PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
November 14, 2023
Q: Want to ask you, is Mac [Jones] still the team's number one quarterback?
BB: We've got a lot of things to work on this week as a team and we'll work through those. That's what we're going to do this week.
Q: Given the way the game unfolded, I'm curious how important do you feel it is to convey whatever decision you make on that to the players today?
BB: The first thing we'll do today is talk about the Colts game, talk about some of the corrections and things we need to do for that. So, that will be the emphasis today. Like it always is the day after the game, or two days after the game.
Q: What went into the decision to release Jack Jones yesterday?
BB: I felt like it was time to move on.
Q: Was it performance based or was this due to more of a discipline and conduct?
BB: I felt like it was time to move on.
Q: Was there anything in particular that happened in Germany that led to Jack Jones being waived?
BB: No, not really.
Q: I know the four cornerbacks still on the roster have played quite a bit, but what have you seen from Azizi Hearn and Breon Borders and Alex Austin early in their Patriots careers?
BB: Yeah, they've all done a good job. Breon Borders and Hearn have been here a little bit longer and have had more practice time, but Alex has been working hard out there. He got more opportunities last week. All three of those guys, this will be a good week for them and for us to look at them a little bit more, and going into next week, the Giants game, for them to show in practice how they're coming along.
Q: What did you see from JaMycal Hasty that made you want to work with him?
BB: We felt it was a good person to claim and we'll see how it goes with him. He's had some production in his career.
Q: How would you describe your confidence in Mac Jones at this point in time?
BB: Like I've said, I have confidence in all of the players that are on our team.
Q: Do you think that his troubles, particular in the Colts game, is based upon decision making, kind of a mental block? How would you describe what you saw from him in some of the decisions that he made in the game?
BB: Yeah, I think, as a team, we all need to do a better job. Coaches, players, offense, defense, special teams, each one of us have areas that we can improve in. We're all in the same boat on that. We all just need to do better and need to do a little bit more, and if we can do that cumulatively, then that will make a difference.
Q: Specific to Jack again, wondering what the difference was between a week ago and this week, obviously why he's been released and why this was the time?
BB: Yeah, I just felt like it was the time.
Q: Looking back, is there anything about his selection that you feel the team missed in the draft, understanding a fourth-round pick is a notable investment and, obviously, you'd like a player to stick around longer than he did?
BB: Well, Jack's a talented player. He showed that when he played for us at times. In the end, I just felt like we needed to move on, but he's a talented player.
Q: Did you feel like your message wasn't getting through to him?
BB: Felt like it was time to move on.
Q: Is there any chance Jack Jones comes back on the practice squad if he clears?
Q: Just wondering how you thought things went overall on the offensive line, especially with coaching in the first game without Adrian [Klemm]?
BB: Some good, in the end not good enough. Some things we need to do better. Being able to keep the same guys out there on a more consistent basis I think has helped on some of the combination blocks and things when we have to work together, and five guys blocking five guys as they unfold differently as the play develops, and so forth. So, there were a lot of good things there, and we had some trouble on some other things that we need to do better. Overall, progress, but we still have a ways to go.
Q: How do you think Shaun Wade has responded to the opportunity he's been given here the last couple weeks?
BB: Shaun's responded well. He had another solid week of practice, played very competitively in the game. Made a tackle for us on the tear-screen, [Michael] Pittman [Jr.] on the third-and-11. Made a play on that, short of first down, those kinds of situations. He's taken advantage of his opportunities and that may lead to more.
Q: When you're in a situation when the playoffs are not longer realistic, do you start making decisions on development, giving guys that may not be the most ready right now, do you give them an opportunity to play more, to use them more in ways that can help them and your franchise down the road? Do you start playing some guys hoping to give them an opportunity to develop?
BB: I play players that deserve to play, let's put it that way. If they deserve to play, then I'll play them. I'm not going to play somebody that I don't think deserves to play or will hurt the team or isn't ready to play. That's up to them. If they show that they're ready and deserve to play, then we'll play all the active players, which we do most every week. We play just about everybody who's active. They have a role in the game, with an exception here and there. But, for the most part, if they're active, then we play them. It's up to them to earn that, and if they do, then that's what they can look forward to. If they don't, then somebody else will have earned it instead of them and they'll be out there.
Q: At this point though, all decisions are still based on week-to-week? When playoffs aren't realistic anymore, nothing becomes a long-term decision or long-term projection?
BB: I think you've got to look at the football team. If you put somebody out there who isn't prepared and isn't able to do what they need to do, it puts other players at risk, and I don't believe in that. That's the way I look at it.