Comments from Bill Belichick's post-game press conference:
"I thought it was a good win for our team out there today. We got off to a little bit of a slow start, but I thought that in the end all three phases came back and we made some plays. We had some good coverage plays on special teams and finally got the punt return going a little bit. Defensively after that long drive there in the first quarter, we played better after that. Offensively we kind of sputtered around a little bit there, but then we started scoring some points in that second and third quarter, even though we moved the ball earlier we weren’t able to convert and get the kind of points that we would like to get off of those drives. In the end, we made enough plays to win. That was good. I thought the players played hard, especially after we got past that first quarter, quarter-and-a-half there. We just didn’t do a good job. Buffalo ran some new schemes on us and we had a little trouble adjusting to those, but I thought the players did a good job in the end. Now we’re moving on to Cincinnati."
You mentioned the punt return game. Can you maybe expound upon that a little bit? It seemed like that sparked a little bit of a turnaround.
"We haven’t really done anything with the punt return game all year, including preseason. We’ve worked hard the last couple of week and we usually work on it one day a week. We’ve worked on it two, and one time even three days just to put more emphasis on it and try to improve. I think it all starts with getting those guys held up on the line of scrimmage. Wes [Welker] made some good decisions, good ball handling, it was a tough ball he handled on the long one. I don’t know how far it went. It seemed like it went about 70 yards. What was it?"
"75. That guy is a great punter. It was just a combination of things. No penalties. That’s the best way to get a punt return, is to not get it called back. That was good. It was something that we’ve worked hard on and I’m glad that we can reinforce that with some positive results."
It looked like your offensive line had a pretty good day, especially keeping [Aaron] Schobel out of the backfield. Can you talk about their performance a little?
"We tried. We certainly put enough guys over there to try to block him, but they still got us a few times and then they moved him inside and stunted him. He’s a tough guy to block. He’s really a good player. He’s quick. He’s explosive and strong for his size. He’s very instinctive and he has a great motor. He’s a hard guy to stay with. We got him a few times, but he got us too. He’s a guy you have to game plan for. He’s tough."
Is it good to see your team come back after an emotional game last week to put up another win?
"We try to put all of the games behind us as soon as we can. By tomorrow afternoon, we need to get on to Cincinnati, correct the mistakes from this game, watch the tape and move on. It doesn’t really matter whether we win, lose, lose a tough one, win a big one, whatever. We have to get onto the next game. We only have 16. They’re too important and we can’t let one game carryover into another one. I think the guys are pretty good about trying to do that. This will be an important week for us to get off to a good start against Cincinnati, especially defensively. We know what they’re capable of doing from a production standpoint. They can score a lot of points."
Does anything Randy [Moss] does surprise you or do you think you’ve seen enough of him?
"There’s a lot of things he can still work on. He hasn’t had that much time in the offense, but his production has been good. Tom [Brady] has been able to find him when he’s been open and Randy has been able to convert. It was a really nice play down there in the red area on the slant pattern. It was really good coverage by [Jabari] Greer. There was almost no space to get the ball in there. It was just well executed and that’s what it needs to be down there. It was good."
Did you see Randy’s second touchdown catch at all from where you were?
"Are you talking about the one down the sideline in front of their bench?"
"When Brady let it go, it looked to me like it was going to be an incomplete pass. It didn’t really look like there was much room for the ball to get in there and if it did, the defender would probably get it and somehow it would drop just beyond the corner, just inside the sideline right into Randy’s hands. I was a long way away from it. I didn’t really get a good look at it, but when the ball left his hand the last thing I was thinking was, ‘This is going to be a touchdown.’"
You’ve seen a lot of great things from Tom over the years. These past couple of weeks, has this been as good of a stretch that he’s played that you’ve seen?
"I think he’s played well. He’s had some other games that were pretty good games. It doesn’t really matter. We have a long way to go. We just need to keep improving each week. I’d like to see him handle the ball a little bit better and not fumble it down there on the goal line. I’m sure he’d like to have that play back. There’s always going to be plays like that that every player would like to have back, calls that every coach would like to have back. We have a long way to go and I hope that we can continue to get better."
It seemed like Laurence [Maroney] ran with some more authority today and he was decisive in his cuts. Is that accurate?
"I think Laurence has done a good job for us. He’s done a good job for us. I thought the line blocked well. The way that Buffalo plays defense sometimes it’s a little bit of if there’s a good hole there that you can get through or there’s nothing and we saw some of both. I thought the backs ran hard, but I think they’ve been running hard."
How do you feel about the balance of your offense? Do you feel at all that the efficiency of your running game has been overlooked?
"Well, the most important thing to me is scoring points on offense. I don’t really care how we score them. We’ve thrown the ball a lot. We’ve run it a lot. We’ve been balanced. I think in the end, you have to be able to execute the plays that are the most advantageous to you based on your personnel and what the defense is doing. As long as we’re moving the ball and scoring points, then we’re doing well offensively. If we’re not, then we’re not. It doesn’t make any difference what we’re doing. That’s the only reason that unit goes out on the field, is to score. If we just wanted to run three plays and punt, we could find a lot of guys to do that. Their job is to move it."
What was your reaction when Wes Welker lateraled the ball to Randy?
"I don’t think that was the best play that I’ve ever seen; let’s put it that way. When the players have the ball out there, they have to make the plays and it’s their job to do what they think is best. Being aggressive and trying to make plays is good. Being careless and not taking care of the ball is bad. I’ll talk to Wes about it and see exactly what he saw. I don’t think we want to make a habit of that. In that case, it worked out for a few extra yards. It’s hard to get on him, but we’ll try. We’ll get on him anyway."