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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 12/7

Read the full transcript from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference on Tuesday, December 7, 2021.


December 7, 2021

On how the team adjusts their game plan during a run-heavy game with different formations and personnel:

BB: I think a little bit of all those. There's an element of all that that's in place. Josh [McDaniels] did a good job, as he usually does, of making in-game adjustments. Some of the plays that we had, we just need to get straightened out or adjust a little bit. We put in a couple of things that we have, but we weren't anticipating being big in the game. We missed a couple things there and had a couple tackles for loss. Again, that's a good defensive team, so that's going to happen. Hopefully, we can execute those things a little better. Overall, I'd say it's a combination of that. Some in-game adjustments, some finer things that they are working that they're having trouble with, and maybe put in something that you didn't anticipate using in the game because of how they were aligned to a certain look.

On if the Bills remained consistent with their defensive personnel:

BB: Well, they played some base defense. They played some 4-3 defense to our bigger groups at times, and then they played their nickel against everything else, which is what they usually do. I think they can play their nickel against everything. They're comfortable in that. If they want to get to a third linebacker instead of [JaQuan] Johnson, their nickelback, that's their next move, and they did that some against us.

On the performances of Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson:

BB: Again, I think it was the whole team. The offensive line did a good job. They used Micah [Hyde] as a sixth lineman quite a bit. The tight ends and, obviously, the receivers were heavily involved in the running game, blocking for us or crack blocking on some of the perimeter plays, things like that. All the backs ran well; Rhamondre, Damien, and Brandon [Bolden] gave us a couple big runs there as well, especially the two-point play. He had another third-down conversion on a trap play. Those guys were productive. They ran hard. They ran with good pad level. They got some extra yards after contact. That's important, too. That's what a back needs to do. We need to block the play for however many yards we block it for and, hopefully, the player with the ball can add onto that. I thought they did a good job of that. They made some tough yards, and Buffalo is a good ball-stripping team. They were pulling the ball a lot, as they usually do. Our runners, I thought they did a really good job of taking care of the ball and gaining extra yards, but it was good ball security.

On how it feels to see his team execute the game plan well:

BB: We work hard all week. We try to go out there and perform well. Obviously, it's satisfying to win and beat a good team like Buffalo in Buffalo. That's over with, and it's time to turn the page and move onto Indianapolis. That's what we'll do, but I thought the team played well, not perfect, and, again, against a good team. Buffalo certainly gives you some problems in all three phases of the game. They've got a great core of special teams players. They're one of the top teams defensively and one of the top teams offensively in almost every category. It's good to see our team go out there and perform well and get a win on the road in the division.

On how Myles Bryant and the defense performed in the absence of Kyle Dugger:

BB: Well, he and Kyle don't really have the same roles, but Myles did a good job for us, as he always does. He's a smart, dependable player that is very instinctive and has made a lot of big plays for us in the games that he's played in, which has been a decent number here in the last two years. I think that, overall, Devin [McCourty] and Adrian [Phillips] certainly stepped up for us and gave us a lot of critical plays: pass breakups, pressures, tackles in kind of the role that Kyle would be. Sometimes, we have all three guys on the field at the same time, but a lot of times it's just two of them. It's just a rotation of how those go. Myles was in there a lot on [Cole] Beasley, and that was a big matchup for us. It was a decent amount of zone as well. It wasn't a straight one-on-one matchup. Again, all those players did a good job. I'd say Devin and Adrian really just carried a load out there. There was no third person to rotate like we had with Kyle. We're happy to get Kyle back, hopefully, for next week against Indianapolis. Certainly, we can always use him.

On if he can only fully evaluate a player like Myles Bryant's instinctiveness in a game:

BB: I think that's a good way to put it. His instinctiveness shows up in practice a lot. It shows up in games a lot too. It's the kind of thing that, until you see it repetitively in games, sometimes it can be in practice and it's a little bit different in the game. Myles plays just as instinctively and fast in games as he does in practice. He's an excellent communicator. He anticipates well. He works well with his teammates so that he puts himself and his teammates in the best position we can be in on certain formations, looks, and coverages, and those things. He does a good job of understanding what we're trying to do and where the threats are. A lot of times, when he's not threatened, he's able to help out somewhere else. That's one of those traits that you teach, but some guys have a better knack and feel for it than others, and he has a really good feel for it, especially for a relatively young and inexperienced player, although, after two years here, I think everybody has a lot of confidence in him always doing the right thing in every situation.

On if the team's defensive success last night allowed for them to run the ball more on offense:

BB: Yeah. The score definitely helped. Again, if the situation had been different, we'd have to look at what that was. The way the game played out, playing from ahead, and with the conditions being what they were, and the game unfolding the way it did, I thought we played a pretty good, complementary game. All three units made plays that significantly impacted the game.

On if he thinks this is the right time for the team's bye week:

BB: Whenever the bye week comes, it comes. Whatever time we have, whatever that is, at any point, is beneficial if we use it productively. If we don't, then it's not. Hopefully, whatever time we have, whether it's a bye, not a bye, short week, long week, whatever it is, that we use the time productively, help ourselves, and help our team improve.

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