Bill Belichick laments Patriots' game effort vs. Raiders didn't match joint practices

·3 min read

Perry: To Belichick, Pats practiced better than they played in Vegas originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

LAS VEGAS -- Bill Belichick has helped make the phrase "on to [Team X]" a nationally-recognized catchphrase of sorts. He typically, publicly, wants to look ahead. Dwelling on something that's already happened, publicly, appears to have little value to him. Typically.

That's why his opening remarks Friday night at a press conference following the Patriots' preseason loss to the Raiders seemed atypical.

On the one hand, he admitted his team's performance in its exhibition game was not up to standard. On the other, he harkened back to what he saw as good joint practices with the Raiders and posited that perhaps his team had used up its best moments on the practice fields in Henderson, Nev.

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"All right, well we didn’t have a really good night tonight in any phase of the game," Belichick said. "That’s obvious. Might have left it on the practice field on Tuesday and Wednesday. Certainly practiced a lot better than we played out there tonight.

"Obviously, I need to clean up a lot of things here. We just didn’t play well in any phase of the game. We didn’t play with any kind of consistency. A couple of touchdowns called back, turned the ball over, didn’t play good defense, didn’t play well in the kicking game.

"I’ve obviously got to do a better job and so, it starts with me. We’ll get back to work this week and work on what kind of things we need to work on. Like I said, it’s disappointing because we did things a lot better in practice against the Raiders than we did tonight. Hopefully, we can regain that level of execution and performance."

The Patriots appeared to have a difficult practice Tuesday for the vast majority of the session. Then on Wednesday, Belichick's club bounced back with several strong periods of 11-on-11 work against Josh McDaniels and the Raiders.

The Patriots will have two more weeks of practice against themselves to refine what they hope to take with them into Miami. If they can recapture how they looked Wednesday and string days like that together, then it would stand to reason that Belichick and his team would like their chances against the Dolphins.

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"I thought we competed well with the Raiders in all areas (in the practices)," Belichick said. "They have a lot of good players. It wasn’t perfect and I won’t say anybody dominated anything, but we were competitive with them. We made a lot of good plays, they made good plays. But tonight we just didn’t do much of anything right.

"So like I said, maybe we left it on the practice field. I don’t know. But I’ve just got to get our team to a more consistent, higher competitive level than we were tonight. So, that’s what we will do."