After reviewing the Patriots’ 31-14 win over the Buccaneers, coach Bill Belichick shared his thoughts on a conference call with reporters today. Belichick hinted at some looming roster decisions to address a lack of depth, talking about “some decisions we may need to make.”
Linebacker and defensive back are the thin spots. The Patriots have two open spots on their 90-man training camp roster.
As for the game, Belichick summed it up by saying the defense gave the team good field position early, which the offense was able to capitalize on. Combine that with strong production in the red zone and third down and it was a winning formula.
“I think the score is a little deceiving,” he said. “In the first half, there are still a lot of things we need to do better. In the second half, I think there were a lot of good things out there, but a lot of those were negated by a few bad things. The score and the production looked like it shifted from the first half to the second half, but I would say the overall play was probably not that far apart.
“The first half probably wasn’t quite as good as it looked, the second half probably wasn’t quite as bad as it looked.”
Other soundbites from Belichick:
On reasons for Patriots' pressure. "They played a lot of people, they had about three different groups on the offensive line. A couple times we pressured, it looks like they had a breakdown in assignments. We had some good rushes at times and were able to beat some blockers and get pressure on the quarterback, but I'd say it was a combination of things."
On rookie left tackle Nate Solder. "I think Nate's had a couple good weeks. I'm sure he learned a lot of things last night. He did some good things. I think he built on last week's game. He's competitive in every phase of the game."
On rookie QB Ryan Mallett handling adversity of INT. "We do talk about that, about how players respond when they have a bad play. How does that affect them on the coming plays? Ryan got a few blitzes there in the last series he was in. They gave him a couple of different looks: the weak safety look off the weak side, a couple of strong-side blitzes. He saw those plays pretty well after the interception, so I thought he did handle himself pretty well considering there were a couple of tough looks there."
On RB Danny Woodhead playing on punt coverage in 4th quarter. "When we go into any game, all players are told to be ready to play the entire 60 minutes. That’s what a game is. We don’t stop playing. We don’t stop coaching. Everybody’s ready to play the whole time from beginning to end. That’s every player and every coach. That’s part of the game. That’s how we approach them all."