Bill Belichick wasn’t giving out black box recordings to explain the final play of Sunday’s loss to Miami.
On a Monday afternoon conference call, Belichick gave nothing specific to explain why the Patriots coaching staff put the personnel on the field it did. And Belichick didn’t get into the execution breakdowns that followed.
Instead, he accepted blanket blame saying, “I gotta do a better job with it” when speaking about situational football.
“There were a lot of things that coulda been better on that play,” he added.
Rob Gronkowski, who was the last line of defense before Miami’s Kenyan Drake scored on a play that featured two laterals, was on the field because of his ability to knock down a deep pass. That much, Belichick acknowledged.
But Belichick dug in when pressed about a game-winning Hail Mary being out of the question.
“I think it was a little too far to get to the end zone but certainly a deep pass in that situation is a possibility,” said Belichick. “I wouldn’t rule that out.”
A deep pass on its own that was caught short of the end zone would have done the Dolphins no good. There would have been no time on the clock after the reception and – even if there was a second left – Miami had no timeouts to stop the clock.
So the logic is the Patriots were guarding against a long pass and a deflection that a pile-lurking Dolphin could potentially snag turn into a touchdown.
But that scenario also would have made Gronk’s presence a bad choice instead of a quick defensive back with pursuit and tackling skills.
Belichick would not go that far, though.
“I think there’s a lot of things that could have been better on that play and I think there’s a lot of things that could have been better in the entire game as well,” Belichick replied when asked about the absence of Devin McCourty on the play. “There was a lot more than that play but certainly that play wasn’t a good one for us.”
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