Bill Belichick on S&H: ‘In the end, [we] just couldn’t quite make enough plays’
|12.17.13 at 10:14 am ET|
Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined Salk & Holley on Monday afternoon to discuss New England’s disappointing 24-20 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday, the team’s injured defensive unit, as well as next Sunday’s opponent, the Ravens.
After Miami took a 24-20 lead with just 1:15 remaining in the game, the Patriots once again made things interesting, as Tom Brady orchestrated a drive that had the Patriots in the red zone with just a few seconds left on the clock. However, the Patriots were unable to pull off another comeback, as Brady was picked off by Michael Thomas in the end zone, sealing the victory for Miami.
“It didn’t end up being our day,” Belichick said. “Real competitive game, but in the end, [we] just couldn’t quite make enough plays. … I think that all of us that participated in the game all think about one or two things we could have done better that probably would have made a difference. I know I feel that way, I’m sure everybody on the team feels that way, too.”
One player in particular who had a rough day was kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who missed a 48-yard field goal in the second half and also sent a fourth-quarter kickoff out of bounds, giving Miami excellent field position for its winning drive. Sunday’s tough showing certainly was an outlier on Gostkowski’s otherwise Pro Bowl-caliber season, as the 29-year-old kicker has converted 94 percent of his field goals, with six of those kicks coming from 50 or more yards out.
“That’s one of the plays where we were just talking about. I’m sure he would like to have that one back,” Belichick said. “We’ve all watched great golfers on the golf course hit them down the middle every drive and then miss one. Steve has been very consistent for us. He’s had a great year. I’m sure he’d like to have that back.”
Injuries once again served as a major talking point after the game, as the Patriots have lost a number of key players this season, especially on the defensive side of the ball with Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo and Tommy Kelly all being placed on IR earlier this season.
“I think there’s no question that a couple of guys that you mentioned are significant players both on the field and in terms of their leadership and communication in the unit,” Belichick said. “But at the same time, I think that we have a number of guys on our team who have done a really good job in their absence. … I think that there are a lot of guys that are stepping up and becoming more of a part of the unit.”
Added Belichick: “I give a lot of credit to them to what they’ve done, too, that they’ve assumed some of that void that we lost, and I think it’s gotten better really progressively each week. I thought it was better in the Miami game than it was against Cleveland and better than it was against Houston, so we’ve just got to keep building on it.”
The Patriots next travel to Baltimore to take on the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens in New England’s final road game of the 2013 regular season. While the Ravens have not had a standout year with an 8-6 record, they still are one of the most respected and feared teams in the AFC.
“Well, it starts with John [Harbaugh]. They have a tough, competitive football team and they’ve got a lot of good football players,” Belichick said. “In looking at them this year, there are a lot of new faces there. There’s a lot of familiar faces, but they have some new ones, too, so they’ve had to integrate some new players into their system, and they’ve certainly got a lot of guys that they can rely on that are veteran players that have won a lot of football games with.”
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