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New England Patriots Postgame Transcripts 10/15

HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

Postgame Press Conference
October 15, 2017

Opening statement...
First of all, just wanted to, on behalf of the team, express the thoughts and prayers that are with Harvey and Cassidy Langi for the accident that happened over the weekend. We pray that they're being looked over and that they're doing better. It sounds like they are, but that was a very unfortunate situation, and one I think shook everybody in the organization.

As far as the game goes, I'm proud of the way the team competed, getting behind 14-0 down here is not really where you want to be, but we fought back and were able to put together some plays to tie it up at halftime and then took the lead. We were able to string together a little bit more, and had trouble finishing the Jets as always. As I said, they're tough down here, a really competitive game. I think we left some opportunities and missed some opportunities for plays in all three phases of the game. Hopefully, we can get a few more of those going forward. Like I said, I'm proud of the way the team played some good situational football, were able to score at the end of the half and stop them at the end of the half and had some good coverage plays. I thought there were some good things there. The fumble, that was an interesting play, but when Malcolm (Butler) came off the field, the first thing he told me was that the ball was out. I thought they were reviewing whether he had crossed the goal line or not, but Malcolm obviously had a really good look at it and was sure it was out, it was the first thing he told me. That was the ruling ad that's why ball possession is so important down there. We had a close one in the New Orleans game that barely went our way, but it was the same kind of thing, a bang-bang play on the goal line. It was a good job of turning the ball over on that one, turning the ball over on the couple of interceptions that we had. It was good to see our defense make those plays. It was good to get the win down here. We've got to keep grinding. There are still a lot of things we can keep working on to do better. 

On what it says about Butler's situational awareness to cause the fumble...
I don't know how much he had to do with talking to the officials. I don't really know about that. He did a great job of getting his hand in. He has a knack for that. He's done that before. He has good ball awareness and does a good job at slapping at the ball and has good strength and has gotten the ball out before. It was a tremendous play, great, great awareness. It saved us seven points.

On if he coaches forcing turnovers at the goal line...
Absolutely. Absolutely.

On the lift Dion Lewis gave them in the running game...
I thought Dion ran hard, ran well. Mike (Gillislee) ran hard. I thought both backs (did). This is about as good as we've run the ball against these guys, especially in regular sets, in a while. I thought Josh (McDaniels) called a great game. We ran outside, ran inside, ran back weakside, so we had some balance there, but I think our offensive line did a good job of getting the backs started, then the backs ran hard, made some yards on their own. James Develin and Rob Gronkowski are a big part of that too. That was encouraging.

On if he said anything to coaches or players down 14-0...
I think a lot of our wounds were self-inflicted. We gave up four third downs the first drive defensively and obviously we had a good chance to get off the field on all of those and didn't. And offensively, we just weren't able to string enough plays together and weren't able to produce much. It felt like we were kind of our biggest enemy the first third of the game and we've just got to do a better job of what we need to do. They have good players and are well-coached, too, I'm not saying that, but we just felt like the plays we were in position to make, we just didn't have them executed the way they needed to be executed and the Jets took advantage and we were down 14-0.

On Stephon Gilmore being out with a concussion...
We followed the rules to the letter on the injuries like we always do. We reported it exactly how it happened.

On Tom Brady becoming the winningest regular season quarterback of all time...
Great, that's what we're all here for is to win games. We've been very fortunate to have had Tom at the helm for a lot of those wins. That's what we're all in it for is to win.

On if Brady getting emotional helps him...
That's a question you should ask him.

On if Butler's interception was a turning point...
Yeah, I thought we, again, didn't really handle the end of the half the way we wanted to handle it. We got down there with a minute and a half and then threw three incomplete passes and missed a field goal and were fortunate to be able to get the ball back and able to capitalize on that opportunity. (Brandin) Cooks made a great catch for us down the field. It turned out alright, we scored before the half, but that's not really the way we were trying to handle the whole situation. But the defensive turnover obviously turned things around. It was kind of similar to the situation that the Jets had last week against Cleveland. It was a 0-0 game and then the Browns missed a field goal before the half and the Jets came back and got the ball out of bounds with six seconds, they threw it out of bounds with one, kicked a 57-yard field goal, go up 3-0 and win by three. We talk about that whole situation at the end of the half a lot. It came out alright, but it wasn't really quite the way we were trying to do it.

On Johnson Bademosi's play...
Well, look, every player's got to be ready to go in the role that he's responsible for. It could happen on the first play of the game, or in this case before the game. That's every player's job and every coach's job to be prepared for the situations and the roles that they're in and when they're called on to go out there and perform the best they can. I thought Johnson competed well. Jon Jones and (Matthew) Slater gave us good gunner play and good coverage play in the kicking game with Johnson taking more snaps on defense. It was a good complimentary game, complimentary effort from that group with only three corners on the field. And obviously our safeties played a lot today too with only three corners active. (Patrick) Chung, (Devin) McCourty and Duron (Harmon) and Jordan (Richards) all had a lot of snaps out there. There were some three-safety defenses instead of our three-corner type defenses, things like that. But those guys stepped up and did a good job.

On if he is concerned with self-inflicted wounds on defense considering they had more time to prepare for the game...
We try to make the most out of every week of preparation that we can for every game. That's what we did last week, that's what we did this week and that's what we'll do every week. 

QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY

Postgame Press Conference
October 15, 2017

On this win making him the winningest QB of all time...
I wish we would have done better, but we won, so (there is) probably a lot to learn from it. I wish we could have played a little bit better offensively. We got down early and fought back. We had a good series before the half and hung in there at the end. 

On what they could have done better...
I don't know. We just didn't execute as well as we needed to. I think that's probably the big thing, just execution. We'll keep at it. It's only the sixth game of the year, so there's still a lot to figure out and we'll just keep going out to practice and try to do better. 

On why he was so animated in the first half...
I'm always a little edgy out there for one reason or another. It's just an emotional game. I don't know what it was today. I think it was just frustration from the way things were going (and) our execution. It just blows up a little bit. 

On where the team is six games into the season...
When you win a game like this 24-17, there were some good plays we made, but a lot we left out there. We could have won 50-0 and it would be the same thing. It's just about getting a win and finding a way to win each week, making improvements, and getting better. There were some things we did better that we talked about this week. We just have to do a better job with opportunities and taking care of the football. We ran the ball better and took advantage of a couple of opportunities we got, we just didn't take advantage of enough of them. Penalties hurt us again, but we'll try to figure out a way to correct those. 

On RB Dion Lewis...
He ran great. He's gaining confidence every week. He ran with a lot of confidence in himself. It was great to see. 

On Aaron Rodgers breaking his collar bone...
I didn't know that. That sucks. 

On his durability being an asset to the team...
I think that's a great thing for any player. The only way to improve is to stay out there. I think a team can only really count on you if you're out there practicing and playing. Ever since I started playing in sports, I felt like I had to be out there for my team and I work pretty hard at it. I wish I could have played a little better today, but it was at least nice to be out there. 

TIGHT END ROB GRONKOWSKI

Postgame Press Conference
October 15, 2017

On returning to the field after missing last week's game...
It went smooth. We got the victory. Everything didn't go as well as you thought it would. Every play didn't go as well as you wanted it to, but what's most important is coming out with the win. And every time you come out to New York, it's always going to be a dog fight. Those guys played hard. The whole defense played hard. They hit hard. They're always physical. They don't back down, so it's always a dog fight coming in, and just coming out with a victory is huge.

On the mood on the sideline when the Patriots were trailing 14-0...
Just stay in the game. Just take one play at a time, one drive at a time. You're not going to go down and put up 14 points on one drive. You just want to go up and down the field, put some points up, get some momentum going, just get the first score, and then have the defense build off the momentum, get a stop and go back down and tie up the game. That's what you want to do when you're down.

On whether there was panic on the sideline...
You don't want to be panicking. We've been in that situation before. It's really just take one drive at a time and make sure you get some points on that drive. You can't be going down and not get any points when you're down 14-0. Make sure you go down and get some points so you can feed off it as a team and the defense can feed off it.

SAFETY DEVIN MCCOURTY

Postgame Press Conference
October 15, 2017

On the pressure the defense applied to Jets QB Josh McCown...
That's big. We obviously always want to pressure the quarterback. When we can do it, the two minute drive, up seven points, when we can get to him, it just changes the drive, you know? You go from first and 10, you can turn it into second and 16, second and 15, it kind of changes the play calling for the offensive coordinator. And then you get another one, you get the chance to end the game. Obviously on the fourth down call, we want to end it right there, but I thought we did a good job rebounding and realizing the game's not over. They made a play and we did a good job just getting back and finishing the game. That was something I think we needed. We haven't played particularly well in the fourth quarter and I thought this was big for us as a team to win a game when we had to play well in the fourth quarter.

On what it says about the team that they were able to come from behind and get a win on the road...
Obviously not the start we wanted, but I think the thing is we have a lot of guys who have been here for a while and understand it's all about playing four quarters. We've played games where we haven't played four quarters and got out to early leads and not finished the way we wanted, and lose. We've also been down before. I think it's good to be on both sides of that spectrum and understand you just have to keep playing. If you get a team behind, you've got to put your foot on their throat and finish them off. If you get behind, you've just got to keep playing. I thought we did a good job of really flipping the game right in the first half, tying it up, giving the offense a chance to get the ball coming out of the half. We talk about that situation all the time as a team and I thought we handled that well today.

On the call to turn the touchdown by Jets TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins to a fumble and touchback...
We knew it was close once they threw it up on the big screen, you could see the ball get juggled a bit. It always comes down to how they see it. Is it enough evidence? Is it not enough? We felt that the ball was juggled a little bit, but I didn't know which way it was going to go, but obviously as a defense we'll take that any day.

CORNERBACK MALCOLM BUTLER

On what led to Jeremy Kerley's touchdown reception...
It was bad eye control. I should have kept my eyes on the receiver and made the tackle instead of gambling on the play. That was a bad decision and poor technique. I took a bad angle, but I put it behind me and kept playing.   

On what he saw on the Austin Seferian-Jenkins' touchdown that was called back...
I reached in there and took a chance on the ball. I saw the ball juggle. I told the referee that the ball came loose as he was going over. The ref said it was going to be reviewed, and it turned out right. We got the call and that's all that matters. 

On how the team performed with a short-handed roster...
Next man up. You have to step up and do what you're asked to do. I don't like playing the Jets; it's tough, man. But we came through and got the win.  
On how the defense stepped up on the final drive of the game...
We might bend, but we don't break. 

WIDE RECEIVER BRANDIN COOKS

On the Jets' last drive during the final seconds of the game...
I have so much faith in our team and our defense. I wasn't nervous. We practice for moments like that. I have confidence in all of us.

On the Patriots' slow start...
We had to focus on doing our job correctly and doing the little details. We weren't doing our jobs good enough individually. It wasn't what they were doing, it was us. 

On the overturned ruling that reversed the Jets' touchdown score...
To be honest, I didn't look to see what was going on. Once I heard what happened, it was a little shocking. I never knew that rule, but now I know. Football is football. Sometimes it goes in your favor, sometimes it doesn't. That just happened to go in ours.  

On how the team reacts when QB Tom Brady gets animated...
That's our leader. That's who we follow. When he gets hyped up like that, we better get on the same page.

On how the offense was able to respond after a slow start...
Just focusing on the little things we didn't do at the start of the game. I think that was the biggest difference. 

On his 42-yard reception at the end of the first half that led to a Patriots touchdown...
It was great. Just doing whatever I can to help the team get in and help the team win. When you the see ball, you just want to do anything you can do to go get it. There was nothing else going through my head.

RUNNING BACK DION LEWIS

On having more opportunities to play this week...
Whenever you get a chance, you have to make plays.  That's my job.  I was just happy to go out there, move around a bit, and help my team.

On being down 14-0...
We stayed focused.  You have to lock in and stick with the game plan.  Nobody panicked.  We knew we had to play a lot better and keep playing physical.

On the overturned touchdown by Austin Seferian-Jenkins...
I didn't see the play.  I asked Malcolm (Butler) what happened. He said, "I think it's a touchback".  Two seconds later it was a touchback.  Malcolm made a great play on that.

On the importance of getting into a rhythm for a running back...
It's pretty big, even if you're not getting the ball.  It's good just to be out there getting into the flow of the game.  Whenever my number is called I have to make a play and show that I'm capable.

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