BA: Alright, obviously that wasn’t the outcome we were looking for when we came up here. We knew we couldn’t come here and turn the football over and have a chance to win. I thought our guys played extremely hard and gave us a lot of good effort except some areas that we’ve got to shore up. Obviously, our punt return coverage, and obviously we’d like to have a couple throws back. But other than that, we will fight our tails off so we can come back here in January.
Q: You did a pretty good job with the run until
BA: No, we thought we could stop the run, other than the one reverse. But still, they did a great job in their play action passes and they have a very nice scheme with Tom [Brady]. He knows what he is doing all the time. We had a little trouble with the short intermediate routes. And then Gronk [
Q: There was a sudden change on the sideline, when you guys were in it, and then the two quick touchdowns on returns. Did it take it out of you?
BA: No, I don’t think so. Our guys kept fighting. We still didn’t make enough plays to win the game; we made enough plays to lose the game. And I think that is the difference.
Q: Was Andrew Luck crossed up with anything they were doing? Or were those just bad throws?
BA: Just bad throws. No, they didn’t do anything different. That’s all hype. We’ve just got to play better.
Q: What was your overall message to the team after a game like this, where you are just totally blown out and you have to regroup quickly?
BA: Well, I don’t think we were blown out until the third quarter. I thought we played a good half of football. A couple plays that cost us 21 points – 21 points was the difference in the game, we gave them that 21 points. So, I wouldn’t say they blew us out. But you go back to looking at film tomorrow, correct the mistakes, wash it out as one game. We are 6-4 and we are still in it, so you learn from it and you come right back next week. Big game at home, this just made it bigger.
Q: Was this a learning experience for Andrew Luck today?
BA: Every week is a learning experience for him. We’ve got a lot of rookies out there, so every week is a learning experience. It was a bad learning experience. Two high throws cost him, you know. We need to protect just a little bit longer on the fumble. It was a lot better day than the first day Peyton Manning came up here, I was here that day.
Q: You had to know that Rob Gronkowski would be a tough matchup. Did you have all sort of guys on him?
BA: He’s a tough matchup for everybody, not just us. So, yeah, you’ve got your work cut out for you if it is your job covering him. And Tom [Brady] knows where to put the ball on him when you’ve got good coverage. I mean, Antoine Bethea had great coverage on him one time and it was a perfect throw and a good catch. There’s nothing else you can do. Just line up and play the next down.
Q: Julian Edelman hurt you guys several ways, punt return, pass catching, forced a fumble that you guys recovered. Any surprises out of him? I know he hasn’t had a lot of tape on him this year.
BA: No, he is what he is. He’s a good little football player. He has a nice role on their team. I mean, he hurt us on the punt returns obviously. We have to do a heck of a lot better job on covering kicks. And the reverse I thought was a great call at the right time. We were overplaying it hard on the run, so it was a good call.
Q: After that second pick, Andrew Luck was really upset on the sideline. What did you tell him on that one?
BA: It’s fundamentals. I mean, you can’t throw them that late and he knows it. We talked about it and he was mad at himself. And that is the beauty of him. He will come off [the field] and tell you exactly what he is thinking and we don’t hide anything between each other. So, it was something he knew that he couldn’t do and he did it anyway. I don’t think he thought Reggie [Wayne] was going to be that clean. And he threw it out there late and inside and you can’t do that.
Q: Is this the kind of game that you tell your guys to just burn it from memory?
BA: No, you better remember it. You better damn remember it. Because you hope to be back here and you don’t want to forget it. You don’t throw things away in this business, you learn from them. We will watch this tape real hard tomorrow. We won’t burn it and go to the next one. We will watch it and learn from it. Each guy individually and us collectively as a coaching staff and a group. And we will get better for it.
Q: How are Cory Redding and Donnie Avery?
BA: Donnie got a concussion. We don’t know yet about Cory’s hip. The X-rays are clean, but he landed on it and we’ll see how bad it is.
QUARTERBACK ANDREW LUCK
Q: How would you describe the job the Patriots did defensively?
AL: I think they did a great job. Obviously they created a lot of turnovers. You know, when they did intercept the ball they did a great job of running it back. [I’m] disappointed in myself for committing four turnovers on my part and two of those went for immediate touchdowns. They did a good job.
Q: Are there a couple throws you’d like to have back?
AL: Yeah, absolutely. I think they were the right reads, just some high balls, [a] ball behind the guy. But hindsight’s 20/20 though. I wish I could have them back, but you learn from it and get ready for a big game next week.
Q: When you give the Patriots points like the two pick-sixes….
AL: Absolutely. They’re good enough; they don’t need those gifts, per se. But to their credit, they created those and we didn’t. Such is the game.
Q: Those two returns back to back, did that change the way you did things? Did you panic?
AL: I don’t think guys panicked. I think this team has a lot of heart. No quit in us. Playing hard is not enough, as evidenced tonight. We’ll get better though. We’ll learn from the mistakes. You realize you can’t make those if you want to have a chance to beat a quality team like the Patriots.
Q: Are those the mistakes that you won’t make years from now because of experience?
AL: Well I hope not. I can’t tell the future, but I hope not.
Q: When you look at this 24 hours from now, do you see this as how you measure up against them or are there circumstances that make is skewed?
AL: You know, you’d like to think that we have a chance to win it if we could play it again. But they whipped our butts tonight. All the credit goes to them. They were the much better team tonight.
Q: When was the last time you lost a football game by five touchdowns?
AL: I can’t remember. I’m sure sometime in Pop Warner.
Q: What was going through your mind when you were chased and thrown on the ground a couple times?
AL: Just disappointment in myself. Letting the team down on a good drive that could’ve made a game out of it. Disappointment in myself.
Q: What happened on the fumble?
AL: I’m not quite sure. I think someone got a hand on it. I don’t think the ball just came out on its own. But I guess someone got a hand on it. They did a good job of covering.
Q: Is there a feeling that you guys stopped yourselves, especially with the turnovers?
AL: I don’t want to take credit away from New England defense. The guys out there created those. They did that. But, I think we shot ourselves in the foot a couple times. But again, it’s to New England’s credit.
Q: The first interception, there was a guy on the right. It didn’t look like he got a piece of it, but did you have to change your arm angle at all?
AL: He didn’t get a piece of it. No, it was just a plain bad throw.
Q: How much different did the Patriots secondary look today versus what was on film during the course of the week?
AL: I think all their guys that played this year in their secondary have done a good job. Aqib [Talib]’s a very good player, obviously [as] evidenced tonight. I think we expected him to play. We figured he’d be out there. He’s a quality player. They did a good job.
Q: Did they do anything that surprised you at all?
AL: I don’t think I was surprised. We knew to expect something different, not to be taken back by it. But, they didn’t surprise us with anything I don’t think.
AL: No, we didn’t have a chance. Schedules, whatever.
Q: Knowing you probably watched him growing up, what was it like being the opposing quarterback against Tom Brady?
AL: It sucked tonight because we lost by however much. I don’t know. I’ve never been big into who the other quarterback is or who the other wide receiver is.
Q: There’s talk already in the locker room about Buffalo. At this point, can you look forward now?
AL: I think we’re going to have to get over this game, obviously. We’re going to have to be critical of ourselves. We do realize we are still in a decent position to hopefully accomplish something. Buffalo is the next opponent. It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be rockin’ at Lucas Oil [Stadium] hopefully. But, we’ll learn from this though. I don’t think we’ll brush it under the rug and not watch the film; we’ll learn from our mistakes and hopefully improve.
Q: For the most part, you’ve had pretty good success so far. How much importance do you put on yourself getting spirits going this week?
AL: I think we have great veteran leadership on our team. Robert Mathis, Reggie Wayne, Cory Redding, just to name a three guys. And then obviously as a quarterback, you do assume some leadership position, but I don’t think that will be an issue at all. I don’t think anybody on the team is going to press to make sure anybody else is focused, locked in. I think we realize what’s at stake. With great veteran leadership, I think we’ll be focused.
Winston Justice, Tackle
(On what they can take away from the game)
“We have to use every opportunity to get better, especially with a young team like this. We can’t turn the ball over, we can’t let them score on defense and special teams like they did. I think this is young team and we have to use every opportunity to get better.”
(On Andrew Luck)
“He’s really good at improving, using the good and bad to get better. As an NFL player, you have to use those opportunities. I think Andrew is really good at that; he’s really poised and I think he’s going to do a great job getting better.”
Adam Vinatieri, Kicker
(On whether the loss is considered “growing pains”)
“This is one of those games that if you don’t play well and you have a lot of mistakes or things that go the wrong way, any team in this league can embarrass you at any given time. We just need to play a little bit better all the way around. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, we just have to play better.”
(On Coach Belichick’s comments about the Hall of Fame)
“I haven’t heard that. It’s a heck of an honor if he said that. I don’t think about that kind of stuff, I just try to keep on putting more chapters into the book of my career and we’ll see where it all lays at the end of my career. We’ve had a good history and I have huge respect for him and I appreciate it.”
T.Y. Hilton, Wide Receiver
(On the turnovers)
“You can’t afford to make mistakes especially going against a great offense like that. They were clicking tonight. ”
“He looked like he picked up their scheme pretty well. He’s a great cornerback, that’s why they traded for him, and he was able to do some things tonight.”
Pat McAfee, Punter
(On the first punt return)
“It was definitely a switch from the penalty getting called back, to me hitting a not so good punt, and then the guy hitting the lane. It was a perfect storm of all the bad things that could have happened on that play. Whenever you have a quarterback like Tom Brady, you can’t give him points on special teams. That punt return was something that we did not like.”
(On this game being an example of how quickly things can change in the NFL)
“Yeah, I think whenever you are playing professional athletes, you have to be on your “A” game at all times. Edelman is a heck of a player. We just didn’t take advantage of our opportunities. Two big returns by the same guy is just not comforting at all.”
Robert Mathis, Outside Linebacker
(On how it is to see a punt return for a touchdown and two interceptions for touchdowns) “It goes with the game. You just can’t give teams anything in this league. You have to click on all cylinders – offense, defense, and special teams. I think there is plenty of blame to go around.”
(On what positives they can take away from the game)
“There is a whole lot because last year at this time we were 0-9, so trust me, if there is anyone that knows how to bounce back, it’s the veterans on this team. We are not going to get our heads down, we are going to take this as a lesson and move on.”
Vick Ballard, Running Back
(On if he felt the momentum going away in the second half)
“Not really. The main problem was the turnovers today. We have to find a way to protect the ball better so we don’t put ourselves in the position we did in the second half.”
(On Coach Arians’ comment about not forgetting this game)
“He knows that football games like this happen, but we have to put it behind us and keep moving forward.”
Reggie Wayne, Wide Receiver
(On Coach Arians’ comment about not forgetting this game)
“Why would you? Whenever you get taken behind the woodshed it’s kind of hard to forget. Hopefully we take care of business and make sure we come back in this stadium.”
Tom Zbikowski, Safety
(On the game)
“You have to think about the things you can get better at as an individual and then as a collective team tomorrow look at it. It is one game in a long season and it is obviously not what we wanted. All things aside it still is only one game in a 16 game season and we have to make sure we move forward. 7-3 sounds better but we definitely have got work to do. You always have work to do and even after a win you have work to do. We will come back stronger than ever.”
(On covering Rob Gronkowski)
“He is such a big body and fluid receiver. It is not like he is going to burn you with his speed but he finds a way to get open every time and they also have got a pretty good quarterback that can put it where he needs put it.”
Antoine Bethea, Safety
(On the game)
“It started off pretty good. All of the things we said we needed to do to beat this team, we didn’t do. Defensively we really didn’t get off the field on third downs and we didn’t get any turnovers. We have to give credit to New England. They played a heck of a game. Obviously when we watch this film on Monday we will see a lot of things we could have done better out there. ”
Pat Angerer, Linebacker
(On covering Rob Gronkowski and the game)
“He is good and a great player. They are all good players. We didn’t play our best game obviously. There is nothing that we messed up out there that we can’t fix. They played well and we still haven’t played our best football. The first half we still weren’t playing as good as we can. We can get a lot better and I think we have got the guys in this room to do it.”
Dwayne Allen, Tight End
(On the game)
“The game is over. Our total and complete focus is on Buffalo. As soon as we get back the coaches are going to get to work with the players in finding ways we can come back and beat Buffalo coming up Sunday. A loss like this we are not going to forget it and coming into this game we knew who the Patriots are and how good they are. We wanted to use as a measuring stick and in the first half we said to ourselves we are able to compete with a championship contending team. The game in its entirety told everyone that we are not good enough yet to beat a championship contending team. The best thing about that is that we have six weeks to get better and prove we are a playoff team.”