BB: It’s always good to get off to a good start here in the opener. I thought our guys played really competitively. We did a lot of good things. Obviously, some things we need to improve on, clean up on. But that’s the way it always is in a game like this. Houston’s tough. We expected it to go all 60 minutes, like it did, and come down to the final play. That’s pretty much what we’ve got. It’s good to get the first one. We’ve got a long way to go. We’ve got a lot of work to do and we’ll just keep grinding it out here and see if we can get better each day, get better each week.
Q: How much do you think the full season that Phillip Dorsett has now had has helped him progress in the system?
BB: I’m sure it’s helped him; yeah. I’m sure it’s helped him.
Q: Can you talk about his performance today?
BB: Yeah, as I said, there were a lot of good things in every area and then there are things we need to do a better job on. We’ll just keep working at it. He’s worked hard all spring, all training camp. He’s been out there every day and just keeps getting better.
Q: Are you ever surprised at how Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are seemingly able to connect during high pressure situations?
BB: We see it quite a bit every day. That’s two great players. Both have a lot of skill, both very good at what they do. They don’t need a lot to complete passes. We see that every day in training camp and in practice. They’re both really good. Rob’s hard to cover and Tom can put the ball where only Rob can get it and Rob can get a lot of those. I’m glad we have them. They’re both great players.
Q: Are you pleased with the way your team made adjustments today?
BB: What adjustments are you talking about?
Q: You guys seemed to adjust to containing Deshaun Watson throughout the game. Were you pleased with that effort today?
BB: Yeah, I thought we did some good things. We certainly played him better than we did last year, not that that would take much. Yeah, I mean, again, no one guy can stop Watson so it’s got to be team defense, it’s got to be coverage, it’s got to be pass rush, it’s got to be discipline, man, zone, whatever it is, however many guys you’re rushing, whatever the play is. It could be drop-back pass, play actions. They had some move-the-pocket plays with the quarterback. [It was] good team defense. He’s a hard guy to stop. [DeAndre] Hopkins is a hard guy to stop. They do a good job in the running game. We had our hands full with all of those things. Fortunately, we were able to make enough plays to come out on top.
Q: What impressed you about your execution in the two-minute drill at the end of the first half, and how important was the focus that the offense showed to get up to the ball and run another play following Rob Gronkowski’s catch late in that drive?
BB: Well, we got off to a good start in the drive with a couple of runs from Jeremy [Hill] and he got out of bounds on the second one, so that got us up close to midfield or so. We only had one timeout left. We used two timeouts on defense. I think it was two. Yeah, we used two timeouts on defense to get the ball back. We had no choice but to go to the ball quickly and certainly in a situation like that we’d want to go anyway. We wouldn’t want a play stoppage if we didn’t have to have one. It was a good heads-up play, but that’s what we practice and we executed it pretty well. It was a great drive after we had had several series offensively that weren’t all that productive. To get the ball in that situation and be able to take it down there in, whatever it was – a minute and 40 – or something like that. Josh [McDaniels], the offensive staff, the players did a great job.
Q: How much do you learn about your offense and what the various players are capable of doing in a regular-season game today versus what you may see in the preseason and throughout training camp?
BB: Yeah, well we’ll learn some things today. We’ll learn a lot over the next few games here. We play different types of defenses and different types of players. We’ll see how it all comes together. As I said, we did some good things today and there were some things we did that weren’t so good that we need to improve on or figure out something else to do, and that’s true in all three phases of the game. We need to do a good job of coaching, do a better job of coaching, try to put the players in good position and get higher execution levels.
Q: Did you feel that after challenging DeAndre Hopkins’ catch you got a better sense for how that type of play will be officiated going forward regarding what will or won’t be overturned on replay?
BB: Yeah, but I don’t think that had – I’m not really sure what you’re talking about here. The two plays in Carolina, both challenges that I made and Ron [Rivera] made, were about did the receiver have possession and then a fumble. On this one, Hopkins went to the ground for the ball. It was either he caught it or he didn’t catch it. I don’t know if you were referencing the new rule. I don’t think this play had anything to do with the change in the rule whatsoever. Again, I don’t think it had anything to do with it. I think they ruled it was a catch. I’m not so sure, but it doesn’t really matter what I think. They made the call so that’s what it was.
Q: How big of an impact did that punt from Ryan Allen and Jonathan Jones downing the ball at the 1-yard line have on Houston’s ability to execute late in the game?
BB: Well, it made a big difference in this game because they were out of timeouts and that added what would’ve been touchback yardage, so another 19 yards to the drive. It was a huge play. It ran about eight or nine seconds off of the clock. In the end, I think what they were hoping for, what I would be hoping for offensively is that you can get close enough offensively to throw the ball into the end zone and hope to make a play. The ball was far enough away from the end zone that Watson couldn’t really get it there. Had that ball gone into the end zone and they had another 19 yards, I don’t know, maybe it could’ve gotten to the end zone. It was a big play. It was a great kick. It was a great job by Jonathan. Ryan’s done a real good job for us putting the ball down tight for us.
Q: How great was it to have Jonathan Jones back for not only his contributions on special teams but to be able to contribute on defense for you once again?
BB: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it’s great to have Jon back. Jon’s a really good football player. He has a big role for us in our substituted defenses against multiple receivers. He does a great job in the kicking game as well, as he always has. That’s where he kind of made his mark, got started, and that’s led to a lot more opportunities for defensive playtime. He’s taken advantage of those. He’s done a really good job for us. It’s good to have him back. I thought our secondary competed pretty well against a good group of receivers. [Bruce] Ellington, obviously Hopkins, the tight ends, the backs. They split [Tyler] Ervin out, had a decent amount of empty there. They challenged us pretty good with the passing game, and obviously the quarterback with extended plays. I thought our secondary competed well and that’s what it took in this game.
Q: Will you continue to look at the punt return spot as one that needs addressing?
BB: Yeah, like I said, I think we need to improve in a lot of areas and that’s what we’ll try to do on offense, defense, special teams. We need to do some things on the coaching end better, and on the execution end better. That’s what we’ll do this week.