Patriots Post-Game Quotes (Week Seven)
Head Coach Bill Belichick
Opening Statement: I thought our guys did a real good job today. Players were ready to go. Had a good week and came out and started, got off to a good start, played from ahead. Had a lot of production offensively and made some big plays on defense, a couple turnovers, stops, and the kicking game was solid, too. I thought we covered well and returned well on the opportunities that we had. The punt return and kickoff return, both of those got us started, and had good balance offensively, and made big plays in the passing game. It was just some good, solid plays, and then had 150 yards rushing, so that’s always a good thing. You know, proud of the way the team has bounced back here. Hopefully we can string another good set of days together and head out to LA.
Q: David Andrews was in here earlier talking about wanting to get a fast start and having you guys build fast starts. I’m curious, four plays into the game you had that pass from Kendrick Bourne to Nelson Agholor for the touchdown. Was that play in there that just happened to present itself at the time within the first series or was it in there maybe to try to ignite a fast start?
BB: Yeah, no, I think it was just kind of the right situation. I mean, Josh [McDaniels] does a great job of mixing plays in to take advantage of the defense’s overaggressiveness, whether it’s pursuit or run force or whatever it happens to be. It was a great call by Josh, and honestly very well executed by everybody. You know, Nelly, it was just kind of the right timing of getting the defender to come up and then get behind him. Obviously KB made a great throw. That was like a quarterback pass. It was a very well-executed play. That’s always the key. Timing and play calling are great, but it always comes down to execution, and those guys really executed it well.
Q: How much of a confidence builder can a game like this be for you guys when you post that many points, going forward now and heading out to the West Coast?
BB: I don’t think we lacked confidence.
Q: What have you seen from Brandon Bolden that’s allowed him to carve out this type of role, especially since James White went down?
BB: Well, Brandon is somebody that’s always been ready, always done well for us. He’s been an outstanding special teams player, just hasn’t really had a lot of opportunity. James has been one of our most dependable and durable players. Of course Brandon didn’t play last year when James missed a little bit of time. We’re very fortunate that we had Brandon be able to step in and do the things that he does, maintain his role in the kicking game and give us some quality plays offensively, especially on third down. He’s good with the ball in his hands, and he’s very smart, handles a lot of assignments, third down, blitz pickup and those type of things are – they’re not easy. He does a good job of that, and as I say, gives us a lot of solid plays in the kicking game.
Q: The first week you allowed 187 rushing yards to the Jets. Today was 62 rushing yards. Was that a big emphasis prior to facing the Jets this week?
BB: The run game? Yeah, absolutely. I thought the Jets really did a good job in the first game. They had some schemes that were tough, put us in some tough spots. It was well designed. They’ve blocked us well. They have good backs. [Michael] Carter and Ty [Johnson] and those guys, they’re hard to tackle. They get some yards on their own. They read the plays well and have good patience there. But I thought up front we tried to not let them be able to get those six-, seven-yard gains and just hand the ball off kind of when they wanted to like they did in the first game. We got them in some longer yardage situations. [Ja’Whaun] Bentley and our defensive line had some stops for little or no gain that created some second and longs, or when they ran on second down it created some third downs and we were able to convert on some of those. But yeah, I thought our run defense has improved here in the last three, four weeks. But that’s always a challenge anytime you see a great back like these guys or [Austin] Ekeler, whoever, it’s always – [Ezekiel] Elliott, whoever it happens to be, they’re one play away from a 70-yard touchdown. Let’s keep working on it, but it was good to be competitive, and then of course the score kind of took them out of the running game most of the second half. I don’t know if we really got the full test of what – I’m sure they would have wanted to run it more than they had the opportunity to, but at least we were ready for it early, and that helped us get ahead.
Q: How did you see Kyle Dugger and Adrian Phillips take over when Devin McCourty goes down and making those checks pre-snap and also one of them being back there alone when you’re in single high how they did throughout the rest of the game?
BB: Yeah, I mean, we’re fortunate we have three really good safeties. Devin has certainly quarterbacked the secondary for a long time back there. But those guys practice and they rotate through there, so Kyle and AP are both very good players in their own right and both smart players, so they handled things. Myles [Bryant] also stepped back in there and played some safety, as well, in a couple of our different defensive groups. Yeah, I thought defensively it was not a perfect effort but a solid effort, and once we kind of say in the fourth quarter got the pass rush going a little bit, that helped us. We tackled well, turned the ball over, had some turnover opportunities, took advantage of them. JC [Jackson] made a great catch on the sideline. Kyle [Dugger] made a great catch on a low ball there. Both of those are big-time plays, and then we punched the ball out there at the end. Just the secondary working together, we played Justin [Bethel], played Joejuan [Williams], had some different combinations in there, but those guys really worked well together and held up well.
Q: Taking you back to Kendrick’s pass again, when a guy is trying something in a game for the first time like that, what’s it like for you on the sideline? Is that kind of a hold-your-breath type of moment?
BB: Well, it is if it hasn’t gone well in practice, but usually when it goes well in practice, you gain confidence in it, they gain confidence in it and you call it. When you don’t do it well in practice, then honestly it usually doesn’t get called. Now, sometimes it’s a little different in the game because the aggressiveness of the defense might be different than what the aggressiveness is of the scout team, and so sometimes some of those plays are designed to really get everybody up and then get behind them. You don’t always get that reaction in practice. Again, generally speaking, some of our kind of one-time plays, misdirection or double passes, things like that, those guys are executing pretty well in practice, so I have confidence in them. And you want the guy that has the ball to have – you want to have confidence in the guy who has the ball that if something goes wrong you’re not going to turn the ball over. If it’s not there, then you just throw it away and go back and line up again, run another play.
Q: Just your thoughts on the first home victory, your first victory here at Gillette Stadium and the offensive explosion that you guys were able to put.
MJ: Yeah, it was great. That’s what we want to do, and I think we got a little flavor of if we do everything right throughout the week and practice well and do our job in the game, it kind of translates over, and you just play together as a unit, as an offense, and then special teams played well, really good. The defense played great. It’s all three phases, and that’s what happens when you can do that. We’re not satisfied. We’ve got plenty of games left, and we’re excited we finally kind of saw a little bit of a result that was good, and we’ve just got to stick to the formula and stick to the process.
Q: First it was Jacobi Meyers, now Kendrick Bourne getting into the mix for throwing touchdown passes. How is it having the ability to have the threat to throw the ball, spread it around so much and being able to execute in the trick plays?
MJ: Yeah, I think it’s great. I think it just adds another variable to our offense. Josh [McDaniels] does a great job scheming up, and I’m not going to give away all of our trick plays, but I think there are good ones. Sometimes we run them, sometimes we don’t, and it just adds like a third element to the game. Yeah, KB had a nice little throw there and a good celebration.
Q: I think you guys scored every time you touched the ball in the first half. How important was it for you guys to start fast, and when you scored touchdowns on the first two drives, what did that do for the group’s confidence going forward?
MJ: Yeah, I think the energy was really good. We’ve made an emphasis to start fast, and that’s what every team wants to do when they get the ball, try and score a field goal or a touchdown. When we do that, it’s good, and when we don’t, we just have to keep playing. You’ve seen us do both, and we’ve just got to continue to come out, and the offensive line had great juice early on, and they played great. I don’t think I got hit but maybe one time on like a trick play or something. It was really impressive the way they played and came together, just everybody just playing together, all 11.
Q: Is it coincidental that on national tight end day that you targeted the tight ends nine times, and to follow that up, is that something you try to do is ramp up the tight end position?
MJ: Yeah, Hunter [Henry] told me it was national tight end day before the game actually, not that it had anything to do with it, but it was just funny. Yeah, I think tight ends, all of our tight ends play well, and they play well in the run game and the pass game and they do exactly what they’re supposed to do. I think it’s good when you have great skill players and great running backs, great receivers, and then our O-line is coming together, and we’re going to keep making progress. I felt comfortable back there, and they did a great job, so it takes all groups and not one specific group. It is good to see everyone getting a little bit of their share, and we’ve just got to keep doing that.
Q: How much of a boost can this game give you, you personally and the offense as a whole?
MJ: Yeah, I think it just goes back to stacking days, and today we were focused on today. That’s a result that showed. We came in and we had good energy, 1:00 kickoff, and we were ready to play. We’ve got to do that every time. It can’t be a one-time thing. Like I said, we’re not satisfied at all by any means. We have plenty of work to do, and plenty to get better at. It just makes it more fun when you can see a little bit of results, and then, like I said, focus on the process of the week and focus on how we can get better.
Q: How did it feel to be able to get a chance to execute a two-minute drive at the end of the half there, and did you feel like that helped you get into any kind of rhythm at all?
MJ: Yeah, I think Josh did a good job there just pushing the tempo, calling great plays, and then offensive line doing their job, I had plenty of time and we were going fast, and with speed comes communication. That’s always good, puts stress on the defense. Yeah, we did a good job just moving the ball down the field, and I’ll have to watch it and just see what I can do better. I know one of the throws was really bad to the right on a little flare. I remember that one. I’ll try and fix that and just keep moving forward.
Q: What did you see on the deep pass to Kendrick? Seemed like you guys were hunting that play a few times today.
MJ: Yeah, I think it was just a one-on-one opportunity, and all of our guys got open, and it’s just pick your poison. I just had good time in the pocket, offensive line did a good job protecting, and then just let it go, and he made a good play. We can continue to do that and just continue to refine other areas that we want to work on. So that was a good start.
(On the development of the offensive line)
“We’re not trying to be the best team in training camp or in August or September. I think we are moving in the right direction. We got a lot more we can do. Today was definitely a step in the right direction.”
(On the team’s trick plays)
“We work on these a lot. So when we do call them it’s not some big thing. We put a lot of time and effort into them. It’s great execution by KB [Kendrick Bourne] and Nelly [Nelson Agholor] and big Mike [Mike Onwenu] who had a big play to cut the defensive end right there. Everyone executed and did their job.”
(On the continuity of the offensive line)
“We’ve been working our tails off, trying to get better. Had some frustrating performances. We come to work each day trying to get better. It was good to rush for what we did today, protect the quarterback for the most part and punch it in on the goal line a few times. Definitely makes you feel good.”
(On the success of the run game)
“We know if we get Damien [Harris] to the second level he’s going to make some plays. He runs the ball hard. He’s a tough kid. As an offensive linemen we love to get guys rolling. J.J. [Taylor] came in and did a great job. BB [Brandon Bolden] always has a little up his sleeve. It was a great job by that group. They made a lot of plays.”
(On Mac Jones’ first 300-yard game)
“It’s a joy getting to work with him. It’s been fun to see how he sees the game and then how I see the game. He does a really good job for us. He’s a really smart kid as a rookie.”
(On the offense’s fast start)
“It’s been something we’ve been trying to do. This week we put together a complete game. Guys really competed and played hard. Great team win. Good complementary football.”
(On goal line opportunities)
“We put a lot of time into goal line, short yardage and sometimes we don’t get those opportunities. As an offensive lineman and running backs you got to love punching it in. And Josh [McDaniels]’s confidence to call those plays. As an offensive line that’s what we want.”
(On the New England Revolution’s success)
“What a great sports city this is! Those guys work really hard. Congrats to them. I’ll be pulling for them”.
(On how it felt to have a win after some losses)
“It is going back to what I said last week. We are just taking it all one day at a time and that is really going to be our approach from here on out. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, then Sunday is here before you know it. One day at a time. That is the formula and that is what we are going to stick to. When the formula works, it works.”
(On the team’s overall performance today)
“It is great complementary football which is what we look to do. Offense, defense and special teams, we all play hand to hand so when it all comes together like that, it is definitely special. We saw the results of that today, so we are just looking to constantly keep that going and be ready for those opportunities when they present themselves again.”
(On the defense’s focus heading into today’s game)
“It is never the same when you see a team twice in the season. Obviously, the last time we saw them, they had a good set of running backs so one of our goals was to stop the running game and like I said earlier, part of complementary football is playing good defense and that was one of our goals going into it. I think we did a good job with that and are always looking to build on that too so we definitely got some pieces today to keep building on that.”
(On the team’s execution in all three phases)
“It doesn’t stop. That is all game. Our goal is to do that the entire game and we have to be able to set each other up to make plays as special teams and defense. Getting turnovers and things like that, that put our offense in certain positions to make plays and then them [offense] doing the same thing for us. When they scored 14 points, we had the opportunity to do certain things on defense which is another thing we like to build on.”
(On if it felt like a throwback to be in the endzone today)
“I wouldn’t say a throwback. We always practice that type of stuff during the week so to just go out there and be able to execute with my teammates, I guess in a way you could say is a throwback since it has been a while. It is fun to be back out there and to get the ball in my hands. That play in general was a great play by Mac [Jones] because Mac stood in there and took a lot of the heat. Offensive line actually did everything they needed to do and the receivers blocked up everything. I really didn’t do much besides move my legs so the other ten guys did a great job.”
(On the play from two yards out and how that speaks to the offense’s success rate for not having to settle for field goals)
“It is a lot of grit and determination. I don’t know if you ever put your head down there but there is a lot going on between a lot of big guys and for them to get down there and actually put their guys in the end zone and just give us a chance to get in there. J.J. [Taylor] got in there, Dame [Damian Harris] got in there on some really tough yards so just the entire offense as a whole was really tough.”
(On if it is a surprise the way Mac Jones commands the offense as a rookie)
“No, not at all. He has been doing that since the first day that I came back in and from what I heard he has been doing that before I got here, so to see him go out there and actually take control of the offense is everything that we have been practicing for. He’s been doing a phenomenal job.”
(On how it felt to walk off the field with a win)
“It was great. Pats Nation showed up and got loud when we needed them to and to give them a win, we all needed that one collectively.”
Kendrick Bourne, WR
(On how much confidence this game will give them moving forward)
“I think we just bought in to who we are. Play by play. Not trying to get too ahead. Just playing each play how it’s supposed to go. We practiced. Today, we just executed almost every play that we practiced. The rhythm was right. Just finding that rhythm and playing together is the main thing”
(On if his teammates picked apart his throwing form or not)
“Through practice, I was kind of getting critiqued. I kind of threw it too high, floating it at practice and Josh [McDaniels] kind of told me to put it on a rope so just practicing, man, executing at practice, making it feel normal in a game. It’s just another practice play. That’s definitely how it felt when I got the ball. Shoutout to Nelly [Nelson Agholor]. Shoutout to the line holding up. We were able to make that play, man. Big play to start the game. Start off on the right foot.”
(On if today’s performance proves they are better than their win-loss record indicates)
“Yeah. Definitely, man. You see just everything hitting on all cylinders. Everybody in the right spots. It’s just the rhythm was really good, man and that’s how we need to play. Everybody does their job, you’ll get the result. That’s what we’ve been preaching for the last seven weeks and we’re still not at where we want to be, but we’re definitely in the right direction, like we’ve been talking about.”
(On when the last time he threw a pass in a game was)
“It might have been high school. I think it was in high school, but yeah. It was just a crazy feeling, man. Being able to be versatile like that for my team. Being a threat, getting all those reverses, and stuff like that, just doing my job well, man. Setting up for other things off of what we’ve been showing, so it was just a dope play. They bit up and it just made the play easy.”
(On how much of a spark the trick plays provide)
“It just makes the defense play sound. They’ve got to play honest. They can’t really do things they don’t want to do. They’ve got to stay back, whatever it may be. It just makes them play honest in all facets of the game.”
(On how he felt after his 46-yard catch)
“Just a great feeling, man, how the whole day was going. Just staying in the game. It’s kind of one of those games where we’re up by a lot. I could easily just relax and chill, but we’re trying to be dominant, man. We’re trying to be that team that can do everything at any moment, whether we’re down or up. We want to play how we want to play and that play just shows that we were locked in, man. Like I said, shoutout to the line. They did a really good job holding up, giving Mac [Jones] time and he threw a tremendous ball. I think it fell in my hand again.”
(On how important it was to not make any mistakes.)
“Just keeping the foot on the gas. Like I said, we’re up by that much. It’s easy to come out at halftime relaxed and thinking we’ve got it in the bag, whatever it may be, but we came out playing better. Last time we played them, we won by 19, but we didn’t feel like we played like us and we let them do certain things to us that we don’t tolerate and today we just came out really prepared and you could tell we faced them before and we prepared really well through the week. Just shoutout to the team for how we played today.”
(On if he anticipated a blowout during their preparation this week)
“It’s funny. I was watching college football last night. I turned on one game and it said like 50-something to seven. I don’t know what team it was, and I was just like “Bro, what if we put up 50 tomorrow?” and I don’t have the answers, but it was just crazy, man. Everybody playing well like that, you can get those results, so I was really screaming 50-ball the whole time on the sideline. Just an exciting game; a game we needed to show us what we’re capable of.”
(On the game)
“I think in this game, we were able to start fast offensively and defensively, and as the game progressed there was a little adversity that we faced but we still played hard. We ended up finishing at the end so I think that was a complete game, that’s what you want to go into a game week hoping that you do and we were able to do that today.”
(On the score and forced fumbles)
“Just keep playing until the end, I think that is something that the coach preaches. We do it in practice from the first period to the last period – just keep playing hard, and that is something that all of us were able to do today.”
(On being rewarded for hard work with a performance like this)
“It feels good, we practiced the whole week, to end going out here and put on good performance. We were able to do that today, so it most definitely feels good.”
(On having the opportunity to contribute)
“I mean any opportunity for me I’m grateful for it and the capacity of what it was and being able to step up means a lot. It wasn’t the best game but there are some plays that I did make that helped the team, and some plays I have to clean up so this week. I am going to go out there and practice harder than I did last week, and hopefully keep this thing going.”
(On practicing against the first team offense each week)
“I would say it is a little frustrating sometimes, just because there is so much misdirection. I mean you look through that receiver room and those guys are so versatile being able to throw the ball, being able to catch it, and able to take it on a jet sweep. So as a defender I understand it’s frustrating but being on this team and having that ability for our offense to be able to do that is wonderful.”
(On the defense’s job being easier when the offense puts up 54 points)
“I mean our job is to help the offense get the ball back so they can put up more points on the board. Just seeing those guys rolling and clicking on all cylinders makes our job easier for sure.”
(On practicing all week against the misdirection plays)
“Misdirection is tough and offenses all over the NFL, college, and high school is something they have grown into, and misdirection just gets your eyes all over the place. I think good defenses are able to identify where the point of attack is and see the smoke and mirrors with all that motion and stuff. I mean it is a very good tool for offenses to be able to use.”
(On his interception)
“It was a reactionary play. I was in a good position and it came to me. Glad I caught it.”
(On getting another interception)
“It’s a reward when you put yourself in the right places. Doing what you’re supposed to be doing. That’s always great.”
(On the team’s complete effort)
“We went into this week focused. We made sure we took one day at a time. Took practice one day at a time this week. Really focused on each individual day in preparing for this game. I think it really paid off.”
(On Devin McCourty’s injury)
“We’ve got to do what we practice and make sure we are communicating. And doing what we are supposed to be doing in his absence.”
(On the defense closing out the game)
“It’s super important to close out and not let everything fall apart.”
(On his responsibility once Devin McCourty went out)
“Making sure I was seeing the whole field and really communicating. He’s a big communicator for us when he’s out there. Making sure that I’m not leaving an absence when he’s not out there.”
(On how crazy it was that five of the seven touchdowns were from the running back group)
“Yeah, it was great. I didn’t even realize it until after the game. I wasn’t really paying attention, but every day we work on being the best group that we can be. That way we can positively affect this offense and we can be a reliable group. So we all work hard. We’re all very hard workers, very talented players, and we’re a very close group. So, we were all pleased to see all of our hard work pay off today. We know we’ve still got a long way to go. It’s a long season, so tomorrow we’ll be right back to work like any other day.”
(On the performance of the offensive line today)
“Yeah, I mean, that’s a great group of guys. There’s not a group of guys that I’d rather play with. I mean, showing up every day to work, those are some of the hardest working guys on our team and it shows. We’ve got a lot of guys that move around and there’s a lot of changing parts, but when you look at it, the reason we have success is because of those guys. They set the tone for our offense. They protect our quarterback. They open up running lanes for our backs. So, they’re really the anchor of our offense and I think personally the anchor of our team. They do a great job day in and day out, working at practice and then it shows up in the game. It’s a huge advantage to have guys like that that can rotate, play different positions, do different things, and still be able to go out there and put together a very strong unit that, like I said, protects our quarterback, opens up lanes for our running backs. So it was great. Super proud of those guys. Love competing with them, love stepping on the field with them, so it’s been a lot of fun so far playing with those guys.”
(On how much he thinks subtlety is a part of his game)
“I just take what’s out there. I know that God has blessed me to play this great game and sometimes I’ve just got to let Him take over and you can’t really predetermine what you’re going to do out there. Every game is different. Every run is different. You never know what’s going to happen out there. So, I rely on my training every day coming in here to work because like I said, you never know what’s going to happen out there. So, you’ve got to train and prepare yourself for anything that’s going to happen out there and then the rest is just the good Lord has blessed me to play this game at a high level. So, I’m incredibly thankful for that. I’m incredibly thankful to be a part of the organization that pushes me so hard to be able to go out there and do what I need to do under tough circumstances, and I know that, like I said, it’s a long season and we’ve just all got to keep working, myself included. We’ve got to keep getting better every single day and I said it last week, we’re confident in the guys in this building, the players, the coaches, the staff, administration, I mean everybody. So, if we keep working hard, keep doing our jobs and keep moving forward with a positive outlook, we really believe we can turn the season around.”
(On forming a great chemistry with Mac Jones and when it started to click)
“I think it’s just continuing repetition. I keep telling you guys I think this every week, but you can’t take it for granted the reps, the practice reps. I was out for summer camp and even when I was in there, it wasn’t really with Mac. That trust, that chemistry, all that stuff has got to continue to build and then game reps are huge too. I think he realizes he can trust me. I’m going to be in the right spot when he is ready to throw it. That’s just going to continue to build and I’m looking forward to it.”
(On the maturity of Mac Jones and his strengths)
“I think you can see the continuous rise of improvement every single week. He’s very locked in mentally, I think that’s a big thing and he’s ready to go on every snap. Making checks, doing different things, making the right reads, that’s huge. He’s been getting beat up too, getting sacked and taking hits, but he’s doing a great job and I’m really proud of him how he played today and it’s only going to continue to get better.”
(On the Patriots scoring early in the game the past few weeks)
“I think we’re coming together as an offense too, I think that’s something that’s big. Obviously scoring 54 today you can tell we’re kind of coming together as an offense as a whole. Being very complementary, I think that’s the biggest thing too. Early on we were super complementary running the ball, passing the ball, and it just makes things easier and takes a lot of pressure off. The defense did a good job of putting us in position too with short fields and we were able to execute and jump out to a quick lead.”
(On how effective the running game has been recently)
“It takes a lot of pressure off when we’re able to run the ball. We’re built to run the ball, we need to run the ball. There have been some games where we weren’t successful and it was hard to move the ball sometimes and we need to be able to run the football. I think kind of getting the O-line back together, us communicating with the O-line, it’s been good to have a lot of those guys back.”
(On how the offense adjusted when Jonnu Smith was out of the game)
“It’s just kind of the next man up. It’s only really two of us that dress so there’s different things that I had to do that maybe he would have done, but at the same time you’ve got to be ready to go whenever your name is called on any kind of play. I think jumbo tackle stepped up in some of those situations and all of the guys around us stepped up. Hopefully he is good and feeling good, so we’ll see and we’ll be ready to go for next week.”
(On the interception)
“It was a great read. I kind of knew the route was coming on third and long, so I trusted my instincts and made the play. I had a feeling it was coming, so I just jumped it. That’s what good DBs do.”
(On the score and the feelings coming into the game)
“I didn’t expect that, but when we play our best, we have potential to put up numbers like that.”
(On his feelings coming into the game)
“It was a long week for us. Our record isn’t looking good, so I kind of took it as a long week this week. We feel like we put the work in to look for the win. When I say it was a long week, I mean it was a lot of studying, a lot of practice. It paid off for us and all three units played well – defense, offense, and special teams.”
(On Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers throwing the ball)
“It’s fun to watch those guys make plays. I mean they do it in practice, so what you do in practice is going to carry over into the game. I know the receivers are going to go out and have a good game.”
(On the execution today)
“We just played team football, the chemistry, everybody was locked in on one goal and that was to beat the Jets and that’s what we did.”
(On the younger players)
“I love to see those guys step up and play, but that doesn’t surprise me. I’ve been believing in those guys and knew they had the potential. I’m proud of them.”
(On the importance of the defense keeping the Jets off the scoreboard)
“If they don’t score, they don’t win. We played team football and it showed today.”
(On how it felt to get ahead early and stay ahead throughout the game)
“It’s good. It’s good. It feels good to have a game like that, to kind of have a ball bounce your way, whatever that saying is. You get the offense and the defense going, and then we looked up, seven minutes into the game, and we have 14 on the shot clock, so that’s always good, and then you’re playing from ahead the whole game, and you just keep getting stops, and the offense just keeps moving the ball. It seemed like it was third and long, and the offense would just come up with a first down. The time just kept ticking off the clock, and they kept moving the ball, and you ended up with scores, whether it’s field goals or touchdowns. You’d rather have the touchdowns, and we got those today, so it feels good to be on the winning end of a game like that.”
(On how much the offense’s strong performance fueled the defense)
“It can either go two ways. You can make stops and the score can look like it was today, or the other offense scores the ball and you can have a shootout. So we just wanted to continue to give the ball back to our offense because they were rolling. When you have a game like that, you just want to see the offense on the field as much as possible, especially when they’re running the ball like that and throwing it and everybody’s having success, you just want to continue to get the ball back to the offense.”
(On what the team loses when Devin McCourty isn’t on the field)
“We lose our playcaller. Everybody knows what Devin does as far as defense. He’s an emotional leader, and he’s a vocal leader. He gets everyone lined up, he’s communicating and he roams the middle of the field. He’s been doing it for a long time at a very high level, so we all know when Devin leaves the field, it’s noticeable, but like you said, it’s next man up. We can’t just go out there with ten guys. We’ve got to replace him, so when we have to do that, or at the end of the game when we are fortunate enough to do that, whoever steps in his role, they’ve got to make plays. They have to go out there and execute the defense, and we’re not going to make excuses like, ‘Oh well, Devin wasn’t out there.’ Like, no. You’ve got to go out there and handle your business.”
(On how it feels to win by 41 points)
“I wouldn’t say it feels much different. It’s just doing everything that we practice, executing, and watching practice reality turn into game reality.”
(On scoring his first career touchdown)
“I haven’t really taken it in yet, so I’ll let you know in a few hours. Right now, I’m just happy that we got the win.”
(On all of the running backs being involved)
“It feels good. It feels like everything that we put in during practice is turning up in the game. It just shows how much the running back group has been working.”
(On what he has seen from Mac Jones)
“It’s the same thing I see every day. He’s a great athlete and a great quarterback. He gets better every time you see him.”
(On watching Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers throwing passes)
“It’s thrilling, really. It’s a thrill to watch. To go ahead and execute in the game, it’s another feeling, better than thrilling. I can’t really give you a word, but it’s exciting to watch.”