Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and select players comment on their 17-16 preseason win over the Carolina Panthers on Friday, August 28, 2015.
Bill Belichick. Head Coach
On tonight's game
Overall it was a rather interesting game. Had a lot of good situations come up at the end of the game, something we needed in the first half. I thought our guys competed well; as usual it was a tough game against the Panthers. They're well coached with everything on that team and certainly gave us some problems. I thought we hung in there and I thought a lot of guys competed today. We have a lot of work to do, the clock is ticking, and we will just keep grinding out here. Like I said, we have a lot of work to do.
*How pleased were you with the way your defensive backs played? *
Like I said, I thought we competed well. I'll have a look at the film and see how it all looked on the film. I thought we competed all the way through against a good football team on the road. Some of those plays extended, we're back scrambling around a little more than we normally do. I thought defensively we competed hard, we were out there for a long time but played hard all the way through.
On New England's slow offensive start
No, obviously couldn't do anything in the first half, couldn't run, couldn't throw.
What was the plan for Reggie Wayne tonight?
To play a little a bit. I don't know, the same 20 plays or whatever it was.
How do you feel Brady did tonight?
Certainly didn't do too much offensively.
On getting Scott Chandler back
It's good to get a few guys back. Scott has spent a lot of time off the field. He's missed a good bit of time here recently, so it was good to get him back.
Any update on the prognoses of James Develin
I hate to see that.
How do you determine how to split the running backs?
We do the best we can in four preseason games. LeGarette Blount didn't play at all in the first game. I thought our backs ran well, competed well.
On the play of Aaron Dobson
Good to see us get behind the defense.
*Did you feel like you got pressure on Cam Newton? *
I think this game, at the end of the day, I don't think this game had much to do with the next one. They are all different.
On Bradley Fletcher's size
He's definitely a longer corner compared to a lot of them. He's got good length and it showed up in a few plays tonight. Certainly did last week. We'll take a look at the film, and try to figure out how to use him the best we can.
*On the difficulty of making cuts? *
We have to get to 75, so we have a number of things to look at there. Then we have to go from 75 to 53, so 22 moves to get there. Everybody is going through the same thing. It's an unfortunate part of the game when you can't keep all of the players who have worked hard and done everything that you've asked them to do. You have to make some tough decisions, but that's part of it. That's the national Football League. Not the great part of the job.
*On Michael Williams *
He's only been here a couple of days, but he worked hard and really scrambled and tried to gather as much information so he could play tonight. We'll take a look and see how it goes. We traded for him, so we wanted him. We'll see what we can do with, and we'll take as good a look as we can with those guys who have come in late. They will scramble to catch up but it's all they can do, and they are working hard at it. We'll see where it takes us.
Jimmy Garoppolo, Quarterback
*Did you feel like you were ready for this game? Like it carried over from last time? *
It was a completely different game, but I'm sure the momentum from last week, getting that win, helped us get some energy going. We came out and played pretty well.
*On his touchdown drive in the fourth *
Yeah, it was an important drive for sure. Aaron (Dobson) made a huge play down the sidelines, great catch, and Dion (Lewis) got open for the touchdown. All 11 guys were just doing their job on every play, and it was just one play after another. We were executing, and it turned out to be a good drive.
*What are you doing better from the first to the third game? *
Just executing better really. That's what it comes down to really. First game, second game, third game, they are all different but at the end of the day you have to go out there and execute and do whatever the coach tells you to do. And when all 11 guys are doing that, you get a good result.
What happened on a couple throws that were almost intercepted?
Good fortune I guess, on a couple of those. Those are throws that you can't make and you just have to learn from them.
*On the play of Dion Lewis *
Dion, especially, in the running game tonight, he was making some moves out there that's for sure. Very impressive. Getting open on the pass plays that he was called upon, and it's nice having a guy like that.
On the injury to James Develin
Dev's one of the hardest working guys in the locker room, a real team guy. That's tough to see him go down like that, especially when things are going well. We had a little momentum with us, and it was unfortunate but all the prayers out to him for sure.
*What does Reggie Wayne add? *
He's only been here for a short time but just getting to know him more day after day and getting used to his routes and everything and I mean, he's been doing this for a lot longer than I have so I'm sure I can pick up a thing or two.
*On the importance of situational learning in preseason *
There are a ton of situations. That's just part of growing up as a quarterback, though. Second year now, you are going to experience different situations every game, whatever it may be. You just have to react well to those different situations, and coach does a great job getting us ready for those situations, that's for sure.
*On scrambling for a first down late in the game *
Once I got out there, it was pretty wide open. You always have to know where the first down marker is. That's just part of knowing the situation, and that's the situation itself. So I got the first down, got down and got out of harm's way and good things happened from there.
*On what he is working on in Week Four *
There are a ton of things. Those two throws tonight, those were near picks. So you don't want to have any of those, but it's game four. So we are just going to go into it like every other week. We are going to go into it wanting to win the game, compete and give it our best.
On how he is handling the uncertainty around the starting job
I'm doing alright with it. It is what it is, really. Can't really control any part of it, so the less you worry about it, the better. There's really no point to worry about it. I'm doing pretty good.
Scott Chandler. Tight End
On his preseason debut and what it is like to get back out there
"You know, it's fun. It's fun to get back out there with this group of guys. I really enjoy being around them. It is a lot of fun to go to work with these guys and then to go out on the field with them for the first."
On whether or not it was difficult to watch the first two games from afar
"I mean, yeah. You're a football player and this is your team, you want to be playing with them."
On his touchdown scoring catch
"It was just a little fade route, Tom (Brady) made a great throw and when it's there, you catch it. And it was right there."
On how practicing and repetition contributed to his touchdown tonight
"That is the idea behind practice, and it is what you translate to the game. It works out like that."
Malcolm Butler, Cornerback
On what it is like to have Jerod Mayo back and what Mayo means to him
"He means a lot. He is key to the defense. He was leading with a different energy tonight. He's been here since I was in high school. So I was glad that he got back, glad he is healthy, glad he was able to get back out there. I am excited to have Mayo back in the hole. It has been a lot of years, I can tell you that.
Reggie Wayne, Wide Receiver
On how he felt after this preseason game
"It felt like football, I am still adjusting. I am still trying to get on the same page as the quarterback, get on the same page as the team. But, just to be out there, hearing all of the football terminology, seeing all of the stuff that I have been wanting to see for months. It felt good."
On how he feels he has acclimated to the playbook so far
"I'm learning, I am doing better than I thought I would. No one likes to go back to school, but it is coming. It is a process. I am just taking it one day at a time and hopefully I'll continue to grasp everything."
On how it feels physically to sign on Tuesday and then play in a game on Friday
"It is a little bit of a shock to the body. On the beach chilling to playing football… So, it is definitely a shock to the body. But I get on top of that stuff and will get my body back. But, it felt good to be out here with my teammates, everyone cheering me on and, like I said, just to be out here hearing the sounds of the helmets and everything like that, it felt good to be back."