FOXBOROUGH — Monday’s 42-14 beatdown of the Houston Texans was barely 12 hours old when Patriots coaches Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels, and Matt Patricia participated in their weekly conference call with members of the media.
Questions were split pretty evenly between looking back at Monday’s win, and ahead to another prime time matchup at home, on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
A sampling of what the coaches had to say.
Belichick, on beating the Texans, who came in with the best record (11-1) in the NFL: “Not really a whole lot I can add to what was said last night. It was a good team win. The players really stepped up and did a great job in all three phases. It was good to win last night and it was good the way that we won. I felt like we, like I said, we got a lot of contributions from everybody on the team. Everybody was ready to go. The players did a great job and played well against a good football team.”
On the 49ers: “We’re on to San Francisco; quick turnaround here. The 49ers are a great football team, do a lot of things well and present a lot of challenges. We have to turn the page here – we’ve already turned it, really – turned the page and moved on to the 49ers.”
On San Francisco’s defense: “Yeah, really impressive. They have a lot of good players everywhere: up front, linebackers, corners, safeties, a lot of disruptive players. They’re a real physical defense. They’re hard to run against, they’re hard to block, period. They do a good job in man-to-man coverage. They do a good job in zone coverage. They’re, again, really physical, a lot of guys in zone. Guys catch the ball, but they have two or three guys there hitting them right away as soon as they catch it. Obviously, long yardage is not where you want to be against this team with their pass rush and multiples of zone, man, blitz, zone pressure, man pressure. They give you a lot of different things to work on. They have a lot of good players. They’re a strong, physical, tough football team that does a good job of tackling. They make you earn all your yards. They’re really solid in everything.”
McDaniels, the offensive coordinator, on getting off to a fast start against the Texans: “I think it’s always something you’d like to do, is get off to a good start and get ahead in the game. You always try to run the best plays you can or put the groupings out there that you think can give you the most success or try to put the players in the best positions to be successful as many times as you can and that starts with the beginning of the game. I don’t think that changes based on who you’re playing. You always try to get out there and play well early. And against a really good team as we played yesterday, to go out there and put some points on the board in the first quarter, credit goes to the players. They did a great job of executing some of those things and really made some adjustments there and made some critical plays under pressure that helped us get off to a good start yesterday and play from ahead.”
Patricia, the defensive coordinator, on the play of the defensive line against Houston: “Yeah, you really have to give credit to those guys up front. They did a heck of a job playing really good fundamental, disciplined football. Vince [Wilfork], obviously, leads the charge and is really just a tremendous player for us in the front. He obviously commands a lot of attention from the opponent, which in other cases can help free up teammates. It’s something we talked about earlier in the year – kind of those unsung plays that present themselves where he’s obviously just such a force in there. [He] gets those plays once in a while where he is singled up or he has a chance, the opportunity, to make a big play, which he did quite a bit last night. Really those guys did a great job of reading their keys and using their good fundamental skills and playing the blocks that presented themselves last night and really working off each other based on the schemes we saw.”