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New England Patriots Postgame Quotes 8/25

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and select players comment on their preseason game against the Tennessee Titans on Friday, August 25, 2023.

HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

Postgame Press Conference
Friday, August 25, 2023

Opening statements.

So we got a chance to look at all of our guys here tonight. We will look at the film here and see how some of the individual efforts and individual performances are. Obviously, there are some team execution that could have certainly been better. But we will see. Evaluate some of the individuals here, get ready to go here in a couple of weeks to get started. So looking forward to it.

Was Calvin Munson one of the individuals who took advantage of his opportunities tonight?

He's always done that. We'll look at everything a little more closely on film, but it definitely showed up on some positive plays.

How would you describe the growth of Anfernee Jennings?

Yeah, Anfernee has made progress. So again, everything comes together here. But, you know, all the guys that have been out there working, have gotten better. It's good to have as many of the guys as possible working. We've had quite a few, especially on defense.

What is the progress of the team from day one of camp to where they are now as they get ready to prepare for the regular season?

Yeah, well we'll see, we'll find out. I don't think you ever know until you get out there against somebody else. So we'll see. We've improved but measure it against another team here in a couple of weeks.

How hard is it for you to cut down for the regular season roster?

Yeah, well, it's the same on every team. It's 37 guys. So it's 90 minus 37 equals 53. So that's the reality of the NFL. We all knew that when we signed up for it. So that's a tough part, but that's just part of it.

Is there a concern with the offensive line with Riley Reiff getting hurt tonight?

Yeah well we'll see.

How did you guys do with the conditions today?

We just didn't have a lot of bodies. In the second half we didn't have many subs. So those guys competed. They stood in there and fought.

QUARTERBACK BAILEY ZAPPE

Postgame Press Conference
Friday, August 25, 2023

Same question for you. How do you feel about things now that you've gone through training camp for a month basically over the course of three preseason games. How do you feel about where you are?

I mean, of course you can be in a lot better position every time you look back at film, look back at every game. There's always going to be things that you could have done better, you could have you know, fixed. Like today was one of those games for me. So, we'll get back tomorrow or whenever and kind of just learn from those mistakes and just move on.

You started the game, you came out, and then you went back in. What were the conversations like on the sideline?

Yeah, that was kind of, I think, head man's (head coach Bill Belichick) decision. You know, I just do what I'm told. Whenever they put me out, they put me out, and whenever they told me at halftime that I was going back in to start the third quarter, I was ready to go back out.

Around this time, its cutdown time. Obviously, you're going to make the team, but how hard is it for your teammates and some of the guys you got close to knowing that some of these guys aren't going to be here?

Yeah, I mean, it's hard. It's a sad thing to say it, but it's part of the business I guess. I mean, it sucks to say it that way because, like you said, we've been together for so long. We've built friendships, we've been together every day all day for the last however many months. It's really hard to see anybody go. But, you know, I really hope whoever does leave, whoever goes anywhere else, I hope they do the best they can. Hopefully they succeed. That's what I want for them and everybody.

Do you feel like it's frustrating at times juggling a bunch of different guys? Sometimes it doesn't allow you to sort of get that rhythm. Like you have your three like you'd love to throw to or the four that you'd love to protect in front of you. Do you think that gets frustrating at times?

I mean, it's football; stuff is going to happen. People are going to be switching in and out. It's my job, and a QB's job is to go out there and play football. Today there was some good, some bad, you know. Definitely could have done better at some of those things. But, you know, it doesn't matter who's really out there. It's just a matter of execution. That directly reflects on us as quarterbacks.

Felt pretty hot for us up in the press box. How do you deal with the heat?

I mean I'm pretty used to down where I'm from. I made a joke when I got off the bus that this is real weather. But again, I'm sure for like northerners, I'm sure they don't like it, but I was fine with it.

QUARTERBACK MALIK CUNNINGHAM

Postgame Press Conference
Friday, August 25, 2023

Malik talk about your night, your preseason. I know you had to juggle multiple positions, but you got the opportunity over the course of three games to get out there and show the staff what you can do. How do you feel you did?

Man, first of all, I just want to give thanks to God and my teammates for pushing me, even family back home just staying in my ears keeping me motivated. But I feel like I did good over those three games. A lot to learn from, a lot to take on the chin, a lot of things I did good, a lot more things I need to work on as a quarterback or receiver, wherever they put me at. It's a blessing just to be here. I just want to thank God again for the glory and blessing me with these abilities and we'll see where things go from here.

You have a preference of the two positions?

No, I'm a football player. Whatever they need me to do, I'm going to do it.

What was the biggest surprise for you over the course of the summer?

The biggest surprise? I mean, just college and the NFL is so much more different. I would say from a weight room perspective, definitely different. A lot more meetings in the league. A lot more spending time at the stadium trying to get your body right. Really, I really got into a routine in college. I mean, when you're the best athlete on the field in college, there's not much you can really do. But when you're in the league, everybody around you (are) definitely good players and there's stuff to learn from. So, it was good to finally get in a routine and learn from some of those older guys.

Last week, Coach (Ross) Douglas talked about some of the leadership you've shown among the rookies, and he said you would help to take Demario Douglas and Kayshon Boutte under your wing. Could you describe that relationship, and how much gratitude do you take in seeing them do so well?

Oh, yeah. I mean, ever since we came in, I've been knowing Pop (Demario Douglas) a little bit longer than I've known (Kayshon) Boutte. It's kind of crazy because me and Pop (Demario Douglas), we were at the combine and we were just talking like, dang we might be on the same team. And then, we're on the same team. But that's just the quarterback in me. I just want to see everybody succeed. Those two guys are great athletes, great receivers, and just good guys to be around. We hang out every day. You never see us three without each other and (Ameer) Speed be with us too. Just coming in as a rookie class, all of us are together for sure, but it's good to keep those two like kind of under my wing, like my little brothers.

With cutdown day looming, do you feel good about what you did? Do you feel like you put yourself in position to succeed this summer with cutdown day looming on Tuesday?

I mean there's still a lot of stuff that I still need to work on. But I feel like I put enough good stuff on film to let the coaches handle (that) and make a decision. (It's) not my decision. I can only control what I control, and I'll just keep my head down and keep working.

RUNNING BACK KEVIN HARRIS

Postgame Press Conference
Friday, August 25, 2023

Was it good to find the endzone?

Yeah, finally it was.

Kevin (Harris), how do you approach the next few days knowing the cut down days are ahead?

It is football. So, (if) you get cut then you get cut. If not, then you are on the team. That's how it goes.

What do you remember about that process last year?

You usually get a text, come in, and then you leave.

What's your experience from last year teach you? Because you got called up and went out to play late in the season in the Arizona game.

Stay ready, you never know. So just stay ready.

How tight is the running back group?

We are all pretty tight, we are all pretty cool. We all hang out with each other and stuff so we (are) tight.

Have you been able to learn from Ezekiel (Elliot) from the time that he has been here? Is he someone you've watched?

The first day in practice, it was like a scene. It was like 'Dang'; you see the person (in real life). He's a good leader on and off the field.

Kevin (Harris) what exactly did you see on the touchdown run? Take us through the play.

Well, we ran the same play (in) practice at the same spot, so I've seen it. It was a double team block and an outside linebacker, I just walked in.

Are you (Kevin Harris) glad preseason is over?

Yeah. I just play football, so it's always good to play football.

LINEBACKER CALVIN MUNSON

Postgame Press Conference
Friday, August 25, 2023

Did you (Calvin Munson) play wire to wire today? You played an awful lot out there this evening.

I was out there a decent amount. I tried to do the most I could.

With preseason done, especially tonight, how do you feel about what you (Calvin Munson) put on?

I feel good. I kind of just try to put it all out there. Just leave it up to the Lord and see what happens from there.

You've been through this process before with cuts, getting cut and coming back. What's that like emotionally for a player.

Early on, it was tough. I feel like I let it wear on me, it almost hurt my confidence. As the years go, I kind of trust the process and my faith and just leave it all out there—whatever happens, happens. There is always a reason and a plan, and you never really know what that is until it comes. So, I just try to trust that.

What was it like dealing with the heat today?

I'm still sweating. It was good getting back out there. It's kind of fun, you don't have to get as loose. You just show up and you're loose. But I was hydrating for two days straight trying to get ready. I probably lost all that weight. Heat plays into it. But at the same time, I'm just trying not to think about it, just play the game.

Calvin (Munson), you played an excellent game tonight. But, did you feel going into this game that you had to make a statement?

Yeah, I feel like someone in my position almost every game I've got to try to do the best I can and make a statement. Sometimes you come out of the game and feel like you didn't really do as much as you think you could have. So tonight, I just wanted to do the best I can and leave it up to them.

Calvin (Munson), you've played a lot on special teams over the years. Just how important was it to make an impression on the defense, especially linebacker tonight?

It's always nice showing that you can still play your main position. I feel like I'll always have a role in the kicking game, which is big. We prioritize that here and that's huge, being able to make plays in a kicking game. But at the same time, I love playing linebacker, so it was fun being out there and being able to play that many snaps, just playing defense with the guys.

What was the interception like?

It was kind of weird. It happened so fast but so slow at the same time. I thought maybe he'll (Josh Whyle) tip it because it was kind of a thrown behind him. And I was just right there, I haven't seen that on film or seen what it looked like yet.

I think they compared it to Julian Edelman in the Super Bowl.

That's a crazy comparison. The weight of the game and the type of catch. I don't know. I don't know who compared that.

But a pick at any time is good for you and your defense, right?

Yeah, absolutely. I love interceptions. Love turnovers. It was nice getting off the field and especially in the heat. Get some water. But you know, making plays like that it always feels great.

How much do you want to be a Patriot and part of this group and a part of this team.

Oh, my gosh. I mean, I love it here. I love the way we work. Get after it. Awesome leaders here. I just want to find a role, play the best I can, whatever role that may be. I love playing football. Wherever it falls, it falls. But I would love to be here playing.

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