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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 11/23

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the media on Monday, November 23, 2020.

Q: Did the Texans play more four-down linemen yesterday than they had been playing up to that point this season?

BB: Yeah, I mean, we prepared for both. So, they have a number of different things they do. I don't think you just base your game plan on percentages because they do a good job of game planning, so you have to be ready for the things they have in their package.

Q: Is there any update on Rex Burkhead's status at this time?

BB: Yeah, he didn't travel back with us from Houston, so he'll be coming back soon. We'll I'm sure do tests and evaluate him when he gets back.

Q: You mentioned after the game that you took advantage of some of the things the Texans defense was doing to open up the passing game a little bit. What were your impressions of the passing game yesterday, in particular how you handled blitzes?

BB: Well, you know, there were some good things and there were certainly other things we could have done better. So, we'll try to continue to build on the positives and work for better execution in the things that we didn't do as well.

Q: What are your thoughts on the type of pressure you were able to put on Deshaun Watson and the effect that had on the secondary trying to stay with their speed receivers, particularly Will Fuller?

BB: Well, the Texans throw the ball well, they have a good quarterback, they have good receivers and Watson does a good job getting the ball out quickly and on time, and then he's a problem when he extends plays and scrambles. So, there were various points where they gave us trouble with all those.

Q: Have you been pleased with what you've seen in terms of your pass rush generating pressure on quarterbacks this year?

BB: I think there's a lot of things we can do better this year defensively.

Q: Sometimes during the game, the referee can make an announcement on a penalty, but maybe something gets lost in translation where there might have been a penalty but it was on a different player. When you watched the film, did you get a sense that that might have been the case on either of N'Keal Harry's penalties?

BB: Yeah, I don't know. I don't really hear the announcements. It's hard for me to hear the announcement on the field, so I'm not even sure what the announcements were, to tell you the truth.

Q: What's the coaching point for N'Keal on the offensive pass interference that they called?

BB: On the one where we threw the ball out in the flat?

Q: Yeah, threw it in the flat to Rex and Damiere Byrd was on that side, too.

BB: Yeah, I mean, it's a close call. The corner reacted quickly. It's a close call. I think he was trying to do the right thing. The corner might have got there – we probably did contact him when the ball was in the air. So, we just have to have a little better timing on the play, I would say.

Q: You had four drives of 10 plays or more yesterday and produced points on three of those drives. When you have to drive consistently on long fields, what kind of a strain does that put on your offense and how difficult is it to function without setbacks that may stall a drive? Is that an offshoot of lack of production in the return game or complementary football? When you look at that aspect, how do you see it?

BB: Yeah, that's exactly what it was, Bob [Socci]. It was the same way for both teams. But, yeah, when you've got to go 75, 80, 85 yards, it's hard. You have chances to play defense along the way to get out of the drive, but we've had multiple long drives in most of the games we've played this year. But, it definitely puts more strain on the offense to run 13 or 15 plays, as opposed to six or seven. So, our field position game, our field position in the return game has not been very productive for us this year. We've been on a long field more than we'd like to. Now, we've had a lot of turnovers, but we didn't have any yesterday.

Q: Do you have any update on how Isaiah Wynn is doing?

BB: No, not yet, Ben [Volin]. I think he's having some tests or whatever looked at this afternoon. We'll see how that comes out.

Q: Rex Burkhead is a guy who does a lot in the pass game, run game and on special teams. How much have you grown to respect everything Rex has done for you guys over the years?

BB: Yeah, I've always had a high appreciation and respect for Rex. Rex is a great teammate, works hard, does whatever he's asked to do, contributes in a lot of different areas, as you just mentioned, and is always prepared, ready to go, gives you his best and has been productive for us in everything we've asked him to do on all four downs.

Q: How did you feel the offensive line performed as a whole yesterday?

BB: It's all pretty much about the same for our team. We had our moments, we did some good things, we missed some opportunities, and there were some things we could have done better. We pass protected, I would say, decently for the most part. Didn't have as much production in the running game as we had in some other games, but had more production in the passing game. They have some good players on the front that are hard to handle. I mean, I thought we competed against them, but there's certainly room for improvement. There's things we could have done better.

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