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Patriots Postgame Quotes - 12/8/2013

Posted Dec 8, 2013

New England Patriots players address the media following their regular season game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, December 8, 2013.

Danny Amendola, Wide Receiver
(On the team’s mentality in the last few drives)
“We just tried to execute the plays we work on in practice and tried to make as many plays as we could. Situational football, get out of bounds and stop the clock, move the ball, try to get in the end zone.”

(On recovering the onside kick)
“It was fantastic. Those specialists work so hard on their craft and kicks, and I’m sure Gost [Stephen Gostkowski] was really excited about it. It was a big play – play of the game.”

(On what makes their offense so good in the fourth quarter)
“We found ourselves behind, and all we wanted to do was focus on executing the plays at hand, and one play at a time, and that’s all you can do at that time. You try to make as many plays as you can, try to stack them up and put a drive together.”

(On his final touchdown)
“It’s a play we work on every day in practice, actually. They manned it up, and we did a good job of executing. It was a good play.”

(On seeing Rob Gronkowski leave the game with an injury)
“We got his back, that’s for sure. Gronk’s a leader on the team. He’s one of the best, so we got his back whenever he comes out. It’s frustrating to see him go down, and you feel for him.”

Kyle Arrington, Defensive Back
(On recovering the onside kick)
“I just hoped it wasn’t a flag. I was just hoping – I thought I saw one of their guys hit it first, and so when I recovered it, it might have been [at] that 9 and 3/4 yard [line], so I was just hoping it wasn’t a flag. Just a good, legal play. We got the ball, set the offense up.”

(On what his thought process was on the onside kick)
“Well we know, Devin [McCourty] and I [were] both the safeties on the play. Just try to be around the ball. Cold, the ball’s cold, so a little slippery for a guy, especially guys who aren’t used to handling the ball. So like I said, Steve made a great kick, fortunately it hit one of their guys first, and I was just able to jump on it.”

(On whether this game is bittersweet with Rob Gronkowski’s injury)
“Definitely, definitely. Don’t know the extent of his injury just yet, so hopefully it’s not too bad. But you never like to see one of your guys go down, especially like that. So I’m just hoping he’s OK, and everybody’s had to step up that much more and play harder.”

James Develin, Fullback
(On Rob Gronkowski’s injury)
“It’s tough to lose a guy like Gronk. He’s a great player, but I’m proud of the way we kind of rallied back in his honor and kind of fought. I mean, he’s the Gronk. He’s a tough guy to lose, but we did what we had to do and we fought it out, and I’m proud of us.”

(On what the team has to do to step up if Gronkowski’s injury is serious)
“It’s always kind of the next man up. Someone’s got to take over his role and kind of just fill in and do their job, and hopefully we’ll get that done.”

(On his reception)
“I mean, it was a good play. I didn’t really expect to see the ball coming my way, but I’m thankful that I got out there and grabbed it.”

Julian Edelman, Wide Receiver
(On what he was thinking about late in the game)
“Just focusing on the next task at hand. Try and go out there and get something started and just try to stay in the game mentally. Try and be focused on taking it play-by-play and doing what we have to do.”

(On the Browns’ defense)
“They’re a very good, aggressive team defensively and we just couldn’t establish a rhythm early on. It almost caught up to us in the end and we’re fortunate we went out to play the situations the way we did, but we definitely have to start getting better.”

(On the team’s mindset while coming back at the end)
“Personally I was [both] catching the ball and I dropped a couple. I can’t speak for anyone else but that’s one thing that I had to do. The team, we were just staying focused and we got to play out the situations. The defense made a stop at the end and the special teams got the onside kick. It was good complimentary, situational football at the end of the game. It’s unfortunate that we had to take it back to the end of the game again but it was good to get the ‘W’. We practice those situations all the time and guys are calm in the huddle and hungry to make a play. Our leader, Tommy [Brady] is pretty calm, cool, and collected, and we go with the flow of what we have to do to execute. Thank goodness we were able to do that at the end of the game, but we definitely have to get better.”

Stephen Gostkowski, Kicker
(On recovering the onside kick)
“That’s one of those rare things where I’ve been practicing onside kicks for so long and I’ve probably only done like four to five in a game, even going back to high school. It’s just one of those things that you have to focus on what you’re doing and give your team a chance. It’s a very low-percentage play. My job is to get it 10 yards and give the team a chance. That’s what I did and the ball bounced our way, so it was pretty exciting.”

(On how many times his team has recovered an onside kick at any level)
“I did it in college.”

(On how aware he was of his position on the field)
“I slid and I saw that the ball was just about to be 10 [yards] and I kind of waited. That’s the thing: I kick it and I try to get in front of it and I slide and it’s supposed to fall right to me. Before the ball got to get 10 [yards], the guy came and hit me. I had the thing. Luckily the ball bounced off him and right into Kyle’s [Arrington] hands. It was just a great play. I’ve never been that jacked up after a game. I don’t celebrate too much after field goals but when we get an onside kick, I was all over the place. I probably looked like an idiot out there [laughter].”

Devin McCourty, Defensive Back
(On what needs to improve for the defense going forward)
“I would say everything right now. I don’t think, if you look at us play, it’s not one thing that, if we just fix that, we’ll be good. The biggest thing that we continue to talk about is consistency. Throughout the game, we have some pretty good stops, we string some series together, some plays together. But it’s being consistent on every down. If we can do that I think we’ll be good. But right now it’s too many inconsistent plays out there.”

(On seeing Rob Gronkowski go down with an injury)
“To me, it’s tough for [Rob Gronkowski]. Of course, as a team, we want him to play. But the first thing I thought was everything he went through to get back out here and how hard he’s worked. I just hope he’s alright. As a team, we’ll do what we have to do. But as a teammate, as a friend and as a player, you just hate to see that for him. A guy that’s battled back through his arm and his back and been very productive for us this year, it stinks to see him get carted off the field like that.”

(On defending Josh Gordon)
“[Josh Gordon] is a good player. We didn’t come into the game thinking that the numbers he put up were just because... He’s a good player and he made some plays today. We’ve just got to do a better job in different situations. There some [key] plays made out there, but he made some plays.”

Matthew Mulligan, Tight End
(On what was going through his mind in the final two minutes of the game)
“It was just incredible, really. You have to play 60 minutes. As a football player, you know and they preach it all the time. We came in at halftime, and there’s a whole other half to be played, a lot of football to be played. I just think that as a team, we are very resilient. We know that until that horn blows, it’s not over. I think that it was just a great team win. Obviously, every phase, do what they needed to do and I was just thankful that we could pull it out.”

(On whether he can find any reason why the team has been getting off the slow starts in recent weeks)
“I just think that we’re just doing what we can do. You can’t always start fast, that’s just one of those things. So, I think that, like I said, we’re playing 60 minutes of football. You can play a great 45 minutes of football, or 50 minutes or 55 [minutes] and lose. For us, I think it is a total 60 minutes and I think that it was a combined win. Offense, defense and special teams, everybody really did what they needed to do to be successful, and like I said I’m glad to get the W.”

(On whether the loss of Rob Gronkowski tempers the excitement of this win)
“I mean, obviously any time you have a teammate go down to anything, it’s obviously somber. I’m praying for Rob and whatever may happen with him. You’ll have to talk to Coach Belichick about that, but like I said I hope it’s a speedy recovery and he’ll be in our prayers.”

(On what he said to Gronkowski when he was kneeling next to him on the field)
“I was just doing what a teammate – what he would do for me. You just stand around as best you can and anything they ask you to do, you try to help out your teammate. But as far as what was said, I’ll keep that between Rob and I.”

(On whether that injury shifted the mood for both teams. It seemed to be somber for everybody in the stadium at that point)
“That was a lot of respect that Cleveland paid there too. When you have a good player like him, and you know all the struggles that he’s gone through already, to have something like that, I think it is catastrophic and everybody feels it. It is what it is, but as far as [the game goes], we knew we had a job to do. You have to be able to weather different things that happen in a game. Whether it be injuries or whatever it may be in a game, that’s why you continue to play for 60 minutes and I think as a team we did a great job.”

(On whether it is exhausting to play in these games where the team has to come back to win late in the game)
“I think that’s the why we practice during the week. You know Coach Belichick is great at getting us ready for everything. I’ve always told people that I think football is 90% mental. You know, when you really prepare for all these situations – you go through four minute, two minute, end of the game situations, and I think our coaches do a great job of preparing us for that. As a team, we really take it in stride. So, as a team, is it tiring? Every football game is tiring. We’re just thankful to get a win.”

(On his through process behind his attempted hurdle over a Browns defender)
“[Laughing] That’s never a smart move. In my whole career I’ve never, ever done that. I’ve always just plowed guys over, but all week watching film, I thought they [the Browns defenders] would go low, go low, go low, and I decided to go high. He decided to not take the bait, but it’s one of those things where I could have had better ball security as well.”

(On whether he was channeling his inner Rob Gronkowski on that play)
“I do my own thing, but hopefully Gronk would be proud.”

(On whether he has seen defenders aim to hit players low more this year than in the past)
“I don’t know about that. I just know about myself, being 275 pounds, most guys are going to go low. That’s the way it’s always been, and I just thought maybe I would show a little athleticism, but it didn’t work so well.”

(On whether he saw on film that the Cleveland defensive backs attempt to tackle players lower rather than higher)
“I think as a general rule, DBs go low, in my mind, and I’m thinking I’ve got a full head of steam and this guy got in my way. I think I was kind of running a little high, and I kind of went almost into like a triple jump form. It was unfortunate, but I was glad to do whatever I could do. Next time that’s not going to happen.”

Rob Ninkovich, Defensive Lineman
(On the win)
“Definitely memorable, huh? Everyone’s going to remember this one. A good win here. Not the way you want to win, but we’ll take it. Definitely.”

(On how the defense played in the second half compared to this first half)
“Defensively, going into halftime, I thought we did decent but still were on the field a little bit too long. In the second half there, that one play where they just went one play and scored, you can’t have that. You can’t give up a quick-throw slant for a touchdown. We shouldn’t have done that. We just have to work hard on that and not give those up. But I love the way we fought. That’s situational football right there. Everything that you work on and all the onside-kick preparation, it worked perfect. Hats off to Steve [Gostkowski] there, that’s an amazing kick. Great win for us. Happy that we got the W, but there’s a lot of things we left out on the field as far as bad plays.”

(On the Patriots playing all the way to the end of games)
“That’s football, that’s NFL football there. You’ve got to play all four quarters. We’ve seen it time and time again how in the end we can come back and we can score points. It’s not over until it’s over. Fight to the end. Situational football, play it right and every second counts.”

Matthew Slater, Wide Receiver
(On his overall thoughts)
“[The Browns are] a well-coached team with some good players, but you play 60 minutes. They put 60 minutes on the clock and [you] play every play as hard as you can and hope the outcome will work out in your favor. Thank God; it was His will for us to win tonight, because there’s really no other explanation for it. We’re thankful for the way we won the game but we have to continue to improve because we can’t keep putting ourselves in holes like that, expecting to play out of it.”

(On late calls affecting games this season)
“Every year is different. Every game is different. Plays play out differently. Different players are in different situations, and you never know. That’s why you have to play 60 minutes and play every play as its own play, and at the end of the game all those plays add up. At the end of the game, hopefully the score is in your favor and tonight we were fortunate enough to come out victorious.”

(On the onside kick)
“It was a perfect kick by Stephen [Gostkowski]. I don’t think he could have kicked that any better. The way we practiced it, I don’t think he’s ever kicked it that good. What can you say about Stephen and the year that he’s had? He’s been so reliable for us game-in and game-out, so I’m really not surprised that he executed like that because of the year he is having. Kyle [Arrington] did a great job of being alert and getting on the ball and we executed the play the way we ideally drew it up.”

Aqib Talib, Cornerback
(On his thoughts about the comeback victory)
“Yeah, man one play at a time. Find a way to win.”

(On the atmosphere in the locker room after the win)
“It was exciting.”

(On whether there were mixed emotions after the game knowing that the team may have lost tight end Rob Gronkowski to injury)
“Man we’re enjoying the victory. I’ll go and check on Rob in a minute. I don’t really know – I can’t really comment on that.”

(On whether he thought there was a penalty on the play where he got tangled up with Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon)
“I mean he grabbed my face mask and pulled me down. [Since] he grabbed my facemask and pulled me down, I pulled him down. They called it on me. I mean, it went like that all night, so it is what it is.”

(On the matchup with Josh Gordon)
“It was great, man. Hey, he’s a hell of a player man. He’s young – I think he’s about 22, 23 [years-old]. He’s going to make some noise in this league. He’s pretty good.”

(On what he would like to see the defense do to improve moving forward)
“We’ve got to just correct what we do wrong. One game at a time, just watch the tape and correct what we did wrong.”

(On how stressful it is to play in close games where the team wins in the final minutes)
“It’s not stressful at all, it’s exciting. It’s football man. Hey, everybody gets paid, it’s the NFL. Nobody said it was going to be easy. It’s not stressful to me. I’m excited – my kids are excited. They’re waiting for me.”

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