Belichick takes blame for last play: 'It starts with me'

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The game-winning play that took the league by storm Sunday continues to draw questions on why New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was on the field during the Miami Dolphins' last-second touchdown.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick took another stab at attempting to explain his decision to put Gronkowski in place of safety Devin McCourty in the defensive Hail Mary package during a Monday teleconference with reporters.

Belichick emphasized he and his staff review game situations with opponents and from around the league. But the head coach also absorbed the responsibility for what happened Sunday.

"It starts with me," Belichick said. "We've got to play better situational football. We'll work to try to achieve that."

Belichick also repeated his stance from Sunday on why he preferred Gronkowski on the back end of coverage to defend against a potential long pass.

"It would be his ability to play the deep, long throw," Belichick said Monday.

With the ball on their own 31-yard line and seven seconds remaining in the game, the Dolphins didn't throw it deep, of course.

The images of Ryan Tannehill's 14-yard pass to Kenny Stills, who lateraled to DeVante Parker, who then lateraled to running back Kenyan Drake, who burst through Patriots defenders before getting by a diving Gronkowsi en route to the end zone for the game-winning score will forever have a place in NFL highlights.

Belichick said he didn't consider going with the regular pass defense on the final play, a decision that ultimately cost the Patriots in a stunning 34-33 defeat.

But though New England lost on one of the most memorable walk-off miracle plays in NFL history, Belichick also believed the Patriots' defeat was more than just the final play.

"I think there were a lot of things that could've been better in the entire game," the coach said. "I think the game was about a lot more than that play, but certainly that play wasn't a good one for us."

The loss dropped the Patriots to 9-4 on the season with a two-game lead over the Dolphins (7-6) in the AFC East.

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