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Patriots Postgame Quotes 9/20

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick and select players comment on their 40-32 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, September 20, 2015.


Opening Statement: It's always good to come up here and win. There was a lot of energy in the stadium, in pre-game and so forth. I thought that after the first drive our team showed a lot of mental toughness and resiliency to come back in a pretty hostile atmosphere; to take the lead and play from ahead most of the game. There are certainly a lot of things we could do better. We left a lot of plays on the field. We just have to keep trying to coach better and play better; play with more consistency. We had a good week of preparation and we were ready to go. We did a lot of things well, but there are certainly a lot of things we need to do better. We'll concentrate on that, but it's always good to win a road division game and come up here in Buffalo. That's always a good thing.

Q: Even winning, do you ever go back and second guess things you did?

A: Every game you do what you think is best. And sure, after every game we'll go back and look at things. We always do that and see things that we can do better as a team, as a coaching staff and in our preparation. We do that every week.

Q: Do you feel like you kept the Buffalo Bills in the game by passing as much as you did?

A: I think we did what we thought was best to win the game. That's what we always do.

Q: You talked before the game about how hard it is to anticipate exactly what a team will do. You said it takes about 15 plays, but their first drive was a 10 play drive. Was their first drive a good illustration of what they were trying to do?

A: We obviously didn't play very well defensively on the first drive. They made a couple plays they were playing the scramble. That was big one to get them started. They hit the boot pass for a touchdown, so it was a variety of things that came up in that drive. It wasn't just one play repeating over and over again. You've got to be ready to play from the opening kickoff in this league. Defensively, they didn't really blitz the whole first half. They ran a couple of zone pressures where one guy blitzed and the other guy dropped. They didn't really play pressure at all in the second half, and then we saw a little more pressure defense. We kind of anticipated that at half time. We didn't think they would keep doing the same thing for as long as they did, but they pretty much did the whole first half.

Q: This has been one of the most anticipated games here in a long time, but your team has played in plenty. Do you think experience benefitted your team at all?

A: I don't know. There are a lot of teams that are on the team this year that weren't on the team last year or any other year. This year is its own year. This team is its own team. We'll see what we do. I don't know.

Q: How important were the quick passes and no huddle offense today?

A: Obviously that was a big part of the game plan. We pretty much did that the whole game. We thought that would give us a little bit of an advantage. I mean, we moved the ball and must have had 500 yards out there. We still left a lot on the field. We just have to focus on the things we can do better.

Q: Brady dropped back to pass 61 times and was only sacked twice. What does that say about the offensive line?

A: I thought the line did a pretty good job. If I remember correctly, I don't think either sack had anything to do with the offensive line--just poor execution.

Q: How about Dion Lewis today?

A: We'll go back and look at everybody. We competed hard. We got plays from a lot of different players in all three phases of the game. It was a team win. Everyone contributed. We played hard as a team. We prepared hard, and we got something to show for it. We came up here and scored point. We're 1-0 in the division.

Q: What did you see on the [Danny] Amendola catch on the last drive?

A: It was a good catch. There were a couple plays where they had good coverage, but it was a good throw and a good catch. Great concentration. It was a big play. The punt return was big too. The sack that we almost got the safety on, the punt return and the personal foul put us in great field position there in the second quarter. We got plays from everybody, all the units. We need to keep playing complementary football like that.

Q: Did [Tom] Brady look like he's as sharp as ever?

A: No, I think there's a lot of things we can do better. Everybody can do better. I didn't think it was all that spectacular by anyone, but it was good enough, but we've got a lot of room to improve.

Q: Rex said that he was outcoached by you. Do you buy into that sort of thing?

A: No, it's our players. Our players went out there and played. They made the plays to win the game and I'd say they probably overcame some not so great coaching on my part. I'll give the credit to our players. They did a good job. They deserve the credit. They're the ones that made the plays.

Q: Is there anything in particular that makes you think it was not so great coaching?

A: No.

Q: You finished with eight sacks. How impactful and disruptive was the defensive run?

A: We had our moments. We let them run around a lot too. [Tyrod] Taylor ran around and he scrambled and threw for big yardage. I didn't think it was all that great. We made some plays and we gave up some plays. It wasn't very consistent. We've got to coach better, be more disciplined and play better. We'll see it again this upcoming week. We're going to have to do a better job than we did today.


Q: The offensive line obviously played well….What did you think of how those guys played, especially the young guys on the team?

A: Yeah, they played great and they've been coming together since the spring. It was a big challenge, certainly the crowd noise and the quality of the players we faced--I thought they were pretty great. They stepped up to the challenge and it was a great win.

Q: You've played in a lot of hostile environments, this game was hyped as a big game for Buffalo, this is the idea that we are finally going to settle the score with you guys, but to you guys, you've been in this situation so many times, does it matter at all when the crowd gets cranked up?

A: I think the execution is ultimately what it comes down to. They went down and scored to start the game and it was really loud there's no doubt, we had to call timeouts the first drive, and I thought the good plays we made, I thought the screen ball to Gronk, our first touchdown drive was a big play. I think big plays settle them down a little bit. We had a lot of good plays but I think we left a lot of plays out there. It's a good team, great defense, a tough place to play, and it was a great win. Great to be 2-0.

Q: After their first drive it looked like you weren't going to get any plays in all day and then the next time you get the ball and make some plays and it's all kind of behind you, is there an element to that? Not to say giving away that first drive, but just not panicking.

A: Sure, you're calling plays hoping to go out there and execute them. You have a game plan and you go out there on the field and you see what happens and you make some plays and obviously the first drive we didn't, it was tough, but then we came to the sideline and kind of settled down and then made a bunch of plays the rest of the game. The games not won in the first series, like you saw today, we came back at the end. We have a lot of games coming up against this team and they have a lot of good players and a good coach, this is a tough place to play but it's great to be 2-0. Certainly to get a division win on the road is always huge.

Q: Tom were you totally comfortable running out the clock in the fourth quarter, passing the ball? A lot of teams would just run and try to run out the clock, that didn't seem to be your attack at all.

A: Yeah, we threw the ball a lot, I don't know if I've ever thrown it that much.

Q: Once.

A: Yeah, that's what I thought- it was a lot of throws. There will be a lot of different ways to win and I think the big thing is to find a way to run and pass it. We went into the fourth quarter, the defense had intercepted balls and I thought a lot of our guys made a lot of great plays. Aaron Dobson stepped up, Dion [Lewis] is playing great, and obviously Gronk and Jules [Julian Edelman], Danny [Amendola] made a huge play, Steve [Gostkowski] kicking just clutch. Clutch plays on defense with very timely plays, Chandler [Jones] had a bunch of sacks--so it took everybody. We knew that's what it was going to take and it's a great feeling.

Q: Did you expect to go out there, I mean it was 466 yards for you, that's the most you've ever had against them, it's the most anybody's had against them.

A: I mean we threw a lot. I think it took a lot of good execution and we made the plays. I thought we still left some plays out there. We're trying to go out there and execute, I mean every play in practice, every play in the game, has to be the best we possibly can so like anything we learn from it, we take the good plays and figure out what we need to do better and start the clock to get ready for next week.


Q: How does it feel, after a week of all the hype and talking, to get the win here?

A: They're a well-coached team, they play real hard. They've got a bunch of great weapons on offense and defense and special teams too, so we knew what we were in for. We knew it was going to be a fight all game and we played well enough to win the game.

Q: What good things can you take away from the win?

A: A lot of guys made plays. We spread the ball around, the backs played well, and receivers made some plays. The defense stepped up with a couple interceptions. We played well enough to win the game.

Q: Were you surprised it was a one-possession game with a minute-and-a-half left?

A: It came down to the wire. That's the way all these games are really. We can do some things in the second half to eliminate that, but at the same time, we're playing a good team. Hats off to them, they battled.

Q: There seemed to a shift in momentum, was there a point when they were making offensive derive after offensive drive that you felt the shift of it?

A: There was definitely some big plays by them, and then we kind of matched it. It was going back and forth. That's the nature of every game we play in and it ended working out for us.

Q: How did it feel, after all the chatter about them breaking the record for being the loudest, that you had them heading for the exits halfway through the fourth quarter?

A: Honestly, we ignore the outside noise and focus in on our job each week. That's what we're coached to do and that's what we're focused on doing and come out and try to play the best football we can.

Q: Danny can you take us through that big catch there?

A: It was just a seam route. Tom (Brady) threw it up and I ended up making the play.

Q: It was certainly a high degree of difficulty, is that one of those plays where after the dust settles, and you're like "oh wow, I caught that,"?

A: I was battling more so the sun than anything. It was good throw by Tom (Brady) and it ended working out for us.


Q: Were you aware at all leading into the game that it was sort of a discussion that was being had, how the young guys up front would be matched up?

A: No, I mean I just know how to go out and do my job, everyone else will do theirs, and everything will work out.

Q: What was the key, David? You guys gave Tom (Brady) a lot of time to throw…

A: Just doing our job, you know. Communication and just blocking people.

Q: How would you describe the environment, especially early?

A: It was a great environment. My first real NFL road game, it's always good to get a win on the road, so it was a great environment.

Q: How do you compare it to even a lot of SEC barns?

A: It's a different level of competition. Hostile environments are hostile environments, but a lot different competition.

Q: Tom (Brady) had said in his news conference he wasn't sure if he's ever thrown it as much as he did in this game. I'm curious if you've ever snapped it as much as you did in the shotgun like you did to him.

A: Probably not. I was looking up there and saw that it was 50 times and I was like, "Whoa," so it was a lot but it got the job done.


Q: There's 2:20 to go and Tom Brady throws that pass to (Danny) Amendola and he moved you over and you picked up a blitz, what do you recall from that play?

A: He moved me over and I picked up a blitz. He puts us in the right situation. That's why he's good.

Q: Your touchdown, did you kind of slow play that a little bit? You come out and act like you're not going out and then you do?

A: No, it was one of those play action plays and fortunately we were able to execute it and get a touchdown.

Q: What was it like to get your first touchdown of the season out of the way?

A: It's good. It's always good to go out and score, but more importantly it's good to go out and get the division win against a tough opponent that was coming off of a big win.

Q: How do you overcome something like the amount of penalties today?

A: I don't know how many we had, but I know there were a lot of flags thrown. You've got to go out there and play smarter and play within your fundamentals and put yourself in the right situation and hopefully not do it. If there's an offsides or something like that, we've got to get better at those type of things that kill drives. We have to get better at that.

Q: Is this a statement win, telling people this is still your division?

A: No. It's early in the season, it is one win. It's over now so we have to go out and be ready for this next week. It'll be our first week coming back, getting into the routine of not having 10 days, not having a long time to prepare. We have to take this opportunity to start getting back into that.

Q: What did you see from those three rookie interior lineman? This is one of the best defensive lines in the NFL and they kept Brady up alright back there.

A: They come in and they work their tails off. They're doing their job. Ask coach on what they're doing with their technique, because I don't know that. I know that Brady's getting the ball off and they're doing their job. That's a lot of room for improvement for everyone and I'm sure we're all going to be told that this week. So we're all going to go out there and take that coaching and compound it for next week.


Q: What stood out for you with what they do defensively?

A: They got a very good defense. They go out there, play hard…they were switching it up; zone, man, and we were just executing on offense. We got to go out there and make plays no matter what is out there and we just got to worry about ourselves on offense so…

Q: Were you surprised the game was so close with 1:30 left...

A: It's the NFL; anything can happen with any game. There's players on each side of the ball that are really good so you just got to play all 60 minutes, that's what playing the whole game's for.

Q: Your quarterback threw for 466 passing yards. We've seen that many times, but just again what can you say about how he continues to just go in, and deliver the business and handle everything?

A: That's what's so great about playing with him. He did an unbelievable job out there today, especially with that noise. It's hard to have the offense all on the same page. I mean, you got to give it to Buffalo's fans, it was super loud out there. Just the communication throughout, he was doing a great job and had a great performance.

Q: Rob, there was a lot of talk, I'm sure it got back to you, from your family that this was such a big game by Buffalo's standards. What was it like to you?

A: It's great coming back home. It's great going on the road and having a big atmosphere. Buffalo was 1-0, they were hot at the moment. It was great to come in especially getting them quiet out there, which is always good, which is always what you want to do when you're on the road but it was an unbelievable game atmosphere and you couldn't ask for anything else for an NFL game out there.

Q: I'm sure you guys are used to it at this point but you said you made them a little quiet. It's been very loud this week. I've been in the locker room, I've heard everything that they've said about you guys; from evil empire to everybody wants us to beat them. What did you guys do along the week in coming here when you're hearing all that?

A: Just do what we always do. Just go out to practice, work hard and just worry about ourselves. Worry about what we got to do, what I got to do, to go out there and perform to do my job to help out the team


Q: Coach Belichick has stuck with you. How important is that that he stuck with you because some other guys, he put on the bench?

A: I'm just playing. The whole team stuck with me. Gronk came and picked me up right after the play. My teammates are great. They supported me. They told me forget about it. They had a lot of confidence me and it meant a lot to me that everybody lifted me up. I just have to be more accountable, more trustworthy because obviously if I keep doing that, I'm not going to be out there so I just have to clean it up and work harder.

Q: Did you think after three quarters that you would need a drive late in the fourth quarter to seal the game?

A: This is a tough team to play against. Tough environment. It's a 60-minute game. You always have to finish out the game the best way you can. We just have to keep executing a little bit better down the stretch.

Q: What do you remember from your touchdown runs as far as what you saw when you were going through the line?

A: Just reading the block and I saw a little bit of an opening and I knew there was a guy there between the end zone so I just lowered my shoulder a little bit.

Q: Do you think defenders are a little bit surprised at the type of power you have because it seems like after contact, you always manage to fall forward and get yardage after you're hit for the first time?

A: Yeah, just trying to make plays. Trying to run under my pads. Things like but obviously they probably come with kill shots…I'm a smaller guy but just try to do what I'm capable of doing.

Q: You talk about guys being able to trusting you and everything like that. How's it feel to be a big part of the offense as their moving down the field and if things go wrong, they're trusting on you here and there to make plays?

A: Obviously great team sport. I have great teammates, great coaches, everybody believes in one another everybody lifts everybody up even if somebody doesn't make a play or someone makes a big play, we're always on their side because we need each other so that was a great display today. We all needed each other and we stuck together so I'm just trying to do what I'm asked to do so my teammates can trust me and my coaches as well.

Q: Did it motivate you at all that Rex Ryan said he didn't even know your name?

A: No. Winning motivates me. Being there for my teammates and trying to help my team go 2-0. That's what motivates me.

Q: Dion--in anyway did you surprise yourself in these first two weeks? Near 150 total yards of offense for you. A lot of people never really saw this coming.

A: Just work. If you work hard, anything's possible. You just have to work hard and trust in yourself and then put in the extra work and then you have to make plays. My teammates trust me. My coaches trust me. We come out here and guys make plays, no one's surprised because we all work so hard.


Q: Obviously not the way you wanted to start and maybe not the way to end it but a win is a win. You guys were able to get a win coming out of here.

A: Yeah, and that's all that matters. Coming up here: tough environment. We knew they would be ready to go. Obviously, you don't want to give up points throughout the game but a win is the end goal and that's what we did.

Q: What did you guys do differently from that first drive towards the end of the first half to slow them down?

A: I think they just came out ready. We always talk about teams coming up with good plays to start and they were able to make some plays but we always talk about, "Don't get flustered," or, "Don't get crazy." Just settle into the game and keep playing.

Q: How much of a mental toughness did you guys have because it seemed like fights were breaking out or just everybody was just agitated with each other and you have to keep your cool.

A: Yeah, we were ready for that. They have a lot of tough players that are going to play and play right up to the edge and we knew certain things were going to happen, but everyone thought about the team first and that's what held us out of a lot of penalties.

Q: There was so much smack talk throughout the whole week from them from their coach to their players… "The whole league's rooting for us to beat them." You're smirking and laughing now but you got what you want. What was that like now that the game's over?

A: For us, it's nothing new. We feel like every week, I don't care who we play, I'm probably betting that the whole league's rooting for them to beat us too so it was nothing new. We knew coming here, it was going to be hostile. This isn't the first game we came here and it was a crazy environment, fans going crazy so we knew what to expect and I thought the older guys and the leaders prepared everyone else to come in here and get a win.

Q: How difficult was it get into a flow with all of the penalties?

A: As long as it's not on us, it's all good.

Q: There were a lot on you guys too…

A: Yeah, but you just keep playing. You guys see us in training camp, we're doing things that are not the easy ways to do some things and I think when you go through all of that, penalties happen and obviously you don't want it to happen and I'm sure that Bill (Belichick) will let us know how he feels about it tomorrow as long, but you have to keep playing throughout the game.

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