Q: Each game, a kicker usually has a number in their mind; what was your number today?
AV: We were pushing the envelope up a little bit, I think. You know, early in pregame warmup, the weather was not as bad and there obviously was not as much snow on the ground, and I think as the game went along, the range ended up dwindling down a little bit because we knew that footing and the snow and everything was going to be a little bit of a problem.
But, you know, going out there for that last one, we knew that was about our range. But the guys up front did a great job, and my snapper and holder did great; and once it got up in the air, you know, we were -- we were hoping, but it looked pretty good.
Q: And the 45-yarder?
AV: Yeah that was just -- you know what, I kind of line-drived it, but when I looked up, I knew it was going to be straight enough. I had to wait a while to see if it was going to be long enough, and then it was time to be happy after that.
AV: Well, you know, we wanted to get a little bit closer, obviously, but the end of the game, we kind of -- we knew that we didn't have any other options, so let's do it.
But obviously, the guys did a great job. I'm absolutely so proud of this team right now. You know, the guys, I tell you what, I can't even put it in words right now. Everybody just went out there and battled them. We knew we put ten months into this thing and every day these guys come in here, and blood, sweat and tears to keep on playing football, and that's what they did today. I'm just so proud of everybody. It's awesome.
Q: Any doubts when you went out there on that last kick?
AV: On the overtime kick, I knew we were playing close in range. Obviously, we called a time-out to try to clear out the field so we would not have to worry about footing, and we did it on third down just in case, God forbid, there's a bad snap or bad hold or something happened like that.
But once Lonie put a good snap and Kenny got it down, they make my job a whole lot easier and I have to credit those guys. They have been making my job pretty easy this year. I mean,a lot easier than it could be. They are doing a great job.
Q: Could you talk about the moments just before they reversed the fumble call because obviously that must have felt like a knife in your heart?
AV: I tell you what, quite frank, I didn't know we were going to challenge that. I didn't know they were going to overturn it, and I felt like it was over. You know, it was a bad feeling and it was hurting pretty bad, and then all of a sudden, they are reviewing it and gave us kind of a ray of hope. And once they overturned it, the team just kind of picked up that and said, hey, listen, let's just win this thing right now. Let's just take it down there and just do it.
Q: Does that say there's something special behind this whole season or what?
AV: I think the Lord is looking down on us right now and He's helping us out because there's different adversities that could have went different ways, and they just happened to go our way.
The Oakland Raiders played a great game today and they are a great team, but, you know, our guys, I'm so proud of them. They played so hard. They just would not give up, and that's what championship football is all about.
Q: You've kicked overtime kicks before, but overtime kick for a ticket to the AFC Championship, how do you keep your adrenaline in check?
AV: I will probably wake up tomorrow with a few extra gray hairs. You know, it's one of those things, you always try to -- I always say it and I always try to say it and try to mean it; that every time you go out there, it doesn't matter what the situation is, what the conditions are. You just go out there and focus in on what you've got to do.
And, quite frank, once you are in a situation like that, it seems like everything almost slows down a little bit and you just have to focus in a little bit tighter and, you know, hope for the best.
Q: How big of a role did Tom play in getting to you to this point as the game was progressing?
AV: Tom did a great job. Obviously , in field conditions like this, weather conditions like this, it's going to be hard on anybody.
You know, and I love that guy. He just never gives up. He just keeps on going. You know, he always seems to do the right things at the right time to give us a chance. And what more can you ask from a guy. He goes down there, he puts 100% into it every time and he gives us an opportunities to win games. You know, he did a great job.
AV: You know what, South Dakota we had a couple of games that were a little bit nasty and cold and a little snowy and stuff, but these are one of the tougher field -- this and maybe Buffalo last year might have been the two toughest.
Only reason I say Buffalo, we didn't have quite as much snow but we had a lot more wind in that game. Whenever you get a couple of inches on the ground and it's still falling makes it pretty tough.
Q: How bad was it, were you slipping around at all?
AV: It was kind of -- it was a situation that there's so much snow, it was getting padded down; that it was kind of sticking to the bottom of your shoes; so you never really felt like you could get sure footing. You always felt like you were going to roll your ankle or something; that you could never get it totally.
But, you know, that's why we called the time-out at the end of the game to try to clear some of that out and make it a little bit easier.
Q: On the overtime kick?
AV: On the overtime kick, yeah.
Q: Did they call a time -out?
AV: I don't know if they did. I knew we did to try to clear it out. It's all right. It's a situation, give you a little extra time to think about it.
Q: Are you amused at that sort of thing?
AV: I'm not sure that quote unquote, icing the kickers actually works. I've talked to a bunch of kickers didn't really team to bother, but in a game like this, and having a little extra time to clear the field is probably not a bad thing.
Q: When you kicked the one in regulation, when did you know it was going to make it?
AV: It was a situation that I felt like I made pretty decent contact on. I kind of line-drived it a little bit more. I would have liked to obviously get a little bit more elevation on it. But once I knew it cleared the line and I looked up, I knew it was going to be straight enough. I just had to hope it was going to be long enough. So I kind of waited and held my breath for a couple of seconds until it went over the bar and then it was time to celebrate.
Q: Did you notice the scoreboard showing 16-13 Patriots before the kick?
AV: I didn't. I didn't. I wasn't thinking about that, looking at it. I don't really know what I was thinking about, but I know I wasn't looking at that.
Q: Do you ever have to remind yourself that somebody like Tom is only 24 and in his first playoff game?
AV: You know it's amazing because he plays like such a veteran. It's a situation that if you didn't know anything about Tom, you would think that he's -- you know has been ten years in the league and he's played in a handful of playoff games. He just goes out there with so much poise. That's the beautiful thing about him. He didn't -- he didn't go out there and razzle-dazzle you and woo you to death, but he goes out and makes plays, does the right thing and gies out there to win, and he did a great job tonight.
Q: As soon as the overtime kick goes through, what's going through your mind?
AV: It was a situation that -- excitement, just playing -- knowing we have another week, another opportunity. We're playing the AFC Championship Game, it's exciting. It's obviously probably the biggest kick I've ever kicked -- well, those two back-to-back probably were.
So, you know, it was just an exciting situation. The guys were extremely happy and I was happy for them.
Q: Did you see Lonie doing snow angels on the field?
AV: I didn't. I didn't. I told him I would help him do some, but I lost it in the air and I could not get down to do it.
I'm happy for him. He's been another guy that's been just doing great the past two years. He makes my job easier, Ken makes my job easier, and both those two guys do a great job. I would -- I would not trade them for anything. They do great