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Unfiltered Notebook 9/21: Pats put Seattle in the rearview

Bill Belichick checked in with the media on Monday, a day after his team dropped their first game of the 2020 season.


The Patriots arrived back from Seattle early on Monday morning and the players had the day off from there after logging their first loss of the season to Seahawks. There were plenty of positives to take from the thrilling game, but also some lingering questions.

When it came to the final play of the game Bill Belichick was fine with how things unfolded.

"We were able to stop the clock and get the play run that we wanted to run that was the critical play in the game," explained Belichick. "Unfortunately, it didn't work out, but I think that's the position you want to be in -- not having to race up to the ball, try to come up with something, especially on the one-yard-line at the last second. It's doable but it's hard to do. When you have the team on the run in the two minute drill and you can go to the line and run the play that you're familiar with running and try to score while they're scrambling a little bit, there's certainly some merit to that."

It was a hard-fought loss to the Seahawks that saw plenty of elite execution by quarterback Russell Wilson, who unleashed a variety of downfield throws that burned the Patriots defense.

"Wilson's a tremendous quarterback, I've said that multiple times," said Belichick. "He is very, very difficult to play against for a multitude of reasons. But the deep ball accuracy is probably at the top of the list for me. He does an incredible job on that.

"As a defensive back in the passing game, there's gonna be times when we have great coverage. If it's a great throw and a great catch by the quarterback and receiver, the opponent's gonna hit some of those. Hopefully not too many of those. We want to make it as hard as we can on them. Sometimes even when you do that it's not enough at this level."

On the offensive side, N'Keal Harry had perhaps his best outing as a pro, tallying eight catches for 72 yards.

"N'Keal continues to work hard," said Belichick. "His role has expanded from what it was his rookie season.

"He's made steady strides and improvement in his game. He's now lined up in different positions and has been able to add some variety to his route tree and the roles on the team that he can perform."

Cam Newton showed remarkable trust in Harry while also throwing for more yards to Julian Edelman than he's ever caught before. Newton has been showing improvement in his short time with the team, including a focus on his throwing mechanics.

"Cam's the type of guy, when you point out something to him and ask him to work on it, he works very hard," said Belichick. "He really tries to do it the way that you ask him to do it. He's made some modifications to his delivery, I think that's helped his accuracy."

With Seattle in the rearview the coach identified where they'd start trying to move forward.

"There are plenty of other plays that we could have helped ourselves on and we could have coached better and we could have played better. Those are the ones that we'll focus on and continue to do the right things on every play."

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