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Transcript: Bill Belichick Press Conference 9/13

Read the full transcript from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference from Monday, September 13, 2021.


Press Conference
Monday, September 13, 2021

Q: I know you prepare for everything, so I'm sure the tempo that the Dolphins started the game with offensively wasn't any surprise. Where did you see the problems with how you handled that defensively?

BB: Yeah, I don't think that was as big of a problem as just the way the plays were played.

Q: After the game, Damien Harris said he was accountable for his fumble and that he was ready to move on. I know for coaches sometimes there's a process of holding players accountable by reducing playing time. How do you approach a situation like that with Damien moving forward?

BB: Well, there's a lot of things all of us could have done better in the game. So I think we all need to improve on the areas that we're responsible for and do a better job next week.

Q: Did you see this as being mostly execution? You talked about the effort being kind of where you wanted it to be. Was this just execution across the board or did you see other issues specifically?

BB: Yeah, I don't think I said the effort's where I want it to be. I said I thought we played hard and gave good effort, but there's certainly a lot of room for improvement in every area by all of us. So that's what we're going to focus on.

Q: What were your initial impressions of seeing Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry on the field together and the potential that those two have?

BB: They're both good players but I think again, we all needed to do a better job. There's not anybody that falls outside of that category so that's what we'll work on.

Q: After you had some time to look at the film, do you have any more thoughts on how Mac Jones played? Particularly as the second half went on and it looked like he was finding a rhythm passing the ball.

BB: I mean I keep – I don't want to keep being redundant here, but it's all really the same. We did some good things in the game, we certainly had our opportunities. But we didn't do enough in any area to have the results that we want. So there's a lot of room for improvement for all of us – coaches, players, whatever position you want to name, whatever player you want to name. Everybody did enough good things to give us an opportunity and put us in position and we were competitive and had our chances. But in the end, we weren't able to take advantage of them and capitalize on them, so we all have a lot of work to do in terms of finishing those opportunities and getting the results we want. I don't know any other way to put it. It's the same for everybody, it's not like one player cost us the game and somebody else won the game for us and all that. That's just not what happened.

Q: Nelson Agholor was limited in practice all week and I think had some limitations in training camp too. What does it say about his ability to prepare that he was able to contribute in the game even with those limitations at practice?

BB: That's the National Football League and I'm sure that situations like that come up on every team. We've had them with other players, and we've had them with him and we'll have them – everybody will have them. So that's part of being a professional and doing what you can do and not focusing on what you can't do, but preparing for what you can do, and then when the other things fall into place, then you go out and play.

Q: We got our first look at Yasir Durant yesterday, the offensive lineman you got from the Chiefs. What is it about him that you wanted to work with and made you want to go get him?

BB: Well, we think he'll have a chance to contribute. He hasn't been here long, we'll see how it goes.

Q: When you lose Trent Brown after the first series, you have a couple options of players that can play that position – Mike Onwenu has played out there and you have Ted Karras. What is the consideration with how you juggle those players on the offensive line and how much of that is contingent on how you practice that week?

BB: Well of course ultimately we want to do what's best for the team. And so whatever all of the considerations are, we take those into account and try to make the decision we feel like is best for the team. There are multiple considerations but in the end, the decisions we make are the ones we feel that are best.

Q: I wanted to ask you about the shift you made midgame to run more 11 personnel versus 12 personnel. Did you see anything that drove those struggles early that seemed to open up more when you transitioned to 11 personnel? Was there any commonality there with the success you had going with three wide receivers?

BB: We used multiple groups in the game. Honestly, we were able to move the ball with a number of different types of plays and people in the game. But it just didn't result in enough points and enough efficiency. Again, we can hopefully build on the positive things that we did and even eliminate some of the problems and negative plays, then we'll be a lot better off. Whatever group that is, doesn't really matter.

Q: I know you have said in the past that when you face an NFC opponent that you play every four years, part of the offseason is dedicated to getting more familiar with them. Is that true also for divisional opponents like the Jets coming up here with a new coaching staff and a lot of new players? Is there a segment of the offseason dedicated to a similar process?

BB: Well of course. There's limited information this year so whatever other information we can – games we can study or whatever else we can find out about a division opponent that we play early in the season, of course we would try to do that.

Q: Obviously you don't coach players to commit penalties, but when you have a game like you did with eight penalties, what adjustments do you and the coaching staff make to correct some of those issues?

BB: We'll continue to address it. We haven't been a highly penalized team, we don't want that and hopefully we'll have fewer of them going forward. Hopefully we can do a better job of coaching it and players have to make decisions. It's a fast game and there's a lot happening there, but hopefully we can certainly eliminate some of the plays that don't involve that, penalties that don't involve that and use good judgement on our playing style and make good decisions.

Q: When the game ends and you see eight penalties for 84 yards, do you see it as a collective group of penalties? Or is there an itemization of whether each penalty is a mental error, physical error, maybe a missed assignment led to a hold? Do you separate them out or is it just kind of one group?

BB: Again, there's a lot of different types of penalties that could come up in the game. I think there are different points on each one. In the end, it's too many. The ones that are easily preventable we need to prevent. Again, football's a fast game and sometimes things happen that are close calls and that's what it is. But as much as we can obviously play within the rules and not commit unforced errors, that's what we always try to do. I didn't see a lot of penalties that were caused by mental errors out there. But whatever the cause is, we've got to try to commit fewer of them.

Q: Did you learn anything about Mac Jones from a toughness standpoint yesterday? Obviously he's not being hit in practice and there's not extensive opportunities for him to get hit during preseason games. Did you learn anything about him yesterday by how he handles getting hit and picking himself up and continuing to play?

BB: Well, he's played in preseason games and practice and so forth. That's part of football. If you play that position, you play any position, that's part of football.

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