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New England Patriots Postgame Quotes 10/18

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and select players comment on their 12-18 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday, October 18, 2020.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, October 18, 2020

BB: Well didn't do anything well enough today to win. So got a lot of work to do and would he just need to get back to work and improve and perform better than this. That's really all there is to it.

Q. Did you think of challenging the spot earlier in the fourth quarter and James White's two yard run?

BB: No, not really.

Q. Did you get a second look at that run?

BB: I just answered the question.

Q. How would you evaluate the current status of your offensive line, given the issues with COVID 19 and the injuries in the game, how much of a challenge was it to maintain cohesion in that group and what challenges did it present during the game trying to keep things together as you shuffled things up at halftime?

BB: Well it was a big challenge. Playing without guys, getting guys hurt, moving around, had some guys that hasn't played together much, hadn't practiced together much. So we need to get on the field, we need to practice, we need to develop some continuity as a team, but especially there.

Q. How much did the limited amount of fully padded practice time you've had in recent weeks do you feel had on today's game?

BB: I don't know. You want a percentage? I have no idea.

Q. Did you feel like your guys were rusty today. In particular Cam, did you think it was going to be difficult to him to get things going given how long he had missed some time?

BB: Yeah, I think I just answered that right at the beginning. We need more time together, we need to practice together, we need to execute and do everything better. No question about that.

Q. Would you say anything more specifically just on Cam, having him back, just what you thought of his game today.

BB: It's the same for everybody on the team. Nobody's practiced, I mean we all need to do more practice, we need to get our execution levels up a lot higher.

Q. What you're talking about with what's happened in the last two weeks, what do you take from it now then with as difficult a two weeks as you're probably going to have in your coaching career to see what you guys have gone through. What do you take from it now, what do you say to the team and what do you do moving forward here that you learn from this experience?

BB: We're going to move forward and work harder to be better.

Q. Considering that Denver went up-and-down the field, you held them to six field goals and only six points in the second half. Defense gave you a pretty good chance to win this football game from behind.

BB: Yeah, we need to do a better job in all areas of the game. We need to play better on offense, defense and special teams and coach better and we just, we need to be better on everything.

Q. On a couple of those sacks where Cam was sacked looked like he was holding on to the football for a fair amount of time there. Is that Cam not being able to find open receivers or is there nobody open for him to throw to? Can you see that when you look back at the pictures?

BB: Yeah, we'll look at everything on the film. We feel there was a lot going on out there, I couldn't analyze all of it. But we need to do everything better, I think I said that three or four times so I'll just say it again, we need to do everything better.

Q. What assessment did you have from your defense in the red zone today holding the Broncos to no touchdowns and keeping you guys into the game late?

BB: What was the question again?

Q. What was your assessment of your defense and the way they held strong in the red zone and kept the Broncos from scoring a touchdown and keeping the score close enough that you could have a chance for a comeback late?

BB: As I think I already mentioned here, I think we need to do everything better, offense, defense, special teams. There were some decent things out there today, but we let them into the red area too many times defensively, gave up too many long plays and let them get into field goal range, it's always good to keep them out of the end zone, that's definitely the goal, but they scored more points than we did, so we need to play better defense and give up fewer and try to score more.

Q. Why was going for two points after that touchdown the right call for you guys at that time?

BB: We thought it was the best thing to do at that point.

Q. You made it clear you want more practice time, obviously, that's the goal. You've said before it's hour by hour. Any idea yet what you'll be able to do this week, any sense yet what have you can do going forward in terms of getting practice time.

BB: Hopefully we'll be able to practice this week. We certainly need it. We'll see.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, October 18, 2020

Q: I wanted to ask you, on the final play, did you expect N'Keal Harry to turn on the outside?

CN: Well we didn't execute the way we're supposed to and that's a lot. That was contingent upon me. I knew I was going to get hit.

So I just tried to find a spot to give him, so he could make a play on it. There was a defender on the interior part stealing the field, so I still tried to give him an opportunity. So that's what it came down to.

Q: How much has it felt like the time off impacted your performance in terms of did you feel rusty, did it take a little while to get going?

CN: Oh, without a doubt, but, yeah, we're still professionals and we're expected to do our job and play at a high level and we didn't do that today. But any time you turn the ball over that many times, the success rate is extremely low. But yet we still that opportunity to win and we just got to find ways to do that.

Q: How are you feeling with everything and how did you talk the news that you tested positive? What was that experience like for you and how was the illness for you? Did you experience symptoms or anything?

CN: Honestly for me right now I'm just trying to move forward, obviously respectfully that was two weeks ago, still bitter over the game and just trying to focus on ways to just get better. Obviously everybody knows what the situation was and it is what it is and I just know for me here moving forward I just got to play better football and that's what I'm going to try to do.

Q: I know you want to look forward but it's kind of the first time we have had a chance to ask anything about it and I think that's why we're just sort of interested in how it felt to be back kind of how much you missed your new teammates and how tough it was for you to have something like that take the game away from you for a little while there and just what it felt to be back and I guess then in light of that if it took a little bit to kind of get the engine going a little bit today?

CN: Yeah, I know exactly what it is, it's just respectfully for the sake of where we are right now I don't think it's beneficial for me to speak on that being obviously the performance today it showed a lot of much needed -- the time off showed, but yet like I said, I have to be better and I will be better.

Q: It seemed like you guys obviously had difficulty on the offensive side finding a rhythm today. And that's I guess to be expected given the lack of practice time, but how do you go about trying to find that rhythm moving forward and build from here?

CN: Well I think for us the first thing the number one thing is protecting the football. That's what it comes down to, from the turnovers, that's, those are drive killers and those are game killers. And it starts with me, I'm extremely frustrated in myself am my performance moving forward. I'm here for one reason and that hasn't, it hasn't got, I didn't get the job done today. So you can just imagine how I feel, but, yeah, I don't want this to be a pity party. We do have another opportunity here coming up, we have to follow this up with great practice this week and I look forward to it.

Q: How do you find that rhythm in practice do you think? Did you like the direction you were heading in with your new teammates prior to the COVID situation?

CN: Of course. But yet nobody cares about what it was or what the reasons were and to be honest with you I don't care either I'm not expecting people to care. My job here moving forward is to find ways to win football games and to put this team in the best situation and it just starts with protecting the football. That's what this game came down to, no matter what the sputtering was on the offensive side the defense gave us opportunities by holding them to field goals and that's what we got to, that's what we can only ask for as an offense we just let this game slip away by the lack luster performance of protecting the football.

Q: It looked like in a couple of the sacks that you took there you were holding on to the ball a little bit longer than you would have wanted I was wondering how much of it was a function of Denver playing different defensives or showing you something new you might not have seen before?

CN: No, I felt prepared for the game. I felt like we had a grasp of what they were doing, we had prepared for it. Obviously it being two weeks away from the initial last time we got to see them play, so there may have been a small type of wrinkle, but they were true to who they were on film and what the film that we did see. So, needless to say, it just comes down to production on the offensive side, execution on all cylinders and we just have to do that, no matter who is out there, no matter what the substitution is, no matter what the situation is, just get the job done at all costs and then we'll worry about everything else later.

Q: I know you don't want to make excuses but with the lack of practice time did you feel like you were your throwing mechanics were any different than what they were before the layoff and was it hard to kind of stay sharp in that regard without being out there at practice?

CN: Just have to be better. That's all.

Q: The last play of the game what did you see there, it looks like your throw went outside, N'Keal runs the opposite direction, so what happened there, with as it a miscommunication or something else?

CN: It wasn't a miscommunication, I tried to anticipate where he was going to be, I let the ball go prior to him breaking on his initial route. I knew I was going to get hit and I tried to give him a chance.

Q: You mentioned that you can't turn the ball over obviously on the offense what did you see particularly on that first turnover on the screen pass, obviously they made a great play to dive and catch the football but just from your perspective what were the turnovers like and how frustrating were they for you today?

CN: Speaking for me personally, the interceptions came off of tipped passes. One early on in the first quarter, which led to points and that another one, you know, me trying to flatten a receiver out, it got tipped as well. And that also led to points. So collectively offensively we knew what the keys were going into this game and we didn't up hold our end of the bargain to say the least.

Q: How much now do you look forward to getting back in the room and practicing again but knowing you guys are 2-3 and you need to get it going in a hurry here starting with San Francisco.

CN: Yeah, there's no need to panic. But we for sure have an opportunity here that we just can't, we just cannot allow ourselves to just go through the motions and expect, us being who we are is going to take care of itself, because that's not the case. We're not that good at that particular point yet and we need, obviously, practice and hopefully everything else is halted from the COVID situation and which will allow us to do that. But yet even if, whatever the situation is, we know we're not going to be the only team that's being faced with it and we just is have to be ready to go here moving forward.

Q: Last month you said that the answers at the receiving positions or the pass catchers are in the locker room. I'm just wondering what your confidence level in your pass catchers are at this point.

CN: Extremely high.

Q: And just one follow-up, you were talking about the batted passes, how do you avoid some of those in the future?

CN: Those guys get paid too, they watch film just like we watch film and that was just a headsy play by those guys of seeing an opportunity and making the most of it. So it's nothing, if you had to point a finger, obviously it's for me, but yet those guys just made a great play at the ball.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, October 18, 2020

(On playing a game despite the COVID tests and the lack of practice)

"No, we have been in, I don't know why they call it like a super intense reopening, so we've been very spread out. We've been in a lot of virtual stuff so, with the couple cases we had, we really haven't been in close contact with each other. And then I think both teams have been dealing with this, as you know around the league, people have been dealing with it, so we knew we just had to come out and play football and we have to play better. It wasn't all bad today but, we definitely have to just get going. Make more plays. And we got to do it. It's kind of turned into a broken record of coming back here and saying we just got to do this or do that. Like we're close, but we got to find ways to win games and we got to do it right away."

(On your sense of urgency and where the team is right now)

Definitely, I mean we're 2-3, it kind of is what it is. I think we look around and we got to win games. We have a losing record right now. We have to find ways to win games. So sense of urgency, it definitely has to be there. It'll be great to get back to work and prepare and try to get going and get back on the field as soon as possible. But we definitely need that sense of urgency to get better and get better right away.

(On what needs to change for the team to get back on the right track.)

When you watch the games, it's not like we're terrible at a bunch of stuff, we just have to make plays. You look at it, we did good in the red area. We did some things well on defense, but we gave up a couple of deep balls. A couple of runs broke out, you know, it's just the little thing and I think that's what we have to continue to work on. It's not like we have these huge holes on our team, we just have to play more consistent. At different times during a game we look like we're blazing, we're right on top of things. And other times we don't, so it probably really comes down to just consistency.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, October 18, 2020

(On what message the team is leaning on)

I'm a firm believer that in life you're going to face obstacles and trials. You're going to face adversity. You hear so many people talk about adversity, whether it's in sports in life, you hear countless motivational speakers, pastors talk about it all the time. Adversity is a part of life and certainly when it comes to football and the way that this year has gone with the pandemic and everything, adversity is something that we've experienced quite a bit of. And I do think that adversity can do one of two things: it can either break your spirit and throw you off track or it can bring out the best in you. And it can develop character and perseverance and qualities that are going to make you better as a human being and, certainly as a team it can make you better. It's just about how we respond at this point and there's, there's not much else to say. And you have to commit ourselves to our craft when we're able to, to maximize the windows that we have when we come into this building. This is a unique season but if we're going to go and play football. We certainly can't feel sorry for ourselves.

(On how the league and the Players Association handled things the last two weeks)

"You know, I mean there's no script for this. So just take it one day at a time. This is affecting us all differently. And that's understandable, I get that. But again, we made a decision that we were going to play this year and I think all of us understood the potential scenarios that existed when we opted in. And that doesn't mean that it's easy when you're faced with them, but we have to do the best that we can to remain committed to the choice we made to play football. We're blessed to be doing what we're doing, and if we're going to do it, we need to commit ourselves to doing it at a high level. That's what we chose to do, and it's not easy. I mean, look everyone's dealing with this. There's countless people who have had their lives turned upside down and they're having to find a way to provide for their families, they're having to find a way to, to keep food on the table, to keep the lights on. So our situation, certainly, in light of others is not all that bad, but still I think it's not easy for guys with kids and families, but look, we made a decision, we have to be responsible, we have to be selfless with what we do inside and outside of the building and then we have to commit ourselves to our craft because look, nobody can get this year back. I can't go back next year and say, 'Oh let's do this over.' This is a year that goes past and we'll never get back so let's try to maximize it.

(On preparing for the game with only two physical practices)

"Yeah, I think a lot of this comes down to personal accountability. We have to maximize the time that we have with virtual meetings. If we've got to go out and run on our own, we have to run around. We have to be responsible and ensuring that we keep each other safe, so that we can as best we can, have an opportunity to come in and practice and prepare. Look, this was a unique week, we get that, but we still had a chance to meet. We went over this game plan extensively. We prepared for Denver for two weeks. Unfortunately, we didn't get on the practice field, that's tough, but when we get on the practice field we have to make it count. I think this year more than any other year practice is so, so vital. It's tough, it's challenging. Mentally, I think you really have to be flexible and dial in in those virtual meetings, which I know is tough, but we've got to find a way to do it. And then we've got to maximize our windows when we get a chance to practice. I don't know what the future is going to hold. I don't know what next week is going to look, the week after that. We just got to live in the day today and try to maximize each day.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, October 18, 2020

(On what went right in for the offense in the fourth quarter)

"Defense created some turnovers and offensively, we finally started making some plays and stringing drives together. I think that was our issue, we had some three-and-outs, would make a first down and then can't convert on the next third down, things of that nature. We just couldn't put drives together. We've got to be better, can't turn the football over. That's a huge thing that we have to fix immediately. We've turned the ball over a lot the past couple games. We've got to get that changed immediately."

(On the team's sense of urgency going forward)

"I mean, the urgency's been up and it has to keep going up. Obviously we have to find a way to get in a rhythm, offensively especially, and just get it going. We've got to help our defense out. They did a great job stopping their offense in the red zone, and then we weren't giving them any help in the beginning of the game. So we have to do a better job offensively going out there and stringing drives together and try to score points to help the defense out."

(On what the uncertainty of the past two weeks has been like for the team)

"Bill [Belichick] kind of said it a couple of days ago – it's kind of like a day-by-day, hour-by-hour type of thing. Things may pop up, things may not, you've just got to adjust. You get an alert if there's not going to be practice, if there is going to be practice. Like I said, we kind of know that could happen, every team knows that could possibly happen if somebody pops up with a positive test, things of that nature. Like I said, you've just got to find a way to adjust to a little adversity. We just didn't play good football today."

(On the flexibility of the offensive linemen to move around and play different positions)

"You've got to give credit to those guys. They're moving to all different positions, new guys stepping in there. Those guys are competing, fighting their tails off trying to help us win football games so you've got to take your hat off to them. It's definitely not easy swapping off different positions and knowing different plays and things of that nature, so those guys have been trying to fight for us."

(On why the offense struggled to find a rhythm)

"I think it was the turnovers too, those are always going to kill you. You turn the ball over a few times in this league, your percentages of winning the football game drop off a lot. So we've got to do a better job of protecting the football at the least. If we're not going to put drives together, let's just not turn it over. Our defense was doing a great job of stopping those guys in the red zone and they created some turnovers at the end to give us a chance. We've just got to do a better job of helping them out."


(On Jonathan Jones' interception and performance during the game)

"Obviously Jones has made a lot of big plays around this organization in general but today he definitely played some great football. Obviously, we all have a lot to improve on as a defense but Jones in particular played some great ball today. We all just have to get back to it."

(On how the lack of practice affected their performance in today's game)

"There are no excuses, I am not an excuse guy, so it is what it is. We all knew going into this game today that there would be some adversity and we plan to take it on and continue to take it on to the best of our ability."

(On his feeling about the defense's overall performance today)

"You always look to good turnovers and things like that but obviously there is room for improvement because we just want the win. I will always say that regardless of a win or loss there is always room for improvement but today we definitely took some steps forward in some areas then there are some areas where we need to work more. So, we are just taking it one day at a time, one game at a time and one practice at a time."

(On what he knew about the Broncos offense going into today's game)

"They are a real dynamic team, so they have a lot of pieces across the board, whether it be their tight ends, running backs or dynamic receivers so we just try to tighten up the coverage the closer they got to the end zone."


(On the last two weeks)

"It was cool and it is just something you have to go through. At the end of the day, you know we have a game to play. We came out and we are professionals and we still have to come and handle business and we didn't do that today."

(On feeling any symptoms of COVID)

"No, I didn't but it is still a process we have to go through. It was unfortunate but I am past it I was able to come out suit up and play. You know that is what it is about."

(On how the secondary played today)

"That is what we expect every week, to come and out and keep fighting. It is not going to be perfect but we are going to make plays and keep fighting. We are going to try and get the ball back to our offense and make plays."

(On if there is any satisfaction on the defense holding the Broncos to field goals)

"We didn't win the game. That is what it is about, winning. We either win the game or lose the game. That is what it is about and comes down to. We didn't do that today and they won, so hats off to them."

(On how he felt physically on the field)

"I feel good, running around, it felt great. You know, just trying to compete and help the team win. I was just happy that I was out there to play the game. You can't take it for granted, you just have to going out there and keep playing and having fun and play for your teammates."

(On the of lack of practice over the last couple weeks)

"No, practices are obviously important but it is no excuse. We are professional athletes and whatever adversity we hit, we have to go out and be able to compete and make plays."

(On the Broncos offense passing a lot)

That's what we have to do, they can keep throwing them and we can keep making plays. That is what it is about, whatever they do, we have to be able to cover. They won the game that is what it really came down to."

(On the frustration of not being able to get the offense off the field)

"It is frustrating, but you know you just have to put it behind you and get ready for the next drive. Sometimes it is not going to go your way you just have to keep fighting and find opportunities to win the game and we didn't do it. So we just have to watch the film and learn from it."

(On how anxious he was to get back out on the football field)

"I am always anxious to get on the field. The situation that we have to deal with you can't take it for granted, playing the game and having fun. Everyday you have to come in and it is a blessing to play the game. You got to love it and you got to put your hard work in and when you do that, that is what you have to live with. I am just always just happy to be out there and playing the game."

(On being out for two weeks)

"It wasn't easy, but a lot of things in life are not easy. You got to be able to take it on the chin and be ready to play. You can't hold your head down, and you have to be mentally strong and go out there and compete for your teammates."

(On what it has been like the last couple weeks)

"Some stuff you can't control, and it is out of your hand sometimes. At the end of the day we are professional football players and we have to be able to go there and compete and not make excuses and lay it out all on the line for your teammates."

(On the defense making plays)

"We made plays but it is a team game. We could have made more plays and that's how I look at it. It is a team game, we win as a team and lose as a team and we lost today and that is how it went."


(On if there comes a point where there's too much moving around on the offensive line due to injuries)

"You know, it's just football and kind of the next-man-up mentality. We've got a lot of trust in the guys, everyone in that room – the coaches, players. It always comes down to execution, you've got to execute on Sundays. Regardless of positions, people, our whole room has that mentality of next man up and just got to execute better."

(On if the offense made progress in the game as it went on)

"Yeah I mean, it's a 60-minute game, we were in it at the end, just came up short. We wanted to keep fighting, keep grinding. I'm proud of the team, which is great, but we just came up a little short. But we just kept fighting."

(On if it is tough to develop continuity along the offensive line with so many players moving in and out and of the lineup)

"Yeah, for sure. Like I said, it's football, it's a physical game and people get injured or things happen with illnesses and stuff. You've got to keep rolling with the punches and try to build that chemistry regardless of the time together. You've got to keep communicating, keep working, keep fighting together. But we'll stick together and we'll try to learn from this one and keep improving."

(On what it was like to lead the offensive line and get into a rhythm with all the movement on the offensive line)

"Yeah, I think on the offensive line, we were just focused on communicating amongst everybody, making sure everybody knew where to go on every play, and their assignments and how we wanted to approach it. Then it really comes down to doing your job at the position you're in. That's just kind of the business we're in. We've all just got to execute better on the offensive line and it starts with me."

(On regrouping from this loss and learning from it moving forward)

"We'll take a look at the game film. But it's a one-game-at-a-time season, so can't control anything that's happened in the past. All we've got ahead of us is to learn from this film and moving on to the next one and taking it week-by-week, game-by-game. You can't control the past, just focused on the now."

(On what it's been like playing with Cam Newton)

"He's been great. Very positive, hard-working, upbeat throughout the whole game. Cam's been awesome. We've got to do a better job of protecting him. But it's just what it is. We were close but just didn't get it done today."

(On what the Broncos did defensively to take away the run game)

"I'll have to look at the film. It's a good question, but I think I can tell a lot more seeing the film, it's kind of hard thinking back. Obviously wish we would have done a better job on opening some lanes for those running backs. We've got a great running back room. But yeah, I'll let you know. Got to take a look at the film and see what was going on. But I think everyone on the o-line, we just want to do better."

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