Patriots

‘It’s not like we’ve never seen Tom Brady before’: Bill Belichick on facing his former quarterback

"They're a good football team, he's a great quarterback. I think that all goes without saying."

Bill Belichick Tom Brady
Bill Belichick during the Buccaneers-Patriots game. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

After losing 19-17 to the Buccaneers on a missed field goal, Bill Belichick was left to rue a few missed chances in a game ultimately decided by the thinnest of margins.

“Well it was obviously a little disappointing to come up short here tonight,” Belichick said in the postgame press conference. “I thought that we had our chances and just could’ve done a couple of things a little bit better. Might have been able to change the outcome, but we just fell a little bit short.”

BRADY's RETURN

Despite the loss, the Patriots’ coach credited his team’s work in the buildup to the highly anticipated matchup.

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“I thought our team really prepared well this week,” Belichick noted. “That’s what we have to do every week. Just coach a little bit better, and make a few more plays and start winning these close games.”

But aside from the larger circumstances of the game itself, the return of Tom Brady was clearly a major subplot.

That said, Belichick reiterated that it was far from the first time the Patriots’ defense faced off against the 44-year-old.

“We went against Tom Brady every day in practice defensively, so it’s not like we’ve never seen Tom Brady before,” Belichick explained. “They’re a good football team, he’s a great quarterback. I think that all goes without saying.”

As for his own team’s quarterback, Belichick praised Mac Jones.

The 23-year-old rookie connected on 31 of 40 passes in the game, including a streak of 19 consecutive completions.

“I thought our team played competitively, and Mac’s certainly part of that,” said Belichick. “We can all play better and all learn from some of the things we could’ve done better. Mac fought hard and made a lot of plays for us.”

Asked about Jones’s ability to lead a comeback — a feat he nearly pulled off — Belichick again noted how it’s a learning experience.

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“Mac’s a good player,” said Belichick. “He knows how to compete. He knows how to win. He can learn things tonight like we all can, so we will.”

And on the fourth and three situation at the end of the game — the moment when Belichick opted to attempt a field goal instead of going for it — the Patriots’ coach gave a brief response when asked if he considered keeping his offense on the field.

“Not really,” Belichick replied.

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