Q: As you reviewed the game, was there any play or sequence that was critical to the outcome in your opinion?
BB: Well, there were a lot of them. I mean, it was a tight game, really came down to the last possession, so honestly every possession was critical.
Q: What have you seen from Malcom Brown in terms of performance this season?
BB: I think Malcom’s worked very hard. He’s getting better every week.
Q: In the fourth quarter, there were two defensive holding calls. What is happening on those plays that is leading to that call?
BB: Well, it’s called by the back judge. A lot of times, on those combination blocks, one guy is leaving the block, the other guy is trying to take over the block and the defender is playing the guy that’s leaving him. Sometimes he gets too much of him in the official’s eyes.
Q: Was Malcolm Butler’s interception a result of something he picked up during the game or more because he knew what to expect because of the game situation and time on the clock?
BB: I don’t know. He got a real hard stem release there from [Robby] Anderson going inside. He ended up inside the receiver and then undercut the route and got his head around, made a great play on the ball and really it was a pretty well-executed route and throw. I mean, the ball was right there. It really wasn’t behind the receiver. It was right on him, but Malcolm just made a great play there, kind of like the play that [Jeremy] Kerley made on Jonathan Jones. Jonathan was in great position and went up and played the ball perfectly. It was a great throw and a great catch. I mean, players in this league make great plays. That was an outstanding play by Malcolm.
Q: Your run defense looks like it made a step in the right direction yesterday. In addition to Brown, how did the other tackles you worked into the game help impact your run defense?
BB: Well, I thought we got contributions from all those players – Lawrence [Guy], Alan [Branch], Malcom [Brown] and Adam [Butler] gave us some snaps in there, too, that were good. They all have a little bit different playing style, but they were all productive. It certainly helps our linebacker play when the defensive line plays consistent and they can do a good job in front and then the linebackers can do a good job and then the secondary can fit off them, so it works in front of that. But, I thought our defensive line did a lot of good things yesterday. There’s still a lot of things we need to work on, obviously. I’m not saying we’re there yet, but we did a lot of good things up front. Like I said, I think Malcom’s improved pretty much every week. I know he’s definitely helping us making some significant plays for us out there and, again, eating up a lot of plays in front of him so that other guys, like Elandon [Roberts], Kyle [Van Noy], Dont’a [Hightower] and those guys, can fit in and make the tackles.
Q: What are your thoughts on Brandin Cook’s ability to come down with big catches and keep his toes in bounds, like he did on the 42-yard pass before the half?
BB: Well, yeah, he does a good job of that. He’s got explosive speed and tracks the ball well and has great awareness of where he is on the field and how to get his feet down. It was a good throw and a good catch – a very good catch and good job of tracking the ball. That was a big play for us.
Q: Is there a concern about the lack of tight end production outside of Rob Gronkowski, and how will it be addressed if it is a concern?
BB: Well, I mean, look, our job offensively is to move the ball and score points. So, however we can do that, that’s what we’re trying to do. I’m sure if we threw the ball to a bunch of other guys and didn’t throw it to Gronkowski, we’d be asking why Rob didn’t get more targets. So, I don’t know. I mean, if he’s out there and he has a good matchup, then Tom’s [Brady] going to give him a look and he’s going to get some throws. There may be another player that’s – we had that on a couple plays yesterday. There’s more than one guy open on the play, and the quarterback went to where he thought was the best place to go, which I wouldn’t second guess him on those, but it doesn’t mean that other guys weren’t open. It doesn’t mean other guys weren’t part of the play, but there’s only one ball and the quarterback has to throw it to the spot that he feels is the best spot for it.
Q: What are your thoughts on the way the offensive and defensive units have been playing in the fourth quarter in the last few weeks?
BB: Well, I mean, I think we can all look back and see the same thing that you saw. So, I don’t think that’s any big revelation. You know, we had a good run on the second-to-last drive, called back with a holding penalty. It was about a 20-yard run, so that could have changed things quite a bit, but we were penalized. I mean, it was a good call. I’m not saying that. It’s just we’ve got to do a better job for 60 minutes, just like the start of the game defensively wasn’t what we wanted it to be. Look, we’re trying to play 60 minutes in all three phases of the game. We’ve gotten some good performances in all three units at various points in the game, and we’ve gotten some that we’d like to be better. That’s what we’re working for is to make it 60 minutes. Go back and look at all five games, six games, and there’s something in the fourth quarter that could be better in every phase. I’m sure that’s the way it is with most teams most every week. We’ll just keep working and improving it.