RB ANTOWAIN SMITH
(On the running game)
"It's been up and down for us, but here lately when we've needed it we seem to get things right a little bit. We've been getting some positive yards out of what we're trying to accomplish. The main things we have to do right now are just continue to be productive, don't get frustrated and just go out there and execute our plays."
(on the importance of an improved running game)
"Everything is more magnified at this time. The more games you win the more important they are – the next one. For us right now we just have to go out there and continue to do well. The offensive linemen have been doing a great job and myself, I've just been decisive and running the ball hard, just having one cut and get what I can get."
(on his role of sharing time)
"I was fine with it. Everybody has to know his role on the team. You go into some games and I was up and some games I was down. The games I was down we were going in with five wides (wide receivers), we wanted to do something a little different, give teams different wrinkles. As long as we continue to win none of it really bothers me."
(on who to focus on from Carolina defense)
"The first you're looking at is that you're trying to find number 77, you're trying to find big Kris Jenkins. You got (Brentson) Buckner in there, you've got (Julius) Peppers, you've got (Mike) Rucker – they've got a tremendous front four. Those guys do a lot of disruption. Once you get past them you've got to deal with the linebackers so we're going to have a big challenge in front of us. They're a physical team on defense and we're going to have to come out on offense and try to be physical with them."
(on the Patriots offense being a group that's been together for a few seasons)
"It's good that the offense has been together. Everybody knows what we're doing. We just have to continue to go out there and be on the same page. No matter what play is being dialed up, we have to go out there and execute it. That's what this game is going to come down to – execution. If we can execute the plays and take care of the ball I think we'll be fine."
(on being through the Super Bowl before)
"We've been through it before as far as the security and all the hype that comes around with the Super Bowl. We know how to handle it for those who were with us for the '01 season. The thing is, we need to continue to abide by the rules. You know it gets a little hectic sometimes, but the main thing is to stay focused. We have a game to prepare for at the same time."
(on playing in the Super Bowl in Houston)
"For me it's tremendous. I'm back home in my backyard basically. The things I have to do are not to get too excited, stay grounded, go out there and help my team win the Super Bowl. It's exciting for me because my family is here and everybody's going to be at the game. I can't go out there and try to do too much."
(on winning when running game struggles)
"Sometimes when the running game is off the passing game is going. The defense is always going to do a tremendous job keeping us in the games and special teams plays a big role also. If we struggle a little in the running game we have other facets of the game that we have to produce in and that's the passing game and special teams."
(on how running game has emerged the last few weeks)
"Like they say, the teams that run the ball the best in the playoffs are the teams that win and right now we're focusing and concentrating on going out there and trying to be productive in the running game. It's been good for us the last couple of weeks during this stretch we've been on. We have to continue to go out there, stay focused and just go out there and match their physical ability. You know they're going to come out there wired up. We just have to match their physical intensity and go out there and try to get it done."
(on how they run out of spread formations)
"We give them a lot of different looks and catch them off guard sometimes, spread them out and hopefully we can pop one through. We're going to hit you from a lot of different angles. Whatever it is that we think is the best for us so that we can gain an advantage is what we're going to try to do."
(on how he attacks a defense that is spread out)
"You just try to get in that crease. When they spread it out like that you're just trying to hit that hole, get in that crease, hit it as fast as you can and get as far as you can – as many yards as you can get before you get caught."
(on feeling rejuvenated)
"I've been rested. The team is counting on me in the playoffs and it is up to me to deliver. The offensive linemen have been doing a good job for me. Right now I think everybody's on the same page. I think I've been a little more decisive, just taking one cut and just trying to get what I can get and not try to do too much."