Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Bill Belichick is less than pleased.
The Patriots’ notoriously stoic coach expressed unhappiness over all facets of the team following Thursday night’s preseason opener — a 23-6 loss to the Redskins at FedEx Field.
“I don’t think our protection was good enough. I don’t think our passing game was good enough . I don’t think our running game was good enough. Our run defense, our pass defense, pass rush, kicking game. They all need to be improved,” Belichick said, via the Providence Journal.
It’s hard to take much out of a preseason contest, especially when Belichick, typically conservative in August, rested a majority of his starters.
On offense, quarterback Tom Brady and receivers Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson sat out. Defensively, only three projected starters saw the field — cornerback Brandon Browner and defensive tackles Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly. Wilfork, returning from a ruptured Achilles, played only one series.
The Redskins’ starters and key players played much longer, and it showed up in the stat sheet. Washington, which scored 10 first quarter points, took a 13-0 lead into halftime. They outgained the Pats in total yards (387-270) and first downs (26-15) in a game that was hardly competitive.
All eyes were on Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett, the recent subject of swirling trade rumors. In a supposed showcase of his talents, Mallett struggled mightily, completing just 5-of-12 passes for 55 yards.
Despite appearing uncomfortable in the pocket and mistiming a lot of his pass attempts, Mallett emerged optimistic.
“I feel good, I feel comfortable,” Mallett said. “Everything slowed down. Went through my reads. There were throws I could have made better, but I felt alright.”
Belichick? Not so much.
“We obviously have a long way to go,” he said.