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New England Patriots Postgame Transcripts 12/11

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick and select players comment on their game against the Miami Dolphins on Monday, December 11, 2017.


Postgame Press Conference
December 11, 2017

Opening Statement: "It was a good job tonight by the Dolphins, (Head) Coach (Adam) Gase, staff, their team. They did a good job tonight. They obviously did a better job than we did. We just weren't really good enough in any area, consistent enough in any area to win the game. So, all need to do a better job and (we) weren't able to do that. It just wasn't good enough tonight across the board."

Q: Do you think any of the guys might have been looking ahead next week past Miami?

BB: "No. Any questions about the game?"

Q:Third down you struggled. 0-for-11?

BB: (no response)

Q: Can you put your hand on any particular reason why there seems to be continuous struggles every year you come down here? That's four out of five years not you've lost down here. Can you put your hand on anything why here is such a struggle?

BB: "Were you here last year?"

Q: Won last year. You lost the previous three?

BB: "Every game is its own game, okay? I don't think what happened five years ago has anything to do with tonight."

Q: Can you explain the onside kick? What happened there with that kick?

BB: "They recovered it."

Q: How different was their defensive approach in this game compared to November 26? Was there significant change in the way they approached that?

BB: "No, I wouldn't say it was dramatic."

Q: How do you feel your defense played at times when they had to come up with stops as the game went along?

BB: "At times there were things that were good in the game, it just wasn't … We didn't score enough points; we gave up too many to win. It was competitive. They did a better job than we did in all three areas of the game. Give them credit."

Q: Typically, you guys have the advantage in starting field position. Tonight it seemed like it was an uphill climb, especially trying to come back when they flipped the field. How difficult is it?

BB: "If we play better defense and move the ball better, then you have better field position. We didn't do either one of those things well enough to get good field position, so we didn't have it."

Q: In the first half there were 12 targets to running backs and tight ends and just three I think to receivers. Was there anything that they were doing that you saw that led to the ball maybe going to the backs other than maybe the receivers that led to that disparity?

BB: "I don't know how many times we've been through this. We call the play, we run the route, based on the coverage they're in, the decision the quarterback makes, throw the ball to the open guy. We don't go back and throw it to one guy like we're going to throw 10 passes to a receiver, or we're going to throw 10 passes to the tight end. It's based on that route, it's based on the coverage, it's based on the quarterback, the decision the quarterback makes on that play. So, we could look at each play, go through each read, talk to the quarterback and try to answer your question that way, but I just can't do that right now. But, no, we weren't trying to throw every pass to one guy, we never do that."

Q: I was more curious if their coverage was dictating, like were they playing a certain coverage that was leading to that?

BB: "We threw the ball to everybody. We didn't really do much of anything."


Postgame Press Conference
December 11, 2017

Q: The numbers on 3rd down were something we're not used to seeing from you guys. What did you see on 3rd down that just led to some of the lack of production?

TB: "Yeah, it was pretty bad. We can't get any worse than that. We couldn't stay on the field and just didn't make enough plays. It's just a bad night. We've had a lot of good nights this year and this was a bad night."

Q: In the first half a lot of targets to the running backs, I think there were like 11 targets or 12 to the running backs and only a few to the receivers. What were you seeing out there that maybe led the ball to go to them more to them? What were they doing maybe that led to that?

TB: "I'm not sure. I'm not sure. I think there were less screen passes in there and stuff like that. We just have to take a look. Ideally you'd like to spread it around to everybody. We just got behind and not really the way we wanted to play the game. It was just a bad loss."

Q: Tom, you didn't last year but before that it just seems to be a constant struggle coming down here. Can you pin it on anything? Any idea why it seems to be a struggle so many times down here?

TB: "Yeah just not playing well. I don't think there's any magic potion or anything to take to come down and win. We just didn't play good, got behind, tried to battle back and just couldn't do it. It's just a bad night. I wish we played better but we didn't and we have to move on and try to play better next week."


(What made the Dolphins difficult today for the offense?)– "I'm going to have to go back and watch it on film. I couldn't really tell when I was running my routes. We just have to play better."

(No completions to the wide-outs in the first half. Were they covering you particularly well? Was there no time? Is there anything you noticed without looking at the film?)– "It's a really good question and obviously not our goal as a unit. We just have to play better."

(You guys were 0-for-11 on third downs, which is uncharacteristic to see that from the offense. Does anything stand out to you from the third downs that you saw?)– "They play a lot of Cover 1 with a robber in the middle of the field and they played better than us tonight, so they won."


(What were the changes you saw in this team from the one you saw two weeks ago?) – "First of all they were at home. They out played us, they played a great game. You have to give credit to them. We could have done a lot of things better but we have to move on and get ready for Pittsburgh."

(Was there anything the Dolphins did on offense that kind of kept you guys off balance?) – "Yeah, just had to make plays when they came your way. Everybody had to make plays, especially myself. Just need to do better all-around the board."

(What do you think allowed Jay Cutler to be so successful tonight?) – "I don't know. Probably inner-self, probably had confidence in himself. He's in the NFL for a reason. Every player, every dog has his day."

(What happened on that touchdown?) – "I should have been more aggressive. I should have went up and played the ball a little bit better. I think I competed well on it but in this case competing wasn't good enough."

(There was a moment in the second half when Duron (Harmon) kind of got you guys together. What was he trying to convey during that moment?) – "Just trying to get everybody on the same page. Play harder, come out and just fight, fight until the end, which we did, probably a little too late. We have to rebound; we always rebound and respond the right away."


(What was the difference from last time you played the Dolphins to this time?)– "They just made more plays than we did. Executed better than we did and that's what it comes down to."

(Was there anything that happened there that surprised you guys or was it just a matter of execution?) – "It's a matter of execution. They ran some of the same stuff we knew they were going to run but we just didn't execute well."

(What do you guys have to do to get ready for the Pittsburgh Steelers next week?) – "Bounce back. Go to the drawing board. Practice hard. Get ready for the Steelers."


(How did it feel to be back?) – "It was good. It was good to be back out there with the guys and be playing. I missed being out there with them."

(Any loss is tough obviously, but when you have a chance to clinch a division playoff spot how much more difficult is that?) – "We still have a lot of football left to be played, so we're not going to dwell on … We had … We lost. We've got to move on. We got a big game coming up. We're in a short week, so we're going to have to make the corrections quickly and turn our focus to the Steelers."

(You guys couldn't convert on third down tonight. Was there anything specifically that they were doing that was causing you guys problems?) – "They're playing really well. Their whole defense was playing well. Their front four is disruptive. Their d-backs played really well. We just have to do a better job."


(Talk about what was the difference from the last time you played the Dolphins to tonight)– "They won. They out executed us today. From the beginning to end. We got some things going at periods of the game but overall they just out executed us from the beginning all the way to the end, really in every phase of the game."

(Was this a trap game for New England?)– "No. We know. Our record down here the last couple years, I think we won like one out of the last so…it's not we came down here like this is a home team, we dominate here. So I don't see it as a trap game. We knew, you've got a championship on the line. That's not a trap game. We didn't execute as well as we needed to against another team that's fighting for their playoff berth too. So it's just that point in the season where if you don't play at your highest level you'll lose. Everyone's out here playing for something."

(Did you feel at any point during the week that maybe there was a sign that something like this was possible? You talked at the end of the week about how important it is. 'We know we can't have a bad Wednesday. We can't have a bad Thursday.' Did you feel like it was a good week?) – "Yes. We had a good week. It's just, in football sometimes you come out and you play as well as you want to and that's what it was. You play another good team that knows you well. You know them well and they're on it a little more than you are and you're a half-step late. To me you saw that. It wasn't like we just came out here and never got anything going. We got things going at different times in the game but it was just too late. Once we actually started playing and complimenting each other a little bit all the way at the end the deficit was too big to overcome. If we could have got that going a little earlier we would have had a better shot."

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