Head Coach Raheem Morris
Opening Statement The obvious disappointment. You come out here to London and you would like to get a win and we didn't. Didn't play as well as we would like to. Did see some good things, some positive things, but with that, I'll open up to questions.
On the change of quarterbacks More opportunity to evaluate our people. Neutral ground, you have the interception early, any time you get an opportunity to get a pick off and score a touchdown, gets away, but the thing about it, your team kept fighting, the thing was 21 7 for a while; the defense came up with some big plays on Tom Brady with the two interceptions, two huge plays. They made some plays on us. It's tough playing against a quarterback like that. You have to make some decisions you might not necessarily want to. Some of those situations, some of those situations you have to make playing against Tom Brady, but when you have those opportunities he made, that's what great quarterbacks do.
On blitzing to start the second half You're talking about Tom Brady, moving the ball down the field, you make a decision to go after them, you go get after him and he comes out in a slot formation, did a better job of beating Geno (Hayes) there, we lost in man coverage, one of those situations when you talk about Tom Brady being special and recognizing the mismatch, you have to be able to hide it a little bit better. We can make that play and I've seen Geno make it before, and I've seen him make it on tight ends. It wasn't like a mismatch that we didn't feel very comfortable with but their guy made a better play and their guy made a better throw and they won there.
On the decision to punt from the 35 Not to give Tom Brady the deadly throw of giving him the ball right there on the 35. Tom gets the ball with the short field, he's going to put a dagger in you; try to keep him backed up. When we had him backed up a couple of times, we forced a punch on him and the one thing he's going to do is assume late first downs. You don't want to give him the ball there with two first downs and give him the opportunity to get more field goals and points. If we can hold him back and get an interception or something like that from him, we feel good about the decision, but Tom, he's the guy that changed the game, he's the guy you worry about constantly and worry about field position with. When you have a great quarterback like that, that's what he does and that's what he will do for you.
On Wes Welkers crossing routes He's a problem and he has a great quarterback that understands every defense, every situation that you're in, and you don't get lucky and go ten for ten when you target a guy ten times, you hit him ten times, you know exactly when you want to get it to him and you know exactly when he has the ability to get the ball. A lot of short passes that he has great ability to get the ball and run the game. I told him after the game, get out of the game; and he knows it, and he's a great guy and a great human and I know him personally and that's probably why he gave me more of a dagger today.
On if his players were slipping on the turf I don't know, but the Patriots, I don't get into that as an excuse really. The Patriots slipped as well. They slipped to 35 points and we slipped to 7 and gave up 35 and two interceptions. The game is what it is, and the field is what it is. Great field, great atmosphere, weird atmosphere. It's not a problem. I've seen a couple of games here where it's cold; and we have a beautiful day with beautiful atmosphere and beautiful fans and a great tempo.
On the Bucs getting better as a team You know, you've seen them get better every single week besides the one setback with the Giants which I really felt was a setback. You came out today and played a really dominant team in the Patriots, nobody blinked and everybody remained unwavered. We had guys that were very emotional guys and got guys on the sidelines that come off and they were adapting themselves very quickly; one talking to and they are good. They are back in the game and back in focus and we are doing what we can
and for him to step up and play Randy Moss as well as he did was a credit to him. With the success today, from the whole play, Jackson, coming back playing very well; Ronde Barber played very well. We need to play better and we need to play better across the board. We'll get better as a team. Everybody
I'm not going to say the word again, I think you guys all know that, we all know that and that's who and what we are, and there's no excuse for losing. I'm not going to use that anymore. I'm done.
QB Josh Johnson
On how he feels Honestly I feel fine. With the interception, the first one, we had a route where he gets to choose if he wants to break it or hook it and he hooked it. I kind of anticipated that he might break it out because I knew the coverage they were playing so he hooked it and I threw it. My fault. We took more shots and tried to push the ball down the field. In regards to the incompletions, we were trying to push it down the field and they were covering underneath things, and that's kind of been our thing, underneath routes, getting the ball out of my hand and we were trying to push it down the field. And then the second interception was me trying to make a play, pretty much, and not being on the same page with the receiver. The third one, it was in the half, just put the ball on the play. It never really felt out of sync. I felt like we always had a chance to move the ball. I mean, we got our running game going. Passing game, it was up and down. We had our ups and downs and it was frustrating but we kept fighting on the offensive side of the ball. We had opportunities at the end of the game to put points on the board and unfortunately we weren't able to do that. It was frustrating but I mean, I got
one thing I'm most frustrated in myself about was just the turnovers. That's what hurt us. I feel like that hurt us a lot, because our defense played
they played pretty well. It's going to be tough on them if we put them in bad situations to stop an offense with Tom Brady and Wes and Randy Moss over there. It's tough. We knew we had to do some things on the offensive side of the ball we weren't able to do that.
On if the speed of the game in the NFL is a problem No, the speed of the game is not the issue. The guys, they just weren't making plays. Most of my turnovers have been when I try to do too much, trying to do
trying to give big plays. That has been the problem and trying to do too much on all those picks. All those picks, even the one last week, I tried to throw the one underneath. Today probably could have had an underneath route. And me being a mobile guy, that's what's most frustrating about it because I can do things with my feet but just trying to do things down the field and give guys opportunities to make plays. The speed of the issue is not the issue. We have playmakers on this team. The issue is me trying to do too much.
On what he likes about the team One thing about this team, we will fight. We will keep playing until it's 00:00 left on the scoreboard. That's always something you can learn from that. When you lose there's always positives to take out of the situation because it's a loss and we are 0 7 right now. We have to go into this bye week and we have to become a better team and do better all around. Offensively, we have to put more points on the board, because to help our defense out, we have to sustain drives so they won't be on the field as much.
On how to make the team better as the quarterback I have to eliminate turnovers. From my end one thing that we can do is not turn the ball over and that's what I did. Everyone has done things that played a part us in us losing games, but I know for me it's been turnovers, and turnovers in this league is what changed the games around, because thats all it takes, and all our losses have been maybe four or five plays that just makes the game just go
get out of hand. And for me as a quarterback, that's one thing I have to grow upon is just throwing the ball away, or taking the check down here, just have to be less aggressive when it's unnecessary. I guess that's the way to put it, because all those turnovers were me trying to do too much.
On what the conversation between him and Coach Morris was when he was replaced I told him, you don't have to say anything, I understand. Just the same situation as Byron. If we don't win games, maybe Josh is going to play. I understood what was going on when I first was the starting quarterback. I knew that once these games are out of hand that I might come out of the game. And I told him, I totally understand. I understand the whole situation right now, and it's perfectly fine. I have gotten an opportunity to play four games and who knows what happens after this, but I've gotten a lot better and I appreciate the experience I've had in the past four games. I've grown a lot as an NFL quarterback in these last four games and without that opportunity, I might be behind right now. All I can do is get better from it, and whatever happens, happens, and I know that next time I get the opportunity to play on the field, I've just got to do better, because all it boils down to is consistency, wins, and that's pretty much it. No matter what you do individually, it really doesn't matter if the team isn't winning games, and it all falls on the shoulders of the quarterback and I totally understand the whole situation and whatever happens, happens. I am a player on this team, and I will do whatever I can do to help us win football games, because that's all it's about right now is us winning football games.
CB Ronde Barber
On the game starting out badly Yeah, seems like a lot of games we are starting behind the 8 ball. You know, Josh has that interception to start the game, has not played a defensive snap. It's happened a couple of times this year. But I felt like we were
morale was still high. We still felt like we had time to get back in it. It's hard to answer your question. A loss is a loss no matter what it looks like. You know, if we lost that game by seven points, or what did we lose it by, 20 something, still, it feels bad. But we had some three and outs against a really good offense. Tom was sharp. We were sharp, too. We made some plays on him. We doubled his interception total to four. That's something to pat ourselves on the back for. But at the end of the day, they were just too much. He had a lot of time and he found his guys.
On how the Patriots used Wes Welker To tell you the truth, we knew they had some screens in their offense. I didn't see that many in a two season cut up. They really attacked our coverage, got those linemen out front who made some plays. I think he caught four of them today. So you know, you give them credit. They took it to their
to our weaknesses and they found a way.
On Wembley Stadium It's nice. Great stadium. It's a great stadium. I think we are all pretty excited about being here for sure. The turf to me was better than it's been in the past, even though it still was a little slick. But you know, it felt really like a northeast game for us. There's some turfs up north that feels like that. But the stadium and atmosphere were great. They did their best to simulate a home game for us, and I think I was talking to Neil over here and he said it would have been easy for the fans to turn for New England but it was a pretty balanced crowd. It was good. It was a nice experience.
On Josh Freeman We practice against him every week. He's been scout team quarterback for the past three weeks or so. Josh is starting to get it. Who knows what it will be like when you put him in front of a lot of bullets, but the kid has got a strong arm, he seems to have some poise about him, which will hopefully work for him down the road whenever he gets his shot, and I'm not sure when that's going to be. But you know, he's big, he's strong, he's got all the intangibles. On paper, he should be good. Let's see what he looks like when he has to play.
C Jeff Faine
On having young quarterbacks Well, I don't think it's just limited to those guys. Even if the guys are not around the whole team, this is a very young team that has not played together for a long period of time. So those are part of the things. Those are growing pains all across the board, not just at the quarterback position. That's something we are having to deal with but I can't just peg it just on the quarterback position. That's something that we definitely just have to keep working through. It was a tremendous experience to be able to see, the little that I did see, the experience of playing in Wembley Stadium and really just experiencing the people themselves. They were very, very courteous and very, very nice. It was very refreshing to come over and to be supported so well.
On if the trip was challengin It's challenging from the standpoint of the flight. The time difference I didn't think it was too big of a difference because we play at this time anyways normally in the United States. It's basically 1 o'clock when we started the game. So the flight itself was a little taxing but the time difference was not that big of a deal.
On Josh Johnson in the huddle when the game was out of hand I thought that his character and his demeanor in the huddle was good. It was actually kind of weird. It was better than what it is in practice. You know, it was almost like he had to play under the lights to come in and really speak up. But you know, it is what it is. We are just getting them some reps and getting them a little game experience. I thought that Josh Johnson for the most part played a pretty good game. He was pressured for the most part a good bit. I think he did what he could do.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Head Coach Bill Belichick
Opening statement It's a great way to end this week for our football team. I thought these guys really put in a good week of preparation. We started on Tuesday and got a lot of work done in Foxboro on Wednesday and Thursday and came out here and made the adjustment. And, you know, we went out there, played hard. Made some plays. So did Tampa. Some weren't so good, but we made some good ones. And I'm really proud of the guys for that. They stepped up. We had a pretty good effort on defense in the first quarter. Got a couple turnovers and offensively we were able to get some points on the board, and they scored 35 points. Should be able to win in this league. So really happy with what they did today. We got a little bit of time now to go back and regroup and work on
certainly a lot of things we need to work on here going forward. We've got a tough game coming up against Miami and we know the whole second half of the season really has a lot of challenges from week to week, but we'll tackle Miami first. So good to get on the plane and get back. It's been an enjoyable couple days here and glad we could end it on a positive note for our football team.
On playing in London It's like a regular game. Once you get out there, you're concentrating on coaching the game, playing the game and Tampa in this case. And so I think whoever we're playing, that's the way we feel about it. But the week, the environment was good, and the people of London and all the people connected with our stay here, the hotel and the buses and the stadium and everybody was very hospitable. It was a good experience for all of us, and I'm happy we won.
On Wes Welkers play Had a lot of big plays. Had a couple third down conversions. Of course had a score on a slip screen early in the game. So he comes through like he always does. I thought all our receivers played well. Randy had some big plays for us, Wes, Sam had a big play. We were able to get Tate involved. Ben Watson made a big play for us in man coverage there and Laurence ran well and Kevin made some plays. We spread the ball around. And Wes probably got more of them. Also a nice punt return. But they all stepped up and did a good job.
On LB Junior Seau He had a couple of good days of practice. Has a long way to go, obviously. He's missed so much time compared to everybody else. And so this is training camp for him like the preseason games were for the other players in training camp when they got some practices and then played in the game. We've just got to accelerate the pace for him. But he's worked hard. I think he's in good shape and needs snaps on the field and reps and things he hasn't had. But I'm sure the more he gets of those, the better he'll be and he'll see things the second and third time around, just execute and run its routes better, do little things in passing game. But he's got good talent and he works hard and it's important to him, so I respect that. Respect the way he practiced this week.
On Brandon McGowan Sure. I think Brandon's had a real good year for us. From the beginning of training camp he's really been a leader for us back in the secondary, making calls, making adjustments, sometimes taking harder responsibilities with the safeties. And he and Brandon have worked well together and Patrick and James. We have a good group back there, Shawn when he's been in there. But Brandon stepped up with some huge plays today. And those are the plays he's capable of making. And he's been around those. And today they fell for them. But he's a good player for us, and there's a lot of plays he makes that don't show up on the stat sheet. Today's plays did, but there's a lot of ones that he makes that dont. He's done a real good job.
On the play of the Patriots secondary The secondary has been challenged every week. Great receivers, great quarterbacks every single week, so doesn't matter who the opponent is. And we face some of the top offenses and there will be more in the season. Every week is a new challenge.
On the safeties We played all those guys, played James and Patrick along with Brandon and Meriweather and McGowan. I think we've got all of them decent amount of snaps, and those guys do a good job for us. We've got good depth at corner. Good depth at safety. And we played all those
we played all them in different combinations, different situations. So I think it's good that we build up that kind of depth and communication in our secondary and had different personnel groups that we can match differently with the offensive people. Patrick has gotten better and better each week. Football is really important to him. Comes in, spends a lot of time at it, as does Brandon McGowan, Meriweather and Sanders and all those guys, Shawn in the corner. So I think we're growing as a secondary. Hopefully we can continue to develop. Certainly we'll see a lot of good passing teams going forward here.
On the pass rush
You know, I think we overall pressured decent amount in this game. We had different people come, safeties, corners, linebackers, tried to mix it up on them a little bit and tried to keep Johnson in the pocket, which we had some success doing. Sometimes he got out and he hurt us. But he's really an athletic guy and I hate to see him running around there in open spaces, so we try to keep him boxed in. Sometimes we did, sometimes we didn't.
On the play of WR Sam Aiken Sam's one of our most solid players. He's such a dependable guy in the kicking game. Seems like every time we need for him to step up offensively he's there and he delivers. Sam's one of our hardest working guys. He's tough, does some of the dirty work offensively and the kicking game and the blocking and cracking and covering kicks and all those kind of things. And it's nice to see him get a chance to handle the ball. And he's a big strong guy. And he's hard to bring down. Made a couple of plays for us last year on flip screens and run after catch. And he did that again today, ran through a tackle and showed he's got a little bit of speed out there. So we needed him to step up today. We only had four receivers at the game. Not including Slater, but four receivers, and we knew Brandon Tate was going to be a little bit limited on the number of snaps that he got. Sam did a nice job filling in there and stepping up and making plays, not just filling in, but being productive for us.
On QB Tom Brady Tom's comfortable. Of course he's got a comfortable runoff, doing it for nine years. Tom's the guy that works hard and every week he's such a positive player on our football team, both for himself, our team and the younger players, particularly a week like this with Sam and Brandon and even Matt Slater jumping in there taking a few plays. Nobody prepares harder than Tom. Nobody works harder than Tom. And all the success that he gets on the field he really deserves, because he puts so much into it and gives so much of himself for this football team. He's a great leader. He's a great worker. And I'm glad he's our quarterback. There's nobody I'd rather have than Tom Brady.
On the conditions at Wembley Stadium Seemed like it was all right. I wasn't here for the other two games. So I can't comment on those. I know one of them was in the rain. No, it seemed fine. The venue is really awesome. It's an awesome stadium, and surface was good. Really no wind there.
S Brandon Meriweather
On his interceptions You always want to kind of put a stress on turning the ball over. At the end of the day, if you get a lot of turnovers, nine times out of ten you win.
On how he got his interceptions That's where the film studies come in at. They actually ran that play against Carolina last week. And the coaches just happened to put us in a great position. So when coach put us in a great position, I think the quarterback and the receiver were on two different pages and he just happened to throw the ball and I just happened to get a good break on it
On if the Patriots defense is getting better I think we're young. I think we have a lot of things to get better at, and I think we do a lot of things well. So we still got some stones to build and some stones to overcome, but we're going to be all right.
On the trip to London To be honest, I think my favorite part besides the win was going to see the palace and Big Ben. Actually, I take that back. We went to a haunted house that was over by Big Ben yesterday and just to see some of my teammates act like little kids, happened to be probably the best part of my weekend.
QB Tom Brady
On WR Wes Welker He's all right. He's all right. I'll tell you, he needs to leave if I'm going to
anyway, he's a great player. He does everything right out there. He's always in the right spot. He gets open versus any coverage on any route. He and Randy and the way Aik played today, they all stepped up and made some great plays. So we needed it.
On the Wembley fans Well, hopefully they enjoyed it. There were some good plays out there by us. It wasn't as close a game as they've had in some of the past years, but happy we came out with the win. We came over here hoping to get a victory, and we did that. So it's nice going into a bye with a couple of victories under our belt, and it will be a fun flight home tomorrow.
On coming to London again I'm all for it. I'm all for it. If we can guarantee in that bye in week eight, I'd love that, too. So it was a fun experience for all of us, to think we all took something different out of it. You don't get this opportunity too often, and I think all the guys really enjoyed it. All the flashbulbs were going out there before kickoff and everybody seemed excited. The went on for about 10 minutes, which you don't see that in the States too often. They seemed excited for the fans here. I think it's a privilege for the players to come over here and get to enjoy this type of experience. So, like I said, it probably will never happen again for us, so we'll retire 1 0 internationally.
On WR Brandon Tate He did good. It's pretty tough to do without practicing at all for all through training camp, the first six weeks of the year, and come out there, return kicks like he did. He had a nice play on a reverse. Every week he's going to get better. We need depth at that position and he's going to be called upon as a contributor even though he's a rookie. So he's got to keep making improvements.
On offensive success I'd love to go out there and play my best every time out for my teammates, for my coaches and the fans certainly. But I think what we did today was
it was good enough. And we had a goal coming over here and there was certainly plenty of distractions for us, but to get the win and then to fly home and have a little bit of time off, I think we'll all reflect on the last seven weeks and hopefully move forward with better preparation, better concentration, and go out there and be able to perform better in the last nine weeks of the year.
On how the trip went I think we handled it great. We came over here on a Thursday. We took the late flight on Thursday. Got here Friday morning. Had a couple of days to adjust. I think everybody was really energized before the game. So I think that part was really good. Everyone seemed like the concentration was good. We had a practice on Friday, which was good. So I think the preparation was great. I felt great today. I felt well rested and ready to go out there and perform like we did.
On spending time with his teammates Well, I think that we don't as football players often get to spend as much time together as we had all day Thursday, all day Friday, all day Saturday, all day Sunday, pretty much all day Monday. So most of the time you leave on a Saturday morning. You're together on a Saturday night. You play Sunday in your home. So I think we all went out to dinner on Friday night, which you don't get a chance to do too often, spending ten meals together and all sitting on the plane together. We had a great flight over. I think just that experience for all of us and getting to know each other will serve us well down the road. A lot of new players, and it's nice to come together and experience something like this. It's a unique bonding experience for all of us.
WR Wes Welker
On the atmosphere at Wembley Stadium I thought it was really nice. It really reminded me of the Super Bowl in Arizona, how the field felt to me. So having that experience, I had on the right shoes. We did have to go with the screw ins, but really there weren't too many slips out there where I was falling down or anything like that. I think there was one time where I was trying to cut. But other than that, it was a fast track and I liked it.
On WR Brandon Tate I mean, he did a good job out there. It's tough for a rookie, especially he's been out there for a week. So really just coming in and understanding the system. We got a very complicated system. So for a guy to jump in there, it's tough on them. But he'll learn as he goes, and he's a good player, did a lot of good things in practice this week, and we just have to keep bringing him along and have him be a force to be reckoned with out there.
On his touchdown Yeah, it was really well blocked. We got offensive linemen that can really get out there and block. Whenever I got the screen I saw Barber kind of slip, so I knew we had a chance to get in the end zone on that. So the guys did a great job of getting a hat on a hat, and I was able to get in the end zone on that.
On getting yards after the catch Absolutely. Especially when you're catching five yard routes you've got to be able to do something with it afterwards. So that's something I definitely gotta be able to do or I'll be out of a job here pretty quick. So it's definitely something I take pride in and try to accomplish.
On the offense improving Well, we're getting some big plays out there. I know in the first quarter of the season, we really weren't getting any big plays. And I think that's really changing. And coach made a point of it, and the guys really kind of answered to it. And we want to go out there and make big plays every opportunity we get. So that's what we're able to do. I think the big plays are the difference in us being able to do some things out there.
On the advantages of the trip I mean, same thing that Tom talked about. Being around the guys. We all went to dinner on Friday night and hung out. And then yesterday I got to walk around London a little bit and kind of get the feel of it and things like that. So it was cool to just kind of get that experience. I've never been to Europe before. So getting to come over here and check it out was cool for me.
On the crowd They were great, man. I'm a big soccer fan. So I played soccer all growing up. So really getting to kind of feel that vibe and everything. Them doing the wave, you couldn't hear anything when they started to do the wave and things like that. So it was definitely a cool experience to see their energy and what they bring to the game.
On the hardest part of the trip You know, I think the sleep. We ended up having a meeting at 8:30 on Saturday. I don't think anybody was too happy about. That was probably the biggest one, getting up early on Saturday. I would have liked about 10:00, something like that. But Coach wasn't having it.