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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Wed May 29 - 04:00 PM | Thu May 30 - 09:55 AM

New England Patriots Postgame Quotes 11/12

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and select players comment on their game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, November 12, 2023.

HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, November 12, 2023

BILL BELICHICK: Obviously it was a disappointing game. Similar theme that we've had to other games this year. Just too many missed opportunities in all three phases of the game. Just got to play better situational football and do a better job taking advantage of the opportunities that we have. We just didn't do a good enough job today.

Q: Just ahead of the bye week, is this the future of quarterback Mac Jones, or will we see him return again as starter in two weeks' time?

BILL BELICHICK: Yeah, we're worry about next week next week. The game just finished a half hour ago.

Q: What made Bailey Zappe the best option on the final drive?

BILL BELICHICK: I just thought it was time for a change.

Q: Was any of that related to injury?

BILL BELICHICK: Yeah, look, I made the decision. That's what it was. We'll deal with next week next week.

Q: Do you still have faith in Mac Jones as your quarterback?

BILL BELICHICK: I have faith in all our players.

Q: What do you think about the German fans? Did you like the atmosphere of the game?

BILL BELICHICK: Yeah, it was good. It was good energy in the stadium. They were into it. Yeah, it was a good day.

Q: On the all-out punt rush, is that the way you wanted to play that play?

BILL BELICHICK: Not exactly, but yeah. He hit a good ball.

Q: You definitely didn't want a returner back?

BILL BELICHICK: Well, there were a couple different options on the play, but the punter ended up hitting a good ball, [Rigoberto] Sanchez hit a good ball, got rolling.

Q: Does benching Mac Jones in that situation with the game on the line make it difficult to reinsert him as the starting quarterback?

BILL BELICHICK: Yeah, again, we'll deal with next week next week.

Q: Are you happy with the return you're getting from running back Ezekiel Elliott?

BILL BELICHICK: Look, I think a lot of players are playing pretty good football, but as a team we're just not doing enough things we need to do to win. Everybody needs to do better. Simple as that.

Q: How much does the talk about your job security bother you?

BILL BELICHICK: Well, I just do the best I can every day.

Q: Robert Kraft before the game talked about the season. He said it's been really disappointing, and I hope things are going to be better. Are those sentiments he's expressed to you directly?

BILL BELICHICK: I think we all feel that way. I think we're all disappointed in the season. But we'll keep going here. Seven games to go. Be ready to go next week against the Giants.

QUARTERBACK MAC JONES

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, November 12, 2023

Q: Mac, how are you feeling physically?

MAC JONES: Yeah, I'm good. I just got a little bruise, but I'm good.

Q: I was just wondering if you could take us into the decision at the end of the first half where you guys went for the Hail Mary. Was there any decision for that?

MAC JONES: No clue. There was two seconds left, and we needed 60 yards. I don't know.

Q: What did you see on the interception?

MAC JONES: It was a terrible throw. Practiced it, hit it in practice, snugged the throw, and I knew where to go. I just didn't do it. Didn't do it right.

Q: Was it mechanical or –

MAC JONES: Yeah. There were some things I was working through, but it doesn't matter. No excuses.

Q: After the first drive in the third quarter, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien looked pretty angry on the sideline. What was he trying to communicate with you?

MAC JONES: Yeah, just try to go through my reads and hit the open guy. I've got to do a better job of that. It's really hard out there in the NFL. It's really good defense. But there was a lot of open guys out there that I could have hit.

How are you going to do to assess everything going into the bye week?

MAC JONES: Yeah, for sure. We're not there yet, but I always use the bye week to evaluate myself and the team and everything I can do better, and there's a lot of things clearly I need to do better. I'm always going to work. I know that.

Q: What was communicated to you when it came to the decision to put quarterback Bailey Zappe in the game?

MAC JONES: Yeah, they just told me I was out of the game, so I wasn't playing very good, so I got taken out of the game before the two-minute drive at the end of the game. Yeah, that's kind of what it was.

Q: What was your reaction to that decision by the coaching staff?

MAC JONES: I'm not sure. I think it's hard, right. It's a difficult situation. But at the end of the day, I really did want the team to win. I'll always be that person. I know that we didn't win, so it's hard for everybody, but I have to play better to not even be in that situation. It's not ideal for anybody. No one is going to do good in that situation.

Q: Do you still feel like head coach Bill Belichick has full faith in you as the starting quarterback of this team?

MAC JONES: I mean, at the end of the day, I've got to play better. To make people believe, you've got to be better. I'm not sure. I don't know.

Q: Do you still believe in yourself?

MAC JONES: Yeah, I do. Yeah, I put a lot of work into it. I've got a lot of faith in myself. But there's just things that got to get fixed, and just learn. Just keep learning and figure it out.

Q: Does this game feel any different? Does this kind of outcome now feel any different than maybe some of the past games?

MAC JONES: Yeah, a little bit. Just like I said, didn't play very well. I've played well in my career before, but just not right now. It's peaks and valleys, but I'm kind of in a valley right now, and just got to bounce back

CENTER DAVID ANDREWS

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, November 12, 2023

What is your reaction to the way the offense had the ball moving down the field, but weren't able to put it in the end zone?

DAVID ANDREWS: Well, I mean, we've just got to finish. Everybody has got to do a better job. We've all got to do a better job. Look, it's been the same thing I could say. Had opportunities. We just have to do a better job finishing. A few opportunities down there in the red zone and an opportunity at the end. It's never one play. It's never one situation. There's 60-something plays or whatever it was in the game, and it's a culmination. It's never just one play. There's things you can do better on every one.

Q: What did you think of the decision to pull Mac Jones and put Bailey Zappe in the game on the final drive?

DAVID ANDREWS: I play football. That's what I do. I play. I don't make those decisions. I know coaches, they do what they think is best for the football team. Whoever is back there, I go out there, try to do my job the best I can no matter what.

Q: The lack of success this season, how have you handled that personally?

DAVID ANDREWS: I think you handle it just like you have when you're having success. I think if you're having success and you get lackadaisical and lose focus, I think that's a recipe for disaster. I think when you're not having success as a leader, you can't switch up or change. You can't be good if it's good and bad if it's bad. You've got to be constant every day. I think holding myself to a high accountability, and no matter what, win, lose or draw, there's still things I want to try to get better on each week, stuff I want to try to improve on, and that's what I'll do starting Monday, tomorrow, whatever it is.

Q: How did you find the atmosphere in Germany?

DAVID ANDREWS: Yeah, great atmosphere, cool experience. I missed our last international game, and appreciate all the support over here and the fans. I'm lucky to play for a great organization with a great fan base. Really appreciative of that.

Q: David, when a team is struggling, a bye week can shake things up on a variety of levels. How do you look at it as a group going into this bye week not knowing if there's going to be changes?

DAVID ANDREWS: Look, like I said, my job is to play football, so I'm going to try to come in Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, whenever we're working, I'm not sure yet, and keep pushing my group, keep pushing my guys and keep pushing myself and our football team to be better and to put our best product out there each day. Your best product in practice, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, focus Saturday, focus on Sunday, that's all there is to do. All the other stuff, you can't worry about that. You have to just focus on what you can do and what you can control.

Q: I was wondering if you can speak to your confidence in head coach Bill Belichick. You've been playing for him for a while. Speak to your faith in him.

DAVID ANDREWS: Well, my faith in him I probably wouldn't be sitting here if it wasn't for him. Not many people wanted me when I came out except for Bill. He's the only coach that came and worked me out. I have a lot of confidence in him. I've had a lot of success. I believe in what he says, what he does because I know it's helped me out in my career and turned me into a better football player, like I said, to be sitting here. Sitting in Germany, I never thought a kid from Georgia would be sitting in Germany playing in an NFL game, so Coach gave me an opportunity when that's all I wanted, and the good Lord was good to me.

Q: Offensive Line Coach Adrian Klemm not being with you guys this week, what was that like, and do you feel like it impacted the game?

DAVID ANDREWS: You know, talked to AK really -- things like that go on. Football takes -- I've been in that position and different things. Football, when you're talking about a torn ligament, something that we're accustomed to, when you're talking about your health, your health is above all else. Been able to talk to him this week. I was trying to monitor when I texted him because I know it's a different time zone. But just thinking about him. [Assistant Offensive Line Coach] Billy Yates has been here. I've had a working relationship with Billy. I can always appreciate what Billy does and his work ethic, and like I said, I've had a three-year relationship with him.

TIGHT END HUNTER HENRY

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, November 12, 2023

Q: How do you sum up the way this one ended for you guys?

HUNTER HENRY: It's just tough, man. It's just not good enough in any aspect. Yeah, we're going into a bye here, and we've got a lot to improve on. We've got to get a lot better. It's not good enough in any aspect.

Q: Hunter, going into the bye 2-8, how do you perceive the future of the Patriots the rest of the season, and going into the Giants –

HUNTER HENRY: Yeah, I'm not as much worried on that right now. We're not where we want to be at all. I'm going to tell you one thing, I'm going to go out there and compete every single week, no matter what the record is, no matter what's going on. I know all those guys in that locker room are going to go do the same. That's our mindset is just take it week by week, and we're going to go out there and compete no matter what.

Q: What did you think of the decision to pull quarterback Mac Jones from the game?

HUNTER HENRY: I don't make all those decisions. I think you'll have to ask Coach [Belichick] about that one.

Q: Can you pinpoint what the issues seem to be for the offense?

HUNTER HENRY: Obviously not finishing in the red zone, not great situational football, not good enough on third down. I think the positive was we ran the football really well. I think everybody in the entire stadium, maybe whoever was watching the game, probably knew we were running the football and we were still able to run the football. That's probably the one positive we can take from it. But just not able to finish enough in the red zone and score enough points, obviously. Pretty bad on our part. That's what we're called to do is score points, and we didn't score enough.

Q. Do you still have faith in Mac Jones?

HUNTER HENRY: Yeah, we've put a lot of work in, so still have faith.

Q: Hunter, you guys going back to the Washington game, it's now 17 consecutive drives without a touchdown. Have you ever had a stretch like that in your career, and does it become something mentally that you guys can be aware of that?

HUNTER HENRY: I have no idea. That's a stat. No.

Q: When Mac knew he was coming out, it looked like he went and fist bumped the entire offense on the sideline. What was his message to you guys?

HUNTER HENRY: Yeah, he's a leader, just encouraging. We had a chance to go win it, weren't able to do it, so just encouraging us to go out there and finish the game. But we obviously weren't able to do it.

SPECIAL TEAMS CAPTAIN MATTHEW SLATER

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, November 12, 2023

Q: Can you explain to us what the intention was on the play where you guys had no returner and it looked like Demario was kind of hanging -- what the plan was?

MATTHEW SLATER: I mean, for us, we're trying to read that play out based off what they did. We had a scheme in place that we liked, and you give them a lot of credit. They didn't recall the gunner. They zoned the protection, so we weren't able to get home. Then as a result, they flipped the field with, I don't know, what was it, 70-yard punt, something like that. You know, we liked the plan going in, and sometimes things don't turn out the way you'd like them to. Kudos to them for the way they picked that up and the way they adjusted to it.

Q: Do you mean they didn't take the gunner --

MATTHEW SLATER: And recall him. Different teams handle -- we call it a corner role, different teams handle it differently. I would say a lot of coordinators like to be safe and play to the protection first. I give them a lot of credit for trusting that they can zone it off and pick it up with a man short on protection, and they did just that. I thought they had good communication all night inside, and they did a good job.

Q: You've been on the team for so long. What's your faith in head coach Bill Belichick heading into the rest of the season?

MATTHEW SLATER: I have as much faith in Coach Belichick as I've ever had. There's no reason to be doubting who he is as a leader and a coach for this football team. The struggles that we've had on the field this year are due to us and our inability to execute. It's got nothing to do with Coach Belichick.

Q:  How difficult was it for you to adjust to this stadium?

MATTHEW SLATER: Yeah, I mean, look, the one touchback I think was a 79-yard punt, so we'll take a touchback on that 10 out of 10 times. Then the other one might have been a 60-some-yarder, I'm not sure. If he's hitting those types of balls, we're not going to complain about touchbacks because we're still going to net over 50 yards. Yeah, there were some adjustments I'm sure with the scoreboard. We saw Jake Bailey hit it last week, but I thought Bryce all in all did a good job.

Q:  I wanted to ask you about the special teams play. After the field goal, you draw within one (indiscernible)?

MATTHEW SLATER: Yeah, I mean, we've got to look at that on film. It was a middle match return. It felt like it got up on us pretty quick. I'm not sure what exactly happened. I don't want to speak to it until I watch it on film.

Q: As a team captain and a very experienced player, will you talk to quarterback Mac Jones, and what will be your advice after such a tough game?

MATTHEW SLATER: He's got to stay positive. Right now everybody is counting him out. I'm sure there's a lot of negativity. There's a lot of negativity surrounding our team. We've got to ignore all that because it shouldn't impact how we operate day-to-day, and you can't let people that don't know half of what's going on inside the building impact what's going on inside the building. He's got to stay positive. He's got to ignore the noise, keep his head down, keep working, just like the rest of us.

Q: When you look at your stay here in Germany and especially the crowd here, what are your takeaways from the German Patriots fan base here?

MATTHEW SLATER: Tremendous experience. The support today was phenomenal, the energy. I was really surprised. But I thought it was fantastic. We had a couple soccer whistles in there. I heard it when they didn't like calls and stuff like that. Many thanks to the German fans. Many thanks to Germany for hosting us. We almost had a phenomenal time. We had a pretty good time until the game. But we're very thankful for this experience.

Q: Matthew, you talk about people that don't know what's going on in the building and people who do know what's going on in the building. Is there something that you've heard or is there something you feel the media has gotten wrong?

MATTHEW SLATER: Well, if you know me, you know I don't have any social media. I don't listen to the radio. I just know -- I've been around sports my whole life, and I know how the media is. You guys are doing your job, and I respect that. But it's impossible to tell or to paint an accurate picture of things that are happening when you're not experiencing them firsthand. That's just the reality. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the job that you guys do. It's very challenging. It's very difficult. I think by and large for the most part, the media in Boston covers the game with a lot of integrity, and I appreciate that. But without reading, listening, I know there's negativity because of our record and because of the way things have gone, and it's fair, I guess, because you guys are trying to do your job. I get it.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN DEATRICH WISE JR.

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, November 12, 2023

Q: Deatrich, what is your reaction to the way the game ended or the final result?

DEATRICH WISE JR.: My reaction? I always go into a game wanting to win. At the end of the game, the scoreboard didn't say we won. That's it.

Q: What is your level of frustration with that?

DEATRICH WISE JR.: You know, as a competitor, you always want to win, and we've just got to find ways to win. That's it.

Q: What did you think when you saw quarterback Bailey Zappe out for the last drive?

DEATRICH WISE JR.: I never had any thoughts, just kind of looked up and saw that he was in the game, and that was pretty much it.

Q: The defense seemed to play its heart out. It's the ultimate team game. The offense was obviously struggling. How much do you have to be concerned with division between the units when it unfolds the way it unfolded?

DEATRICH WISE JR.: There's no division. As a defense, we have high expectations on ourselves. We didn't personally feel like the first half and the second half was a little different. I think if we'd have stopped them a few more times in that first half, they wouldn't have even scored those points. That's kinds of how we think in a sense, and I think the guys in the back half did a decent job of containing the running back, and we did a good job of stopping the run. They only scored 10 points, so I think that was pretty much it.

Q: You'd been practicing a lot of German before you got here. Were you able to use any of it, and what was your favorite thing here?

DEATRICH WISE JR.: Favorite thing about being here, I went to this square that was pretty nice. I don't know where it is, but it had like an old German look to it. It was really nice. It had a tree and a nice little tower and stuff. I saw a museum. I learned how to say "How are you": "Wie geht es gut?" I think I said that correctly. Then to respond is "I'm good," which is "mir geht es gut." Hopefully that was good. How was it? I got my "guten Tag," all is good. I'm still working on it. But other than that, it was pretty nice.

Q: What do you say about the German crowd? Were you able to enjoy it at all?

DEATRICH WISE JR.: Honestly, they were a really good crowd. There was cheering the whole time. They were singing songs. They had the lights in the air. That was really nice. It kind of felt -- I'm not going to describe it to the atmosphere of a regular season game, but I liked how they cheered the entire game. They had high energy. I wish they could have had some fireworks in the stands. That would have been pretty cool. But other than that, the crowd here was awesome.

Q: Did it feel like a home game for you?

DEATRICH WISE JR.: Yeah, it did. It felt like a home game, a little bit of a playoff game because there was so much energy. We loved it.

Q: DJ, as a captain, how do you think your team should approach the bye week?

DEATRICH WISE JR.: By recharging, resetting, kind of just getting away for a little bit, and then towards the end of it just refreshing and getting back, ready to finish out these next games strong.

Q: In the bye week, do you get away from football a little bit? Anything planned?

DEATRICH WISE JR.: I don't know what everybody has, but kind of like I alluded to earlier, recharging and resetting. Most people will spend time with their families. That's the way most people kind of rekindle and recharge and reset and refocus. All of their support systems, whatever they have, I think that's kind of what a lot of people do.

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