Bill Belichick's Sunday afternoon conference call was brief.
Perhaps he felt his immediate postgame reaction -- a lambasting of his team following its 30-28 loss in Tampa Bay -- was message enough.
"We didn't do anything offensively except lose yardage and turn the ball over," Belichick had said Saturday night. "It was tough to watch any of what we did offensively."
Relatively speaking, he lightened up a bit the next day. The Patriots didn't get home until 4:30 AM, but by the time Belichick spoke with reporters at 12:30 some film had been reviewed and much of the previous day's ire was gone.
"I thought there were a lot of positive things in the game. A lot of things we've got to correct But there are multiple things we did well.
"It was a competitive game, we just didn't do things as well as we needed to. I thought there were several positive things."
The play of Marquice Cole was briefly commended by his coach.
The 28-year old cornerback got as many reps against Tampa Bay as he's had all preseason. Cole made the most of his opportunity, coming very close to grabbing an interception on two different occasions. He finished in a three-way tie (with Nate Ebner and Brandon Spikes) to lead the defense with five tackles.
Tackling in general? "Good at times," said Belichick. But that and the rest of New England's fundamentals need improvement.
"Obviously, we've got to do a better job in the turnover department, the penalty department -- get away from negative plays, and make more positive plays defensively," he said.
"We could certainly use some explosive plays in the passing game -- offensively we haven't had any of those. We've got to find a way to balance off our passing game. Lot of things going on here, lot of things to work on. We'll keep chugging away."
What the Patriots don't have is a lot of time; they face the Giants in just four days.