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Bill Belichick on embarrassing loss: ‘We have to go out there and do something about it’

08.23.13 at 5:03 pm ET

With his team back in Foxboro, the effort to put Thursday night’s embarrassing 40-9 loss to the Lions began the moment the Patriots landed early Friday morning.

During his weekly post-game conference call, Bill Belichick explained what he took from the film he watched after the game.

“Not really a whole lot new from what we saw last night,” Belichick said. “It just wasn’€™t a very good performance on the part of our entire football team. We just have to get back to work and do better than that in every area of the game. I don’€™t think there’€™s anything different than what the picture was last night. There were a few good individual plays here and there but overall just, we can’€™t play like that and expect to do well against a good team.

There were precious few bright spots but Belichick said on his conference call that a few players made a couple of individual plays that stood out, primarily referring to Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones on defense and Kenbrell Thompkins, despite a drop, running a few good routes in traffic.

Belichick said all the Patriots can do now is “go out and do something about it” The Patriots will need to cut their roster down to 75 players by Tuesday. The Patriots are off Saturday before returning to practice Sunday in preparation for the Giants next Thursday at Gillette. In a flashback to his “we played two quarterbacks” answer on not playing Tim Tebow Thursday, Belichick was asked why Vince Wilfork – who was suited up and ready to play – didn’t get into the game.

“We just didn’€™t put him in. That’s why,” Belichick said.

Asked to explain further, Belichick offered, “Because there were other players who played.”

Belichick was asked if he felt like the performance Thursday was a step back or just part of the natural progression leading up to the regular season.

“I don’€™t know. We’€™ll just go back to work and see if we can correct the mistakes and move forward and do a better job,” he said.

“We just need to go out and have a good week of practice and do things a lot better than we did them last night, that’€™s all. Nobody is going to do it for us; we’€™re going to have to go out there. Nobody but us can make things any better than what they were last night. We have to go out there and do something about it.”

Here is the remainder of Belichick’s conference call from Friday afternoon.

Q: You had a long look at Joe Vellano last night. What did you see from him last night and during camp?

BB: I think Joe has played competitively through camp. He’€™s a tough kid, out there every day, works hard, getting better. We’€™ll just take it day by day and see how it goes. But he’€™s been improving and that’€™s a good thing.

Q: Logan Ryan has had a chance to line up at a few different positions, primarily outside and in the slot. Is there anything about his game that is better suited for either one of those spots? Do you like him in one of those spots over the other?

BB: I think we’€™ll just have to see how all that goes. He played both positions in college. Depending on the matchups or our game plan or just how things unfold or how he does relative to other players, getting our best players out there on the field in the best spots for us as a team, we’€™ll just have to see how all that unfolds. I’€™m not 100 percent sure. Depending on whatever the best position for him is or isn’€™t, it’€™s still going to come down to what’€™s the best spot for him on our team. The more versatility and the more valuable he is to the team, then that’€™s good for us and it will help him get on the field. We’€™ll just see how it goes but he has played really all the spots in the secondary. We’€™ll keep working him so he gives us depth, gives himself versatility and we’€™ll see how it goes.

Q: It seemed like one area that Kenbrell Thompkins was effective was his ability to get off the line of scrimmage. Is that something that you guys saw pretty consistently when you were studying him or is that something that has developed since he’€™s been here?

BB: I think that’€™s an area that all rookie receivers need to work on and haven’€™t had a lot of experience with. There isn’€™t a whole lot of press coverage in college. There are a couple teams that do it but there’€™s not a whole lot of it. I think that’€™s something that any young receiver needs a lot of work on. I would say the same thing for the defensive backs. He would certainly go in that category; I think they all do.

Q: Specific to him, what skills does he have that makes him competitive in that area?

BB: We’€™ll just have to see where that goes. Like you said, he made a couple nice plays last night. But working against different corners, different skill sets, he just has to match up individually. Whether it’€™s quickness or speed or size or whatever it happens to be, technique, there are different ways to win out there and may not be all the same depending on the defender he’€™s facing or the technique that they’€™re playing. That’€™s why players have to be good at more than one thing or have more than one skill or eventually then that one thing gets shut down by a particular technique or a certain type of player and then that player loses his effectiveness. For KT, he just needs to work on the whole process out there against different guys and different techniques and being able to deal with whatever the challenge is that he faces on the perimeter, be it the individual player or the technique that the guy is playing.

Q: When you looked at it, what were some of the positive things you saw in the game last night?

BB: As I said, there were a few individual plays and a few things here and there that were competitive; it just overall wasn’€™t good enough.

Q: Unless I’m mistaken, Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden didn’€™t play in the first half after fumbling. Was that sending them a message?

BB: Was it sending them a message? Our message has been the same here from day one that ball security is of the highest priority for anybody that handles the ball ‘€“ that’€™s a message from day one. I think that message has been delivered on a daily basis since we started practicing back in May. I don’€™t think there are any new revelations about that message. Ball security is very important to anybody who handles the ball in any situation. There can be no mistake about the importance of it. There can be no mistake about that message. That message has been delivered ad nauseam.

Q: With the first of the roster cuts coming Tuesday, any idea if you’€™ll make those moves closer to the deadline or will you start whittling away at it this weekend?

BB: You know, that’s a good question. We got back late last night or early this morning, however you want to look at it. We’€™re going through the film. We need to get together with the medical department and see how everybody is doing. We had a few bumps and bruises in the game. We had some other players that didn’€™t travel to Detroit, so we’€™ll have to kind of see where everybody is and just how we want to handle those roster decisions as you mentioned. I’m not sure when that will be. It will be when we think we know for sure what we want to do or what we can do. And how much information we’€™ll have on that and how soon we’€™ll get it and so forth, I just really don’€™t know.

But I think we have to make them Tuesday at four o’€™clock, is that right? Something like that, so we have a few days here. Whenever it is, we’€™ll make them by then, but it gives us a few days. If we need the time, we’€™ll use it. If we don’€™t need the time and we know what those decisions are going to be, then we’€™ll probably go ahead and do them once that’€™s evident. But I’m not sure ‘€“ I couldn’€™t give you a timeframe as to exactly when that will be. But those are kind of all the things that those decisions would involve. I could say for sure right now, even if we wanted to make that decision, I doubt that we would really be able to make good ones based on the fact that we just don’€™t have enough information on where everybody is. I definitely don’€™t see it happening today, but from here forward we’€™ll just take it as it comes and see how it goes. Sorry, I wish I could be more definitive, but we really don’€™t know ourselves.

Read More: 2013 training camp, Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, Tim Tebow



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