and you punched it out. Can you describe that play but also the concept of this defense which seems to employ getting a lot of bodies to the ball so that when a turnover is created, a big play can be made?
DM: Yeah, that’s a part of turnovers. It’s not always a great interception. It’s guys flying around. They throw a screen, me and Jamie get to the guy first, Jamie forces the fumble, I try to get on the ball, we all dive for it, punch the ball forward. There’s like four guys on our defense running to the ball. KV [Kyle Van Noy] gets a scoop and a score. I think you saw that all night starting off with Steph [Gilmore] making a good defensive play, pops the ball in the air. John [Simon] comes down with an interception but you look at that picture, there’s like three guys all running full speed to the where the throw was being made and that’s something we talk about in practice. The d-linemen do a great job whenever a ball is thrown, turning, running to the ball, trying to make plays from behind so we’ve got to continue to do that and I think that allows us to play aggressive. You miss a tackle, you know somebody else is coming. We’ve just got to keep doing those things.
Q: We’ve heard bend but don’t break with this defense in past years, but this seems different. Can you talk about how much fun this particular defense is and all of the big plays you’ve been making each week?
DM: It’s been awesome. But I think a lot is always made of – we never say bend but don’t break. Like, we don’t say that here. The same philosophies, the same things we’ve talked about are the same things we’ve said this year and I think we’ve just been doing a good job. We have a good unit. We have a lot of guys back, like you said, from the unit that came on strong last year. You get to return all of those guys, especially us in the secondary, but across the board. We lost a few guys but, overall, even the new guys that have come have been experienced players, have been able to pick up the system, so I think we were able to be a little bit more advanced in the spring time to really get going on stuff we really wanted to run, and then I think it’s just personality. Everybody’s buying in, everybody’s willing to do whatever they can to help the defense and that’s playing a bunch of different roles for a lot of different guys and we’ve just got to keep doing it. We can’t get tired of working hard and trying to help prepare people.
Q: What makes Stephon Gilmore so good that he can be so physical but not cross the line and commit penalties?
DM: Yeah, I mean, I would just say he just works on his craft. If you follow him on Instagram, you’ll see he’s working on his craft in the offseason with Dre Bly. He does a ton of stuff – you know, practice field, he’s always out there repping, one-on-ones – like he’s doing all of that stuff to prepare himself. I think he has a great understanding of route recognition, what guys are running, where their splits are. So, it’s been awesome just to watch him, especially a guy that comes into the system and learns the system. From year-to-year, game-to-game, he’s just gotten better and better and he’s a big help to our defense. We do a lot of stuff around him and his abilities. I think what’s made us really good in the secondary is understanding everybody’s abilities, what they do well, how we need to play off each other, and I think that’s allowed us to make some more plays, even from last year going forward. Like we’ve just really understood where guys are going to be and what they do well.
Q: Matthew Slater talked about how difficult it is to get your bodies prepped on that short week. But after getting a victory tonight and having that extra rest, what is that like as a player to enjoy those extra few days?
DM: Yeah, like Slate said, as hard as it is to get your body ready to go Thursday is how big of a blessing it is after the game to be able to rest. You know, you get six weeks in and we’ve been just going at it nonstop. You guys see us, full pads whenever we can, working hard. So, this will be a good break, just to try to get healthy, stay really locked in. And I think guys do a good job on this team of taking advantage of getting treatment, doing different things to really try to get your body ready for the next couple games that we have before the bye week. If you can just put it all in, then get a little rest, and then go from there, that’s something that we’ve talked about throughout the years of sometimes getting these breaks and them timing up really well if we do a good job of taking advantage of it.
PLAYERS IN THE LOCKER ROOM
Brandon Bolden, RB
(On his increased role on offense)
"I’m just trying to take advantage of every opportunity I get. The offense trusts me enough to throw me in there, so I’m just trying to do my job the best I can."
(On whether tonight’s performance showcased his entire skill set)
"Like I said, I’m just out there doing what they call on me to do. If it’s out there to rush the punt, I’m going to rush it. If it’s out there to catch a pass, I’m going to do the best I can to catch it. If it’s out there to run the ball, I’m going to put my head down and try to get some yards."
(On his blocked punt)
"I just made contact with him, and as I was driving him back I really had two options. Either throw him into the punter, or just stick my hand up. I stuck my hand up, and the ball really just hit off my hand. It was just luck at that point."
(On whether the Giants presented a physical test)
"Oh yeah, they’re a scrappy group. They like to get in there and try to throw their weight around too. So that was a good test for everyone physically in that part of the game. We stepped up to the challenge and we answered it in some parts."
Julian Edelman, WR
(On being forced to play out of one personnel grouping for the second half)
"It is a game of adversity and something that we were prepared for. It wasn’t as pretty as we wanted it but we were able to get it down and hats off to defense and special teams for once again doing unbelievable things. We just have to hold our bargain up more."
(On younger receivers)
"Gun Show [Gunner Olszewski] and Kobs [Jakobi Meyers] made some really good plays. Jakobi on that back shoulder in the red area which was a huge play and Gun Show with that in cut and a couple unders. It was good to see them come in and be able to allow us to go in and run plays. Super proud of them, they are doing a really good job. We just have to keep it going and get some time down and get ready to practice and do some more."
(On Brandon Bolden)
"He is a leader on this team, he is a very selfless player and he does a lot for us. It is always good to see him go out there and make plays because he deserves it with how hard he works and the kind of guy he is in the locker room. He is just a great guy to be around and I love that dude."
(On how he feels on defense and special teams getting more points than the offense)
"I think we just feel focused on what we have to do to get it going. It is just how it goes and we are playing teams that we don’t really play that often in back-to-back weeks. It is going start off with a great week of practice coming up, have some time down and get it going. We know we are not starting fast and we just have to keep on working, which is what it is all about."
(On offense getting their rhythm in the second half)
"I think it is a testament to our coaching staff and their ability in making adjustments in the second half, seeing things, and guys just grinding and working and that is something to be said. This is a game of adjustment and obviously you want to start off fast but it is not easy winning in this league. It seems like every team is tough, it doesn’t matter the record, where you are at and you don’t want it any other way but that is what comes when you are playing these type of teams each week. It may not start off right but as long as we can keep it going and just keep being positive and fighting then that is when good things lead."
Stephon Gilmore, CB
(On if there was pressure as a defense to make a play)
"We always feel like we should make a play no matter what the score is so we didn’t look at it that way. If one person makes a play, everyone wants to make a play, it is contagious. That is why we are a good defense."
(On how he feels about the defense)
"We are alright, it is still early and I still have to learn from my mistakes in areas that we didn’t do well but I think we will be pretty good. It is fun, if one person makes a play then everyone is excited, there are no selfish squares, everyone is just happy for one another."
(On preparation ahead of games)
"We are just trying to play with good technique, play fast and let the players come to us and not force it. We are just trying to make plays for one another. It is not complicated, we just have to study more and player harder."
Duron Harmon, DB
(On his interception)
"Anytime you get an interception for your team, change field position, give your offense a chance to get the ball back, that’s always good. I think it was by Danny Shelton on the pressure to help create the tip. Just try to finish plays anytime you can. Turn the ball over, give your team momentum is always good."
(On the defense)
"We’re playing well. We’re doing some good things. We can do some things better. I think the last three weeks there have been a couple of big plays that has really been the reason why they scored. We have to do a better job on that. Other than that we did a really good job getting after the quarterback, creating turnovers, getting off the field and giving our offense plenty of times to move the ball."
(On the Kyle Van Noy touchdown)
"It was cool. I was looking for the ball. Then all of a sudden I hear a roar, and I turn around and he is off to the races. It was a great job by him finding the ball and selling out to get the touchdown, and get some points at a time we really needed some points."
"It’s tough, but at the end of the day we have a lot of depth on this team, offensively, defensively, special teams. We know at any time somebody can get hurt, but we have guys that we can count on, and who are confident to go in there. Me being one of those guys to go in there and keep this ship rolling. No let downs and just continue to find ways to win and play good defense."
Jakobi Meyers, WR
(On his chemistry with Tom Brady)
"I’m always trying to work towards that goal of being where he wants me to be. He’s been seeing me do that in practice and that showed on the field today."
(On his tough catch towards the goal line)
"You go through practice all the time and they just put [the football] in crazy places and you just do your best to catch it. I kind of felt like if I dropped this one, I might not get another one, so I made sure I held on to it tight."
(On adapting to injuries offensively)
"Being a Patriot, they expect you to know what to do regardless of the situation. We practiced those situations in the past, and it’s our jobs as pros to be ready for when they came up. When they came up, me and Gunner [Olszewski] were ready. We’ve been waiting on our moment since we got here and I feel like we did a good job today."
(On preparing for the game without getting practice reps on a short week)
"Mental reps. You’ve got to always be paying attention. Even in practice, when we’re on the sideline, we’re with the coach and he’s telling us the plays like we’re in the game. We go through it mentally."
(On dealing with the pressure of being a rookie)
"I wouldn’t really call it pressure. It’s football. It’s a game that I get to play for money and I love it. I’m doing what I love, so I wouldn’t say there’s a pressure to catch this one or it’s over with. I saw it, I wanted it and I want more, so I had to take advantage of that."
Gunner Olszewski, WR
(On how he and Jakobi [Meyers] stay ready for opportunities like this)
"Oh we’re up in the virtual room doing walkthroughs every day after practice. We’re the last two out of the building every day. Troy Brown is on us, harping on us, about being ready and being one play away. That happened tonight, one play away and we were in there. We did our part. We have a lot to improve on. We’re going to watch the film and see a lot of stuff that we can improve on and do better but we’re ready to go."
(On whether he still gets nerves or excitement)
"Of course, there’s always excitement. I mean its Thursday Night Football under the lights. I love being at Gillette Stadium in front of our fans. That always gives me a little jitters, running out there and seeing how many people are watching us play football. Compared to my college, obviously no knock on them, it’s a lot of fans."
(On the importance of making the most of his opportunities)
"It’s huge. Obviously you go out there and expect to catch the ball just like you catch it in practice all throughout the week. It comes back to practice and being focused. Treating every day at practice like it’s a game and knowing you’ve got to catch every ball that comes your way."
(On his first NFL catch)
"It felt great. It felt great doing your job like everyone harps here. My number was called today and I like to think I did pretty well at my job. Tons of stuff to improve on, we’ll turn the film on. I got clamped up a couple times. I feel like I contributed well and did my part. We got another win so that’s all that really matters."
Kyle Van Noy, LB
(On his defensive touchdown)
"Jaime [Collins] knocked the ball out like he usually does. A bunch of people wanted the ball and people missed. It squirted right to me. I picked it up and tried to score, looked like I was playing high school receiver again."
(On what was going through his mind when he picked up the fumble)
"Just hold onto the ball. I was thinking about Bill [Belichick] to be honest, because I didn’t want to lose the football because I would’ve been in some trouble. Just glad I didn’t."
(On if he knew he stayed inbounds on his touchdown)
"Yeah I knew I was inbounds the whole time. I knew it was a touchdown. Refs needed the extra look, that’s OK."
(On the secondary)
"Those dudes are really good. Like I’ve said it for the past two years, they are the best in the business. Those dudes disguise and just lock, I mean, ‘Gillylock’ [Stephon Gilmore] man he is damn good at football. Devin [McCourty], Jason [McCourty] all them boys played their hearts out for each other. If you watch the film they enjoy playing football and I’m blessed to be a part of that."
Chase Winovich, DL
(On the last time he scored a touchdown)
"It was back in high school, so it’s been a while. I’ve been planning on throwing it in the stands for a while, so it’s kind of already been accounted for. I didn’t know the fine was quite so steep, but no regrets. The last touchdown that I had was as a runner, as a quarterback running the ball. I probably threw some passes as well, no big deal."
(On throwing the ball into the stands after his touchdown)
"I didn’t get the ball back, no not yet. I’m hoping that the lucky fan that went home with a souvenir returns it to me. Honestly for me, it’s mostly the experience of scoring the touchdown. That’s priceless. A football is a football and yeah it’s cool to look back on it, but I have the film to look back on it. The memory with my teammates celebrating in the end zone, that’s priceless. There’s no football that can equate to that."
(On the punting unit showing pride in getting to the punter)
"We have pride every time we take the field. It’s a great privilege to play for the Patriots and I’m just trying to do my job."