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New England Patriots Postgame Quotes 9/19

HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, September 19, 2021

Opening Statement…

Proud of our football team today. I thought these guys came back and really worked hard all week, and I thought we made some improvement from what we did last week. Still obviously have a way to go, a lot of things we can do better, but I thought we did a lot of things better than we did them last week. So, we just need to keep grinding, keep working, just keep stringing these days and weeks together and keep improving our football team. I thought a lot of guys stepped up, got some turnover opportunities and took advantage of those. (Zach) Wilson made some pretty impressive throws, that kid is going to be a good player – he is a good player. We had a couple big plays offensively, Damien (Harris)'s run was obviously a big one. It was good to get the ball in the endzone there in the first half. Overall we've just got to probably do a little better job taking advantage of our scoring opportunities. Nick (Folk) did a good job, it was kind of swirling out there, it was not the easiest day to kick and he banged through a lot of big kicks there. I'm proud of our team, I'm proud of the way they worked this week and bounced back. We have a big challenge on our hand next week with the Saints, but we'll enjoy this one for a little while and turn the page and move on.

On what he observed from Damien Harris this week…

Damien is one of our hardest working player. He worked hard this week, prepared hard and he's pretty consistent.

On what were the best things Mac Jones did today…

I think we did some good things here, we hit a few balls, but overall we've got to do a little better on a few third-down conversions and we had a little pressure. So, it all comes down to good team offense, it's not just all about one guy. We've got to block, we've got to throw, catch, get open, run the ball, string good plays together. Offensively we've just got to string more good plays together. A little bit of the same thing last week, we had good plays we just didn't have enough of them. We could have used a few more of them today.

On what James White does at times to help the team that may not show up on the stat sheet…

James is one of our best players. He has tremendous consistency, he can really do whatever we ask him to do – third down, first down, run the ball, catch it, blitz pick up. He gives that group great leadership with his preparation and performance, he is always ready to go on gameday. Whatever you need him to do, that's a guy you can really count on, and yeah he came through big today. He was able to make a number of good plays for us – runs and passes and some key plays. He's a guy we really count on and he delivers.

On what he thinks about having a quarterback that will throw blocks and help push the pile into the endzone…

And (Zach) Wilson made a play on the interception. I mean those are both really competitive kids. I like Mac's competitiveness. He brings a lot there.

On the job his defense did against Zach Wilson…

We had some opportunities and we took advantage of them. You'll have to ask him about those plays, I'm not sure exactly what happened.

On what he sees out of Zach Wilson…

Just some of the throws he made. That last seven route with a minute to go in the game in front of their bench, that was a pretty good throw.

On what he saw on J.C. Jackson's interceptions…

I'll have to go back and take a look at it. One was tipped and then the other one I think he undercut the route and got a good read on it. Then they double moved him later in the game, so it was a good adjustment by the Jets to take advantage of an aggressive play and then come back and counter off it. That's the game within the game out there.

On if the information Kendrick Bourne provided on his experience playing with the 49ers helped planning against the Jets new coaching staff…

Yeah, that's always good. Yeah that's every week, there's always players on our team that played for another coach or played for the other team or whatever, and they have guys from our team. It's like that every week.

On how challenging it is for the offensive line communication-wise with players coming in and out…

I feel like there's a lot of challenging things in this league, you've got to step up and meet those challenges. We've all got to do a better job. We've got to coach better, play better and handle the crowd noise. There's going to be crowd noise in every game on the road this year, won't be the last time we deal with it.

QUARTERBACK MAC JONES

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, September 19, 2021

On how it feels to have his first win…

I think it feels good. Obviously, it's hard to, it's just what everyone is saying, it is hard to win in the NFL. We've played two games and won one and lost one, you got to take it for what it's worth and we'll get better. I think everybody, including anybody that's watch the game can agree that the offense can play better, and we will. The defense did a great job creating the turnovers. We talk about it all the time, playing together, complimenting one another, offense, defense and special teams. On offense, I think we definitely feel blessed to win but at the same time you got to take it for what it's worth and move on and try to correct the things that we need to work on.

On helping push the pile to get Damien Harris into the end zone…

Yeah, I think we wanted to score, everybody was down there pushing, and my job is to make sure nothing bad happens and try to be by the ball, but maybe I should just stay back (laughs). At the end of the day, just trying to get the touchdown. The offensive line created the holes and Damien made a guy miss and I kind of carried out my fake, and there he goes, kind of shot-out the back door and I was like, 'All right, here we go.' So, he did a good job getting it in. I thought we ran the ball hard and made improvements there.

On putting himself in Jets QB Zach Wilson's shoes…

I think Zach's a really good player, and as rookie quarterbacks – it's what I told him after the game, we have to just continue to get better. It's just part of the game. Our defense is really good, it's a tough defense to go against. I've gone against them in practice and probably thrown a lot of picks too, so, it sucks. Zach's going to be a great player and he's a really hard worker and he kept his head up and we just had some brief words there. I don't know him that well personally, but he's definitely going to continue to grow just like I will too.

On what instinctively goes through his mind when he's behind a play for Harris' touchdown…

I think just doing my job. Obviously, sometimes it's not running down the field on the play, but just to see Damien trying and the offensive line running down there I feel like I can help. But at the end of the day, they made the big hole for him, and he did all the work. It shouldn't be anything about me and then the reverse, my job was to get the end guy to the line of scrimmage and that was what I was supposed to do, and KB (Kendrick Bourne) did a good job of getting around the edge. I think for the receivers they played well. I need to get them the ball more and I will. So, we'll get the ball out and let them make plays because we have good skills players, we have a really good offensive line but I thought the Jets obviously had a good defensive line as well so that plays into it as well."

On what he's seen from James White…

I think just meeting him all the way back in OTAs, he's just the man. He knows every little thing about the offense and if I ever struggle in the huddle he's like, 'Yep, here it is.' He kind of knows the call too, so he helps me out so I always kind of look at him in the huddle if I'm struggling or anything like that because he's just really a calm, cool and collected guy and he makes plays when the ball is in his hands and all our running backs do. I think James just definitely being older, he knows the system and I know that I can trust him because he's doing the right thing 99.9 percent of the time. "

On what he thinks the best thing was he did today…

I think my ball security can improve, I put the ball on the ground twice. In terms of that, just trying to learn from that. I'm going to get better at that and just ways to practice. Whatever it is, someone hitting the ball during practice. In practice we don't hit the quarterback, but there's going to be ways that we can implement that to improve. I think just trying to move the ball, I can definitely stick to my reads a little better. I think it starts with me, I got to be more vocal again and kind of in practice, you go back and look at the plays that we ran and there's little improvements we can make and some plays in the game we made the improvements and some plays we didn't so, we kind of have to do a review of the week and make sure you can learn from your mistakes from practice, from the game, from your routine, whatever it may be.

On how the Jets took away some of the deep shot options…

I think it was just me. I can push the ball down the field more. They did kind of what we expected them to do. They obviously have a good defensive line like we said, and I can definitely just hold the ball in a good way, and maybe just move and try to make a better throw down the field on a lot of plays. I just have to watch it and see, but when you're out there you can see it, talk about it with Josh (McDaniels) and Brian (Hoyer) and then kind of move from there. We'll watch it and we'll find ways to improve on that.

KICKER NICK FOLK

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, September 19, 2021

On working with Joe Cardona and Jake Bailey…

"They're fantastic professionals. They take their job seriously, and I know holding seems kind of trivial to the people, but Jake takes it real seriously. I have a couple different holds I like, depending on winds and stuff like that, so we work on that, he asks for that all the time to get extra holding work, stuff like that. So, just being able to work with him, it's fantastic."

On kicking with today's high winds…

"Playing here seven years, and that was one of the toughest ones we've had out here. Especially, their tunnel, the right of our bench, it was pretty tricky out there"

On being elevated from the practice squad…

"In my mind, I trained and prepared like I was a starter."

RUNNING BACK DAMIEN HARRIS

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, September 19, 2021

On his touchdown…

(I was) very determined, obviously. Anytime you touch the ball, you want to get it in the (end zone). It was a great play. Everybody was blocking their butts off. I got a lot of help from a lot of guys. Apparently, I got some help from Mac Jones, too. I'll have to watch the film to see that. It was a great play. It was just great to have that moment with the team. Everyone was feeling the energy. Everybody was excited, so it was truly a great moment.

On RB James White…

James is a guy that's seen a lot of football and has a lot of experience. Obviously, when we are playing a team that is doing a lot of things well and giving us a little bit of trouble here and there, which they were, they were moving around (and) we had some issues getting some plays going. When you have a guy like James White who's played in multiple Super Bowls and played big time football, obviously, it helps our team. He gives everybody else confidence. We see him going out there and making plays and we know we can go out there and make plays. He's always encouraging other guys. James is a great guy, he's an incredible leader, incredible teammate, incredible guy. I could stay up here and talk about him forever. He really does a lot for our team.

On bouncing back from last week's game…

First and foremost, we got our first win of the season. Everyone is excited about that. That's the main focus. We lost a game last week and we won the game this week. It's what we are focused on. We have to get ready to do it again. We're playing a tough team next week, so we have to get ready to prepare so we can hopefully win again.

DEFENSIVE BACK J.C. JACKSON

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, September 19, 2021

On series of interceptions and picks…

"You make plays, and your teammates feed off of you, that's what defense is all about. Don't wait on nobody to make plays, just go out there, set the tone and hopefully your teammates feed off that."

On thoughts of Zach Wilson from today…

"(Zach) Wilson's got a strong arm. He can really zip the ball and put it anywhere, deep ball, intermediate. The guy's pretty good."

On strong drives after the interceptions…

"Like Coach say, we get turnovers, we become offense. So, make the blocks, set up your teammates."

SAFETY DEVIN MCCOURTY

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, September 19, 2021

On all of the turnovers today…

It was a good job. Even last week we talked about turning the ball over. We had one with the (Jonathan) Jones interception last week, but we have to do a better job of that. Bill (Belichick) always talks about winning the turnover margin and how big an indication that is on who wins the game. In order to win the turnover margin, we have to go create turnovers. We did a good job of that early in the game and that had a big impact on the game. When you can start off getting an interception on the second play, it makes it tough for the offense and what they want to do. (With) a rookie quarterback, (it's) just adding the pressure and putting more pressure (on him). I think we did a good job of that tonight.

On getting pressure on Jets' QB Zach Wilson…

I think no matter if it's a rookie quarterback, if you can create pressure and get to the quarterback and not allow him to go through his reads, and do the normal things, that's tough to do. I think we did a good job of that up front making it tough. I was trying to give him different looks in the secondary. And then, J.C. (Jackson) just doing a good job being a ball hawk. The first (interception), tipping it up in the air and me tipping it back to him. On the second interception (Adrian Phillips), he's on the roll, guys are pressuring, those are tough plays to make. We have to keep doing that no matter who we are playing at quarterback, just trying to make it hard on them.

On Patriots' QB Mac Jones…

I've said it the last two weeks, Mac's been consistent. He's not trying to do too much, he's not trying to be somebody that's created by the media. He just comes in and does his job. I think he did a great job of that today and I think Damien (Harris) did a great job of knowing his team supports him and he's our guy. He came out here and ran hard. I think anytime you see a guy fumble the ball, people are wondering if he'll be a little cautious. He was running the ball hard. He carried four or five guys with the (offensive) line in to the end zone. I love seeing him as a veteran. The more you're out there, the more you're going to have bad plays. You have to forget it and move on. I thought the whole offense did a great job today. When we can play complimentary football, we can win some games.

RUNNING BACK JAMES WHITE

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, September 19, 2021

On Damien Harris's touchdown run…

It was definitely was a statement for the offense and for him. Coming off last week, I know he was motivated to get back out there and to have a run like that. To finish in the endzone, I think it was great for him. Obviously, there is a lot of stuff we can correct out there, but that play was huge.

On how important it is to get in the endzone on long drives…

It's very important. We have to do a better job playing complimentary football and turning the defensive turnovers into touchdowns, not just field goals. Obviously field goals are great, but as an offense we definitely want to score. We definitely have a lot to work on, but it's better to correct it with a win than a loss for sure. We're just going to continue to get better.

On Mac Jones…

He's going to compete for four quarters, no matter what's going on – good plays, bad plays. He stays motived. It's tough being a rookie quarterback, there's a lot is being thrown at you. That's a tough defense we played. They're well coached and they're going to get after you for four quarters. He stayed locked in mentally throughout the entire game and stayed motivated no matter what was going on.

On if he feels rejuvenated this season…

I feel good. I know last year wasn't my best year for many different reasons. I'm excited to be back out here and have an opportunity to play this game. I want to do whatever I can to help my team win, whether that's getting the ball or not, or just blocking. I just want to be the best me out there.

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