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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 9/12

Read the full transcript from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference on Monday, September 12, 2022.

HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

PRESS CONFERENCE
September 12, 2022

BB: Yeah, not really too much new to add from last night because it's just kind of a quick recap. But looking at the game, the two big plays really affected the score. Fourteen points on two plays that we gave up. Obviously have to do a much better job on that, coaching, execution, everything. We've got to eliminate those. Otherwise, it was a pretty competitive game from a yardage standpoint, and all that. Our turnovers are our problem. Again, that's something that we have to do a better job of and, just in general, playing better all around football. There's some positive things to build on, but plenty of things to work on. And that's what we'll do, is look at the game, identify the things that we did well, try to keep doing those well and things that we need to improve on, we need to work harder to improve on. So no update on Mac [Jones]. We'll see how he is today. But he came back with us. So we'll see how that goes. Yeah, that's about the news from yesterday.

Q: Bill, I know you said no update on Mac. We didn't have anything from you yesterday on that. It was reported his x-rays were negative. Does that mean that's the entirety of your understanding about the severity of his injury?

BB: Yeah, like I said, we'll take a look at it today. It has nothing to do with Mac [Jones]. Just in general, where players are immediately after the game and where they are, let's call it 18 hours after the game is often quite different. I know everybody's hungry for an up to the second update, but honestly the best way to handle these situations is always to give a little time, see what happens, run whatever tests or analysis need to be run and then go from there. So that's what we always do. That's what we're going to do in this case. That's what we're going to do in every other case with every other injury. Unless something is more clear cut or obvious in a very short period of time, which sometimes it is, but that's why we have these medical procedures and we're going to use them. So it'll be that way with just about everybody. I'm sure there'll be a couple examples, maybe a broken bone, or something that shows up on an x-ray right away, that's a little bit different. But other injuries or potential injuries are evaluated much more thoroughly on the day after when there's just a lot more information.

Q: We're going to speak to him a little bit later it sounds like, so perhaps he'll know best, but were you aware at any point in the game, if, and when he suffered this back injury?

BB: Yeah. We're aware of anything that's reported.

Q: Bill, on the strip sack that they returned for the touchdown. What contributed to the free rusher there?

BB: We didn't block him. We had enough people to block him and we just didn't get it handled right. Obviously.

Q: Is that communication before the snap or more after the snap when the safety comes down?

BB: Yeah. It's execution. It's execution.

Q: How would you characterize the overall pass protection?

BB: Again, there were a lot of plays that there was no issue on the rush. There were some plays where there was. Obviously we had two plays where we had enough people to block, the rushers didn't block them and got hit. So, we need to eliminate those. So shouldn't have any of those.

Q: Morning Bill. In regard to the run game, how would you categorize the consistency or inconsistency there and your general sense as to what you got production wise?

BB: I thought there was some consistency in the running game. Like everything else, it could be better. But that's a pretty good run front. I thought we had some openings inside and outside. But certainly room for improvement and we'll keep doing that. But I thought overall it was competitive.

Q: And on Kyle Dugger, his trajectory as a player and also his tackling ability. How well has he done in that area and how is that kind of shown in the Miami game?

BB: I think overall Kyle's [Dugger] one of our better and stronger tacklers. Anybody that plays an NFL game is going to have plays that they would like to have back or do a little bit differently. On the touchdown there were a couple things that could have happened better on that play. So hopefully all of us can, we can coach and execute a little bit better. So that, that doesn't happen. That play was certainly, the result of that was preventable. So we have to do it.

Q: How would you evaluate the way the tight ends performed yesterday? We saw Hunter [Henry] and Jonnu [Smith] on the field together a lot.

BB: Yeah, I think the game is probably about the same for just about all of us that participated in the game. There's some positive things. There's certainly things we could all do better. Things we need to work together better on as units, or combinations, or as a team, however -- it varies. But there's all things that we can do better. There were a lot of positive things in the game. But we need to eliminate some of the bad things that happen and be a little bit better on some of the things and take advantage of some of the opportunities that we had to make some plays that would've changed the game. We just, unfortunately, weren't able to make them. But I'm sure if we keep working and just do a few things better, do a few little things better, do a few big things better, that we'll be better. So that's what we're going to do.

Q: Coach, you've mentioned a couple of times that September is sort of an extension of the preseason as things start getting ramped up. How much patience do you feel you need to have, or the coaching staff needs to have, as players get into the feel for the regular season? And how much would you say, some of what happened yesterday was a result of still needing to again, get into the swing of things, work on fundamentals, and just get back into regular season football?

BB: Well, it's the same for all 32 teams. So it's no different here than it is anywhere else. No teams had played a regular season game until this weekend. Sure, everybody needs to -- will learn from these games and get better and improve. It's really the rate that that happens. So it's not like we're sitting around waiting for the hands on the clock to turn. But try to get better every day. We saw some things that showed up in the regular season game that obviously didn't show up in preseason because it was a, different level of competition. We'll learn from those, and we'll work on those, and we'll improve those. But it's a race against time. Everybody's trying to improve quickly, and have a good record in the early part of the season, and get stronger as the year goes on. So that's the National Football League. It's the same thing for everybody.

Q: Morning, Bill. You mentioned the two big plays that swayed the game in a big way. Would you categorize the end zone interception in that group, too?

BB: Well, it was a big play in the game, but I mean, it wasn't a seven-point play like the other two were.

Q: Is that a play where the design or the goal is to have DeVante [Parker] have more of a chance to go up and get it than he had in the actual game?

BB: It was a close play. [Xavien] Howard made a good play on the ball and then it ended up, which most of those ended up on the ground, and that one ended up back up in the air and then [Jevon] Holland came over and got it. So it was a good play on their part. Kind of went their way. Holland made a good play on the ball, ran it back to the 20 yard line or whatever it was. So, could we execute it a little bit better? I mean, sure.

Q: I wanted to ask you about Anfernee Jennings being inactive today. I know Jahlani [Tavai] plays in all four units and special teams. Was that the decision or the reason he might have played over Anfernee?

BB: Well, practice and pre-season games are two different things. Regular season, you can only activate so many players. You activate the ones that you think will give your team the best opportunity as a total team to win. So that's what we did. That's what we'll continue to do. That's the way it'll always be.

Q: Hey Bill. First on the end zone interception, did you think there was a penalty on that play, there looked like there was grabbing on both sides?

BB: Yeah. I think if you have any questions about the officials or the calls, you should talk to the officials that made the call. I mean, that's really the only person's opinion that matters.

Q: And just one quick question about the Steelers, any early thoughts on facing them? Obviously, they have a different quarterback there than we're used to seeing.

BB: Well, we'll dig into them after we finish up this game, but obviously a big win on the road against the Bengals, a good team. So home opener in Pittsburgh, I'm sure that there'll be a lot of energy in the stadium and they'll be ready to go.

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