The Patriots are back at Gillette Stadium to go over the film of yesterday’s season-opening win in Tennessee, and Bill Belichick gave an assessment of some of the things he saw in his press conference. Here are some quick hits.
Like I said yesterday, the players really did a good job, they deserve really all of credit for the outcome of the game. I thought we played physically for 60 minutes, made plays in all three phases of the game, scored 27 points offensively, that’s OK, we didn’t turn the ball over; defensively we had a solid day, special teams we had real good field position; defensively we played on a long field, a few short-field opportunities between the defense and special teams, so those things were good. Didn’t turn the ball over, had a couple, didn’t have a lot of penalties. Titans threw a lot of things at us that were new, like you always see on opening day, pretty typical of an opener. Again I thought the players did a good job adjusting to them and playing through some situations in the game, I thought they handled themselves well, so we have a long way to go, we certainly left a lot of plays out on the field that could have been better, we could have made more out of or more opportunities for us to gain more yards or give up fewer or turn the ball over, that sort of thing, we’ll try to correct those today and get on to Arizona. It’s good to win, it’s good to be 1-0, but we have a long way to go and hopefully we can continue to improve this week.
What did you see from Stevan Ridley’s performance?
I thought he ran hard. I thought he ran hard. He had some good runs, he had some other runs that we talked about that could have been better. I thought he finished runs, ran hard, broke a couple of tackles in the secondary. Overall we need to be more consistent in running game, we still left yards out on the field, plenty of them, for one reason or another, combination of everything. We’ll just keep trying to improve that. We had some good plays to the outside, we were able to get outside, get to the tackle, outside areas, and Stevan made some yards after contact, or in a couple cases he made secondary players miss around the line of scrimmage and got some extra yardage.
How rookies Dont’a Hightower & Chandler Jones have done picking things up mentally
Well I’d say Dont’a has a lot of responsibility at his position relative to formations and adjustments, pass coverage, run responsibility and all that, but he did a lot of those things at Alabama and played a couple of different spots in their defense at Alabama, which has some similarities to what we do. I think he was very well coached and schooled when he got here and he’s a smart guy, and he’s picking things up pretty well. Chandler, less experienced, but probably less variables at his position, although there are still plenty of them, but probably not to the degree that Dont’a has as a regular and nickel linebacker and all those kind of things. But both players have done a reasonably good job of that; they’re both smart, they’ve worked hard, and they’ve both been out there. They’ve gotten a lot of reps on the field. That’s always a good way to learn, is to experience it, go through it, make a mistake, correct it, go out there and do it again, get it right, so there’s a lot to be said for that. A lot of our young players have gotten the opportunity to do that, they’ve been on the field, they’ve practiced, they’ve made mistakes, corrected them, gone back out, got it right the next time and been able to move onto something else. So that’s been positive. Those two guys have done a good job.
Belichick was asked about Tom Brady’s nose and said “he’s all right,” and did not have an update on Dan Connolly, who left the game with a head injury.