Bill Belichick wasn’t as chatty after Sunday’s win as he was while talking about special teams Friday morning, but he definitely was happier than what we saw last weekend.
Belichick’s Patriots struggled at times in their Week 2 win over the Jets, but nevertheless were good enough to pick up their first win of the season. New England’s defense picked off New York quarterback Zach Wilson four times, while Mac Jones and the Patriots offense weathered a furious pass rush in the 25-6 victory.
Damien Harris had the biggest play of the game, a rumbling, bruising 26-yard scamper into the end zone — with help from Jones.
Still, there were some problems for the Patriots, including issues with run defense, spotty special teams play and, most concerningly, poor pass protection. Belichick touched on all of those topics and more during his postgame press conference.
Here are some of Belichick’s most noteworthy remarks:
— Opening statement on the win: “Proud of our football team today. I thought these guys came back and really worked hard all week. I thought we made some improvement from what we did last week. Still, obviously, have a way to go, a lot of things we can do better. But I thought we did a lot of things better than we did last week. We just gotta keep grinding, keep working, keep stringing these days and weeks together and keep improving our football team. Had a lot of guys step up. Got some turnover opportunities, took advantage of those. Wilson made some pretty impressive throws — that kid’s gonna be a good player — he is a good player. Had a couple big plays offensively. Damien’s run was obviously a big one. Was good to get the ball in the end zone there. … Overall, probably just gotta do a little better job taking care of our scoring opportunities. Nick (Folk) did a good job. (Wind) was kinda swirling out there. Not the easiest day kick. He banged through a lot of big kicks there.”
On Harris rebounding after his Week 1 fumble: “Damien’s one of our hardest-working players. He worked hard this week, prepared hard. He’s pretty consistent.”
On Jones’ performance: “I think we did some good things here, we hit a few balls. But, you know, overall we’ve gotta do a little better. Had a few third-down conversions, and there was some, you know, we had some pressure. … It all comes down to good team offense. It’s not just about one guy. … Offensively, we’ve just gotta string more good plays together.”
On James White’s big game: “James is one of our best players. … He has tremendous consistency. Can really do whatever we ask him to do. … He gives that group great leadership with his preparation and performance. … He came through big today.”
On Jones joining the pile on the Harris TD and later throwing a block: “And Wilson made a play on the interception. … Those are both really competitive kids. Like Mac’s competitiveness, and he brings a lot there.”
On picking off Wilson four times: “We had some opportunities and we took advantage of them.”
On offensive line performance and injuries: “I think there’s a lot of challenging things in this league. You’ve gotta step up and meet those challenges.”
Finally, you can watch his full presser in the video below:
The Patriots return to the field next Sunday when they host the New Orleans Saints.
Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.