BILL BELICHICK, HEAD COACH
Opening Statement: I thought it was a really good effort by our team this week. We had a good week of practice. We had real good focus for the game. And I thought we found plays in all three phases of the game. Good team win, complimentary game. So it's always good to come up here and win. It's great to see our fans here at the end of the game cheering us on. Good to come in here and win and good to have contributions from our players. Like I said, we had a solid week of practice and played a fairly solid game today. Not perfect, but did a lot of things well.
Q: Can you comment on Rob Gronkowski getting the most touchdowns as a Patriot?
A: I love it. Love to see his presence.
Q: When you look at Gronkowski and the way he plays as a pass catcher, blocker, just complete tight end, I'm curious if you've seen any sort of match for him and the way he plays the game.
A: Well there's a lot of great players in this league and there have been a lot of great players but obviously Gronk does a good job. He competes hard. Nice plays in the passing game, blocks in the running game. Does whatever you ask him to do. So a very unselfish player. He's great to coach. So, given his great leadership as a captain, something he hasn't done in the past, but now it's kind of had a new role for him and he's embraced that, and done well for us there too.
Q: Some similarities between his touchdown today and last week, in the sense that it almost seemed like momentum might have been going to the other side and you know you guys hit a big play.
A: Yeah big drive to answer the score and, you know, they took the safety out of the middle field. You know, we were in empty. Rob beat Robey (Nickell Robey-Coleman) right inside and ran away from him so that was impressive.
Q: Is Tom Brady at 39 years old just as good or better than he was at 29?
A: Well again, I thought that we had good play from our entire team today. You know, Tom did a good job, but we had a lot of the guys play well today. It was a good team win.
Q: On the touchdown play to Chris Hogan, the one that got called back, it looked like Brady took a pretty good hit on the play before. What was your thought on just his toughness to come back on the next play and make that long throw to Hogan?
A: Yeah, Tom is a tough player. So we've seen that since day one and that's never been an issue. Mentally and physically, he's as tough as they come.
Q: I know you guys don't lose faith in Stephen (Gostkowski) and what he's able to do, but it must have been nice for you guys to see that from him today.
A: No, Steve's one of the best kickers in the league. You know, we have a lot of confidence in him. When we need a kick, there's nobody better to send out there than him. Nobody better to send out there than Steve.
Q: Looked like another solid game from Malcolm Butler. Some change at the number two cornerback spot, but how valuable is it to have a guy you can depend on, so solid at the number one spot?
A: Yeah you know, Malcolm has practiced well the last three weeks, and you know has been giving really solid performances. You know, they threw a lot of balls outside, a good test for our corners all the way around, so I'm sure we'll see that going forward but, you know, this is a good group. Good deep ball, threw the ball well inside the numbers, big receivers, so…I think we made some plays.
Q: Any initial thoughts about going into the bye at 7-1?
A: No. Just get ready for Seattle. We're heading into the NFC West now with Seattle, San Francisco, and the Rams are coming up soon so it's not like we had early in the year with the AFC North, with three out of the four teams. So we'll get a lot of teams we're not very familiar with. Obviously Seattle, I've got a lot of respect for coach (Pete) Carroll and the Seahawks program so that's a big test for us.
Q: I think there were a few opportunities where you had too many players and one where you had to get another player on. Were there any headsets or technology things that you would've been struggling with, or was that more of human—?
A: I think I've already talked about that. Offense changed, but regardless of that, we've got to do a better job of what we're doing. So, they had them, we had them. We need to substitute cleaner, regardless of what else is or isn't going on.
Q: Danny Amendola's kickoff to open the second half.
A: Huge play. Good blocking. Got him up to about the 30-40 yard line. He broke a couple tackles and Danny has just been clutch for us. Ever since he got here, he's made big plays in big games. Punt returns, kick returns, blocks. He does whatever you ask him to do. Really unselfish player. That was a huge play for us. You know we kicked a field goal at the end of the first half and then that gave us a chance to kind of stretch it out without letting them get possession of the ball. SO that was a huge play for us. But, you know, good job by our kickoff return team creating the opportunity for him to get started and make a play there.
TOM BRADY, QUARTERBACK
Q: Let's start with Rob Gronkowski. Throwing his 69th touchdown, which breaks the franchise record. One, your thoughts on the play and two your thoughts on him as the player who accomplished it?
A: Yes, it's a great accomplishment. He is a dynamic player for us. He makes great plays in the pass game, down the field, intermediate, short; he's tough to tackle. He has a great enthusiasm about him. He's just done a great job since he's been here, so it's a credit to him and his toughness, his mental toughness. I've always talked about that with him and his ability to overcome the difficulties that he's faced over his career to get to this point. We need it because he's such a great player for our team.
Q: How about that play, it seemed like they were maybe cutting into the lead a little bit there, what did you see?
A: It was a big play and it was running up the seam and it looked like they were going to blitz, but then they kind of pulled out of it and gave me a little time. Gronk [Rob Gronkowski] had one-on-one with Robey [Nickell Robey-Coleman] and cut inside and I just tried to put it out there for him and he made a great play. He had a great catch and run and he's tough when he's running through the middle of the defense. He did that against Pittsburgh last week too. It was just a big play.
Q: Were you surprised at all about when they took the safety out of the middle of the field?
A: I think that it's a product of doing a lot of different things. I think a lot of guys are making different plays and running the ball and trying to keep them off balance. At some point they tried to take a shot and that's when we have to take our shots. You go against a team like this who has a good defense, a good scheme, so you never know when you are going to get your opportunity and we got it and tried to take advantage of it.
Q: Especially on Gronk's touchdown, that match up there- he's got 10 inches and 100 pounds on Robey. Do your eyes light up when you see that match up?
A: Yeah… well I'm just trying to find open guys. That's what I'm trying to do and Gronk was the guy on that play. He does a good job all day of getting his opportunity. Sometimes they double him with coverage and squeeze him from inside and out but on that particular play he had a seam running down the defense and it was just good to put it out there and let him make a play.
Q: Did you see that match-up pre-snap or was that something that developed later?
A: I think they do a pretty good job of disguising their pre-snap stuff, everything kind of looks the same. You have to figure it out once the ball is snapped and if you get a good match-up, you get a good match-up.
Q: Did you get your usual warm and fuzzy welcome when you came into this place? It's been so many years, and you've been here so many times and beaten them so many times, what was it like and what is it like to play in front of them when they crank it up?
A: Well they can crank it up pretty good here so I was glad our defense held them to a field goal to start the game. That was a big start for us, they got the ball down the field and if they can score right off the bat at home it's always good to play from ahead and we marched right down after that and scored a touchdown. It's good to play from ahead, when we got down there and got the ball, the crowd was definitely into it and they cheer loud for their team. And they have a good football team.
Q: They also cheer against you because of the history, I know you can't hear individual things, but you know the tone of what's going on, so how does it feel to come out here and do that?
A: Yeah, it's good. I think the best part is at the end. That's the best part because you know we've had a lot of experiences where there are 70,000 people against you and at the end there are 5,000 Patriots fans, on the road, that are cheering for you. That's a great motivation for us, to go into some really tough places to play against a team that always really challenges you in different ways and at the end to be so far ahead to be able to run out the clock feels good. It's a great feeling.
Q: Tom, talk about Danny Amendola, not heavy on stats but big plays. It always seems like there is one or two or three like the kickoff return and the touchdown, can you talk about his role and what's going on here?
A: Yeah, that was a huge play in the game that kickoff return. That set us up for the whole second half. There was a big swing there because they missed the field goal, we go down and get the three, we get the ball to start, Danny returns it. It's a 10 point swing, probably a 13 point swing, and that was huge. Danny is always around for big plays, important plays and he's a great competitor. He gives everything he has for the team. He always knows when to make the right play, whether it's to kneel in the end zone or to run it back like he did, he made a great run and it really set us in great position.
Q: When Chris Hogan meets Stephon Gilmore down field, is that something that developed during practice or something that you saw during film study or something that just happened during the course of the game?
A: That was something that was pretty early in the game and Hog's just looked like he had a chance. It looked like they were giving favor in coverage to the other side of the field and when you do that, it's one on one back side and he had a good inside release and Hog's fast; he runs by people and they don't catch him, so if you can put it out there for him and let him run under it, he's able to make those plays. And he's done that all season long so it was great and that put us up 13-3 and it was a big play in the game.
Q: 7-1 going into the bye week, how do you feel about where you guys are?
A: Well, it's pretty early still. We've got a long way to go. I think 7-1 is good, but coach always says 7 wins won't get you anything in this league and he's right so we have a lot of football ahead. This is when it starts to get to feeling like football season.
ROB GRONKOWSKI, TIGHT END
Q: Pretty good place to set a record?
A: Yes, definitely. Definitely an honor to come home to my hometown and get that record. To hold the record for most franchise touchdowns is just unbelievable. I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates, my coaches. We're just always working together making strides every single day that we step out onto the practice field and just seeing everyone how the way they work, seeing all the opportunities the coaches gave me and giving some credit to myself coming in and working hard every single day to get to where I need to be and its just an awesome experience. Stanley Morgan actually called me to congratulate me and he was an awesome player, awesome guy. He said congratulations and it was pretty cool so to get a phone call from him already right after the game in the locker room was something special, and its cool, but I mean the win is definitely way more important. Its awesome to get that win for sure and that's what's most important is going out there and having your team win which we did today on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Overall, it's definitely an honor, but I just got to keep working keep on grinding every single day.
Q: Could you have ever envisioned that this would be the place where you would set this record?
A: Nope, we never envisioned it like that. I never envisioned it like that. Definitely envisioned big things though, but nothing like that on a scale of being like this so, it's just unbelievable. And to come back to my hometown where I grew up watching all the Bills games vs. the Patriots, so it's just an unbelievable honor and just got to give a lot of credit to this organization overall for giving me all the opportunities and helping me to get to where I am.
Q: Talk us through your touchdown.
A: It was definitely a two call play. It's a lot of times like 50% of the time in games, you get two calls and whatever looks better he's going to change it to so he did a great job of reading the play and I just ran the route that I needed to run and he put an excellent ball out there to do what I had to do to score.
Q: What did you see from the coverage on the play?
A: I saw, I think it was a cover four I think, but I just kind of had a feeling just had to get up on the safeties toes, give him a little move, and cross his face. Tom (Brady) read it super well, and it was a great throw and great play overall.
Q: Describe the bow
A: The bow, just bowing. You know, just bowing and it was awesome. But I want to give a shout out to my mom because the first thing yesterday, we sat down when I saw her she came to my hotel, we sat down she goes, "Rob, I'm so proud of you when you score your 69th touchdown." So I was like, I have to give her a shout out now for sure for letting me know that she's super proud of me so, hi mom, and thank you.
Q: Talk about Danny Amendola's kickoff return.
A: That kickoff return meant a lot. I mean, it changes the momentum right away in the second half just like that. Just getting the kickoff return and bringing it to what, the 25 he brought it to? It was just awesome. We had great blocking, saw a lot of great blocking. Amendola just had a great run.
Q: Can you feel that people here don't like you when you're on the field?
A: Yes. I feel that for sure. When you get 50 middle fingers from the people in the first three rows, so I definitely feel that. I feel it.
Q: What is it like for you and Brady coming in here and torturing this team?
A: Yes, it's awesome. I love being part of this organization, love being part of the Brady era. I couldn't ask to be in any better situation when I got drafted here seven years ago. It was definitely an honor. And I'm super glad that that's what happened, I got drafted to the New England Patriots man. So it's just awesome to come here and tear it up.
Q: Can you talk about the versatility of this offense?
A: Yeah, that's what makes this game so awesome, it's a team game. It's not about individuals at all and just dispersing the ball. Tom is doing such a great job. If you look at the stat sheet everyone probably had three, four, five catches, just six guys. It's just awesome. You don't know what you're going to get, you don't know who he's going to throw it to. And everyone is working hard. Everyone works hard to get open, and we all try to help each other out so, it's just a huge part of our game and it's definitely a huge part of our offense. Giving the ball to a lot of players helps out big time.
Q: Maybe they're saying your number one, with the middle fingers?
A: Oh no, they're not. You can tell by their facial expressions and everything.
Q: Is there a sense of significance in the sense that the Bills beat you last time you played?
A: Yeah it's, you know how that game went. It's just great to come in here now and show them what we're really about and put up all those points. You know they talk all that, everyone talks all that every single time they got that win, 16-0, or whatever it was but, I'm so glad we came in here and showed them what we're really about.
Q: You have 11 touchdowns against the Bills, what is it with you and homecomings?
A: I don't know. I just go out and play every game. Just go hard every game.
Q: It was also a homecoming for Chris Hogan, did you guys talk about that?
A: Yeah that was huge. I'm so happy for Chris Hogan to see him get that touchdown. It was a bomb. I was in the middle of the field so the ball got thrown over my head and I was watching it like whoa. It looked like a bird just going … and then I just saw Hogan. I looked at Hogan I was like, "Oh he's got his man beat", and I saw him make the play and score the touchdown, I was super happy for him and he deserves it, he's a great guy, great teammate, and a hard worker.
Q: Was that a tipping point in this game?
A: That was another tipping point in this game. A lot of big plays are a lot of turning points. The Amendola run, Hogan's touchdown, you want to make big plays at big times to help turn the game.
Q: What have you learned about Stanley Morgan's style of play or anything as a player?
A: I'm going to tell the truth; I really don't know much about Stanley Morgan. It would be actually a great honor to actually meet him in person and actually study up on his game and see what he's all about so, I'm going to be looking forward to that.
Q: You beat his record in just about half as many games, how is that possible?
A: Just doing what I got to do. Coming in everyday, working hard everyday, and just being in the right situation and taking advantage of it. Every time you get an opportunity you have to take advantage and you have to be ready so, it's all about hard work, dedication, and going hard.
DANNY AMENDOLA, WIDE RECEIVER
Q: Danny, I'm sure nothing surprises you about Tom (Brady). Can you talk about that?
A: He's the best. He's our leader, such a great competitor.
Q: What do you say about Rob Gronkowski and his franchise record now, all alone?
A: I love it, he's the best. He's a great teammate, he's a great football player and he's done a lot of great things for this organization and for the game and he's going to continue to have success.
Q: How much easier is it to go into the bye with a victory instead of harping on a loss?
A: Yeah, I mean you want to win them all, no matter what. We'll get ready for the next one and when the time comes, take a little break off, get our legs back under us.
Q: You guys are rolling right now, would you like to just keep it going?
A: They scheduled it so.
Q: At the midway point, are you happy with where you are, at the bye at the midway point?
A: Yeah, we're happy. We work hard and we want to put a good product on the field every Sunday, so it's not gonna change in the future. Just continue to prepare each week, one week at a time, one game at a time, and then go from there.
Q: But you feel like you're in a good position, whether it's in the division, in the conference overall? You've put yourself in a good place.
A: I feel like we're right where we need to be, we're right where we should be. You know, seven games isn't enough, we got to win a lot more, so we're gonna go back to work and try to prepare and get ready.
Q: When your offense, and (Tom) Brady are throwing those deep balls and you're a defensive back watching on the other side, what are you thinking about with the other defensive backs?
A: Who's gonna come down with it. We came down with a few today and that determined the outcome of the game. Looked like a punt flying through the air when I looked up there, but great job by the receivers and the quarterback.
Q: Malcolm, with the bye week coming up now, how do you think you guys are playing overall?
A: I think we're doing well, but the standards are high here, so plenty of room for improvement.
Q: Did Buffalo show anything different? It seemed like you guys were really ready for what they put out there. Was there anything that surprised you at all?
A: No, not really. We just went out there and played hard, which we knew they were gonna play hard, start fast, get some three and outs, get the ball to the offense so they can score and that's exactly what they did.
Q: You've strung together some pretty impressive performances here. Do you feel like this is the best you've played in your career in the last few games here?
A: I haven't played nothing but two years, but I think so. I'm coming along well, trying to do anything to help the team win.
Q: What do you owe that to, practice?
A: Practice, starting early, treating everyone like a number one receiver.
JULIAN EDELMAN, WIDE RECEIVER
Q: Any doubt you were in on the touchdown?
A: Who knows these days? It's tough.
Q: What about winning after what happened in Foxboro?
A: Any time you get a road win against a division team it's a good win. The last game was the last game. Every game is a new game. It's a different scenario and a new situation. We handled it well.
Q: Julian what does it say about Tom [Brady]'s toughness to fire that pass to Chris [Hogan], one play after taking a pretty big hit?
A: I've seen it for years. The guy's a tough SOB. It's a pleasure to get to play with a guy like him.
Q: How does it feel to get into the end zone?
A: It feels good. Feels good to get in the end zone.
Q: You catch that and Amendola's block, is that where you're looking to play off of?
A: Unbelievable block. Dola made a great block after an insane third. To see your teammates go out there and put forth that kind of effort on a play, that's Dola. He's a great teammate, a great player and I'm happy to get to play with that little guy.
Q: How about the accomplishment of Rob Gronkowski, breaking the franchise record?
A: Rob, he's a phenomenal player, a phenomenal teammate. It's a pleasure to get to play with that guy. His attitude towards the game, he has so much fun. He's just a flat-out beast that goes and has fun. What a great way for him to go out and beat a record, the one that he was anticipating.
Q: How did you guys see Chris Hogan fitting into the team?
A: He's been very effective all year. He's another guy that's a great teammate, he works his tail off. He works very hard. He brings a physical game, he's got good speed. He's a guy that, it's fun to go out and play with him. We've got a locker room full of those types of guys, you enjoy going out and putting on the helmet.
TREY FLOWERS, DEFENSIVE END
Q: First two sacks of the season in one game, must feel pretty nice?
A: Yeah, yeah. I just have to keep working. It's a result of that. Keep working and keep praying. I just get on the field for God and trust the guys out there that made it possible.
Q: Does it feel a little extra special to get that first one of your career?
A: Oh yeah. It was a long time (coming), but it's just a product of keep working. I just hope it isn't the end of it. I want to get many more. So I can't harp on the first two too much.
Q: You've been close a lot of time, do you think this is something that could help with momentum?
A: It probably can. But, I'm just going to keep on working. Like you said, I've been close a lot of times. Tasting the blood, it's finally good to be able to eat.
Q: How do you guys feel winning four straight going into the bye week?
A: You know, it's a good feeling, a good vibe. A lot of guys, we understand where we're at as far as playoffs. We've got to keep on moving and finish out the half of the season.
CHRIS HOGAN, WIDE RECEIVER
Q: This game went really well. Can you talk about the deep pass that you took from Tom (Brady)?
A: It's just one of those plays. You know, when it's third down you don't have the chance to do a lot. The defense was good on the line and the ball was getting dunked to me, so once I got off the line the ball was already in the air. It seemed like the ball was up in the air for a long time, it was just one of those things that I go up and make a play.
Q: Emotionally, was it somewhat gratifying to come back here and play well against guys that you know so well?
A: Yeah, I mean especially after the first game that we lost. You know it wasn't really my best game and it wasn't our, as a team, best game, but to come back here. You know, we played, we wanted to play really well. It's always fun to go up against old teams.
Q: You guys know this very well from practice and playing all season but, how tough Tom is. Before the touchdown, he took a hard hit and came right back and threw that deep ball. Talk about his toughness.
A: Yeah, it's second to none. He's a competitor, he's gonna be out there no matter what, I don't think he wants to take those hits, but if he does, he's gonna come right back and make those plays for us.
Q: On the touchdown, (Stephon Gilmore) tried to chuck you a little bit, right, it wasn't a totally free release?
A: No, he did, but once I got past him I just had to go get the ball.
DEVIN McCOURTY, DEFENSIVE BACK
Q: You almost got your hands on one interception today, but the penalty pulled it back. The back end, how strong are you guys going against their receivers?
A: We played well, but it's always a work in progress. Obviously we don't want to get penalties, its definitely always tough playing against a guy like Tyrod Taylor too, where plays are going to extend. Their guys are going to have a chance to get open. Definitely played well, but there is always room for improvement.
Q: Does it keep your head on a swivel when you play a guy like that because you account for where he is?
A: You have to. Defensively you always have, especially in the secondary, kind of a clock of 'ball is coming,' but when you play against him you don't know. And you saw it today, there was times where we thought we had him, we came free, we got two hands on him, he somehow breaks a tackle, he somehow comes free, he is still looking downfield, that's always tough rushing him and playing him in the secondary.
Q: You guys played much better on third down today. What went into that performance?
A: We won matchups. That's what it comes down to, winning matchups, pass rush, winning matchups, making it tough for the quarterback to just sit back there and find guys. It's something that we work on every week and we're going to continue to work on it and try to improve.
Q: Your offense today, I'm sure there is nothing that surprises you about Tom (Brady), but the way they executed, the way they just kept coming today. Your thoughts about them?
A: That's what they do. It's our job to keep getting them the ball. It seems like every year here, but it is not always promised you're going to have an offense like that that can put up points, move the ball, so defensively we just try to get them the ball back, get them good field position. Early in the game that's what we did, we were able to get off the field on third downs which helps get them right back on the field and when we do it they usually execute and get points on the board.