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New England Patriots Postgame Transcripts 9/23

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick and select players comment on their 26-10 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday, September 23, 2018.


Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, September 23, 2018

Opening Statement: "Alright, well obviously the Lions did everything a lot better than we did tonight, so give them credit. They played well, coached well. We just didn't do anything well enough to give ourselves a chance to win. Similar situation last week—get behind early, play from behind. (We) just weren't able to make it up. So, just going to have to work our way out of it, obviously we have a lot of work to do. So, there's no shortcut, no easy way, just have to do a better job."

On how the team can overcome slow starts:

"We have to work at it, work harder."

On how the slow start happened after preparing to avoid a slow start during the week:

"We have to coach and play better."

On what the team has to do to play better team defense:

"Everything. We just have to do a better job."

On what happened on the intentional grounding play:

"We didn't have a receiver in the area where we threw the ball."

On how the intentional grounding play was supposed to be executed:

"There was several things that went wrong on the play."

On how much the team had to adjust the game plan this week for injuries:

"I don't know."

On if injuries were a factor in the team's performance tonight:

"I think they clearly out played us and out coached us today."

On if he prepared for WR Josh Gordon to be in the lineup tonight:

"We took things during the week as they came and did what we did today."

On if WR Josh Gordon was inactive for an injury:

"I don't know. He wasn't active today."

On the message he gives to the team after the slow start to season:

"No, we just all have to do a better job."

On the decision to rotate in CB J.C. Jackson and CB Jason McCourty in the second quarter:

"Played all of our players."

On if rotating CB J.C. Jackson and CB Jason McCourty was based on effort and energy or execution in the second quarter:

"We couldn't execute anything. We didn't execute anything very well."

On his team being a bounce-back team:

"Well, it's never good when we lose."

On the team's second loss being a concern:

"I just answered that."

On the offense going fast late in the second quarter:

"We thought we could gain an advantage, that's the only reason we would ever go fast."

On how he would describe his conversation with Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia:


On if he is happy that Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia got his first win:

"Look, my job is my football team and that's what I'm worried about. That's what I'm concerned about, that's what my job is."

On the issues today being personnel or execution base:

"I'll have to look at the film."

On how to improve on third down:

"I've said this multiple times, I'll say it again, we need to do everything better. Play better, coach better, execute better, in all three phases of the game. Whatever answer you want to bring up, the answer is all the same. None of it has been good enough."

On the current Patriots record:

"I don't think anyone can clinch a playoff spot today, I don't think anyone is eliminated today."

Quarterback Tom Brady

Postgame Press Conference
Sunday, September 23, 2018

On the mindset going into tonight's game:

"Yeah, two weeks where you get behind and just not making enough plays early in the game and we're behind and we're just fighting all day. So, it's no way to play football, it's no way to execute at a very high level and we're just not doing anything well enough."

On why the offense rushed on a third-and-one running play at the end of the second quarter:

"Well, we're kind of in that no-huddle tempo at that point and had a play called that we liked and it was just poor execution. So, we had a couple third down stops, short yardage stops that limit you on points and you know, had a third-and-long where we missed a throw. So, we're just not standing on the field on a third down punting the ball down to the other team and you know, they're scoring points and we're not, so we're just going to have to get back to work, do a lot better, do a lot of things a lot better."

On how he felt entering the third quarter of the game:

"Yeah that was a good play we made there and it got us back in the game. And then, you know, just they played better on offense and scored and we didn't match it." 

On if he's worried about where the offense is right now:
"I mean, we're not scoring enough points. We're not executing well enough on a down-by-down basis. Certainly at a high level, we should have our expectations set in. The process has been the same, there's been a lot of talk about it in practice, and we're going through it and watching the film and correcting stuff, it's just not getting done on the field. And we have to get it corrected soon."

On what he was feeling on his intentional grounding play:

"It's just overall execution. It was bad. Not being on the same page and we go from second-and-one, or whatever it was to third-and-long and those things shouldn't happen. This is pro football."

On if Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia did anything to throw him off and the Lions' coverage of TE Rob Gronkowski:

"They covered Gronk (Rob Gronkowski) pretty well. We've practiced against them a lot, played against them a lot. We just didn't get the job done. It wasn't like they reinvented the defense out there, it was really just us not doing a good job of anything. Run game, pass game, we didn't do enough to advance the ball forward."

Players in the Locker Room


On if this game was played as a Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia versus Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick: "No, it's the New England Patriots versus the Detroit Lions. It is our offense versus their defense, their offense versus our defense and we've just got to go out and play better." 

On how the Detroit Lions slowed him down: "They had good coverage, there was double teams and zone defense. They just played well."

On his level of concern starting out 1-2: "I mean, it's early, it's football and it's the NFL. Some crazy things happen every single week and we've just got to bounce back. We can't put our heads down, we have to keep them up. We've got to keep on fighting and there's another week next week. We've got a big division game next week versus Miami. We've just got to keep on fighting. It's a long season, I know we're 1-2 right now, but we've got to keep on fighting and keep on going. There's no other way to do it."

On what they have to work out: "Everything, winning games and executing better. Playing better, just overall in the entire game. Making plays on the offense and taking advantage of our opportunities and that's what we've got to do."


On how the Lions scored on his coverage:"We know we didn't do well on those plays, so I'm not going to explain football to you all. We know we didn't do right. I'm not going to point fingers. We know what we got to do to make the play."

On if it's gut-check time after suffering two straight losses:"Yeah, I mean, it's frustrating I don't like losing. Bad taste in my mouth."

On whether it was tough being out on the field so much:"It's a team game. We didn't play perfect. They didn't, we didn't, can't point fingers just got to get better."


On if he's worried about the state of the team:"Well, I wouldn't say I'm worried, because we feel like the reason why we're in this situation is because of ourselves. I mean, we have to tip our hats to the Lions, because obviously they played better than us. But we know we obviously can play a lot better. We have to get ourselves out of this mess and nobody's going to help us, we have to do it ourselves."

On if the fact that they overcame starting last season 2-2 gives him any confidence moving forward this season:"I would say the only thing is that every year's different. That was last year, and the problems this year are different. So, we have to just look at what the problems are, be better at them, really work as hard as we can, work like hell this week, and do everything we can to put ourselves in the best position to go out there and win again against the Dolphins next week."


On how much the first couple of drives set the tone: "Yeah, we always talk about coming out and starting fast and playing well early. You make it hard on yourself if you start in a hole. They keep driving down the field, field goal, touchdown, and then our offense going three (and out). It is just hard to win as a team when that happens. We are not helping each other. If our offense goes three and out, we have to go get a stop and get them back, so they can get rhythm. That's what is hurting us right now, complementing each other to help each other out." 

On the energy feeling flat tonight: "No, I just think we didn't do anything well. I did not feel flat, I felt like guys were ready. We just didn't get stops when we needed."


On today's loss against the Lions:"If you aren't winning games, it's not fun. There's nothing to make me feel good except for winning games. That's the purpose, that's the goal and that's what we're going to work towards."

On their missed potential to score through long drives tonight:"I mean, it's football. It'll be close, but at the end of the day it didn't happen, so close is not good enough." 

On whether the opposing team's time of possession disrupts the team's rhythm:"Playing the game, it can be frustrating, but you got to focus on the game. You got a lot of game to play, so you got to just keep pushing."

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