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Replay: Patriots Postgame Show Mon Sep 20 | 03:30 PM - 11:59 PM

Antowain Smith Post-Game Press Conference

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AS: The Brady Bunch. The Brady Bunch.

Q: Do you feel like you had your career-rushing day?

AS: Yes, putting on the nature of the game, the importance of the game. It was a big game for us and to come out and establish the running game the way we did in the first half, that's what we wanted to do. We saw some things on film going back to when they played against the 49ers and we went out there and we kind of exploited that.

Q: What did you feel you good accomplish when you came here? And why here?

AS: First of all I felt like if I get the opportunity, I'm still capable of producing. Also I wanted to come to a team that I would have a chance to start and I thought coming here would be the perfect scenario. Nothing against J.R. [Redmond]. Nothing against Kevin [Faulk]. They are great running backs in their own right. So that was just the big thing to me, I wanted to come to a team where I would have the opportunity to go out there and play.

Q: Did you feel like you had something to prove when you came here?

AS: I don't think so much that I had something to prove to myself, it's just that everyone out there was kind of down on Antowain Smith so I knew I was capable of doing the job if only given a chance. You know this season has been wonderful for us. We've got one more regular season game to go and our goal is that task, make to the playoffs and hopefully we'll go from there.

Q: You were on a couple of good teams in Buffalo, what is different about this group?

AS: I think that the struggles and adversity that we have overcome early in the year, getting off to the slow start when nobody that we would have a chance in hell of making the playoffs. We've proven everybody wrong and we stayed together as a team, believed in ourselves and just went out there and let it all, left it all on the field.

Q: You looked early on that you felt real good. Was that the case today?

AS: It was a big game and all week coach has been coming to me, 'We're going to put it on your shoulders. We're going to give you a chance to go out there and run the ball.' So I had to produce my end. I had to come up with my end of the bargain. He gave me the ball early on and we were successful in the running game and we kept going back to it.

Q: Do you realize you are the first 1,000-yard rusher the Patriots have had in a while?

AS: It was Rob [Robert Edwards]…Rob was what? '98. Since Rob Ed right? A couple years. It'll do, but you know it feels great. I think that's every running back's main goal going into a season, is reaching that 1,000-yard plateau. And the way that I reached it today also, going out there and beating Miami and helping my team in a position to go out there and clinch the AFC East.

Q: How hurt are you?

AS: Actually I took a direct hit on the leg. It's a contusion. There's nothing really wrong. I'll have to get a lot of ice on it and basically that's it. Oh, I'm going to be ready to go, there's no doubt.

Q: Is it good to have a bye-week now?

AS: Yes. We've got a bye-week so that gives me a chance heal up, get ready, go home, and spend Christmas with my kids and my family.

Q: Walking around the stadium and high-fiving the fans, how was that?

AS: Oh that was really special. The last regular season game that we've got here in this stadium. This is my first year here and the way that the fans embraced me with the rest of the team, it felt great to go out there and give that victory lap for the fans.

Q: What was going through your head during that lap?

AS: Actually, just trying not to get pulled into the stands, really. That was the main thing because they were really pulling and tugging, but it felt great to go out there and to recognize the fans for being there for us all year long.

Q: Could you talk about the progress of the offensive line?

AS: We struggled early on. I think it was just a case of them getting familiar with me and I'm getting familiar with them coming into a new system. I think we are gelling at the right time, there's no better time than heading into the playoffs. So if we continue to make strides, there are some areas we still can improve on. If we just continue to make those strides one step at a time, like I said there is no telling the capability of how far this team can go.

Q: Did you believe you guys would be 10-5 and on the verge of making the playoffs?

AS: Yeah we believed it all along. I would have said hell yeah. Chill. It started off a little rocky for us in the beginning, but we stayed together as a team. Coach wouldn't let us go in the tank. We've got some veteran leadership that…you know Bryan Cox especially and some of the older guys, Anthony Pleasant, told us, 'It's a long season. It's a marathon and it's not a sprint.'

Q: Coach Belichick is not real emotional on the football field…?

AS: You haven't seen these last couple games?

Q: What did he say to you guys after this one?

AS: He was happy for all of us. You know, we were happy for him. Coach Belichick doesn't show many emotions at all, but he was jumping up and down like a little kid out there today and if felt great.

Q: Do you know this is live television?

AS: Oh it doesn't make any difference at all, I'm still a clown. That's it?

Q: On both yours and Patrick Pass's touchdown Tom Brady was very animated. Can you talk about how excited he gets?

AS: I started to slap Brady back. Brady hits you kind of hard. He's been like that all year long. Brady, he's very enthusiastic. He gets very enthused when you have a good play and he's normally the first one down to congratulate you when you do something special and it's good that we went out there and got the plays done early.

Q: You were slow to come back in the second half, I think you missed the first play? Was that because of the hit?

AS: It was because of the contusion that I got. I took a direct hit right there on the lower leg and it kind of stiffened up on me a little bit, but I came back. I was going to fight through it and wasn't going to let anything keep me from finishing this game.

Q: Which leg?

AS: The right.

Q: How would you describe this in general for someone who might be coming to this Patriots story a little late?

AS: We're tired from pulling all these bandwagons. They're jumping on our wagon. We're tired of pulling, but I think this team, we came together. We fought through a lot of adversity early on in the season and then coming back with the Bledsoe and the Brady thing, but Coach nipped that in the bud before it even got started, naming Brady the quarterback for the rest of the year. He's just going out there making plays, responding to what we have to go out there…the challenges ahead of us.

Q: Do you think your game has ever been better at any point in your career than the way you have played this year?

AS: For the last question? Actually, no right now, I think myself, the offensive line, the whole offense; I think we are clicking on a nice cylinder right now. My job is to go out there and get the hard yards as they call them, but today things kind of came easy for us. But they bunkered down on us in the second half and right now we're just coming together at the right time, we want to continue to move forward

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