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New England Patriots Postgame Quotes 9/12

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, quarterback Mac Jones and select players discuss the loss to the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, September 12, 2021.


September 12, 2021

BB: It was obviously a disappointing game. We just didn't do enough. Just didn't do enough to win. We had our chances, had our opportunities. But really all the way across the board, we've just got to do a better job. Really that's about the story of it. There's a lot of things that could have helped us. Just have to coach better, play better, execute better, play better situational football than we did today. I just missed too many opportunities to win.

Q: Can you just touch on the ball security? It seemed to be an issue today with four fumbles.

BB: Yeah, it's not good enough. Got to take care of the ball better. Ball security, penalties, too many little missed things, situational football. Just all of it.

Q: Bill, what would you tell us about your impression of Mac Jones? Just the way he stepped up in the pocket, took a lot of hits and seemed to be very poised?

BB: I thought we all competed hard. We've just all got to do a better job. I mean, Mac competed hard. I thought we had a lot of guys competing hard. We've just got to perform better as a team.

Q: What are your thoughts on the defensive performance? Some issues early on, but particularly a number of plays from the linebacker corps like that play by Matt Judon that led to the interception in the fourth quarter.

BB: Look, there were some good things there, but in the end it just wasn't enough. We didn't play well enough in any phase of the game – offense, defense, special teams. We were enough to be competitive, enough to lose by a point, but it's not enough to win. We've got to play better and coach better. We've just got to do a better job.

Q: Adrian Phillips gave you a chance to win in that game and had some big stops there in the fourth quarter. Can you speak on that?

BB: Yeah, again, we made some good plays. We just didn't make enough of them. We didn't make them at the right times. So we're just going to have to do more than that.

Q: Is there any update on status for Trent Brown?

BB: No, I don't have any updates.

Q: I would love to know just your impression of the atmosphere. You did have fans, but just a sense of what it was like today.

BB: Yeah, it's been great all year with that. It's good energy in the stands, and it was in the road games, and it was in the Washington game. So...

Q: Is there anything in particular with Jonnu Smith that stood out to you?

BB: I'll have to watch the film and look at it a little more closely. I don't know.

Q: Forgive me if this is a repeat question, but how did you feel Mac Jones played tonight?

BB: Yeah, we covered that.

Q: And his ball security tonight, how did you feel about that in particular?

BB: Well, I mean, just in general, we have to do a better job with that obviously.


September 12, 2021

Q: Mac, despite the loss, what are your just overall thoughts on your first NFL game with the New England Patriots?

MJ: I think we can get better. That's just how we have to look at it. Definitely wasn't good enough, starting with me. So we've got to watch the film. We lost, so it's not good enough.

Q: Can you take us through the first drop-back, when it was ruled a sack and a fumble that Jonnu Smith recovered. What did you see and what happened on that play?

MJ: We just were running a play in the red zone, high red zone, and I should have just thrown it away. It was that simple. Yeah, just throw it away and move on to the next down.

Q: Did the Dolphins surprise you at all with anything they threw at you defensively?

MJ: No, I just tried to stick to what I was taught, and we can do a better job, I can do a better job just going through my reads and communicating. So I'll improve on my communication, and we'll make sure that we're better. It wasn't good enough.

Q: How are you feeling? It seemed like you took a lot of big shots during the game.

MJ: Not really. I feel good. My body feels good, but it wasn't good enough, and we've got to just come back tomorrow and get ready to work. Like the shots I took, some of them were my fault. I need to get the ball out quicker, and that's part of football. You have to expect to get hit. Our offensive line played good, and they're going to get better, and we're going to work together because it takes all of us. They're a great group of guys, but I think we can definitely improve on our communication, and that's what we're going to do.

Q: After that first play, it seemed like you really settled in. Did it feel that way to you?

MJ: It's not really about me. My job is to be the quarterback, and that's to either hand the ball off or throw it. I can do a better job, and everyone else, I thought they played hard, but we can play even harder. We're just going to go up from here.

Q: After that first touchdown, your teammates were trying to give you the ball. Why wouldn't you take it?

MJ: Because it doesn't really matter. It was one touchdown. We've got to score more. It's not like the game was over right there. We've got to do better in the red zone and get more touchdowns, and we will.

Q: I know you're so disappointed, but are you able for a minute to reflect on making your NFL debut as a rookie, and were you able to enjoy any parts of it? If so, what?

MJ: Yeah, that's something Josh told me, just enjoy the day. You'll never play a rookie year opening game again, but that's not how I wanted it to go.

Q: Could you just walk us through the third and 11 on the completion to James White. How much does that go back to what you guys did during OTAs and also training camp?

MJ: James is an awesome guy. He always knows what to do. We have a lot of guys like that on our team, and I need to get better at knowing what to do so I can get them the ball because they're all good playmakers and we have a really good offensive line. We have a good play caller, a great play caller, and we've got to execute what he calls quickly, efficiently, and perfectly.

Q: After Damien Harris' fumble, we saw you on the sideline kind of getting in the defense and getting everyone on the sideline going. Is that something that you're comfortable with right away? Is that something over the past month or two you've developed here in Foxborough?

MJ: I think being the quarterback, I need to do a better job, demanding better in practice. Sometimes I just let things slide, myself included. That's not good enough. So I'm going to try and be more vocal, and I am a vocal person, but it's kind of a new situation, and I can be better. But it starts with me. The defense, I try and hype them up and stuff, and they played great. We've got to do better on offense. So we'll do that.

Q: Have you had a chance to talk to Damien Harris after his fumble? If so, what was your message to him?

MJ: Damien's obviously very disappointed, but it doesn't go all on Damien. There's a lot of things I could have done to be better, to not even be in that situation, take some bigger chunk plays. He played his heart out. It is what it is. He's going to be better from it. He's a great dude, and he's going to work hard, and that's what he does, and that's what we're all going to do.


September 12, 2021

(On the touchdown play)

"They were in zone, ran my route and Jakobi [Meyers] ran a good route so he drew the other defender and Mac [Jones] threw a great ball."

(On Mac Jones' performance)

"I thought he did well. I think he'll continue to get better too. That's the type of player he is and person he is."

(On the chemistry between him and Mac Jones)

"We just keep on working and we've done that. We've practiced hard and we need to continue to do that. I think good things will happen if we practice hard."

(On Mac Jones bouncing back in the second half of the game)

"I think he is a guy that loves the game of football and I think he is a really resilient player. He stays in the game and plays hard and is only going to get better."

(On if he felt the offense and defense played unevenly)

"That's not really my place to even give attention to. I think the coach will show us the tape and we will get ready to make any adjustments that we need to make offensively. I watched the game and I think the defense played hard. We played against a really good football team so at the end of the day we are going to watch this tape and look to get better."

(On his advice to Damien Harris on his fumble as a veteran)

"He is a guy that understands the game of football, so I don't really have to tell him anything because he works so hard. I think he is a great football player and if it weren't for him, we wouldn't have even been in that situation. He ran the ball so well and I will let the coaches coach him on those responsibilities and as his teammate, I just continue to tell him, I love the way he runs and how hard he plays."

(On how he feels about starting his Patriot's career with a solid performance)

"I am not really that happy that we lost so that is where my mind is at. I should do more to help us win at the end of the day and that is the focus for each week."

(On if he feels any excitement coming out of the game)

"Yes, but I just think because of how we work and our mentality, we have excitement because we know how hard we will work tomorrow and watch the tapes in a manner that will allow us to progress into next week. A game like this isn't something that will send us in the wrong direction, it is going to send us in a positive direction."


September 12, 2021

(On his fumble)

"It's a tough play. Obviously I have to do a better job of holding onto the ball, especially in a critical situation like that, but it's a long season. Not going to let this mistake define me, so I'm just ready to move forward."

(On whether he takes solace in Nelson Agholor saying that the team would not have been in the position they were to win the game if not for his strong performance)

"At the end of the day, we lost the game, and that's what's most important to me. That's what's most important to this team. We just have to be better. There were a lot of tough situations that came up. Obviously the fumble at the end of the game was, you know, one of the hardest ones to overcome, but it's part of the game, and like I said, I'm not going to let this mistake define me. It's time to move forward. We got another challenge this upcoming week, so time to focus on that."

(On Mac Jones' debut)

"I'll leave that to Coach [Bill] Belichick."

(On Mac Jones' toughness)

"Yeah. I thought he played tough."

(On how he balances having a great game despite his fumble)

"What's most important to me is the fact that we didn't win the game first and foremost, and then the play that happened, I mean, I'm ready to move on. It's a tough play. It's part of the game, but you know, I hold myself accountable, and I'll continue to do that. Like I said, I'm just ready to move forward, and I'm not going to let it define me as a player."

(On what the loss will do for the team going forward)

"It's another Coach Belichick question. I don't know."

(On the team's execution in the red zone)

"We'll figure that out when we watch the film tomorrow. Obviously we didn't overcome those. We didn't take advantage of those opportunities when they were presented to us, and we have to do a better job of that across the board. We'll watch the film tomorrow. We'll make our corrections, and we'll look to move forward."


September 12, 2021

(On the team' defensive performance)

"We'll look at it on film. We didn't do enough to win the game and to affect the game. We're going to look at it on film and see what we can do better and what we can improve on."

(On Jonathan Jones' interception)

"That was just a good hands play by [Jonathan] Jones. That's what defense it. It's just a bunch of guys doing their job. Plays like that, he was ready. Somebody else had pressure on Tua [Tagovailoa], first, and then I came in with the hit. The ball got tipped around a little bit and Jones came up with it. He was just ready for the opportunity and he was prepared. He caught the ball with two feet in."

(On the team's confidence later in the game)

"We're not going to back down and be scared of anybody the whole season. We go out there as a unit and you do one-eleventh of your job. As a defense, that's what you got to do. You got to continue to step up, no matter the situation, score or tie. Like I said, we're going to have to watch the film to see where we can execute better and where we can get better."

(On what adjustments the team made after the Dolphins' touchdown in the first half)

"We just calmed down and we looked at where the ball was heading and what they were doing to us. We just made some minor adjustments and we just played better. It's not always about adjustments, it's about winning your matchups and I think everybody started winning their matchups."


September 12, 2021

(On Mac Jones and his poise)
"He definitely has a lot of poise. He stayed composed throughout the game. Obviously, everything wasn't perfect, but he kept us in it, keeping everybody motivated in the huddle. Obviously, it wasn't our best football game on offense, definitely got to play better in the red zone and create more points to help the defense out."

(On if he spoke to Damien Harris after the fumble at the end of the game)

"Yeah, I talked to him. Obviously, one play isn't the reason why we lost the football game. There were many plays that we left out there and that's what I told him. He played a very good football game aside from that and he's a great player. He has a lot of talent. He's going to keep competing. I told him it's a long season to go and we're going to need him, so he's got to keep his head up." 

(On if he is feeling optimistic about how the offense has progressed this week)

"We had some good stuff out there; we had some bad stuff out there. Even if we won the football game, there's still going to be plenty of stuff to coach all of us. When we get back, it's going to be a tough Monday watching the film and everybody has to take it with a grain of salt and get ready for next week. We've got to get out there ready to improve."

(On Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson and how they find the balance between preaching ball security and keeping up confidence)

"They've got to move on from it. Obviously, it's a mistake or whatever but everybody's going to make a mistake out there. You've just got to move on from it. You can't let it weigh you down because like you said, it's a long football season and we're going to need both of those guys. They are extremely talented, and they'll play a lot of good football for us. Everybody has extreme confidence in them."


(On his performance in today's game)

"I have a lot to improve and I am moving onto next week."

(On Jonathan Jones' interception)

"It is part of football. It was good coaching and good football from Miami and I know we could have played a little better so come Monday, we will be ready to work and move on."

(On if the defense played more off-coverage than normal)

"I mean we were trying to mix it up with press, off-coverage and trying to disguise it for the quarterback."

(On the defense's performance)

"We just have each other's backs throughout the entire game, no matter which team was up or down, we just finished."

(On the long pass down the sideline to DeVante Parker)

"He just made a good catch. I mean I could have played it better and it was all on me and my fault."


(On how the defense performed overall)

"There are corrections to be made, adjustments to be made. When we watch the film, we will see that and correct that."

(On if the Miami Dolphins showed them anything they didn't expect)

"I would just say it is kind of self-inflicted wounds. Like I said, we are going to watch the film, make corrections, and move on."

(On what it was like playing in front of fans for the first time)

"It was dope. This was my first game with fans. Especially on the third-down passing situations with how loud the fans got. Definitely love that, it definitely helps having that home field advantage especially with our fans."

(On what the mood was like in the locker room)

"I mean we have got each other's backs regardless of what happens. It doesn't matter what the score is, what happens, we have got reach other's backs because we are brothers first and foremost. We are optimistic. We know we have another game. There are a lot more games to be played so we are onto the next one."


(On his interception)

"They ran over routes, he [Tua Tagovailoa] just panicked under pressure and threw the ball up. I was able to come down with the ball. Set us up pretty good, we were not able to capitalize on it."

(On the uncharacteristic penalties in all three phases of the game and if there was a lack of focus in Week 1)

"I would just say we did not do our job. We show up every day. Like you said, uncharacteristic. That is something we cannot have if we want to win those games. From every phase I believe. If we want to win, we cannot do those things."

(On the Dolphins completing a lot of slant plays and passes underneath)

"I think it was a good plan by them. They had a couple little passes where they saw us in a certain coverage. They might have a run play on, but they just picked the ball up and threw it. Good coaching and good plays by them."

(On how the defense came together from a communication standpoint)

"I don't think that was a big problem. I think we have just got to play better in certain situations. That is a big part of it."

(On what the emotion was like on the sidelines after his interception)

"It was a high point in the game. We were able to put their backs against the wall and the ball was kind of in our court at that point."

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