How Did The New England Patriots React To The Win Over Carolina?

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Aug 22, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) takes the field before the start of the game against the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

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Q: You mentioned some bail out calls. There was a long one on the third-and-15 on the pass to Brandon LaFell. You ended up getting three points at the end of the drive – pretty well-executed drive, but it’s almost like getting a mulligan and then getting a birdie. Does it take the shine off it a little bit?

TB: Yeah, I mean, I think you look at each of those individual plays and you figure out what we need to do better to execute better to make the plays so that – you never want to rely on things like that. You’re right – you get a little bonus chance. And we’ll get those from time to time over the course of the season, and it’s really good to take advantage of those when you do get them. There are going to be times when we get calls on third down that go in our favor. But you know when we have opportunities to execute plays; that’s what we really want to do. We don’t want to have to wait for the ref to throw a flag or something like that. But we’re learning. We’re all learning out there with each other. Football is always about anticipation and confidence in one another and everyone being on the same page. Anticipatory offensive football is what the best offenses are all about. Those are the things that we still need to improve on. That’s why it’s still the preseason. We’ve got a few weeks until it matters and we have to try to do as many good things as possible over the next few weeks to make those improvements and then over the course of the year you try to do that every week also.

Q: Defensively was it encouraging to get the ball back pretty quickly?

TB: Yeah, they played great. We’ve been going against them all camp, so it’s nice to see them go against another offense and watch those guys rush the quarterback, pass breakups, tight coverage. That’s what we’ve been getting all camp, so it’s been great for us, great for our passing game to see the type of coverages that our defense plays. We’ve got a lot of experience with those guys. It was great to see them out on the field, rallying to the ball, making plays. We can’t lose if they don’t score, so that’s a good thing for offensive football.

Q: Overall is this a confidence builder game?

TB: Well, we could have lost 30-7 and none of it’s going to matter two weeks from now. I think it’s more just about our improvement and guys finding roles for themselves and getting into their game conditions. I think that’s what this game is all about. It’s not so much the final score; it’s just more how guys are playing and how guys are reacting to situations and whether guys can find a role on the team.

Q: So how much does it help you and the offense in general to have so many receivers back from last year, as opposed to having so many new faces last year?

TB: Yeah absolutely. I think there’s a lot of growing that you do over the course of the year. There are a lot of balls you throw, a lot of meetings, conversations you have. All the guys that came last year, there was a lot that was forced on their plate, and they’ve been able to handle it and that’s why they’re still here trying to work their butt off to try to find a role this year. You’re right, there’s not as many things you need to go over. You’re still trying to make improvements. You’re always trying to get better. No matter what point you’re at, you’re trying to build. It’s just that we were building from a different place last year. We have a lot of confidence in each other, KT [Kenbrell Thompkins] and Josh [Boyce] and Aaron [Dobson] and those guys from last year that were new – Danny [Amendola], certainly. We made some plays tonight that would have been tougher to make last year, just based on the situation in the game and the anticipation that you need from both positions.

Q: Were you able to say hi to Luke Kuechly or anybody and talk about how last year’s game ended?

TB: No, I missed those guys. I didn’t say anything. I saw them after the game, a few of the guys, but no, we didn’t bring up last year. That was…Yeah we won’t forget that one. That was some way to end it.