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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 10/3

Read the full transcript from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s press conference on Monday, October 3, 2022.


October 3, 2022

Q: Just initially, having watched Bailey Zappe on tape, what are your takeaways from what you saw on tape, versus the game and how difficult it was for him to step into that spot?

BB: I think we all know what a backup quarterback's potential job and role is. Bailey [Zappe] knows it, we know it, everybody that plays that position knows it. That's what happened and he stepped in. He was well prepared. I thought, generally, he handled himself well. Certainly, things he can improve on. We'll work on. But, I thought he did a solid job.

Q: The defensive front on [Aaron] Rodgers, did you like what you saw there? Were they able to create enough pressure on him? As you talked about postgame, it seemed like he just made plays despite a solid effort on your part.

BB: Yeah, he's [Aaron Rodgers] a great player. I thought we defended some things pretty well. He was just, at times, too good. There were other times where we could have done things better, could've coached better, could've played better. In the end, he made some great throws down the field.

Q: I know rookies tend to get better as the year goes on obviously, but Cole Strange, I'm wondering how you'd evaluate him and his growth and how far he's come? He seemed to be a big part of what you guys did running the ball and pass protection yesterday.

BB: Cole's [Strange] given us a good level of play all year. He gets better every week, gets better every day. Smart kid, has learned a lot and is able to process a lot more on a weekly basis and certainly over the couple months that we've been here, August and September. That's a lot of snaps, a lot of days, a lot of meetings, a lot of practices. He's absorbed a lot of information and processed it well. Like every young player, has a long way to go, but he's gaining ground.

Q: Did Brian Hoyer travel back with the team?

BB: I don't want to make a definite answer on that. I'd have to make sure I'm right before I say what I would say.

Q: Do you expect the team to add players to the roster at quarterback this week, following the events of the weekend?

BB: Yeah, we'll see. We'll evaluate things going forward. We'll see where things stand. I don't know. Today's kind of the day to reassess things and figure things out. Talk to our medical staff. Again, postgame is, most of the time, it's really inconclusive. It's the next 24 to 48 hours. How guys respond, what tests they do and so forth. All of that information comes in usually well after the game.

Q: Devin McCourty and Matthew Slater after the game both had great things to say about how the rookies played in this game. Not just Bailey [Zappe], but Jack [Jones], Marcus [Jones], Cole [Strange], [Brenden] Schooler had some good plays. How good was it to see the rookies and the young guys go out there and play well yesterday?

BB: It's always good to see everybody go out there and compete hard, and compete well, always. Those guys [the Packers] are obviously a very good football team in a great football environment, a hostile environment. I thought, the team competed, individuals competed well.

Sorry, just to confirm on Brian [Hoyer], he did come back with the team, yes. That's what I thought, but I just wanted to double check and make sure that that was accurate.

Q: I want to ask about Marcus Jones, his contributions yesterday in the return game. What are your thoughts on his play there, particularly in overtime after the early stop?

BB: Marcus [Jones] has worked hard on the return game all year. The ball handling and decision making and all that, at this level, is just a lot more difficult and a lot more challenging than what it is at the college level. Given the skill of the punters, and the kickers, and the kicking game in general. Felt like he had had a good week and we were ready to take a look at him in that role. I thought that he stepped up and handled it pretty well. That was good.

Q: Obviously the situation with a rookie quarterback dressing for the first time on the road, in Green Bay, going for it on 4th-and-5 in overtime probably wasn't much of a consideration. With all that you talk about with Aaron Rodgers being as good as is, was there maybe more consideration with that than there would have been otherwise?

BB: I mean, we were able to put them on a long field. We had just done that the series before on the opening kickoff of overtime. Look, the longer it is, the harder it is to make that decision. Certainly, wouldn't want to come up short on 4th-and-5 and hand them the ball, a first down away from field goal range. There's a trade off there. I don't think it was heavily considered, no.

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