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New England Patriots Postgame Quotes 12/6

HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, December 6, 2020

Opening Statement:

"Just really proud of our football team today. Coming across the country, the guys really worked hard. Had a good week of preparation, really put a lot into it. We got a lot of great leadership from, as always, our captains, but from many of our veteran players. Some of our younger players have really stepped up their preparation levels, as well. It was nice to see it all come together today. I thought we had a game where all three units contributed. It was a complimentary game. We had plays on offense, defense, and special teams. We played at a good level for 60 minutes and had more consistency than we probably had in most other games. Really proud of the way the team competed. The Chargers have a lot of good players. We saw what [DE Joey] Bosa and those guys did to Buffalo last week. We had some big plays in the kicking game. Those players have been working really hard on that all year, so it's gratifying to see those positive results come out. Offensively, this is a very, very talented skill group of players - tight ends, backs, quarterback, and, obviously, the receivers. Our guys really stepped up and competed against them. It's good to get a solid win here today. We obviously have to turn the page quickly and get ready for another really good football team here, a very talented team here with the Rams, [Head] Coach [Sean] McVay and his staff. We had a good win for our team with a bit of a heavy heart for Tracy's [Sormanti] family. Sorry to hear about her passing. She's been with us, the Patriots, and has given us a lot of support. All the time I've been here, even going back to 1996, they have always been here to help support us and the stadium. On behalf of the team, we pass along our condolences to her and her family. We look forward to turning the page on this one and getting started here. It's nice to be able to go back to UCLA. [UCLA Head] Coach [Chip] Kelly and UCLA staff, they're great. Their accommodations and their willingness to help us with all our needs, especially these difficult times, Chip [Kelly] and his staff, and the facilities they have, are great. The accommodations that they made for us are great. We look forward to have a productive week here and get ready for Thursday night."

On the defensive unit coming together as the season has progressed:

"I think our entire team has gotten better pretty much weekly. We just do things better than we have done them before. There is still plenty of room for improvement. I'm not saying we are there yet or anything by any means, but we just do things better. Our anticipation is better. Our reactions are quicker and better. That's true in all phases of the game. Definitely true on defense. But, that's been the case all the way around. Our fundamentals, our execution, our ability to make adjustments and put in new things that we feel like could help us for a particular game or situation. We just got to keep grinding, keep trying to get better day-by-day. That's not all going to happen at once - it didn't all happen at once - but I think with our work ethic and our attitude and our willingness to try and improve, that we've been able to do a better job of coaching and playing and playing complimentary football and doing things just better, individually and collectively as a team. Hopefully we can continue to do that."

On all three phases coming together today:

"Well, it's similar to what happened last week. We had explosive plays in the kicking game last week and had them this week. We had some big plays offensively and defensively. Again, it's great when all units are able to contribute and we can play complimentary football. That's always our goal. That's always how we try to prepare to play each week. It doesn't always work out quite the way it has the last two weeks, where we're scoring on special teams or setting up big field position swings, but it's always nice when that happens. I'm just proud of how hard our guys have worked and how those little things become big things and become big plays. Like I said, the leadership that we've gotten from each of the respective sides of the ball has been very important, and that constant, diligent attempt and effort to just steadily improve as the season's gone along."

On wide receiver Gunner Olszewski's performance:

"Happy for Gunner. But you know, he got a lot of help on those plays, as well. He did a good job on finishing the runs and making some guys miss. But, you know, if we can just get those returns started. [DB] Justin [Bethel], [DB Jonathan Jones], [WR Matthew] Slater, [DB] Cody [Davis], those guys did a good job of getting him started and he did a good job of finishing the plays. So yeah, happy for him. His career is not the classic way of an NFL career, given where he came from. But yeah, happy for the success that they've had. Gunner's worked extremely hard and overcome a lot. He's not a big guy, but he has a big heart and he plays hard."

On having the ability to get younger players game experience today:

"Well, it's nice to play people that don't get to play much. It's nice, but I don't know if it's that valuable, but it's good to be able to do it."

On if the team is playing their best football right now:

"We'll see. Every week is its own week in the NFL. We'll see where we are on Thursday. I thought we did some good things today, but next week is a good week. The Rams are a great football team. They're well-coached and they have a lot of great players. They're very difficult to play against, we all know that. It's time for us to turn the page and start all over again, have three-and-a-half or four great days of preparation and come back here and compete on Thursday night."

On his evaluation of the effort displayed by his special teams units:

"I'll start with [Special Teams Coordinator] Cam [Achord] and [Special Teams Assistant] Joe Houston. Those guys work really hard. Obviously, with Joe Judge and Scott O'Brien, we've been very fortunate to have great coaching here in the kicking game. Cam learned from Joe and has worked hard to learn, while working on a lot of things on his own. Nobody works harder than Cam. Cam is very well-prepared and is an excellent teacher. He's done a good job for us. We've been close on some plays at other points during the season that ended up just being foul balls, but this week, and last week, we had some explosive plays that impacted the game. Of course I'm happy to see those hit. Like I said, it's the whole unit. Matthew Slater gives us leadership in that group. Then, with Justin [Bethel] and Cody [Davis], those three guys in particular really are so crucial to everything that we do. We have some other guys - [KJ Nick [Folk] has had some big plays for us and [PJ Jake [Bailey] has done a good job. [LS] Joe [Cardona] just keeps firing strikes back there and has been solid in protection. If you just go right down the line, we have a lot of young guys contributing. Of course, the returners - Gunner [Olszewski] and [WR Donte] Moncrief - those guys have stepped up, as well. It's a good core group. It's nice to see all of their hard work and extra film study and extra time in practice - they'll stay after practice and work on blocking kicks and stuff like that."

On if he looked for an edge in the special teams phase this week in preparation for this game and passing Hall of Fame coach Tom Landry on the all-time games coached list:

"We try to have the edge every week on special teams. We always want to try to have the edge against everybody we play. That's our goal every week. All of these teams are good. They're all well-prepared. We just hope that you can find a way and have an opportunity to do something that will really impact the game and make a difference. You never expect it, but you always work toward that goal. Like I said, it's nice when it happens. I have a ton of respect for all of the coaches that I've been compared to over the years. Certainly, Coach Landry is one of the all-time greats. I have so much admiration for him and [George] Halas and [Curly] Lambeau and right down the line. Those guys made the game and taught us the game, either themselves or through their disciples. Honestly, nobody really cares about that now. We're two-thirds of the way through the 2020 season and my focus is just to try to do the best I can to help our team win today, and then prepare to go out and compete against the Rams. The rest of it, whatever it is, it is. The only reason I've won a lot of games is because I've coached a lot of good players. Players win games, and I've been fortunate to coach a lot of great players through the years. The reason we won today is because our players made many big plays for us to win. I've been very fortunate to have the opportunity to coach some outstanding players. They've turned those into good teams."

QUARTERBACK CAM NEWTON

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, December 6, 2020

On the first drive of the game:

"Oh man, it was the right way we wanted to start the game. We had that as a key to victory this week and I think we hit pretty much most of them, not only scoring on our first possession in the first half but also in the second half as well. Major kudos to the offense on that, but more or less, it was set up by a great defensive performance, having great field position all game and we just wanted to maximize it through that whole game."

On mentality of being a physical runner:

"Just be the hammer, not the nail. God has blessed me with the stature that I have and anytime that I have an opportunity to create some type of force or momentum, then I'm going to do it. But at the same time I have to be cognizant of the position that I play and when I need to get down I have to get down."

On WR Gunner Olszewski's performance:

"I mean, my man, he may get not only the offensive player of the week but the [touchdown], special teams player of the week as well. Just for him, I think this game was important because just to see the maturation of him over the weeks. Last week, he got he got kind of slighted with the touchdown being called back and for him to show up again. I know Gunner gets all the praise by just being the runner more or less, but you see guys like Matthew Slater, Justin Bethel, most proidomentialy the defense out there creating seams and avenues for guys to run. Anytime we play complementary football like that, when we get points without the offense having to do much, you're going to have turnouts just like you see today."

On the fourth-and-two decision on the opening drive:

"Yeah that was big, it's up to us as an offense to not blink. For us, to have that confidence from our coaches, it just speaks volumes and if they believe in us that much we got to uphold our end of the bargain."

On WR N'Keal Harry's performance:

"Say what you want, its just a way for him to get his confidence up with a big play on his part, I wouldn't say it was the best pass but for him to play as big as he has been playing, I think we're going to need that heading forward from him."

On WR Matthew Slater:

"That's the honorable, Matthew Slater. I think, for him, he does a great job with speaking. He speaks to the team after all the wins and losses. He has a talent, man. When you have leaders like that on your team there's no wonder he's been able to be so impactful for this organization for as long as he has. He's just such a positive role model and a person that I admire and look up to from afar. He just holds himself to such a high standard and a lot of what the special teams, a lot of what this team is, is a direct indication of who Matthew Slater is. When you got men like that on your team, sky's the limit."

On the difference being pulled from the game up big today vs being pulled from the SF game:

"We still have a long way to go. There are still some things that I could have been better at and I need to be better at, but each and every day for me - and I've always said it - is just learning. Learning in this offense and gaining the trust of the coaching staff to be able to go for it on fourth down - to be able to put the ball in the air - to be able to gain confidence in calling plays. From trick plays to regulars plays, run plays, pass plays, no plays. That's what the standard is for me and I just need to keep growing from it."

On the momentum and emotion of heading into half time after the touchdown off a blocked field goal:

"Well, listen, any time we get an opportunity to get big plays on special teams the numbers kind of tilt more in our favor to win. Today, we got multiple plays from our special teams and it impacted the game in the ways we wanted it to impact it. From Gunner [Olszewski] making plays in the return game to guys just selling out on the field goal, we're going to need that more and more as this season keeps going the way it's going."

On what a win like this does for the team's confidence moving forward:

"We just have to understand that we have to take it one game at a time. We understand what position we are in, and everything is pretty much in front of us. We just have to really hone in a focus on the opponents that we have to face that week and maximize each and every opportunity that we do get. If we keep that going on, we'll be in good graces."

SAFETY DEVIN MCCOURTY

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, December 6, 2020

Transcript not available.

WIDE RECEIVER GUNNER OLSZEWSKI

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, December 6, 2020

Transcript not available.

SPECIAL TEAMS CAPTAIN MATTHEW SLATER

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, December 6, 2020

Transcript not available.

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