Here's what Bill Belichick had to say following Sunday's AFC Championship loss to the Broncos:
"Alright, well, it's always a tough way for the season to end like that. But you've got to give Denver a lot of credit today. Cox [John] Fox, his staff, and obviously his players, they did a good job - did a better job than we did. I thought we played hard, thought we were ready to go, we just didn't make enough plays, didn't do things quite well enough and Denver did them better than we did today and that's why they deserved to win and they move on. So congratulations to them. I'm proud of our football team, proud of everything we did this year. We've got a lot of guys in that locker room that really played hard, played well, gave everything they had all season long, and I'm proud to be their coach. I just wish it could have ended a little bit better for us today. But again, give Denver credit, they did a good job."
On his impressions of the pick play on Talib:
"As it turned out it was a key play in the game. So I'll take a look at it on the replay. But that was a key play in the game."
(Inaudible - A follow up question on the play)
"I told you, I have to take a look at it on film. But it was a key play in the game."
On how it changed what they needed to do on defense:
"It was a key play in the game. Obviously, he's a key player for us."
On if he fought to come back in the game:
"Yeah, of course. There's no more competitive guy in that locker room than Aqib Talib."
On the fourth and three play and if that was a key play:
"There were a lot of key plays, yeah, sure. Yeah."
On if he was surprised they couldn't run the ball as well this week:
"You know, the idea is to score points and we just didn't score enough points. Obviously they did some things to try to take that away, that wasn't unexpected. We just weren't able to score enough points, and we gave up too many. It's as simple as that."
On if his offense was too one-dimensional today:
"Well, we need to score more points."
On if the problems were because of the absence of a running game:
"I didn't say that. We need to score more points."
On their problems defensively on third down:
"We didn't do a good enough job. We were able to hold them to some field goals defensively, but our third down defense and our third down offense, especially in the first half, let them get too far ahead. They were able to stay on the field, had the ball, had field position, and even the couple of times we held them to field goals we still didn't have possession of the ball, didn't have a chance to do much, we were just trying to keep them out of the end zone and I mean, that's O.K., but it would be a lot better if we could stop them on third down and get the ball back. We just weren't able to do that and then conversely, we weren't able to do it offensively."
On the two point conversion:
"That would have changed the game quite a bit. We obviously didn't do a good job on that play either. I had some opportunities that had we done a little bit better with them, would have put ourselves in better position. But that would have certainly changed the strategy if it had been an eight point game instead of a 10 point game."
On how tough it was getting to Peyton Manning:
"They did good job. They did a good job mixing the plays and as always he did an excellent job of reading the defenses and he got us in some situations that were less than ideal with his astute play-calling and recognition. We disguised and I think we got him a few times, but he certainly got us a few times too and they've got a lot of good players, tough team to match up against with all the good skill players they have, backs, tight ends, receivers, so obviously a good football team. Good offensive system, good quarterback."
On if he can allow himself to reflect on this season:
"Not right now. No, not right now."
On if he had a lot of words for [Denver coach] John Fox after the game:
"Yeah, I talked to John after the game, sure did. John's a good friend, have a lot of respect for John. He's been a great coach back to the days when he was a coordinator at the Giants, and Carolina, out here, he does a good job. I respect him. I've got a lot of respect for John and their entire football team. Absolutely. Wish him well."
On if he was surprised that Tom Brady wasn't as accurate as he normally is:
"I mean again, the bottom line was, they just did a better job than we did. That's really the bottom line. I don't think it's about any one player or any one play, there were a lot of opportunities in the game that had we been able to coach better, execute better, in any of those areas it would have given us a better chance. But we were up against another good football team and they were better than we were today. So give them credit for what they did. They did a good job."
On how he feels about the hit on Talib:
"I've already answered that question."
On what he said to the team after the game:
"I'll keep that between me and the team. But what I said here is the way I feel. I wouldn't take back anything that I've said. I'm proud of the team, proud to be their coach. Thought they played hard all year, played competitively every single week. Some weeks we played better than others but there was never a lack of effort or toughness or everybody trying to do their best, and I totally respect the team for that and what they did. I'm proud to be their coach. So that's how I feel about it."
On people saying this is his best coaching performance and the fact they made it this far with all the guys that got hurt:
"I don't really think about that, I just think about this game. Trying to come out here and win this game, and win the AFC Championship. That's really the only thing that's in my mind. All the rest of it's a bunch of hot air."
On how much he'll think about this game before he puts it behind him:
"I don't know, that's a good question. Unfortunately we've been here before. We've won AFC Championship games and we've lost them, so we'll move on, we have to. We're behind a lot of the other teams in the league, all except one in the AFC actually in terms of the offseason, so we've got little bit of catching up to do. But starting tomorrow we're on to 2014."
On if he's ever coached a mentally tougher team than this one:
"They were very much that, physically and mentally tough. I don't know about ranking them and all that because of the different make-ups of the team and the players and so forth. But this team worked hard from the first day of OTA's, from the offseason program, through the OTA's, minicamp, training camp, regular season, playoffs, they worked hard daily, all day long and I think they improved quite a bit during the year. That's how you do improve. You take the instruction that you're given, you work hard on it, and you have positive results. You build on those, correct your mistakes, build on your positive results, and keep going. I think as a team they've done that and individually that's been kind of the trademark of the players on this team. Taking corrections, working hard, moving on, trying to get better, not getting caught up in what happened in the past but just trying to do a better job the next time out. I think that improvement served us well all year. I wish we could have done a little bit better job today. Especially me."
On if there was any specific area he wishes he could have done better:
"Anytime you lose a game like this, there's definitely things you don't feel great about. There's a lot of things I don't feel great about. That shouldn't come as any big surprise. But, it's in the books, can't do anything about it except look back on it, learn from it, and move on. Certainly some calls, some plays we'd like to have back, I'm sure everybody who competed in the game would like to have something back. It's tough when your season ends. Just suddenly, but that's the way it is, we know that's the situation in the playoffs. One team moves on, one team doesn't. Comes to a sudden stop. But again, I'll say this, whatever mistakes were made in that game by me and everybody else, I think were all made with the intention of doing what was best. Not everything worked out best, but it was done with the intention of doing what was best and trying our best to make it work. Didn't always work, but the effort and intent to do the right thing, I definitely feel like that was there and it's been there all year."
On the fact it seems like he's taking a lot of heat himself and if he himself feels like he made a lot of mistakes:
"I don't think anybody in that locker room feels good right now and we probably shouldn't, and I feel the same way. You lose a game like that you certainly think there's things you could have done better. I can't imagine not feeling that way."