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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 10/9

Read the full transcript of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference with the media on Monday, October 9, 2023.


October 9, 2023

 Q: We got a message from the team schedule that the players were off today following yesterday's loss. What went into that decision to give the players the day off?

BB: We switched it around from Monday to Tuesday, so, yeah, switched the schedule around a little bit.

Q: You've mentioned starting over last night, and I know it came up on the radio today. Would that include any conversations about changes in personnel, from the roster, to the depth chart or the coaching staff?

BB: Well, yeah, we need to make some improvements on where we are, so we will see what all that entails. Haven't gone into it yet, but we will.

Q: Looking back over the last couple years, obviously the personnel has been pretty much the same in terms of core positions, same quarterback. And, it seemed like you were on an upwards trajectory two years ago, making the playoffs. What, in your view, has transpired over the last couple years to get from that point to now?

BB: Yeah, right now I'm just really focused on where we are right now and moving forward. That's really where all my energy and focus is at.

Q: When it comes to right now and moving forward, is this team still a playoff-caliber team in your view? What do you have to do to get back to the level that, obviously, folks have expected around here?

BB: Our goals are short term. It's this week, Vegas, get ready for Vegas, and go out there and play the best we can against Las Vegas.

Q: On the first quarter interception, when you watched that over, did you see that as a situation where the offensive line picked it up right and just needs to block it better, or was it more of a breakdown in identifying where the rush was coming from?

BB: It was a combination of things, but they hit us on the tackle-end game, and the ball went to [Tyrann] Mathieu.

Q: In the third quarter, on the fourth-and-three, punting it there – just going back over the game, I'm wondering if when you went back through that decision if that was something you would do again or if that was one that could have gone either way when you had the benefit of hindsight to go back through the game again?

BB: Yeah, I did what I felt was best at the time.

Q: It seems like a common theme this season has been with the offensive line, struggles up front. Have you been able to identify the main issues, and what are they right now?

BB: I think there's a lot of things we need to do better offensively, and everybody's a part of it – coaches, players, every position. I don't think it's limited to one position, one group. Collectively, we have to perform better.

Q: A follow up on the question about the punt at the Saints 40, you said last night, until you get better on third and fourth down, that wasn't a situation where you'd want to go for it. But, there are low-percentage things that teams do to try and stay in games. So, with only so many possessions left at that point down 24, why not go for it, even if it might have had a low percentage chance at success?

BB: Well, I just answered the question, so sorry if you don't like the answer, but it's the same answer.

Q: I guess, it just felt like sort of a desperation mode point in the game. I guess I'm just curious why it wasn't if it wasn't in your opinion?

BB: Yeah, there was still time left in the game.

Q: Later in the third quarter, it looked like a near interception by Kyle [Dugger]. Did you give any thought to challenging that one? Was there any consideration from you on the sideline to throw the flag there?

BB: Well, no, based on the replay, it looked like the ball hit the ground. I didn't see any point in wasting a challenge on a call that didn't look like it was going to go in our favor. I don't know what good that would have done.

Q: You said there's a lot of things that need to get better on offense. Obviously, now, not having scored a touchdown in 10 quarters – how do you think the offense got to this point where that's been such a big issue?

BB: The main focus here is to get things better, to move the ball, to take care of the ball, move the ball and score points. So, that's really what we're going to focus on.

Q: How much of that will be going back to basics?

BB: The fundamentals are always an important part of it, so that'll definitely be a part of it.

Q: It seemed like there were some positive things offensively early in the season. How much will you be able to go back to that and maybe be able to draw from that as you move forward?

BB: We'll see. We'll take a look at everything. The Eagles aren't on our schedule. Dallas isn't on our schedule. So, things that happened in those games, they may or may not be relevant to a future team or this week. That would be a case-by-case thing. Not saying there's no relevance to it, but we're looking at a different team this week and next week.

Q: You referenced the score yesterday when you were asked about taking Mac out of the game. Was he removed in order to prevent injury?

BB: I think with the whole situation of the game, I felt like that was the best thing to do at the time. There was a lot of things that went into it. But yeah, that would be part of it and just the way the game had gone and so forth. There were multiple things.

Q: I know you were asked if you still consider Mac your quarterback moving forward last night. Do you consider Bailey [Zappe] a viable starting option for you?

BB: I'm sure if I had left Mac in the game and he had gotten injured you'd be asking me why he was still in the game when it was 31-0. So, it is what it is.

Q: But with Bailey, do you consider him a starting player potentially?

BB: Look, I have confidence in every player that is on the team. Otherwise, they wouldn't be on the team. So, every player that is on the team, I have confidence in them.

Q: Wanted to ask about the defensive side of the football, without [Matthew] Judon and [Christian] Gonzalez yesterday, you were obviously trying some things to compensate for their losses. How do you think that went, particularly with Judon, and also having Jonathan Jones and J.C. Jackson back?

BB: Like I said after the game, I think we have to do a better job in all three phases of the game. So, just leave it at that.

Q: Specifically with J.C. Jackson and Jonathan Jones, what did you see from them?

BB: It was good to have them back, but again, we need to do a better job in every area. So, that's all of us.

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