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Patriots - Press Conferences Archives for 2013-12

Tom Brady's Post Game Press Conference Transcript


On Tom Brady wrapping up his 14th regular season:

"Fourteen, is that all?"

On what he was telling LeGarrette Blount when his arm was wrapped around him and the game was winding down:

"We were pretty excited.  That was a great performance by him, by the offensive line, it was just an amazing day."

On the fact he's handed the ball off to a lot of different players over the years and what his style is like:

"Well, he's big and when he gets going downhill, he's a big guy, bigger than anybody that's trying to tackle him.  He can just put his head into the pile and our offensive line knows that that if they've got a hat on a hat, that we're going to make some yards, so he did that today.  [Stevan Ridley], had a great game, I thought, too, Shane [Vereen] contributed, the backs were huge, the receivers really contributed, the line played great, defense played great, special teams, Steve [Gostkowski] kicked the ball great, pretty amazing day."

On his punt on third and a mile:

"Yeah, it wasn't a very good one."

It was a 32-yard punt:

"Yeah, it could have been a lot better.  Leonard's a punt returner, so he fair-caught it, he made a smart play, but it wasn't a very good punt."

On the fact that going into the playoffs he knows his team has the ability to run the ball:

"Yeah, and I think we've shown that we can win different ways too.  The weather conditions have been interesting this year, yeah, I'd say, adverse, but we've found ways to overcome it.  Today was a great job, to score 34-points in a downpour is pretty good football.  That was a great all-around performance, that's what we needed."

On the injuries and having the time now to get themselves fully prepared heading into the playoffs:

"I mean, there's no games bigger than the ones that we have coming up.  So this is really a week to get a jump on it and prepare for it.  It's good to advance to the second round of the playoffs.  Who knows who we're going to play, but we're going to have to play good.  I think that's the important thing."

On the impact Blount has had on the guys in the locker room this year and what he can expect going into this first postseason:

"Well, we have a lot of guys like that on our team who haven't been to the postseason.  Look, we advanced, it's great, we put together a great season, but it doesn't mean much now.  We're seeded, we've got to go out there and play great football, no matter what the conditions are, no matter what team we play, we're going to have to play a 60-minute game, play good in all three phases, and I think we've worked hard to put ourselves in this position.  We've earned it, 12-4 is a good record, but we'll really see what we're made of here in a c0uple weeks.

On if the conditions were about as bad as he's played in:

"Yeah, I haven't played in one like this.   We had the water on the field at the end, it was just puddles, I've never seen that on our field before.  But both teams are playing in it so you just deal with it as best you can.  We made some big plays.  I mean, they didn't turn the ball over at all, they turned it over on downs.  We had the one turnover, the ball was out a few times, so I think we've got to do a better job protecting it.  Certainly whatever the conditions are in a few weeks, we've got to do a great job, I'm sure it's going to be cold.

On how much the bye week means to him:

"I mean, if we're playing, we're playing, if we're not, we're not.  We'll still figure out a way to get better and try to make improvements and I'm sure there's a lot we can do better.  We've got a long season to evaluate, where we're at and what we're doing well. Different guys have contributed at different times.  It'll be our best stuff come next...whatever it is."

On what's going through his mind as he watched Logan Mankins get helped off the field:

"There's a lot of tough guys.  That's what it's all about, that's what the football season is all about.   Guys playing through injuries and giving everything they've got. I mean, there's nobody tougher than Logan Mankins so you know when he's getting helped up, you know he's not feeling good.  But he fought through it and I mean there's nobody I've ever played with that's as tough as him, he's right up there.  Matt Light was so tough, [Joe] Andruzzi, but Logan is, I mean Logan's second to none."

On how he imparts the urgency of the postseason into his teammates:

"Well, I don't take anything for granted.  I don't take for granted a practice, or the opportunity to go out and do something that I love with teammates that I love to do it with.  I'm just proud of this team with what we've been able to accomplish.  We've faced a lot of adversity and a lot of  guys have stepped into some different roles and have been very flexible.   There's been guys who have really become dependable consistent players for our team.  As you see the strength of our team, our offensive line, and what a great job they did tonight against one of the best defensive lines in the league.  The way they did in the run game was incredible.  That's a big strength and we're going to need it here in a couple weeks."

On the fact that this is what he plays for is right here, right now:

"Yeah, you play hard to put yourself in a position and we're how now in this position and it's a good spot to be in.  But we have to go out there and take advantage of it.  Anything can happen if you don't go out there and give it your best.  We're going to try and be at our best in a few weeks."

Bill Belichick's Post Game Press Conference Transcript


OPENING STATEMENT:

"Well, once again I thought it was a good solid effort by our team. We got great contributions in all three phases and obviously this was a tremendous game by LeGarrette [Blount], clearly the best player on the field. He had a tremendous day. But we got it from everybody here and I thought that Buffalo played hard, like they always do. They're a tough football team, they battled us all the way and fortunately we were just able to make a few more plays and make a few at the right time, get a couple stops, get a couple scores, make a couple plays in the kicking game, some situational football that helped us out there. So we're excited to be 12-4 moving into the playoffs. We've still got a lot of work to do, I still think we can do things better than what we're doing, which we'll need to, whoever we play. It will be a tough opponent, whoever the next opponent is. So hopefully we can play our best football when that time comes in a couple weeks."

On how much the weather conditions dictated their commitment to the running game:

"Yeah, well it was tough out there. It was tough to throw the ball, tough to catch it. We saw a bunch of balls on the ground, more so than usual. So it was definitely a factor, it got worse as the game went along. But it was definitely a running game."

On the play of Blount in the kick return game:

"He did a great job running the ball, we did a good job blocking. Guys in front of him did a good job blocking, gave him an opportunity to get started. He's a guy that if you can get him started he can really make some yards. No back can run when there's no blocking. But he did a great job, so did the guys on the kickoff return team. We haven't had a lot of big plays in that area during the year, but over the past few weeks we got a little spark there from Josh and certainly from LeGarrette today, so those was huge for us."

On their ability to be mentally tough and overcome injuries:

"That's what we have to do, is go out there every week. Everybody's got to deal with something. I have everybody ready to go and whoever's called on, if we put them out there, we have confidence in them. We wouldn't put them out on the field if we weren't confident in them."

On if he feels his team has good momentum heading into the playoffs:

"I don't think that has anything to do with it. I think whoever plays good in the playoffs wins, I don't think momentum has anything to do with it."

On Julian Edelman's development:

"I don't think there's ever been any question about Julian's skills, his toughness, or his competitiveness. You're right, this is the year he's been able to stay on the field and certainly his production has parallelled his time on the field. He's done a good job with his opportunities. He always practices hard, plays hard, prepares well, he's always a tough guy you can count on from that standpoint, and this year he's been healthy."

On Brady's form on his punt:

"Well it was, like third and half a mile. Leonard made a good play to get back there and get it, but it was a play that we felt like we had good protection on and rather than go through the whole third and long, deal with a punt rush and all that, we were able to get a little cleaner play off there. But he's done that for us a couple times in the past. He's always ready."

On the first play of the fourth quarter, if he was committed to the field goal:

"The first play of the fourth quarter?"

When you drew them offsides?

"Yeah. Well, I mean, they jumped offsides so it was a first down. We never even got a chance to kick it. It wasn't much of a decision."

On his decision to switch from Vereen to Blount on the kickoffs:

"No, they've all returned them. Shane has a little more experience back there just overall, ball handling with the conditions and all, but they've all done it."

On Blounts kickoff returns and despite his statements that "momentum" doesn't matter, how huge those returns were:

"Absolutely, no question. I mean look, he had a tremendous day. What the best day of all time for Patriots' total yardage? It was a tremendous day."

On the emotional lift it gave his team:

"He carried the team on his back most of the day. He had 330-something yards. I don't know how much more we had besides that. So yeah, he did the bulk of it, no question. I mean, he had some help, but he did a great job. Tremendous."

On a personal level when he brings a player and overcomes adversity, and if it's rewarding as a coach to see a guy come into their program and make that kind of progress:

"He's made contributions for us all year. You were at the Atlanta game. You've been at all the games. He's contributed for us all year. I think definitely I insist that this one has to go to our assistant pro personnel director [Aqib] Talib, who I talked to before we traded for LeGarrette. Everything he's said about him is absolutely right. He's a good football player who loves to play, who works hard, and is a team player, a great guy for the team in the locker room so he's been all those things."

On how happy he is for his team that they earned the bye:

"I'm happy for them, they definitely earned it. You're right, nobody gave them anything, they had to go out and earn it, win 12 games, and a lot of them were very tough and competitive and came down to the wire. This team earned it, I'm happy for them them, but at the same time, this isn't 0ur only goal for the season. We need to play our best football going forward so we'll have another big challenge ahead of us in a couple weeks."

On how important the bye is in increasing their chances of success in the playoffs:

"We're in the second round of the playoffs now so...yeah. I mean, we're in the second round."

On if he's surprised that a guy as big as Blount can return kickoffs so well:

"I think he's got good running skills. I mean we've seen him Steve [WBZ's Steve Burton], he's not a fullback out there. He's got some quickness, got good vision, got excellent elusiveness in the secondary and which is kind of what kickoff returns are. I think the big thing for him is judging the ball, handling the ball on those kicks since he doesn't have a lot of experiencing doing it but he's worked hard at it and I'd say he's definitely improved. Everybody's confident in him."

On what made him switch to Slater and Blount before Blount made his 80 yard run back:

"I think Slater was back there with him, if I'm not mistaken, with Vereen, but it was just the opening kickoff, the ball handling, the rain, the conditions and all that. Shane's got a little more experience doing that. But we have confidence in both guys."

On the contributions from Stephen Gostkowski:

"Yeah, well all three of those guys. I mean, this is about as tough of conditions as you can snap, hold, and kick in. I thought Ryan [Allen] did a great job of getting the ball down. Danny [Aiken], of course, snapping it, and Steve kicking it. I mean, it was, these are not easy kicks and the whole operation, the timing, and just the execution of them. The balls were up, they were high, they were straight, and Steve did a great job. So whole operation was good, it was a tough day to kick. And I thought Ryan punted well too. We could have obviously had another one down in there inside the five, we missed an opportunity but those guys did a terrific job given the conditions, it wasn't an easy day."

Bill Belichick's Post Game Press Conference Transcript


OPENING STATEMENT:

"Well, it's a...I thought a real good job by our team today. Really proud of the way those guys played.  We had a lot of guys banged up coming into the game, a few line-up changes and all that, but we had a good week of practice.  I thought our players really prepared hard.  I thought they played hard for 60-minutes and they played well.  So I'm really, really proud of the way that they played, the way that they competed, being able to finish and play 60-minutes is good, something that we need to obviously do more of.  But it was good today and I couldn't be prouder of the football team.  Those guys, they earned it today, they really did.  And that's a good football team we played.  But our guys earned it today.  So happy to win, happy to win the AFC East, and hopefully we can build off this game.  It's a good one for us."

On his thoughts on how important it was to get the turnovers early in the game:

"It's always important to turn the ball over.  There's no statistic that correlates more to winning than turnovers, except points obviously.    Turnovers are huge.  Taking care of the ball and getting the ball.  So yeah, it's big."

On if there's any moment this week in the preparation he can pinpoint on it being a good week of practice:

"Every single guy.  Look, you need everybody and we had everybody tonight.  We had contributions from all three units.  Every guy that was dressed I thought went out there and just played hard.  It wasn't perfect.  But you've got everybody doing their job in this league.   You can't win with one guy or two guys, there's just too many good guys on the other side of the ball."

On the way LeGarrette Blount has been running the ball, the fact he's been running hard the last few weeks:

"He always runs hard.  Ridley always runs hard.  Those guys always run hard.  I mean I don't think you can find too many plays where they don't run hard.  They always run hard."

On if he was pleased with the offensive line's run-blocking today:

"Well, I mean, again, that's a good defense.  They competed well.  It wasn't perfect, but we gave the backs some room to get started and when they got a chance to get rolling, they made some yards on their own.  So that was good.  It's good to be able to run the ball in at the end of the game.  It's good to be able to pick up some short yardage situations.  I thought our running game, as always, helped set up the play-action pass game, keeps us out of long-yardage , so it was a good complimentary game."

On the "next man up" mentality in the secondary with Duron Harmon coming in when Devin McCourty went out:

"Well, Duron played when Steve [Gregory] was out for a couple weeks there in the middle of the season.  He's been playing all year, we have a lot of confidence in all those guys.  Look, everybody's got to be prepared, everybody's got to be ready to go.  You never know when you're going to have to play.  You might have to play a lot or more than you think you're going to be playing.  We don't make up our mind on that, we just get ready to go.  When we're called upon than we step in there and try to do the best that we can."

On the challenges that Logan Mankins faced moving over to tackle with the Ravens' pass rush:

"Well, Logan's a good football player.  He's a great competitor.  He's a tough guy, mentally and physically.  I've never seen him do anything but meet a challenge head-on with his best.  I'll have to look at the film and all but it looked like he did a pretty good job out there tonight again against some good players."

On the job the entire offensive unit did on their four-and-a-half minute scoring drive in the fourth quarter:

"Again, you've got to give credit to everybody.  I mean, it's not one guy, there's a lot of guys blocking in front of them, guys running the ball, converting third downs, getting the ball in the end zone, getting tough yards, defensive stops, special teams field position plays, I mean it's everybody.  I couldn't sit up here and single out one guy, I just can't do it. they all contributed.  It was a good team effort, all the way across the board."

On the play by Tavon Wilson at the end of the game:

"Yeah, it was a nice play.  I don't think that really affected the outcome of the game much, but I thought, once again, he could of, after the interception, he could have not done what he did.  And he ran hard, he broke a tackle, and he finished the game and made the play that he could make.  So that was a good effort by him and our whole defense trying to get out in front and block for him, and finish the play in a positive way.  That's what competition is, just go out there and play the best you can for 60-minutes.  You can't worry about all the other stuff that's going on, you've just got to go out there and do the best you can and they did it all the way through to that play at the end, so that was good."

On if this was one of Dont'a Hightower's best games:

"Hightower's been playing pretty good.  I don't know, I'll have to watch the film but he's been making a lot of plays for us.  It looked like he made a few more today."

On his thoughts on the mental toughness of his team and the way they were able to bounce back from last week:

"That's the way it is every week in the NFL.  You can't worry about last week, you've got to worry about the challenge of this week.  And we've got another one next week with Buffalo.  I don't know what happened but they obviously played Miami a whole lot better than we played them last week.  It will be another challenge this week, but that's the way it is in the National Football league.  You've got to bring it for 16 weeks."

On the fact it seemed like everybody on the sideline was in on this game:

"It was.  We had a lot of energy on the field, again, from all three units from every guy, so it was a great feeling.  It's nice to be in a game that didn't come down to the very last second of the game.  We actually had a lead there with a couple minutes to go.  That brings out excitement when you can win in this league, win on the road, beat a good football team, and they deserve to be excited."

On how much it means to him to be able to have accomplished what they've accomplished

"Well, that's what we've worked for all year.  When we started at the beginning back during the offseason program, the OTA's and training camp and all that, you work to put yourself in position to have a chance to compete at the end of the year, and we did that.  We got ourselves in a position and today we were able to qualify for the playoffs.  So that's good.  We'll see what happens going forward, but that's what we play for is to be able to play in the postseason.  Fortunately we have that opportunity, and now we'll see what we can do."

On how big the fourth down stop was on [Ravens running back] Ray Rice:

"Well, there were a lot of big ones, sure.  That was huge.  Yeah, absolutely.  I thought that we had a couple players who really seemed alert, you know, when [Joe] Flacco came up under center, I think...I don't know, we certainly had to be alert for the quarterback running the ball from the gun, but probably in his condition, they probably weren't...I don't know how they felt about that.  So he got up under center and of course gave it to a great back in Ray Rice and we were pretty alert when jumped up there.  It was a close play, it was only a few inches, but fortunately we made it.  It was definitely a heads-up play by our guys up front."

On what went into his decision to take the team to the movies on Friday and if he felt they needed a moment:

"No, I don't feel like they needed anything.  Just changed up the routine a little bit.  We do different things from time to time."

On if it was good:

"Yeah, it was great.   Yeah, it was great.  Yeah, I think [Mark] Wahlberg obviously, he's a huge Patriots fan, a huge supporter and I really appreciate everything that Mark did to make it possible and Marcus Luttrell, I mean another tremendous guy.  It was just such an honor to meet him a couple weeks ago.  But I think the movie certainly had the messages of teamwork, leadership, perseverance, preparation, and then execution.  It's one thing to prepare, it's another thing to actually go out there and play the game or got through the battle that they did.  So, there were some good messages in it, no question.  Great movie."

On how they've been able to go out and execute each week with all the line-up changes and what he feels it's a testament to:

"I think everybody on the team has to have the same attitude.  They've got to prepare.  They've got to be ready to go.  You never know when those situations are going to come.  Well, sometimes you know going into the week if somebody's out, then somebody else could be in.  You've got to be ready for those things during the game.  I mean, that's the National Football League, every team in the league has that.  Every team's got guys on injured reserve.   Every team has players that aren't playing in certain games, that are inactive and all that.  That's the league we're in.  It's a war of attrition."

Tom Brady's Post Game Press Conference Transcript


On how good his fifth straight AFC East title feels:

"That was pretty sweet.  They're a good team and they play well at home.  We've been talking about playing better on the road and we made a bunch of plays, especially on defense and special teams.  We got off to a better start and then the defense just played great.  So it was a great win."

On the early interception by Logan Ryan and the fact it carried on from there defensively:

"That was great.  You can get a lot of confidence.  Those guys were playing with a lot of confidence tonight.  One good play led to another, they got a fourth down stop, they missed a field goal.  We took advantage of some of opportunities and then made a bunch of big plays there at the end.  So it was pretty sweet."

On at the end of the game being able to control the clock:

"It was a great job.  The whole offensive line, the running backs, to finish a game like that was pretty cool.  We had the ability to play tough and play downhill in the run game and when our backs get going, reading those cuts like they were tonight, it was pretty tough to stop."

On if there will be a point when he'll look back at this year given everything that's happened and feel like it's special to be where they are:

"Sure.  I mean, they're all special.  It's hard to come by.  This team's really fought hard all year.  We've earned it, eleven wins in the NFL's not easy and to win a Division Title's not easy.  The competition's pretty stiff and we've faced some adversity, other teams have faced adversity.  It's just the way it is in the NFL.   I think the mental toughness is what's most important.  I think we've shown all year that even if we've been out of games and down, we've fought back and made them close at the end.  We haven't won them all, but we've won enough."

On if he notices if his team isn't the favorite going into a place if there's a little bit of talk about how the other guys are able to stand up to them:

"We know that nobody really picked us to win today, so that was pretty much straight across the board.  I don't know, Zo [Scott Zolak], did you pick us?"

I had you by two:

"[Laughs], just Zo.  [Turns to another reporter] No he doesn't? [Laughs]  Count for us Zo."

On his comments earlier in the year when they were 7-2 talking about how hard it was to win, and they still control everything:

"There's a lot left.  There's a lot of football next week.  It's the biggest game of our season, and typically as the season goes on, the games get bigger because there's fewer of them and we've got one game to play.    That's all that matters is trying to figure out a way to beat Buffalo and they're playing well, they won today.  Defensively they're playing really good.   It's going to be a big challenge for us and it's a holiday week so we've got to make sure we stay on top of this.  We've worked too hard to this point."

On how proud he is of the overall toughness of this win:

"We've shown that we can hang in there.  We've been in there with every team that we've played this year.  The competition's tough but we've just got to keep, like I said, being mentally tough. And whoever is in there has to be able to be counted on to do their job and I think it showed tonight that guys were capable of whoever was in there did a great job and was capable of doing their job."

On how big a deal it was for his team to play the way they did as they're getting ready for the postseason:

"Yeah, that was important.  I think that all three phases of the game really made a bunch of plays.  Offensively, I wish we had done probably a lot of things better than we did than we did tonight, but when we play that way defensively and in the kicking game, we're going to be tough to beat.  So that was pretty sweet."

On if he looks into any of the playoff scenarios:

"Well, we have to win this week. So, this week is our whole season."

On his comments on Peyton Manning setting the touchdown record:

"I didn't know that, that's pretty cool."

On his thoughts on going to see the movie on Friday:

"It was a good experience for our team.  The movie had a good message."

On if he liked it:

"I thought it was great.  Great movie."

On the fact it was a hat and T-shirt game:

"It's in my bag."

On if the luster of wearing them has worn off:

"Absolutely not.  I'll be wearing it all week.  That won't go anywhere.  Hopefully we can keep finding ways to get those hats and T-shirts.  Those games are important and I think we knew that the Dolphins had lost before our game, but it wouldn't have been as good coming in here without winning and getting a hat and T-shirt.  It was a great win against a very good team on the road.  Just what we needed."

Tom Brady's Post Game Press Conference Transcript


On if some point he knew one of these games would end this way - red-zone-wise:

"Yeah, we didn't do a good job getting in the red area.  We didn't do a good job finishing drives.  So, you know, turns out coming up on the short end of the stick.  Just wasn't a good day, just couldn't make enough plays when we had a chance to."

On the final drive and the fact they had opportunities at the end to win it:

"We got plenty of chances all day.  We make some good plays and then make plenty of [expletive] plays."

Brady left the room shortly after that final comment.

Bill Belichick's Post Game Press Conference Transcript


OPENING STATEMENT:

"All right, well, a tough hard-fought game. Just, in the end they made a few more plays than we did. It came down to the wire like it usually does with the Dolphins. They're a good football team, they played well, and they just played a little better than we did today."

On what he saw down there on that final drive:

"Yeah, we made some plays. We just didn't quite make enough. Close, but just not enough."

On the fact they started off scoring points on their opening drive:

"Right, we try and do that every week. Always try to start well. Sometimes we have, sometimes we haven't. But that's always the goal."

On what he says to his team with two games to go and Baltimore next:

"That's it. One at a time. Have Baltimore next. Have a good week, get ready to play Baltimore."

On the feeling in the locker room by the team after the loss, and his thoughts and what he said to them after the game:

"As I said, it's a disappointing game.  Close, very competitive, we had our chances, and we just weren't able to make enough plays in any of the three phases that we needed to make to win.  We made some, but it just wasn't enough."

On the final play, if he saw what happened:

"It looked like he fell off the inside receiver.  We had to throw for the endzone.  Tom's going to take a shot at the end zone."

On the fact he had to feel good about their chances at the end of the game:

"We had a chance to make a play on a 4th-and-6 and we couldn't make it.  Just came up a little bit short on that one."

On the fact Stephen Gostkowski kicked it out of bounds and how big a factor that was at the end:

"As I said, we just didn't make enough plays in any of the three phases of the game to win.  [We] could have used one or two more plays in each phase of the game."

On the fact they didn't lack any confidence after what happened the last three weeks:

"I don't think the last three weeks have anything to do with this game."

On the fact they came back from behind in those games:

"Not against the Dolphins."

On if he was impressed with Ryan Tannehill's performance:

"I thought both teams played hard.  [There were] a lot of good plays made by both teams."

On what happened on the Dolphins game-winning score:

"I think we'll have to go look at it on film.  It looked like [Marcus] Thigpen ran an inside route and then returned back out.  Good throw, good catch."

On the fact a shot at winning the Division slipped through their hands:

"We'll be ready to go next week."

On if he's pleased with his defense's overall performance, with the sacks, etc:

"We came up short in every area.  I mean nothing was really good enough.  Yeah, there were some good things, but nothing was really good enough.  We've just got to do a better job all the way around; offense, defense, special teams, coaching, playing, blocking, tackling, throwing, catching, everything.  We've just got to do a better job.  I don't think any of it was bad, but it just wasn't good enough.  Or if they were a little bit better...however you want to look at it."

On if he still feels the top seed is still up for grabs with two games to go:

"I don't really know or care anything about that.  Just trying to win the game we're playing that week.  This week it's Baltimore.  So that's all we're concerned about, I don't really care about the rest of it.  There's nothing we can do about it."

On if the timeouts the Dolphins called at the end affected their strategy:

"Well, anytime there's a timeout it gives both teams an opportunity to talk about the situation.  I'm sure they took them because they wanted to see what formation we were in, or see what the look was, or get the right call, or whatever it was, and when time's out, then that gives us an opportunity to talk about what we want to do."

Tom Brady's Post Game Press Conference Transcript


On if this ever gets old:

"That was awesome...that was awesome.  What a game.  Just proud of the guys.  Fought through a lot of adversity, a lot of mental toughness.  We grinded it out, pretty sweet."

On if he ever feels like he's cutting it too close:

"I mean, we're not trying to give them those leads and certainly our execution wasn't great.  But we came through when we needed to.  We've been playing 60-minutes all year, we're 10-3, so it was a great win."

On his concern about Rob Gronkowski and the fact he took a vicious hit on the play:

"He did.  I don't know what the circumstances are, but we're all there with him.  We love him, he's a big part of this team, so we'll see where he's at."

On if this tempers the win at all with moving forward with the season:

"Yeah, I mean it hurts to see any of those guys go down.  Certainly with Gronk, and we've sustained some pretty big injuries this year with really important, critical players, so we've just got to keep bouncing back.  I always say, 'no one feels sorry for the Patriots.'  I think we all feel sorry for Rob, but I don't think anyone feels sorry for the Patriots.  But we're with him, we support him."

On if he has any thoughts on the hit and if there's anything he would say as a player that's been in the league:

"I mean, I've seen it all at this point.  They make the rules, and you try to play within them.  You can't hit in the head, so those guys, they're lowering their target area and it's unfortunate to see anyone get hurt.  It's a physical game and you hate to see guys get hurt."

On what was going through his mind when they got the onside kick back:

"It was unbelievable.  I came over to the sideline after we scored and Josh said, 'We're going for the middle bunt'.  So I kind of stood up to  get a good look, and he kicked a perfect ball.  That was awesome.  We work on that all the time, if it comes up once a year, great, and if it works, I mean it's incredible.  We got the [pass interference] and then scored on the next play.  That was incredible."

On the fact they still had to drive down the field and score again:

"Yeah, we did and we had a short field because they called the unnecessary roughness.  So we were on the forty and then hit a play to Danny [Amnedola] and then got the [pass interference] on Josh where he beat the corner and then threw it in on the next play, so that was pretty awesome."

On if they ever surprise themselves with their ability to come back in these situations:

"Sure, and it didn't look good there at that point and they scored, and it didn't look good, but we just have to keep fighting. and sometimes you may come up short, but it's not going to be lack of effort or lack or toughness.  We showed that we have some of that."

Bill Belichick Post Game Press Conference Transcript


OPENING STATEMENT:

"Well, that was another wild one.  Once again, have to give our team a lot of credit for the way they played, and the plays they made there at the end of the game.  Some real good individual efforts, got a lot of, obviously, contributions from everybody.  Huge kick by Steve [Gostkowski], and a couple big scores there offensively and we were able to keep them out of field goal range at the end.  Cleveland played about like I thought they would.  I mean, they're young, they're aggressive, they played hard, they played well.  We certainly have a lot of room for improvement, a lot of things we've got to do better, but it's always good to come out with a win in spite of everything that happened.  Rob [Gronkowski] was taken to the hospital for observation and evaluation on his injury, so that's all I have on that."

On what these unbelievable comebacks say about his team:

"I don't know.  I mean each one has its own dynamics and own special circumstances, but we had to make just about every play that we made at the end today and fortunately we did.  Usually when you put yourself in that kind of situation it doesn't always happen that way and if one little thing goes wrong, then it doesn't work out.  Fortunately it did today."

On the type of onside kick they picked in that situation and what went into that decision:

"I'd rather not talk about the strategy of that.  That stuff's going to come up again.  We do what we think's best, let's put it that way."

On whether or not there's more disappointment to be in a situation like that to begin with or if there's elation that they won the game:

"No, we're excited to win, absolutely.  We're excited to win.  It's hard to win in this league and Cleveland's a good football team and they played well today. No, we're definitely excited to win.  Yeah."

On if he had any issue with TJ Ward going low on Gronkowski in that situation:

"I think that's a question you should take up with the league Tom [Curran]."

On if he's ever had a feeling like this after a game like that, and how he even puts it into words:

"I mean I just tried.  Sorry if it wasn't good enough for you. [Room Erupts in Laughter] I tried the best.  We put ourselves in a bad situation, we were down by whatever it was, 12-points, went into our 2-minute drive, hit a couple plays, got the ball down the field.  We had an extra timeout because we didn't stop them down there, they threw the two passes in those kind of 'run it' type of situations that were good calls by [Browns offensive coordinator] Norv [Turner] and well executed, obviously, by Cleveland.  So we didn't get to use our final timeouts and fortunately had one left there.  We tried to run the ball in and they stopped us.  So we had an extra timeout to use there to give ourselves a little bit more time and then the onside kick, and trying to get the ball down the field again.  We're just playing them one play at a time. That's all you can do.  You're down by two scores, all you can you is score once, and then get the ball back and then score again.  I mean, you can't score 14-points in one play.  It's a sequence and series of plays.  I don't know how else to put it.  I'll find something more eloquent to do that."

On the contributions by the running backs today:

"We got contributions from all of them like we usually do.  I've got a lot of confidence in all those guys.  They all do a good job.  We ran with the ball, we caught it, made some big plays in different ways coming out of the backfield, checkdowns, runs, getting it in the end zone, so those guys did a good job.  I mean obviously we have to play with more consistency.  We had our moments, and then we had a lot of moments that weren't very good too.  But we had some production."

On if from where he was standing if he saw a problem with the hit on Gronkowski:

"That's not for me to judge."

On if the victory is tempered at all because of his injury:

"Anytime a player gets hurt, you never like to see that.  But I don't even know what the extent of his injury is yet so I don't want to jump to conclusions on that."

On what this game says about Tom Brady:

"Obviously we've seen Tom do this many times before, so I think it's probably all been said before.  But he did it again, that's what it says.  He did it again.  Him and a lot of the other guys, he had a lot of help out there."

On with all the injuries if he's ever been in a situation where it's been this bad:

"What, now?"

On the "next man up" with all these injuries, and the fact this is really stretching it:

"You just take them one play at a time, one day at a time, one game at a time.  Whatever it is, we'll deal with whatever we have to deal with."

On the play buy Matthew Mulligan when he tried to jump over the defender, if that's something he's coached:

"Just being aggressive, trying to make a play.  A lot of times when you see a big guy like that running with the ball, those guys will come in and try to tackle low.  I mean certainly Cleveland's defensive backs do a lot of that, so he was trying to hurdle the guy he probably  thought was going to go low."

On how Shane Vereen has evolved positionally:

"Shane, the more opportunity he's gotten, the more he's been able to do for us.  His rookie year in the Kansas City game, in the limited chances he had that year he was productive.  Last year we had some depth in our backfield and when he got an opportunity to play, he did a good job.  He obviously had a good game against Buffalo and then missed the next eight weeks.  So when he's been in there, he's been pretty productive for us. It's just there have been times and reasons over the course of his career, for one reason or another, where his opportunities have been somewhat limited.  But when he's been in there...and our other backs have done well too.  It's not like they haven't been productive.  They've all taken advantage of their opportunities, they all deserve to play, and they've all done well for us."

On the fact his team plays well with the game on the line, and how he's able to keep his team and have them not panic when there's a sense of urgency down the stretch:

"Well, I mean we practice all these situations.   So I think it's just the recognition of,'This is what the situation is that we've practiced, this is what we need to do in this situation, we have to try and go out there and try and execute it'.  I think that's really the short end of it.  You never know what's going to come up, you don't know what situations are going to happen in a game, you just have to take them as they come and as they come then you have plays, or you have calls or you have things that you've prepared for in those situations and you just have to recognize that, 'This is it, and this is what we need to do'.  I think that really is the entire team, that's not one guy.  I mean one guy can't tell ten other guys what to do on every play.  As a team we have to recognize that,  'This is  the situation, this is  the play, this is what we're looking for, this is what we're going to try and do'.  Again, overall our team has done a reasonably good job of that this year, particularly today.  I mean that's about as hard as it gets today with being down by two scores with two minutes and, I don't know, twenty seconds or whatever it was left in the game, something like that. We dug ourselves in a big hole but they made the plays they needed to make to get out of it.  So you have to give them credit for that.  But that's what we practice for.  Probably think we should practice the other stuff and avoid those situations, right?  Do a better job of that? [Smiles]."

Tom Brady's Post Game Press Conference Transcript


On the resolve of he and his football team and their ability to get the job done when it seems the chips are stacked against them:

"We've got some of that.  I wish we could start fast and put the foot on the gas pedal the whole way, but we just got behind a little bit and played a lot better in the second half.  Still have plenty of chances to convert even more, and we've got to figure out a way to keep moving the ball, getting the ball in the end zone.  But a lot of guys made some really big plays.  James Develin and Jules [Julian Edelman], I mean everyone contributed.  Steve [Gostkowski] made some great kicks."

On what it says about Develin, who hasn't had a lot of reps and despite all the different alignments he didn't have to correct where he was lining up:

"Yeah, he knows right where to go.  He knows his job, his responsibility.  He gets lined up and they were matching us with some different personnel groupings.  Whatever we've asked of him, for example, he's done a great job of coming in understanding what to do and doing a great job of it."

On if he saw anything differently in the first half compared to the second:

"I'll watch the tape and figure it out, but I mean it's just...whatever we're doing's not good enough and we can't keep getting behind because you've got to play too well in the second half to overcome.   Turnovers...those never help.  We did a good job with penalties today, I mean we didn't get sacked.  One of the best fronts in football and to not get sacked, they can really rush the quarterback.  We had some good match-ups.  We made a lot of plays, we  probably had more opportunities to make plays.  They're pretty good in the secondary.  Those guys played really hard.  It's a good defense.  They're the number one rated pass defense in the league.  Now we have to play our best."

On if after seeing the way they played in the second half if he's starting to see what kind of team he has:

"Yeah, I mean we figured it out a little bit last week too.   But it was good to get a win on the road.  We talked about that because we've lost the last three on the road.  Our communication needs to be better, in and out of the huddle.  Our execution on critical third downs is important.  Really making some clutch plays like we did on defense, that last stop they made, really saved the game for us."

On his running backs stepping up for them:

"LeGarrette [Blount] ran really hard.  Shane [Vereen]'s doing a great job for us coming back off being out for a while.  And then Brandon [Bolden] got a lot of touches too so all those guys contributed.  We're going to need them all.  That's one of the strengths of our team.   They all can run, they run hard, they usually find the hole, and if we've got good numbers, we usually gain pretty good yards."

On if it makes him feel good that they can dial things up on offense when the game is on the line: 

"Yeah, and I think our coaches do a great job of getting to the adjustments that we need to make because you go through the first half and you don't produce much at all, and then the coaches come in at half time and they say, 'OK, well these are the things that we're going to have to do to move the ball.  We started with a great drive there to start the third quarter and then scored again, and then scored again, and then scored again, and it was just, it was really a great way for us to play offense."

On Rob Gronkowski getting open and being able to take advantage of those routes:

"Yeah, he made some good plays.  The touchdown was a great play, it was kind of an adjustment.  He was covered early and then wheeled out of the route and made a great catch.  And then the catch in the third quarter to drag those guys down the field was awesome too.  He made a great play on a catch and run there.  Whenever he gets going, the rest of us get going.  I hope he realizes the importance for him to be able to play that kind of style for us.  It really helps everyone out."

On if he's concerned that wins like this can mask deficiencies that can kill a team in the playoffs:

"Yeah, I mean, there's going to be one team that's happy at the end of the year, that's just the way it is.  I mean, we're trying to do our best, trying to go out there and execute the game plan.  Certainly it's not always perfect.  But every team has talent, it's tough to win on the road, and especially getting behind 17-7, you pump a lot of life into them there.  It ended up being a dogfight for us, but we found a way to pull it out and I think that's the most important thing is no matter what the situation, if you're ahead late, if you're behind late, you've got to figure out a way to win it at the end."

Bill Belichick's PostGame Press Conference Transcript


OPENING STATEMENT:

"It went right down to the wire. They're solid in all three phases of the game. Just came down to a couple plays and once again, I'm proud of our guys for making the plays they needed to make.  We got good contributions from all three units.  Obviously the offense put a lot of points on the board and that was important.  We got the stops that we needed at the end defensively and a couple big kicks from Steve [Gostkowski], Ryan [Allen], and those units the punt unit, the field goal unit, coming through in key situations there so that we could execute those plays.  Again, certainly a lot of things we need to work on, need to do better.  But overall, proud of the team for the way they hung in there and made the plays they needed to make at the end.  Hopefully we can just build on that, do a better job earlier in the game...just keep digging ourselves in a hole here.  We've got to try to do a better job here when we get started instead of leaving it all in the second half.  But it was a good offensive performance against a good defense to put up, whatever it was, 27 points in the second half."

On if he can put his finger on what happened in the first half:

"Yeah, we're not playing well enough.  We're not coaching well enough.  We're not playing well enough.  Yeah, that's...sure - we're not doing a good enough job, in any area.  From opening kickoff, from the defense, to the offense, you know, just, I mean, none of it's good enough.  Got to do a better job of coaching, got to do a better job of preparing, got to do a better job of executing."

On how much of it is halftime adjustments and how much of it is just execution?

"I don't know...I don't know."

On if he made any significant adjustments at halftime:

"Yeah, we always make adjustments.  Sure, every game.  We always make adjustments.  Sure.  You prepare for a game, and then you see how it unfolds and then you make adjustments during the game, make adjustments after the first series."

On the special teams units with Stephen Gostkowski and Ryan Allen and the field goals made and the fact they weren't easy kicks:

"No, they sure weren't.  Yeah, and the first one was what, 56, 57 whatever it was.  That was a good operation by those guys.  They've been consistent all year and our field goal team has been consistent protection-wise.  They've done a good job.  Haven't had a lot of close calls on the rushes.  But they're timing and execution was on, and it needed to be because those were, like you said, those were hard kicks."

On the fact he showed confidence in Gostkowski by letting him attempt those kicks:

"Yeah, well, we have confidence in Steve, we have confidence in that whole unit. We tried one in the first half from 50, whatever it was, 57, 58.  That was probably a bad decision on my part, we would have been better off punting that ball.  Just on the distance, it was a tough kick.   But he hit it good, he gave it a shot, but we have confidence when we send him out there and he's come through, really all year for us."

On his thoughts on Keenum:

"They played well.  They were well balanced.  They ran the ball, they threw it.  He's an athletic guy back there, made some good throws.  Scored 31 points, I mean they obviously gave us trouble, in the red area especially.   Knocked all those in for touchdowns, except for one.  But they did a good job.  They did a good job running the ball, did a good job throwing it."

On if the Texans played that much better after how they played against Jacksonville:

"They're a good football team.  I don't care what their record is.  They've got good players, they're well-coached, they've got  a good football team.  I've said that all week.  It's basically the same team we saw last year.  They had a great record last year.  They've added some guys,  obviously like Hopkins, Swearinger, the inside linebackers and all that.  But they've got a good football team. They've been in...I mean every game's been close.  The last six, seven games have all come down, kind of like this one did, right to the end."

On the reason why Stevan Ridley was inactive:

"Was there any reason why?  Because there was 46 other players active ahead of him."

On how much of a concern it's been that they've been behind at the half by double digits in several of them:

"Yeah, that's not the way we want to play.  Hopefully I can find a way to coach better than what I've done and see if we can find a way to get ahead."

On the fact they've scored a lot of points in the 3rd quarter in recent weeks and if it's adjusments, Tom Bady feeling more comfortable after halftime, or what he attributes it to:

"Just doing a better job.  I mean, we haven't like, re-invented the game.  We've just basically done the same thing in the second half we've done in the first half, we've just done it better.   We had some good match-ups in the second half that Josh [McDaniels] did a good job of matching our personnel groups and formations up.  We had some good match-ups and Tom and our receivers were able to take advantage of them and we were able to keep them honest somewhat with the running game.  Those guys did a good job, I mean, again, that's a good defensive unit.  Real good."

On if he's starting to feel the impact of Rob Gronkowski with the offense:

"When we get a good match-up with him, then Tom has a lot of confidence in going to him.  If it's not, then we go to other guys.  We've been having good production from everybody offensively.  Our receivers, our tight ends, and our backs, we've got to continue to do that."

On ending their road losing streak and how big a plus it is:

"It's a big plus.  It's a big plus.  We've got to find a way to win on the road.  Fortunately this week, we did it.  The last three, we were kind of in a similar situation to this and didn't do it.  Like I said, we got a couple big stops defensively, got a couple of big drives offensively when we needed them at the end, and we got a couple big kicks.  Those were good."

Particularly with a veteran quarterback, why he thinks they've struggled on the road:

"I don't know."

On if there was any thought about going for it on 4th-and-2, or if they just had that much confidence in their kicker:

"Yeah, I mean, those points gave us the lead.   I don't think you want to pass up an opportunity to take a lead in a tie game like that and Steve made it look like a good decision."

On James Develin carrying the football:

"Yeah, ran hard.  James is a tough kid.  He's been dependable for us all year in the roles that we've asked him to perform.  I mean, obviously he's not out there on every play, but whether it's been in the kicking game or offensively, he does a lot of the dirty work blocking, has some tough blocks, tough assignments, he gets his hands dirty, but he does a good job with that.  He's a tough, competitive guy that's got good playing strength, and he's not afraid to stick his nose in there. You need a few guys like that."

On if there's any concern about giving up [inaudible - sounded like rushing yards]:

"I don't think we played the way we needed to play in any area of the team.  There's plenty of room for improvement, no doubt about that. From kickoff coverage, to defensively giving up long drives, not playing well in the red area, offensively not being able to do much in the first half.  Just plenty of things we need to work on.  We'll go back to work on those this week."

On what he thought of the way Keenum played today:

"I thought their whole team played well.  He was very competitive, made some good throws, was elusive in the pocket, we had trouble getting to him a few times, managed the game well.  I thought he did a good job.  I mean, the interception was on a...he got hit as he threw it, right?  It wasn't an inaccurate throw, he just got hit.  As he's usually done since he's been in there he hasn't given the defense many opportunities to get their hands on the ball and he's managed the team well.  They've got some good receivers.  Hopkins, obviously Johnson, Martin, it's a good group."

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