Bill Belichick made the quick turnaround after returning from Germany, speaking to the New England media Monday morning following his team’s 10-6 loss to the Colts in Frankfurt on Sunday.
During his interview on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show,” Belichick defended the team’s performance despite the result (which dropped the Patriots to 2-8). When asked if this was a low point in his tenure in New England, he disagreed.
“I don’t think I’m following you,” Belichick said. “I mean, we had a chance to win the game at the end, but we just couldn’t make the action to win the game.”
Regarding late-game situations, he was asked about the decision to swap Mac Jones for Bailey Zappe on the final drive.
Belichick reiterated comments he made during his post-game press conference on Sunday.
“We just felt like we had to make a change at that moment,” he explained.
Jones, who was sacked five times, completed 15 of 20 passes for 170 yards.
But on what might have been a lead, he threw an intended pass under Mike Gesicki in the end zone late in the fourth quarter. The result was an interception, sending Jones to the bench after New England managed to get the ball back with time for one final possession.
On the topic of Jones’ costly turnovers, Belichick said it wasn’t discussed after the fact.
“We really moved on from the piece and went to the next situation there,” he said. “So we didn’t really talk about that part much. Gesicki is on a deep route, but it just hasn’t become clear to him.”
Was that moment – specifically a red zone turnover – the kind of mistake that landed Jones on the bench?
“No, I wouldn’t say this is about one play,” Belichick responded.
Later, during the availability of virtual media After the WEEI interview, a follow-up question was asked of Belichick about what he meant by that statement.
Was it about the circumstances within the game against the Colts, or was it about mistakes made during the season?
“Yes, just the way the match went,” he said.
Zappe made his third relief appearance of the season.
Although the second-year quarterback entered the game on the final drive having not played before during the day, Belichick claimed he believed Zappe was prepared.
“Yes, we did the two-minute exercise,” he noted. “He’s had a lot of opportunities to do that, and he’s actually done quite well with it.”
On the Patriots’ final offensive play — a fake spike that led to Zappe throwing the game-losing interception — Belichick was asked if he saw any reason why the Colts should have been flagged for a penalty (given the postgame comments of the quarterback).
“No,” was all Belichick had to say on the subject.
Looking ahead, speculation about which quarterback will start the game against the Giants on November 26 has already begun.
On the possibility of Zappe getting the start, the Patriots coach declined to get ahead of himself.
“I don’t know. We hadn’t really talked about that yet. We just got back from Germany and are just trying to reorganize here,” Belichick said. “We haven’t talked about that yet.”
What does he think of Jones’ confidence level right now?
“Look, we’re not having the kind of success we want to have, but we’re all competitors,” Belichick said in response. “We all show that we work every day and every week. But you should ask Mac that question.”
Given the ongoing battle, questions about player motivation could grow louder as the Patriots inch closer to official elimination from a playoff race.
Still, Belichick repeated his usual approach.
“I feel like we’re working hard, we’re getting better at a lot of things,” he said. “We’ve just played a lot of close games and we just haven’t been able to make enough plays to win.”
“When we do that, the results change,” Belichick added.
Joining the Patriots in Germany on Sunday was team owner Robert Kraft, who expressed his thoughts on the “disappointing” season in a pregame interview with NFL Network.
“You should talk to Robert about that,” Belichick said of Kraft’s comments.
Did the two speak after the loss?
“Well, I mean shortly after the game,” he said. “Disappointing situation obviously, given the way the match ended.”
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