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Patriots Postgame Quotes

Posted Dec 4, 2011

New England Patriots players comment on their game against the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, December 4, 2011.

WES WELKER, WIDE RECEIVER


Q: Do you look at today's performance like two different games?


WW: We got off to kind of a slow start, but we picked it up and got things going. We were able to get a good lead. From there we have to finish a lot better than the way we have been the past few weeks. I'm sure that's going to be a huge emphasis by coach and something we have to do. If we don't play four quarters we're not going to end up in the situation we want to be in. We have to fight on through and convert on third downs, move the ball down the field and ultimately score.


Q: Is it fair to say the Colts played a lot of zone today?


WW: I think they had some injury issues with their DBs and things like that. We were able to kind of take advantage of going fast and have them line up in a lot of zone. They were kind of trying to get lined up more than anything. We didn't see very much man. It was a matter of our spacing and Tom [Brady] finding the open guy and moving the ball down the field that way.


Q: How much does Rob Gronkowski help open up the game for you and the other receivers?


WW: He's a great player and he does a great job for us just like everybody out there. He understands where he needs to be and makes plays in key situations, so he's been a big help for us, especially in the red area with his touchdowns. He's such a big target. We just have to keep on striving to be great out there. He's definitely one of those guys that does that and we just have to keep on bringing everybody along and moving toward the ultimate goal.


Q: Is Tom Brady at his best in the no-huddle offense?


WW: I think at times. It's tough to say, it depends how they are playing us and what advantages we can have in doing that and going fast and different things like that. It depends on what they're doing and being able to dictate the game in that manner. I think Tom's always at his best, no matter what we're doing out there.


Q: When you got off to a slow start today, did the thought of losing to a winless team ever enter your mind?


WW: You really don't think about too much. You're just out there trying to move the ball down the field and score touchdowns. That's really the only thing we're worried about is moving the ball and scoring points and not looking at records or anything else and understand that they're an NFL team. We have to go out there and start fast and finish a lot better than what we did. That's going to catch up to us if we don't do those things.

ANDRE CARTER, DEFENSIVE END
(On the end of the game)
"We just know that in the end, as a team, we have the talent and we have the mentality, we just have to finish strong.  It's something that we have to communicate as a group and as a team, and move on from there."

(On giving up points late in the game)
"I think in general it's a mindset. It's just knowing what you have to do and going out there trying to execute. Unfortunately, towards the end, final stretch of the game, Indy was just able to make big plays and that is something we have to eliminate."


JEROD MAYO, LINEBACKER
(On providing leadership to the new defensive personnel)
"Those guys are veteran players. They come in with the mindset of how to play in the NFL.  They do an excellent job in the meetings and the practices and it showed during the game."

(On where the time is at this point in the season)
"We always talk about how you have to play your best football after Thanksgiving. That's what we are trying to do. Unfortunately, during the fourth quarter today we didn't do that."

(On the end of the game)
"It's kind of disappointing to be honest with you. Even though it's a win and it's hard to win games in the National Football League, at the same time, you want to finish so much stronger than that."

(On his interception)
"I was just reading the quarterback's eyes and broke on the football. I don't really remember too much of it."

(On the challenge of integrating new guys into the defense every week)
"We have that ‘Next Man Up' attitude and those guys have done an excellent job filling in and being attentive in meetings and things like that. So when we come out on the field they do a good job."

(On the last quarter of the game)
"It's disappointing. Go back to the drawing board and try to improve. We just have to finish games."

(On what happened to the defense)
"I don't know. I haven't watched the film yet. I'm not sure what it was. After I watch the film I'll let you know."

(On defensive and offensive performance)
"You know we started out fast and we just couldn't finish the game. Those guys fought back and executed at the end of the game. We just have to learn how to put two halves together next week."


JAMES IHEDIGBO, SAFETY
(On today's game)
"Even though we won this game and we're sitting here at 9-3, there is a lot that we have to work on. We know that and we're going to continue to gear up and get better. We can do some things but we have to get better to be able to do that."

(On the current state of the defense and secondary)
"We are a solid group. I have a lot of confidence in the guys that I play with. I have a lot of confidence in myself. We just have to continue to play hard and to finish games. When you're going against our offense and they put up a lot of points, teams are going to have no other choice but to throw the ball. That's just part of the game. But, in terms of giving up touchdowns, we have to close out games and we know that as a group."


KYLE ARRINGTON, CORNERBACK
(On what allowed the Colts to get back in the game at the end)
"Poor execution. Lack of execution, lack of focus. Got to really look at the film, it's hard to really tell right now. Like I said, we'll go back, look over it and [take] a hard look in the mirror and see how we can get better."

(On if the defense was building confidence before the Colts started coming back)
"That's always the goal: three and out, keep points off the board. When it doesn't happen, we just try to see what we did wrong and try to make in-game adjustments from there and move on after that."

(On Matthew Slater's performance on defense)
"Just a lot of credit to guys who are just able to step up and play or do whatever's asked upon them."


DEION BRANCH, WIDE RECEIVER
(On what happens to make the offense switch to no-huddle)
"It's according to the flow of the game. I think we do a good job at practice, working on certain things in the no-huddle offense. And then when it comes time to do it in the game, it's a little easier for us. Coach [Bill Belichick] puts us in so many different situations in practice. We were going against a good team today. I think the guys did a great job of executing the plays when we needed to make them."

(On Tom Brady's role as the leader of the no-huddle offense)
"That's the most important piece on the field, your quarterback. [Tom Brady] put us in all the right positions, gets us in the right sets, the right formations. The guys have the easy part, they're just making plays."

(On if the offense can sense when it's starting to click)
"You can. The thing is, we just try to take it one play at a time. We preach on starting fast and finishing drives. We did it here pretty inconsistently. The score looked kind of crazy, but at the same time, we were pretty inconsistent."


BRIAN WATERS, GUARD
(On backup players stepping into starting roles on the offensive line)
"They say it's like coach-speak, but honestly, these guys really do have to prepare. They really take reps with the [first team] every week and they have to know their game plan as well as we do. And Scar [Dante Scarnecchia] is always on them about making sure they're knowing what's going on, so it makes it an easy transition when they have to get in there."

(On not being able to finish the game well on either side of the ball)
"We definitely didn't finish the way we wanted to finish and I'm sure that's something that will be really emphasized this week. I haven't been here a long time, but I've known [Bill Belichick] long enough to know when certain things will be a point of emphasis."

(On how Nick McDonald did on Sunday)
"I think Nick [McDonald] did really well. He really did. He stepped up big-time this week. He didn't truly know what was going to happen or not, but he did really well. He stepped up big-time and, you know what? Who knows what the future is going to hold. He's done a great job all season of making sure he knows what's going on and today was just to show that you never know when your time is coming and you've got to be prepared. Hopefully all our young guys – I feel confident that all our young guys will be ready to go when their number is called."


NICK MCDONALD, OL
(On first start)
"I felt great. It's always been a dream of mine to be out there with the starters. I felt real good."

(On possibility of starting today)
"I mean there's always that chance. You've got to be prepared every single day in practice. You never know what's going to happen, so you got to prepare like you're going to play every week, every guy – every guy on the practice squad, it's the same thing."


(On any exchange problems)
"No, everything felt good. Obviously, I have some things to clean up, you know being my first game out there. I've just got to keep improving."

(On if he and Tom Brady spoke before game about exchanges)
"Well, me and Tom we take snaps every single week as it is. The young guys get in there and I get to snap to Tom every single day, all week."


ANTWAUN MOLDEN, CORNERBACK
(On the various roles that players are expected to undertake)
"We all have roles. The sign in the tunnel says ‘Do Your Job' and that's what we are expected to do each and every day when we get up at 5:30 a.m."

(On Wide Receiver Matthew Slater playing defense)
"Any time you move a receiver over (to the defense) there have to be adjustments. He was flying around, making plays and breaking up passes. That's what we need. Matt is an aggressive guy and that is going to help us out in the long run."

(On what it is like to be on a team with guys playing various roles and positions)
"We are always saying that anytime you can do more, it helps the team. When you have guys that can play multiple positions, it gives them a profound understanding of the game overall and that will definitely help us."


MATTHEW SLATER, WIDE RECEIVER
(On his general thoughts for the game)
"(I was in for) quite a few plays today so I'm a little sore. I just thank God for the opportunity to be out there and help this team win a football game. I am at a loss for words, I'm just so thankful. I'm glad we came out with a win and we will continue to move towards our goals for the rest of the season."

(On how long he had been preparing to play with the defense)
"Just this week. It's one of those things that I've known since I've been here; to be ready for whatever they ask me to do and they pushed me a little this week. The guys helped me. James (Ihedigbo), Kyle (Arrington), Devin (McCourty), Jerod (Mayo) and Nate Jones were all communicating with me to help out and I'm glad we came out with a win."

(On if he came into the league as a Defensive Back)
"I was a ‘Jack of all Trades' my rookie year. I did a little bit of everything. My career has been about (taking) whatever anyone asks of me and then going out there to do it at the best of my ability. Playing hard and fast and doing whatever it takes to help this team have success."


ROB GRONKOWSKI, TIGHT END
(On his touchdown being changed to a rushing TD)
"I'm okay with it. That was my first rushing touchdown of my career and the first rushing touchdown of my life."

(On how he is able to get open in the red zone)
"It's more of the offense working as one. Our coaches are doing a great job calling the plays and the wide receivers and running backs [are] working hard. The wide receivers are getting so open and Tom [Brady] [is] hitting them so good that [the defense] forgets about the tight ends because they're catching all the passes down field and getting us into the red zone and I just happen to be the one open."

(On having a part of the record, how it feels being in the company of Kellen Winslow and John Mackey, and whether that gives him pause to reflect on what he have done so far)
"Yes. Those are all great tight ends. I love watching them on film and everything and have a lot of respect for them. You can learn tips from watching them on film and seeing how they got open and you also take it from the coaches and put it all together and learn from it. Records really don't matter. The only thing that matters is the team and getting the victory."


NIKI KOUTOUVIDES, LINEBACKER
(On what is the challenge for the rest of the season for this defense)
"I think that obviously with some of the things that have happened and situations with guys getting hurt this season and having other guys stepping into other roles that is obviously their first time or haven't done it in a long time, it's going to be a little difficult in communication and everyone being on the same page. But you can't make any excuses whoever is out there on the field has to play a high level. I know that at the end of the game we didn't finish in the right way, so we need to change that."

(On whether it takes a level of demand week to week that might be unique here)
"Especially here, you know we are preparing hard every week for whoever we are playing. Indianapolis obviously has some explosive players and have always been there and you have to make sure when you're on the field you're defending those guys very tight. At the end of the game they made some big plays and you don't want that as a defense."

(On how Koutouvides would gauge his performance)
"We got the win and it's a great feeling. You just want to finish better and close the game out better."

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