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New England Patriots Postgame Quotes 12/29

HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, December 29, 2019

BB: Alright, well, there's obviously not too much to say. Obviously, we didn't do anything well enough today to deserve to win. So, we'll be playing next week and we'll see who that is and still have opportunity in front of us here. We need our best football, and we didn't have it today, but hopefully it will be there next week.

Q: What was the play call on the last play of the game? How much of it was a designed play call?

BB: Yeah, it's our last play. So, we're trying to find a way to score.

Q: At the end of the first half, you had an opportunity to call timeout before the Dolphins punted and then use timeouts when you had the ball...

BB: Yeah, we would have done that if we got a first down.

Q: Did the Dolphins trick plays throw you off balance at all in terms of reading keys? In the second half, was it just that they were executing well?

BB: Yeah, look, they've done a good job. I think we all know what they've done offensively in the last six weeks or so of the season. We expected some trick plays. We didn't know which ones they'd be or when they'd call them, but I mean, that wasn't a big surprise. 

Q: How much has this Dolphins team improved from the one you saw earlier in the season to the one you saw today?

BB: Yeah, I don't know. They played well today.

Q: Was there always a thought of letting the clock run out at the end of the half? Was there any consideration to trying to get into field position to perhaps set up a field goal?

BB: Yeah, if we'd gotten a first down, we would have done that. 

Q: At the end of the first half, why not take a timeout at 1:45? Is that because Miami had all three of their timeouts left?

BB: Yeah, we'd see what kind of field position we got, and then if we could advance the ball, then we'd take them. But, we didn't want to give the ball back with their timeouts at the end of the half, either.

Q: Did anything that Tom Brady was dealing with physically affect your play calling at all in this game?

BB: No, he practiced all week. I mean, you'd have to ask him that. It didn't affect the play calling though, no. 

Q: On the defense, what did you think of Chad O'Shea's approach as far as spreading you guys out, and why did you think that was effective?

BB: That's what they've been doing. It's what we expected them to do. They do a good job of it, obviously.

Q: How effective were the Dolphins on their crossing routes?

BB: Yeah, they did a good job. They did a better job than we did. Simple as that.

QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, December 29, 2019

Q: What is your general feeling after the game and having to play on Wild Card weekend for the first time in nearly a decade?

TB: Yeah, it was just we didn't play the way we're capable of playing and it ended up costing us. Just too many bad mistakes.

Q: Did you feel 100 percent today? There were some throws in the first half that seemed to get away. Did you feel as if you were dialed in today, or were you just a little off?

TB: You know I could always do things better. So, I don't think there's any one particular thing other than obviously I hate turning the ball over, but I just don't think we did a good enough job. I certainly didn't do a good enough job. We've got to do better next week.

Q: On the interception, what did you see?

TB: It was just a bad throw. It was just a bad throw.

Q: How did you feel physically today?

TB: Good. Yeah, I feel good. I have no problems. So yeah, no problems.

Q: What's your confidence level in the state of the offense following the regular season, and do you think it's good enough to come back and make a Super Bowl run?

TB: I think we've got to think about trying to win one game and not think about many things other than that. So, we didn't play the way we were capable. We got beat, and now we've got to play next week and we've got to play a lot better next week.

Q: On the possession right before the end of the half, would you have liked to have done more there, and were you surprised that you just kind of ran the ball and that was it?

TB: I'll have to look. I don't know. We weren't executing great, so I can understand the decision. But, it was a lot of things today.

Q: You were treating this game like a playoff game this week, but it really wasn't. Is it tough to get motivated for the game when you know it's not really one-and-done, but something else?

TB: Well, it was a great chance for us to not play next week. So, we didn't take advantage of it. We just didn't play good enough and we all wish we would have done a better job. Certainly I do.

Q: What have you seen from the offensive line in terms of making progress this season?

TB: Yeah, they've been fighting really hard for us, and doing a good job in the run game and the pass game. They battled out there today. We just – we got control and then we just – you know, it just wasn't a great game.

SAFETY DEVIN MCCOURTY

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, December 29, 2019

Q: Are you as stunned as I imagine many Patriots fans are right now?

DM: It doesn't matter. We've got a game next week, we've got to get ready to go. Nobody feels sorry for us, we shouldn't feel sorry for ourselves. Our goal is to play in the playoffs. We've got a shot next week at all of that. Disappointed, wanted to play better, wanted to win today, but we didn't. We've got to move forward and get ready to go or the end of our season will be next week if we don't turn the page and play good football, way better than today.           

Q: Given that the defense has been a strength for the team, what happened on the last drive? Why weren't you able to stop what you've been stopping all year?

DM: They attacked everything. We didn't get a stop. We've come up here, I've come up here and said numerous times that's what we want, a chance to play defense to end the game and we didn't get it done today. It wasn't – you guys watched it, it wasn't like they attacked one thing, spread the ball around, we didn't get any stops that we needed. When you don't do that on the last drive of the game and you let the team drive the field and score, that's what you get. For us, we still should be confident to go out there, we just know we've got to execute. Today, we didn't execute really any situations out there, especially the last drive. We always talk about that, no matter how you played throughout the game, we took the field and had a chance to win a football game in a two-minute drive and we didn't get it done.

Q: How tough is it to get ready for a game when you're playing a team that you haven't faced since Week 2? As opposed to when you play a team like Kansas City and you know their route combinations, which guy is fast, et cetera.

DM: It's definitely a challenge but I think each week presents a challenge. You bring up Kansas City – yeah, we know who's out there but they present a whole other challenge with who's out there. We knew what [DeVante] Parker was, he's been out there. We knew what Albert Wilson is, he's been out there the last two years. We knew some guys that are out there, [Mike] Gesicki, he's been out there the last two years. It comes down to playing. We've got to go out there and execute. We always talk about prepare, prepare, be ready, but it always comes down at the end of the day is how we go out there and execute on Sunday. I think from beginning to end, we didn't execute, we didn't play what we – we had spurts, we had some good drives, but overall it just wasn't a good performance today.

Q: Historically, teams with the bye have done well in getting to the Super Bowl. What does it mean to you guys in the locker room that you don't have the bye?

DM: That we play next week. If we worry about anything else – we play next week.

Q: Does week-to-week momentum matter? Do you know exactly what to expect from your team when you take the field on a weekly basis?

DM: I would say no. You try to get ready to go each week, it doesn't matter. I think other sports where you might be playing one night, then the next night, or two nights, each time we play there's a whole week in between to prepare, to build it up, to get ready to go. If you don't do those things – how we played last Saturday didn't matter today. That was evident out there. How we played this week doesn't have to matter next week. If we go out here and practice well, execute and go play our best game of the year next week, it won't matter, we won't care about this week. It's all about how you prepare, it's all about being ready to go and then executing out there on Sunday.

Q: Do you know on a week-to-week basis yet what you're going to get?

DM: I would say overall, we won some games here this season, we've done some good things and when we don't, we lose. It's that simple. I think we know that and it's like anything else in life, it's hard to go out there and execute each week but that's the task at hand. That's why we're here, that's why we get paid to play football, for that reason. We've got to dig deep this week, we've got to look ourselves in the mirror and get ready to go. Like I said earlier, no one feels sorry for the Patriots not getting a first-round bye in the playoffs. It is what it is. We talk about it each year, each team has their own journey and this is our journey to go out there next week, Wild Card weekend and have an opportunity to continue to play. If we want to earn the right to play next week, we've got to go out there and play well.

Q: Could you tell that Brian Flores has put an imprint on this team?

DM: Yeah you can tell that watching film. You look at, since their bye week, they've been out there fighting, clawing. Won some games and even the games they've lost it's been down the stretch, tough games. We knew what we were getting, we knew they were going to be a scrappy football team that was going to come out here and battle and challenge on everything, and that's exactly what they did. They challenged us, they know us well, we knew that and we didn't step up to that. We didn't elevate our game and play to that. They out-toughed us, they outplayed us today and they got the win.

Q: Was that last drive for the Dolphins based on momentum?

DM: I don't believe in that, momentum is not going to get you open and make catches and make the run, they did those things. The momentum doesn't matter. We talked about getting off to a good start, we didn't do that. It was a battle throughout the game. We've been in those games before, we always talk about games will come down to the last drive, last play, last couple plays and that's exactly what this game came down to. No different, really, than last week. Comes down to that and either you get it done or you don't and today we weren't able to get it done.

PLAYERS IN THE LOCKER ROOM

Rex Burkhead, RB

(On the Dolphins)

"They played their tails off and we didn't make enough plays out there, for sure."

(On the Wild Card game)

"It's a quick turnaround. We are going to have to quickly put this behind us and move on. Understand that we have a playoff game to be played next week and do whatever we can to prepare and get ready for that." 

(On whether the team was prepared)

"I feel like we were. We just didn't execute. That's what it comes down to out there. Start fast and play fast and you've got to execute. Ultimately they [Miami] out executed us today. We've got to get better all around, all phases of the game and especially detail stuff. Detail oriented things that we can definitely clean up, things that turn small gains to big gains. It's tough, but at the same time you have got to keep fighting, got to keep battling. The character of this team, the character of the guys we have on this team, we need to keep fighting, understanding there is a lot of football left to be played if things don't go our way early in the game. We can always do things to get better and put ourselves in better position. Today the Dolphins did a better job."

Phillip Dorsett II, WR

(On the first quarter) 

"We started slow, we didn't make plays. They [Miami] came out there and they played hard and we didn't match their intensity."

(On moving on to the playoffs) 

"We have to review the film, see what we did wrong, try to correct it and move on to whoever we play next, honestly."

(On the loss) 

"It's the NFL. You win, you lose, draw, play hard, don't play hard. It's the NFL. It happens."

(On playing in a Wild Card game) 

"We got to get ready for it. We have to flip the switch. At the end of the day, there is going to be a lot of teams packing up getting ready for their vacation. We still get to play football so we have to get ready for another game."

(On anticipating the intensity of the next game) 

"We know that everybody is going to bring it. Everybody in this locker room is going to bring it. Everybody out there watching the game in the stands is going to bring it. We need it."

Stephon Gilmore, CB

(On the loss) 

"It's tough. A tough pill to swallow but they had the better day today."

(On the performance of DeVante Parker today versus his performance earlier in the year) 

"He made good catches, made some tough plays. He had a better day today."

(On Miami's execution during the final drive) 

"They just made some good throws, some good catches. We didn't make enough plays."

(On trick plays Miami threw at the Patriots defense)

"We knew they would do some stuff, some trick plays. You know, it is what it is and we have to react. They just had a better day today." 

(On the team's focus moving forward) 

'We got to step it up. I don't know who we will play next week. We just have to go back, practice hard and correct some things we need to do right and go from there."

(On if he has confidence in the team)

"I do, I do. It's a hard-working group and it didn't go how we wanted to today. It was a better team but I'm confident in everybody."

(Oh how he would assess his performance against DeVante Parker)

"He made some plays. It is what it is and I can handle it. I know what type of player I am and just need to go back to the practice field and practice hard to get ready for the next game."

N'Keal Harry, WR

(On consistency)

"Do better taking the little things from the practice field to the game field."

(Asked if he is improving week to week)

"Most definitely, I just have to keep the same mind set and do the same things day in and day out. Work hard."

Elandon Roberts, LB

(On the feeling after the loss) 

"We just got to put it behind us and get ready for next week."

(On where the defense could have improved)

"Right now, we have to just go back and look at the film and learn from it. At the same time, put this game behind us and get ready for the postseason."

(On if the team is able to get excited for the postseason after today) 

"Why not? It's an accomplishment. You've got guys that are packing up and going home. It is still a great accomplishment and stuff like that. We just have to get ready for next week. You come into the season working for the playoffs. Of course you don't want a loss going in to it, but at the same time you have to respect it because there are teams week in and week out that come out here to beat you. We have teams coming at us and we are trying to win. So you have to respect that part of it. Don't get me wrong, it's hard to make the playoffs in this league. We have been very blessed in our organization. It is a blessing to be in this position and we will just come back and work tomorrow."

(On the challenge of not getting the first-round bye) 

"It's a blessing to be in this position and I don't take it like that. We will come in here tomorrow and put this one behind us."

(On his touchdown reception) 

"It was straight, but we lost."

Matthew Slater, WR

(On if he was surprised by the outcome of the game) 

"It's the National Football League and I think any time that you go out onto the field you have to expect tough competition and understand the game can go either way. You have to give a lot of credit to coach [Brian] Flores and the way he had those guys motivate to win. They played a very good game and they did enough to win."

(On what was the cause of the team not looking as prepared as they normally are for these type of games) 

"Maybe a little lack of focus or lack of execution. It's tough for me to say without watching the film, but it is what it is at this point. We didn't come out and do enough to win the game. If we did ignore minor details, it came back to bite us. Moving forward hopefully we can be on top of that and execute next time we take the field."

(On how much harder it is to not get a bye) 

"Certainly it is a different situation, but it is important for us to have the proper perspective. We have been very blessed to have the type of season we have had and being in the playoffs. A lot of teams don't get that opportunity. Would it have been nice to have the bye? But now we don't have one. We have to do everything in our power to recover and prepare and be excited about our opportunity. Let's not mope around and feel sorry for ourselves, we are in the playoffs. Our team has worked hard and we should be appreciative of where we are."

James White, RB

(On what the message is moving forward) 

"It doesn't really matter, it's the same mindset. We are still in the playoffs and everything we want is still in front of us. We have to go out there and compete for four quarters every time we step on the field because you never know what play is going to be the difference."

(On if he was surprised that they didn't come out and play as well as expected) 

"Obviously you don't expect to play the way we did, we expect to play better, but it's over now and we have to prepare for next week."

(On if it is more difficult now that they don't have the bye) 

"I don't think it is any more difficult. You just have to go out there and play football. It's one extra game if you make it to where you want to be. We just have to go out there and play hard."

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