HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
November 26, 2017
BB: Well, I thought our team did a lot of good things out there today, but at the same time we left a lot of plays out on the field. We had some lapses in our play that we need to eliminate, but it was good to see the production we had in the running game, finish drives in the red area, had a couple of big plays in the kicking game. I thought the fake punt kind of got us going a little bit. I know it was early, but it was a good play that offensively we converted. Defensively, hit the passer, turned the ball over. We gave up 10 points on defense, so usually that's pretty good in this league. We lost the ball on offense, could've tackled better, could've defended a couple of plays in the passing game better defensively. We'll turn the page here. We'll see these guys in a couple of weeks. Turn the page and get on to Buffalo. It sounds like they had a big win today. I know it'll be tough up there, but good to get this one. We'll just move on here and start getting ready for Buffalo.
Q: How much of the fake punt was a matter of Nate Ebner just recognizing that the option was there to potentially convert it? Also, in the fourth quarter what went into the decision to go for it on fourth down as opposed to kicking the field goal? Was the wind a factor or did you just feel like you could gain a yard at that point?
BB: Yeah, I'd say it was more of the latter. I feel like we could get a yard. Obviously, it was a poorly executed play, so not well done. Yeah, I won't get into the specifics on the fakes. It was a good play. It helped us. Joe Judge, like he always does, did a great job of getting our team's special teams prepared. It was a big play for us.
Q: Can you talk about why the pass rush was so successful today, in particular, Eric Lee with his sack at the end of the game there?
BB: Well, you know, I think the score had a lot to do with that. Anytime you can get ahead in the game, most of the second half, probably middle of the third quarter, the last third of the game was a lot of passing, a lot of pass rush with the lead, so it gives you an opportunity to rush the passer better. Guys did a good job. We had contributions from a lot of different players, got some pressure from our linebackers, from our secondary and from our defensive linemen. But yeah, I think being ahead in the game certainly helps the pass rush.
Q: Is it concerning that the team isn't executing as well at home as they do on the road?
BB: Yeah, no, we try to execute well every week.
Q: Is there something about playing on the road that sharpens the team's focus?
BB: I don't know.
Q: Elandon Roberts had a couple of nice plays today. Do you see the linebacker group and the defense as a whole starting to turn the corner or is there still more work to do?
BB: Yeah, well, we'll see. It'll be a big challenge this week against Buffalo, and Tyrod Taylor, and [LeSean] McCoy and those guys. We'll see. Yeah, this week was – we gave up 10 points today but, again, there are some things that we certainly could have done better and could have made it easy on ourselves. We'll keep working on those. But overall, those guys compete hard. Again, we got production from all three units, but these guys have very good skill players, as good as anybody in the league – receivers, tight ends, backs and quarterback, two good quarterbacks. It was challenging. This was a challenging group. I thought our coverage guys, especially, really met the challenge this week. We were able to get ahead and create some pass rush and turn the ball over. Those are all positives. Can we do it again? I mean, I don't know. It'll be a challenge every week.
Q: How big of a play was Stephon Gilmore's interception at the end of the first half, and how important was it for your team to keep its collective composure despite some of the after-the-whistle stuff that was going on?
BB: Yeah, really important. We saw quite a bit of that in these games last year. There were some personal fouls in that game at the end of the game in the first game here. What was it – Week 2? Same thing – we had some after-the-play type things that occurred in this game. Look, it's two competitive teams. All our guys are playing hard. You've got to be able to control your emotions, to play with poise and play with aggressiveness but do it legally and within the rules and before the whistle blows and all of those kinds of things. I thought a number of our players did a good job of trying to keep their poise, stay focused on football and not get caught up in some of the after-the-play stuff. Sometimes that's hard to do, but we've got to try and do the best that we can at it. I thought that they tried to do that.
Q: And how big was Stephon Gilmore's interception?
BB: Yeah, I didn't really get a good look at it. It was a huge play – no question – a big momentum play. Again, it was across the field. I didn't really get a good look at it, so I'm not sure exactly. I'm not sure exactly what happened on that one.
Q: How big was it to complete the drive that had the fake punt and convert that into a touchdown?
BB: Yeah, I thought it was big. They came in, got a three-and-out. We took the ball to start the game, got a three-and-out but instead of giving them the ball back, we were able to convert on fourth down and, as you said, hit the over route to [Phillip] Dorsett and ended up scoring on that drive. It's always good to play from in front and get ahead, so it was big. A good job offensively of taking advantage of that opportunity that we got off the fake punt. One of our problems with running the fake punt, usually, is that even though you get the first down, you've still got another let's call it 50, 60 yards to go. It's not like a fake field goal where you're already in scoring range and if you convert that, then it's usually a touchdown or you're very close to scoring. We've still got a long way to go, but offensively that was a big drive and a big conversion for us.
Q: How does the coaching staff adjust to injuries on the fly to make sure you have the right players on the field and don't have any miscommunication?
BB: Yeah, that's challenging. We obviously practice our backups to each position, but as you said, when multiple players are injured and particularly when it's on one play then it creates a little bit of a scramble. A bigger problem – I'm not saying that's not a big problem – but even a bigger problem is in the kicking game because you have six units on special teams. You have kickoff, kickoff return, punt and punt return, field goal, field goal block, so when you lose a player there, like when Nate [Ebner] went down, you lose a guy that's on five of those six teams and it's not always the same guy replacing him. So it could be this guy on this team, that guy on another team and so forth and then you add a couple of guys in, so that's challenging. For the coaches and the players, that's part of football, unfortunately. We have to practice those situations and everybody needs to know who's behind who. Sometimes it knocks you out of a certain grouping or a certain unit that you have out there, but you know that if you get knocked out of that then you back it up with something else, whatever your alternative group is. That's just something as a coach that you have to be ready to do in all three phases of the game. If you have a guy that's a key guy in one particular group, or unit or personnel groping, and then he's not available, then you have to maybe go to a different grouping. You have to make that adjustment. Sometimes you put another guy in for him and stay the same. Depending on which one of those it is, that's the challenge.
Q: How important was it to establish the running game given some of the shots that Tom Brady was taking?
BB: It's always good to run the ball. It's good to throw it. It's good to score points. Whatever we feel like we can do, whatever Josh [McDaniels] and the offensive coaches do a great job of game planning and trying to set up things that we think will get us an advantage. Sometimes those play out, sometimes the defense takes those away and we have to go to other options. However we can move the ball, score points and gain yards, then that's what we're going to try and do.
Q: Did you have any thoughts about taking Tom Brady out of the game late with the score out of hand?
BB: What – on the kneel downs? What difference does it make?
Q: What about before that?
BB: No. I mean it's easy for you to sit there and say the game is out of hand. I mean, if you watch games in the National Football League, a lot can change in a hurry. The only time I think the game is in hand is when they're not going to have enough possessions to get the number of points that they need. Sorry, we just see that one totally differently.
Q: What did you see at the end of the game between Duron Harmon and Stephon Gilmore battling for an interception together?
BB: Yeah, it was kind of a seam route and on the seam you try to split that zone between the corner and the safety. Both Stephon and Duron got a good break on the ball, and both got there at the same time and both went up and high pointed the ball like they're supposed to do, so it was really well played by both guys. Usually when that happens, defensively you knock it away from each other and it becomes an incomplete pass, but Duron made a great play to just hang on to it in that situation. I thought both guys really looked like they got a good break on the ball. It was thrown into that seam, maybe hung up a little bit, but they got there. It's good deep field zone play by both of those players.
Q: You went five for five in the red zone today. What can you attribute that success to? Is it just better execution and better play calling?
BB: Yeah, well it's always good playing and good execution by the players. That's what everything is about. That's why you win games, is because players go out there and play well.
Q: Greg Schiano is rumored to be the new head coach the University of Tennessee. What are your thoughts on Coach Schiano?
BB: Yeah, I think Greg's a tremendous coach. I've learned an awful lot from him and had an opportunity to spend a lot of time with him when he was at Rutgers and Stephen [Belichick] was at Rutgers and I'd go down there. The lacrosse and the football programs are in the same building. Then at Tampa and the couple of years after Tampa was really even better for, I would say, my relationship with him because he had those last two years in the NFL and I've learned an awful lot from him. He's given me a lot of – we talk about things that they did in their program, that he did in Tampa, that really had a lot of relevance to what we do. So did Rutgers, but it's a little bit different in the NFL. He's done a great job at Ohio State. He's one of the very best coaches I think in our profession. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Greg and the way he runs his program and the job that he does. I would say the most impressive thing for me is the way that our players, which we've had a lot of Rutgers players come through here, the loyalty and the I would say love of the program, the college program that they were in at Rutgers when he was there, how they maintained that for years and years after they had left. Not taking anything away from any other school, but I would just say that it's extremely strong. I think the relationship that he has with his kids, with his players and how well prepared his players are to come into this league is exceptional. I didn't know that, but it's good for him. He's a great coach. I'm sure he'll be a great head coach. Again, he's done an awful lot. He's helped me in a lot of different ways and I have a lot of respect for him.
QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
November 26, 2017
Q: It seems like there was some extracurricular activity, especially some shots to the head and the Dion Lewis facemask call. Do you think you could tell us what was said back and forth?
TB: I think [the referee]'s trying to get it right, but it was an aggressive game and they've got an aggressive defense. We made enough plays. It was good to win a division game at home. So 9-2 and just keep grinding. Isn't it fun?
Q: How much was getting off to a fast start stressed this week?
TB: Yeah, you know we talk about it every week. [We're] trying to execute well early in the game. You're right, we haven't done as well as we're capable of doing but today was good. We talked about getting ahead and playing from a lead and we did that. There was some kind of crazy plays there like the fumble that kind of let them back in the game but I'm glad we kind of showed some mental toughness and kept grinding and made some plays when we needed to. Defense made a bunch all day so that's what we're going to need.
Q: What can you say about the improvements the defense has made as the season has gone on?
TB: Yeah, they've done such a great job in everything they've done and I'm so impressed with the secondary, the rush, the linebacker play, those guys really come together. It's a good time of year to be able to do that. We've got five pretty important games coming up. They're all going to matter. We've got three tough ones on the road now and Buffalo is going to be obviously a tough game like always.
Q: You guys seem to play a lot more crisp on the road this year. Why do you think you guys think you aren't playing so crisp at home sometimes?
TB: I'm not sure, but we've got three coming up on the road so I hope that trend continues. But it was good. We've kind of got a few leads and played from ahead which is good to do at home. I wish we'd be playing perfect football but you know it's not the case all season long but it was a good win today – 35 points and defense, like I said, made a bunch of plays. We'll stay after it.
Q: Rob Gronkowski was a little disappointed that he didn't get some biscuits. How much was the performance today you trying to feed him with some touchdown passes?
TB: I know. I've got to do that for him because he wants it. Anything he wants I usually try to get for him so anything to keep him happy. He did such a great job today. [He] played really hard. He's played hard all season. [He has] just done a great job for our team and all of the guys chipping in there. We've got a lot of guys battling. We don't have so much depth at certain positions, like the receiver position, but those guys have hung in there so [I'm] really proud of all those skill guys.
Q: What did you see on the play where you threw the interception?
TB: It was just a bad decision. Third down and I tried to kind of stuff it in there to Danny [Amendola]. He got – he's running an in cut and they played a coverage that was pretty good for covering those plays and I just forced it. I try not to do that very often.
Q: Earlier in the season you guys had some struggles in the red zone but today you were five for five. What does that mean to the offense and how have you guys been able to turn that around?
TB: Yeah, that was good and obviously those are big swings, four point swings, whether it's a field goal or the touchdown. You're right, today was good, five of five. We've got to keep that going too. You're right; I think we've left some on the field even though the last couple weeks have been really good against Oakland and Denver. We've left some out there in the red area and this was good to kind of have a 100 percent day in the red area.
Q: Any season you don't win the Super Bowl is obviously a big disappointment but your team has also set a record today with 17 consecutive seasons with nine or more wins. Can you put what that means to you into words?
TB: Well I was kid growing up in San Mateo when the Niners were doing that too. I mean they didn't do it for as long as we've done it but I mean it's pretty cool. Obviously we're trying to – the expectations are really high because of what teams in the past have done and I think the guys that come and sit in these chairs right here and look up at Coach [Bill] Belichick and understand kind of what we're playing for and the history of the team and the expectations. They understand that. Winning seasons are great and obviously we're trying to win every time we take the field. We started 2-2 and to be 9-2 with seven straight wins is pretty good but we know our biggest games are ahead of us because all of the good teams now are going to start playing really well and we've got to be one of those teams.
Q: You took a bit of a pounding back there today. Were you mindful of their front and also any kind of extracurricular stuff by them given their reputation?
TB: Yeah, I definitely took some shots. They're a tough d-line. They've obviously made a lot of investments in that group and those guys play really hard. You're right, they got some good shots on me today but I'll be back at it and be ready to go Wednesday.
Q: Today was the biggest rushing performance of the season. Going forward how much of that rushing game can alleviate some of the pressure on you in the passing game?
TB: It's so important because I mean really we've had a lot of nice weather this year. I wouldn't say today was like great passing weather just with the wind conditions and it was colder than it's been and pretty windy, but when you can hand the ball off and make big chunks of yards it alleviates a lot. You're right, and we made a bunch of those plays today. We've got some really good backs who are running hard, finding holes and creases and turning smaller gains into big gains. If you can do that and obviously pass the ball well we're going to be a pretty good offense. With five games to play it's a good place to be and we just have to keep showing up and put the work in and we have a big one this week in Buffalo.
Q: Coach Belichick often says the season doesn't really start until after Thanksgiving. Does the approach during the week change at this time of year as you're in the stretch run?
TB: No, it doesn't. I think we just keep working hard and keep putting every day – every minute, every hour is important. I think we stress meetings and walk-throughs and then ultimately go out on the practice field and try to execute at a high level. No, it's a lot of effort and there's no backing off. This is the time of year where a lot of teams let distractions get the best of them. It's Thanksgiving week, we flew back, got in at 6 a.m. last Monday morning so coach felt it was important for us to get a little bit of rest and try to have our energy for today. It's going to be a little different. It's good to kind of get some rest and have to be ready to go to be a good team.
TIGHT END ROB GRONKOWSKI
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
November 26, 2017
Q: With this win, the Patriots have secured their 17th consecutive winning season, which is an NFL record. Can you speak to the sustained success of this franchise?
RG: I mean, obviously, I wasn't here for all 17 of those years, but it's just the atmosphere of being around this facility. I mean, coming in, working hard, training hard, practicing hard, going to meetings, learning – it's just all about dedication. When you come in, you inherit that type of work. You see the people around you doing it. It was already installed when I got here, and I just came in and just looked at the older guys, saw what they were doing, saw what Tom [Brady], Coach [Bill] Belichick, the other guys like [Matthew] Slater that were here at the time when I got here, and you just see their work ethic, everyone's work ethic around here. It just makes you pick it up. That's why I feel like it's just awesome. I mean, it gets the best out of you to play your best football every single week.
Q: How did your touchdown celebration with Brandin Cooks come about?
RG: Yeah, that was not planned or anything. We got yelled at. We're not allowed to talk about celebrations. That's what we got told. But, I kind of want to talk about it, but I kind of don't because I'll get in trouble, so I don't know what to do. So, it just happened on the spot. It wasn't planned. We'll just keep it there.
Q: Were you surprised to see how open you were on several of your receptions?
RG: Yeah, that's just a part of the scheme. It's a part of the play calling. It's a part the run game helping out to help with the play action. When you get open like that, it's kind of set up previously. We were running the ball super good today. I mean, I think we had 200 yards rushing, which is just an unbelievable job just as an offense as a whole. But, you've just got to make those plays when you're open, too. It was good. I like games like that.
Q: You joked on Friday that you were upset Brady did not give you any of his Thanksgiving biscuits. Did those two touchdowns make up for it?
RG: I guess those were the biscuits. I guess he wasn't making any more, so he made up for it. But I still want those biscuits.
Q: As the defense has improved this season, what are some of the biggest adjustments you have noticed them make?
RG: I mean, our defense is playing unbelievable. They played great today. I mean, every time I looked up, I think there was another sack for a like 10-yard loss. How many sacks did we have today? Seven? I was thinking we had six, so that just shows how unbelievable they're playing. I mean, they've been working hard all year. I mean, we've always trusted in them and just the way that they're playing lights out, they're playing as a group and it's great going versus them every single week during practice. That just makes everyone better together.
Q: What was it like to get off to a fast start and take a 14-0 lead in the first quarter?
RG: It's huge. Getting off to a fast start is crucial. I believe the last three games, we got off to a really, really fast start. I think that's helping out, not just offense but the defense, too, and it's getting us to play together. It's crucial to come out for a fast start and just got to keep working hard to keep continuing it.
Q: What did you see on your second touchdown? What did you think of Danny Amendola clearing a spot for you?
RG: Yes, that was a play we've been working on all week. It was made for a zone-type coverage. It was Amendola that cleared out or [Brandin] Cooks? I wasn't really sure.
Q: It was Cooks.
RG: Yeah, it was Cooks. So, when the play was called, I put my hand down and saw it was zone, and it's either if the safety comes and takes me, Cooks gets the ball, or if the safety takes Cooks, I get the ball. So it just worked out good, and it made Cooks, obviously, clear out. He did an unbelievable job running his route going full speed with that post clearing everyone out, and I just came through with a little patience and Tom just made a nice throw and just played the play.
Q: What did you think about Amendola clearing a spot in the grass for your spike?
RG: Yeah, that was great. Yeah, that was just spontaneous, too. So that was cool, too.
Q: Even though the offense put up 35 points, do you still feel like you left some plays out there?
RG: I mean, if you as an offense can capitalize on every single play in the NFL, that's huge because these defenses, they've got good players on every side of the ball on every team. But, those plays, you look back, you see what you did well in the game. But, also you see where you could capitalize more, too, so you can become better and you got out to the practice field, try and correct that all and then hopefully get those corrections right and go out the next game and complete the plays.
DEFENSIVE BACK DEVIN MCCOURTY
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
November 26, 2017
Q: Can you talk about the defense with seven sacks today?
DM: Yeah, it was a good mesh today between coverage and rush. There were times I think they might've had guys open and we got there in a hurry in the front and then other times where we covered well, gave those guys an extra second or two to get back there and they were able to make plays getting them down. So that's big for us. E-Rob [Elandon Roberts] making some big plays and we're getting sacks. That's always good for the defense to start getting to the quarterback. It just helps us overall.
Q: After two great performances on the road it seemed like a sloppy performance at home today. Why do you guys maybe have sloppier performances at home than on the road?
DM: I don't know. If we had those answers we'd play great every week. It's just a balance of putting in the work during the week and then trying to come out here and play well whether it's home or away. We knew coming in these division games are never easy. Next week is going to be another hard test then we'll go to Miami and play these guys again. I think that's the National Football League. It's trying to find consistency. It's trying to play well every time you step on the field and I think overall I think the most important thing is to get a win and try to learn from it.
Q: Stephon Gilmore's interception before halftime was arguably the biggest play of the game. What did you see on the play and how big of a play was it looking back at it in your mind?
DM: It was a good job just understanding the situation. They had really one play left and usually teams [have] one play and you throw it up and you try to throw it into the end zone and if you don't get it you kick a field goal. But when you come down with an interception now you take all the points off the board. Steph [Gilmore] did a good job in man-to-man coverage, the ball kind of hung in the air and he got his eyes back and made a good play. That's been a key for us the last couple weeks defensively trying to play well situationally – third down, red area and then trying to come up with big plays, some type of turnovers and stops and that's helped us out a lot.
Q: This is the seventh straight game that your defense has allowed fewer than 20 points in a game. What does that say about the defense?
DM: I think the key thing we talk about each week is trying to keep points off the board. Coach Flo [Brian Flores] says it every week – every time we get a red area stop we're closer to winning. Every time we get off the field on third down we're closer to winning so we're just trying to put all that together. Obviously every play is not going to be perfect. If they get in the red area it's all about flipping the page and figuring out how to get a stop or making them kick three or get a turnover. I think we understand what we're trying to do defensively and we're trying to just keep that going each week.
Q: You had multiple players go down to injury today. Can you talk about Nate Ebner on that fake punt and what he means to this football team?
DM: I mean he just did a great job on that play realizing whatever we had called during the week and taking advantage of it. But that's the nature of football and guys doing down but guys will come back in here tomorrow and do everything they can to get back out there on the field. All tough guys who understand football, as [Jerod] Mayo used to say it's a 100 percent injury rate. We'll all work hard and try to stay out there.
Q: What about the confidence in your defense going for it on 4th-and-9 with a fake kick? If you don't get it they've got a short field.
DM: Yeah, I think for us as a team that's been big. You talk about complementary football comes from confidence and faith in every group – offense, defense and special teams – and I think we have that right now. If we slip up on defense, offense goes out there and has our back. If special teams makes a big play, defensively we've got to capitalize and offensively capitalize. I think when we're playing our best we're complementing each other in the right way and picking each other up so no matter what we've got to continue to do that because those also lead to victories.
Q: What did you think of the job that Jonathan Jones did today? It looked like he had Jarvis Landry for a good chunk of the afternoon.
DM: Yeah, he's done a good job all year really on whoever he's been matched up. He's worked a lot in the slot but he's been outside too. He's another one of our guys out there [with] just great versatility. [He's] able to obviously play a lot of roles on special teams but defensively kind of being able to be a good communicator when he's in the middle but also being able to be wherever we need him and that's been really good for us this year. Throughout the year with Steph [Gilmore] and Bad [Johnson Bademosi] being in there or E-Rowe [Eric Rowe] being – J-Jones [Jonathan Jones] has been able to really fill every role that we've needed him and he's made big plays and he continued that today.
Q: How difficult is it to tackle Dion Lewis in practice? How slippery is he?
DM: He's tough, man. You try to get as many guys around him but he runs with so much confidence and he runs with anger at times. I think a lot of people think because he's a little guy you can get a hand or two on him and you'll be able to bring him down but, for me, since college I've played him. He's always been tough to bring down, not just juking guys but getting angles on guys and trying to make them make tackles with one arm. He's going to run through those arm tackles and he was big for us today, really all year in the running game and the passing game, him being able to step up and make plays have been big for us.
Q: How much has the level of confidence in the defense changed from the first few games of the season to now considering the number of injuries you guys have gone through?
DM: I think guys have just understood that what we do the week before doesn't really matter. It's not really about confidence from week to week from the game. It's about building that confidence up throughout the week in our preparation, on the practice field, film study, going over things as a group. I think that's where we've been gaining our confidence knowing that we're doing everything during the week that when we take the field Sunday everybody is focused, everybody is locked in on what we need to do on every defensive call and things that come up that teams do that we're not used to. We go over that and I think that's what really gives guys confidence and I think each week we try to empty that coming into Wednesday and build it back up so it's ready to go Sunday. It's always tough to do week in and week out but I think we understand that's what we need to do and by doing that we give ourselves a chance to come out and play well on Sunday.
Q: As a lead of the defense I'm curious of your impressions of your new teammate Eric Lee? What have you noticed from him over the last couple days and how you think he might be able to help the defense?
DM: It's always cool to see guys come in late in the season and see the work they put in and the coaching staff to get a guy who just comes in ready to go by Sunday. Obviously he did a great job of showing up and getting in there, but I think that's a credit to him and B.D. [Defensive Line Coach Brendan Daly] of going over things and being ready to go when his number was called today. So [I'm] excited to see him. He's been working his butt off since he got here and I'm sure the more he learns, he'll be out there and be able to make some plays.
PATRIOTS LOCKER ROOM
Rex Burkhead, Running Back
(On Dion Lewis' performance)
"He did a tremendous job today. He was making guys miss, finishing runs and really just giving this offense a spark of energy. It's fun to watch and all of the running backs really enjoy it."
(On the offensive line)
"They've done a tremendous job all year. Those guys don't get the credit they deserve. They've really done a great job and really opened up things for us offensively in the pass game. Just being able to establish the run opens up a lot of other things. Just the grind that they go through every day down there in the trenches and the hard work they put in. It shows on Sundays."
(On his contributions to the team this season)
"I'm just trying to find whatever role I can to help the team out and help to win. That's the ultimate goal. It's about not being selfish, about carries or whatever role you want individually. It's about what helps the team out and what helps us moving forward."
Brandin Cooks, Wide Receiver
(On the offense's performance)
"We know we got to play smarter football as an offense. Less penalties – we're [shooting] ourselves in the foot and that's including two from me and you just lose yardage like that. Great win, don't get me wrong, but at the same time that wasn't our best game."
(On whether team plays sharper on the road than at home)
"I don't even think we think about that."
(On whether there any concerns about the team's execution at home)
"No, we just have to get back to work and pay attention to the little details."
(On if the play he scored on today is becoming his favorite play)
"It's just another play. It is what it is."
(On playing the Dolphins again in two weeks)
"It's part of the game. We focus on Buffalo this upcoming week and once we get there we will put our focus back on them, but right now we will enjoy this one and get on to the next one."
Trey Flowers, Defensive Lineman
(On the defense)
"A lot of [players] understand their role and are figuring out the defense and the schemes. A lot of guys are playing comfortable, making plays and they keep getting better. We work hard and it's important to continue to get better."
(On if he feels this game was a breakout game for the defense)
"We tried to get the win most of all. Obviously we want to go out there and make some plays to help our team win. There's nothing to anticipate; you want to anticipate that every week and dial up something where you have a game plan and you look to execute it. I think that's what [happened] today. At the end of the week, we stayed on top of it, worked hard at it and went out and executed."
(On the internal competition with teammates to get to the quarterback)
"When there's a game like this, obviously you're competing against each other to try and get to the quarterback. You can have a little fun with it as long as the team is doing good and as long as you understand it's not just the defensive front. You got to have the guys to cover. If you get a great rush and the guy is wide open, you don't get that sack. You just got to understand that and it's all about the team."
Stephon Gilmore, Cornerback
(On how he and Duron Harmon decided who came down with the interception at the end of the game)
"I had it, he had it, but I told him I'm a team player so I gave it to him."
(On his interception at the end of the first half)
"They ran that route on us earlier in the first quarter and I knew they were going to come back to it. I know every time [DeVante] Parker is in the slot he runs the seam empty so I just beat him to the spot."
(On what's changed for him and the defense over the past month)
"Just playing more with these guys and trusting each other and getting better and better every game. That's what it takes sometimes. It isn't always going to be great, but if you keep working at it you will come out on top."
(On how the defense was able to slow down Miami's offense)
"[We] just played aggressive. If we messed up, we corrected it on the field. We know we had to stop the run. We know they had a lot of good skill players. We played aggressive and made plays."
(On the team improving to 9-2 on the season)
"Oh man, we got to keep it going. Feels good; great win. We made more plays than they did. Got to get ready for Buffalo next week."
Duron Harmon, Defensive Back
(On the defense's performance)
"It was a good effort. We came ready to play today. Everything wasn't perfect and I'm pretty sure it won't be perfect tomorrow when we watch the film, but it felt good to go out there, turn the ball over and get some sacks because that's something we've been wanting to do all year."
(On what's changed with the defense over the past month)
"Consistency. I keep saying it each and every week, but it's literally consistency and we were consistent at all levels on the field – tackling, communication; just a lot more consistent."
(On Stephon Gilmore's ability to improve his play over the past month)
"He's a fighter. When he had his little problems at the beginning of the year he didn't make excuses. He just came to work each and every day and he worked hard at it. It just shows the type of person he is, the type of player he is, the type of competitor he is and I'm glad he's in my corner."
Ted Karras, Offensive Lineman
(On running the ball against the Dolphins)
"[We did] pretty good. They have a really good front. I thought we did alright. We scored 35 and rushed a lot."
(On the bad snap to Tom Brady)
"That's 100 percent my fault. I had to put it away and we went down and scored on the next drive. I just snapped it early. It was 100 percent on me. It was kind of a nightmare but we overcame it."
Eric Lee, Linebacker
(On joining the team and getting a win)
"It was great. It was pretty hectic the past week for me, but I was able to gel with the defense and execute when it counts. I didn't have much time to reflect this week. There were a lot of meetings, a lot of extra meetings. It's been pretty hectic. But yesterday was my first time to take a deep breath. We didn't have practice so it was more of a mental day to help focus on today."
(On getting a sack)
"It was riveting. What goes through your body when you get a sack is overwhelming. You just want to express yourself. I'll try to build on top of this obviously, but it was great."
(On if he was surprised by the amount of snaps he got)
"Sort of, but obviously I expected anything coming in. Coach [Brendan] Daly told me, 'you can be next to me or you can be out there,' so I had to be prepared."
Dion Lewis, Running Back
(On the offensive line)
"The O-line did a great job. They did a great job blocking the whole game. The running game was definitely open all day so I just had to take advantage of space when I get it."
(On the chipiness)
"It's football, you know. Football is an emotional game, it's a physical game. You put your all to this, so of course you're going to get a little chipiness, but it's part of the game."
(On if he provided a spark for the team)
"My job is to protect the ball and make plays. That's my job in the offense and that's what I try to do every game. Just protect the ball and make plays when I get the opportunity."
Elandon Roberts, Linebacker
(On the benefit of taking an early lead)
"You jump up early, but at the same time you play sound defense. The NFL is about situations and you can't relax on anything, you got to keep going. For us on the offense and defense, being able to complement each other, that all starts at practice."
(On the performance of the linebacker group)
"When guys up front are doing their jobs, we're doing our jobs, the secondary is doing their jobs, it gives somebody a chance to fuel up. We had some guys fuel up today and do a good job for the defense."
(On his sack where he didn't get touched)
"If it happened like that, then I'll take it. It's a big play for the team and I really wasn't making it a self thing. It was more like we wanted to make a play for the team. At the time, I was just out there trying to make a play for the team."
Joe Thuney, Offensive Lineman
(On the importance of running the football and being balanced)
"We always want to be balanced. They have a really good front and really effective pass rushers so maintaining that balance throughout the game was helpful for us."
(On Dion Lewis' first career 100-yard rushing game)
"Cool, great. I didn't know that – that's awesome. Credit to him, he's a really hard runner. He's a really good runner and it's fun blocking for him."