New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is the master of the say-nothing press conference.
Monday was an exception.
One day after saying the officials blew a call on the decisive play Sunday, Belichick admitted he was wrong and accepted blame for the Patriots' 30-27 overtime loss to the New York Jets.
New York's Nick Folk missed a 56-yard field goal in overtime, but he received another chance when New England defensive tackle Chris Jones was flagged for pushing a teammate into the offensive formation. The rule banning such maneuvers was instituted for 2013 as a safety measure for offensive linemen.
After the game, Belichick disputed the refs' call, saying, "You can't push from the second level, but I don't think we did that."
In the visitors locker room, Jones took full responsibility for the flag and the loss, saying, "It was just my mistake, nobody else's."
A day later, Belichick acknowledged that wasn't the case. Rather, the head coach, usually a stickler for detail, preparation and situational football, admitted that he misunderstood the rule that has no specification dealing with a player being at the second level. Pushing is pushing in the rulebook, and Belichick's team was the first in history to earn a flag for the field-goal-block infraction.
"The field-goal play at the end, I think Chris is obviously trying to do the right thing by stepping up and taking responsibility, but that's not his responsibility, it's ours," Belichick said in the opening statement of his Monday morning conference call with the New England media. "We just have to do a better job of coaching that. It's not his fault, that's one me (and) the coaching staff, we just have to do a better job there. ...
"What he did was basically what he was being told to do. We just have to coach it better. That's not Chris Jones' fault."
The penalty overshadowed an active day for the rookie defensive lineman. Jones notched two sacks of Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith, and he now ranks second on the team with 3.5 sacks in the four games since he was claimed off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.