HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
Postgame Press Conference
Thursday, August 19, 2021
"First of all, I want to thank the Eagles for the week that we had [in Philadelphia] in terms of practicing with them. It was really a productive week all the way from the top from ownership, [Eagles Vice President/General Manger] Howie [Roseman], [Eagles Head Coach] Nick [Sirianni], and their staff. It was a great opportunity for us to come down and practice against them. We got a lot out of those practices. We're a better team than we were when we came down here, that's really the main goal. Tonight I thought we played well fundamentally. We had a couple turnovers. I thought our overall fundamentals were an improvement from last week. But we have a long way to go, there's a lot of things we need to continue to work on. Just need to keep stringing some good days together and keep building on the things that we laid as a foundation fundamentally and continue to improve on those. Certainly, there's plenty of things we need to work on scheme-wise – we still have a lot to work through – but I thought they competed well tonight and made some plays. Obviously getting off to a good start and playing from ahead is a lot easier than doing it the other way. We were fortunate there early in the game. Another good opportunity for us next week. We have a little longer week so we'll be able to get some things installed and situationally that we need to catch up on and have a good week against the Giants working with them. [We're] looking forward to that. Just keep grinding through these training camp weeks and trying to get as good as a foundation fundamentally as we can and be ready to go for the regular season."
On the Patriots' work on the red zone offense paying off on their first possession:
"It's always good to put the ball in the end zone. We did a pretty good job of that tonight. The backs ran hard and we hit some passes. Just, overall, the efficiency was a lot better than it was last week. We actually gained some yards throwing the ball and converted some third downs. That leads to some points."
On the Patriots' ability to feed off each other's energy in all three phases:
"Yeah, that was great. There was a lot of good energy on the sideline. There was a lot of support for each other in the other groups – offense, defense, special teams. When you play complementary football that always helps the overall performance. It's fortunate when those things come together, but we were able to do some of that tonight. A turnover on defense and stick it in for a touchdown on offense and so forth, so it was good."
On QB Cam Newton's performance during the week:
"You know, I thought all players had a good week. Everybody improved – the coaches that helped us, you know, seeing a new team and working through that. The players - Cam had a good week - but I thought everybody worked hard and tried to take advantage of every opportunity that we had to go against a different group of players and different schemes. It was beneficial for all of us. It was two really good days. I think we benefited from it."
On Newton's play this year coming off of his first season with the team:
"Well, I mean, the season's pretty early here. We all have a long way to go. I'm not really worried about last year or some other year. I'm just worried about moving ahead this year. It's a new year, it's a new team. [There are] some people that weren't here that are here this year and there are people that were here last year that aren't here – like it is on every other team in the NFL. So we'll see how this comes together. I think we're making progress. We still have a long way to go, though. We're talking about the second preseason game, we have a long way to go."
On Newton's level of comfortability:
"I think everybody is comfortable with what we're doing. I hope so. If [Newton] isn't, then I don't know."
On QB Mac Jones and how the offense could have handled the last possession of the first half differently:
"Well, again, we learn every time we go out on the field, every time we run a play, every time we were in any series of plays. We learn from all of them. We learn from the first series to the last series. They're all good teaching moments. We've had the chance to play two games and a lot of practices, but the games are different and everything comes together in the games and they're all good learning experiences.
On whether QB Mac Jones could have handled the last possession of the first half better:
"Again, we learn from every situation. There are always things we can work on and talk about. Every situation is different, so there will probably never be another situation exactly like that one. We'll try to apply the principles that we talk about in different situations. Sometimes there are some grey areas and sometimes they are clear. We all learn from them. [Patriots Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach] Josh [McDaniels] and I talk about this too."
On LB Matt Judon:
"Matt's a good player. He's a good football player and does a lot of things well. I'm glad he's on our team."
On having to adapt while being shorthanded at tight end:
"That's real football. Things happen and you have to make adjustments. Guys have to maybe do something that is a little bit different than what they have been doing. We cross-train guys to do more than one thing. [Patriots TE] Devin [Asiasi] played around 40 snaps and there were times when he wasn't on the field. Sometimes we had linemen in there, sometimes we had four receivers on the field, or two back in the backfield. We utilize those formations. When we're short on a position, then we have to use other personnel groups. You got to have 11 guys out there, but we try to still do as many things as we are comfortable doing; things that fundamentally fit for the offense or defense. Hopefully we just have one or two guys that have to make an adjustment and we can go from there. That was a good opportunity for us. We practiced that way on Tuesday and Wednesday, then went back over it this morning. We thought the players handled it pretty well and adapted to it. Those are the kind of things we're going to have to do. Sometimes you will have to do them before the game. Sometimes it comes within the game. That was a good learning situation for us."
On QB Mac Jones getting experience with different situations:
"Every play is a good play for us to learn from. Whatever ones come up we can learn and make the most out of them. Some come up and some don't, but the ones that do we learn from and teach. The ones that don't, we teach in practice or watch when they come up from our opponent. We can sometimes talk about those situations if it is a strategy. We try to keep learning and covering things. Sooner or later, that situation or one similar to that will pop up and we'll need to know what to do."
On the running back group:
"It's a good group. Those guys all work hard. They have all gotten opportunities and have shown positively in their opportunities. Competition brings out the best in all of us. Those guys are competing well and are all contributing. It's a great situation."
QUARTERBACK CAM NEWTON
Postgame Press Conference
Thursday, August 19, 2021
On how beneficial this week was on the practice field working on the red zone:
"We had a chance to start the game and we just wanted to make sure we scored. The defense did their job. We got the ball in impeccable field position and [RB Damien] Harris did the rest."
On whether he saw anything from the Eagles defense prior to the snap on the scoring play to WR Jakobi Meyers:
"It was a lot of things we had benefitted from this week because we practiced with them and we saw some things on film. It's all about in game adjustments at the end of the day. We got somewhat of a veteran group that understands how [Patriots Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks Coach] Coach [Josh] McDaniels is. We just tried to go out there and execute as best as possible."
On how the game came together after the week they had practicing:
"We just wanted to come out here and win."
On the feeling when he gives the ball to a fan in the stands after each game:
"It's my thing. That's my way of appreciation to the fans. Hopefully there will be a lot of Sunday giveaways to look forward to in the upcoming season."
On how comfortable he felt tonight in the pocket with some space to throw:
"I just tried to do my job. That's all it is."
On whether he felt himself in a rhythm right away with his receivers:
"That's one of our keys to win each and every week – to start fast. We had pretty good field position and we just had to uphold our end of the bargain. Coach challenged us in the passing game just to be more efficient and that's what we just tried to do. Throw and catch and have good disciple in the zone defenses and the man-to-man defenses – whatever they threw at us – that's just how we tried to do."
On whether there was a check down on the line prior to his TD throw to WR Jakobi Meyers:
"I can't tell you all my secrets. I just try to execute … I plead the fifth."
On how great it is to see his running backs do so well and how much they provide the offense:
"In that room, those guys just make each other better each and every day. You see it happening from the leadership of [RB] James [White] and [RB] Sony [Michel] and [RB] Damien [Harris]. They are such a close knit group that it shows up in the pass game, it shows up in the run game, and it shows up in protections. You have a day like today and it's no secret that those guys are getting better in that room. And you applaud that because they raise the standard."
On the satisfaction of practicing screen passes and short passes and seeing it translate to the game:
"Yeah, I mean, that's what you practice for. Still have a long way to go and it's still preseason so it is what it is."
On not personally running the ball in preseason and if that is by design to not take any unnecessary hits:
"I just try to execute the play call that's given."
On QB Mac Jones' first drive and the touchdown:
"I think the whole offense did a pretty good job today. From the first, second, third group, and I think we did play great complementary football as a team. From the first drive, having a short field, being backed up. Our first job as an offense is to get a first down. Once we got that first down that's when everything also got rockin' and rollin'. And really starting the second half with some points too. So all those keys to victory, we go over and it's just great to see it coming to fruition tonight and just to see it close out. Outside of the fumble, it was pretty much a flawless night for us offensively."
On Eagles S K'Von Wallace calling QB Cam Newton the checkdown king and if he felt like he responded tonight:
"Oh, that's 'glitter'. Glitter. It's preseason. He was still cheering his team on the sideline. He was out there. It was good. Tell his coach to play man-to-man then. I'm just doing what I'm told just like he's doing what he's told. If you feel like we're checking down, just taking what the defensive gives you. There's no need to kind of feed into this because anytime you have a joint practice with a bunch of alpha males, certain things are going to be said. But we did have fun, we did get better as a team and we just came out here and sealed the deal as far as another notch of moving in the right direction as the season progresses, so that's what it's all about."
On why he called Wallace 'glitter':
"He was cheerleading a lot on the sidelines. You know, cheerleaders usually have glitter on, so."
WR JAKOBI MEYERS
On his touchdown catch:
"It was a great play call honestly by [Patriots Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Josh McDaniels]. We saw how they were playing us so far on that first drive and the safety's were just down. He called a good play and trusted me to have the ball in my hands and do something with it. I just had to make a good shake once I got it."
On if both he and Patriots QB Cam Newton saw a similar matchup on defense:
"They were playing really aggressively in the run game and we had to make them respect it either way. Like I said we have great coaches on our team and they recognize situations and they just put us in the best situation to win and that's what [Josh McDaniels] did there."
On if it seemed like Cam was in a zone:
"Definitely! I think it all came from a great week of practice. We fought against their defense real hard and they were real competitive this week. Just going against them every day and hashing it out, I think it helped us put a good product out there on the field today."
On if he feels this is as comfortable as Cam has looked in his opinion:
"I think [Cam Newton], [Patriots QB Mac Jones], all of us, I think we're all getting better day by day honestly. It's just that last year he got the short end of the stick, just having to be thrown into the situation with no preseason and everything. Not like I'm trying to make excuses for him or anything but, I think this year is definitely a leap forward and I think we're all growing as an offense and we're all working towards putting a good product on the field for [Miami Dolphins]."
DE CHASE WINOVICH
On getting the opportunity for game action for the first time in a while:
"It felt great. It was a lot of fun being out there with my teammates, and just the opportunity to be able to compete at the pinnacle of anything is truly a blessing. To come out and have a great victory, and for so many people to do such an awesome job, it was a lot of fun. I missed it."
On whether it feels like tonight's performance was a long time coming:
"It feels like forever when you're going through certain processes, but honestly I just do my best to take things one day at a time, or as the back of my hoodie says, 'Strand-by-Strand'. Just like building a web, all you can do is build it piece-by-piece and take things one day at a time. Luckily for me, I'm surrounded by a great support staff. I've had so many blessings come into my life and so many people express to me so much love that this has truly been a transformative experience for me going through it."
On the defense starting fast:
"That's definitely a point of emphasis – starting fast and not playing from behind. It's always great when you can do that. Whatever it is, it is, and obviously if you don't [get the lead] and they go up, then you just have to fight your way out. But it's great when you can start ahead, for sure."
On garnering his second sack after originally being on the ground on the play:
"I haven't seen the film of it, but I'm pretty sure they chipped me because I already had a sack at that point and the tackle pulled my helmet down from what I remember. I remember being kind of mad, but when you're out there after playing a lot of football over the years, you can kind of experience the feel of the game. I obviously felt from the crowd noise that the ball hadn't been gone yet. I was on the ground, and I could feel it, so I got up and shoved him and took three steps and launched. It was a good feeling."
On the improvement of the defense from the joint practices through tonight:
"Obviously we still have a lot to improve on. We're headed in the right direction, certainly. We're doing a lot of things well, but there is always more to improve on. The other thing that I forgot to mention was that through this whole process I've realized two things - one it's a you-versus-you thing, and each individual person has to take accountability for their own process and development. But it's great to have a very supportive team around you. I've been using the word 'Feng shui' a lot. Things make sense, people know what they're doing, they know their assignments, and they are committed to doing whatever it takes to perform those assignments."