Bill Belichick was blunt during his post-game conference. Maybe the most notable comment was when he said in his opening remarks, “This is a team that believes a lot in itself, even if other people don’t.”
We pick up the press conference from there:
“You have to give all the credit in the world to the players, to come down here and beat a good football team, as good as they’ve played in this building the last couple years [10-1 in last 11 home games]. It’s a good win for us.”
How crucial was it to get the running game going [30 carries, 141 yards]?
“It’s important to score 31 points, however you score them. It’s nice to run the ball. It’s nice to throw it. It’s nice to pick up third downs. It’s nice to get it into the end zone. In the end, you have to score points to win in this league. All the things that went into it were a part of it.”
How impressed were you with the tight ends?
“I think a lot of guys stepped up; we had good production in the passing game. Daniel [Graham] ran hard, [Benjamin] Watson had a couple of good catches. They finished some plays. It was good. Brady hit them. That’s what the passing game is –- get the ball to the open guy and that guy should be able to make the play with it. It worked out today. It’s not necessarily stuff that was going to anybody [specific], that’s the way the plays turned out. Guys caught them. We had good protection.”
More on the passing game …
“We throw to the open guy. If the guy is open, we try to throw to them. We don’t look at who’s … again, our passing game isn’t designed to go to one guy. It’s designed to distribute the pattern evenly throughout the defense and Tom finds the open receiver, and that’s who it goes to.”
How big is this win?
“Every game is important, every win is important. I don’t rank them but it’s certainly a good one. I’m proud of the team, I’m proud of the players. They played hard and beat a good football team down here. I’m obviously happy about that.”
The Falcons played without Michael Vick …
“They’re a good team. Don’t tell us about injuries. It’s a part of the game.”
More on the offense …
“What we try to do offensively is move the ball and score points. Running game, passing game, tight ends, receivers, backs — that’s not what’s it’s about. It’s about being efficient and executing the plays well. Everybody, it’s not just [one player] –- it’s the receivers, the offensive line. I thought we played well offensively. We didn’t convert a few of the third-and-shorts that I hoped we’d get, but overall it was a pretty productive game for us offensively against a good defense. The passes helped the runs, the runs helped the passes –- it’s all got to be tied in together. When you do that, you have a chance to be efficiently offensively.”
On the Patriots’ 11 penalties and the Falcons’ 8 …
“There were a lot of flags out there today. A lot of flags. Let’s leave it at that.”
On the final field goal by Adam Vinatieri…
“He’s the guy you want kicking them. It was a good operation all the way around –- the snap, the hold, the kick, the protection was good. That’s a good operation. Those guys work awfully hard on that –- the field goal team, Lonie [Paxton at long snapper], Josh [Miller at holder], Adam, and [special teams coach] Brad Seely. You never know when it’s going to come down to that, but they executed well today, as they’ve done many times in the past before. It’s a key play we think we should be able to make and they executed it and made it.”
On the Falcons…
“They have a good offensive football team. Like I was saying all week, we had a lot of things to stop. They have a good running game, a good passing game, a good tight end –- probably as good a tight end [in Alge Crumpler] as there is. So they’re tough to stop. You can’t stop everybody.”
On playing Matt Schaub instead of Michael Vick at quarterback…
“I don’t even want to get into it. It doesn’t matter. Whoever they put out there, they put out there. We can’t control that. We just have to play.”
More to come.