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Bill Belichick on Big Show: Chad Ochocinco ‘has made a lot of strides with offense’

08.29.11 at 6:24 pm ET

Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined The Big Show on Patriots Monday to discuss what went wrong Saturday in the preseason game against the Lions, the releasing of James Sanders, the offensive line’s play Saturday and the final preseason game, among all other things Patriots related.

Following are highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, visit The Big Show audio on demand page.

On Chad Ochocinco making progress: “Absolutely, without a doubt he has made a lot of strides with the offense with the time he has been here. We’ve thrown a lot at him, and there is still a ways to go. I think getting open, catching the ball, working on timing with the quarterback in the passing game, coordination with the other receivers and so forth — the passing game is so dependent on that and as a unit we have to do a better job. Chad is working hard and getting better. I think our passing game is getting better. It didn’t all show in the game against Detroit, it is hard for anyone to look at that game and see improvement, but I am saying on a day-to-day basis we go out there and practice and some aspects in the game were better. We have to be more consistent than that.”

On what the coaching staff could do better: “Obviously, when you go out and play like that I don’t know how you can like the way the team was prepared and the way they performed. I didn’t go out there and play, but my job is to prepare the team, and based on the way we played there is not much I can take pride in there.”

On what went wrong vs. the Lions: “It is probably a combination of all of it. We didn’t get off to a very good start, obviously. Once we saw that we were a little bit on defensive mode we didn’t turn it around. In some cases we just made it easier for them with turnovers and long-yardage situations and negative plays, sacks, penalties. Then we kept it going defensively with more big plays and let them out of long-yardage situations, not that we had them in a lot of them — screens, scrambles. We didn’t do much in the return game to help ourselves. We were inconstant in a lot of areas and just never got it going back to a competitive game.”

On the release of James Sanders: “It is always tough when you have to release players, especially guys that have played for you and won for you. James certainly has done a lot of that, he has played a lot of good football here. He has been a solid team player, teammate and member of the team. Ultimately. we have to make the decision we feel is best for our team. That is an unfortunate part of this job and we will be doing it later this week. It is a tough part of the business, but one we all enter to with open eyes.”

On the offensive line: “We’re going to have to block better than we did in that game. We’re going to have to do a lot of things better — throw, catch, block, run, stay out of long-yardage. We had so many plays more than 10 yards. We had over 10 plays where we needed more than 10 yards in the first half and we kept on going backwards. That is not the way we want to play the game on offense. We have do a better job all the way around. The more long-yardage situations, the more the quarterback is going to get hit. You can’t have second-and 21, third-and-31, second-and-13 all day. Awful.”

On the fourth preseason game: “Unfortunately, we played pretty close this year than we did last year against the Rams, and that was a pretty uninspiring performance as well. I think each year you have to make the decision that you feel is best for your football team and that is what we will try and do. We got through film today and we have a lot of things we have to practice this week. We will work on those and figure out tomorrow night and Wednesday how we want to allocate playing time against the Giants.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, Chad Ochocinco, James Sanders,



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