Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick


August 10, 2023


BB: Again, good to get that first game under our belt there. Certainly there’s a lot of things we can improve in. I thought there were some positives in the game. Take a look at the film here, take a little closer look at it. But defensively played pretty competitively. Then offensively too many long-yardage situations, couldn’t get a run on third down. Didn’t have a lot to show for our offensive efforts until the last drive of the game. Good to see those guys compete out there. Just a step in the process here. We’ll get back to work here tomorrow and keep grinding going forward.


Q: Can you speak to what you saw from Malik Cunningham tonight?

BB: Yeah, did a nice job. Showed some poise out there, some toughness. Moved the team. That was nice. Did a nice job.


Q: We didn’t see a lot of Malik Cunningham at quarterback throughout the first couple weeks of training camp until the last few days. Is that something he showed in those few practices that made you want to give him a look at quarterback or was that the plan all along?

BB: He’s been working at those spots all week.


Q: How difficult is it for a player who’s preparing at a different position to go in at quarterback and have to manage the playbook and the huddle without as much experience as the other players on the roster?

BB: Yeah, I don’t know. That’s his opportunity. He’s done a good job with it. He’s embraced it, he’s worked hard, he’s improved a lot as a receiver. Snaps he’s had at quarterback in practice and tonight, he’s done a pretty good job.


Q: What has your impression of been of Keion White this summer?

BB: He’s getting better. We’ll have to look at the film on the game. Yeah, Keion has improved all through the spring, in training camp here. See how it went tonight. Seemed like it was all right.


Q: In terms of Demario Douglas, we saw him return a punt, get a few snaps on offense, but not a big workload for him. What goes into your decision in getting him suited up for just a few snaps? How do you decide how a rookie is going to get in and out pretty quick like that?

BB: Again, the play time is kind of based on how the practices have gone, so… Guys that have gotten more work in practice got less time in the game. Guys that got less work in practice got more time in the game so we could evaluate everybody.


Q: How would you rate Bailey Zappe’s job tonight?

BB: We’ll take a look at it. Didn’t turn the ball over. Thought he had some good throws. There’s some tough situations, some long yardage, there’s some pressure. Take a look at it.


Q: Anthony Firkser got to play tonight. Talk about what you saw from him.

BB: Yeah, look, I can’t sit here and give you a rundown on every player. There’s a lot of plays going on out there. I can’t do that. Firk has had a good spring with us, a good camp with us. He has shown up positively. Smart kid. Catches the ball well. Good to have him out there.


Q: You mentioned some of the pressure that Bailey dealt with. Is it difficult to evaluate his night tonight because of the situation with the pressures and having guys in his face?

BB: Yeah, well, I mean, we’re dealing with some injuries on the offensive line. But the guys that were in there got some experience. But, yeah, it’s tough for the backs. It’s tough for the quarterback. Yeah, we didn’t have a lot of space on the offense for the most part tonight.


Q: Over the last couple seasons we mostly saw Jalen Mills at cornerback. What have you seen from him at safety?

BB: Yeah, Jalen is an experienced guy, played safety. Played all the positions really in the secondary. Played the nickel, played the corner. Played safety at Philly. He played safety here for the first year for the better part of – I think all the spring, then a little bit in training camp. He’s a smart, versatile guy. Played all those positions in the NFL. Gives us some good versatility and experience at different spots.


Q: I think we saw Marte hanging out with Steve for a lot of the game. Do you have a sense of what they were working on or what he was doing? Was he logging plays?

BB: Yeah.


Q: Why is that valuable for him when he’s not playing?

BB: Hear the call and follow the game. Somebody’s got to do it, so we let him do it.


Q: Is that a unique thing for him?

BB: No, somebody’s going to do it. Player that’s not going to play in the game, that’s a way to keep them engaged and involved.


Q: Looked like you guys went tempo offensively in the second series. Anything you or Coach O’Brien were trying to achieve or see there on that drive?

BB: Yeah, no, I mean, we’ve mixed that in from time to time all year, so… Yeah, it’s not a big thing.


Q: Anything you saw on that drive as you went tempo that you feel like you learned in a game setting?

BB: No. It’s just more of the operation. Experience of the operation.


Q: How did you think Bryce Baringer did with the punt game? He was in there for the first half.

BB: Yeah, again, we’ll take a look at it. Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, we’ll see.


Q: Wondering is it more of a progression now or is it a big jump between this past week and next week when you go to Green Bay?

BB: Every day is an opportunity, so just try to make the most of every opportunity. Whether it’s practice here or practicing against Green Bay or Tennessee or playing the games or whatever it is. Just try to get the most out of it we can to help get our team ready. Take it as it comes. I don’t know how hard or easy it is. Whatever it is, just try to get the most out of it.


Q: On the turnover where Keion White was in the backfield, what did you see from how he played that play where they had a fumbled exchange there?

BB: Looked like he was just unblocked off the edge. Running him off the ball. Yeah, I’m not sure exactly what happened. I mean, looked like he just came clean, though. Thank you.


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