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Bill Belichick Postgame Press Conference Transcript

Posted Oct 7, 2012

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick addresses the media at Gillette Stadium following a regular season game versus the Denver Broncos on Sunday, October 7, 2012.

BB: That was a good win out there today. I'm really proud of our football team. I though those guys did a good job. We did a lot of good things. Denver is a good football team. They competed hard and they certainly fought right to the end; our guys just made a few more plays than theirs did. It was a good, solid win for us. I think we’ve still got to really work on playing 60 full minutes and doing everything right all the time, but we did enough things today, so that was good to come out of there with a win. It’s a good football team.

Q: Can you talk about the first half? 257 yards and you got out to a good lead.

BB: Yeah, it was a combination of taking advantage of our scoring opportunities, getting the ball in the end zone. We came close there at the end of the half; we just weren’t quite able to get that in there on second and third down. I think I can do a better job of that, just managing that situation. And then after the exchange of possessions to start the third quarter, you know, we had the touchdown there, so it was kind of a big swing there at the end of the half where we had the points and we exchanged those possessions in the third quarter, but we had more possessions than they did, so it was a really good clock management there in the second quarter. I would have liked to get a touchdown out of it, but… we moved the ball consistently, we ran the ball well, threw it well, we had some balance, picked up some third downs and did pretty good in the red zone, but we can always be better.

Q: How about the job of the offensive line?

BB: Yeah, all the way: backs, tight ends, receivers, they blocked well. But the offensive line did a good job. We played at a good tempo, played fast and I think their conditioning and hard work all through practice, training camp and all that, to go out there and be able to not only block them, but play at a high tempo and play fast and do it with good conditioning and good technique and all, that was good. We had a couple negative plays that slowed us down in the first half. We had a few in the whole game, really. It was a handful of negative plays that kind of slowed us down, but other than that, I thought our execution offensively was pretty competitive.

Q: Can you talk about Stevan Ridley overall and specifically in regards ball security?

BB: Every player is responsible for taking care of the ball, whoever has it: quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, punters, returners, everybody. That’s always number one. Stevan ran hard. I think all our backs did: [Danny Woodhead] Woody, [Brandon] Bolden, [Shane] Vereen made a couple plays for us. I think all our backs ran hard and were productive. We’re confident in all of them.

Q: Given your respect for NFL history, when you see Brady and Manning on the field together. What runs through your mind in the bigger picture?

BB: two great players, obviously. Two great, great players. They’re both great. There’s nobody I’d rather have than Tom Brady, but Manning is a great player.

Q: Can you talk about what you were thinking on the fourth-down play?

BB: Trying to pick it up. It was too long for a field goal. The ball was on the 30-whatever yard line, so we were just trying to pick up the first down.

Q: Why opt out of the punt?

BB: Because we didn’t have very far to go. We would have gained some yardage if we punted it, possibly, depending on how good the punt was. We would have had to protect it and that. I thought we had a good chance to pick it up there; we just didn’t do a good job on it.

Q: How big was Danny Woodhead for you tonight?

BB: Yeah, Danny was great. Again, we got good production from all our backs. But Danny, that was third-and-15 or 17, whatever it was on the outside zone play. That was a big play. Danny ran it well. He’s always been productive for us, just like he was last week on the scramble play against Buffalo. Stevan, Brandon, we have confidence in all those guys. They all have been productive for us.

Q: You mentioned the offensive tempo. Did you go a little faster than normal today? It seemed that way.

BB: Well, I think that we tried to up-tempo it a little bit to keep them from substituting. They were able to substitute in at times, but I think at other times they couldn’t get them in. It looked like they had to hold them. When they weren’t substituting, then we could get a little bit better idea of what they were going to do with the group that was in there. When they start subbing, it’s hard to tell exactly what group they're getting to. Are they subbing one for one or are they putting a different personnel group and all that? When they keep the same guys out on the field, then we can have a pretty good idea of what they’re going to do from that package. They got in and out of some stuff, like we expected they would, but we felt like the tempo helped us control the game a little bit.

Q: Does that become even faster when you're running the ball because Tom Brady doesn’t have as much to do as far as pre-snap reads?

BB: I don’t know about that.

Q: What is it about Shane Vereen that has you favoring him on the goal line?

BB: What are you talking about?

Q: The touchdown run that he had earlier.

BB: He was in the game.

Q: Is there something about him that you prefer in a situation like that.

BB: No. No, if we start subbing people then they can start subbing them, so whoever is in there just stays in there. Again, they’re all productive and we feel like they can all do it.

Q: You said there’s no one you’d rather have than Tom Brady. What can you say about him after a game like this?

BB: He did a great job. He did all the things he needed to do for us to win: make great throws, manage the game. He did a lot of good things in the running game, made key plays in critical situations.

Q: Is that something you take for granted?

BB: No. No, you never take it for granted. You work at it every week. It will be just as hard next week out there in Seattle as it was today against Denver as it was last week against Buffalo. It’s hard every week. Every week we go against another good team, good players, good coaches. It’s hard every week. No, you never take it for granted. Are you kidding me? This is the National Football League.

Q: You’ve rushed for 200 yards the past two weeks in a pass-happy league. What does that say about the importance of fundamentals?

BB: I don’t know. We just try to go out there and move the ball and score points. That's what we try to do. Sometimes we run it, sometimes we pass it, sometimes we do al little of both, sometimes we do more of one than the other, but we try to go out there and move the ball and score points. That’s our offensive philosophy.

Q: What are your thoughts on Rob Ninkovich’s performance with the two forced fumbles tonight?

BB: We work on that every single week and talk about it every day. I thought putting pressure on the ball and getting it out, Rob kind of had the same play last week in the Buffalo game where he came from behind and knocked the ball out. They recovered it, but this time we got it and Vince made the play. The same thing on Willis McGahee’s run. He's able to not only make the tackle – but we’re always aware of the ball, like they were when they stripped one out on us. It’s just good defensive football, just being alert.

Q: There were three of those, actually.

BB: Right, on [Demaryius] Thomas’ play, right. It was similar to the play he had last week, except I don’t know if he got stripped in that game. But again, when the defender is going in to make the tackle, if he sees that the ball is not being properly secured, then a good player will recognize that and be alert to try to put pressure on it and try to punch it out or get pressure on the ball and knock it out.

Q: Is sometimes the best defense against Peyton Manning to just keep the ball out of his hands? A lot of the scoring drives you had were long drives that ate up some clock.

BB: Yeah, but they get the ball back after those scores, so you’ve still got to go out there and stop them.

Q: But if you eat up more time, that’s in theory less time for him to work with.

BB: Right, but teams get the same number of possessions. I mean, every time we get the ball, they get the ball. Every time they get the ball, we get the ball. You’ve got to go out there and stop them. We’ve seen – I mean, Peyton had one game – who was it against? They had like 15 minutes time of possession – Jacksonville or somebody a couple years ago – they had 15 minutes of time of possession and still won. So, you’ve got to stop them. It’s great to have the ball on offense, it’s great to have a long drive, but you still have to go out there and play defense.

Q: How close is your running game to where it was in 2003 and 2004?

BB: I don’t know. I think we’re looking a whole lot different – I’d say it’s a lot different.

Q: How so?

BB: Scheme, multiple players, there’s no Corey Dillon. It’s a different style, different type of running plays, different style of runners.

Q: Do you feel like you have a problem closing out games?

BB: Well, we’re 3-2, so. Look, there are a lot of things we can do better, no question. A lot of things we can do better. Keep working on those and try to do a better job of them.

Q: What were your thoughts on Alfonzo Dennard’s performance in his debut?

BB: It looked like he was in on a few plays. We’ll take a closer look at it on film. I think there are a couple other things that weren’t so hot, but he did show up and make a couple plays, so that was good. Again, we got contributions from a lot of guys on defense: Ras-I [Dowling] and Sterling [Moore], Alfonzo, of course Devin [McCourty] and Kyle [Arrington], both safeties. We had a lot of guys contribute, but it was good to see Alfonzo out here. Good to see.