Q: **Last year in the AFC Championship game, it seemed like defending the middle of the field was a struggle for the defense. How did you feel about your performance yesterday and the job your defense did controlling the middle of the field, especially with Devin McCourty and Steve Gregory leaving the game with injuries?
MP:I mean, I would say in regards to yesterday's game, I just give a lot of credit to the players. They did a good job of really going out to try and execute the game plan, what we were asking them to do. We had a good week of work and practice and it was good to see that kind of show up on Sunday. It was really kind of a different game from last year, obviously. Different teams, different players, all that. So just, within yesterday's scope, I thought the guys really tried to do what we asked them to do and execute at a high level. Certainly, there is going to still be room for improvement and things we are going to try and get better, but it was good to see some of that on the field.
Q:How happy were you with what you saw from Logan Ryan yesterday and what have you seen from him throughout the season in terms of his development?
MP:I think we're going to be happy here for a little bit with the whole team and the defense. I was pleased that the results turned out the way they did yesterday, but we've really got to not dwell on it too long. We have to turn our attention here to Buffalo. [We've] certainly got to get ready for them, get ready to go for an extremely tough challenge. I would say Logan for the course of the season has done a really good job of preparing every week. He's been a player for us that has played in multiple different roles and different positions. That's hard to do for anybody, and he's tried to rise to the challenge of being able to be ready to go, in any case, whether it was in a substitution type of position or go out and start in a particular personnel group and really handle the multitudes of things that we're asking him to do. I think that's been really good. I would say he obviously has good instincts and some good feel for the passing game. But there are certainly some things in there that when I go back and look at the film I am going to want to improve and get better. [We'll] really try to keep working to get better every week. Certainly we like the production. Production is what we're trying to get out of everybody and certainly those stats are one thing, but when you take a look at the whole picture of what was going on, it's really a compilation of a lot for people trying to do the right thing. Like Dont'a Hightower being in good position on the first interception there top give Logan a chance to play the tipped ball. So, it's really a credit to everybody on the defense for trying to do the right things. But again, like I said earlier, we've got to move on. We've got to get ready for Buffalo and get ready for a huge challenge this weekend and a team that obviously had a great win yesterday against an opponent that just beat us. Buffalo is moving in the right direction as far as what they're trying to get done offensively. I know [Head Coach Doug Marrone] Coach Marrone is going to have them ready to go at an extremely high level, and that's really where our focus has to be.
Q:How much of a challenge has it been for you and your staff to integrate a multitude of new players into the game plan due to injuries to key players on defense, not only teaching them but also getting good results?
MP: I would say at this point in the season it's not Week 1 anymore. So, I think like everybody that's on the defense, everyone that sits in the room and goes through the game plan meeting, it doesn't matter if it's your first year or your tenth year, we expect everyone to operate at a very professional level and to be ready to go at any time. Knowing the league and how things are every year, I wouldn't say this is any different. Like they are every year, at any particular time you have to go out there and play and perform. Whether you are out there on the first snap or the seventh or the last, it doesn't matter. We've got to go out and execute at a very high level. That's kind of just the way we attack it and approach it. Everybody is expected to understand and know the information and be ready to go and play. This season, obviously we're far enough along that everyone that is active and ready to go in the game we expect to understand what we're doing.
Q:Both Devin McCourty and Steve Gregory left the game yesterday at certain points with injuries, and since Jerod Mayo was placed on injured reserve, they both have been players who primarily wear the green dot on their helmets for on field communication purposes. How did their injuries impact the line of communication when not just one of them leaves the game, but both of them?
MP: That's a good question. Actually, it's something that we address earlier in the week. We have multiple levels of communication alertness and awareness that we practice. So, there are a lot of guys that are out on the field, actually all of them, that know the signals or have communication responsibilities, and we practice it throughout the week. It really is a smooth transition no matter who it is that has to go out there and be the signal caller. We meet with those guys during the week and kind of go through the game plan and everything that we're doing in the communication. I would really say that over the last couple of weeks it's really something we're tried to put a good emphasis point on and I think those guys are trying to do a good job of communicating on the field and working together. It's something that we've obviously got to continue to do moving forward.