Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick Transcript
October 25, 2022
Q: Wanted to ask you, I know you mentioned the whole situation last night as the benefit of the pre-planned rotation at quarterback. Why was the decision more complicated once Mac [Jones] was healthy, to simply play the better player for the whole game?
BB: Well again Andrew [Callahan], there’s a lot of things that went into that. So I don’t really have the time to get into it here. It’s more complicated than that. But I’ll just leave it as we did what we felt was best for the team and the players involved. Obviously, it didn’t work out. But that was the decision.
Q: What in your mind made it not work out, aside from obviously the loss, which was the result of many other players and coaches’ performances?
BB: Yeah, that’s basically it.
Q: How did you feel Mac moved around?
BB: He looked alright.
Q: As you move forward, is it fair to say if he’s healthy, he’s the starter?
BB: Again, that’s a hypothetical question. So let’s see where that is and what that is.
Q: Given the dynamics of how everything happened last night with the fans obviously chanting for Bailey [Zappe] and the way things happened with Mac [Jones], are you concerned that last night could be problematic in terms of his development and confidence?
BB: No, I think Mac [Jones] has plenty of confidence.
Q: What were your feelings about obviously he worked hard to get back. Jakobi [Meyers] mentioned that the fan reaction was difficult to hear. What were your thoughts on how the fans were obviously consistently chanting for Bailey while Mac was trying to perform?
BB: Yeah, I really can’t control that. Just trying to coach a football team. Obviously, I have a lot of work to do there. So I’m going to focus on that.
Q: Was Mac Jones healthy enough to play the entire game last night?
BB: Well, that didn’t happen. So that’s another hypothetical question.
Q: I’m just curious, you mentioned health was one of the reasons he came out of the game. But he made mention of the fact that he felt pretty good last night when we spoke to him.
BB: Right, yeah. But that was, that wasn’t 70 plays.
Q: Do you feel like you need to address the quarterback situation with the team? In your opinion can it impact other players if there is some uncertainty at that spot because it is a unique position?
BB: As I said after the game Phil [Perry] I think we need to all do a better job coaching, playing, offense, defense, special teams. We need to do a better job in every area. Period. So everything needs to improve based on last night.
Q: I know it’s kind of a big, larger question that could probably be answered in a short answer. But just after 14-10, taking the lead there, how would you say in your estimation how did it get away from you?
BB: Didn’t play well enough or coach well enough in any phase of the game to have a chance to win or to deserve to win.
Q: Bill, I know you just told Phil [Perry] that it was a hypothetical question if Mac was healthy enough to play the rest of the game last night, but you also said to us last night that Mac was not returned to play because the score got out of hand. It seems it, to your knowledge, in the second half of that game and afterward, he was healthy, correct?
BB: I didn’t want to put him in that situation and so, that was my decision.
Q: Hey Bill, after the game, Matt Eberflus discussed how the Mike Pennel [Jr.] hit on David Andrews was unacceptable for the team. Did you get a look at the play, and have you gotten any communication from the Bears after that play on David?
BB: I think Coach Eberflus probably put it well, so I don’t have anything to add to that.
Q: Hey Bill, with the plan last week to rotate the quarterbacks to get them both ready to play, do you think that’s tenable moving forward or do you think you just need to pick a guy and have him get most of the reps during the week and kind of have him know that he’s the guy?
BB: Well, it’ll depend on what the situation was. That wasn’t the situation last week. We’ll see what it is this week. I don’t know.
Q: What was it about [Justin] Fields last night that just made him so difficult to defend?
BB: Well, he’s an athletic guy. We’ve faced those guys before, but obviously he did a better job of playing against us than we did of defending him. Give the Bears credit for all that they did last night. We obviously need to do better. So, a combination of those two things.
Q: Bill, I know the score became what it did later in the third quarter, but you did have two drives to start the second half, where it was a two-possession game still and I know the plan was to eventually bring Mac back. Why go with Bailey for those first couple second half drives?
BB: Felt like that was the best decision at that point in time.
Q: I mean, you guys had scored, I think, in your second to last possession in the first half, did any perceived momentum have anything to do with that decision?
BB: Yeah, I don’t know. There were a number of factors, but in the end, always try to do what we feel is best for the team. Didn’t work out on the final score, but those decisions are always made based on the team and to a degree, the individual player’s situation, whatever that might happen to be.
Q: Bill, how did you view the weather conditions affecting the punting game, if at all?
BB: I mean, there was no wind. It was misting. It’s not like punting in a dome, but certainly seen worst. Last year in Buffalo. It’s the National Football League. Play outdoors in New England in October, November, December, it’s going to be whatever it is.
Q: With Jake [Bailey] specifically, what are you seeing from his performance to this point?
BB: As I said Mike [Reiss], we need to play better in all three phases of the game, special teams, offense, defense. Coach better and play better. Every player, every coach, every unit, falls under that. We all need to do a better job. That includes everybody, that doesn’t exclude anybody.
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