Transcript of media sessions with quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick following the New England Patriots' 40-32 victory over the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Provided by the Buffalo Bills.
Q: The offensive line obviously played well….What did you think of how those guys played, especially the young guys on the team?
A: Yeah, they played great and they’ve been coming together since the spring. It was a big challenge, certainly the crowd noise and the quality of the players we faced--I thought they were pretty great. They stepped up to the challenge and it was a great win.
Q: You’ve played in a lot of hostile environments, this game was hyped as a big game for Buffalo, this is the idea that we are finally going to settle the score with you guys, but to you guys, you’ve been in this situation so many times, does it matter at all when the crowd gets cranked up?
A: I think the execution is ultimately what it comes down to. They went down and scored to start the game and it was really loud there’s no doubt, we had to call timeouts the first drive, and I thought the good plays we made, I thought the screen ball to Gronk, our first touchdown drive was a big play. I think big plays settle them down a little bit. We had a lot of good plays but I think we left a lot of plays out there. It’s a good team, great defense, a tough place to play, and it was a great win. Great to be 2-0.
Q: After their first drive it looked like you weren’t going to get any plays in all day and then the next time you get the ball and make some plays and it’s all kind of behind you, is there an element to that? Not to say giving away that first drive, but just not panicking.
A: Sure, you’re calling plays hoping to go out there and execute them. You have a game plan and you go out there on the field and you see what happens and you make some plays and obviously the first drive we didn’t, it was tough, but then we came to the sideline and kind of settled down and then made a bunch of plays the rest of the game. The games not won in the first series, like you saw today, we came back at the end. We have a lot of games coming up against this team and they have a lot of good players and a good coach, this is a tough place to play but it’s great to be 2-0. Certainly to get a division win on the road is always huge.
Q: Tom were you totally comfortable running out the clock in the fourth quarter, passing the ball? A lot of teams would just run and try to run out the clock, that didn’t seem to be your attack at all.
A: Yeah, we threw the ball a lot, I don’t know if I’ve ever thrown it that much.
A: Yeah, that’s what I thought- it was a lot of throws. There will be a lot of different ways to win and I think the big thing is to find a way to run and pass it. We went into the fourth quarter, the defense had intercepted balls and I thought a lot of our guys made a lot of great plays. Aaron Dobson stepped up, Dion [Lewis] is playing great, and obviously Gronk and Jules [Julian Edelman], Danny [Amendola] made a huge play, Steve [Gostkowski] kicking just clutch. Clutch plays on defense with very timely plays, Chandler [Jones] had a bunch of sacks--so it took everybody. We knew that’s what it was going to take and it’s a great feeling.
Q: Did you expect to go out there, I mean it was 466 yards for you, that’s the most you’ve ever had against them, it’s the most anybody’s had against them.
A: I mean we threw a lot. I think it took a lot of good execution and we made the plays. I thought we still left some plays out there. We’re trying to go out there and execute, I mean every play in practice, every play in the game, has to be the best we possibly can so like anything we learn from it, we take the good plays and figure out what we need to do better and start the clock to get ready for next week.
It’s always good to come up here and win. There was a lot of energy in the stadium, in pre-game and so forth. I thought that after the first drive our team showed a lot of mental toughness and resiliency to come back in a pretty hostile atmosphere; to take the lead and play from ahead most of the game. There are certainly a lot of things we could do better. We left a lot of plays on the field. We just have to keep trying to coach better and play better; play with more consistency. We had a good week of preparation and we were ready to go. We did a lot of things well, but there are certainly a lot of things we need to do better. We’ll concentrate on that, but it’s always good to win a road division game and come up here in Buffalo. That’s always a good thing.
Q: Even winning, do you ever go back and second guess things you did?
A: Every game you do what you think is best. And sure, after every game we’ll go back and look at things. We always do that and see things that we can do better as a team, as a coaching staff and in our preparation. We do that every week.
Q: Do you feel like you kept the Buffalo Bills in the game by passing as much as you did?
A: I think we did what we thought was best to win the game. That’s what we always do.
Q: You talked before the game about how hard it is to anticipate exactly what a team will do. You said it takes about 15 plays, but their first drive was a 10-play drive. Was their first drive a good illustration of what they were trying to do?
A: We obviously didn’t play very well defensively on the first drive. They made a couple plays they were playing the scramble. That was big one to get them started. They hit the boot pass for a touchdown, so it was a variety of things that came up in that drive. It wasn’t just one play repeating over and over again. You’ve got to be ready to play from the opening kickoff in this league. Defensively, they didn’t really blitz the whole first half. They ran a couple of zone pressures where one guy blitzed and the other guy dropped. They didn’t really play pressure at all in the second half, and then we saw a little more pressure defense. We kind of anticipated that at half time. We didn’t think they would keep doing the same thing for as long as they did, but they pretty much did the whole first half.
Q: This has been one of the most anticipated games here in a long time, but your team has played in plenty. Do you think experience benefitted your team at all?
A: I don’t know. There are a lot of teams that are on the team this year that weren’t on the team last year or any other year. This year is its own year. This team is its own team. We’ll see what we do. I don’t know.
Q: How important were the quick passes and no huddle offense today?
A: Obviously that was a big part of the game plan. We pretty much did that the whole game. We thought that would give us a little bit of an advantage. I mean, we moved the ball and must have had 500 yards out there. We still left a lot on the field. We just have to focus on the things we can do better.
Q: Brady dropped back to pass 61 times and was only sacked twice. What does that say about the offensive line?
A: I thought the line did a pretty good job. If I remember correctly, I don’t think either sack had anything to do with the offensive line--just poor execution.
Q: How about Dion Lewis today?
A: We’ll go back and look at everybody. We competed hard. We got plays from a lot of different players in all three phases of the game. It was a team win. Everyone contributed. We played hard as a team. We prepared hard, and we got something to show for it. We came up here and scored point. We’re 1-0 in the division.
Q: What did you see on the [Danny] Amendola catch on the last drive?
A: It was a good catch. There were a couple plays where they had good coverage, but it was a good throw and a good catch. Great concentration. It was a big play. The punt return was big too. The sack that we almost got the safety on, the punt return and the personal foul put us in great field position there in the second quarter. We got plays from everybody, all the units. We need to keep playing complementary football like that.
Q: Did [Tom] Brady look like he’s as sharp as ever?
A: No, I think there’s a lot of things we can do better. Everybody can do better. I didn’t think it was all that spectacular by anyone, but it was good enough, but we’ve got a lot of room to improve.
Q: Rex said that he was outcoached by you. Do you buy into that sort of thing?
A: No, it’s our players. Our players went out there and played. They made the plays to win the game and I’d say they probably overcame some not so great coaching on my part. I’ll give the credit to our players. They did a good job. They deserve the credit. They’re the ones that made the plays.
Q: Is there anything in particular that makes you think it was not so great coaching?
Q: You finished with eight sacks. How impactful and disruptive was the defensive run?
A: We had our moments. We let them run around a lot too. [Tyrod] Taylor ran around and he scrambled and threw for big yardage. I didn’t think it was all that great. We made some plays and we gave up some plays. It wasn’t very consistent. We’ve got to coach better, be more disciplined and play better. We’ll see it again this upcoming week. We’re going to have to do a better job than we did today.