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Patriots Postgame Quotes - 12/29/2013

Posted Dec 29, 2013

New England Patriots players address the media following their regular season game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, December 29, 2013.

Danny Aiken, Long Snapper
(On if he’s ever played in rain like that for an entire game)
“Not that I can remember, if ever. You don’t see it too often when the artificial field puddles up.”

(On if the team practices much in similar weather conditions)
“We make it an issue to work on those types of situations as often as we can and as a group and as a team.”

Ryan Allen, Punter
(On how he has improved throughout the year as a holder)
“[Early on], I was still going through the rusty phases and beginning phases of holding. But I countered quickly and the confidence was never lacking from neither [Stephen Gostkowski] or Danny [Aiken]. It builds you up. It’s the type of leadership you want and you want to follow. I think we’re on the right track. I think we just need to keep building and keep working on what we do.”

(On how tough the conditions were)
“It was good; it could’ve been colder, it could’ve been windier. But the rain was consistent throughout the whole time, so after the first couple snaps in warm-ups, you got a good feel for it.”

Danny Amendola, Wide Receiver
(On the adversity that the Patriots have overcome, and whether they play with a chip on their shoulder because of it)
“I mean, you’ve got to. You’ve got to have a chip on your shoulder. You’ve got to deal with adversity, regardless of whether it’s in a game, in a season, it’s personal, it’s with the team, whatever it is you have to deal with adversity. [You need to] be tough, and we’ve got a lot of tough guys in this locker room, that’s for sure.”

(On coming to the Patriots with Julian Edelman already on the roster and playing the same position and how Edelman welcomed him to the team)
“Julian and I have been friends for a long time. He’s a great player and we feel like we play well together. It’s fun to be playing with him.”

(On whether he has ever seen a team overcome so much adversity, whether it’s injuries or bad weather or point deficits)
“You’ve just got to play till double zeros. That’s what it’s about and see how it turns out in the end. Tonight it was – we got a win and we’re excited about it.”

(On how the weather conditions affected the players)
“As a receiver it’s really hard to play well in the rain, and it’s hard to, you know, it’s obviously hard to throw the ball in the rain. You’ve just got to do your best and try to catch it. It was probably the most rain during a game I’ve ever played in. It was wet.”

(On whether running the ball with LeGarrette Blount was a function of the weather or part of the game plan going into the week)
“When it is raining that hard, you’ve got to resort to a solid run game. I give credit to linemen and receivers and everybody blocking their butts off. We ran the ball well. LeGarrette had a great game. So did all the other backs too.”

(On how important the first-round playoff bye is to the team)
“It will give opportunity for guys that are a little nicked up to be ready to go. That’s what we need; we need everybody. So, it’s good.”

LeGarrette Blount, Running Back
(On Coach Belichick’s remarks that he carried the team on his back)
“I wouldn’t say that. On the returns that I had, I didn’t get touched for like the first thirty yards, so I tip my hat off to those guys, the core special teams guys. We have a Pro Bowler in [Matthew] Slater, so I tip my hat off to those guys. And the offensive line played amazing for both of us, me and [Stevan] Ridley and Shane [Vereen]. The offensive line played amazing, so you can’t ever give them enough credit.”

(On if he likes games like this where the weather dictates that they run the ball)
“I mean, I like touching the ball no matter what the weather is. I’m not going to argue with them if they want to give it to us.”

(On if this type of weather favored the Patriots today)
“I feel like we had to man up and play tough football with the conditions, and whoever played better football physically is going to be the winner.”

(On giving Belichick a big hug on the sidelines at the end of the game)
“It was just the excitement of us winning this game and getting that first-round bye into the playoffs. We can go into this week and we can get a lot of rest, and we have two weeks to study a lot of film on whoever we’re going to play.”

(On the weather conditions and how that affected him)
“It was cold and it was rainy, and it was hard for a lot of guys to keep their footing. We just went into the game with the mindset to run the football and play physical football, and that’s what we did. It’s a mindset and the will of what’s at stake and the urgency that we have to have to continue to be successful, and how important this first round bye was.”

(On if the ability to run to daylight was key to his success today)
“No, it was our offensive line. All we have to do is find the holes. They blocked tremendously. They had an amazing game. It was one of our best games by our offensive line, and they played amazing throughout the whole season, and they definitely came through for us big-time today. You can’t say enough about those guys, they’re tough.”

(On how it felt to break two long returns)
“It was a good feeling, man. Like I said, those core guys – I mean, we’ve been close a few times, but a few times it’s been us, it’s been the returners that haven’t ran the return to the point to where we could’ve broken it, and we finally got to the point where we read it perfectly, and they brought the perfect play and it broke.”

Julian Edelman, Wide Receiver
(On the significance of 100 catches in a season)
“I don’t know what the significance is. I do know that we went out there and played a pretty solid game. There were mess ups, which, I mentally was the guy who screwed up that formation in that four minute offense situation. I’m a little bummed about that. But, it was definitely and good team-win and it was good to clinch that first-round bye.”

(On whether joining Troy Brown and Wes Welker as the only Patriots receivers in team history to catch 100 passes means anything to him)
“I mean, it’s cool and everything, but you really go out and you play for other things, like playing in the last game of the year and winning that game. We put ourselves in an opportunity to go one step closer to that. It is definitely kind of cool, just with the road; it’s been a crazy road. It’s definitely been kind of cool.”

(On the work that he put in in the offseason to get to this point, because coming into the NFL as a college quarterback and then catching 100 passes as a receiver in a season is a little different)
“It is. I don’t want to take anything away from this win tonight, but guys that played here in the past like Welk [Wes Welker], Randy [Randy Moss] and then Tom Brady. I mean, he’s helped me a lot. You know, being a professional and going out there learning how to deal with the offseason, learning that there is no offseason. It’s about getting better and coming into camp in shape and coming into camp ready and all that stuff. So, it was a crazy year because I didn’t get to have that this year with the broken foot. A lot of things haven’t gone my way in the past, you know playing behind someone that’s doing really well or whether it’s injuries or not executing certain situations. But, it was kind of cool to get that today and more importantly it was great to go out there and win in those conditions against a team that has a solid defense and is almost built for those conditions with the way they play offense and the way they run and situationally play on third [down] and in the red area. So, it was definitely cool to do that.”

(On how it felt today to block and watch the running game do what it does)
“I mean it was awesome. LeGarrette [Blount] Rid [Stevan Ridley], Shane-O, [Shane Vereen]. Those guys played a heck of a game. When you’re a receiver you like that because that just sets up other things. With how everything was going out there with the rain and stuff, we didn’t need to [pass the ball] as much, and I think we were pretty efficient in the pass game when we had to. There were some plays here or there that I think we will have to work on. We’ll have to look at the film and be able to execute a little better going into the next games. It was definitely great to see LeGarrette have the game he did, especially on the kickoff returns. Rid, Rid Dog [Stevan Ridley] going back in there and Shane-O [Shane Vereen] doing his thing. So, those guys did great and you can’t forget to include that offensive line. I mean, those guys played their tails off - Log, [Logan Mankins] Wendy, [Ryan Wendell] Marcus, [Cannon], [Dan] Connolly, [Nate] Solder, [Josh] Kline when he came in… All those guys, they blocked their tails off. You live and die by those guys.”

(On whether he felt any added pressure coming into the season because he was one of the most experienced players on offense)
“No. I mean, that’s not really pressure. Pressure is when you have like $300 in your [bank] account, like five kids and $800 in bills. That’s pressure. It was more of an opportunity. Around here, if you just do your job, you put in the work and you prepare you’ll be given an opportunity. The other receivers have done a great job to come in and just do what they’ve done this year. I mean, this is a tough system, and to have three guys that have never played in the system, two rookies [Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson] and Danny [Amendola], you’ve got to tip your hat to those guys because they’ve helped us win a bunch of games as well.”

Stephen Gostkowski, Kicker
(On the weather conditions on Sunday)
“It doesn’t get much tougher than that, as far as rain goes. I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of something that sloppy. But when it’s like that, you’ve just got to increase your focus and increase how you go about things. You’ve got to slow things down a little bit and just make sure that everything goes smoothly. Danny [Aiken] and Ryan [Allen] did a great job. One thing that stinks about playing here but also that’s good is we practice outside everyday, no matter what it is. You complain and gripe when it’s 35 degrees outside and it’s raining or snowing or really windy. It pays off, though. The coaches know what they’re doing when they put us out there for games like this.”

(On breaking Gino Cappelletti’s record for most points in a season)
“I didn’t know that happened. That’s cool, I guess. I’m just happy we got the first-round bye.”

(On not taking anything for granted in such sloppy weather conditions)
“You have to be 100-percent good on every facet: the snap, the hold, the plant, the kick. The worst thing you can do is try to overkick. Luckily it wasn’t crazy windy, so if you just got a good foot on the ball it was probably going to fly pretty true. We practice it all the time. We’ve never practiced in anything like that for three-and-a-half hours of straight downpour and there’s three inches of water on the field. You just adjust as you go. You go out there and make the first one, it doesn’t seem to be as hard. Then you make the second one and you kick a couple kickoffs and they’re going far. You just build your confidence and keep it going.”

Chandler Jones, Defensive End
(On finishing the regular season strong and earning the bye)
“It’s great. It’s a good opportunity for our team to get some rest, and I’m definitely going to get some rest, and actually going to get ready for whoever we have to play.”

(On if he is happy with where the defense is at this stage)
“I feel like our defense has to keep moving forward, no matter where we are or what the ranking is or whatever the situation is. Our defense has to keeping moving forward and keep progressing to do better.”

(On if he thinks the Patriots are playing their best football right now)
“Yeah, we’re playing very well. I’m very happy for our guys. I’m happy for our defense, our offense, and our special teams. It’s our whole team, to be honest with you.”

(On LeGarrette Blount)
“LeGarrette Blount, wow. That was, like I said, I had a front view to that, and it was great. I was sitting there on the bench and watching that from the sideline, and it was surreal. I’ll call him tonight and see what he’s doing.”

Matthew Mulligan, Tight End
(On what it means to be 12-4 after all the Patriots have gone through this season)
“It just shows that hard work pays off. I mean, you’ve got a bunch of guys that [are] working every day, never quit, never felt sorry for ourselves, never just went in a corner and said we wanted to hide. We stood up to the challenge, and I think that’s a testament to our team chemistry, and like I said earlier the leadership, and I just think we’ll continue to bond and press on and see how it goes.”

(On if it feels good to get the bye)
“Obviously, all the time. I mean, absolutely. You’re going to get some guys to get some rest, get healthy, and be able to game-plan for a team for two weeks. There’s a lot of big things that come with a bye, so we’ll just have to maintain and do our jobs and we’ll be fine.”

Matthew Slater, Wide Receiver
(On taking care of business knowing both the Bengals and Colts had already won)
“It was a slosh out there. We were playing soaked and that required a lot of mental toughness. It wasn’t easy to go out and execute, but we did that. Obviously, you tip the hat to the big fella [LeGarrette Blount] for how he ran the ball tonight and coming up with some big plays in the kicking game. But it was a great team effort. You never want to back into earning yourself a bye and we went out and earned it tonight with our play on the field. So you’ve got to be excited about that.”

(On how such a young team developed so well throughout the season)
“I almost think it’s a good thing that we’re a young team because sometimes these guys don’t know any better. But they just keep on playing and keep fighting. Who knows, maybe if we were an older team, it would be like, ‘Oh man, I’ve been in this situation before and it hasn’t gone well.’ With these young guys, they just keep their nose down, they keep grinding, they bring a lot of energy, they’re dedicated to what they’ve been asked to do around here. So far, I’d say it’s worked out OK for us.”

(On the long kick returns by LeGarrette Blount)
“Been waiting 16 weeks to get a big one ripped and the big fella [LeGarrette Blount] provided a few today. He runs hard and with him back there, you know he’s going to break tackles. You know that for certain. We had some guys with some key blocks today. The guys up front did a great job and they were really excited about LeGarrette breaking, so hopefully we can keep it going.”

Nate Solder, Tackle
(On controlling the line of scrimmage for a second week in a row)
“We’ve done some good things and we want to continue to do those things. The more we can do it as we go forward, that’s great.”

(On if it was a challenge facing Buffalo’s defensive line)
“Yes, it’s always a challenge playing these guys [the Bills]. They’re extremely talented, they play really hard. But it is every week, so we come prepared.”

(On what made the ground game so effective)
“LeGarrette [Blount] made some great runs. You know, [laughs] even if we weren’t blocking someone, he was running someone over. All the credit to him and a great group of guys.”

Aqib Talib, Cornerback
(On what he told Head Coach Bill Belichick about LeGarrette Blount)
“I just told him he was a great teammate, a great locker room player, and you’re going to see a lot of explosive plays from him. That’s all I told him. You’re going to get a lot of explosive plays and he’s going to be great in this locker room and you won’t have a problem out of him in this locker room.”

(On how gratifying it is to see a good friend, LeGarrette Blount, having the success he’s having this season)
“That’s wonderful, man – having a day like that, a game like that and to be on the same team with me again, man, live right next door to me. Hey, I can’t do nothing but smile. That’s my dog.”

(On watching LeGarrette Blount experience making the playoffs for the first time in his career)
“It’s exciting, man. It’s his first time touching the playoffs; it’s exciting, I’m just happy for him.”

(On how their friendship developed in Tampa Bay)
“I don’t know how, but me, him and Mike Williams, really just kind of bonded a little bit. It was kind of always us three doing stuff together, so he’s out here [in New England] with me now.”

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