(On the missed field goal attempt at the end of the game)
“We had an opportunity to win the game. I’d had a good game up until that point and I felt good going out there. It was just one of those things, you get opportunities like that not very often and I have to do a lot better job of coming through for the team. I had a chance to win and it came down to me and I didn’t pull through and it stinks. I feel bad for the fans and my teammates. I can’t take it back now. I went out there and felt good about the kick and just didn’t execute.”
(On whether he knew he missed the kick as soon as it left his foot)
“I felt good going out there and it wasn’t the smoothest hit. I looked up and saw it was left. Sometimes the ball doesn’t fly your way. There’s probably not another game where I’d be more confident going out for a kick like that. It humbles you really quickly.”
(On whether he feels differently going out for a kick with the game on the line as opposed to another point in the game)
“Each kick is different and of course you can develop a good rhythm and get in the zone. It’s just really unfortunate that I couldn’t come though at the end. I had a chance to make a big impact on the game and it turned south.”
(On whether he feels the team deserved to lose the game despite the missed field goal)
“Yeah. We didn’t play very good. Not scoring a touchdown until the fourth quarter, kicking field goals, penalties, pressures, negative runs – the offense, we didn’t bring our best game and it really showed.”
(On whether he shares other players’ sentiment that last week’s practice was not very good)
“Yeah I think the whole team does. We didn’t have a good practice there towards the end of the week and I think it showed up today. We didn’t play very well. When you’re playing a good team like week, they’re good. So if you don’t play good against a good team, you’re going to lose. ”
(On the impact losing
“I don’t know. I’m not sure. I don’t have time to worry about that. That’s the coaches and play callers. I’m just out there trying to do whatever I can on whatever play is called.”
(On the difficulty of this loss)
“It was difficult. I’ve got to go out there and play better. In the first three quarters, [I’ve] got to go out there and play better. At the start of the game, [I’ve] got to go out there and start faster, start stronger. Overall [I’ve] just got to go out there and improve in every aspect of the game. [I] can’t go out there and be doing that.”
(On how frustrating the penalties were for him personally)
“It’s frustrating. You saw me out there. They were not good. You can’t have penalties.”
(On the severity of Aaron Hernandez’s injury)
“I don’t know yet. Hopefully he’s fine. He’s a great player and we need him. I don’t know what his diagnosis is. Hopefully he’s okay.”
(On Stephen Gostkowski taking the blame and whether Gronkowski considers it to be a team loss)
“Definitely [it’s a team loss]. Stephen does a great job. He kicked four great field goals to keep us in the game. The loss is not on him. The loss could be on me. I got that penalty at the end holding the guy. You can’t have things like that happen. It’s definitely not on Stephen. He’s a great kicker and a great player.”
(On the Patriots’ offensive success in the fourth quarter)
“We can’t be going out and doing that on the last drive. We’ve got to be doing that the whole game.”
(On the missed two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter)
“I’ve got to re-watch it and check it out, but I’ve got to bring in those passes. Tom [Brady]’s putting them in the spots where I should be getting them and I’ve got to bring that in.”
(On if he feels the team was focused on today’s game)
“Credit them. They deserved to win this game. It started in the week in practice. Everybody will probably tell you that everybody knew what they were doing and we still couldn’t even get it done in some instances on the practice field: blown calls, lack of communication or whatever the case is and it showed up today in the game. We had our chances, but like I said, give all the credit to them. They deserve this win. ”
(On if the loss could be attributed more to execution than focus)
“It was a tight game. It was a battle all game. Going back to last year, they won eight of their last 10 and now today that’s nine out of their last 11. So they’re a team that will fight you until the very end and when it came down to it, it just wasn’t good enough from us.”
(On if it would be fair to put the loss on kicker Stephen Gostkowski)
“Not at all, not at all. Games like this we all have plays that we wish we could have back. I can think of two missed tackles offhand myself. Like I said, we all wish we could get some plays back out there. We left a lot of football out there on the field. It’s a good lesson to learn from and we’ll just move forward.”
(On if he realized right away that Arizona came to play)
“We knew coming in. Like I just said, they won eight out of their last 10 and now nine out of their last 11. They’ll fight you to the very end and they do just enough to be in the game and stay in the game in the fourth quarter. They just somehow find ways to pull victories out and that was the case today.”
(On how you get past today’s loss)
“Just try to find the things that we did right and correct the things that we did wrong. It’s pretty simple. We still have a lot of football left to play, so it would make no sense for us to anchor on this game and start beating ourselves up too bad about it. I think that we just have to bounce back.”
(On how the game changed when tight end Aaron Hernandez left with an injury)
“I think we just pretty much adapted. I didn’t think twice about the adjustments that we made and just figured that we’d step up and move on.”
(On what allowed the offense to put together two scoring drives when they were down by 11 late in the game)
“We just tried to focus on executing one play at a time and trying to get positive yards. We got it from a variety of different ways and just tried to punch it in. It’s the same thing that we try to do every drive and there at the end of the game, there’s just a lot more pressure on that and we were able to execute.”
(On what it takes in the locker room to turn the page and start getting ready for the Baltimore Ravens)
“I think it’s the same thing we did after a win. Make our corrections and come Tuesday and Wednesday, we cut the tape for our next game.”
(On the game plan for defending Larry Fitzgerald and holding him to one reception)
“That’s great, but ultimately we didn’t do enough in order to stop them. They scored 20 points and it wasn’t enough for us to win the game. So ultimately we didn’t stop them.”
(On what happened with the personal foul penalty on the sideline)
“You know, I’m not really sure. He was running down the sideline. Obviously I’ve got to be a little bit smarter in the situation. Sometimes those plays happen quick. I didn’t know if he was going to keep coming at me. Those big guys like to try to run you over. So I just went at him. It’s just playing football.”
(On whether there were signs of encouragement defensively)
“Those are things that are going to happen in the game of football. You are going to be in sudden change situations. We practice those types of situations and you need to respond when that happens. They get the ball on the three yard line and you have to try to hold them to a field goal. Those are the things that we practice throughout the week situationally and I think we did a decent job on that.”
(On his reaction to the game)
“I think it’s a tough loss because it’s a loss. We kind of thought we might have had it, but that’s how things shake out sometimes. We didn’t score as many points as them. We just got to do a better job of getting more points than the other team.”
(On the touchdown that was called back in the 4th quarter)
“Whenever I get the opportunity, I try to make the most of it. I had ten guys out there doing everything they could to give me some space. I tried to do what I could and it ended up coming back and that’s how it went.”
(On what he would say to Stephen Gostkowski following the game)
“He’s an unbelievable kicker. As a team we lost the game and that’s how it always is. Offense, defense, special teams, we all play together and we as a team didn’t score enough points. That’s how it happened. It’s not one person’s fault.”
(On if the Patriots would have been satisfied with their performance if they won)
“If we had won the game we still wouldn’t have felt like we played our best football. Just like I said, everybody could have played better. We had great effort. It wasn’t an effort thing just an execution thing.”
(On the blocked punt)
“I can’t really comment on it because I was covering down [the field], but that was a big momentum play for them, obviously, but I don’t know what happened I didn’t see it and we got to try and avoid putting ourselves in situations that we can’t afford to give up big momentum plays like that.”
(On if the team can pick themselves up after this difficult loss)
“We have 14 games left. Now is not the time to panic. Now is not the time to get down on ourselves because if we do it’s going to be a long season for us, so we just need to take it one day at a time and continue to try and perfect our craft as we come in here and watch the film tomorrow and learn from it and come out on the practice field and put together good days of practice and hopefully it will transfer to the [game] field.”
(On the defense forcing a fumble to get the ball back)
“It was a big play for us, but there were a lot of plays out there that we should have made that we just gave up. It’s not good enough and we’ll continue to improve and go to work tomorrow.”
(On losing the game in the final minutes and not being able to pull out the victory)
“It’s always a disappointing time around here when you lose a game. Any time you lose like this it hurts but at the same time it’s early in the season and these guys are still hungry and guys will still keep their heads up and continue to work.”
(On if he is confident when Stephen Gostkowski lines up for a field goal)
“Oh definitely, he’s our kicker and we stand behind him and we’ve seen him hit that a million times so I’m sure he’s hurt by it but he’s a great kicker and we all support him.”
(On if he was encouraged by the defensive effort)
“Obviously it wasn’t good enough so we’re perfectionists around here so we’re trying to get better. This is the second game, one-and-one. We have a big game coming up so we’ll watch this film tomorrow, make corrections and get ready for Baltimore.”
Q: You guys got so close and had a chance to win. Were you surprised that Stephen Gostkowski missed that field goal?
TB: Well, it’s a team game and certainly we shouldn’t have been leaving it up to that particular situation. We were fortunate to get that defensive turnover there late. We just came up short. We have opportunities to make plays and we’re just not making them. Just too inconsistent throughout the day to really put enough points on the board.
Q: How much did losing Aaron Hernandez change the game plan?
TB: Who knows? We have an offense with him in the game and without him in the game. Guys go in and out and you lose guys over the course of a game and you have to be able to adjust. I’m sure he’s not going to be the only one we lose this year at some point, but we have to figure out a way to still move the ball effectively throughout the course of the game – enough where we can score more than 18 points.
Q: Anything that Arizona was doing that you hadn’t seen much heading into the game?
TB: No, I think it played out the way we thought it would play out. They have a good defense and they certainly put a lot of pressure on you to make good plays and they really don’t give you easy ones. We made some; we just didn’t make enough at the end of the day.
Q: How does the decision get made that 42 yards is close enough? You might have been able to get closer.
TB: Yeah. It’s just a decision that Coach makes. I think we were a little closer and we had a penalty there that moved us back five more. You know, penalties hurt us a few times today. Like I said, offensively, when you don’t play well and you don’t play consistently, if you’re not going to get a big play, then you have to drive the ball and you can’t drive the ball if you're always two steps forward, one step back. That’s the way it felt today. We’d get the drive going and then there would be a negative play and we’d be forced to try to make a miraculous play to get back on track. It just wasn’t a very good day in that sense.
Q: When you guys are in your two receiver sets, what does
TB: Julian has been very consistent over the course of the entire season, so he’s getting opportunities to be out there and make certain plays and I have to find ways to continue to get those guys the ball. We have a good group at receiver, a good group of tight ends. We hopefully have a better offense than the way we played today; we just didn’t play consistently.
Q: What are your thoughts on
TB: He's a phenomenal player and when he makes plays, it really sparks our whole offense and he made a bunch of them today. That’s what we need. We just have to do a little bit more to get the ball in the end zone.
Q: Are you on board with Julian Edelman playing in front of Wes Welker?
TB: Like I said, those three guys rotate a lot, so there are plays that Julian is in there for; there are a lot of plays that Wes is in there for. I love both those guys and they both work really hard. That's always Coach’s decision; who’s out there, that’s not really my decision.
Q: When a game ends like this, is there anything you feel you need to say to Stephen Gostkowski?
TB: No, I mean, you miss kicks, you throw interceptions, you fumble the ball, you miss tackles. Over the course of a long season, those things happen. There’s no one play that lost the game; we did a lot of things that allowed us to lose this game. We had a lot of opportunity out there to make more plays than we did. Hopefully it never comes down to a 42-yard field goal at the end. Hopefully we do a better job on offense so it’s not that kind of game at the end.
Q: It seemed so disjointed for a while but you found a rhythm at the end of the game. Do you have any idea why?
WW: We just didn't come out firing. We didn't have a great week of practice and Coach made a point of that, that we needed to almost play some catch up. We really didn't do things necessary to come away with a win, especially early. We have to start faster than that and come out and play from ahead and do things the way we need to.
Q: Did it seem like the week of practice just lagged right into it? What did you see in practice?
WW: Just a lot of mental errors and things like that, guys not doing their assignments and not doing their job. We talked about the different things that they did defensively and the type of players they have, the people we had to control, and we just didn't do a good job of that.
Q: You finally broke Troy Brown's franchise receptions record. Does it lose a little sweetness because of how the game ended?
WW: Yeah, of course. You want to win the game. It is what it is.
Q: Does the game plan get altered drastically when you lose a player like Aaron Hernandez?
WW: Yeah, absolutely. Aaron is in there almost every play, so it changes quite a bit. You have to go to a different attack and go out there and play the way we need to and execute the way we need to and today just wasn't enough.
Q: Did you know you weren't going to be quite as involved in the game plan in the first half as in the second half?
WW: I never know. I always just prepare myself to be ready and when my number is called, I just try to go out there and make plays whenever I get an opportunity.
Q: Is that at all surprising to you to not be involved?
WW: You know, you want to be out there, I think as a competitor and everything else, especially on Sundays, it's what we play for and what we work for and you want to be out there. At the same time, Coach felt like whatever was best for the team and I'm for that and I totally understand that and I'm just there to help out however I can.
Q: Are there any injury reasons why your playing time would be cut?
WW: No. No, I feel great.
Q: How much of a loss would it be to be without Aaron Hernandez for a long period of time?
WW: He's a great player. He makes so many plays for us and he's really come into this training camp and really done really well. He's a really tough guy to match up against and I think everybody across the board has got to pick up the slack and make some plays out there in his place.
Q: Did Tom seem to be in a better rhythm toward the end of the game? What was different?
WW: I think our no-huddle. We work on that a lot, we practice it and it was effective for us, especially late in the game. It was crunch time and we were able to make some plays and get down the field and score. We just have to finish a lot of those drives on touchdowns instead of field goals.