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New England Patriots Postgame Transcripts 1/13

HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
January 13, 2018

BB: I thought that was a real good effort by our team tonight. Guys played hard in all three phases, played hard for 60 minutes. Tennessee's a good team. We saw what happened last week in Kansas City when Kansas City had a lead at the half similar to the one that we had. Our guys did a real good job of kind of keeping their foot on the gas and keep pressing it. We had a lot of outstanding plays from a lot of players. They did a great job. I thought our coaching staff, in particular the coordinators – Josh [McDaniels] and Matt [Patricia] – so a busy week for them last week, but they did a great job. Joe Judge, too – all three of them did a really good job of game plans, preparation, had all of the units ready to go. There was some situation football that came that we kind of did what we wanted to do, got in the right situations, played it the way we wanted to play it. I'm not saying it was perfect, but we got it done the way we were trying to get it done. I thought those guys did a great job, so I really appreciate what Matt, Josh, and as I said, Joe's definitely a part of that, too. I look forward to playing next week and we'll see how that goes tomorrow, but it's good effort all week, good effort tonight and I'm proud of the team, proud of the players, proud of the way they competed and the effort and the toughness that they showed tonight against a good football team – a team that had a great game last week against Kansas City – something that we haven't been able to say.

Q: You often say how hard it is to win one game in this league. How unique is it to have a different group of guys each year yet still be able to make it to your seventh straight AFC Championship game?

BB: Yeah, it is hard to win. I think you just have to give these guys a lot of credit. This group is this group. It's not really about some other team or some other group, what they did or didn't or have or haven't done. But these guys come to work every day, they work hard, they compete well. They do what the coaches and what the staff ask them to do. They try to get better and they're very professional and attentive to detail and work hard to improve. That's really what we all need to do, is to keep working to improve and do a better job. They've done that. I think that's shown up over the course of the season. I'm proud of the way they've gone about it.

Q: Can you talk about the overall performance of the offense tonight with production in the red area and on third down?

BB: Offensively we, again, did a lot of good things. Didn't get off to a real fast start, but as you said, third down was good. Red area was good and we stayed out of long yardage. Even a couple of the ones that we didn't pick up, we had a chance to pick them up. We had guys we could work to and we weren't in a lot of third-and-15's and 17's and stuff like that. Penalty situation was good. Offensively, we didn't have a lot of negative plays, kept the ball moving forward. We threw it well, we ran it well, we had good balance, got contributions from everybody – running backs, tight ends, receivers. Tom [Brady] did a great job managing the game, got us into some good plays or out of some bad situations; however you want to look at it. Offensive line – that's a good group. That's a good front. Those guys battled hard in pass protection and made some yards in the running game. They were tough yards. Dion [Lewis] ran well. [Brandon] Bolden ran well, James White. Yeah, a lot of guys were productive for us.

Q: Can you talk about the nature of the throwing the ball 50 times in a game that you predominantly held a lead, and does it say something about the team that you're able to execute like that given the wind and these conditions tonight?

BB: Well, start with the Titans. They're as good a run defense as there has been in the league for the last two years and they don't give up big plays. They make you grind it out. We had to do that. We had a couple of long drives tonight where we went the length of the field and double digit plays. I don't know what the exact numbers were, but we had a couple of long drives. That's sort of what you have to do against Tennessee. They make you convert repeatedly to move the ball against them. It takes good execution. That takes all 11 guys offensively and a good coaching staff and a good plan for it all to fit together. Again, they're a hard team to run against. We certainly didn't go into this game saying, 'I think we're going to run the ball 50 times.' I think that's probably hard to do against these guys, but we mixed some runs in there. We tried to have some balance, tried to get some runs on our terms when we felt like we could do it. 

Q: How important was going up tempo tonight to the way you executed on offense?

BB: Yeah, tempo was good for us. It probably helped us some with the running game, too. Some of those runs came later on in the drive. But, Josh I thought did a great job managing the game, calling the game, as he always does, and put the players in good positions repeatedly, and they made some great plays. Some plays are harder than others, but we had some good throws, tough catches, good runs, tough blocks, and there were some plays that, as I said, he had good design on and called them at the right time and they were hit well. The screen pass, that was a big play. 

Q: Danny Amendola has played well annually in the postseason. How do you describe his impact on offense and special teams?

BB: Yeah, absolutely. Danny does a great job for us. His ball handling, his reliability, dependability is exceptional. As you said, handling the ball on these punts in conditions like tonight, it's not easy. And, as we saw, there were several times when he had guys breathing right down on top of him, standing right there when he was catching the ball, so it just put a little more pressure on it. But, Danny has great concentration, tough, really a smart football player, makes good decisions, good judgment, knows how to get open, makes some big catches in tough situations. So, he's kind of guy you take for granted, but he delivered a lot tonight, as he always does. 

Q: Brandon Bolden scored the first touchdown of his postseason career after very little playing time on offense this season. What does he typify on this team?

BB: Again, Brandon's been a very dependable and versatile player for us. He's been able to play on all four downs. He can carry the ball on early downs. He can play on third down, pass protection, catch the ball well, and he's one of our top special team players. He's really a valuable guy for us in a lot of different roles. Until you need him, it doesn't seem like that much. Then when you need him, it's a lot, and it's hard to find players like that that can step up into those critical roles – pass protection, ball handling, tough yards on the goal line, things like that – without getting a lot of reps, without getting the multiple opportunities and just step in there and do it the way he does it. We have a lot of guys on the team like that, and he's a really valuable guy. He doesn't get enough credit for what he does, but he does a great job for us, and he does a great job with the leadership he gives us in the kicking game with the younger players, with other players that are on the unit. His communication skills and experience and awareness are very good. 

Q: Tom Brady's form in December was a little below his usual high standards, and today he seemed back to his best. Can you talk about any adjustments he's made or the offense has made that enabled that today?

BB: I don't know. That'd be a good question for him.

Q: Tom Brady's touchdown to Rob Gronkowski looked almost effortless. What kind of luxury is it to have the two of them in red area situations?

BB: Yeah, two great players making a great play. Great throw, similar to the one that Rob made a couple weeks ago against Buffalo where only Rob can get it and maybe only Rob could have caught it, but Tom put it where Rob could get it and Rob got it. So, like I said, two great players making a great play.

Q: What's been your impression of the way the defense has improved over the course of the season to tally eight sacks tonight?

BB: Yeah, our continuity has gotten better. Our execution has gotten better on the pass rush. It always helps to play from ahead so you can make the game one dimensional, make it a passing game. It's always easier to rush the passer in that situation. But, we've had a lot of guys step up – Marquis [Flowers], Adam Butler, Deatrich [Wise Jr.], Ricky [Jean Francois] had a couple good rushes. It's good to have Kyle [Van Noy] back. So, a lot of different guys contribute. Trey Flowers – Trey had a good night. He was hard to block. So, we had a lot of guys really do a good job there, but I think the overall being able to do it week after week, some of the guys that are playing now weren't playing. If we had had this conversation in the middle of the season, you wouldn't be asking about them. They've stepped into different roles and they've worked together more, gotten a better feel for each other, execution's better, so it's good.

QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY

POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
January 13, 2018

Q: How important was Danny Amendola for your offense tonight?

TB: Yeah, I thought he played incredible. He made a lot of great catches. Those third downs were huge today. We talked about in the bye week of really trying to improve that; go a long way towards helping us win. We did a pretty good job on third down in the red area and didn't turn it over, so it's a good recipe for winning.

Q: With all of the negativity in the press lately, was it nice for you personally to come out and sort of silence the critics?

TB: You know what, no. I've been around long enough; 18 years. There's been so many nice things said about me. That just goes with the territory. I just try to be consistent, show up and do the best I can do every week for the team and regardless of whether I'm the worst quarterback in the league or the best quarterback in the league or somewhere in-between, it's just my job is to do the best I can do for us every week. It was a good team win today. We're going to need another one next week. Whoever we play is going to be a great team. I'm looking forward to playing in the championship game.

Q: Are you amazed at the success that you and this franchise has had on such a consistent basis?

TB: I mean, it's pretty incredible to be a part of that. I think the thing is that we don't really take it for granted around here. I know how hard it is to get to this game. We're very blessed to do it. It takes a lot of things, a lot of good fortune, a lot of hard work, but obviously a lot of great blessings. I think our team has proven over the course of the year we can win important games against good teams and we did that tonight and that's why you keep moving on. The reality of the NFL is what we did this week will have nothing to do with what happens next week. We're going to have to go repeat it, so you've got to get right back to work, right back to the process of trying to figure out how to breakdown our opponent. Everyone's got to feel good physically and mentally and go out there and try to cut it loose one more time in a huge game.

Q: How important was it for you to keep your foot on the gas offensively as the game went along?

TB: Yeah, we did a good job of that. I thought once we could get into the drive we did a good job kind of keeping the defense defensive. We had them misaligned a few times, had some easy throws where we had some guys uncovered, but that's a good way to kind of keep the pressure on the defense. There's a lot of ways to do it. I think that's the great advantage of playing at home – communication is really good. Ultimately, our guys made a lot of great plays, executed really well, so many great catches, great blocks. It was just a great team win, great on defense, sacks. I mean, that was incredible.

Q: How much of a sanctuary or a haven is the football field for you amidst all of the other non-football related things that have gone on?

TB: Yeah, I think it always feels that way and I think being on the field is a great place to, you know, that's where you go prove it. You can talk all day about what you're going to do or what you can do. Ultimately, you've got to go out there and do it. I think just having the opportunity to go play and I've had so many great teammates over the years and this team has done such a great job this year focusing on what we need to. When you get out there, that's the best part of the week. To be in the playoffs and to play well and to advance is just really great for this team. Like I said, we've just got to do it again next week.

Q: How did the return of Chris Hogan and James White tonight help balance the offense?

TB: Yeah, they did a great job. There's been kind of some parts that have been in and out. Hogs [Chris Hogan] has missed a lot over the last half of the season. James did. Rex [Burkhead] was out. It's been nice to – I think when you have some of your best players on the field all the time it's a great benefit to us, like it would be for any team. But the guys who were in there before did a great job, too. Whoever's on the team and on the roster is going to be counted on at some point. It shows the kind of depth we have and you never know when you're going to be called upon to go in there and make the plays. It was great to see James make some great plays tonight, like he always does. Hogs made some great plays. Cam Fleming stepped in there after not starting tonight and did a great job. It was a great team win.

Q: How much gratification do you have seeing a longtime teammate like Brandon Bolden make contributions tonight on offense to go along with his usual special teams work?

TB: Yeah, I mean, I love Brandon. He's just a great teammate, friend. He's just a great person. Someone I've been in a lot of meetings with and a lot of walkthroughs and a lot of games with. You have those relationships with those guys and when you see them do well when their number is called it's pretty cool. I'm really happy for him. He deserves it. He's a really special guy. It was great to see him get in the end zone tonight.

Q: Why did you have so much success working in the middle of the field tonight?

TB: I'm not sure. Again, it's just I'm trying to go to the read and trying to see the coverage and whether they're blitzing or where our guys are springing free. I would say if they're covered inside, you've got to throw it outside. If they're covered outside, you've got to throw it inside. If they're covering you short, you've got to throw it deep. I usually don't even know those things until they're brought up to me. I'm just kind of trying to throw it to where the guys are open.

TIGHT END ROB GRONKOWSKI

POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
January 13, 2018

Q: Does it feel good to be back in the playoffs?

RG: Yes, definitely. It feels great to be back out there in the hometown, home game in front of our home fans. It's super great to be back and it was a great team win.

Q: Does it feel like even when you're covered that you've still got to expect the ball? 

RG: Yes, definitely, all times. That starts out in practice. I'm covered sometimes in practice. It builds up the trust in practice. Tom [Brady] throws me a pass when I'm covered and just try to get open. He puts it where he can so I can get the ball. Just overall you've got to expect the ball at any time as a pass catcher and running on routes. You've got to be ready at all times.

Q: How different did the offense feel with both Chris Hogan and James White back out there? How big was the penalty on the Titans in the punt situation which you followed up with a 16-play drive?

RG: That was huge. Getting that first down on that and then going down and driving down and scoring. I mean I would say that's probably a turning point in the game going down there and making that drive after giving that first down on that punt. So that was huge. Overall, everyone just played well together from the receivers to running backs, tight ends. We all just played together as a team, as an offense and our defense did great. So overall it was just a solid team win for sure.

Q: Danny Amendola had 11 catches for 112 yards on 13 targets tonight. Can you describe the impact that he makes on this offense and how it affects what you can do when he's available, especially in the postseason?

RG: Yeah, it's huge. He's a great player. He works his tail off and he's just Danny 'Playoff' Amendola. For real. Every time the playoffs come, big games, he's always there. He's always stepping up his game. He's a great player, great teammate, great dude so it's great to see that.

Q: You had a play where you lined up in the backfield before you motioned out. What did that do the defense to change the look and provide that versatility?

RG: It just gives Tom [Brady] a sense of what the defense, what the coverage is going to be when you motion over like that. Just had to go make a play. Tom threw a nice ball. I just made the catch and got some yards.

Q: The defense had eight sacks today. How do you feel on the sideline when you're watching play like that?

RG: It's great. I mean our defense balled tonight. They did excellent. Whenever they're playing well, the offense has got to play well. They were playing super well. They had eight sacks. I mean I saw up on the Jumbotron or whatever 'Patriots record.' That just shows how good they played tonight. It's always great to see that and it was good for the guys. 

Q: When you caught that touchdown you helped Tom Brady pass Joe Montana for the most three touchdown playoff games. How does it feel to help Tom get past his boyhood idol?

RG: It's always great. I swear every game Tom is breaking a new record so it's nothing new. It's always great to be a part of it. We don't really look at that type of stuff. We're just trying to get the win, play hard but I mean it's pretty cool to see that. He deserves it. He's a great player, great teammate and it's always cool to see that. But overall, what's most important was getting that win and that's the best.

Q: The offense thrived on third down tonight. How much emphasis was placed on that during the bye week and this week leading up to the game?

RG: Third downs are always huge. When you're not completing third downs, you're one for six, one for seven, the game usually doesn't go well for the offense. So that was huge to see us convert many, many times on third down. A lot of players went out there, a lot of players got the first down on third down for us. It's good to see that. It's good to have everyone on the offense working together and making those plays.

Q: Tonight you passed Shannon Sharpe for receiving yards by a tight in a postseason. What does that mean for you, especially given last year not being able to play in the playoffs at all?

RG: What's most important is getting that win and that's what we did. We took care of our job. Like I just said about Tom's [Brady] record, everything is great to be part of it. That's great to hear and everything but that's not really the main goal. Maybe down the road you can look back and look at that stuff but as of right now what our main goal is just keep on grinding, get the win and that's what we did tonight. 

DEFENSIVE BACK DEVIN MCCOURTY

POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
January 13, 2018

Q: After the Titans first touchdown drive, what turned things around for your defense and allowed you to sack Marcus Mariota eight times?

DM: I thought that was huge – just our pass rush played really well tonight. Obviously, we had a big emphasis on trying to keep [Marcus] Mariota in the pocket and not allow him to escape and be able to make big plays running or throwing. But I thought that was a big difference – obviously, playing well on first down, in the run game and trying to force them into some third-and-longers – and we did that. And then when we did it, the pass rush, they just did a great job – some of those with three-man rushes – just I think we executed the game plan really well up front. 

Q: How important was third down defense and tackling in determining the outcome of the game?

DM: Yeah, Bill [Belichick] said that to us during the week as a team – nothing will help us more than playing well on third down, and it showed tonight. Defensively, obviously when you can play well on third down, you don't see a lot of plays that you would see if you give up third downs. So, and then that's always an emphasis for us – tackling. They had some guys that if you don't tackle well, they'll really hurt you. So, I thought we did a good job, especially at times when we'd drop into zone coverage and they catch it underneath, guys just to rally and tackle. I thought we did a really good job of that when it came up in the game.

Q: What does it mean to this team to play in the AFC Championship for the seventh straight season?

DM: That's what it's all about. I think the thing is, the seven straight is cool, but not all these guys were part of that. You know, that's not the emphasis for the team. It's all about getting there this year for all the work we've put in from April on. That's why we're working is to get to these big games, so I think it's great for the team to see our hard work paying off. We've just got to keep at it. Obviously, getting there is a great accomplishment, but we want to go out there next week and play our best game. 

Q: As a team leader, how did you think the team handled distractions this past week? 

DM: I think the team just focused on Tennessee, and I think it will be the same thing next week. This time of year, there's no such thing to me as distractions. Unless you have some issue going on with your family or something like that, there is nothing else that can distract you. I don't care what comes out, what's said, our goal from the beginning of the season was to be able to play in the playoffs and try to go out there and win games in the playoffs. There's nothing right now that can deter us from that. We're going to stay focused on that, try to play our best game each week that we earn the right to go back out there and I think we know that. We know once you get in the playoffs, it's not given to you. You've got to go earn it. We did that tonight. Now it's all about getting ready to go for next week.

Q: What is the key to getting a guy like Mariota to check down on third-and-long situations?

DM: First, it's just getting to that – playing well on first and second down to get to those third-and-longers. And then we just try to make our coverages hard to get the first down to force them to check it down and then, like it's talked about earlier, relying on rallying to the ball and tackling. If you can make them throw it short and make a guy try to break a tackle or two, that's when your tackling shows up, and we did a good job of that tonight.

Q: Deatrich Wise Jr. had two sacks tonight. What's your impression of the way he's come along his rookie season?

DM: He's just been focused. I think he does a good job of just listening to everyone, whether it's the coaches, whether it's the older guys trying to tell him different things, and then he's just stayed at it. You know, him and Adam Butler up front, they've played a lot of football throughout the season. I think the good thing is when you're a rookie and you get to the playoffs or the end of the season, you've got a lot of experience under your belt. So, you've seen some more things than you did early in the year, so I think he's using those things and now he's just going out there, letting it fly and he's playing really well.

Q: What was the key to the run defense tonight and limiting Derrick Henry to 28 yards rushing?

DM: To me, the focus was tackling him. I think up front, our guys always do a good job of defeating blocks and making it tough inside to run the ball, but we knew with Henry, obviously he's a huge back but he does have the ability to bounce out and a couple times he did bounce out. I thought guys did a good job in the secondary or the linebackers getting off blocks and tackling them, and that's always tough. When we can stop the run and try to make a team one dimensional, it's usually going to play out well for us.

PATRIOTS LOCKER ROOM

Danny Amendola, Wide Receiver

(On what changed for the Patriots after the first quarter)
"We just stuck to the plan and kept fighting and grinding. We knew it was going to be a long game and we had to fight for four quarters. Playoff games are tough and teams are playing tough and we're happy we came out on top."

(On the Patriots going to its seventh straight AFC Championship) 
"It's something we work for. We have to get to the postseason and play well. We have to take it one game at a time and one week at a time."

(On having 100 yards receiving for the first time in the postseason) 
"We have a lot of good football players in this locker room, and we all played well enough to win tonight."

(On the scramble play where Tom Brady completed a pass to him)
"We locked eyes early and I could tell he was thinking about it. I kept running and I knew I had a couple yards, and he looked back again and let it go and it ended up working out."

(On having James White and Chris Hogan back)
"We're so happy to have those guys back. They're great football players and they do a lot for our team both in the locker room and on the field. They both had great games and we're happy to have them back."

Stephon Gilmore, Cornerback

(On advancing this far in the playoffs) 
"You got to be able to make adjustments because you never know what teams do. They come in and change things, so coaches put us in position to make plays and we just try to execute as best as we can."

(On his first playoff game) 
"It was fun. It's always fun when you win, but we were making plays out there and having fun with each other. We were amped up a little bit more in the playoffs and it was fun."

(On being a part of the team) 
"It's a blessing. I'm just having fun. We prepare hard during the week and try to work hard to end the week. I'm just having fun with the guys on this team. It's the guys on this team that allow me to have fun and do whatever I can to help the team win."

(On advancing to the AFC Championship)
"It's been a long road. We still got a lot of work to do and it's going to be fun. The next team we play is probably going to be the best team we've played all year."

Duron Harmon, Safety

(On buckling down on defense after giving up the first touchdown of the game) 
"It's never really an excuse of not playing the week before, but we just kind of had to get going and once we got going and got comfortable and settled in, we were able to make plays."

(On stopping Mariota)
"We knew this team wanted to establish the run and wanted to have their quarterback make plays, whether it was with his feet to buy time to throw or him just running. We knew we had to take care of him, keep him in the pocket, and we did a really good job of keeping him in the pocket. A couple of times, he really had nowhere to go and we forced him to take the sack."

James Harrison, Linebacker

(On the Patriots going to its seventh straight AFC Championship) 
"I'm just happy to be here and to be a part of the seventh one."

(On what turned the Patriots around in the second quarter)
"Our guys got to the point where they started taking care of their responsibilities, and putting more pressure on [Marcus] Mariota. We started containing him in the pocket and made him have to scramble with his legs."

(On performances from the Patriots younger players) 
"I'm impressed when anyone does a great job, younger or older."

(On whether he will watch the Jaguars vs. Steelers game)
"I don't watch football. I don't even watch sports. I'm a cartoon guy. Ask me about Cartoon Network or Adult Swim, shows like 'American Dad' and 'Family Guy'."

Ricky Jean Francois, Defensive Lineman

(On the key to slowing down Marcus Mariota and Derrick Henry) 
"Just keeping [Mariota] in the pocket. Be responsible, don't try to get all wild and get over the top or try to shoot up field. You got to rush somebody like that responsibly because a guy like him can just break and just go and run."

(On the Titans offense having success early in the game) 
"They were getting us with the run, so we calmed down for a minute and had to realize what types of runs they were hitting us with. Once we did that we started knocking them around and turned them [into] one-dimensional and then they had to pass the ball."

(On what kinds of runs the Titans were executing against the defense) 
"I can't even really tell you, to be honest. I just know they were hitting us with runs here and there, but once we got a hold of it, it was controlled and we kept them to, if I'm not mistaken, 65 yards rushing. So that was a good day."

(On if it was a good statement game for the defense) 
"Not really. It could be a lot better. Penalties kept killing us and we let them get the ball and drive the ball downfield when we know we could have held them on so many accounts. We got to go back to the drawing board and try to get that right, so we can kill all those penalties we got."

(On his season being a "roller coaster" and having an impactful game) 
"I'm enjoying the journey. Like I said, I've been through the ups and downs. I started with Green Bay and I'm now it's funny, I'm now here with the Patriots. It's been a roller coaster, but it's actually a roller coaster that I'm enjoying."

(On the Patriots advancing to the seventh straight AFC Championship Game) 
"That shows you how good this team has been in being consistent. The biggest thing, and the biggest downfall in a lot of people and a lot of teams is being consistent. This team has always been consistent in what they did and they always stick to what they know and that's winning. Besides winning, they stick to the process and they stick to the journey and they stick to the grind; everything that leads up to a game like this and they keep doing it and you see what position they are in each and every other year."

Dion Lewis, Running Back

(On the offensive turnaround in the second quarter) 
"We were just trying to learn. We started to play with a little faster pace and I think that really helped us. Guys were just ready to play. The first two drives we started a little slow, but then we picked it up after that. We just had to settle into the game and have everybody calm down. Once everybody settled in, we knew what we had to do."

(On playing after a bye week) 
"I just know that everybody was ready to play. We just got to be patient with the game and let the game come to us. We can't go out there forcing things. I think we did a great job going out there, covering the sidelines and making adjustments."

(On Tennessee's neutral zone infraction that allowed New England to get back on offense) 
"It was huge. Whenever a team makes a mistake, you got to capitalize on that. They made a mistake and as an offense, we have to capitalize. We can't let them give us a chance and not capitalize."

(On the offense's tempo) 
"We just got to push the tempo, make [the defense] communicate and then make plays from there. At the same time, we still have to execute. We can't just go fast and not execute, so I think we did a good job today at executing when we were going fast."

Kyle Van Noy, Linebacker

(On the team's eight sacks)
"When somebody gets a group sack in our group, it's a group sack because everybody has to do their job [for it to happen]. It was fun tonight. We kind of show our defense and the offense played off each other. That's Patriot football. It wasn't perfect but it was good."

(On the win and making it back to the AFC Championship Game)
"This is what you do; this is what you play for. You play for the playoffs. You play to shine in games like this. You want to win and so it means everything. It's what you do, from OTAs to the regular season to be in the situation that we're in right now."

James White, Running Back

(On how the Patriots played)
"It was a great team performance. We tried to start fast and play that complementary football that we always talk about."

(On players performing better in the playoffs) 
"It's a team effort. I'm excited to be back out there again and blessed to have the opportunity to play. I was trying to do my job to the best of my ability and trying to help my team win."

(On the Patriots going to its seventh straight AFC Championship) 
"All the hard work we put in is for these moments. We have to make the most of these opportunities. Every game is going to be tough and going to be a four-quarter game, so we have to practice hard and prepare hard."

(On the Patriots defensive performance)
"They played lights out. They keep getting better each and every week. I have so much confidence in those guys. They had seven sacks or so, and just overall had a really great performance."

Deatrich Wise, Jr., Defensive End

(On containing Titans QB Marcus Mariota so effectively) 
"All week we've been studying him, studying how he scrambles and studying the offensive line, so we knew if we crushed the pocket, he'll leak out and we can make plays." 

(On the defensive adjustments after Tennessee scored the first touchdown of the game) 
"We just stuck to the game plan. Coach [Bill Belichick] always said to do our jobs and we had to keep doing our job and do it better, and that's what we did all game." 

(On containing Mariota and Derrick Henry in the running game) 
"Shout outs to the defensive line: Ricky [Jean Francois], Lawrence [Guy] and Malcom [Brown] for shutting down Henry and shutting down the whole running game. When it came to third down, the pass rushers started doing their stuff. We just crushed the pocket down and made plays."

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