PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
November 13, 2023
Q: Who will start at QB moving forward?
BB: We just got back from Germany. We'll work through everything. We'll look at everything, all the way across the board. Not specifically one position, but just look at everything and do the best we can here going forward.
Q: From what you've observed over the last two weeks, just from your perspective, is Jack Jones engaged and locked maybe at a level that meets the desired standard?
BB: Yeah, I'm not going to get into any of the player's personal situations.
Q: When it comes to your decision making, whether it's the quarterback decision or across the board, as you mentioned, what are you weighing at this point? Is it evaluation for the future? Is it trying to win as many games as possible this season? How do you evaluate at this point?
BB: Yeah, well, we'll do what's best for the football team for now and the future. We don't have a game this week. We have a game next week.
Q: Bill O'Brien was brought in this season to help the offense, but it's obviously not gotten better this year. Just generally speaking, what are you seeing from the offense that it hasn't made the progress that you had hoped for?
BB: Yeah, it's what we've talked about all year, really, it's consistency. There are good things. There are things that we can build off of. We're certainly doing a lot of things better than we did earlier in the year. But, it doesn't take much to stop a drive or to have a bad play. We just have to do a better job eliminating those errors, so that's what we're working towards.
Q: How do you assess Bailey Zappe's performance in three relief opportunities and how is Will Grier coming along?
BB: Well, Bailey's had some opportunities. I think he's prepared well every week. We've called on him in the end of a couple games, three games, I guess it was. So, I think he stepped in and did the best he could. Was it perfect? No. Were there some positive things? Yes. Will's certainly improving every week in terms of understanding and working with his teammates and running the scout team and executing the plays that he has the opportunity to. There's just not a lot of opportunities for the third position, which is where he's been, but he's taken advantage of the ones that he's had.
Q: I was listening on WEEI, and you were asked about removing Mac [Jones] from the game at that time, and you said it wasn't just about that one play. Were you talking about just that game of plays or a season's worth of plays as to what went into removing him?
BB: Yeah, no, just the way the game was going.
Q: I know this is looking ahead a little bit, but when Matt Judon went on IR, there were some reports he could return in December. Could the team's record impact whether you decide to bring some of those guys back, including him, even if they were cleared to play?
BB: Yeah, no, I don't think so.
Q: Just on the veteran leadership you've gotten, obviously it's very easy to lead at times when things are going well, but how important has [Matthew] Slater been this year, and [David] Andrews, [Deatrich] Wise [Jr.] and some of your other veteran leaders.
BB: Yeah, I think all of those guys have done a great job. Certainly, the guys that you mentioned, and a lot of other guys, even some of the other guys, like Judon, who hasn't been playing. You go right down the list there – Jon Jones, you just honestly keep going, [Joe] Cardona, there's a lot of them. Look, everybody is working hard. I know we've been close. We just haven't been able to finish enough and make the plays that we needed to make here in critical situations at the end of the game to win. Everybody's committed to working hard to change that. We've out ourselves in that position multiple times here, but we just haven't had the results that we're looking for, and we're going to work hard to get those results.
Q: How do you anticipate the bye week shaking out logistically for you guys? I know there have been years where you've been in the building a lot – you, the coaches, the players have been in the building a lot – and there have been years you have left a little bit earlier. How do you see things shaking out this time around?
BB: Yeah, that's something we'll talk about today. Everybody put everything they had into the Germany trip and the Colts game. It was a long flight back, and we're just kind of getting reorganized here. So, we'll try to get a good, clear head and think about how to use the time that we have in the best way, whatever that is for our team and moving forward. So, those decisions will be made here going forward. Honestly, like I said, I don't think last night in the middle of the night coming back from Germany was a great time to make a lot of decisions. So, we'll kind of wait until we can kind of recalibrate here and get settled. We have time. We'll take a look at it and try to do what we think is best. Obviously, the players will be off on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That's part of the collective bargaining schedule. So, we'll work around some of the other days here that we have and, like I said, try to do what's best for the team, both in terms of rest and improvement.