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Cotchery grab digs at Belichick

New York Jets wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery runs

New York Jets wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery runs from a tackle attempt by New England Patriots safety Sergio Brown, rear, during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game in Foxborough, Mass. (Jan. 16, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

Just to put a bow on the week that was, Bill Belichick held his day-after press conference today and the one play that really seemed to be sticking him was the 58-yard reception to Jericho Cotchery that gave the Jets breathing room after the Patriots had cut it to 14-11.

“Obviously we did a very poor job on that play defensively,” Belichick said, one of the few times during his address that he seemed genuinely aggitated. “That was bad. A 4-yard pass and it goes for 60 yards. Just bad.”

Belichick was less critical of the decision to run a fake punt late in the second quarter. That play was an audible called by Patrick Chung, the protector who wound up dropping the snap.

“There are a lot of things that can happen on a lot of different plays,” he said regarding on-field decisions such as audibles. “I’m not going to get into a detailed analysis of one play. There are 1,000 things that can happen.”

Belichick was also asked, even had the fake worked, if it was the right play situationally.

“We can go through 1,000 hypotehticals,” he said. “What happens happens. I’ll let you deal with all the ifs, ands and buts.”

As for the tempo of the Patriots' fourth-quarter drive that plodded for almost eight minutes and resulted in zero points, Belichick said he had no problem with the pace of the football there. Had they scored it would have been a one-score game with five minutes left. But the Patriots turned it over on downs, of course, and spent half of the final quarter on a wild goose chase.

Belichick’s coaching season is not over. He and the Patriots staff will be leading the AFC squad in the Pro Bowl.

“It’s definitely not where we want to be,” he said. “We’ll go out there and do it.”

He was asked if he can use any of his time with some of the league’s best players scouting them for the future.

“Based on the level and tempo of those practices, I think that will be pretty minimal,” he said. “Scout the golfing.”

Belichick also commented on how the lockout is affecting his plans for next year. “Right now there’s nothing to work on,” he said. “As far as an offseason program, there isn’t any.”

And he wrapped up his press conference with a gesture to the media.

“I appreciate everybody’s cooperation and patience at times,” he said before walking off the stage.

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