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New England Patriots Postgame Transcripts 11/19

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick and select players comment on their game against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, November 19, 2017.


Postgame Press Conference
November 19, 2017

BB: First of all, I'll always be a Navy man. Want to give a big shout out to General Silveria and his great staff at the United States Air Force Academy for the hospitality and the week that we had there.

This has been a three-leg trip for us -- Denver, Colorado Springs, and Mexico City. Asked a lot of our players, asked a lot of our organization, and they all delivered. We had a great, whatever, nine days. I think we really got better as a football team. We met all the challenges that we needed to meet head on and tried to work through them.

I thought, again, our players gave a great effort tonight. They came out and performed well early throughout the game and played really good situational football.

I thought the execution there at the end of the half, when we were able to get the field goal, obviously, it's a great kick by Steve to put ourselves in that position, but it's very much the way we talked about and really kind of practiced it this week that showed up at our Friday practice in Colorado Springs.

So credit really to the team and the entire organization. Again, all our support people did such a great job planning this trip and making all the accommodations, doing all the work so that the players and the coaches could devote their time and energy to trying to beat Oakland. That's a good Raider football team that we saw. Really appreciate everything they did, and good to be going home with two wins on this trip.

BB: Yeah, look, we came a long way to win a football game, but that's what we did. We came down here, and our job was to win the game. That's what we did. It's a great crowd tonight, a lot of energy, great stadium, great environment. It was exciting to play here and coach here. Our job is to prepare to win, and that's what these guys did, and that's what they did tonight. That's what really matters.

BB: Yeah, they did a good job in L.A. We're missing two guys on the offensive line. Obviously, some receivers in other positions, but those guys stepped in and played well.

Ted always works hard. Nobody spends more time at the facility than he does training and preparing. He had an opportunity, and I think he stepped up and did the most with it. That's what we needed, and that's why we have a good team. We have a lot of guys that do that.

BB: Well, it's a long trip, and it takes a lot out of your football team. It's taxing, make no mistake about that. I give all the credit to our players and the assistant coaches and our staff for how hard they work to split the quality and performance on the field. We've done that before, but it was tough tonight against a good football team and a tough football team, but they stepped up and did it. So give them all the credit in the world.

BB: Yeah, that was a big three points. Again, I think it really put an exclamation point on the situational football we talked about this week, and that's playing particular, how field goal range would be greater in Mexico City than what it was, than it normally is, and maybe even a little bit more than what it is in Denver. So that's the way it played out.

Tom did a great job, and Josh -- and Tom did a great job of getting the ball to about the 45 yard line, 44, somewhere in there, which was more than enough for what Steve needed. Steve hit a great ball. It was, obviously, a very well executed play, but that drive was well executed. Really, really proud of the way Steve handled it.

BB: I don't really have any control over that. I just coach the team. I don't have anything to do with all the other stuff that you're asking about. We got in. We went to the hotel. We had our meetings last night. We came over here and played the game, and that was pretty much it for us.

We got a chance to see the city driving around a little bit, going back and forth between the airport and the hotel and the hotel and the stadium. Beautiful place, but we were here on business. We got done what we needed to get done. That's what's really important.

BB: Well, yeah, really that's a credit to our players. Players win games. They're the ones that go out there and make the blocks, the tackles, the runs, the throws, the catches, the kicks. I think what it means is, number one, I've been doing it for a long time. Number two, I've coached a lot of great players. So I've been very fortunate to have a great coaching staff, great assistant coaches, and great players, and had a great opportunity to direct those people.

The credit goes to the players. They're the ones who go out and win. They won the game tonight, and they deserved to win because they played better. That's the way it's been on those other 270 games or whatever it is. Been very fortunate to have a lot of great players.

BB: Well, every week is its own week. Hope to go back to work this week and get ready for Miami. We have great respect for them and their division games we have coming up, plus Pittsburgh. So just take it one week at a time. This is a big week for us. Come back off this trip to get re-acclimated dealing with Thanksgiving and so forth. There are a lot of things going on this week.

But we'll turn our attention to Miami as quickly as possible and try to get ready to go on that. It's just one week at a time at this point.

BB: Brandin's been a great player for us all year. He does whatever he's asked to do. He's always ready to go. He's got great endurance, stamina, speed. Whether he's at the block, runs short routes, run deep routes, clear out, catch-and-run plays. He's willing to do whatever he needs to do. He works very hard to do it well and create the good timing with the quarterback and the other receivers in the passing game. Nobody works harder than Brandin. He's very unselfish. He's a great teammate, and we're fortunate to have him on our team.

BB: That was a great kick. That was a great kick. It was a timely point in the game, both from the standpoint of going into the half, but also with the execution to take the ball over with 28 seconds or something like that and be able to get three points with the field position we had was a good credit to our overall team. Steve certainly did his job.

The offense did their job to put the ball in position for the kick. We got good protection and good operation from Joe Cardona and Ryan Allen and Steve's kick.

Joe Judge, Ventrone, our special teams coaches, we work very hard on plays like that, and we came up and were able to execute it. Thank you very much.


Postgame Press Conference
November 19, 2017

TB: How are you guys doing?

TB: That was a great experience for us to come out and win. It was a great reception. It was a great stay. To win and to be here and to have two tough games back to back and kind of handle the situation, and training in Colorado and coming here, it was just a great experience. So happy we won.

TB: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, that was -- to be here, like I said, and to play in a different country and to have everyone cheer for our team, cheer for me and cheer for my teammates is incredible. Hopefully, there's many more games here.

TB: You know, I think the guys made a lot of great plays. I was just trying to deliver it to them. Our defense played great. Special teams played really well. Had some real critical swings there with the turnovers. But it was a good game by us. Happy we came on the road and beat another good team.

TB: They did a great job. To step in like that, and David, obviously, wished he could have played but just couldn't make it. L.A.'s done a great job. He was battling out there, going against some really good players. So it was a great team win, great by the offensive line. They've really done a great job with the penalty situation and really moving the line of scrimmage and so forth. So great protection. We just have to keep it going.

TB: You know, I think these trips come down to whether you win or lose. You remember it when you win, but if you lose, you want to forget it as fast as you can. We've been to London and coming here, been to other neutral sites. You really have to focus in on what you have to do, and you've got to try to keep your routine as best you can so that, when you come out there and play, you're ready to go.

We got off to a good start today. There was a good lead. We played from ahead, which is kind of the way we wanted to, didn't turn it over. So that's a good formula for winning.

TB: Yeah, it was -- you know, this team does quite a few things with their front and the coverage. We talked all week about just being prepared for how they were going to play the game, and the tempo helped us out early. I think it settled some things in. We got down the field and scored on the first drive, which was good.

They play hard. They've got a good rush. I thought we found some spots in the zones. Cookie got by them a few times deep. Any time you make big plays, you can skip ten plays and hit one big one. That's really important. He's done a great job of doing that all year. He had a huge day for us.

TB: Yeah. Josh made a great call, and it's a play we've run before. Cookie had a tight split, and then he fakes the out and runs out, go. The guy jumped it, and he was pretty wide open. I was just trying not to blow it. If I'd have missed that one, that would have sucked. He caught it in stride. It's tough to catch him from behind when he gets behind the defense.

TB: You know, it's week to week. Again, it's -- we're trying to do it every week. We were trying to do it the first four weeks too and just didn't play as well as we were capable. Been playing well lately. If you play good in all three phases for us, it's tough to beat.

But, again, this week coming up is going to be a totally different plan, a totally different situation. You've got to really fill up the tank again and be ready to go.

TB: I don't -- yeah. I don't know. I don't know. I mean, I -- yeah.

TB: Yeah, it's important when you get the ball down into the scoring area that you score touchdowns. Too many field goals. And we have the best field goal kicker in the league. He knocks them in anyway, but it would be nice to always score touchdowns when you get down there.

We've been really close a few times, just didn't quite get them in. But that's going to be really important here down the next six games.

TB: Well, it's a great experience. I've never been to Mexico City, but I'm definitely coming back. We stayed in a beautiful hotel, and I'm not even quite sure where we were, but I had a beautiful view in my room. Just a very historic stadium. I know there's been some really important sporting events here. It's really a privilege for us to be here to play in front of all of the fans of Mexico and all the people watching on TV. I'm sure there's a lot of people back at home watching. So, it's a great experience.

TB: Yeah, it's high. I mean, you can really get them out there. So it helps with the kicking game too. We played last week in Denver. Obviously, the thinner air, the ball travels farther. So, you just try to put as much air on it as you can and let the receiver run underneath it. But it's a great place to play.

TB: That was pretty cool. That was pretty cool. I've been around for a long time. So, if you're a fan of the NFL, then you've probably seen me at some point. But it's still an incredible experience to come here and play football in a different country and see the reception. Hopefully, there's more games here and the game continues to grow and other people get to see it in person and experience it because it's a game that I love. So do a lot of other people around the world.

TB: Yeah, that was very much a surprise, especially since they were here for last year's game, they were very pro-Raider. We had a lot of Patriots fans here too. So that was great to see. Thank you guys very much.

TB: My jersey's safe? I wasn't worried about it last time, believe me. Thank you guys. Take care.


Postgame Press Conference
November 19, 2017

DM: It's big. We talked about it, when we took off to go to Denver, about a long trip but making it worthwhile. So like we talked about during the week, being away from home meant preparing, doing a good job of preparing, and being together, executing our game plan. I think, both sides of the ball, we did that today.

We played at a high level. They made some plays, but I thought we executed our game plan and did exactly what we wanted to do today.

DM: Yeah, I mean, this atmosphere was awesome. To be out here. When we came out in pregame with just shorts and T-shirts on, the crowd was going crazy. We knew, when it came game time, they'd be into it. They gave it for four quarters. So we definitely appreciated the fans coming out today, just all the support to the NFL. And it's always better to get a win, though.

DM: We heard. We heard that it was crazy here. We heard the fans were going to get loud. Even coming in yesterday, we just saw it, and it seemed like a great buzz going through the city, just driving us in and everything. It was just a great atmosphere, and I think we kind of played up to that, getting momentum and getting energy from the crowd.

DM: Jonathan Jones is in on all of them. He's been a big X factor every time he got in, defensively and obviously in the kicking game. It's something we talk about every week. Obviously, playing solid defense, executing the game plan, but changing the game with turnovers.

Even Duron's interception was a third down play, so it was kind of like a punt. But the energy it brings. When the offense takes the field after we get a turnover, that's huge. With them driving, getting in the red area, before the half, that's what we talked about. Getting the stop and then Cooks on the deep ball to open the third quarter, that really changes the game.

DM: Yeah, the Mexican fans did a great job today. We appreciate that. As Patriot players, we knew. When Oakland played here last year, they probably created some type of fan base. We definitely felt the New England support out there.

It was great. I thought, obviously, being at Air Force in that atmosphere, it gave me a great perspective. Air Force kind of rolled out the red carpet for us, showing us different things, took very good care of us. I thought that brought us together to see them, from a team aspect, and one goal preparation, going out there and executing at a high level.

Even the jumpers coming in on the practice field, they kind of did that for us. For that to be successful, everything has to be right. So I thought that was great for us to see that, and the time together bonding to get better as a team, and it showed today.

DM: We're just playing together. We're executing. Like I always said, every year, you've got to kind of learn who you are. You guys ask this early in the season all the time, what's the team's identity? I think we kind of figure that out. We're understanding how we need to prepare, how we need to practice.

Whether it's a hard, full pad practice, whether it's a walk-through, we know what we need to do on each of those days. And when we do that, we give ourselves a chance. You see it paying off Sundays when we're going out there, everyone running around, everyone knows their job. It's all about execution.

DM: Like always, in New England, we always get prepared. Everyone told us it was a good distance, but I think when guys did it, it wasn't as bad as we heard. We heard it was going to be even longer and more uphill. I think as guys did it to go warm up, it wasn't bad at all.

It was kind of cool walking in through the crowd right there and just feeling their energy and excitement.

DM: Yeah, we just got to keep getting better. Obviously, you come out here and get a big win, but nothing is ever perfect. It's always great to break down the film and do it in a win, but you've got to learn from it. There's some plays we left out here that we know we could play better on the defense. I'm sure it's going to be the same in offense and the kicking game. You always want to improve those things because you never know when it's going to come up in a big game. So we're going to need to do that, and I think we have a good understanding of coming in there on Mondays or whether it be Tuesday, whenever we get in there, saying this is what we did wrong. Let's fix it and move forward. We'll continue to do that throughout the season.

DM: I think we're a blue-collar team. We've got to go out there and work hard. Come out here after a late night in Denver, come out Wednesday, new atmosphere in Air Force, full pads, work on the run game, on playing aggressive, playing fast. I think guys know that. There's no complaining. There's no guys, like, man, we could be doing that. I think guys know that. 

Last time at Air Force, we spent a lot of time in the meeting room with the coaches. Some long days. When I first went there, we went 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. I think we know we need that as a team. We've got to be in there watching film together, being together, studying. When we do those things, we're able to play well.

DM: It was great. I thought the stadium, the locker room was A-plus when we came in. Everything you guys have in there was awesome. I think we took advantage of that, being in a new place but getting treated very well, and then being in this stadium with all the energy. I think there was 77,000 fans yelling and screaming. Awesome atmosphere.

DM: Well, if we come again, I'm going to tell them that we plan on winning. Everybody else, I just tell them to be ready. It's a little hard to breathe out there and catch your breath, but I tell them it's an awesome atmosphere. The fans are really into it. Seemed like they want to party all night.

DM: Same way you guys stay focused when you come in here and hear Bill Belichick doing a press conference. He reminded us all the time. I don't think anyone had more in front with him with all of the things they showed us. He's bringing it right back to why we were out here, the business trip part of it. As fun as everything was, the best part of this trip is coming out here and getting a win.

Those wins are always important because we've got to take the long flight back. It's no fun after a loss. It will be good to get on the flight with all the guys yelling and screaming for about two hours, and then everybody will be knocked out.

DM: It was huge. Whenever we win the coin toss, we talk about getting the halftime swing of whenever we're out there defensively. I think this time we took the field, it might have been like five minutes or four minutes of trying to get off and get our offense back on. But most importantly, not giving up points knowing our offense is coming out in the second half.

I felt to that point that was their best drive of the first half. They were moving the ball. It was something we talked about during the week. Whenever guys got down the field, if the ball was loose, guys just having awareness. Jonathan Jones wrapping them up and then seeing the ball out and punching it. That was huge. Like I said, getting the ball out and getting off the field was big for us.

DM: Yeah, it was great. I saw Steve kick one from deep at Air Force. I forget if it was yesterday or this morning, and Bill talked about the field goal range, and he was like, yeah, we saw Steve kick a 70-yarder the other day. We know, if we get close, he can make it.

So I think what Bill's saying, when we came up to kick the field goal, he said everybody move up on the sideline. That gets the whole team going, you kick a field goal from that deep. And then to carry that momentum into the second half, and Cooks had that deep touchdown. That really turns the game. You get three points before the half and seven coming out, that's ten points before Oakland can touch the ball again. That's huge for us.


Postgame Press Conference
November 19, 2017

RG: It should be, yes.

RG: It was basically a business trip. We really didn't get to do that much, explore around or anything. We got to interact with the fans running out of the tunnel, coming out of the tunnel. That was a cool experience seeing all the fans go wild and everything, giving them high fives. So that was super neat.

RG: Actually, not. I wasn't sure what to expect. Never played down here, and it was a great experience. The way the fans were interacting was actually unbelievable. I mean, they were super loud. They sounded proud. And it was just a great experience overall coming here, and having that type of experience definitely makes it worthwhile and awesome.

RG: Oh, I mean, they were on top of their game, the Mexican fans down here. We had a lot of Patriot fans, too. Our fans always travel well, even down here to Mexico City. So just overall, it was a great experience. The crowd was super loud, super into it, and just made it an awesome night.

RG: My opinion on Mexican fans? They were awesome. Like I said, they were loud. They were into the game. They made it a pleasure coming down here and playing.

RG: Yes, it was. It actually exceeded expectations. So we did a great job as a team. Everyone played well in all areas of the game, especially special teams. Stephen with the 62-yard field goal, which was unbelievable at halftime. So it was just a fiesta all over the field, man.

RG: It's a week-to-week season. Every single week is different. Sometimes you start slow. Sometimes you start fast. We're in the thick of the season now, in the middle of it. We've just got to keep working hard, do what we do and just focus on what we have that week and don't look behind us.

RG: I would say so. We have a lot of guys that love the game of football, want to come in and work hard and get better every day, definitely.

RG: Oh, man, it's a whole different season, whole different team, whole different players. We just got to keep working hard. We take one week at a time. I mean, we just try to be the best team we can be every week and every year.

RG: It's kind of a similar trip. Kind of the same difference. Pretty decent flight, but the experience to London was first class and the experience to here in Mexico City was first class. So both games, I believe, we won by a good margin. Both of them went super well. Thank you guys.

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