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New England Patriots Postgame Quotes 11/17

HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, November 17, 2019

Opening statement:

“It really was a good team victory for us today. I am really proud of the way our guys competed. They just went out there and competed for 60 minutes. I know we didn’t get off to a great start, but we just kept battling and made plays in all three phases of the game. We played for 60 minutes and played some good situational football and made plays that we needed to make to win. Big drive offensively coming off of the goal line in the fourth quarter, put our defense in a good field position. Defense played really well in the second half. The players covered well, rushed well, and they tackled real well. They just did a good job. It looked like everyone had fun out there today and we played a lot of good energy and it was good to come down here and get a win.”

On defensive adjustments after the Eagles long scoring drive for a touchdown:

“Yea, we only got in third down once on that drive and then we intercepted it and had that taken away. I really feel like we gave up three points today, but that’s the way it goes. We couldn’t get them in third down. We got them in third down and they hit that quick pattern to the flat earlier in the drive and intercepted that last one but that got overturned. We were pretty good on third down all day but that was one of the few that they converted, the one they overturned.”

On how the defense was being consistent moving forward after the Eagles long scoring drive for a touchdown:

“Good players. Good players playing well. But one guy can’t stop it. You got a lot of guys who have to stop the run, rush the quarterback, and be able to cover. A lot of skill players –backs, receivers, tight ends, and the quarterback back there. We knocked him down a few times so our pass rush was good. We were on the receivers. I don’t know how many yards they threw for but it wasn’t all that many. Our coverage was good. Good football players and that is what wins games. Give our players the credit. They did a good job and they deserve the win. They competed better than our opponent did today. You have to give them credit for that.”

On WR Julian Edelman’s passing touchdown:

“Good read on the play. Checked the cross and it was open. He made a good decision and puts his quarterback rating up there pretty high. I am sure he’ll have to ice his shoulder down this week, massage it, and everything else. It was a great play by Julian. Like I said, there were a couple options on the play. A lot of ball handling involved on the play there but he got his eyes down field, made a good decision, made a good throw. It was a big catch by Phil [WR Phillip Dorsett II].

On broken tackle by RB Rex Burkhead on the scoring drive:

“I thought all of our guys ran hard. They were a good defensive football team and they play a lot of nickel and dime against us, mobile defensive backs, and are good athletes on the field. Again, it was tough but we competed hard. We made a few plays and I thought the backs ran well. We missed some opportunities obviously to score more points, but it was tough to stand up to that front but our line did a pretty good job and our backs made some plays. We had some catch and run plays. It’s what you have to do against the Eagles. It is never easy.

On how valuable rookie punter Jake Bailey has been kicking in inclement conditions, including today’s game where he was able to pin Philadelphia deep in its own territory:

“Yeah. I’d say at Stanford, not a lot of tough conditions out there – out there playing Arizona State and Arizona and UCLA and all. But he’s had a lot of, I would say, challenging conditions out here – both in the spring, and then as we’ve gone through the regular season. This year there have been days out there where it’s been cold, rainy, windy and I think he learned something every day. There’s cross winds and there’s winds in your face and it’s kicking with the wind and all that. There’s challenges in every one of them. If you’re kicking with the wind, that’s an advantage to the punter, but handling the snap, which is coming back into the wind, wobbles and things like that. It’s a little tougher snap for the snapper. So anyway, he’s done a good job of, I would say, adapting to the conditions. He’s still got a long way to go. I’m sure he’ll learn a lot more as the season goes along, but between the holding, the kick-offs and the punting in various conditions and certainly situational football, which came up today. You know, the end-of-the-game punts and backed-up punts and plus 50-punts and the kickoffs and so forth. There were a lot of situations. But he’s a great kid. He works hard. He’s really played well for us this entire season and he’s been so valuable to this team and he proved it out there today. I wish he could have recovered that fumble, but he’s been great for us.”

On the reverse play call in the red zone and whether it was intentionally called because it’s an unusual situation to use that play:

“I think unless you’re sending the guy 40 yards down field from the 30 yard line, you’ve got room to run. You’ve just got to be careful. There’s a point where you run out of room, no doubt about it. But [Patriots offensive coordinator] Josh [McDaniels] does a great job of calling those plays at the right time. He has a great feel for them. He’s done it multiple times over the last several years and it’s really a credit to him. And the timing of the play call. Of course, obviously well designed and well executed – that’s the key thing is the execution of it. But Josh has a great feel for timing and those types of calls. The reverse to [Patriots WR Mohamed] Sanu was a big play there to kind of get us going in the third quarter. It didn’t end up in a 70-yard touchdown, but those are the kind of plays that you need to keep the defense honest and help set up some other things. So it was really well executed and great timing. But they did the same thing. They were throwing to the endzone. They tried to run the “raven” play with the tackle flexed out and all that. Same basic field position – trying to take shots down the field. So that’s not that uncommon for that to come up in that 20 to 30-yard line area of the field.” 

On the depth in the secondary and what he saw out of DB Terrence Brooks today:

“Yeah, I thought our entire secondary played well, as they really have all year. Terrence has a lot of responsibilities. He’s been filling in for [Patriots S] Pat[rick] Chung. So that’s one thing in dime and another thing in nickel and another thing in regular, and then plus special teams and everything. He’s shown his versatility to play in the box, to play in the deep part of the field, to play man, to play zone, to play different spots in the zone depending on the formation and what coverage is called and so forth. So he’s been a really good addition for us. Works hard. Gets better everyday. It’s not easy to blend into this defense and he is comfortable with guys that have been running it three, four, five, six, ten years. Some of our guys have been playing together a long time and he’s done a good job of that. Again, still a little bit of a work in progress and there’s a ways to go, but he gets better every week. We put a lot on him in this game and he really came through for us and he did a great job.”

QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, November 17, 2019

On WR Julian Edelman's touchdown:
"He made a great throw. It was a great play. We needed it."

On struggles in the red zone:
"Yeah, yeah. I don't have anymore. I don't know."

On whether there is a way to remedy it or if it's just about practicing and execution:
"Yeah, I think that's right. Practice and execution."

On the offense at this point of the year:
"Up and down. That's what it looks like to me. We could probably do everything better."

On the Patriots defense:
"They're doing a great job. Keeping us in every game."

On whether he is discouraged:
"Well, we just played for three hours. So I think everyone is a little tired."

On battling and games like this late in the season:
"Yeah, it's good to win. It's good to win. Go on the road and win is always tough. They all count the same. Anytime you go on the road and beat a good team is a good feeling."

On whether he is concerned about the offense:
"I don't think it matters what I think, it matters what we do."

On how much WR Julian Edelman reminds him of his [Edelman's] passer rating:
"Not much. It was a good throw. Thank you guys."

SAFETY DEVIN MCCOURTY

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, November 17, 2019

On how the Patriots defense was able to stop the Eagles offense after their first two drives:

“It was just sticking to our gameplan. I mean you could even look at their first two drives. With the pass interference kind of on a scramble play. The screen pass on the second drive was a big play for them. Then they were able to do a good job of just getting first downs on first or second down, or getting eight yards. So then I think we just did a good job of not letting that happen. You know slowing them down on first down, not giving up the six, seven, eight yards and then letting them stay in rhythm. I thought once we were able to get them kind of off target of their yards on first and second down, we were able to get in our third-down package. Our rush did a great job of getting to [Eagles QB Carson] Wentz and making it tough. Then it comes down to sometimes just making plays on the ball in the secondary on third down. I thought guys did a good job of covering tonight and making it tough. Even some of the completions they had, [Eagles TE Zach] Ertz made some good catches. [Eagles WR Nelson] Agholor had a catch on [Patriots LB Jamie Collins Sr.] where he was right on him. Even a touchdown could’ve gone either way on the end reception. So we did a good job of competing and we just had to stick to that no matter what happened in the game.”

On being dominant on defense throughout the season:

“It’s a week-by-week thing. Last time we took the field, I wouldn’t say dominant was anything that came to mind the way we played defensively so we understand we have to gear it up and get ready each time we go out there. It’s all about preparation. It’s about the practice week of getting to our opponent, getting ready to stop them, executing our gameplan. So I think as long as we understand that’s the mentality we have to have each week, we’ll have a shot to come out here and play good defense. But if we get off-target, we know it’s not too far from looking how we looked the last time we were out here. So it’s a fine line of playing good defense.”

On going up against Ertz and comparing that to practicing against the Patriots’ former TE Rob Gronkowski:

“Yeah I think one of the biggest things you realize when a guy is as good as he is, is the targets he is going to get. Even when it seems like you’re in good position and the quarterback might usually go away from a guy, when a guy is that good, a quarterback has a lot of trust in him and he makes good catches and I think that’s what we realize as a defense. You know, we knew the type of player Ertz is and we try to focus on whoever was covering him was doing a good job of keeping the leverage and understanding where the help is. I think the thing that made it tough was somebody of our different personnel required a different guy to cover him. Whether it was [Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore], myself, [Patriots S Terrence Brooks], [Patriots CB Jonathan Jones], we had so many guys end up on him. Because of our different personnel groups, I thought that made it tough to know what we were in. Was it zone? Was it man? You know, it’s not the normal guy covering him so we always have to do a good job of knowing our roles because when we do that, you have to communicate well, because guys are in different positions.”

On their plan today for the run defense:

“Usually when the guys up front play well, they did a good job today of handling the run and not getting much help from the secondary. I think we have some really good players on our front seven. I think we have the mindset that we know we have to stop the run. You know, you go out there two weeks ago and play bad against the run, we knew Philly was going to come here and try to run the ball and see if we fixed that. It’s going to be the same thing next week when we play Dallas. They’re going to test us in the run game, see if they can get some things that happened two weeks ago and early in the season. We know the key is trying to stop the run and make a team one-dimensional and then we are able to get in our different packages. That’s going to be a week-to-week thing of trying to stop the run.”

On keywords that describe the defense:

“Hard-working. I’m not good at keywords that people can write headlines. When we work hard and we go out there and execute we have a chance to play good football. When we don’t, we are average at best. I think when you watch us that’s what you see. But when we go out there and we work hard, execute, and play together, guys do their job individually to make us good collectively, we can look like a pretty good defense.”

On the Patriots punt team pinning the Eagles deep in their own territory:

“[Patriots P] Jake [Bailey] is a rookie, and the way he’s been punting the ball all year is awesome. We’ve got two of the best guys in coverage in [WR Matthew Slater] and [DB Justin Bethel]. We have to continue to use that as a weapon, and understand how good those guys are to just go and do that each week. When you have talent like that, the team is going to lean on you to do that.”

On the defense’s mindset when the offense isn’t scoring points:

“Each time we take the field, whether they are scoring a lot or not, we want to have that mentality to just complement each other. It’s big if we can get a stop and switch the field position. Then [WR Julian Edelman] threw the touchdown to go and get a big score and two-point conversion. If we’re struggling on defense, they go out and have a good drive. Even if it’s three points, they let us get on the sideline and figure things out. That’s the biggest thing, to just make sure we always complement each other.”

On how the defense approached the last drive of the game:

“We knew what we were in. I’m sure everyone had flashbacks to [the game against the Dolphins last season], but we figured that out. That’s something we don’t really worry about. We’ve practiced that before. Everyone has their position and a role. I thought we did a good job. They were far out, but there was still that last play. We had a mentality of knowing exactly what we wanted to do.”

On how the game against the Dolphins last year shaped the team’s mindset in these situations:

“It shaped everything. When you lose a game in seven seconds and 70 yards, it’s safe to say, as long as [Patriots Head Coach] Bill [Belichick] is coaching here, I highly doubt that happens again. Knock on wood. We’ve talked about it and we’ve executed it. Everyone out there knows exactly what they are doing. If it doesn’t work, we can find exactly what went wrong. As long as we execute each guy’s role, we should be good in that play.”

Players in the locker room

RB Sony Michel

On being down 10-0 and then scoring 17 unanswered points:

“We were playing a great team with a great defense. We expected a little bit of adversity but we already knew that we would have to play four full quarters of football.”

On the state of the offense and the running game:

“We are just grinding things out right now, trying to make plays and play complementary football out there. With the running game, we are trying to grind it out and execute as best we can.”

WR Julian Edelman

On the Patriots offense:

“I don’t know, I have to watch the film. Obviously, we did not go out and put up the points we wanted to put up but you have to tip your hat to their defense, as well as our defense bailing us out. We had a good week of practice last week. We just have to continue to do that and that is usually how it carries over to games. Just continually try to practice hard and work on the little things because that is what you want to do.”

On getting the opportunity to throw a pass:

“I just do what the coaches ask of me. It isn’t like I am going to the coaches and saying, ‘Yo, let me throw a ball.’ I guess it’s cool to do. They trust me to go throw the ball and its fun to throw the ball sometimes.”

DT Danny Shelton

On getting after the loose footballs tonight:

“We’re a defense where everybody is hungry to make plays. That’s the main reason why I like these guys that I play with because I know they’re going to compete and I know that we’re going to challenge each other to go out there and make plays.”

On what happened on the strip sack:

“Honestly, I feel like we were able to collapse the pocket. Obviously our DBs [defensive backs] did their job with coverage and gave us some time to make a good play. I think it was [Patriots LE] Lawrence [Guy] that did the coverage. It was a good play, so we’re happy, and I’m just more excited that we have this ‘Victory Monday.’ – It’s been awhile.”

On the defenses dominant performance following the bye week:

“It felt great because we had this bye week to do our review and correct mistakes that we had early in the season. I feel like our guys did a great job with staying focused. We had to step it up and use better technique, get after the ball and make more plays. I feel like we’re on the right track right now.”

CB Stephon Gilmore

On how the Eagle’s offense match up to their expectations:

“It was good. We didn’t start off how we wanted to. I think as the game went on we began to play how we wanted to play. It wasn’t perfect but we got a win and that’s all that mattered.”

On how it felt to get the bad taste out of their mouths with a win:

“It was big. You never want to lose a game, but you learn from it. We got better this week, we had a good week of practice and played together as a team.”

CB Jason McCourty

On what they were able to do that was so effective against the Eagles offense:

“Some of the same things in the first half and then a few different looks in the second half. But I think it’s just competing, making some plays on the ball, and the guys up front being able to get pressure and get to Eagles QB [Carson] Wentz. If you can get them into a bad situation and we knew when we were able to get them in third down, we were able to get off of the field. In the first half, the thing that kind of killed us was maybe giving up five yards on the first carry or me getting a pass interference deep down the field. So those type of plays hurt us, I think in the second half, we did a better job at putting them 2 and 10 situations, 2 and 8, and then getting them to third down to where we were able to run some things that we do in our third-down package.”

On if the Eagles 95 yard drive was a wakeup call for the defense and forced them to settle down:

“Well we got an interception so that sucked, to get an interception and then to have them review it. Plays like that it’s hard when you see it called as an interception and you’re looking at it and it’s just like, what could’ve been shown on the replay that it would now be a completion. Had it been called a completion, you’re like well I can understand that it was kind of in between but, that is one of the things that you can’t control. I think for us you just get to the sideline after each drive and obviously after a positive one, you’re looking at the play like we have to continue that. And after a drive like that, you get to the sideline and you’re saying alright let’s settle down, let’s figure out play by play what’s going on and now let’s figure out how we’re going to adjust and get off the field the next series.”

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