Belichick: 'Came up a couple plays short'

INDIANAPOLIS -- A somber New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick credited his team's effort after their 21-17 loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday night, the second straight Super Bowl the Patriots have lost, both to the Giants.

"Can't fault the effort of any of our players. They played as hard as they could. We could have just played a tiny bit better," Belichick said. "It was obviously a very competitive football game."

"I thought we competed well. I thought we played hard," Belichick continued. "We fought right until the end, and we just came up a couple plays short."

As has been the case over the past several months of the regular season and playoffs, Belichick lauded his team for fighting and remaining mentally tough, even as the Giants took a 9-0 lead in the game.

"Our guys played, fought, fought all year, fought tonight, and we had our chances," Belichick said. "We just couldn't quite make enough plays."

When asked about his post-game comments to his team, Belichick declined to comment, saying those were "between me and the team." Defensive lineman Gerard Warren and guard Brian Waters also declined to give details on the post-game address, but Waters said that "[Belichick] was definitely proud of the performance."

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said that Belichick told the team to "just keep on fighting, keep on grinding."

"Just how it goes. The better team won today, and they made their plays and we didn't," linebacker Brandon Spikes said of Belichick's post-game comments. "We had opportunities to make big plays when it counted, but we just couldn't come up with it."

"He just said he was proud of us and that's about it," tight end Aaron Hernandez said. "It was short and simple and we knew, each player knows what they did, what they did good and what they did wrong. We had to make more plays."