Bill Belichick: ‘We’re wrong’ in understanding of new field goal rule
|10.21.13 at 11:37 am ET|
Bill Belichick acknowledged Monday morning that his team was in the wrong when it came to its understanding of the new field goal rule that tripped up the Patriots in the late stages of Sunday’s overtime loss to the Jets.
On the play, Chris Jones was hit with a penalty for pushing teammate Will Svitek into the line while New York kicker Nick Folk was attempting a 56-yard field goal. The attempt was off the mark, but Jones was hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for his actions, the result of a new rule that was enacted this offseason.
The penalty kept the drive alive and allowed Folk to connect for the game-winner four plays later, but Belichick clearly was upset at the flag, countering with the fact that Jones shouldn’t have been penalized because he wasn’t pushing from the second level.
However, on Monday, Belichick issued a mea culpa, saying that the team’s interpretation of the rule — which states “[defensive] players cannot push teammates on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation” — as it related to the second level was off base.
“Obviously, we are wrong. What else is there to say? We’re wrong,” Belichick said Monday morning on a conference call with reporters. “Look, it’s our job to understand the rules. Whatever the bottom line is, we didn’t do it properly. So, what else is there to say?”
Belichick deflected the criticism away from Jones, who accepted full responsibility after the game.
“The field goal play at the end, I think Chris is obviously trying to do the right thing by stepping up and taking responsibility,” Belichick said. “But that’s not his responsibility, it’s ours. We just have to do a better job of coaching that. It’s not his fault, that’s on me [and] the coaching staff, we just have to do a better job there.”
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