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New England Patriots Postgame Transcripts 9/24
PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
September 24, 2017
BB: Alright, well, it was quite a game. Obviously, a lot of situational football at the end that was critical to the outcome of the game for us. I thought these guys played hard for 60 minutes. Houston is a really good football team and they're well coached. They do a lot of things well – that's obvious. I thought the goal line stop on third-and-1 to hold them to a field goal and then overcoming a couple of long-yardage situations on the last drive, those were some big plays for us, obviously. I thought our special teams gave us good field position today, so that was certainly a big improvement from last week. We've just got to continue to work hard and improve. There's a lot of things we need to do better. Houston gives you a lot of problems. They have a lot of good players. We'll see another athletic quarterback again this week. We'll just have to keep working at it, keep grinding it out. I thought it was a good team win today. It was warm. The players went the whole 60 minutes, played hard, competed well and made enough plays at the end. Just barely, but made enough plays at the end to win. It was good. It was good.
Q: Can you talk about Tom Brady and the offense's final drive?
BB: Yeah, well we had a lot of plays during the game that, obviously, weren't so good. They scored on defense. They strip-sacked us, tackled us, hit some big plays, but I mean, in the end it came down to a handful of plays and situational football at the end of the game. The third-down stop was our goal line defense against their three receiver set. We made the play there and then, again, we were able to overcome a couple of long-yardage situations on the last drive with Danny [Amendola] and Rob [Gronkowski]. [Brandin] Cooks, obviously, on the last play against Cover-2 down the sideline made a great catch there. A lot of guys stepped up. We pass blocked well enough. It was a struggle because those guys are really good. We made enough plays on offense and just barely on defense, but it was, again, the whole game really came down to the last – call it three, three-and-a-half minutes. Fortunately we were able to make the plays we needed to make to win.
Q: Do last minute finishes like this allow you to learn about the mental toughness of your team?
BB: Yeah, again, we were in a lot of situational football in that game on offense, defense and special teams. Yeah, of course you'd like to play better so it doesn't come down to the final play, but look, this is the National Football League and the Texans are an outstanding team and that's what it's going to take to beat them, is to play 60 minutes and be able to make the plays that you've got to make at the end to win, whether you're on offense, or defense, or the kicking game or whatever it is. That's no surprise. It's pretty much like that every week in the National Football League in at least half of the games.
Q: How imperative was Rob Gronkowski's effort today, not only catching the ball but also with his blocking?
BB: Yeah, well I think all of our backs and tight ends – Dwayne [Allen], Rob, James White, Dion [Lewis] – they were all involved in protection. There were times where it was OK. There was other times that, obviously, it needs to be better. We've got to do a better job. Look, it's a battle. Those are four of the best rushers that we're going to see. They run games well. It's not just their individual rush but the way they force you to block one-on-one and then pull out late and then run pass rush games. You include [Brennan] Scarlett in there, who played quite a bit. He's another good rusher. Then the big guys – [Joel] Heath, the Clemson kid [D.J. Reader]. I mean, it's not just the big four – [Whitney] Mercilus, [Jadeveon] Clowney, [J.J.] Watt and [Bernardrick] McKinney – but there's a bunch of other guys in there that are a problem, too. I thought we battled them. They got some plays. We blocked them some, but it was a battle.
Q: What was your reaction to the way the team handled the National Anthem?
BB: Yeah, I'm just going to talk about the game. I'll deal with that later.
Q: How rare is Brandin Cooks' speed?
BB: Yeah, he's got good speed. I don't think there's any doubt about that. Yeah, he's good on catch-and-runs and he can run by defenders. I mean, we've seen him do that all year.
Q: The inability to convert short-yardage situations on offense has become a bit of an issue. How much of a concern is that for you?
BB: Like I said, there's a lot of things we can do better, need to do better. We'll work on those. I mean, that's a pretty lengthy list. You can put a lot of things on that list.
Q: How does the team kneeling during the anthem impact the unity on the team?
BB: Yeah, I just answered that.
Q: What kind of mental and physical toughness does Jacob Hollister bring to the team?
BB: Yeah, well, Jake's getting better. Again, he's come a long way since the start of training camp. It's been a big jump for him, but he's worked hard. Coach [Nick] Caley spent a lot of time with him. Rob, Dwayne – he's working with a good group there of teammates and getting a lot of attention from the coaching staff. He's improving every day, works hard in practice. He's been the tight end on the scout team for the past few weeks and we've seen from [Travis] Kelce, to [Coby] Fleener, to [Stephen] Anderson and those guys, so he's getting a lot of good work there and he's getting better. He's got a long way to go, but he's making progress and he's shown up and made a few plays for us on offense and also in the kicking game. We'll just keep going and see where he can get to.
PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
September 24, 2017
Q: Did you ever doubt, with just over two minutes left when you got the ball back, that you'd be able to orchestrate a win?
BB: Yeah, that was great situational plays by a lot of guys. We didn't do much there in the fourth quarter, and the defense kept holding to the field goal there and gave us just enough time and made some great catches, great blocking, and glad we won.
Q: How do you pull off that flick pass to Rob Gronkowski when you were being tackled?
BB: I mean, they have a lot of good players on the D-line. They rush the quarterback. We had some opportunity there, and we just kept fighting. That was the most important thing. When we were in this stadium a couple weeks ago, we talked a lot about that – playing four quarters and playing all the way down to the last minute – and we needed it today. It's a real good football team. I thought they played really well. It was just a great win for our team.
Q: It seemed like you were under pressure for much of the game. How good is the Texans' defense and ability to bring pressure?
BB: Yeah, they have some of the best players in the league at their position rushing the quarterback, and I thought they played good coverage. I mean, there was nothing easy out there. Kind of like the playoff game last year, there was nothing easy in that game either. I don't think this is the type of team that gives you many free plays or free yards. They make you earn it, so I thought we battled. It was a great team effort. The defense really stepped up when they needed to, and we made a couple plays there at the end. I think we made it hard on ourselves – too many loose balls – but we've got to keep fighting.
Q: When you were facing third-and-18 at the end of the fourth quarter, how improbable did a win feel in that moment?
BB: Yeah, we kept making it hard. I mean, we had penalties and then the sack and the fumble and it just kept feeling like we were going backwards. We were running low on time. I hit Danny [Amendola] on that pass, looked up at the clock and it was like, whatever, 30 seconds left or something. I thought we had a little more time than that, and then the next play, Josh [McDaniels] – we kind of had a two-on-one there on the safety and Cookie [Brandin Cooks] got behind Kareem [Jackson] and I tried to put it out there. It's a game of inches, so it was a great play.
Q: Can you tell us what you saw on that play? Did you see Cooks open or did you take a shot?
BB: Yeah, they were playing a two-high defense and we got Cookie behind the corner. We had Danny going up the middle of the field, so I tried to stare down the middle and then put it up and didn't really see the end of it until I saw it on the scoreboard. It was close, and then they reviewed it. I'm glad we got the two-point play. It was a great win. Got to play to the last second.
Q: As the season goes along and the team starts to develop an identity, are these the kinds of games that help forge that identity and confidence in the fourth quarter?
BB: You know, you have to gain confidence in a lot of situations. You've got to gain confidence on the road that you can win. You've got to gain confidence when you're behind that you can come back in win. And, you've got to gain confidence in every position. Guys are different. Guys are making plays at different times, whether those are the backs or the tight ends or receivers made a lot of plays. I mean, that was a lot of a big plays we made. It felt like it was either a big play or a loss. We've got to figure out how to tighten up the negative plays, but glad we made the ones we needed to at the end.
Q: How important was it to be successful on that final drive in terms of building confidence going forward?
BB: I think, no matter how you get it, you've got to figure out how to win the game. I mean, they're all tough. That's a real good team. They play with a lot of effort, and I thought they played really well offensively. We just kept battling. I think that's a good one to win. Like I said, two weeks ago, we weren't in a position to do what we did today. I thought it was a great win last week and then another great win this week. So, we've got to keep stringing them together. We've got to make improvements. Obviously, there's a lot of things we need to do better. We're going to have to get back to work and face a really good Carolina defense. They present a lot of challenges.
Q: Around the NFL, one of the images that people are looking at is of you interlocking arms with Phillip Dorsett with your hand over your chest. What was your message in doing that during the National Anthem?
BB: I just think there's just a great love for my teammates.
Q: There were boos before the game when some players took a knee. What are your thoughts on that?
BB: Like I said, I've got a lot of love for my teammates. I mean, we go through a lot together. There's a lot of blood, sweat and tears. I don't think it's easy to play this sport. I mean, there's a lot of guys that sacrifice a lot. I think you have a lot of respect for the guys who play, not only your own teammates but guys you play against. I mean, without them, it's not a great game. So, it's like I said. I believe in all of us coming together.
Q: The President said that kneeling was unacceptable. Do you agree with that?
BB: I'm not getting into any of that. Like I said, I speak for myself. I believe what I believe. You guys know me. I'm a very positive person, so I try to just live by example and say positive things about people. I try to control my own emotions, and no matter what anyone says, I'm going to have a positive outlook, certainly with my teammates. We all go through ups and downs and there's struggles and it's life and we're all trying to navigate it as best we can. So, I believe that love is the greatest thing we have that overcomes a lot of things.
Q: A lot of owners and people around the NFL were bothered by what the President said. Do you feel like the NFL is in a position to defend itself?
BB: I mean, everybody could do whatever they want to do. I don't care what the owners do. I care about my teammates, and like I said, the belief that I have in them and the love I have for them. We get to play a great game. I love playing. I never take it for granted to come out here and play in front of our fans, and to play in my 18th year is a great lesson for me. So, I don't take it for granted. We'll do the same next week.
PATRIOTS DEFENSIVE BACK DEVIN MCCOURTY
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
September 24, 2017
DM: First, instead of sitting here answering a ton of questions back and forth about pregame, taking away from the great effort of the team, I'm just going to say how I feel, how a lot of guys felt. We were obviously very conflicted. We knew our message would be perceived by a lot of people in a way that wasn't what we were trying to put out. A lot of guys felt, I mean, all over the place about the comments by the President Friday night. As a leader on the team, a lot of guys came to me and they didn't know what to do. They just were kind of angry. It was good Saturday. We all kind of talked as a group of releasing that anger and not being angry. We were in chapel and a lot of guys talked about that in our faith, God is first. We wanted to come together. First and foremost, we hate that people are going to see it as that we don't respect the military and the men and women that are way braver than us that go and put their life on the line every day for us to have the right to play football, and we know people are going to see it that way. Guys have family members, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters that serve, and they were really conflicted about it. But, we just wanted to send a message of unity and being together and not standing for the disrespect and different ways guys felt. [There were] so many different things going through a lot of guys heads, and it was unique to see guys kind of come together and bond together as a group before the game and do that. But, I think all of us want a message that goes out of unity, being together, obviously as a team, and also as a fraternity of NFL players. Guys talk throughout the league about that, and it was great to be a part of a lot of guys trying to do the right thing. Obviously, it won't be seen as the right thing to everybody, but I think in our hearts, what we focus on the most was that we were trying to do the right thing today. I'm proud of our guys and I'm proud of the group and the guys I get to go out there and play football with. They're all great guys. They're better people than they are football players.
Q: Was it disheartening because there were boos from the stands?
DM: No offense, I just want to send that out and then I want to answer football questions, just for the sake of the team, not it being all about just myself.
Q: How hard was it to contain Deshaun Watson?
DM: He's tough, man. When you're in the secondary, you look back there and it looks like you got him a couple times, and then he breaks out, he goes left, he goes right. He made a lot of plays, and I think it was kind of the next step for him because, you know, we watched his Cincinnati film and it was kind of like no one open. He tucked and then he made a play with his legs, which he did a little bit of that today, but he was able to kind of move left and right a little bit and then get his eyes back down field, which puts a lot of pressure on us defensively. That guy is going to be a great quarterback. He played really well today and really made it tough for us in certain moments. I mean, he scrambled left one time and threw all the way across his body back to the right, which everyone says you shouldn't do, and he threw a perfect pass. We've got a lot of work because next week, I mean, that guy coming in here can do that better than anyone in the NFL. That's something, obviously, we've got to keep working on. We talked about it, but it's tough. He's a good player.
Q: Looking back to a key moment of the game, your third down stop before the offense had the game winning drive, what did you see on the stop? What are your thoughts on Tom Brady leading the offense to win the game?
DM: Yeah, we took the field like, 'Let's just get off the field and give the ball back to our offense.' We obviously wanted to get off earlier. I think it was a two-point game, so you know, we get the ball to our offense and we just need a field goal. But, they were able to put a couple plays together and get into field goal range. But, we knew once we got there, we had to make them kick three to just give ourselves a chance to win the game, especially once we started using our timeouts. It was a great stop on third down. We decided to go goal line with the three corners in there. Once we do that, we kind of know up front we've got to stop the run. Myself, Malcolm [Butler] and Steph [Gilmore] are out there against three receivers like, 'We've got to make sure they can't throw it for a first down.' Defensively, we've got a lot of faith. If we just give our offense the ball back with some time, they can make it happen. But, they did a great job. Odds are stacked against them, that's a great defense on the other side, and to drive down there and get the game-winning touchdown was great. I thought that was a true game where everything didn't go right for us as a team, but we just kept fighting. I think, after the Kansas City game where we kind of all felt like we didn't do that, it was big to be a part of today where guys just kept fighting and kept playing and just let it be what it was going to be. But, your effort wasn't going to be the reason why we didn't finish and get a win.
Q: Butler has been critical of his play but seemed like he played more like himself today. Did you see that?
DM: Yeah, I mean, I'm a little different. When you play corner in this league, you're going to have some bad plays. It's hard to go out there and pitch shutouts and play great every week. I think I said it during the week – to me, I thought I saw Malcolm out there competing his butt off every play anyway and trying to do that and trying to do what was best for the team, day in and day out, not just on Sundays but in practice. That's how it goes in this league, and Malcolm's a guy that didn't get off course with anything, how he felt personally. He just kept at it. It's always good to see when you keep at it and you keep busting your butt to come out here and play well, especially in a matchup where him and Steph saw a lot of [DeAndre] Hopkins, who is a really good receiver in this league. We put a lot of pressure on those guys outside and they held up and were able to help us get a win today.
Q: How much of a physical test was this on the defense because of the weather and facing a mobile quarterback?
DM: Yeah, I mean, this is not the ideal weather when you've got a scrambling quarterback back there and plays are extending. You can't prepare for this heat, especially here. We had a week of hard rain, mid-50s, and then out of nowhere today, we get into the mid- to upper-80s, so it was a grind. I think we kind of prepared ourselves through the week. Bill [Belichick] came in there early in the week and said, 'As of now, the forecast is looking like it's going to be hot Sunday. We need to start hydrating.' That was on Wednesday, and I thought guys tried to do that and tried to get their bodies ready. We knew it was going to be a grueling test out there today. They're a team that's very mentally tough, too, so we knew the weather and all that wasn't going to bother them. They were going to come out here and play for 60 minutes, so we knew we had to match that and keep fighting them for the whole game.
Q: When you saw the offense take the field with less than three minutes remaining and down five, was there any question in your mind that you would win the game?
DM: No, we were on the sideline talking about two-minute. I think that's how you've got to be. You've got to have faith in your teammates. Defense has to have faith in the offense, offense faith in the defense, to go out there and play. We talked about it. We had obviously the series before talked about being in kind of four-minute, get the ball back, and once we got the ball back and got it to our offense, it was all about, 'Hey, we've got to get ready. Two minutes. We don't know how much time is going to be left – a minute, under a minute – but we've got to get ready to make sure we don't give up the play for them to win the game.' Once we got the touchdown, we had already talked about what the plan was going to be going on the field defensively. It doesn't always work out like that, but today it was great by both sides.
Q: You had Rob Gronkowski out there for the final play on defense, right?
DM: Yeah, we got to get him right, line him up, and he did a great job with just going up there and trying to make a play. Somehow, this guy Duron [Harmon] ends up with a free interception.
Q: Are there any concerns on defense about allowing long drives and big plays?
DM: I think Bill said it the best after the game. We've got a lot of work to do defensively. I was talking to [Chris] Hogan. He said, 'Offensively, we've got a lot of work to do.' So, it's just a constant work in progress. We've just got to keep after it. No plays are the same. Like we gave up some big plays on this guy scrambling and throwing it back, which is not the drop back, throw it down the field, pick play or something like that – which, we fixed that today, but that's the NFL. It's always going to be something new, so I think today, obviously, was a tough test with Watson, but it doesn't get easier next week with Cam Newton. So, I think the good thing is we'll get to break this film down and we have to be highly critical of how we played against Watson because we're going to see something similar next Sunday.
PATRIOTS TIGHT END ROB GRONKOWSKI
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
September 24, 2017
Q: Did your groin bother you at all?
RG: No, it was good to go.
Q: You felt that way in the middle of the week and it just carried over. It wasn't anything?
RG: No, I mean it wasn't 100 percent, I would probably say, until the game. You have to work it through rehab and practice and everything. I mean I knew it was going to be good. That's why I said this week I'll be good. So I was good.
Q: Does a win like this help tell you what your team's character might be heading towards being?
RG: Yeah, I mean it definitely builds the team together. Playing 60 minutes of football – offensive side, defensive side, we all came together. Everyone contributed. Everyone came together and it just shows team unity once you get a win like that and everyone contributes the way everyone did.
Q: What was your view on the game winning touchdown? Did you know it was a catch right away?
RG: I mean it was awesome. I was just jamming [on] that play. I saw Tom [Brady] release the ball and [Brandin] Cooks open. I was like, 'Please have this complete for a touchdown'. I was like, 'I see Cooks wide open,' and it was a great throw. Tom played a great game and a lot of players played good. It was just awesome to see Cooks tap his toes. On the little review, on the screen during the game they showed a replay and he was in. He did a great job and what a great catch.
Q: Was there a calmness right before the final drive began because you guys have been through it so often?
RG: Yeah, I mean it's basically kind of a coming together. Bringing it together as an offensive group out there on the field and we all looked at each other and not one person is just going to make us win the game. We all looked at each other and we all counted on each other to make plays. I feel like everyone in that huddle made plays that drive. Everyone came together to make the plays to help us win. It just shows how big of a team game this is, NFL football. That was a great NFL football game. After that win I was like, 'That's what NFL football is right there'. You've got great players on both sides of the ball, on the defensive side, the offensive side of both teams and everyone fighting to the end and playing in that heat too. I mean it was a battle.
Q: Can you take us through that third down on the last drive?
RG: It was a crossing route and I knew it was about third and twelve. I just caught the one pass before on second-and-20 and we had to get the drive going. That's what I mean. Everyone is counting on each other. I know a lot of people look up to me to get the drive going, to make the first play to get everyone rolling. It was about third-and-12 I would say and I just knew that – I saw the defense, I saw the coverage and I knew that I had to make a play there. Tom [Brady] read it pretty good and threw a really good pass and I just made the catch and I saw where the first down marker was and I knew I had to get it to get us rolling in that [two minute drill]. Everyone did their job from there on out.
Q: It seemed as though you were deployed a lot as a blocker today. How gratifying is that role for you? How difficult was it today given the number of snaps played and the heat out on the field?
RG: I don't really care what my role is, whether it's blocking, if it's receiving a lot. But I just appreciate that I'm out there playing the game. Whatever role the coaches want me to do – if it's jamming, if it's blocking I've got no problem, especially a game like that. I don't think I would've made it if I ran 50 routes today because I'm usually running deep, up and down. So I actually appreciated being in there and jamming J.J. [Watt] a few times instead of going out on a route. I mean it's helping out the team jamming the pass rush so Tom [Brady] gets more time and also at the same time a guy covering in man is sitting there so it's kind of like taking two guys for one helping out the team that way. I have no problem doing that on a day like today.
Danny Amendola, Wide Receiver
(On going through the two minute drill on the final drive and winning the game)
“It's something we work on every week. We put the work in day in and day out. It comes down to a situation like that and the offense came through. It was nice.”
(On how it felt to have a role in the comeback)
“I've got a job to do when I'm out there. It was good to get back. [I] missed it last week. It was fun running around trying to make some plays. Hats off to the Texans. They're a great team [and] they fought hard. It came down to the wire and we're all glad to get a win.”
(On the final minutes of the game)
“We put a lot of work into a situation like that, being down five points with 2:10 left and getting out there and trying to sustain a drive and keep the chains moving, get in position to throw some shots down the field and Cookie [Brandin Cooks] made a great play to win the game. It was awesome to see.”
(On the demonstrations that took place prior to kickoff)
“We're solid in here. I know that. White, black, Puerto Rican – it doesn't matter. So we're good in here and we've got a really solid group and we're all excited to play together and work together. It's awesome to be a part of.”
Alan Branch, Defensive Lineman
(On how difficult it was facing Deshaun Watson)
“That dude is a slippery quarterback. He was able to work the pocket really well and when the big plays needed to be made he somehow figured out a way to make them. He made 8 yards when he needed seven or make the right pass when he slipped out a couple of sack opportunities. It was really frustrating as a defensive front just seeing that they had him right in their grasp and not quite being able to finish.”
(On if Deshaun Watson reminds him of any other quarterbacks in the NFL)
“He's kind of his own person when it comes to that. He's strong but at the same time very quick in the pocket. He's a good quarterback you can tell and I think he has a lot of upside to his career.”
(On forcing the Texans to kick key field goals as opposed to touchdowns)
“That's what we try to be. If we can't stop them for a punt, we rather give them three than four. We were lucky enough to be able to stop them in some of those huge opportunities and get them to kick the field goals. They had a pretty good field goal kicker and he made all of them.”
Malcolm Butler, Cornerback
(On whether or not comebacks get old)
“I mean it never fails. Every time I think it's going down it never goes I just hope we can keep it up.”
(On Deshaun Watson)
“He's a handful. [He was] running around, people diving at him, missing him. That's a great guy. That's an upcoming Cam Newton.”
(On what Deshaun Watson did to impress him the most)
“His leadership. You see him leading his offensive line, leading some of the veteran players, just keeping his composure, playing the game and not letting anything get too big for him.”
(On his thoughts when Tom Brady had the ball on the final drive)
“I don't know. I was just thinking he was going to come through for us and he did. Everyone has a little doubt. You don't think he's going to come through every time, but he came through.”
(On his performance today)
“I think I'm building. I think I'm taking it one step at a time. There's a lot of football to be played so whatever you see, judge it.”
Brandin Cooks, Wide Receiver
(On winning the game)
“It was a great win, but we have a lot of work to do. We don't want to put ourselves in that position again. We'll have to go back to the drawing board and do what we have to do.”
(On the winning touchdown)
“Tom Brady made a special throw and I was just sitting there catching the ball. It was a perfect throw with perfect timing, and I expected nothing less from Tom.”
(On keeping his feet in bounds for the winning touchdown)
“It's one of those things you don't really work on in practice. It happens in practice but it's more of a natural instinct.”
(On what it was like to be a part of a Patriots comeback)
“It was amazing. I feel so blessed.”
(On kneeling during the National Anthem)
“To be honest, it's one of those things where you want to stand with your brothers, kneel with your brothers and be by their side. One statement I would just like to make is that a lot of people think we're disrespecting the flag and the military, but my father and uncle were Marines, and I have the utmost respect for the men and women that fight for our freedom. I feel conflicted in a sense because I have no courage to do something like that, so I understand the magnitude that they're fighting across the world for our freedom. The message we're trying to send is that we want respect and unity, and there's only so many ways that you can do it. We decided before the game that we were going to do it and I'm glad we went through with it.”
Trey Flowers, Defensive Lineman
(On chasing Deshaun Watson around the field)
“That's just football these days. You got a lot of athletic and mobile quarterbacks, so you think your job is done once you defeat the offensive lineman, but you got another job just to get a guy like him down and kind of chase him. We knew what he was capable of coming into this game. We were just trying to put as much pressure on him and make him look at us as much as possible. You know when he's looking at us [the defense], he's not looking downfield. We knew his capability prior to coming into this game. It's frustrating because you want to get to him. Like I said, you do a good job against the offensive lineman, but you got a whole 'nother job ahead of you just to get him down.”
Stephon Gilmore, Cornerback
(On how it feels to get the win)
“It feels good. We didn't play as good as we wanted to, but at the end of the day we came out and got a win.”
(On kneeling during the national anthem)
“We had our reasons. We were just happy to come out and get a win.”
(On being on the winning side of one of Tom Brady's fourth-quarter comeback victories)
“Happy to have [Tom] on my team. It was a tough one. He pulled it out, we pulled it out as a team. We got a lot of work to do.”
(On the team's feeling when Brady was driving the offense down the field on the final drive)
“Everybody was calm. I've seen [Brady] do it before. It was good situational football at the end, so that's how we were able to get the win.”
(On the performance of the defense)
“We got a lot of work to do. We can get better, watch the film and learn from our mistakes and go from there.”
Chris Hogan, Wide Receiver
(On the fast start)
“We were just going out there and trying to make plays. Obviously, we talked about it being a four-quarter game and that's what it came down to – it came down to the last possession. For me personally, I try to just go out there and do my job. If I'm able to make some plays for the team, then that's great.”
(On the game-winning drive)
“We had a lot of energy and we know what we're capable of, and as long as we're able to go out there and do our job and do it right and make some plays, we were able to move the ball down the field. Rob [Gronkowski] stepped up, Brandin [Cooks] obviously had a great game and Tommy [Brady], we have all the confidence in the world in him in a two-minute drive to win the game.”
(On Brandin Cooks)
“He works really hard. He works really hard at his craft. He studies and prepares really well. I think that's why he comes out here with a lot of confidence and we have a lot of confidence in him.”
Cassius Marsh, Defensive End
(On kneeling for the National Anthem)
“I felt like the platform was there to say something and be there for my teammates. I wanted to support not only my guys here, but my guys all across the league. I don't have much more to say about it because I don't want to be too controversial, but I support my teammates and all the players across the NFL.”
(On whether protesting the National Anthem is divisive or unifying)
“I think it's unifying. You're standing up for your teammates and guys across the NFL. The NFL is a brotherhood and it's a privilege to represent that emblem. We're the same as the rest of the citizens in this world. We have the right to exercise each and every right that we have as a U.S. citizen.”
Shaq Mason, Offensive Guard
(On Tom Brady's game-winning drive)
“It's 100 percent confidence, not just in Tom, it's confidence in every guy beside us. It's having faith and trust in every guy on the field.”
(On handling the pass rush)
“It was fighting it out for all four quarters. We had to stick with them.”
(On teammates kneeling for the National Anthem)
“I support them 100 percent. I support my brothers. We have the type of locker room where we support our brothers.”
Nate Solder, Tackle
(On the comeback win)
“Tom [Brady] is amazing. Against a really tough defense, we played our best ball when we needed it. We played bad for a lot of the game, not up to our standard. But when you win and pull off a win even in tough circumstances, there's something to be said for that. I think that's a building block that we can continue to build off of. We showed a lot of character, we showed a lot of endurance and that's the kind of guys that we have. It's not always going to be perfect, guys are still learning and getting better, but we're all that way. We've got to keep working at it.”
(On players locking arms and kneeling during the national anthem)
“People come from all different backgrounds and I believe they do what they believe is right. And I totally support them. There's a lot of craziness outside of this locker room, but inside this locker room, we truly lock arms. We love each other. This is a great, great environment.
Deatrich Wise, Jr., Defensive Lineman
(On the team's emotions after completing the comeback)
“It was a great feeling knowing that we got the W even though our performance wasn't up to par. We still got the win and that's all that matters.”
(On being a teammate of Tom Brady)
“Legendary, he's just a legend. It was awesome to watch that from my eyes after being on the team and not from home… you kind of got to get behind the scenes in the sense of you seeing his leadership and what makes him, him. [You see] how he talks to the team and how he makes adjustments. You see it in practice and then you see it in the game. It's awesome.”
(On defending Deshaun Watson)
“It does get frustrating at times. You see that you have him in vision and all of a sudden he's somewhere else and everybody is hopping over each other. It kind of gets frustrating, but you just have to be more technically sound. Read