Belichick: ‘Still A Lot We Can Do Better’ and More After Patriots Drop Season Opener to Dolphins

The Patriots head coach met with the media to discuss the team’s performances and teaching moments following their 17-16 loss to the New Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
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Regular season Football is back in Foxboro, Massachusetts. New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones threw for 281 yards, going 29-for-39 with one touchdown. However, the story of the day for New England would be lost fumbles (each by running backs Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris) and costly penalties. as the Patriots fell to the Dolphins 17-16 in their week one season opener.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick met with the media, both postgame on Sunday, and again on Monday morning. Here are some of the highlights from Belichick’s meets with the media:

Postgame, Sunday, September 12

Opening Statement:

“It was obviously a disappointing game. We just didn't do enough. Just didn't do enough to win. We had our chances, had our opportunities. But really all the way across the board, we've just got to do a better job. Really that's about the story of it. There's a lot of things that could have helped us. Just have to coach better, play better, execute better, play better situational football than we did today. I just missed too many opportunities to win.”

On Patriots ball security issues versus Miami:

“It's not good enough. Got to take care of the ball better. Ball security, penalties, too many little missed things, situational football. Just all of it.”

On his impressions of Mac Jones’ poise and pocket presence:

“I thought we all competed hard. We've just all got to do a better job. I mean, Mac competed hard. I thought we had a lot of guys competing hard. We've just got to perform better as a team.

On the Patriots defensive performance on Sunday:

“There were some good things there, but in the end it just wasn't enough. We didn't play well enough in any phase of the game – offense, defense, special teams. We were enough to be competitive, enough to lose by a point, but it's not enough to win. We've got to play better and coach better. We've just got to do a better job.”

On Adrian Phillips performance, particularly some big stops in the fourth quarter:

“Again, we made some good plays. We just didn't make enough of them. We didn't make them at the right times. So we're just going to have to do more than that.”

On the injury status of OL Trent Brown?

“I don't have any updates.”

On his impression of the atmosphere [having fans back at Gillette Stadium]:

“Yeah, it's been great all year with that. It's good energy in the stands, and it was in the road games, and it was in the Washington game.”

On the performance of tight end Jonnu Smith:

“I'll have to watch the film and look at it a little more closely. I don't know.”

Monday, September 13

On the resilience of the defense, after a rough opening drive:

“Yeah. I dont know if it was really all about that, we just started doing a better job of winning our matchups. There’s a lot of things that we could all do better in the game. We need to improve on those and be ready to go next week.”

On the Patriots’ execution across the board on Sunday:

“There is certainly a lot of room for improvement. I didn’t say that I thought our effort was where it needed to be, but I thought our effort was good and that we played hard, but we have a way to go.”

On Mac Jones’ performance overall on Sunday:

“It’s really the same for everyone. We did some good things in the game, we had our opportunity…but there is still a lot that we can do better to win. We had our chances and we were in a position to be competitive. Whatever position or player you want to point to, we all have a lot of work to do... It's the same for every player.”

On Nelson Agholor and dealing with his ankle injury this week leading up to Sunday’s game:

“That’s the NFL…situations like that come up with every player. Every player will have those. You have to prepare for what you can do [physically], and just do the best you can”

On OL Yasir Durant and whether he was a consideration to help fill the void left behind by Trent Brown’s injury in the first half:

“We have a lot of versatile players on our roster. Ultimately, we want to do what’s best for the team. There are multiple considerations. But ultimately, the decisions we make are the ones we think will be the best.”

On the strategy of using three-receiver sets:

“We used multiple groups in the game. We were able to move the ball with different plays. But it didn't result in enough points or consistency, so we will attempt to go back, adjust and be ready next time.”

On costly penalties and making improvements in that area this week:

“We’ll continue to address it. We haven’t been a highly penalized team. We don't want that. Hopefully we will have fewer of them going forward. We will do a better job of coaching it. It is a fast game, there is a lot going on…but we have to be better at judgment when it comes to our playing style and try to keep them to a minimum.”

On Mac Jones handling the pressure of his first NFL start:

“Mac has played in preseason games, Practices. That is part of football. Whether you play that position, or any position…that is a part of football.”