Patriots coaches and players were at Gillette Stadium on Monday, just hours after suffering their fourth loss of the season. Since Bill Belichick typically gives players Monday off the day after a win in the second half of the season, and New England hasn’t lost a game in November or December (or very early January) since 2009, it’s been a long time since players were required to come to work on a Monday.
In a midday conference call with reporters, Belichick said his feelings on the 41-34 loss to San Francisco didn’t change once he got to review things in detail.
“After watching the film, I don’t feel much differently than I did last night. We just didn’t do anything very well or certainly well enough with any kind of consistency,” he said. “There were times when we had our moments but not enough of them, not consistently enough. We just didn’t coach well enough, didn’t play well enough, didn’t execute well enough; too many things we had to overcome in every area.
“It wasn’t anything that stood out above the rest; it was just too many problems. We all can do a better job than that; it’s just not winning football.”
New England did not pack it in after going down 31-3 in the third quarter, and instead fought back to tie the game. Though the comeback did not result in a win, Belichick found he liked the resiliency.
“I thought they fought hard, absolutely. I thought they fought hard and competed well, it just wasn’t good enough. It was just too many bad plays, too many mistakes; it just wasn’t good enough. But yeah, I thought we competed, we fought, we hung in there until the end. But we just didn’t perform well enough in any area,” he said.
Belichick allowed that there were some things in the game that were done well, and those would be reinforced. The things that weren’t done well would be corrected.
On a couple of personnel notes, Belichick was asked why Mike Rivera started at linebacker in place of Brandon Spikes. Spikes sat out the first defensive series and then came on for the rest of the game. He said it was because Spikes had been limited in practice leading up to the game.
But Spikes has been limited because of knee and ankle ailments for a couple of weeks.
On Patrick Chung playing safety in place of Steve Gregory in the second half – there was no announcement from the team that Gregory had been hurt leading to speculation he may have been benched – Belichick said, “I wouldn’t say it was performance based. Patrick has come back, I think he’s a good player for us. Steve’s done a great job. Steve has really been solid and played well for us; so has Devin [McCourty].
“I know they’re all disappointed in some plays from yesterday, like we all are, but I think those guys are all good players and we give them an opportunity to play.”