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Sunday, October 21, 2012
Sound bites from Belichick: 'Tough game'

By Field Yates

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Passing along some sound bites from Bill Belichick's postgame press conference after his team defeated the Jets 29-26 in overtime, putting it atop the AFC East at 4-3:

On his team's drive to tie the game at 26 as time expired in regulation:
"That was a big two-minute drive. It was a big stop for us defensively to hold them to a field goal and be able to stay in the game. Yeah, that was a big drive. Again, there were things that certainly could have been better, but in the end we did enough good things to win. Certainly that was a big drive, taking it down the length of the field, big kick to get it into overtime. That was good. Some of the things that we did to put ourselves in that position obviously need and hopefully can be better."

On if his team is still trying to find what to hang its hat on late in the game offensively, or if it has just executed poorly:
"We try to do what we think is best so that could change from game to game. Playing the Jets is different than playing anybody else or who we played last week or the week before. I don’t think you can just run one or two plays; you have to defeat what they’re doing, whatever that happens to be. We work on it every week, we’ll keep working on it and when those situations come up hopefully we’ll be able to come through and deliver."

On if he thinks the secondary played better today than it did a week ago:
"We’ll go back and look at the film. I can’t tell you exactly how everything went. Certainly some things were better. Was everything better? Probably not. We’ll have to keep working on those things, but I thought we did improve in some areas."

On the clutch play of kicker Stephen Gostkowski:
"Steve came through big. He hit some big kicks and he kicked off well. Yup, did a good job. We got plays from every unit. We had so many people step up and play well. And the Jets played well too. They did a good job. Tough, hard-fought game, came down to a few plays, luckily we made a few more than they did. I thought it was as competitive as it could get. That’s usually the way it is with the Jets, they’re always hard-fought games."

On Donald Thomas and Nick McDonald both stepping in on the offensive line to play big roles (with Logan Mankins inactive and Dan Connolly leaving the game with illness):
"Yeah, they did. Dan Connolly got sick this morning and we were hoping to have him back for the game, but his stomach or whatever, indigestion, whatever just didn’t clear up. We lost him right at game time so we didn’t expect that. Nick [McDonald] stepped in there and did a good job. We practiced that way all week and then came into the game and had to switch it there in pregame, but that’s just the next guy stepping up and doing his job. Nick did that for us last year and did that for us again today. I thought the tackles did a good job, Nate [Solder] and Sebastian [Vollmer] out there on the edge. They blocked those guys all day. We threw the ball a lot. They did a good job on those edge rushers. Overall, they handled the blitzes. Not perfect but competitive."

On the versatility of Rob Ninkovich to play both as an end and at linebacker:
"He’s at the end of the line, however you want to slice it up, whether he’s up or down or end or linebacker, whatever you want to call it, he’s an end-of-the-line-type player. Rob does a good job for us. He made a big play on the running play there, came inside and made the hit in the overtime series and obviously the strip. He’s around the ball and always seems to play well against the Jets. He’s got a lot of big plays against those guys."

On winning an important division game:
"It’s good to be 2-0 in the division. Those are huge games for us. We know the Jets are going to be there all the way through, they’ll be there at the end. There’s a lot of football left to be played. I don’t think anybody clinched anything today, I don’t think anybody got eliminated today. There’s a long way to go and we just have to keep improving and getting better. We need to build on the things we’re doing well and do them more consistently. The things we aren’t doing as well, we have to keep working hard at them to get them up to a high level. It was a good football game today. The Jets are a good team; they played well, as they have the last couple weeks. I think they’ve continued to get better. We’ll have to keep our game going at that rate as we go through each of the succeeding weeks here."