HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
Postgame Press Conference
Monday, December 28, 2020
BB: Well, it was obviously a good performance today by Buffalo. They have a good team. They're well-coached. They played well tonight. Yeah, we just weren't able to do much in any phase of the game. They outplayed us across the board, outplayed us and out-coached us. They did a good job. They're a very good football team. We can see why they're the AFC East champions this year. They deserve to be.
Q: A few weeks ago you shut oout the Chargers 45-0. What's happened to the team since then?
BB: Well, tonight we didn't play as well as we're capable of and Buffalo played well. They're certainly the better team tonight. Better than we were in all phases of the game: offense, defense, special teams, playing, coaching, fundamentals. They did a better job than we did.
Q: The broadcasters mentioned a few times tonight, they said you weren't buying into the Josh Allen craze. Do you have more respect for Josh Allen's game after his performance tonight?
BB: Yeah, I don't know what they said. I'm on the record on that.
Q: They did say you said that you weren't buying into the Josh Allen MVP craze a couple times. Is that a fair interpretation of what you said to them?
BB: I said multiple times that Josh Allen is a good football player, he's played well, and he's having a good year.
Q: There was a shot of you throwing the phone on the sideline after the challenge. I'm assuming you didn't see the play before the challenge. What went on on that play?
BB: Yeah, obviously he made the catch. It was a good catch.
Q: On the fake punt that they executed, was that sort of what you wanted there with the gunners uncovered?
BB: Yeah, obviously they made a good play on it. They executed it well. They got us before we could make the play.
Q: What did you see from the passing game with Cam before taking him out? What were the struggles there?
BB: We didn't have much direction. Just the combination of things. Protection, dropped balls, lack of good execution. We just didn't execute the passing game well, and they played well defensively with their pressure. They covered well. They did a better job than we did.
Q: What specifically were you annoyed at? Were you annoyed somebody suggested you challenge that call when you threw the phone? The reason I ask is I'm just wondering if it's an indication of frustration with how this entire season has gone. It's been obviously a very tough one for you.
BB: I mean, it was a good call. It was a good catch. The challenge was obviously not successful, as it shouldn't have been, so...
Q: You mentioned Cam's lack of production passing the ball when you made the switch. Does that affect your plans for who is starting next week?
BB: Game was over about 10, 15 minutes ago, so... We worked on this game. We played the game. Haven't made any plans for next week obviously being it's 15 minutes old.
Q: Why did you make the decision to go to Jarrett early in the third quarter?
BB: To get Jarrett a chance to play.
Q: Why was that the proper time to give Jarrett the chance to play?
BB: Well, we weren't playing very well. It was the opportunity to give him a chance to play. Cam did a good job for us. I mean, that wasn't the problem. We were just not very competitive in the beginning.
QUARTERBACK CAM NEWTON
Postgame Press Conference
Monday, December 28, 2020
Q: I'm sure you're disappointed in that game. Maybe share some of what you're feeling right now. I don't know if it's the right time to ask, but do you think you'll start next week's game if you want to, where your head is at?
CN: It's disappointing. But, you know, I'm just doing what I'm asked to do, trying to be the best player for this team I can possibly be. That's what it is.
Q: The struggles, does it feel like they are different from game to game or does it feel to you there's a thread that connects from one week to the next? Has it been hard to figure out how to reverse that?
CN: I don't understand your question, sir.
Q: You've had some struggles throwing the ball over a period of weeks. Is it something that the Bills did specifically tonight or has it been something that you've struggled with over the course of the season? Is it the same thing you're struggling with or different from week-to-week?
CN: I'm just trying to do and be the best player that I can possibly be for this team. That's what it is. It's nothing that another opposing team is doing. But I'd be the first to say that I need to get better, and it starts with practice.
Q: You recently said you feel like you're still on a job interview here. How do you feel like you're doing? Do you feel like you've done enough to prove to the Patriots that you deserve the job not just in week 17 but in 2021? Do you feel on a bigger scale you've done enough to prove that to the league with the contract expiring?
CN: I don't care about no contract. I just want to win.
Q: I'll narrow the question down a little bit. Do you feel like you've done a good job in this job interview this year?
CN: That's not for me to answer.
Q: You've talked obviously it's about winning. How much frustration, disappointment, anger do you have right now in the fact you can't go out as an offense and produce, do what you did earlier in the season? How difficult has it been on you personally emotionally as you go through this? Can't be easy.
CN: It's extremely frustrating, knowing what you're capable of, having belief in yourself, it's just not showing when it counts the most.
Q: On the broadcast they showed a graphic stating your daily schedule. Said you wake up at 4:20 in the morning, out of the house in 10 minutes, not asleep till 11:30. Is that your normal schedule?
CN: That's been my schedule for 90% of the time I've been here. So you can kind of understand the frustration I do have when I don't have the outcome because I'm sacrificing so much. Talking to a person who ain't seen his kids in three months. Obviously the contract is what it is. Submitting myself to this team is something I've been doing since day one. Being accessible. Yeah, it's frustrating. It makes you mad. It makes you angry knowing that to be a trusted teammate you first have to submit to authority and submit to what the coaches are asking you to do. I feel like I have done that. I'm not in the place of blame. I'm more or less venting right now because, yeah, I've sacrificed so much this year. I mean, it hurts when you have the outing that you have tonight, just to go home, then start it over for a whole 'nother week, yeah.
Q: Bill Belichick has stood by you all season, singing your praises up and down. Even tonight he was asked why he benched you. He said it was a combination of things. He was defending you. What does it mean to have him consistently standing up for you? Did you expect that?
CN: I mean, I think the feeling is mutual. I'd be first person to tell you I to need to play better. At the same time it's just things that if I'm asked to do something, that's what I'm going to do. I've never been a person to be controversial in the locker room, contrary to any other person's belief. I try to be the best teammate I can possibly be. That's what I will continue to do. I will keep getting better each and every week, getting more comfortable in this offense for the last week that I possibly can. Let's see where it gets me.
Q: On the daily schedule, have you always been a person who doesn't need a lot of sleep?
CN: Yeah, that's always been an issue of mine. But it is what it is. You know what I'm saying? Obviously it ain't the sleep, because of the success, yeah.
Q: Bill said you did a good job for the Patriots tonight, that you weren't the problem. Would you agree with that assessment?
CN: No, I wouldn't say that. I would say any time -- I'll put it like this: You don't get pulled out just because you're having a standup game. I can tell you that. I'd be the first person to say that. There are some things I feel like I could have done better. But what my standard is for myself, it's never to just blend in and just be the status quo. There's some plays that need to have been made on my part that I feel like I could have done a better job at doing. You just have to review the film and get back to it. As a signal caller, as a person who is a dynamic player on this team, I need to impact the game more, and it just didn't happen tonight.
Q: Jarrett was asked if he'd like to play a full game next week. He said obviously every player wants to play, would love the opportunity to play. Would you also like to play a full game next week?
CN: I'm not going to get into no back and forth with nobody. Like I said, my job is to be the best teammate I can possibly be, be the best player I can be for this team, and that's what I'm going to continue to do.
QUARTERBACK JARRETT STIDHAM
Postgame Press Conference
Monday, December 28, 2020
(On if he'd like more time to get in a groove during a game rather than coming in in the second half)
"I mean, I think for me, at the end of the day, whatever opportunity I'm given, I want to try and make the most of it. Whether that's in the third quarter, the fourth quarter, whenever that is, I need to go out and make the most of it. That's exactly what I'm trying to do."
(On why the offense has struggled recently)
"I don't think it's necessarily just one thing. There's 11 guys on offense and everybody's got to do their job the right way every single play in order to move the ball. That's how we execute and that's how we need to execute. So, I wouldn't say it's just one thing. But I would just say, collectively, all 11 of us have to be on the same page and move the ball and do our job."
(On if there's more he could show in practice to earn more playing time)
"I mean, look, I think for me, whatever opportunities I'm given in practice, I try and make the most of it. Whether that's scout team, whether if it's an individual period, whether if it's a seven-on-seven period – whatever it may be, I try and do my absolute best every single rep that I get. Even if we're running another team's offense, I'm out there to throw the ball to the right guy and to move the chains, and that's what I try and do every single day."
(On how much game-action experience has helped his growth)
"Yeah, I mean, I think that's obviously one of the biggest things for development is just getting experience. I've loved to have gotten each and every opportunity that I've had. I wish, obviously, that they've gone better and we could put some more points on the board. But, yeah, I think game experiences, there's nothing like it. So, I'm just going to continue to grind and work my butt off every single week and just be ready for whatever opportunity that I get."
(On if he'd like to start and play a full game next week)
"I think everybody in the game of football wants to be playing every single week. So, yeah, I would absolutely love to have that opportunity, but again, that's not in my control and I'm not going to focus on it. It's not going to change the way I prepare. I prepare like I'm the starter, even going back to last year. That's how I've always prepared each and every week. So, that's not going to change my mindset and I'm just going to keep grinding and get better next week."
ADDITIONAL PATRIOTS PLAYERS
J.C. Jackson, DB
(On the way he played tonight and his takeaways)
"Honestly, I feel like I could have played better. I've just got to keep working, keep trying to get better. That's really it."
(On the long touchdown to Stefon Diggs)
"I didn't really see the ball and I feel like I hesitated a little bit. He was about to cross and then when he caught it and scored, yeah I kind of hesitated. I saw the ball at the last minute. He caught the ball and he ran it in for a touchdown. He's a good player, he's a playmaker. Like I said, I could have done better, I could have had tighter coverage."
(On what he learned from matching up against Stefon Diggs)
"I learned from it that each play, you can't take any reps off. You can't fall asleep, you've got to be alert and ready every play when you're playing a receiver like that. He's a playmaker, he comes back to the ball better than any receiver in the league. He's got great hands. You've got to almost be perfect when you're guarding somebody like that. You've got to almost have perfect coverage in man-to-man."
Jason McCourty, CB
(On what prevented the defense from getting stops early on)
"Man, I don't know. We just didn't do a good job tackling, we didn't do a good job covering. To be honest, from a defensive standpoint, we didn't do anything well in the game. It was indicative of the score. This was a poor performance by us on defense on a whole."
(On how difficult it was with all the injuries to defensive players)
"It was definitely tough. That's the nature of our sport, you know? Guys go down, you need the next guy to step up. Obviously we have a younger roster this year. Guys gain experience late in the season, we're out there, and you're kind of just fighting for the guy next to you. Things happen, guys go down, it's a physical sport. We just need guys to step up, come in and play hard. It was just a failure by us on defense tonight. Just not good all around. Disappointing."
(On whether injuries create opportunities for younger guys to get more experience)
"I think so, I think that's more of a Bill [Belichick] and coaching staff question if they see fit to get some of those guys in there. Obviously, for us on defense like you said, with injuries and stuff, you saw a lot of our young guys even starting the game. There's a ton of young guys playing for us on defense. Definitely love to see Joejuan [Williams] get in there, he's been working his butt off this entire season kind of behind the scenes because he hasn't gotten a lot of opportunities, but he's worked. Myles [Bryant] is in there, Dug [Kyle Dugger] is in there for us on the back end. So whoever's in there, we've just got to go out there and compete. We have one more opportunity left for this season, with this group of guys. Obviously we talk about it all the time – I was here in 2018, we won the Super Bowl and you come back in 2019 and the team's different. No matter what, things change. I think when you have a season like we did this year and you're not going to the playoffs, you have embarrassing losses, this roster's going to be a lot different. There's a lot of guys that are in the locker room tonight that aren't going to be in the locker room next year. Guys that are playing football right now that aren't going to be playing football next year. For us, we have one more opportunity left together so whoever's out there – young, old or indifferent, we've got to go out there and compete."
(On how if it feels strange for the Patriots to not make the playoffs)
"I don't think I'd be the one to really be able to share insight on that. I'm a guy that, this is only my third year here and for me, I don't look at the Patriots as the Patriots or any team of that nature. The NFL is the NFL, nobody's beyond a losing season, nobody's beyond anything. You get what you earn each and every year. One year is different from the next and no matter what you did the year before, 10 years before, whatever number you want to give, when you come back that following year, you are what you put on tape. We are the Patriots of this year and what we put on tape, what our record is. Each and every day is an interview and you have to go out there and prove yourself and compete and earn everything that you get. I think that's what this organization is built on from when I got here. I've gone through seasons like this and nobody's above it. If you don't go out there and you don't perform and you don't compete and outplay your opponent, that's what it's going to be. I don't know, it is what it is and I think we are what we put on film this year whether we're the Patriots, whether we're whatever team you want to put to fill in the blank. If you don't perform well, this is what can happen."