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Bill Belichick on Patrick Chung fake punt: “Just a bad mistake”

Patrick Chung left the Patriots’ locker room after Sunday’s loss to the Jets without speaking to the media, not wanting to get into his bumbled fake punt that directly led to a Jets touchdown.

But Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko confirmed that it was Chung who called the play.

“We trust the decision Patrick makes,” Mesko said. “It just didn’t work out on that particular occasion. The coaches trust him to run it and that’s why they give him the green light if he has it.”

Chung didn’t have it, though: After initially dropping the snap, he was tackled at the line of scrimmage. Just as Jets punter Steve Weatherford made a costly error during the regular season when he called his own fake punt, the Jets benefited from Chung’s costly error, as it gave New York the ball at the 37-yard line. Four plays later, Jets receiver Braylon Edwards scored a touchdown to give the Jets a 14-3 lead before halftime.

Ultimately, however, if it was Chung’s mistake, it was also a mistake on the part of Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who gave Chung the authority to make the call. Belichick had a terse exchange with reporters after the game about the play. Here’s the transcript:

Q: What was the thought process on the fake punt?

BB: We just made a bad mistake on the play. Just a bad mistake.

Q: A bad mistake in calling it or a bad mistake in execution?

BB: I’m not even going into it.

Q: It was a pretty important play.

BB: It was a bad mistake. I just said that. . . .

Q: Did you sign off on the fake punt?

BB: I’ve said all I’m going to say about that.

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37 Responses to “Bill Belichick on Patrick Chung fake punt: “Just a bad mistake””
  1. deanvernonwormer says: Jan 17, 2011 8:17 AM

    Rex Ryan is a better coach than Belichick. Belichick won nothing in Cleveland and only won in NE because of Tom Brady. You think he would have won anything with Bledsoe??

    Ryan, a second year head coach, is in the AFC championship game two years in a row with a virtual rookie playing quarterback.

    Rex is there through bringing key players to the team and great coaching. All that talk was coaching genius.

  2. joetoronto says: Jan 17, 2011 8:19 AM

    His attitude and general snottiness is fine for Pats fans when they’re winning.

    Not so much today.

  3. justinsam10 says: Jan 17, 2011 8:21 AM

    Chung wasnt experienced enough to make that play, reminiscent of the play that Bill called last season against the Colts during the regular season. I know what he was trying to do but you have to use Welker, Edelman or Brandon Tate in that situation

  4. deanvernonwormer says: Jan 17, 2011 8:22 AM

    As a coach you don’t EVER EVER give a player the authority to make a decision like that. Haven’t these players proven time and time again how just plain stupid they are?

  5. skoobyfl says: Jan 17, 2011 8:25 AM

    It’s amazing that in a close game & near the half with nothing much decided that the Pats would take any chances after only going 1/3 of the field.

    After being shutdown all half that they must of figured that they could get going, they figured wrong.

  6. giovanni07 says: Jan 17, 2011 8:29 AM

    This is what lost the game for the Pats, the Jets are fortunate to be at the right time, place

  7. contraryguy says: Jan 17, 2011 8:31 AM

    Every-body have fun tonight.
    Every-body blame Chung tonight.

  8. arodrules says: Jan 17, 2011 8:33 AM

    Belichick’s star is fading. Bye bye Pats.

  9. andyprough says: Jan 17, 2011 8:36 AM

    In other news, Zoltan Mesko and Patrick Chung unfortunately had to be destroyed by Roger Goodell’s staff last night, lest some other team get ahold of them and gain a “competitive advantage”.

  10. ampats says: Jan 17, 2011 8:36 AM

    Congrats to the Jets and their fans .

    Very disappointing end to the season but the Pats will be back.

  11. cam1282 says: Jan 17, 2011 8:39 AM


    Just like the jets will be.

    HaHa Pats fans.

  12. righthereisay says: Jan 17, 2011 8:40 AM

    Since being caught cheating the Patriots haven’t done as good.

  13. brooklynsjetfan says: Jan 17, 2011 8:46 AM


    Hope you’re still around come next year grandpa

  14. pubobby2004 says: Jan 17, 2011 8:47 AM

    bring back Matt Cassel! looks like the key to those championships was Chuck Weiss. who knew?

    oh yeah, and fake injuries and dirty play. and having the other team’s practices on tape.

  15. bspurloc says: Jan 17, 2011 8:49 AM


  16. joetoronto says: Jan 17, 2011 8:49 AM

    Look for the Pats to get rid off pretty much all their experienced players soon.

    Other than Tom Brady.

  17. canjura says: Jan 17, 2011 8:53 AM

    @ampats: classy.

  18. FoozieGrooler says: Jan 17, 2011 9:02 AM

    Aw, get off Belichick’s back.

    It’s hard to talk with a mouthful of crow.

  19. Caldon says: Jan 17, 2011 9:02 AM

    The guy screwed up but the call was not a screw up. The only reason he was stopped was because he didn’t take the snap cleanly. If he takes that snap cleanly, its a 1st down, there was a huge hole there for him to run through.

    This is just going to be one of those 20/20 hindsight times where if he gets it he is a genius and if it fails he’s stupid.

  20. FoozieGrooler says: Jan 17, 2011 9:05 AM

    Q: Did you sign off on the fake punt?

    BB: I plead the fifth.

  21. pukey60 says: Jan 17, 2011 9:07 AM

    joetoronto says: Jan 17, 2011 8:19 AM

    His attitude and general snottiness is fine for Pats fans when they’re winning.


    Perfect. Maybe he needs a change of scenery.

  22. ny82jy says: Jan 17, 2011 9:10 AM

    The pats need to find a new way to cheat asap!!!!

  23. joecool16280 says: Jan 17, 2011 9:25 AM

    Not a fan if either coach but media types expect these guys to be perfectly normal after a tough loss and then “report” that they were terse or whatever. Reporters are the lowest form of humans and goat these guys.

    The rest of America see’s what you guys do.

  24. joecool16280 says: Jan 17, 2011 9:30 AM


    Bravo dude! Best comment ever.

  25. intrafinesse says: Jan 17, 2011 9:32 AM

    The Jets Oline protected Sanchez all night, and any QB, given enough time is going to have good stats.
    As for their run blocking, it seemed that up the middle it was just so-so, that more of their running success was to the sides.

    I was really bummed at the start of the game when Sanchez looked awful, was thinking it would be another 45-3 rout. I’d also like to point out Braylon Edwards “pass defense” of a pass to Holmes, there were a few miscues by the Jets that weren’t Sanchez’s fault. I just wish that Sanchez would stop being so erratic, and stop making some of the short and wildly inaccurate throws.

    I was hoping Cotchery would get a TD, as his play warranted one. Holmes is erratic and I think Braylon Edwards should be a priority in resigning. I’d like Holmes to stay, but with his fumbles and drops he has not “made his case” to be paid like a top WR.

    >.. Bill Belichick had no answer for what the Jets were doing defensively. I think everyone assumed the Patriots were going to go into the locker room at the half and devise a new gameplan to attack the Jets and come away and win the game

    I have to admit, I was thinking this. Full credit to Rex! He said prior to the game that last meeting was his fault and he was out coached and he would handle it. He was right. Rex has demonstrated an ability to come up with good defense and mix things up. Also, few penalties, none with too many/few men on the field, and just one time caught by Brady when not everyone was ready. This looked like a well coached team, after the 2nd possession that resulted in a missed field goal by Folk.

    I didn’t realize that after Greense TD putting the Jets up by 2 TDs with 1:47 that he was waving “Good Bye” to the Pats fan, then going to bed by lying down with his head on the football “pillow”. It cost 15 yards which was bad, but was kind of funny. Alternatively, he could have taken a knee at the 1 yard line, a la MJD in 2009 to win the game with no time left.

    PS – had Folk made that field goal (even if he did make it) then the Jets win without all the theatrics.

    (PPS – check out # of first downs, time of possession, and total yards – if you didn’t know the score you would assume the Pats won)

    >.That’s not to say it was all bad though. The Patriots tried a fake punt and even if the snap was not botched the Jets had it covered. Eric Smith was going to blow that play up before it began anyway

    Had Chung run to the Left might he not have converted? Thats what the announcers said (I think).

  26. pubobby2004 says: Jan 17, 2011 9:33 AM

    seen in Boston classifieds this morning

    “NOW HIRING: NFL video choreographer. skills required: stealthiness and moral flexibility.”

  27. savocabol1 says: Jan 17, 2011 9:38 AM

    I guess I must have not been watching the same game as you. Saying the botched fake punt directly led to a touchdown indicates that something happend on that play that made the Jets score. Pretty sure that didn’t happen.

    You want to finger point and say this or someother play or drive is the exact reason why the pats lost, why not go the other way and say how the refs blew some big calls that gave the Jets the game. Overall, the officials were fine, but some costly, and very questionable, pass interference and holding calls really set the Pats back.

  28. phinsfan66 says: Jan 17, 2011 9:49 AM

    How dare anybody question the mighty Bill Belicheat!! His monotone press conferences are growing old… He is as full of himself now as Brady has become… Not answering a legimate question is childish. IT was an important part of the game. If they won he would have addressed it. Brady pointing fingers and yelling at opposing sidelines. He never used to do that. Keep readin about yourselves fellas… Couldn’t happen to a better team… 0-3 in your last 3 playoff games. Maybe you aren’t quite as great as you think yourself to be… See ya next year!

  29. jonnysinns says: Jan 17, 2011 9:54 AM

    Bill lost this game on Oct 6, 2010.

    The day he traded Moss.

  30. 6ball says: Jan 17, 2011 10:05 AM


    Belichick always talks about “situational football ” , meaning making the correct decision based your overall situation in the game. Seeing that the risk / reward ratio was so great, I cannot think that Belichick was on the same page as Chung.

    However, cheer up Pats fans. You still have picks 17, 28, and 33 in the draft and most likely be in the hunt next year.


  31. FoozieGrooler says: Jan 17, 2011 10:19 AM

    jonnysinns says: Jan 17, 2011 9:54 AM

    “Bill lost this game on Oct 6, 2010.
    The day he traded Moss.”

    Yeah, Moss has been such an explosive presence ever since.

  32. danallen2 says: Jan 17, 2011 10:51 AM

    His attitude is precisely why they win so much (winningest franchise of the last decade). It’s a nose to the grindstone no distractions, don’t throw your players under the bus attitude. Belichick has never ripped a player publicly. If you don’t like that, tough. Put it this way, Mesko is in a whole heap of trouble for what he said about Chung.

    As for his Cleveland days, he inherited one of the worst teams in the league, took them to the playoffs in the second year with a 11-5 record, then Modell announced he was moving the team to Baltimore, he replaced Kosar with Testaverde (obviously the right choice) and that’s when everyone went south on Belichick in cleveland. Until then, he turned a loser into a winner.

  33. danallen2 says: Jan 17, 2011 10:51 AM

    Patriots came in overconfident after beating the Jets 45-3. Look no further than that. They were not emotionally prepared for the game, especially the offensive line (which should no better) and the defense other than Wilfork (they are after all a bunch of 1st and 2nd year players). People forget that by the time 2001 came around, Tedy Bruschi was already in his 6th year, Vrabel his 5th, Milloy his 6th, McGinest his 9th, Ted Johnson his 9th, Ty Law his 7th. That defense that won 3 Super Bowls had exactly one newcomer on it, Richard Seymour. Put it this way, Vince Wilfork is the graybeard on the Patriots D. He doesn’t have a Super Bowl ring yet.

  34. hooterdawg says: Jan 17, 2011 11:04 AM

    The Jets could have really blown out the Pats if they recovered the fumbles they caused deep in Pat territory. On one play where Brady was sacked and fumbled, his arm was twisted backward so badly that I thought he would be injured for sure. He seemed to shake it off, but he was inaccurate for the rest of the game.

  35. theytukrjobs says: Jan 17, 2011 11:24 AM

    From the replay, it looked like Chung intended to run right. But there was one defender out there with a chance. And the guy who blocked that one defender did a terrible job, making me think he didn’t know the fake was on.

    If the guy on the right had made a proper block (i.e. let the guy “beat” him around the edge not turn him inside), and Chung had fielded cleanly and ran to the right, it was there.

    But that’s an awful lot of if’s to hope for. Plus converting the 1st down there doesn’t come close to guaranteeing you anything, because they’d still need another 30 yards for a field goal. It was a poor risk/reward ratio to put it mildly. A bad call that might have worked with perfect execution, but still not warranted.

  36. steelnucs says: Jan 17, 2011 11:52 AM

    pubobby2004 says:
    Jan 17, 2011 9:33 AM
    seen in Boston classifieds this morning

    “NOW HIRING: NFL video choreographer. skills required: stealthiness and moral flexibility.”


  37. mikek135 says: Jan 17, 2011 12:24 PM

    – I don’t hate either team, but that play was way too risky. Even if they make it, NE is only at their own 40 with 50 seconds in the half. Bad mistake doesn’t cover it; game changer.

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