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Transcript: Coach Bill Belichick Press Conference 11/27

Read the full transcript of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's press conference with the media on Monday, November 27, 2023.

PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

PRESS CONFERENCE

November 27, 2023

Q: Wanted to ask you about the kicking conditions on Sunday. I think we saw in the first half that you guys had the ball around what would be a 54, 55-yard field goal, opted to go for a punt. Shortly after, the Giants – I believe going the same way- were in a similar position, passed up what would have been a slightly shorter 52-yard field goal. What was it about the conditions on Sunday that led both teams to pass up what would have been, in most conditions, makeable field goals?

BB: Right, well, I'm not sure about the Giants. You'd have to ask Coach [Brian] Daboll about that. Felt like the best play for us was to pin them down. We were playing pretty good defense. I felt good about that, just back them up there, which we were able to do that. Those 50-plus yard kicks are certainly not automatic, but makeable. So, just felt like in that situation, that was the better play for us at that point.

Q: Not just on the field goal there, but there was a fourth-and-1 at your own 39 when Hunter [Henry] went out and gave a hard count and then Ezekiel [Elliot], and then you had to take the timeout. Do you have to balance where maybe you want to go for it and be aggressive, but when the offense isn't being as productive as you'd like and there's still a lot of field left where you have to kind of weigh all that? I don't know if you wanted to go for it on fourth down, but what was going through your mind there?

BB: Absolutely. The overall success and execution of the offense is definitely a factor in those fourth-down decisions. Sometimes the game situations override that, but at that point in the game, just didn't think it was worth it, and took the timeout rather than the delay of game penalty to keep their punt safe where they really weren't going to return the ball. So, thought we'd be able to get a little better field position by taking that return, so that's why I took the timeout.

Q: On young players, [Chad] Ryland as an example, what is the best way in your view to deal with players when they make mistakes, don't have the success that they want to, from a mental standpoint to able to get the best out of the guy moving forward?

BB: Yeah, well, with everybody, I think you identify what the issue was and work to correct that in practice and make sure that becomes a consistent good habit and not a consistent bad habit, so it repeats again. You try to make those fundamentals, especially at that position, consistently good so that they're good and they're right every time. So, that's what we'll do there. The operation's pretty defined. It's not like playing a regular position where there are a lot of different things that can happen. It's pretty defined. But, the operation between the snapper, the holder and the kicker, you're working on that consistency all the time. And, the conditions – whether it's wind, temperature, field position, hash mark, all those things – you try to get 100 percent consistent on every kick. So, that's what we'll do, keep working on that.

Q: On the quarterback position, can you envision bringing someone in from outside the organization who would get starts or time over the next six weeks?

BB: I don't really see that right now, but I mean, I wouldn't rule anything out, anything that would help our team. We've brought in players at any position. You never know what's going to happen. If I think there's somebody, if our pro scouting department thinks there is somebody that would help us, we'll certainly listen to it and take a look at it, at any position. It's not really about the quarterback position. It would really be any position. I don't know. Nobody that comes to mind, but we'll see.

Q: Two wins at this point in the season hasn't happened in your 24 years here. What is your message to fans as to what have been the primary factors that have contributed to the result?

BB: Well, we're just going to keep working as hard as we can to fix it. We've lost a lot of close games. We've just got to play better in situational and executional football at critical situations in the game. It's what we're working on. We'll keep working on it.

Q: On the kicker, do you think it would behoove the team to bring in another kicker, whether it's on the practice squad or roster based on the recent results with Chad?

BB: Really, that's the same question that I just got there. So, I'm not ruling anything in or out, trying to do what's best for the team.

Q: Just want to follow up to an answer you gave on WEEI regarding the selection of Mac Jones. The question was whether that was Robert [Kraft]'s decision or something you had made. I know your response was 'organizationally, we felt like that was in the best interest of the team', which I'm sure is true, a lot of people go into that decision. But to clarify, because that seems open to interpretation, was it your decision to select Mac Jones in the 2021 Draft?

BB: Collectively, we were all for that.

Q: Is Pop [Demario Douglas] in the concussion protocol or was he able to avoid that?

BB: I'm not 100 percent sure on that. Really, we get those follow-up reports here today depending on how things went last night or this morning. So, we'll see. But, he wasn't able to go back in the game. The Monday morning reports are usually a little more accurate than right after the game, so we'll see how things are today.

Q: How significant of a loss would he be if he's not able to go this week?

BB: Yeah, let's see what happens. Not sure.

Q: Given how the season has gone this year, do you still enjoy the process of coaching this team to the same level of, say, previous years?

BB: Absolutely. Every week's a challenge, and I'm excited about the challenge, the opportunity, and what we have to do to win each week. So, I'll keep working as hard as I can to help our team.

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