March 4, 2024

Patriots

Belichick additionally mentioned what he particularly thinks Bailey Zappe has accomplished properly in a beginning quarterback function.

Invoice Belichick following the Patriots’ win in Denver over the Broncos. AP Picture/David Zalubowski

Invoice Belichick and the Patriots loved a merrier Christmas following the dramatic 26-23 win over the Broncos on Sunday evening. Returning to his regular media schedule on Tuesday following the vacation, Belichick described the workforce’s journey dwelling from Denver.

“We had some guys who actually play lots of soccer, and simply left every little thing on the sphere. It was fairly spectacular,” Belichick instructed WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Present” throughout his weekly interview. “The trouble that they put on the market, I feel there have been lots of drained individuals on the flight, however very satisfying to return out of there with a win. Powerful place to play.”

Regardless of New England’s 4-11 document, Belichick contested that his workforce wanted motivation to maintain taking part in its greatest.

“Our guys have been fairly constant day-after-day, each week, making ready, on the brink of go,” he mentioned when requested how New England had been in a position to match (and exceed) the efforts of a Broncos workforce that was combating for a playoff spot.

It was the Patriots’ second win with Bailey Zappe because the beginning quarterback. The 24-year-old accomplished 25 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns. He drove New England into area objective vary late within the fourth quarter for what proved to be the game-winning rating.

Belichick praised Zappe’s improvement.

“The quarterback place, most vital factor is ball safety and defending the workforce, and never turning the ball over,” he mentioned. “That’s positively gotten higher for [Zappe]. He’s made some key performs on third down, and explosive performs down the sphere to completely different receivers.”

Zappe additionally acquired credit score for making the offense run extra easily.

“I believed he did a superb job in Pittsburgh and Denver dealing with the group noise and dealing with the operation on the line of scrimmage fairly cleanly,” mentioned Belichick. “We didn’t have many psychological issues there. I imply there have been a few occasions the place we bought beat and that type of factor, however so far as simply getting the performs referred to as proper, run proper, blocked proper, he did a superb job on that.”

Noting that Zappe is “transferring in the correct path,” Belichick concurred that the younger quarterback’s confidence has grown with every begin.

One other participant on the offense, Ezekiel Elliott, offered a safety blanket for Zappe. The veteran working again caught 9 passes and led the workforce in dashing (albeit with simply 27 yards), and scored a landing.

It was the kind of late-season sport that the Patriots introduced Elliott in for when he was signed as a free agent shortly earlier than the beginning of the season.

Regardless of not taking part in for New England in a yr when the December video games are extra vital when it comes to potential playoff eventualities, Elliott has remained a reliable presence.

Belichick was questioned about Elliott’s impression, although he pushed again on the notion that the Patriots have been constantly blown out within the workforce’s 11 losses in 2023.

“I wouldn’t say there have been too many video games the place we’ve been out of it on the scoreboard,” Belichick countered, “however [Elliott’s] accomplished a superb job for us.

“He’s very skilled,” Belichick added of Elliott. “Clearly has lots of expertise, and apart from a pair ball safety points, he’s given us a extremely stable degree of play working the ball, catching the ball, and definitely his sturdiness and dependability have been good. When Rhamondre [Stevenson] bought damage, his carries have ticked up and his taking part in time has ticked up, and he’s actually been in a position to shoulder that load. He’s accomplished a superb job for us.”

With the common season transferring into its closing stretch of video games, questions on Belichick’s future in New England have grown. Within the context of New York Jets proprietor Woody Johnson lately telling the New York Publish that head coach Robert Salah and common supervisor Joe Douglas could be again in 2024, Belichick was requested about his relationship with Robert Kraft.

Does he really feel supported by Kraft?

“I don’t actually know something in regards to the Jets’ scenario, that’s about them,” Belichick mentioned in response. “Attempting to prepare for Buffalo right here.”

A follow-up query was posed to the Patriots’ coach: Does he need Kraft to publicly endorse his future with the workforce?

“My job is to get the workforce able to play each week,” Belichick replied. “That’s what I do, in order that’s what I’m going to maintain doing. It’s what I’ve at all times accomplished.”