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New England Patriots Postgame Transcripts 8/16

PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
August 16, 2018

BB: Well, I thought our guys came out and played really competitively tonight. We got off to a good start. We were able to play from ahead and made some plays in all three phases of the game. We still have a lot of work to do. We have a long way to go, but I liked the energy we played with and we had some good, productive plays. We'll try to build on that this week and keep trying to string some days together. We go on the road this week against Carolina, so that'll be a good challenge, a good opportunity for us. But just another step in our preparations for the season and opening day. Hopefully we can just keep making progress. I thought we had a good week this week. It's good to see it finish off with a good competitive performance tonight against a good football team.

Q: Your defense had eight sacks tonight. What did you see from that unit overall?

BB: Yeah, again, I thought we did some good things. There's certainly some things we need to work on. It was far from perfect. We'll take a look at the film, build on the positives and correct the things that need to be corrected.

Q: What have you seen from Eric Rowe since camp began?

BB: Yeah, Eric's had a good camp. Again, we all have things that we need to work on. We all have a long way to go. I think we had a lot of guys out there making plays, making good plays, but there's still a lot of things we have to improve on. I think that really goes for everybody, including the coaching staff. We'll just keep grinding away.

Q: How far has Cordarrelle Patterson come since his arrival here?

BB: Well, it's a new system for him. He's done a good job. He's been out there every day. He works hard. He's a talented kid that's made a lot of plays on the practice field. He made some plays in the game. Again, we'll just keep going and build on the positives. There's some things that need to be refined but he works hard on those and hopefully those come together.

Q: Is there something you saw in him before he got here that made you think he might be able to offer more as a receiver than he had?

BB: He's been productive as a receiver. Obviously, we thought he could help us. We traded for him. We'll see how it goes.

Q: How has Ja'Whaun Bentley shown his ability to accept more responsibility on the defense?

BB: He pretty much plays one spot. Whatever the defense calls for, that's what he does. He's been a four-year starter at Purdue. He's had a lot of responsibility from DeMatha [Catholic] High School to Purdue to here. He's always been the middle linebacker, the signal caller, the guy right in the middle of the defense. He does a good job of handling the communication and some of the adjustments that have to be made from the center of the field, which that's his position; that's part of it. He's been able to do that pretty well since he's come here. He's still got a lot to learn. He's got a long way to go, but he's handled those things well.

Q: Keion Crossen saw significant time today but also had some key penalties. With a player that young, what is the approach with him in regards to trying to build him up from the mistakes or focus on the upside that he has?

BB: Keion did play quite a bit. We had a couple corners that didn't play tonight, so the guys that we had played a lot. Those guys got a lot of playing time. Yeah, again, we'll build on the things with all players. We'll build on the things they did well and we'll try to correct the mistakes and adjustments that they need to make. Hopefully we can work on those this week and improve on them next week. He falls into that category. Really, so does everybody else.

PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY

POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
August 16, 2018

Q: How's the new helmet?

TB: I kind of like it, man. I've got to get the mask right, but I do like it. It's very comfortable. Much better than my old one.

Q: Is it lighter?

TB: I think it's a little heavier. But, I'd say like if the old one was like a Chuck Taylor, this is like one of those Under Armour HOVRs – so comfy. So, trying to make the switch, man – get ahead.

Q: What are your overall thoughts on your first preseason game this year and being out there with your teammates tonight?

TB: You know, it was good – challenged by a good team, a good defense, good front. You know, we did some good things, but I'm sure there's things, a lot of things, we didn't do very well. So, I mean, I think this is all just part of the building process. It feels good to win, but you know, there's certainly a lot of things we've got to do better.

Q: How did you feel with a lot of new faces out there on offense?

TB: Yeah, you know, whoever is out there – whether the last three weeks – you're just trying to get on the same page. You know, we're not doing a ton of game-planning for these games, and it's just some trust and the preparation is mostly about us. But, whoever's out there we've got to go with, and I'm sure it will be that way at different points in the season. New guys will come in and got to try to get them ready. Obviously, all the reps we put in with Julian [Edelman], Hogs [Chris Hogan], Gronk [Rob Gronkowski], guys who have been here in the past are very helpful. But, everyone's just trying to get up to speed and we're trying to all do the right thing.

Q: What did you see from Cordarrelle Patterson tonight that you think will help you in the regular season?

TB: Yeah, I thought he did a great job tonight. He's so dangerous when he gets the ball in his hands, and obviously over the course of his entire career, that's the way it's been. You know, he had a good touchdown there. He almost had the one at the sideline that I threw it to him, but he's done a great job.

Q: How impressed were you with the way James White played tonight? Do you feel he has grown into one of the best offensive skill players in the league?

TB: Yeah, I mean, I don't think you could ask any more of a teammate than what James provides us and the trust that everyone has in him. I mean, I feel like he never makes a mistake, and it's pretty amazing to have that. You know, we've had some great sub backs and James is right in the mold of all those other guys – Kevin Faulk and Shane [Vereen] and Danny Woodhead. James has his own way of doing it, but what an incredible play he made on the screen play, amongst many other great plays, and I love playing with him.

Q: Your throw to Patterson was your only throw tonight to someone who was new in the offense. How do you balance working those guys in and getting them reps that might be helpful for them versus getting the offense as a whole running the way you want it?

TB: Yeah, I think the coaches are pretty good at that and they kind of decide a lot of those things. There's a lot of rotations in practice and we're all watching film together, we're in the meetings together, we're in the walk-throughs and so forth, so this is one element to getting to know people and preparation and so forth, and there's a lot that goes into it. So, I'm in there a lot with a lot of other guys that may not be as much on the field, but those things – we've still got plenty of time left in camp to, as things take shape, to figure out who's going to be out there and who's going to try to help us win.

Q: What kind of protection does Trent Brown provide you and are you getting comfortable with him?

TB: Yeah, I think we've had such great players at that position between Matt Light and then Nate [Solder] for an extended period of time. You wish you could keep all the guys together, but it's just not the case. Trent has come in and really gained everyone's trust by how he's approached that particular spot that he's in, and I mean, he did a great job tonight. So, he's working hard to get better. Obviously, that whole unit up front, we rely so much on them to set the tone in the run game and the pass game, and we're going to need them to all be at their best. I mean, I love that group and the effort they're putting in. We've just got to all try to keep getting better.

Q: You've always prided yourself on moving around in the pocket, and it looked like you were right at home there tonight. How important is that for you and does it come to you instinctively?

TB: Yeah, I know. It's the first time I've kind of had to do that in six months or seven months. You know, I feel like my timing can be better in certain areas, but it's – I mean, you have to get out there and play. And I've been doing it for a long time, so a lot of it is kind of second nature at this point, but still you've got to see yourself do it and kind of get the instincts back and the feel of the game and the speed of the game and so forth. But, anytime I can buy a little time here and there, it's been good for us. I'm glad we made a couple plays tonight doing it.

Q: Some people were interested in whether or not you would be shaking hands with Nick Foles at some point tonight. Is that why you might have gone out to the field earlier than we normally see you tonight?

TB: I did hear that. I know that was kind of made up to me because that was never my intention that I would, you know, be a bad sport. But, I have a lot of respect for Nick and Carson [Wentz], all those quarterbacks, and that team and the way they played. They're a great team. I know how hard it is to win that last game, and they did it and congrats to them. But, we're on to 2018. We've got our goals ahead of us. We're going to try to go out and put together a great year.

PATRIOTS PLAYERS

Ja'Whaun Bentley, LB

(On if he feels like he's making progress) 
"I'm just trying to take it one day at a time. I feel like as a team we came out and wanted to accomplish all of our goals and I felt like we did that today. We did that. We played well."

(On dropping deep into coverage on the first play of the game) 
"We were pretty much in man-to-man coverage. [Nick Foles] threw it deep, [I] played the ball. Kind of how you draw it up. Just do my job on that play."

(On his touchdown off of Adrian Clayborn's strip-sack) 
"You want to make sure you secure the ball and make sure you finish and not get caught or anything like that. I'll just look to make the plays that are meant to be made and I'm just here to make them and the results will show."

Adam Butler, DL

(On the emotion he showed after recording a sack) 
"I was just excited that it happened the way that it happened. That was my role on this team last year and I'm hoping to get it again this year and maybe more so that I can do my part to help this team."

(On if the sack was a reminder to fans and coaches of his abilities) 
"I wouldn't put it all on one specific play, no."

(On if tonight's effort showed what this defense is capable of) 
"We still got a little ways to go, but we are what we put on tape."

(On if he feels good overall about the defensive effort) 
"I think we did pretty good, but like I said we still got to keep playing."

(On what's exciting about this year's defensive front seven) 
"I think the most exciting part is the diversity. There's so many people that can do a lot of different things. You've got some guys who can rush inside and outside. Some guys who are just very talented on the edge and to watch everybody come out and show their skills tonight is amazing."

Adrian Clayborn, DE

(On tonight's defensive pressure on the quarterback) 
"Part of my job as a defensive lineman is to get after the quarterback and they were passing a lot tonight, so we had to get after the quarterback so we don't leave our DBs [defensive backs] out to dry."

(On if the defense is better than what some may think) 
"We're working hard to be good and I think we will get there hopefully."

(On his strip-sack that led to a touchdown) 
"I got a good beat on it. It was a pass play and the lineman wasn't expecting to get off the line that fast so just take my edge and try to hit the quarterback."

(On if he feels good about the defense following tonight's performance) 
"I feel like we always execute our job and that's a good start so we'll watch the film and see what the numbers are tomorrow."

(On his reaction to watching Ja'Whaun Bentley score a touchdown following the strip-sack) 
"I was just checking to see that nobody was going to tackle him. Once that was good, it was all good."

(On being able to hit the quarterback in preseason games following a long training camp) 
"Yeah, this weird. Preseason is always good for that. Finally get to wrap up the quarterback. I slipped off one because I' m just not used to it. Everybody is not used to it, but that's what preseason is for."

(On how good this defensive front seven can be once the season gets going) 
"Time will tell. I won't put a prediction on it, but if we keep working hard and keep doing what we got to do we will be good."

(On his impression of coach Brian Flores) 
"He's good. He knows the defense well and he's been helping me out with learning it as fast as I can."

Julian Edelman, WR

(On playing in the game) 
"It was good to go out there and get hit. It was good to go out there and have the team start off fast. It really simulated the start of the game."

(On getting better each week) 
"I feel myself getting better some days and not as good other days but I think that is just training camp in general."

(On taking pride in blocking during the game) 
"We take that very seriously here. Our job as receivers is to get up there and catch the ball and compete in the running game to help our running backs."

(On scoring during the first half)
"It is always nice to put points on the board. That's what I get out there and try to do each week. There was a lot of things we could have done better but it will be a good week for us coming to practice and learn. It is just another step in the direction towards playing the regular season of football."

(On playing with Tom Brady) 
"It was nice; I enjoy playing with Tom."

(On training camp) 
"I feel like I had good days during camp but as a player you just have to keep working on your stamina."

Jason McCourty, CB

(On what he saw during the touchdown) 
"You just have to make the play. I just have to do a better job on staying on my man and trying to make a play."

(On how he felt during the game) 
"For me it just felt good because it is a blessing every day to be able to play. For me to be able to be a part of this organization and take the field with the guys in every opportunity I have to play a national football game is such a tremendous opportunity and blessing. I never take that for granted."

(On feeling more comfortable during the game) 
"I am definitely feeling more comfortable. I think I have an advantage with the prior teams I was on with a lot of different coaches. That has helped me to be able to pick up different football and situations while adjusting myself as a player."

(On how it feels to be in Boston)
"It is a lot colder here compared to Tennessee. The family atmosphere here with having my brother has been really amazing. Even having my mother come who does not have to take a plane to get here is great."

(On playing with his brother)
"It is a great feeling getting to run off the field together. It is not so much game days right now but more times throughout the week where we get to walk out to the practice field together or even being able to talk about family issues. It is great to have our connection and be so close. He even is my Uber driver to the games as well which works out pretty well."

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