Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick
November 25, 2022
Q: On the kickoff return, what did you see, that contributed to that result?
BB: We obviously didn’t do a good enough job. The other returns, I think they got to the 20-yard line or not much past that. But obviously that was a bad play. We just had a couple of breakdowns on the play.
Q: I know it wasn’t quite like last week where the red zone drives started moving backwards. But 0-for-3 on getting it into the end zone. Is there something philosophical you think that has to change? Or do you find it game-to-game? I don’t know what it was last night.
BB: Well, we lost yardage on the reverse. But there was the end of the half drive and the drive after [DeVante Parker’s] catch. So yeah, obviously we have to do a better job there. Not any one thing, just in general. There’s different circumstances, different plays. We just have to do a better job.
Q: Just on special teams as a whole, obviously Mike [Reiss] mentioned the return. What was the sense as to what you got there in the punting game and all around?
BB: All around. Well like I said, the kickoff coverage was good except for one play. We had good field position on a kickoff return. Then they touchbacked us I think on the rest of them. Overall net punt was certainly less than theirs. So they cover well. Hit a couple long balls. We weren’t able to get the returns started which we should’ve been able to do, but we weren’t. We forced a missed extra point. Good edge rushes. But that was pretty much of a wash. So couple big plays there that really skewed the game. Obviously, you referred to them and those were huge plays in the game. But we didn’t do well.
Q: On the kickoff return it looked like [Kyle] Dugger may have been held. Did you see that? Do you coach just to fight through that and make a play there? What were your feelings on that because that was obviously a huge game changer?
BB: Well I mean obviously we need to do a better job than what we did. Like I said, there’s a couple things on that play that came up that we didn’t do well enough.
Q: I had another one on special teams. I know with a minute left receiving that punt it’s long odds either way so it might not be right or wrong necessarily. But do you want that return in that situation instead of letting it go in the end zone hoping to maybe get more than the 20 yards even if it costs some time?
BB: It was a tough one. Yeah, in retrospect I don’t know. We ended up getting it out to, I don’t know, the 15-yard line, something like that and just a couple of yards. I think take a shot at making a big play in that situation. I’m alright with that. If we had done a better job with our blocking, did a better job to get him started, we might’ve had a chance there. So that situation. You don’t have a lot of options right there. I’d say punt return in that situation is not a bad option.
Q: When you look at this game obviously against an elite team on a short week, do you see progress for this group in that you were competitive, and a couple of mistakes moved the game here or there? And you’re pleased with where the team sits at this point, just need to clean up some things? What is your evaluation?
BB: Well every week we play there’s some things, there are good things to work with and there are other things we need to work on and improve. This game is no different. So that’s the way it is every week. Things to build on. Things that need to be better.
Q: Going back to the Hunter Henry replay reversal, I’m just curious how you thought that reversal affected the flow of the game, or how much it changed the game?
BB: I don’t know. It’s a four-point play. I don’t know. There were a lot of other things that happened besides that.
Q: Just wanted to ask about Ja’Whaun Bentley overall and the job you think he has done this year with the defensive unit just as a play caller and also his on-field play
BB: Yeah, good. Ja’Whaun’s been really good for us since first day of the offseason program, all spring, training camp. His communication, leadership on defense. He has made a lot of big plays for us. Obviously he’s done a really good job.
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