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Patriots Postgame Quotes 12/6

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, Quarterback Tom Brady and select players comment on their loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, December 6, 2015.


BB: Just overall we obviously didn't do anything well enough today. Didn't do enough on offense, turned the ball over, gave up two third-down touchdowns on defense, didn't play well in the kicking game, just really didn't do anything well enough to really win. We competed and sort of had a chance there at the end to come back, but when you give up 21 points when your defense isn't on the field, you lose about 98 percent of those games. [We've] just got to get back to work, got to do a better job.

Q: What was the thinking on the onside kick when you were up 14-0?

BB: I think everything we did, we're trying to do what we think is best. 

Q: Why did you have Nate Ebner kick twice and Stephen Gostkowski only once on the three onside kicks?

BB: Because we thought that was the best thing to do.

Q: Who handles the play calling on surprise onside kicks?

BB: We make all the decisions. 

Q: Specifically on the drop kick, was he supposed to put air on the ball so it's a jump ball or was he supposed to hit it on the ground like a typical onside kick?

BB: We don't have time for all that. 

Q: You told us during the week that the Eagles have the best special teams of any team you've played this year. Did we see exactly what you meant today?

BB: Yeah, give them credit. They took advantage of our mistakes. We've been good in that area, but we weren't today. 

Q: What was the risk-reward calculation on the first onside kick? Why did you think that was a good time to do it?

BB: Well, I mean there wasn't a tremendous downside to the play. It was like when they mortared their one over there and [Michael Williams recovered it]. It was different, but it was kind of the same thing – kicking it to dead space. 

Q: What did you see on the blocked punt?

BB: We blew it, just didn't block it properly obviously. Nothing we hadn't seen before, just didn't execute it well. 

Q: There was a third-and-three where pass interference was called, but Jamie Collins signaled that he tipped it. Would you have had any problem if he called a timeout and had you challenge the play? Did you guys talk about that at all?

BB: No. 

Q: Obviously there are no moral victories but what did you take away from the fact that your team battled and gave you a chance at the end?

BB: We had some good plays in the game. We just didn't have enough of them. We had too many bad ones. Just, it's not good enough. 

Q: The Eagles had given up a lot of points in their last two outings. Did their defense do anything different today or was it a result of your own team's play?

BB: Look, I said all week they have a good defensive team and they do. They have one of the best fronts. Fletcher Cox is one of the best defensive linemen in the league. They have a good defense.

Q: What went into the decision to call the pass to Tom Brady and did you think it was well executed?

BB: I mean we got a first down on it, yeah. We thought it was a good play to run at that point. 

Q: What did you see on the pick-six?

BB: There were a lot of plays in the game that I'm sure all of us would like to have back – all of us that played, all of us that coached. That was a big swing. 

Q: What were you trying to accomplish by going hurry-up on the first-and-goal prior to the pick-six?

BB: It was the same thing that happened when we scored a touchdown in the same situation – trap their dime defense on the field at the 1-yard line. We obviously didn't execute the play well, let [Malcolm] Jenkins run four yards in the backfield unblocked. That's not what we're trying to do obviously. 


Q: What did you see on the interception by the goal line and the catch you made prior to it?

TB: The first interception was bad quarterbacking. The team trusts you to put the ball in your hands and make good decisions with it, and that was a terrible decision. So it's unfortunate because those cost you the game, and I've got to do a better job. 

Q: What broke down on that play?

TB: I kind of scanned the field, and we didn't have much. I was actually trying to throw it away and didn't throw it far enough, so one of those where if I'm going to try to throw it away, you've got to throw it away. You can't throw it where they have an opportunity to catch it, so that was another very, just a bad mental error.

Q: Other than injuries, is there something else causing your team to struggle right now?

TB: We've got to do a better job. I think that's just what it comes down to. No one can do your job for you and the execution of certain plays. There's no one, well, tonight there were a couple of people who threw it, but I'm the person that throws it the most, and I've got to make good decisions with the ball. If I turn the ball over twice, I don't think we're going to have the chance to win many games, so I think that's what it comes down to.

Q: Did the Eagles defense show you something that you didn't see on film from them?

TB: I think they're well coached. I think those were two pretty tough games for them. I think we were out of rhythm quite a bit of the time in the first half, and then the third quarter was what it was. And then we made some plays during the fourth quarter, but they've got some good players on defense. Certainly the big plays really helped them out. I mean, a 99, 100-yard interception return, that's about as bad as you can do for a quarterback.

Q: When you look back, do you think you were ever trying a little too hard?

TB: I think there are always plays you look back on and you obviously wish you did something different. On the interception, it was just a dumb play. There was really not much chance of a completion, so I should've just probably thrown it out of the back of the end zone or found someone else to throw it to. We would've kicked three points. It was just a bad play. And then the other one, when I'm throwing it away, you've got to throw the ball away. I think that's like, basic quarterbacking. You throw it and I didn't get enough on it, and he's there in the end zone and makes the play. That was just a bad play by mean. I mean, no one can save us from that. That's my fault. 

Q: Does this game show how much you miss Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman?

TB: You'd love to have everybody healthy. I think every team would love that at this point, but it's just not the reality, so it's tough. You've got to find ways to adjust, and we do plenty of good things. I think tonight there were just some critical errors that it really came down to. Just a disappointing night, but we've got to figure out how to win a game next week?

Q: What did you think of James White tonight?

TB: He did a great job. He really came up big for us when we needed it a few times on fourth down tonight, made some big plays in the pass-game, was good in protection. He's done a great job for us. He's got a significant role. We'll need him all the way down the stretch here. We've got to play better football. I think it's just better execution all the way around, and that's what we're going to need to get a win. I don't care who you play or where you play. If you make the plays we made tonight, we're not going to give ourselves many chances to win. 

Q: What was causing you to hold onto the ball longer than normal?

TB: Part of it I think was their scheme, and you're right. I've got to find a guy to throw the ball to. It's just scanning the open field and finding a guy and letting him have it. I always like to try to do that. Sometimes they had a few extra guys in coverage, but you're right. I can definitely get rid of the ball quicker.

Q: What does this game mean for the team going forward?

TB: Well, we've got a pretty important game coming up, so I think that's where we're at. We can't do anything about what happened obviously tonight or last week just like we can't do anything about the ones before that. And I think we've got to just play better football. I think that's what it comes down to, and each of these games are important. We're in a decent spot. We've just got to, if you want to win consistently, you've got to do things well consistently, and we just haven't played winning football for the last two weeks. 

Ryan Allen, Punter

(On the blocked punt)
"Honestly, my main job is to focus on what I need to do during every single rep that we have. I'm going to have to go back and look at the tape, but I just have to focus on what I need to do."

(On Darren Sproles' punt return for a touchdown)
"It was just a punt right and an open field punt. Just as a unit as a whole, I have to do a better job first off and give them a better ball to play. We just have to look at the film."

(On trying to tackle Sproles on the punt return for a touchdown)
"Like I said, I will have to watch film to see how I approached that situation and there's probably some things I can look at and work on and get better. That's my job."

(On the Eagles' formation and approach during the blocked punt)
"Once I get out there, my job is to focus on the ball and do my job to the best of my ability. That's all I can focus on at that point, so I wasn't aware."

Danny Amendola, Wide Receiver

(On making plays)
"We work hard all week to try to get our guys in the best position to make plays, and it just didn't happen tonight."

(On how people might react to the loss)
"Regardless of what people outside this building say, we have a tight-knit group here. We'll go back to work this week and try to get them next week."

(On executing drives)
"Just got to make plays. I don't know, I have to watch the film and see what really happened, but key times come up in the game and you have to make big plays. You have to be there."

Scott Chandler, Tight End

(On the comeback attempt)
"We got a lot of fight in us, but we put ourselves in a pretty big hole there. We got to be better and I think there are probably things that we're going to be able to look at in all three phases [of the game] that we could have done better today and that's the story."

(On if the Eagles' schemes surprised the team)
"I don't know if we were real surprised. We just weren't executing as well as we need to and not making the plays we need to make."

(On what was the most frustrating part of the team's performance)
"Just putting ourselves in some situations that were good and then just not finishing and then at the end, fighting back and just not being able to finish again."

Nate Ebner, Defensive Back

(On the play selection of his kickoff with the Patriots leading 14-0)
"No, I mean that's just kind of how we decided to go about it and we just didn't execute. Like I said, give all the credit to the Eagles. They were prepared for everything we threw at them."

(On his kickoff)
"I just tried to put it into space and make it an element of surprise, but they were prepared for what we threw at them and credit to the Eagles for reacting so quickly to that one."

(On the decision for you to execute the kick over Stephen Gostkowski)
"I'm not sure. I have the ability to do some stuff and you would have to ask them [coaches] that, but we just threw in a little surprise I think with someone else kicking the ball." 

(On the Eagles' punt block)
"I did not see it [breakdown in coverage]. I was occupied on the right, but I'm pretty sure we just didn't handle the leak well and the guy came free and made a great play."

Brandon LaFell, Wide Receiver

(On his biggest take away from the game)
"The biggest takeaway is we've just got to play better [in] all three phases. We've got to protect the ball. We've just got to go out there and play better than the other team."

(On if his drop on the last drive is going to stick with him)
"Definitely, man. I just took my eyes off the ball at the last minute looking up field. That's one of those plays that I've got to come down with it. We get that play, we're still on the field, we're still moving the ball, we've got a chance to go down there and tie the game."

(On if this is one of the more uncharacteristic losses he's been a part of here in New England)
"It feels different around here with the way we lost the last two games, especially the way we lost today. It felt like a bad day at practice. It just felt like a bad day at practice when you sit down and talk about, 'if this goes wrong, if this goes wrong then we won't have the chance to win the game' and it felt like a lot of stuff went wrong for us today."

Devin McCourty, Defensive Back

(On if injuries have contributed to the two-game losing streak)
"These last two games we've had chances to win, so to me, it doesn't matter. The guys that are playing are prepared and ready to go. Whether it's a guy who has been here since September to a guy who is here now, the fact is we had a chance to win the game. We've got to do more to win the game and we welcome guys as they continue to get healthy and come back. I'm not ready to put blame on injuries for the reason we lost the last two games." 

(On the first onside kick)
"We didn't get the ball back, but we still had a chance to stop them defensively."

(On what the first step is to ending the losing streak)
" Play better. It's simple. We don't need to start to draw up stuff in the dirt or think of a whole new way to play here. We've won plenty of games, we've just got to play better. As usual, we'll break down the film and see what we need to do. It was too many bad plays to overcome. It's crazy to think in a game like this where we're down by so much that we still gave ourselves a chance to win the game. There's always some good and bad, but we've got to learn from it. We can't give up some of the plays we gave up today."

(On the multitude of mistakes)
"We've got to hope we got every bad play out of our system tonight. We know we can't afford to let that happen, to lay an egg on some plays this time of year. Those guys are trying to get in the playoffs, they're trying to win their division and we're trying to do the same. This time of year, every team we play is playing for something so we've got to take up our level and like we always talk about around here, we've got to play better and not just talk about it."

Matthew Slater, Wide Receiver

(On getting a hand on Darren Sproles during his punt return touchdown)
"A hand is not good enough for him. There are things I could have done better on that play. I get doubled [in coverage] every game so that's not an excuse. It starts with me as the gunner on the kick-side and I've got to get down there and try and be a little bit more disruptive."

(On what the goal of the drop-kick play is)
"I don't want to get into discussing scheme. Obviously, we felt comfortable in doing it and confident or we wouldn't have ran it. It obviously didn't go the way we planned."

(On how dangerous the Eagles special teams unit is)
"They were the best in the league last year. They've got a lot of good players. I can name off every guy on that unit and he's far above average for his position. Chris [Maragos] does a good job of leading that group. Bryan [Braman] makes a lot of plays and obviously Darren [Sproles] – he's been doing it since he was in San Diego. He did it in New Orleans and now he's doing it there, so he poses a lot of problems for you and they made us pay tonight."

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