Patriots coach Bill Belichick's reaction following a 27-24 win over the Saints was predictable. He saw some good things, some bad things, didn't get too excited about any of it. Here's a selection of postgame commentary from the press conference room and the locker room.
Belichick opening comments:
"Well, I thought we had a good week of practice this week, culminating with a game tonight. Real competitive game, went right down to the last minute situation, and I thought the players played hard for 60 minutes. It certainly wasn't perfect, we had a lot of mistakes out there, but you know, we made some plays and there were positives, I think, in all three phases of the game -- offense, defense and special teams -- and we had some problems in all three places, too."
Belichick on why Wes Welker didn't play:
"The players that didn't dress and play tonight, we just didn't feel they were ready to play."
Receiver Julian Edelman, who had six receptions for 90 yards and returned a punt 40 yards in the first quarter, on being more comfortable this season:
"I’ve got a little more familiarity with the offense. I still have a long way to go. I still have to keep on working hard, keeping my notes, preparing hard every week."
Belichick on Edelman's performance:
"I think that Julian's a good player. He works hard, he really pays attention to little things, and Julian's one of those players that when you ask him to work on something, he really puts everything into it and tries to do what coaches ask him to do," Belichick said.
Edelman, on what he's learned from Wes Welker:
"I learn everything. I learn about how to be a professional from Wes. I learn how to prepare. I learn how to run routes. It was a blessing to come here and sit behind a guy like that and watch him practice and run routes and how he prepares."
Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, on the amount of playing time he saw tonight:
"Every time we go out there, whether its practice or not, we have opportunities. We just have to go out there and execute as an offense."
Safety Patrick Chung, on practicing against the Saints this week before playing them:
"That's a live game playing out there. It's good for both teams. It's a good way of getting different speed. (Working with another team gets you ready for the game."
Cornerback Darius Butler, on the performance of rookie corner Devin McCourty:
"He looked good. I'll see more on film, but he looked good. When I was out there and he was out there, he looked good."
And here's a couple from the Saints' perspective:
Coach Sean Payton on the game:
"Overall, coming up here for this week was a great experience for us. We got a lot of work in with New England. I just thought watching the game without having looked at the tape there were too many sloppy things that we've got to get corrected. I know that it is the first week of the preseason, yet there are still a number of things that are disturbing."
"I thought we gave up too many returns obviously in the kicking game. We got in some third-down situations offensively early on that we struggled with and defensively early on we had trouble getting off the field. There were a few bright spots, but when you lose a game and regardless of whether it's preseason or not, there are a number of things we've got to get corrected."
Quarterback Drew Brees, on the game:
"We would have liked to start off a little crisper than we did. To have two three-and-out drives to start, it's one little thing here and there, eventually to get that first first down and they stopped you before you even get going. To focus on the positive, we got into that third drive and converted a couple of third downs with a great mix of run and pass and ended up getting a touchdown out of it."