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New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 26: Head coach Bill Belichick and Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots walk off the field after the loss to the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium on September 26, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

In Sunday’s 28-13 loss to the Saints, the Patriots played uncharacteristically sloppy football. After the game, both players and coaches acknowledged there were too many mistakes. Here’s what they had to say during postgame media availability.

  • Head coach Bill Belichick

    Opening statement:

    “Give the Saints credit today. They were certainly the better team. They just did a better job than we did in every area and deserved to win. We’ve just got to play more consistently. We’ve got to play with more good plays out there and not as many that aren’t good. That’s what we have to do. We had some chances, but in the end, we just couldn’t get it done. It’s disappointing. There’s no magic sauce here. Just have to go back to work and do better.”

    On the special teams performance:

    “We’ve got to be better in every area, including special teams.”

    On the offensive line:

    “Again, just today we were inconsistent in every area. We’ve just got to do a better job. Go back and look at the film, make some corrections. Obviously, New Orleans has a good defense, but we’ve got to move the ball better than we did today. Play better in the defense. Play better in the kicking game.”

    On playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week:

    “Obviously, they’re a good team. Right now we’re just focused on New Orleans. Look at the film, make the corrections on that, then we’ll move on.”

  • Center David Andrews

    On losing James White:

    “It is a tough part of this game and we don’t really know what happened, but you hate it and for a guy like that, who really does give his all to this team, day-in and day-out – The world could use some more James Whites.”

    On what he said to Mac Jones after the game:

    “Tough kid and there are not a lot of answers. We can’t go back and change anything, so we just have to come in tomorrow and get back to work. Unfortunately, I have been a part of these games before and that is just part of it in this league and the only thing there is to do is just go back to work. We can’t change anything now, so we just want to come in and correct it, then move forward.”

    On the running game:

    “We just didn’t do enough things right as a whole. This is a team game and we just have to be better a team. On offense, it takes 11 guys every play for it to go so just stringing together drives and continuously moving the ball. It takes 11 guys each play and we just didn’t have enough of that.”

  • Safety Devin McCourty

    On if the Patriots need to change their approach:

    “Yeah. I mean, we talk about those things. We’ve got to do it. Slate [Matthew Slater] kind of told the team that at the end of the game. It’s coming down to the point in the season, like you’ve got to do it. When we talk about a lot of different things each week, we kind of live off of what the Patriots have done in the past with the fast starts and all of that. But for this team, we’ve got to go do those things and we’ve got to stop talking about it and getting it done. So, obviously we’ll have a huge test Sunday coming in, we’ll have Tampa coming in here who’ll be ready to go. They’re undefeated and I don’t know when they play this week, but we are going to be playing a good team. Those guys are coming here as defending champs, so all those things we talked about – you want to have a test and see if you can get it done. We’ll definitely get that Sunday night.”

    On if it’s been tough incorporating the new players:

    “Yeah but I wouldn’t say that has been like a new guy problem. It’s not like we would be doing well if it wasn’t for the new guys, you know what I mean? So obviously, building a team and coming together, it’s not always easy to do, especially adding new guys like you said, but I wouldn’t say that’s our issue. We’ve just got to play better in our situations. It’s stuff that we go over every week. We’ve got to start getting that done. But you know, some of those guys have played good football for us. They’ve come out here and done their job, but it’s collectively us as a whole. It’s not one guy here, one guy there, it’s 11 guys at one time having a good play and then stringing those together. Whether it’s third down, whether it’s at the start of the game, whether it’s a red area, that’s the things that we’ve got to do better.”

    On focusing on what the team needs to do with Tom Brady’s return next week:

    “We’re not good enough to get lost ahead of us, so we better focus in on what we need to do and watch them from an X’s and O’s standpoint. Watch them as an offense, defense, special teams and lock in on that. We can’t worry about anything else.”

  • Wide Receiver Kendrick Bourne

    On his touchdown catch:

    “Just transitioning through the catch. I can’t get it with my body slowing down so I just had to get there as quick as I can and we practiced that throughout the week and it hit pretty well then and showed up in the game. Practice reps make game reps and like I said just running through the ball and catching it in transition instead of stopping and trying is what makes the play big.”

    On all the new pieces on offense:

    “Yes, just building that chemistry, each and every week. Practice makes perfect so things that we don’t do well in practice hardly show up in the game so I wouldn’t say everything in practice was bad but some plays we really want back and you can tell, we kind of beat ourselves. It was just that kind of game.”

    On James White:

    “I have always been a fan of him from just watching football throughout my life. I’ve seen James since I was young and then meeting him in person, it was like, “Wow he is who he looks like on TV.” So, to lose him is crucial, he is a very important guy on third down – really on all downs but especially on third downs. He is a problem for defenses and they have to watch him. We have some other guys who can help take his place so we can hold it down until he gets back but praying for him.”

    On scoring his first touchdown with the Patriots:

    “It felt good but you know it is not enough. I always want to win and am just focused on winning and just want to have another opportunity to make another play. I don’t brag and boast on what I did, I just try to think of what is next because it didn’t get us to win so it is more about winning and what I can do next to help the team get passed the next hump.”

    On Mac Jones removing his knee brace before the touchdown:

    “I think Mac played with poise even through adversity. He still was relaxed and didn’t looked rattled in the huddle and when he took off his brace, it just showed how tough he is. You can tell he is just here to make plays and the brace can’t stop him and he has the ‘nobody can stop me but me’ mentality and that is what you want to see out of your quarterback. But it just didn’t go our way today and that is just kind of the game.”

  • Tight end Hunter Henry

    On what he said to Jonnu Smith after the game:

    “I mean it was tough, we all had a tough game, and it wasn’t just him. It was all of us. He doesn’t need to hang his head, it’s time to pick it back up and prove, and have some mental toughness. I know we all have to get better. It wasn’t just on him, it was all of us.”

  • Running back Brandon Bolden

    What he thought when James White got hurt:

    “Same feelings when anybody get hurt, but when it’s one of the guys you run with, one of the guys who you train with, one of the guys that you bleed and sweat with, it kind of hits a little different, so prayers to him and hope he gets through it.”

    If he was surprised with how much he played:

    “No. When one of our guys goes down, it’s all hands on deck, so I was there ready to do whatever they asked me to do.”

  • Wide receiver Jakobi Meyers

    On the first half:

    “As you know they are a pretty big run team. They were over the ball and they played well on the back end and played well on the front end. We just need to come out and execute better, honestly. I think we definitely played a part in beating ourselves, and that is something you can never do if you really want to win.”

    On playing through mistakes:

    “We know that errors are a part of football, but we have to focus a little bit harder. When the play call is for us, we have to go out and execute that play no matter who it is. We have got a lot of good players in this room so I’m not too worried about it being a habit. Like I said we need to focus a little bit more and that’s as a unit – you know the whole offense, everybody all eleven guys have to go out there and make good plays. Like I said we need to focus a little more and we will be all right.”

    On the red zone offense:

    “It is the hardest part of the field to actually call plays in, and execute plays in. That goes back to the focus thing and if all 11 guys are doing their job including me, because we got done there and I wasn’t 100% on all my plays. If all of guys go down there part and all eleven will be ok and we will figure it out.”

  • Linebacker Kyle Van Noy

    On the loss:

    “Disappointing. They played a good game, we didn’t. They came ready in all three phases and we didn’t. They out-executed us and we’ve got to get back to work and get after it.”

    What the Saints did differently on their last drive:

    “I think they just extended the drive on the long third downs and were getting big chunks in the run and then easy third-and-shorts. I believe there was two of them with a QB sneak on both of them, and they got them. So that just extended the drive.”

  • Cornerback Jonathan Jones

    On the touchdown catch at the end of the first half:

    “Yeah they came out, threw the ball up, and he [Marquez Callaway] came down with it. It was one of those plays I have to make, and they got me for a holding. But just got to come down with it, got to make that play.”

    On what tomorrow will be like: 

    “Yeah it is a reality check for us. At this point we need to find out who we want to be, what team we want to be. Are we going to come together or just lay down? At the end of the day that is up to us to decide.”

    On the penalties and turnovers:

    “It’s not what we do, it’s not what we do to win. That is something that is up to us to fix. It is not going to get fixed by anybody but us as players. That is on us.”

  • Linebacker Matt Judon

    On the pass rush:

    “Well, I think. We generated a lot of pressure and we stopped some running backs, but we got to do it with consistency, consistently and when it’s needed.”

    What the defense needs to do better to close out games:

    “We’ve just got to execute. We were executing most of the second half and then they strung together a drive. It just seemed like third down after third down they converted and when that happens, it’s just execution and so we’ve just got to execute better than them.”