"It is always a tough way to end a season like that, but you've got to give Denver a lot of credit today. Coach Fox, his staff, and obviously the players. They did a good job, did a better job than we did. I thought we played hard, I thought we were ready to go. We just didn't make enough plays, just didn't do things quite well enough. Denver did better than we did today and that is why they deserve to win and they'll move on. So, congratulations to them. I'm proud of our football team, proud of everything we did this year. We got a lot of guys in that locker room that played hard, played well, gave everything they had all season long, and you know I'm proud to be their coach. I just wish it could have ended a little better for us today. Again, give Denver credit. They did a good job."
On the hit that took CB Aqib Talib out of the game permanently
"As it turned out, that was a key play in the game, if you take a look at it on the replay. I thought it was a key play in the game. I'll have to take a look at it on the film. It was a key play in the game. I'll say he's a key player for us."
On Talib's desire to return to the game
"Yeah, of course. There's no more competitive guy in that locker room then Aqib Talib."
On the significance of failing to convert on 4th-and-3
"Yeah, right. There were a lot of key plays. Yeah, it was."
On not running the ball successfully today
"The idea is to score points and we just didn't score enough points. Obviously, they did some things to try to take that away. It wasn't unexpected. We just weren't able to score enough points and we gave up too many. So, it's as simple as that."
On the offense being too one-dimensional
"Well, they needed to score more points. (Asked if he means the running game) I didn't say that. We needed to score more points."
On lack of third down conversions
"We didn't do a good enough job. We were able to hold them to some field goals defensively, but our third-down defense and our third down offense, especially in the first half weren't in it. We let them get too far ahead and they stayed on the field. They had the ball and had field position and there were even a couple times we just held them to field goals we still didn't have possession of the ball, didn't have a chance to do much, just trying to keep them out of the end zone. I mean, that's okay, but it would be a lot better if we could use it on third down and get the ball back. And, conversely we weren't able to do it offensively."
On not making the two-point conversion in the fourth quarter
"Well, that would have changed the game quite a bit. We obviously didn't do a good job on that play either. We had some opportunities that had we done a little bit better with them would have put ourselves in a better position. That would certainly have changed our strategy. It would have been an eight-point game instead of a 10-point game. That certainly would have changed the strategy."
On not putting enough pressure on Broncos QB Peyton Manning
"They did a good job of mixing up plays and as always he did an excellent job of reading the defenses and he got us in some situations that were less than ideal with his astute play calling and recognition. We disguised and I think we got him a few times but he certainly got us a few times, too. And they've got a lot of good players. They're a tough team to match up against with all the skill players they have; (running) backs, tight ends, receivers. They have, obviously a good football team, a good offensive system, and a good quarterback."
On reflecting on the overall season
"No, not now. Not right now."
On his handshake with Broncos Head Coach John Fox after the game
"Yeah, I talked to John after the game, I sure did. Told him it was a good win for him. I've got a lot of respect for him. He's been a great coach, back from the days when he was a coordinator with the (New York) Giants and Carolina (Panthers). He does a good job. I respect him. I have a lot of respect for him and the entire football team. I wish him well."
On his thoughts on QB Tom Brady being less accurate today
"The bottom line was they just did a better job than we did. That's really the bottom line. I don't think it's about any one player or any one play. There were a lot of opportunities in the game had we been able to coach better, play better, execute better, any one of those areas would have given us a better chance, but we were up against another good football team and they were better than we were today. Give them a lot of credit for what they did. They did a good job."
On his postgame comments to the team
"I'll keep that between me and the team but what I'll say here is that I wouldn't take back anything that I've said. I'm proud of the team, proud to be their coach. I thought they played hard all year, played competitively every single week, some weeks we played better than others but there was never a lack of effort or toughness. Everybody trying to do their best, and I totally respect the team for that, and what they did. I'm proud to be their coach. That's how I feel about it."
On him having a strong coaching year despite injuries and set-backs
"I don't really think about that, I just think about this game and trying to come out here and win this game and the AFC Championship. That's really the only thing that's in my mind, all the rest of it is a bunch of hot air."
On how long he will think about this game before he puts it behind him
"I don't know. It's a good question. Unfortunately, we've been here before. We've won AFC Championship games and we've lost them, so, we'll move on. We have to. We're ahead of a lot of the other teams in the league, all except one, actually, in the AFC, in terms of the offseason so we have a little bit of catching up to do. So, starting tomorrow we are on to 2014."
On the Broncos ranking as the toughest team he's ever faced
"They're very much that, physically and mentally tough. I don't know about ranking them and all that because there are different make-ups of the teams and the players and so forth, but this team (New England) worked hard from first day of OTA's, in the offseason program through the OTA's, minicamp, training camp, regular season, and they worked hard daily all day long and I think they improved quite a bit through the year. I think that's how you do improve. You take the instruction that you're given, you work hard on it, and you get positive results, you build on those, correct your mistakes. Build on your positive results and keep going. I think as a team they've done that and individually that's been kind of the trademark of the players on this team. Making corrections, working hard, moving on, trying to get better, not getting caught up in what happened in the past, but just trying to do a better job the next time out and I think that improvement served us well all year. I wish we could have done a little bit of a better job today. Especially me. "
On specific areas where he wished he did better
"Anytime you lose a game like this there's definitely things that you don't feel great about and there's definitely things that I don't feel great about, and that shouldn't come as any big surpise. But, it's in the books, so we can't do anything about it except look back on it, mark it and move on. There are some calls, some plays we'd like to have back, I'm sure everybody who competed in the game would like to have some back. It's tough when your season ends. It happens suddenly but that's the way that it is. We know that's the situation of the playoffs. One team moves on, one team doesn't. You come to a sudden stop. But again, I'll say this, whatever mistakes that were made in that game, by me and by everybody else, were all made with the intention of doing what was best. Not everything worked out best but it was done with the intention of doing what was best and trying their best to make it work. It didn't always work but the effort and the intent to do the right thing, I definitely felt like that was there, and it's been there all year."