Bill Belichick joked about J.C. Jackson missing practice before ‘star’ performance

Belichick also praised Jamie Collins and Christian Barmore.

Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick before the Patriots' win over the Panthers. AP Photo/John Bazemore

Following the Patriots’ 24-6 win over the Panthers on Sunday, Bill Belichick praised his defense’s dominant display.

“It was great,” said Belichick of New England’s effort in stopping Carolina. “I thought the [defensive] line did a good job, linebackers put good pressure on the quarterback.”

On a day when the Patriots forced three Sam Darnold interceptions, Belichick noted how run stops on early downs helped set up the right circumstances.

“Defensively, a real strong effort in the running game, and forced them into some passing situations,” Belichick pointed out. “We were able to convert on a few of those.”

The turnovers came in the form of two interceptions from cornerback J.C. Jackson and one from linebacker Jamie Collins, who made a skillful catch at near point-blank range.


“That play that Jamie made, I don’t know how many players in the league could make that,” said Belichick. “Not very many, but that was a tremendous play.”

“Just that catch,” Belichick said when asked a follow-up about Collins. “I mean he was like five yards away from the quarterback who threw it as hard as he could. Pretty tough catch.”

Jackson was another player Belichick complimented, even offering a rare joke in reference to the 25-year-old still managing to play well despite missing multiple practices in the week leading up to the game.

“I talked to him about that,” Belichick said of the missed practices. “I hope that’s not a sign of things to come, think that we don’t have to practice and then go out there and be the star of the game. J.C. played well and I think when you miss a couple of days like that, if you’ve had all the other ones that lead up to it, they’re important, but you have a better chance to overcome it.”

On his first interception, Jackson returned it 88 yards for a touchdown, despite being pursued by speedy Panthers receiver Robby Anderson.

“I saw Robby Anderson chasing him,” Belichick added of the interception. “I wasn’t sure how it was going to come out because we know that Robby can go, but J.C. beat him to the goal-line, so it shows you what he can do too.”


One additional player the Patriots’ coach mentioned was rookie defensive tackle Christian Barmore.

“He’s worked extremely hard,” Belichick explained of the 2021 second-round pick. “I have to give that kid a lot of credit. He comes in early, he stays late. He works on his flexibility, his strength, his technique. He’s really applied himself. He’s just gotten better and better every week, in the running game, in the passing game, more disciplined, use of hands, recognition of plays, he’s done a good job for us. He’s a big man.”


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