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New England Patriots Postgame Quotes 12/21

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, quarterback Tom Brady and select players comment on their 24-17 win over the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, December 21, 2019.


Postgame Press Conference
Saturday, December 21, 2019

BB: It's a good feeling here today. This football team really competed hard. They did a great job today. It wasn't always perfect. Buffalo is a good football team, obviously, and they're going to playing football here in the next couple weeks, too. But, really proud of our guys, just competed for 60 minutes, ended up making enough plays. It was a great fourth-quarter drive offensively and defensively a big stop there at the end, some field position in the kicking game, so good to see the fruits of a lot of labor, a lot of hard work. I thought the guys really competed this week. Short week, knew the importance of this game and how difficult it is to play against Buffalo, and they stepped up to the challenge. So, give the players credit. There's a lot of guys with a lot of mental toughness in that locker room and they showed it today.

Q: With about 2:20 to go in the game, you took a timeout. In the back of your mind, were you thinking that if Buffalo scores, they may go for two points and you may need to time?

BB: Yeah, they only had one timeout left, and I thought that they would try to manage the clock – you know, it's the smart thing to do. They did that on first down. They ran the quarterback run – didn't gain much on it. I think they might have lost a yard or two, but it was another manage-the-clock type of play. So, I just wanted to make sure that there was enough time that if we needed it, that we'd have a chance. We would have only needed a field goal, whether they went for two or kicked for the tie, whatever it was. We would have only needed a field goal, so I felt like if there's a little time left there, that might [inaudible] have it. If we stopped them and we still have plenty of opportunity – they didn't have enough timeouts to get the ball back on the kneeldowns.

Q: What are your thoughts on the offensive production today, especially the running game?

BB: Yeah, I thought the team played well. We got contributions from everybody, and I thought the team played well. We ran the ball, we threw it, we converted some big plays, we played defense, played good in the kicking game, so it was just a great team effort.

Q: Can you reflect on Tom Brady's tenacity and leadership in a type of game like this?

BB: Yeah, Tom's a great competitor. He's had tremendous success through his career and made some big plays today when we really needed them. So, he made a lot of good decisions. There were times when they had pressure, he did a good job of getting the ball out and he hit some big plays. We ran well with the ball. So, again, it was just a good team effort. Everybody contributed. It wasn't one guy out there, but it was everybody and everybody pulling together.

Q: Were you expecting Julian Edelman to return the game after leaving with injury? What does it say about Julian for him to have a huge gain on his first play back on the field?

BB: Look, Julian's a tough guy. I think they had him checked. I don't think we had anything, but we had to go through the protocol, so that's what we did.

Q: What have you seen from Elandon Roberts' development in his role as a fullback? Have you seen him progress as a blocker? Is his ability to function in the offense increasing? It looked like the offense had more functionality with play-action passes with him as a fullback today.

BB: Yeah, I'd say that's accurate. You know, he started off with a couple plays and built that up a little bit. He's done a good job with the opportunity he's had in there. So, we've been able to expand it a little bit. He's done a solid job for us. He's another tough, physical player that's good to have on the field in those situations.

Q: Is there a way to quantify the impact Julian has when he comes back to the field?

BB: Well, yeah, you guys are pretty good at putting that stuff into words. But, look, he's obviously one of our best players. He's one of our top competitors. He always has been. He was a great competitor his rookie year, and that's transcended through his entire career – so, whether it's been offense, defense, at times we played him on defense, special teams, blocking. I thought he set the tone a little bit in the game early with a couple of big blocks in the running game. So, I thought our receivers competed hard and blocked well. But, yeah, that's Julian's playing style and it's what makes him a good player.

Q: You put together two long drives against this Bills defense. What went into that?

BB: Yeah, just good football. Again, they're a very good defense. We know that. They're one of the top defenses in the league, and I think they might be the best defense in the league on a long field – or, they're first or second, whatever it is. Yeah, I think it's a real credit to the offensive staff, the game plan that Josh and the coaches put together, and just the players' execution. Whether it was making plays on first down, second down and some third-down conversions in there – a lot of our third-down conversions were shorter yardage, which is more success on first and second down, which that's a good thing. So, that makes the third-down situation better, certainly for Tom. He's got more options then when it's third-and-3 than when it's third-and-13. All that went into it. 

Q: You mentioned the resilience the team showed. Was there also a measure of resilience you guys had to show as a staff for the team with that quick change right before the half when the Bills scored?

BB: Yeah, I mean, that certainly didn't go the way we wanted it to go. So, we have to do a better job on that. 

Q: Just to recalibrate?

BB: Yeah, sure. That's right. Sure. 

Q: How do you like the fit of the AFC East Champions hat?

BB: Good. It's great. Love wearing this hat. 

Q: Can you talk about Rex Burkhead's mentality and resilience after his fumble in the way he came up with big plays for your team?

BB: Yeah, he sure did. I think you can say that about a lot of guys. It wasn't perfect out there, and certainly Buffalo made some plays against us. But in the end, we responded, and fortunately, we were able to make a couple more than they did. But, yeah, it was a great. I thought Rex's touchdown was an outstanding run, showed great balance and made a nice catch on the play-action pass. I think it was in the third quarter after they had scored and gone ahead after they hit the pass to [John] Brown. So, yep, he's a good receiver, good runner, plays for us in the kicking game – I mean, he's a solid four-down player.

Q: How much extra work was put in in walk-throughs this week, as you prepared to face a division opponent on a short week and installed new offensive sets we haven't seen this year?

BB: Yeah, I think as much as we could cram in. You know, we pretty much went right from the Cincinnati game and took Monday off and came in here Tuesday and tried to get the corrections from Cincinnati and move on to Buffalo. We had a walkthrough Tuesday to get the game plan in. Again, it was a lot of pressure on the coaching staff to get that done a day ahead of time and for the players to process it and work on it and be ready to execute it, just in a quicker timeframe. They really worked hard this week, everybody, the entire organization did, and again, I'm very proud of the results that we have to show for it.

Q: How would you describe the level of creativity that Josh McDaniels brings to his job?

BB: Yeah, Josh does an outstanding job and always has. He's a very smart guy, understands defenses, he understands the things that create problems for the defense, and at the same time, he understands what we can do and what's out of our realm and what's in realm. I think he makes great decisions on that, certainly with Tom having the ability to orchestrate a lot of things on the field – you know, that's a big plus, too. But, those guys work very well together and Josh does a terrific job of game planning. Each week, it's our matchups against the other team, and he does a great job of creating an advantage for us, whatever that is. There's a number of ways to do it – formations is one thing, but there's other things, as well. I think he does an excellent job of that.

Q: We saw you had some company up there, some elves on the podium...

BB: Yeah, they're all up here. Just what I need. Happy Holidays. Is that from you?

Q: No, it's from Lawrence [Guy].

BB: Ha, OK.

Q: What's the mental toughness of this team, and what does it mean to you?

BB: It means continuing to do the right thing for the team when things aren't going right for you personally. That could involve a lot of different things, but sometimes when things aren't going your way, the way you want them to go, you still do what's best for the team and do what you can to make the team better. We have 53 guys in there and a coaching staff that does that on a daily basis, so that's all you can ask for.

Q: What did you see from Nick Folk today?

BB: Yeah, Nick's been hitting the ball well. I thought that last week, the first week back, he was maybe just a little under 100 percent, but he had a real good week this week and put the ball high and right down the middle. Those are big kicks, especially in a tight game like this, and he's really come through for us. I mean, obviously, Jake's [Bailey] come through all year for us, but Nick's really come through here in the last half of the season.

Q: Tom Brady started the game 8-for-8. Can you address the focus that he had to start this game? What kind of leadership did he show in a moment like today?

BB: Yeah, I mean, I think we've all seen Tom play a lot of his best football in the most critical games of the year, in the most critical situations in those games. Nobody prepares harder than Tom does, and he was ready to go, got a lot of help from the running game, the offensive line, the receivers. But, as you said, he was on the money, he was sharp. Again, that's what we need from everybody this time of year. We've got to play like this every week or our season is going to end quickly. We all know that and nobody knows it better than he does. He prepares and works as hard, or harder than anybody to make sure that he's at his best, and he certainly was today. Good day today.


Postgame Press Conference
Saturday, December 21, 2019

Q: Did the offense open up a little bit more after Julian Edelman exited the game because Buffalo's defense didn't know who to key on?

TB: I didn't notice too much. You know, it's hard to know right now until I really watch it, but I think we'd all prefer to have him out there 60 minutes. So, how much did he miss, a quarter? About 15 minutes? So yeah, he was running a slant and – yeah, it was an unfortunate play, but glad he came back. Made a big play like he always does. 

Q: How would you describe the team's focus in preparing for the game this week? You had contributions from just about everybody offensively.

TB: I think that, like I said, in a good offense, everyone has to be able to produce. And if you can get both tight ends involved, and all the receivers involved and all the backs involved, it's hard to defend. So, we just did a good job of that today. You've got to make them defend everybody, and a lot of guys came up big. It was a big game for us. We needed it, and happy to come from behind in the fourth and win.

Q: Is there any extra reward when everybody is doubting the team? You kind of fed off of that last year, did that factor into this game at all?

TB: I mean, we knew we were going up against a pretty good defense and they played well; they're hard to move the ball on. I don't think too many of us thought about the season or much. It was really just one game, and what we needed to do to try to move the ball and score points against a pretty good team. So, I think all of those evaluations and stuff take place after the year, and we're just trying to grind our way through it. Got to take care of business next week. Try to win, and then it's a playoff game for us next week. We win, we miss a week which is a pretty good reward. 

Q: What are your thoughts on winning 11 straight AFC East Championships?

TB: Yeah, I think it's pretty cool. It's pretty cool. It's hard to do, and it's a lot of effort, a lot of hard work, and a lot of people are just putting – day-after-day, just coming in, and sitting in these chairs and trying to do what's right for the team. So, it's a great reward. It's a great step for us, and it's great to control the ability to that, too. So, to win and know that you win the division is pretty cool. So, happy for us, happy for our team, and our coaches, and our families and our fans. And hopefully we can build on it and go play great next week.

Q: How would you evaluate yourself as a lead blocker when taking on Tre'Davious White?

TB: I'm pretty poor at just about everything other than throwing the ball. So, I was trying to just get in his way. But, it was a good, hard run by N'Keal [Harry] and it was a good play in the game.

Q: Given all the things that went well offensively today, is this something that you can carry-over into the next game? Does it give you confidence, and is it something that you can build on?

TB: Yeah, I think it was more balanced than we've been, and we ran the ball good and effectively against a really good defense. So, that's always good. I think one game doesn't always necessarily lead to the next, so I think you just have to keep building week-to-week on some things that maybe we did good that worked out, and the things that didn't, you kind of move on from them. But, we knew that it was going to be a tough test. We got the ball and – I think we lost the turnover battle, I don't think they turned it over – and we lost one and then missed the fourth-down opportunity before half. So, hate to have those things happen, but glad we overcame it.

Q: How much are play-action fakes a factor? Not only did you do it well in this game, but your backs sold it as well.

TB: Yeah, they did a good job and I think that running the ball well is what really sells the run. You know, if you're gaining yards when you hand it off, they've got to play more downhill. I think if they're just sitting back because they're not really believing that you're going to run it and you can't get through the d-line, then it doesn't end up being too much. So, the fact that we were running it good was really important.

Q: We saw you throw the ball really well tonight after coming off of the injury report this week. How are you feeling at this point in the season?

TB: I feel good. This is a new injury, this isn't the old elbow. So, I'll be fine. Thank you guys, I appreciate your concern.


Postgame Press Conference
Saturday, December 21, 2019

Q: What jersey are you wearing and why? How much does a potential week off mean in terms of winning this game?

DM: I've got to say, "Hi" to Londyn and Brayden [McCourty], they watch this and they go crazy, they jump at the TV, so hi to my kids. I've had the jersey for a while, obviously Curtis Martin played here, but it's a funny story. When I was growing up in New York, he played for the Jets and I actually wrote him a letter telling him like I was a twin and wanted to play in the NFL someday, and he sent me three rookie cards signed, one for me, one for my twin brother and one for my neighbor. I always had a tremendous amount of respect, especially once I made it to the NFL and kind of realized how hard that is, as a professional, to go through fan mail and read that and send that back. I've always been a fan of Curtis Martin. I didn't know him, but I obviously thought he stood for a lot. I'm 32 so obviously an off week sounds great. But I think the cool part is, this is two years in a row, the last two games of the regular season have really turned into playoff games for us. You win today and you win next week and you don't have to play opening week of the playoffs. Essentially, we win two games, we get the first week of the playoffs off, so essentially that's a playoff win for us. I think that guys understand that, we've developed that mentality for here on out, we need to have a mentality of win or go home. Every game we play in is a playoff game and if we don't win, it kind of hurts us. I think we understand that, we put a lot into this game this week and now we've got to use the extra day to rest up. We've got to put a lot into next week against Miami. 

Q: There were some rumblings earlier in the season about whether or not the team might bring those jerseys back, is that something you would like to wear on the field?

DM: I know, maybe me wearing it, we'll get a rush order of jerseys for everybody and we put them on next week or in the playoffs. That would be awesome. Maybe if you guys all write about it all at once it will help us out.

Q: What happened on the Bills touchdown right at the end of the first half? It seemed like you guys made an adjustment after that because the middle was not open deep the rest of the game.

DM: We kind of thought we had a beat on the play and we tried to be aggressive on it. A call I made in the secondary where we try to be a little more aggressive and like you said, after anything, you get beat on a touchdown, I came to the sideline and I'm like, "We're not going to run that anymore. I think, like always, guys in our secondary, we move on fast and I think we always come to the sideline and understand exactly what it was and why a bad play happened for us, and then we fix it and got right down to it. A call that we liked coming into the week to be aggressive, and they kind of dialed up the perfect call against what we were doing, threw it away and then kept playing.

Q: Congrats on the AFC East title, I think you've won every year of your career...

DM: Yeah, yeah.

Q: Coach Bill Belichick came in and said some nice things, "Tough, not pretty, room for improvement..."

DM: Sounds like every week.

Q: Is that who the Patriots are? Not pretty, tough, can win?

DM: I think the big thing is winning. We don't care how we win, we don't care what it looks like, we just want to win, especially at this time of the year. You want to obviously improve each week and I think defensively for us, it was a hell of a boost, our offense. Up and down the field, we spent a lot of time on that side line with them just really chewing up the clock, having great drives. I think this is what we've talked about all year, being able to complement each other and that showed up tonight. Obviously, with Nick Folk kicking some tough field goals here, keeping us really going in the game, offense having scoring drives. Once we took the lead that last time defensively, we just said, "Don't let them in the end zone. We got a seven-point lead, don't let them in." We love every year when we get to close out on a fourth down play and step up and everybody made the play that they're supposed to make,

Q: Tonight's crowd seemed about as into it as any regular season crowd at Gillette Stadium. Did you guys sense that?

DM: I thought KV [Kyle Van Noy] said, "We need Gillette rocking" before the game on a tweet, I retweeted it, I think James [White] retweeted it, and it felt like it. The fans came in, any time the fans come in here with energy, it's up to us as a team to get off to an early start, to be competitive and make sure they get to stay in the game. In games we've needed our fans, they've stepped up and they've made it loud here, they've made it tough and it's always been crucial for us. Our record shows, playing at home, how much we like playing here and take advantage of it. Gave ourselves a couple more games here for the rest of the season, we've got to take advantage of that and whatever it is for the rest of the season, we've just got to go out there and get wins.


Postgame Press Conference
Saturday, December 21, 2019

Q: Can you speak to the importance of Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead tonight?

JW: Each and every week those guys try and run hard no matter how many guys they have in the box, putting safeties in the box. Those guys run tough, get those tough yards and they were a big help for us today.

Q: How does Tom Brady's sharp play set the tone for the offense early?

JW: I mean, I think the whole team – that was the mindset. We knew it was going to be a tough football game. They were going to come out ready to go, and we had to be the same. And we got the ball first as an offense, and you just want to have a great first drive and I think everybody just wanted to come out and compete for four quarters. That's the type of game we thought it was going to be. It came down to the last possession, so it's going to take whatever it took out there to go there and get a win.

Q: What did it mean to have success on the ground, especially in a clutch situation late in the game?

JW: This time of year you have to be able to run the football. You can't be one dimensional. So, you get in the red zone, you don't always have to throw it in. If you can run it in, that's always a big bonus. So, the offensive line did a great job blocking – tight ends, E-Rob [Elandon Roberts], receivers – and they opened up lanes for Sony, Rex, myself. And like I said, I think everybody tried to run hard.

Q: What does mental toughness mean to you on a night like this?

JW: Just going out there and playing your best football. Everybody knows what was at stake tonight, so you just want to try to go out there and play turnover-free. We had one turnover, but we made a correction from that and I think everybody just wanted to go out there and play a full, four quarter football game that we hadn't done yet, especially offensively. So, we still have room for improvement obviously, but it's a step in the right direction. We've got to have a great week of practice next week and come out ready to go.

Q: What was it like to have Elandon Roberts as a consistent part of the offense tonight?

JW: I mean, he's a big help. He's a physical guy and he did a great job blocking for us. He gets amped-up about it and he pried open holes for Sony and Rex. And, I said, he's been a good help for us out there.

Q: What is it about this team that gives you the resiliency to come back from adversity throughout a game?

JW: I mean, that's the way the game of football works. Everything is not going to be perfect, and sometimes things aren't going to go your way. You've got to find a way to bounce back. As soon as we came into the locker room at halftime, guys were like, "The game's not over, we're still in it. Just go out there and compete". They made their plays, but we just had to make enough to go out there and win the game.


Rex Burkhead, RB

(On the run game) 

"Our offensive line did a tremendous job all night, just really playing physical from the get go, opening up lanes for myself, Sony [Michel] and James [White]. Of course the tight ends and E-Rob [Elandon Roberts] doing their part as well. So all the credit goes to those guys."

(On mindset after the fumble) 

"You got to put it behind you and understand there is a lot more football to be played and understand you can really help the game out and turn the game into a positive. So that is what I was trying to do whenever my number was called or anyway I could impact the game, I tried to the best of my ability."

(On winning the division) 

"It does feel good. A lot of hard work goes into that. But at the same time we understand we are not where we want to be at. We got a lot more football left to be played and we just have to continue to improve and get better every day."

(On his impact in the game)

"It is just how the game flows. Whatever coach [Josh] McDaniels or on special teams whatever they want me to do, I try to do it to the best of my abilities, and whatever role that is to help the team win I am happy to do it."

Julian Edelman, WR

(On clinching the division)

"It means a lot. It's one of the first goals that you set early in the spring. When you're forming your team you want to go out and win your division. It was good to go out here and get one."

(On if this was a statement performance)

"I don't know anything about all that. I'm just happy we got away with a big win against a good opponent. The season is not over. We have to build off this. We have got a familiar team that we are playing next week, the Dolphins. Their coaching staff was here and these guys know us. So we've got to turn the page and that's how it goes." 

(On what he saw on the offensive pass interference called on him) 

"Those are tough plays. It's a bang-bang play. It's a slant flat. They were in man coverage and you're trying to set up your guy. Then all the sudden you come off and break off of it and you have that guy right up in your face. You try to protect yourself, and then I saw three flags. Those are tough plays." 

(On his two-point conversion)

"That comes off the run. We ran the ball well and when you run the ball well those types of plays work very well. You've got to tip your hat to the line. The running backs were over here running their tails off. When we get those things and you start playing complementary good things happen. We've got to keep it going and carry this over."

Nick Folk, K

(On his mindset throughout the game) 

"I try to stay focused the whole time, until we are taking a knee. That's when the game is over, when we are taking a knee or when the clock hits zero. I try not to get too high or too low before any of that happens. I just try to keep it even keel and be ready to go if needed."

(On his confidence to kick long field goals) 

"You know your range and throughout the flow of the game you get a little bit of adrenaline going so the ball flies a little bit farther throughout the course of the game. So if you feel pretty good in warm-up pre game you get a pretty good line judge where it will go and where the line needs to be. So the coaches are watching and we discuss stuff and whenever we are needed we go out there."

(On winning the division) 

"It has been a while since I've been a division champ. I was a NFC East division champ twice in Dallas, that was a long time ago, 10-plus years. So it feels good."

Stephon Gilmore, CB

(On being division champions) 

"It feels great. We did it on offense, defense and special teams. It wasn't easy and it was a great win. It's great to win the division."

(On this being the best win for the team this season) 

"Yeah, it's playoff football. It was a playoff game. We knew it would be tough and a lot of guys stepped up. You know, it wasn't easy but we stuck together and came out with a win."

(On the defense stepping up at the end to clinch the win) 

"That's what it is about. We knew it wasn't going to be easy and we would have to go through adversity. We just had to step up and make the play at the end."

(On playing from behind in the fourth quarter) 

"We knew we had to make stops. They made some plays, but at the end it's about who makes the last play of the game."

(On the work put in during the week)

"Yeah, it was focus. We knew it was a playoff game. It was a big game for us and we know they have a good team. I'm just happy we came out with a win."

(On winning the AFC east, but refocusing on earning the first round bye next week)

"It's big. It's another playoff game. Win next week and we get a first round bye. We don't need much more motivation than that."

N'Keal Harry, WR

(On Julian Edelman leaving the game and coming back with a huge play) 

"You have to step up when he is out and hold it down while he is out. We know he is definitely a spark plug and we saw that as soon as he came back in."

(On Julian's approach when he came back in) 

"It was just business. We knew what it was and we had to take care of business."

(On how he felt with the ball in his hands tonight) 

"I mean, my biggest role today was just to be powerful. Make it hard for them to tackle me and you know be the more physical team. I wanted to contribute to that."

(On personally witnessing Julian Edelman's toughness first hand)

"It has been great just taking notes from him, kind of learning under him and seeing the approach he takes to the game. It rubs off on everyone."

(On what Julian adds when he comes back in to a game)

"He is just a spark plug, and he is open like 95 percent of the time. It is definitely a plus having him on the field and hurts when he's not on the field."

Ted Karras, OL

(On countering the Buffalo defensive talent) 

"They have a great middle linebacker in [Tremaine] Edmunds. He is very fast, very tall and long. He is probably one of the more premier linebackers in the league. So a lot of times I had to get out as fast as I could. They have a lot of great guys up front that created some tough matchups. I am grateful we did enough to win."

(On running the ball effectively in recent weeks) 

"I think early on we were trying to find what we were supposed to do. We had some shake ups and I think everyone is kind of settling in and obviously this a good time to do it. We are going to need our best, and I am just trying to focus and do my best to help the team. I guess we will see what gets dialed up from here on out."

(On the schematics and execution offensively today) 

"A little bit of both. Our coaches do a great job. Coach [Josh] McDaniels and coach [Dante] Scarnecchia, I love being able to learn football from them and then falls to us on the field to go execute what they draw up. I think we did a good job of that today."

(On the role he has played this season and if this championship means more because of it)

"No, I am a part of this team. It was unfortunate what happened early and it was an opportunity for me. I just want to step up and fill a pretty big void in David Andrews. Any kind of championship, this is a team game and I have a little bit more of an extended role this year. But every time I have worked my hardest to help the team win."

Matt LaCosse, TE

(On his touchdown reception)

"It's something we've been working on. Took advantage of it, and Tom [Brady] made a great throw to where only I could get it. It was a good way to make a play and get us going."

(On how crisp things felt on offense today)

"It felt good. I think obviously we were able to run the ball pretty good and that sets up other things. Everyone played a great game. It's great to be division champions."

(On if this is the best the offense has played in a while)

"Yeah definitely, I give credit to the Bills. They are a great defense and they've proven it against many teams. We played extremely well tonight but there are still a lot of things we can do to get better. There are a lot of little things we can do to get better. We have a week to practice and get ready for Miami."

(On how resilient this team is)

"We have a bunch of tough, smart, hard-nosed guys. Every team goes through their ups and downs all year. It was nice to come out on top tonight."

Sony Michel, RB

(On Julian Edelman returning to this game from injury) 

"It's always good to have all of our guys healthy and ready to play. He's one of our leaders. He keeps things going and he's a high energy guy, so it's always good having him in."

(On the offensive line) 

"The offensive line did a tremendous job tonight. They take pride in what they do and guys were hungry for this team. They just try to do the best that they can."

(On the team's physicality) 

"That's what it's all about, physicality. The most physical team is going to come out victorious and I believe that we were the most physical team tonight. Offense, defense and special teams did a great job all around. We were playing complementary football and guys wanted it."

(On the running back unit)

"We pride ourselves on running the football. We have a lot of versatile guys that can do many things. Rex [Burkhead] is one of them and James [White]. We just pride ourselves on getting going in the running back room. If we get going, the team will get going."

Matthew Slater, WR

(On today's win) 

"It certainly means a lot. If you look at the way things have been going for us this season, there's been some adversity that we've had to deal with, but we found a way to respond to it. I'm proud of these guys and I'm proud to be a part of this group."

(On the team's resilience) 

"When you talk about being resilient and being mentally tough, that's when it comes down to the character of the men that you have on your football team. That's something that you can't measure and there's no metric for it. You either have it or you don't. Over the years, we've been really fortunate to have high character people in this building that have really made this go. That really means something in terms of life and in terms of what happens beyond the game of football. That's going to serve these men really well. That served us well tonight on the football field and I can't say enough about these guys and who they are as people."

(On being a part of a winning football team) 

"You're happy to see guys that haven't been able to [win] in this league yet, get a taste of winning. That's why you play, you play to win. Everybody has been brought here because Coach Belichick thinks that they can help this football team win. It's good to see guys have success and it's good to see the team have success."

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