On his perception of DB Devin McCourty as a leader in the secondary.*
JM:Obviously, Devin has done a great job for us lining up at different spots on the field. He is one of our best communications guys, he makes sure everyone is on the same page. He is very versatile, plays corner, he can play in the slot and play safety. He does a great job of leading by example and I follow him at times.
On how difficult it is to get after Ravens QB Joe Flacco.
JM:You have to be honest [against the run]. They have a huge offensive line, they do a good job of protecting Joe Flacco. Anytime he can sit back there and throw the ball deep, he has a great arm. Those receivers always seem like they come down with the ball. That is one of the things we have to focus on because he does a good job for them.
On the Ravens receiving corps being the toughest they've seen all year.
JM:All of these guys can run, they can do multiple things. Then you have Anquan Boldin who can come down with the ball in the slot, in the one-spot, he is always making plays and doing a good job for them. This is a good test for us, but it is not only for our secondary, it is for everyone across the board. It's the pass rush, it comes down to us checking ends and backs and those guys holding up in the back end.
On what the 'Patriot Way' means to him.
JM:The Patriot Way, to me, starts at the top with the Kraft family. Not only being a good football player, but being a good person and falling in line. If you want to be a good football team, you'll never be stuck in rush hour traffic. You are the first one here and the last one to leave. I think guys really buy into that, guys that come from other teams, I think they follow the lead of the bulk of this team and it has worked well here.
On how much respect he has for the other team, considering how hard it is to reach this game.
JM:We have a ton of respect for the Ravens. We feel like they are in our division because we play them every year once or twice, and it has been that way these last couple years. We know it is going to be a physical game. They like to go in there and play football the way it is supposed to be played. They want to run the ball, play-action shots, and do things like that. We love playing against these guys, we know it is going to be a battle. It always seems like it comes down to the last couple series in the game, which is exciting for you guys, but not so much for us.
On QB Tom Brady in the playoffs.
JM:It is amazing seeing how he runs our offense. Whether it is no-huddle or he is getting guys in the huddle, the way he changes the pace of the game. He commands the game like no other and I love watching him from the sideline, obviously on those long drives so we can get our wind back up, but it is exciting seeing him go out there and put up a lot of points.
On the postseason bringing out good qualities in Tom Brady.
JM:Well, beyond what he does in the regular season, he is still that guy that comes early and leaves late. He is hard working and even though he is a Hall of Fame quarterback you would think this is his first year, that he was starting his first year in the league. That is the way he works, he always comes in, he makes sure everyone is on the same page on both sides of the ball. He actually pulls me to the side sometimes when he sees something that their offense is doing. You don't see much of that going on in football. He is a football fan and a football guy and I can appreciate that.
On if he knew anything about Aqib Talib prior to his arrival in New England and examples of how he has made the Patriots a better defense.
JM:I met Aqib through the whole draft process, we were on several visits together. I might have met him at the combine, I don't remember. He was a good guy, a football guy who enjoys the game. He has made this team better, obviously. His physical abilities, he is a tall guy with long arms and he can do a lot of different things. Like I said earlier, he is a football guy, he is always in the film room trying to learn, give tips to guys. He has really improved this defense in the passing aspect and as you saw last week, he can tackle a little bit.
On what he takes away from playing under head coach Bill Belichick.
JM:It has been good for me. I've tried to be a sponge and learn as much as I can from Coach Belichick. My first couple years, we had a lot of those individual meetings where he pulled me to the side and taught me, not necessarily the techniques of the game, but just situational awareness of the game and what the offense can do to you. I'm still learning. Coach Belichick has a wealth of knowledge and it has been good for me.
On if anyone got stuck in rush hour traffic.
JM:I don't think so! That is a question you have to ask Coach Belichick, but I don't think so.