In his opening statement to the media following the Patriots’ 34-0 faceplant against the Saints at Gillette Stadium, Bill Belichick gave a severe diagnosis of the team, by his standards.
“Plain and simply, we’ve got to find a way to play and coach better than that,” he said. “That’s what we’re going to do: start all over, and get back on a better track than we’re on right now.”
Belichick said that he’s had to start over with past teams, though he didn’t give a specific example. But what does starting all over mean for the Patriots?
“Starting over,” Belichick answered.
Sunday was the Patriots’ second consecutive loss by 30 or more points and the first time Belichick has trailed by 30 points at home as a head coach.
“We all need to do a better job,” he said. “It’s everybody: offense, defense, special teams, players, coaches. We’ve all just got to do a better job than we’re doing.”
That was in response to a question about kicker Chad Ryland, who missed his lone field goal attempt in the defeat.
Similar to last week against the Cowboys, Belichick said he benched quarterback Mac Jones because of game script, referencing that New England trailed 31-0 after three quarters.
Will Jones start next week?
“Yeah, there were a lot of problems,” Belichick said. “It certainly wasn’t all him.”
The Saints jumped out to a 21-0- halftime lead, highlighted by Tyrann Mathieu’s interception of Jones that Mathieu returned for a score. It was yet another slow start for the Patriots after they trailed 28-3 against the Cowboys last week.
Belichick had two words on what’s causing them.
“Turnovers. Touchdowns,” he said.
One of Belichick’s most notable coaching choices was having the Patriots punt while in Saints territory and trailing in the third quarter. He said he did not think about going for the 3-yard conversion on fourth down.
“Until we’re better on third and fourth down, I don’t think so,” he said.
New England is 1-4 and reeling from two blowout defeats. When does Belichick consider personnel changes?
“We’ll do what we think is best,” he said.