Patriots HC Bill Belichick


OCTOBER 22, 2023


BB: A good win for us today. A good team victory. You know, we had a lot of contributions from all three units; offense, defense, special teams. There was a lot of good football. Obviously, Buffalo’s a very a good team, quality team, very explosive. So, you know, it came down to the last handful of plays and fortunately this week we were able to make them. Good day today. Still got a lot of work to do, things we can do better. But it’s good to have those results.


Q: Bill, after Mac Jones hit Rhamondre Stevenson to get down to the seven, you called your last time-out. So you have first and goal at the seven and Mac hit Demario Douglas at the one-yard line. He did not get out of bounds but had the pass interference call which stopped the clock. In retrospect, the way things went, how did that pass interference call change the complexion at the end of the game?

BB: I mean, it is what it is. Kind of the same thing happened at the other end. There were flags, there were no flags, they pick them up, they throw them late. I don’t know. But, yeah, there’s a defensive penalty, it stops the clock. That’s what it is. When you’re on defense in those situations, penalties are never a good thing. We had them, they had them. It helps the offense.


Q: Hi, Bill. What did you see from Mac Jones today, especially on that last two-minute drive?

BB: Well, I mean, got a good offensive drive. We had a good run there by Rhamondre [Stevenson] and, you know, got up a lot of – covered a lot of field. But Mac made a good check on the blitz, got it to the weak side to [DeVante] Parker, and hit Pop [Demario Douglas] down there, a good throw for the touchdown. A lot of good football. Pass protection. I mean, they were rushing, they were blitzing, they picked them up, we threw it, we caught it. It was good execution.


Q: Coach, you got players making plays on both sides of the ball, guys stepping up big time. But Peppers, he seems to come through for you week in and week out. How big is Jabrill?

BB: Yeah, Pep’s [Jabrill Peppers] had a good year. Very explosive player, hard tackler. Big play on the interception. That was a nice kind of – we got hit on that play against them last year. And we worked on it in practice. He played it well. Did a nice job to go up and high point the ball. We worked a lot on [Josh] Allen throwing the ball down the field. He had that one in the end zone, it seemed like he threw it about 70 yards. I don’t know how far it was, J.C. [Jackson] broke it up down there. Those kind of 50/50 deep balls are tough. He’s got a big arm and he’s got good receivers. But, yeah, Pep’s been good for us. And, you know, he’s helped us in the kicking game, as well. And you mentioned offense and defense. But I thought Chad [Ryland]m had a big kick there, a 49-yarder. A punt return gave us good field position there in the first quarter. Covered kicks, obviously, a lot better than we did the last time we played them. And punts. Bryce [Baringer] had a big field position swing there. All the units contributed and it’s good to have that.


Q: Bill, first few games here at home this year, you guys started slowly, playing from behind, turnovers, that kind of thing. Today, you had the lead. What was the difference for your team here today?

BB: Yeah, well, I mean, they played well today. There’s still room for improvement. But, yeah, we’ll see how it goes the next time we play at home.


Q: Bill, what factored into the decision to put Mike Onwenu at right tackle today? And is the plan to keep him there going forward?

BB: Yeah, we’ll see. I’ll talk to Mike about it. I don’t know. Yeah, I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes.


Q: Bill, what is your reaction to becoming the third head coach with 300 wins behind Don Shula and George Halas?

BB: I mean, it’s great. I’m really more focused on, you know, our team and this year. Worry about that later. Thank you.


Q: Bill, I’m wondering how much a drive like the last drive today for your offense can help generate confidence in Mac Jones moving forward, for everybody, players, coaches, staff?

BB: Yeah, I don’t know.


Q: How about for you, then, individually? How much more confidence might you have when — ?

BB: I have confidence in all our players. That’s why we put them out there. If I didn’t have confidence, I wouldn’t put them out there.


Q: On the other side, Demario Douglas had a lot more production today. Just what did you see from him after coming back from that concussion?

BB: Yeah, I mean, Pop’s [Demario Douglas]’s quick. You know, he got some separation on a few routes, made a couple tough catches. The seam pass was a good catch. He got held on the play action over route on the first drive, I think it was. Short yardage play. Yeah, I mean, the big thing for all of us is just obviously, offensively, ball security. From every person on the team. So quarterbacks, receivers, running backs, tight ends. Everybody who handles the ball, if we can just take care of the ball, that will help us a lot. And so, it’s the number one thing for everybody.


Q: Bill, Mac gave a lot of credit to the offensive line today. Just overall as a group, I’m just curious your thoughts about the blocking upfront, the two tight-end sets. The change with the O-line, I’m just curious your thoughts on the overall performance upfront today?

BB: I think it was one of our most consistent offensive performances of the year. You know, we had a couple long drives last week. You know, today, I don’t know, we had to punt a couple times. It wasn’t very many, which is good. That’s always a good thing. What, we had 10 punts against New Orleans or whatever it was. So, yeah, we moved the ball, we scored points, we changed field position. Again, that’s not one person. One person can’t do it. You have to have 11 guys working together. And Billy [O’Brien] did a good job all week with the game plan. Team went in there and played, you know, with good competitive level, better fundamentals and better execution. So that’s a good place to start.


Q: Hi. There’s been a lot of discussion as of late about your contract extension. Is there anything you would like to share with Patriots fans about –  

BB: Yeah, I never talk about my contract. I focus on the game and try to focus on Buffalo. Now I’ll focus on Miami. Yeah, you can count on that.


Moderator: Scott Zolak in the back.

BB: Thanks Zo. Could you like lob a softball up there for me or something? I can hit a single, I don’t need to hit it out of the park. Could you softball me one?


Q: Can you talk about having to call a timeout on the field goal?

BB: Yeah, that was a – that could have been costly. Obviously, we – that was a mistake, you know, on our part. And I’d say, you know, normally, probably just think about taking the delay penalty and kick it. But the way the wind was today, those kicks were hard. I know it’s from the 15-yard line, but you back it up, it’s a lot tougher kick. We blew a time-out on that. But thank you for reminding me that, appreciate that. You know, bad coaching, bad management. But, yeah, normally that would kind of be a time-out thing. But based on the way it was today, that was a good kick. Chad [Ryland] made a 49-yarder. And you saw what happened on [Tyler] Bass’ field goal. It looked like one of my five irons, straight to the right. It was a tough wind out there today. But, yeah, that was the – we decided to take the delay and try to make it a little bit shorter kick.


Q: Hey, Coach. Just on Pop Douglas again for a second. His skill set, how does that kind of open up things for the other skilled position guys? You, obviously, send him in motion a lot, he’s a guy you have to watch out for. Does that open up other opportunities for other receivers, the running game, when you have somebody that has to be accounted for like that?

BB: I mean, I don’t know. Hopefully they account for everybody. I mean, you got to account for Bourne, Hunter Henry, Gesicki, Parker, Stevenson. I mean, I don’t know. You’d have to ask Buffalo about that. I don’t know. Hopefully they’re accounting for everybody. If not, we should be getting them the ball.


Bill, can you talk about the final drive you saw and the final touchdown? In particular, what you liked about it?

BB: Well, you know, the way Buffalo plays down there, it’s really hard to throw the ball on the goal line. They did a real good job of taking the goal line away. You kind of got to throw behind them into the back of the end zone, you know, with a flag or some type of play in the back end line type of thing. Because on the goal line, they’re really aggressive and they – you know, it’s just hard to stuff the ball in there. So it was a good throw. A good, high throw against that coverage is kind of what you need to do when they play like that. And there’s some plays where they drop back and play a little bit of cover two down there. But, you know, they play aggressively and it’s hard to get open and find space. And sometimes the space is behind the defense on the goal line instead of right on the goal line.


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