Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis addresses the media during his postgame press conference at Gillette Stadium, on Sunday, January 2, 2011.
Q: How does it feel to rack up 1,000 yards?
BGE: It feels good but [none] of this would be possible without the offensive line, tight ends and everyone blocking and working hard in practice.
Q: At the beginning of the year did you think you would rack up these numbers?
BGE: Coach [Belichick] always tells us to work hard and that you never know what is going to happen throughout the course of the season. That's what I did every day at practice, [I] go out, work hard and good thinks [can] happen.
Q: I looked like coach [Belichick] came over and talked to you after you hit the milestone. Can you share anything he said to you on the sideline?
BGE: He was just saying that we worked hard and we earned it. We went out every day as an offensive unit and we worked hard; offensive line, tight ends, everyone, we worked hard.
Q: Did you know as the game went on how close you were getting to that 1,000-yard mark? Were people talking to you about it?
BGE: A little bit. Kevin [Faulk] was on the sideline today. He kept telling me, 'keep running hard, we need to get here'. So, that's kind of what I did.
Q: The team keeps saying that they are not into individual goals; did you get the impression that they were trying to get you the ball and give you the opportunity to get you that 1,000 yards?
BGE: It's not really an individual accomplishment. For one person to say that they [got] 1,000 yards by themselves they would be lying to you. Everyone worked hard, like I said. Everyone comes to practice and works hard in practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and you know, it's paying off for us.
Q: Did you think when it was 4th and 16 when you got the ball that you were pretty close?
BGE: Well, I figured that.
Q: How did it feel for you emotionally when you got to the sideline after reaching 1,000 yards?
BGE: It felt pretty good but it always feels better when you win. I was pretty happy today that we were able to achieve a few things and also come out on top with a 'W.'
Q: How much of today was about pride and playing with pride?
BGE: I don't really like the word pride too much, but I know every time we go out there we want to give it our best. We work hard every week and we would be shorting ourselves if we went out and didn't give it our best.
Q: Have you had a chance to reflect on where you've come from? Being an undrafted free agent to being a 1,000-yard rusher is pretty rare in the NFL.
BGE: I get asked that a lot but I never really think about it. I never worry about things that I can't control. The only thing I can control is coming to practice, coming to the games, working hard, do the best that I can and put my best foot forward.
Q: Is there anything specific that you work on when practicing holding onto the ball? You don't fumble the ball often...
BGE: Oh yeah, coach is on us so I don't think anyone wants to fumble the ball around here. We work on ball security drills all the time during practice. [It's] necessary to make sure we are not turning the ball over. Some of those things are things you can control and some you can't. Most of the time holding onto the ball is just... you can put two hands on it or make sure your pads are over so you make sure they don't get a good hit on the ball.
Q: What kind of impact has Ivan Fears had on your milestone?
BGE: Well, Coach Fears is very tough on us. He has never let us slide by with anything no matter what it is: blitz pick-up, running or hitting the hole, he is always tough on us. I think that's the kind of coach that you need. He is always on us and never let's [anything] slide.
Q: Did you talk to him at all about this milestone about hitting 1,000 yards?
BGE: Coach [Fears] always tells me to go out and work hard, to go out, work hard and make sure we are the best group on the field, speaking [as a] running back unit. We go out there and want to set the tone. I think everyone has that mentality. We kind of feed off each other and good things have been happening for us.
Q: You guys as a unit these past few years have seemed to be very close, a tight knit group. What kind of support have you gotten from the guys in the unit over the course of the year?
BGE: 'One ball, all ball.' That is kind of our motto. When we are out there doing things whether anyone is hurt or not there, we all are out there together.
Q: What is the best advice that you have gotten from Fred Taylor? He seems to talk to you a lot on the sidelines.
BGE: Some of those times we are just relaxing on the sideline but Fred has been a great mentor for me as well as Kevin [Faulk], Sammy [Morris], Laurence [Maroney] when he was here, and everyone who has been involved in our room since I've been here. But Fred is always telling me about different things, about snow games and how we want to run [in them] and this and that. There is a lot. I could be here all day telling you about the stuff that we talk about. We are really tight. We watch film together, invite each other over to our houses sometimes, we go out to eat and things like that so, we are just tight.
Q: People always say you have to run the ball in the playoffs. As a group are you ready for that challenge?
BGE: I'm not sure about what we have to do but I know we want to come out and work hard. Whatever plays are called we want to run to the best of our abilities.
Q: Coach Belichick has talked about you not losing your eyes when you run? Do you take great pride in that?
BGE: I don't think he is really calling plays for us to go backwards. Coach would be very upset if... it knocks us off track, in our system, we want to get positive yards on first and second down and make third downs manageable. You don't want to be in a third-and-long situation all the time where the defense can just tee-off on your quarterback and pin their ears back and come. But what we want to do is if we only get a yard or two we want to at least be moving forward.
Q: If you had to explain your running style what would you say it is?
BGE: Whatever it takes.
Q: What impresses you most about Tom Brady?
BGE: 12, I don't know. I really don't know. He does so many things well it is just hard for me to pick out one thing but I know he's always on me no matter what it is. Tom is very cool as you can all see but I don't think you guys really realize what he can do throughout a play. He can be talking throughout a play, the play can be actually running and he could be talking to you. He is on top of it. I remember a play we had and he was talking to me during the play and he had the ball in his hands, he was about to throw and he was talking to me about something that was going on. He has seen a lot and has been through a lot. He is very experienced and he does a good job at what he does.
Q: Have you ever had a quarterback talk to you during a play?
BGE: No, not until I got here.
Q: What does he talk to you about?
BGE: It could be anything: scan, [to] get out quick or go ahead on and go, whatever. Sometimes a play might be designed for me to stay and block but he might tell me to 'go ahead on and go,' so, I go. I will do whatever you say. You're the quarterback.