Following his team’s 54-13 rout of the Jets on Sunday, Bill Belichick praised the way the Patriots responded to last week’s overtime defeat against the Cowboys.
“Proud of the way the team’s bounced back here and hopefully we can string another good set of days together and head out to [Los Angeles],” Belichick said, referencing next week’s game against the Chargers.
“I thought our guys did a real good job today, players were ready to go,” Belichick noted. “We had a good week and came out, got off to a good start, and played from ahead.”
A big part of the team’s good start derived from a trick play on the opening drive in which wide receiver Kendrick Bourne threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor.
Asked about the play call, Belichick credited offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
“It was just kind of the right situation,” said Belichick. “Josh does a great job of mixing plays in to take advantage of the defense’s over-aggressiveness.
“It was great call by Josh and obviously very well executed by everybody,” Belichick added. “You know, [Agholor], just kind of the right timing of getting the defender to come up and then get behind him. And obviously [Bourne] made a great throw.
Belichick joked that Bourne made a “real quarterback pass” on the play.
It was the first time the 26-year-old Bourne had attempted a pass in his NFL career. Belichick was asked if it was a “hold your breath moment” by Boston Globe reporter Jim McBride.
“It is if it hasn’t gone well in practice,” the Patriots’ coach explained. “But usually when it goes well in practice, you gain confidence in it, they gain confidence in it, and you call it. When you don’t do it well in practice, then honestly it usually doesn’t get called.
“Sometimes it’s a little different in the game because the aggressiveness of the defense might be different than what the aggressiveness is of the scout team,” Belichick continued. “So sometimes some of those plays are really designed to get everybody up and then get behind them. You don’t always get that reaction in practice but again, generally speaking some of our one-time plays, misdirection or double-passes, things like that, those guys have executed them pretty well in practice. So I have confidence in them.”
And on the subject of whether or not such a dominant win could help build the team’s collective confidence going forward, Belichick had a direct reply.
“I don’t think we lack confidence.”
The Patriots’ defense recorded three turnovers against the Jets, limiting New York throughout the game. One moment of adversity came when veteran safety Devin McCourty exited with an injury during the second quarter. Belichick paid tribute to Kyle Dugger and Adrian Phillips for filling in.
“We’re fortunate,” noted Belichick. “We have three really good safeties, and Devin’s certainly quarterbacked the secondary for a long time now. Those guys practice [that] and they rotate through there. So Kyle and [Adrian] are both very good players in their own right, and both smart players. They handled things. [Myles Bryant] also stepped back in there, played some safety as well.
“I thought defensively it was not a perfect effort but a solid effort,” Belichick concluded.
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