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New England Patriots Postgame Quotes 9/24

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and select players comment on their game against the New York Jets on Sunday, September 24, 2023.

HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, September 24, 2023

Opening statement…

It was a good win for us today. Down here, it's always tough. Jets are a tough team, they did a good job. Defense is really, really good. We had a good running game. I thought we played pretty good run defense against them and we were able to run the ball better than we have in the first couple weeks. In the end, some keys plays in the fourth quarter. Fortunately, we were able to make a couple more than they were but it's kind of been like this three weeks in a row for us, so it's good to come out on the good end of it.

On this being part of a learning process as they look to get better each week…

Yeah, hopefully. We're starting to have a little continuity here on the offensive line, so that was good. I think that definitely helped the running game. Coach [Bill] O'Brien did a good job mixing the play actions in there, he had a big pass on that. I think, probably, the run game helped that a little bit. The more we can keep these guys working together and improving our timing and execution, the better off we're going to be. No turnovers. That's a good place to start.

On Pharaoh Brown…

Yeah, Pharaoh's done a good job. He came in here the first week and played in the opener and has played every week. It's good to have a guy that can do what he does. He's got some size, he can block. He can catch the ball a little bit. He's a good complement to Mike (Gesicki) and Hunter (Henry).

On Chad Ryland…

It was a tough day to kick. Bunch of long ones. The weather wasn't great. I thought he hit the ball pretty well. Timing on a couple of them could've been better. We need to have a cleaner operation, but I thought he showed mental toughness coming back and making that kick in the third quarter after the one at the half that just wasn't a great operation. But did a good job for us. Same thing with Bryce (Baringer). He had a couple of good punts there at the end, situational punts that were what we needed. Been a couple of bad weather games already in September which is not usually the case but that's what it is and that's what we're going to have to play in, so some good learning experiences for both of them.

On the importance of not turning the ball over today…

It's always important. Most important thing is points. Next most important thing is turnovers, so there's certainly a correlation there. If we take better care of the ball then that gives us a lot better chance to win.

On whether Ezekiel Elliott is getting more comfortable…

Sure, yeah. Zeke's done a good job for us. I think we're getting a little bit of a feel for some of the things with him and vice versa. I thought he had a couple of real good runs today. We'll look at the film and look a little more carefully, but I thought he did a nice job, he got his pads down. Got some tough yards. His vision was good on a couple of cut-back plays.

On the offensive line and the running game…

It was a really big challenge against the Jets front. They play a lot of people up there and they've got a lot of good ones. Obviously, (Quinnen) Williams and (Al) Woods inside. Those guys are good, and the ends. They just have a good group. Nine guys, they roll them all through. But a lot of it's just staying on the blocks. Finishing blocks. Good running. Just good execution and grind it out. It's hard to rip off a bunch of 20-yard runs against these guys. They just don't give those up and they support quickly. (Michael) Carter II and (Adrian) Amos support the run quickly. So, the receivers are challenged to block them, although I thought it was competitive. I think that kind of helped us slow the pass rush down a little bit and keep the quarterback from getting hit. Again, there were some plays where we gave us some pressure but overall I thought it was a decent day in pass protection. We just got to convert and get more points than we got. Fifteen, generally you're going to need more than that, but it was good enough today. It was a great day defensively, especially in the first half. Those guys really played well and responded.

On Jets QB Zach Wilson…

He really got out of the pocket there a couple of times in the third and fourth quarter and hurt us. Really athletic. Thought he hung in there. I mean, it was one of those kind of games. Back and forth game. They had the ball at the end of the game with a chance to throw it in the end zone. There's a lot of that in the National Football League these days, so I'm glad to get out of here with a win.

QUARTERBACK MAC JONES

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, September 24, 2023

On how it felt coming out with a win…

Good, I think for sure that was our goal, no turnovers. So, we definitely did that. Offensive line did a great job keeping me upright and really proud of those guys and the backs for running hard. When we had to make plays, we did, but definitely inconsistent. Got to be happy with the win. That's all we came here for.

On what he would like to see cleaned up…

I mean we're definitely close and thought the play calling was really good. Coach (Bill) O'Brien did a great job calling a great game. We just got to execute better and I just got to let them touch the ball but in a day like today, with the wind and the rain, you just got to be really smart and play smart football.

On how valuable the rushing attack was today and his impression of Ezekiel Elliott…

Great. Those guys are great together. The offensive line definitely brought it today. I thought they did a great job. Zeke (Ezekiel Elliot) and Mondre (Rhamondre Stevenson) are definitely working well together. They're different, but they're very similar in their own ways and just happy to have both of them.

On his touchdown pass to Pharaoh Brown…

Yeah, it was just a little play-action play and we kind of knew it was going to work and he made a great catch and we worked on that in practice and it worked in the game, so that's what we want.

On why he knew it was going to work…

I'm going to keep it to myself.

On his throw to Demario Douglas…

I have to watch the tape. I changed it to that play and I thought he definitely is faster than that corner or nickel, so just wanted to give him a chance. That's pretty much it.

On their successful sneaks…

Just football. I think it's a physical game and at that point in the game, you just have to fight to get it no matter what you got to do to get the one yard. It's just part of the game, no big deal.

On if he did anything wrong on that play…

No. I think just trying to get the first down, third and one, and then we came back on fourth and one, and then tried to fake it. Definitely a physical play. A lot of guys are in there, that's kind of like the famous quarterback sneak that everybody does and there's all the guys on both teams are in there. So, they can get pretty physical and that's something that I got to learn from is getting my pads a little bit lower so that I can get it and not get held up.

On Matthew Slater's leadership…

He's great. He always is the same guy. He's seen a lot of wins and he's been part of very few losses. But he has great wisdom and we kind of go as he goes. Definitely a great mentor for me and everybody on the team. We just got to keep going.

On how grateful he is for the defense…

I knew today that in the conditions that they were going to do a great job stopping the other offense and I kind of was really proud of them because they just kept going out there and doing it until the very last play. For me, just put more points on the board and we'll do that. Like I said, it was a tough day but we got the win and a lot of it was from special teams and defense.

LINEBACKER JA'WHAUN BENTLEY

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, September 24, 2023

Not transcribed by opposing team.

CENTER DAVID ANDREWS

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, September 24, 2023

On the win…

Yeah, good team win. Starts with no turnovers and that was a huge thing for us up front. Thought we battled hard, did some things well, some things we can clean up. Obviously weather game, so taking care of the football was a big emphasis, thought we did a really good job of that today.

On the success of the running game…

Yeah, you know, it was just one of those messy games. I mean raining, wind, we did some things well. Thought we handled the line movement well, that was a big emphasis, we tried to push on that and thought we did a really good job. Some things always to clean up, we do that tomorrow morning.

On the importance of getting the first win…

Yeah definitely, like I said some things we tried to improve on, handling movement, taking care of the ball, doing a better job up front. Can't sit here and say it was perfect, I'll go back and look at the film. Don't think we gave up any sacks, see what we ran the ball for today.

LINEBACKER MATTHEW JUDON

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, September 24, 2023

Not transcribed by opposing team.

SAFETY JABRILL PEPPERS

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, September 24, 2023

On the feeling of getting a win…

Always good to come away with a win, especially against the Jets. I'm from Jersey, so it felt good playing back home as well.

On the play that resulted in a safety…

We just take their threats away, show them something pre-snap then play something different post-snap, make them read it out. We got guys up front who get to the quarterback, we like those guys a lot against pretty much anybody. It's just our job to hold it down in the back end, so they can do what they do up front.

On how much of a battle this game was…

You know, it's the Jets. I mean since I've been here, every time we've played them it's come down to the wire. Last year, the first game came down to an onside kick, second game Marcus (Jones) took one to the house. This one we were doing our thing, gave up some plays late and it came down to a Hail Mary. So we know what kind of game it's going to be, especially against the Jets, divisional game, they know us, we know them, physical matchup. We just did enough to win tonight.

ADDITIONAL PLAYERS

RB Ezekiel Elliot

On not turning the ball over despite the rainy conditions today…

That was definitely big. You knew you were going to get some weather today, so you've got to be hyper vigil of taking care of the ball and keeping it tight, and just making sure you don't put it on the ground. I think we did a good job though.

On how today's game and win feels…

It feels good to get the first win of the season and just the way we did it, just go in and grinding it out. Excited.

On going back to play the Dallas Cowboys next week…

I think it'll be fun. It'll be fun to go back to Dallas where I spent a lot of time and it's a stadium I've played in a lot. It'll be fun.

On the emphasis on the run game this week…

I think we knew that it was going to be a running game. So, we were just ready to come out and run the ball as much as we needed to. Our o-line did a great job of just being physical all game and at the line of scrimmage.

TE Pharaoh Brown

On his experience playing fullback…

Not a lot of experience, but I'm a football player. I just want to play football. So, whatever they ask, the opportunity to get on the field, I'm all for it, whether that's full back, tight end, you know what I mean? The more you can do, the better.

On if he was surprised to be open on the touchdown catch…

Surprised? No, I wasn't surprised. Like I said, it was a great play action sell by the o-line and everybody. That's kind of how you want to draw that up.

On getting involved in explosive offensive plays…

It felt great to get the offense a spark, definitely. We needed it, but it felt awesome. I felt like it gave us a spark and helped us win a game.

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