Bill Belichick breaks down where it broke down
|01.17.11 at 3:15 pm ET|
FOXBORO — There are three things that Patriots are wondering the day after the second-most stunning loss in franchise history.
What was Patrick Chung thinking calling an audible to the fake-punt call late in the first half?
Where was the defense as the Patriots allowed Mark Sanchez to march up and down the field in the final three quarters, throw three touchdowns and allow a critical 58-yard fourth-quarter completion to Jerricho Cotchery?
And where was the urgency on offense in the fourth quarter as the Patriots trailed by 10 points?
Bill Belichick was asked about all three Monday and his answers varied from direct to read-between-the-lines. First, what were the Jets doing to take the Patriots offense out of their rhythm?
“I’d say it’s a combination of things,” Belichick said. “There were a couple of times where they had a scheme where we really didn’t have it picked up. There were other times where we had it picked up, [but] either a route wasn’t open or we didn’t do a good job of getting open on the route or the protection broke down – it was a physical breakdown – things like that. It was a combination of things.”
As for the fourth-quarter strategy of running the ball against their dime package – the Jets’ six-cornerback package – trailing by 10 points, Belichick said the most urgent matter was getting points, not necessarily a touchdown.
“Well, I hope to score,” he said. “That’s what I’d hope for. I’d hope to score. There are five minutes to go in the game – over five minutes to go in the game – we were stopped on the fourth-and-13, but if we score on that drive, it’s a one-score game with five minutes to go in the game. It’s not the position you want to be in, but it’s not a bad position to be in. Without the score, now you’re down by two scores with five minutes to go – now that’s a problem.”
After watching the game, was there any regret to not running a hurry-up?
“I wouldn’t have done it, no,” he said.
Sanchez threw three TDs on the afternoon but it was 57-yard play to Cotchery after the Patriots cut the lead to 14-11 that took the air right out of the balloon. It led to the sensational TD catch by Santonio Holmes to push the Jets’ lead back to 10.
“Obviously, we did a very poor job on that play, defensively. It was bad. A 4-yard pass that goes for 60 yards, it was just bad.”
As for the fake punt call by up-man Chung, Belichick – as he did after the game Sunday – refused to get into the wheres and whys of it.
“We can go through a thousand hypotheticals, so what happens, happens,” Belichick said. “I’ll let you deal with all the ifs, ands and buts.”
For his part, Chung took full responsibility for the call, advising everyone to lay off Belichick and special teams coach Scott O’Brien.
The next time he coaches in a game, he’ll be in Honolulu for the 2011 Pro Bowl on Jan. 30. To quote the man himself, not exactly what you’re looking for after a 14-2 regular season.
“It’s definitely not where we want to be,” Belichick said of his coaching assignment with the AFC squad. “We’ll go out there and do it.”
Belichick is scheduled to be joined by Patriots players Tom Brady, Jerod Mayo, Vince Wilfork, Brandon Meriweather, Devin McCourty and Wes Welker, Logan Mankins and Matt Light. But don’t expect much self-scouting or the opponent, for that matter.
“I’d say based on the level and tempo of those practices, that’ll be pretty minimal,” Belichick said. “Scout the golfing.”
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