PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
November 4, 2018
BB: I'll start with just – I just want to give my appreciation and respect to all of the TAPS families that were here and the Salute to Service from the organization for this game. I was proud to wear [Andrew] Bibbo's button here for the game, from Clinton, from Milford. I actually spent a lot of time in Milford. I had several friends there from college and I spent a lot of time in that town. It's a great town. Of course, he was in the Navy so I'm proud of that. I'm really just proud for all of us – all of our players, coaches – that we recognized that and what they've done, the sacrifices they've made and their families have made for our behalf. It was great to have the Red Sox here. What an awesome group that is. To see Alex [Cora] and the great players is certainly inspirational for me. To talk with them before the game and to have them out there for the start of the game. Again, what a tremendous year they've had and set the bar so high for all of the rest of us, but that's a good thing. That's where we want it. It was good to have them. I'm just really proud of the team today. I thought we competed hard. Green Bay's a good football team. We talked all week about how difficult they are to prepare for, to play against, and they were. They certainly gave us a number of problems in a number of areas, but we battled through it. We were able to make enough plays and kind of got a couple of plays there in the third quarter. They had us on the run a little bit. Lawrence Guy's fumble was a big play for us. The recovery was a big scrum there but we were able to come out with the ball and then make a couple of plays offensively; the throw-back and then had the stop. Josh [Gordon] – that was a big play, also. Getting the ball in the end zone down there. Those two touchdowns in the fourth quarter were pretty big. Defensively, I thought we played good complementary football. We had good field positon in the kicking game. Ryan [Allen] and Steve [Gostkowski] had good nights for us. It was a good team win. I'm proud of the way the guys came back after a tough game in Buffalo Monday night and really competed all week to prepare and be ready to go tonight. I thought we competed hard against a really good football team. Aaron [Rodgers] made a couple of throws there to [Marquez] Valdes-Scantling, I mean, that were just unbelievable plays. We were all over them. One on the sideline and one on the over route that I don't know how the coverage could've been much better than what it was. Just being the great player that he is, he made great throws there. He made a great throw on the post when we were in blitz coverage, so those are the kinds of plays you've got to live with when you play the Packers, Coach [Mike] McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers and the receivers that they have. Like I said, we just kept competing. Same thing offensively – we had a couple of setbacks there, a couple of three-and-outs and got blitzed on third down. We missed a few plays that we didn’t score there in the third quarter, but just kept battling, kept fighting. Like I said, I'm really proud of the way the guys hung in there and just competed tonight and that's really what it took. It’s good to be 7-2.
*Q: Can you talk about the defensive pressure that your defense supplied up front on Aaron Rodgers in the fourth quarter? *
BB: Yeah, I thought our front, Coach [Brendan] Daly and the defensive linemen, and the linebackers are a part of that too, I thought we did a good job of rushing him. He's just so hard to get. He has such presence in the pocket. We pressured him. I thought he had to make some throws with kind of the line closing in on him and wasn't able to really get to make the kind of throw that I think maybe he wanted to make. But God, he's a hard guy to get. You look at the pictures – everybody's where they're supposed to be. We feel like we had a good rush plan against him and he escaped a couple of times and extended plays and then got out and threw the touchdown there on a scramble. It looked like we had him on that. It looked like we had him on a lot of plays, to be honest with you. He's just so good. Then, of course, the accuracy throwing the ball in addition to him getting out and getting away from the rush. I thought our guys did as good a job as they could do. Really, he's just tough. He’s just tough to get.
Q: How much trust have you gained from Cordarrelle Patterson in his role out of the backfield?
BB: Yeah, absolutely. CP [Cordarrelle Patterson] – he's worked really hard with the ball-handling, the reads, but boy, he runs hard. He runs fast and he's a hard guy to tackle, so he's done a great job for us. He gave us some important caries and some big yards. Honestly, I thought the opening kickoff was a big play for us. It kind of gave us some momentum there, gave us good field position and kind of set the tone for the game the way he ran on that play. He's done a great job for us in a number of areas, doing different roles week to week, and the last couple of weeks carrying the ball and getting some tough yards for us. The touchdown run was a good run. Like a lot of our guys have, they just step in, fill the role that we need for them and help the team win and that's really what it's all about. But yeah, he was tremendous.
Q: What do you think has allowed the pass rush to really come together and be able to get after Aaron Rodgers tonight?
BB: Yeah, hard work, preparation and good technique. Playing with good technique in the games, being able to transfer it from the practice field and the meeting rooms into game situations. Those guys did a good job and they gave us some good feedback on the field of things they saw. We made a couple of adjustments to our rush plan in the second half based on the way they were setting and sliding. Our safeties gave us a couple of good disguises in there too, which helped as well. We're better because we've worked harder and we've improved and we've gotten better. There’s no shortcut to it. You just can’t draw a couple of carrots on a page and that all of a sudden takes care of it. You've got to go out there and work on the field and compete and get better. Those guys have done a great job of that. You have to work together to rush Aaron. He’s just got such a good feel in the pocket. He just finds space very well and he's fast to get out if you don’t have him contained. They really worked together to try and coordinate that. I thought even the times that he got out, we had him pretty good – it's just not quite good enough against him. But we had the right idea, so we just kept trying to get at him. We had a couple of hits and sacks there at the end. The big third-down sack there at the end with about five minutes to go in the game got the ball back for us. That was a big play.
Q: With the pass from Julian Edelman to James White, do you sort of have to weigh the pros and cons of calling a play like that? Do you weight those decisions rather quickly in the heat of the moment during the game?
BB: No. I think when you put the play in and you work on it, you're prepared to call it in certain games at a certain point. If it comes up, it comes up. I thought Josh McDaniels, as usual, called a great game and that was a great call. The timing was perfect. Most importantly, it was well executed. No play is a good play if it's not executed well and that was executed very well by Tom [Brady[, by James, by Julian, by the offensive line. We got good movement downfield, had a couple of nice blocks that sprung him. What'd he gain – 35, 40 yards? Something like that, down to the 2 or 3-yard line. It was well executed and it was a great play call by Josh, too.
Q: With Cordarrelle Patterson playing running back, is that a skill you saw with him before he arrived here in New England, or is that something that he showed in practice here that gave you the confidence to use him there?
BB: Right. Well, he played in the backfield in Oakland. You could definitely see him running there. They had a package for him, so I saw that when we watched him before we traded for him in Oakland. He's a versatile guy that can play receiver. He can certainly carry the ball, return kicks and also play in other areas in the kicking game, as well. He's big, he's fast, he's tough and he competes well. With the ball in his hands, he's pretty good. But yeah, we saw it. We saw enough of that, I would say, in Oakland to feel confident enough to – I mean, look, we thought we had good depth at running back and we did at one point in the year. Depth in August and depth in November are two different things. We have what we have now and hopefully that'll improve, but we'll see.
Q: When you brought him here, did you think you could use him as an emergency running back?
BB: Again, we didn't really need him at that point. Possibly yeah, but we had a lot of guys ahead of him and they were doing well. We had good depth at our running back position. We ended up having to make, I would say, tough decisions at the final cut on that, that there were a lot of guys there that are good players and for one reason or another they're not here or they're not active or they're not on the team right now or they're not available – whatever you want to call it. Each guy is in a little different category. Look, that's the way it is in the National Football League. What looks like good depth can get washed away in a hurry. Sometimes you have guys step in where you think you might not have depth and they step in and play to a level that maybe you didn’t quite anticipate, then things look a lot better in a hurry whether it's at that position or somewhere else. That's the National Football League.
Q: Tom Brady passed Peyton Manning for the most offensive yards all-time, regular season and postseason combined. What level of appreciation do you have for an accomplishment like that?
BB: Yeah, it's unbelievable. Tom’s had a tremendous career and I'm so fortunate that I've been able to coach him. He's been our quarterback since 2001. Yeah, it’s a tremendous accomplishment and he's earned it. Nobody has given him anything. He's worked harder than anybody to prepare each week, to practice, to improve, to be healthy, to take care of himself and to know the game plan and know the defense. His achievements – he's earned them and deserves them. Did he pass the rushing record this week? No, didn't get that? OK, but yeah, that's alright. That's not that important of a record. We could've used the yards. We could've used the extra yards tonight. But yeah, that's a great achievement for him. You're talking about a lot of great, great, great quarterbacks, great players that he's ahead of. It’s certainly a testament to him and the longevity and productivity in his great career. Hopefully, he just keeps stacking them up.
PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
November 4, 2018
Q: You guys scored 31 points tonight. I know you’d be the first to say that you might have left some points out there. But, with no Rob Gronkowski, what does that say to the other guys doing their roles tonight?
TB: Well, I thought we played great defensively. They made some big stops for us. Offensively, we had some plays that we all would have liked to have done a lot better job on. But, we made some plays in the fourth quarter when we needed to, and anytime you beat a good football team, it feels good. So, 7-2, it’s a long ways from 1-2 where we were. We strung together a lot of wins playing good football and we’ve got to keep it going. We’ve got another big one this week.
Q: You were the lead blocker on the trick play...
Q: Did you hit anybody?
Q: How special was that play?
TB: That was a great play. I mean, I had no idea. You get out in space, I have no idea what the hell’s going on. I don’t know what’s illegal to hit or dive or cut. I thought, ‘No way the ball is getting to me.’ And next thing you know, James is running by me and I said, ‘Sh**,’ just as he’s running by me because I probably could have made a play to get him a touchdown, but you live and you learn.
Q: On the 55-yard touchdown pass to Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman put his hands up...
TB: Yeah, usually it goes to him and the corner just flew up on the fake. I just saw Josh, so I threw it and Julian thought I missed him, and Josh made a great catch and run. It was a big play in the game. We needed it, a big play like that, and they got aggressive. You know, we had some big plays tonight. We didn’t have like the 4-yard, 7-yard first down. It was a lot of big plays, which they took some chances, we took some chances and we came out ahead.
Q: The trick play after the fumble recovery led to a scoring drive when your offense was a little stagnant. How big was that turnover for you guys seizing the moment and the game?
TB: Yeah, pretty good. You know, we did a good job taking care of the ball tonight and the defense was really after it. I mean, they had some chances and they got the ball on the one fumble and made a big play. It came down to a turnover and we ended up taking advantage. Anytime we can win the turnover advantage, especially at home, I’m sure the record’s pretty good in our favor if we can do that. And we got it tonight, so it was great.
Q: What have you seen from Cordarrelle Patterson in practice that gave you the confidence that you could hand off to him and he could be an effective running back like he was tonight?
TB: He’s done an incredible job and so much of our team is guys being in roles that maybe they didn’t sign up for that particular role, but they’re asked to do it because injuries and attrition. You know, we’ve been at this for nine games plus four preseason games – 13 – plus two weeks of camp – 15 weeks. A lot of guys go down and you’re short at certain spots. Obviously, we have a lot of trust in him that when he’s got the ball in his hands, good things are going to happen. So, it ended it up being a great game for him. He played his butt off.
Q: What are your thoughts on passing Peyton Manning for all-time total career yards?
TB: For career yards passing?
Q: For total yards – passing, rushing, etc.?
TB: Rushing – I went backwards tonight a few times, so it’ll mean more videos, I guess, from my Instagram guys. But, yeah, I mean, these are all team awards. I certainly can’t throw it to myself. I’ve got so many great teammates, guys blocking and coaches coaching. This is a great team sport. I just see those as all great team awards. I’m happy someone from the Patriots has it, and the fact that I get to play quarterback is pretty great for me.
Q: What was it like to see the Red Sox out there tonight? Is the championship mindset contagious? What is it like being around all of this?
TB: Yeah, I think we get great support and we have from our entire community and all the states here in New England. What the Red Sox did this year was incredible. I think all the teams in this, Boston certainly, we’re here to win. I think the organizations are committed to winning, so it’s great to see. I mean, it’s fun to be a part of ours. I mean, I love playing here and I love supporting those other teams, too. So, I got a selfie with Alex Cora. That was nice, but he probably didn’t send it to me.
Q: You went up-tempo a lot with the no huddle. Is that because of something Green Bay was doing defensively, or did you guys want to do that because you thought you were effective with it in practice?
TB: Yeah, we’ve used it kind of sporadically and it’s a good weapon for us. You know, it doesn’t help to run bad plays fast. You’ve got to run good plays with good execution. So, whether we go fast or huddle, it really comes down to execution. So, the fact that we were executing well kept us in it probably longer, and that’s what we’ve got to keep doing.
Q: We spent all week talking about the matchup between the quarterbacks, and in the end, it seems as if your defense put together a performance against someone you have a lot of respect for and kind of stole the night in a way.
TB: Good. The defense played spectacular, and 17 points against that offense is great. You know, that’s a tough offense to defend. I mean, he could fit the ball into a lot of tight spots. They got off the field on third down, they were great rushing – I mean, it just looked like they had to work for every yard, and I know when they’re working for every yard, it’s a good night for our defense. So, it was a great team win.
PATRIOTS WIDE RECEIVER JOSH GORDON
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
November 4, 2018
Q: On the 55-yard catch-and-run touchdown, what did it feel like to make that play and how did that unfold?
JG: I think we caught them off-balance, switching defenses and transition. They dropped back into a zone, somebody just forgot to cover me, was able to idle and Tom saw it, we all saw it and then just had to make a break on the ball and then try to finish the play after that.
Q: Can you explain what you were dealing with tonight with your finger?
JG: I guess just like a freak accident – nothing too crazy. But, after one of the slant routes, I think some pressure fell on it and it dislocated, so I popped it back into place a couple times throughout the rest of the game, but it’s fine though.
Q: Tom Brady has always appreciated receivers that go up and battle for the ball. You had a couple of those instances tonight. How much do you enjoy going up and battling for those balls?
JG: I love it. We talk about it every week in practice. He enjoys doing it, I enjoy doing it. I let him know, ‘If you can get anywhere in the vicinity, I’m going to try to make a play on it and make a good effort to try to go and get it.’ We missed one of them – I was out of bounds – but it’s great that he has a certain amount of trust in me to put it in my direction. And, I just want to come down and make a play on it, so it was awesome to have it done.
Q: After a scoreless third quarter, how much urgency was there in the huddle in the fourth quarter to get some points on the board?
JG: I think throughout the entire course of the game, but as it built through the second half, we knew we had to score. We had enough three-and-outs going on already. It was bound to break at some point. We’re a resilient squad, we had the stamina to do it, and with the help of the offensive line opening up the running game for us, C.P. [Cordarrelle Patterson] having a breakout game at running back, you know, I think allowed a lot of room for the rest of us to kind of do our thing. So, it was just a ‘keep chipping away at it’ kind of thing, and it broke for us a little bit.
PATRIOTS RUNNING BACK JAMES WHITE
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
November 4, 2018
Q: How much of a mental swing was it when the defense was able to force that fumble and cause a turnover?
JW: Our defense has been playing great all year, they’re working hard trying to give us turnovers. When they get turnovers, we’ve got to turn them into touchdowns and that was a big play by Lawrence Guy stripping the ball from that guy and it gave us a lot of momentum.
Q: Can you take us through the play where Julian Edelman threw you the ball and you took it for 37 yards? Can you take us through how that developed and if you like catching passes better from Julian than Tom Brady?
JW: It was just a great play call at the perfect time. Tom threw it to Julian, Julian threw it to me. Just a perfect play. The offensive line did a great job of selling it and getting down the field and blocking. I’ve just got to try and score next time.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about Cordarrelle Patterson playing running back, your impressions of how he handled that tonight and what the challenge is for a guy like him to have so many different roles in this offense?
JW: He’s a strong, fast, explosive guy. He can score any time he touches the football and he’s been trying to get better and better at it each week. The more he does it, the better he gets. He’s just doing whatever he can to help this team win. He’s running hard, he had some big plays for us, right before halftime and everything and we got a touchdown. So he’s been giving us a big help.
Q: Does he spend more time in the running back room during the week in preparation for a night like this?
JW: I can’t say all that but he’s working hard at it and they’re coaching him up, he’s taking the coaching. The more he’s out there, the better he gets with it.
Q: You guys got stopped on that goal line stand by the Packers but then the next time you guys got down there, you got three straight rushes before you punched it in. What did it mean for you to get three straight shots at the end zone and eventually score?
JW: Well first, it’s bad I didn’t get it in the first two times so I’ve just got to find a way to get in there regardless. People are blocking or on blocks, got to find a way to get in there at the 1-yard line. But it was just good to get a touchdown and finish off the drive, for sure.
Q: Coming into this game you knew you were going to get a lot of carries and chances at the goal line. Can you talk about preparation this last week?
JW: It’s not anything different for me. I prepare for any situation, know my role, whether it’s run the ball in goal line, blocking, catching, I know what to do in any position so whatever they put me in, I’m ready to go. I just work hard at whatever they ask me to do and just go out there and try to do it.
Q: But you were expecting to carry the ball a few more times.
JW: That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to carry the ball more times. Just whatever happens, depends how the defense is playing us or what not and you kind of go from there.
Q: You’ve set a new career-high with 61 receptions on nine games into the season. How have you adapted to catching the ball more instead of running?
JW: For me, I just go out there and put my best foot forward each time I step out on the field. Like I said, it doesn’t matter if I have 61 receptions or 10 receptions, I just want to go out there and play hard, help my team get wins. It’s not really about the stats for me, I’m just trying to help my team.
Q: How key is James Develin to clearing the way for you running backs?
JW: He’s very key. Like I said before, early in the year, not many teams carry a fullback. But he definitely makes a big difference for us. He can line up at running back, he can catch the ball, he can block. He’s very versatile; he’s on special teams too. So he’s been a big help for us and he has ever since I’ve been here, him and the offensive linemen doing a great job opening up holes for us and giving Tom [Brady] time to throw the football.
Q: We saw you on the sideline flexing out your leg a lot in the first half. Were you confident you would be able to return to the game and it was just something you had to stretch out a little bit?
JW: Yes, just had to, you know, shake it out a little bit, let the feeling come back in my knee then I was alright.
Q: Why was tempo so effective and helpful to your execution tonight?
JW: I think it always helps us anytime we can play fast. Defense sometimes can struggle getting lined up and getting their calls executed. So I mean, the faster we move, the better for us I believe. So anytime we can use it, it definitely helps us.
Q: Two legends were playing quarterback tonight. Did you ever find yourself on the sidelines tonight watching the other guy?
JW: For us, when the defense is on the field, we’re on the sideline trying to make adjustments as an offense. So I mean not too much watching their offense go. But they’re two great quarterbacks; they’re great in their own rights. Two good football teams playing against each other, Sunday Night Football, it’s just a fun experience.
Q: Josh Gordon talked about how he dislocated his finger and just popped it back in and went back in. What have you seen from him in terms of his toughness?
JW: He’s extremely tough. Similar to CP [Cordarrelle Patterson], big, strong, fast guy, catch the ball, run routes. He came into this building willing to work each and every day he steps in here. Him building rapport with Tom it’s getting better and better each week and he’s an explosive guy and he’s been helping us. I’d say he’s been improving each and every week and he’s a good football player.
PLAYERS IN THE LOCKER ROOM
Adrian Clayborn, DE
(On the fourth quarter and the pass rush on Aaron Rodgers)
“It was fun. The whole defense was clicking. We got a big turnover and we just got it going. We just had to close the pocket as much as possible, keep him throwing from the back of his toes, and get him down. We did a good job.”
(On trying to sack Aaron Rodgers)
“We just have to try and corral him and do whatever we have to do. There are some plays where we have to stick him up or we have to stick him back. He’s a very shifty quarterback and smart.”
Julian Edelman, WR
(On the pass that he threw)
“It’s always nice to throw a pass. I’m just mad that James [White] didn’t get in. I would’ve had a better stat line. I definitely felt the crowd get fired up after that. It definitely helped us and we were able to fortunately get it in [the end zone]. It was a real swing right there. It was cool and then more importantly we were able to go the next drive and get another touchdown. It was a little tough out there for a while, but fortunately we were able to make some adjustments and make plays when we had to. That was a fun play to do.”
(On the offensive versatility)
“We got a lot of playmakers. It’ll be good to have [Rob Gronkowski and Sony Michel] back when they get back. Until then, we just have to keep going out and try to do what we got to do to win games. That’s what we did tonight.”
(On the team’s continued success)
“It’s consistent. Our coaches do a great job of playing to the guys that they have at their disposal and [playing] to their strengths. There’s a lot that goes in each week and a lot of hard work. Practice is tough and practice is crucial for us to do well. We’ve been stringing good weeks together of practice and practice execution becomes game reality. It was good to get a win.”
Trey Flowers, DL
(On playing the Green Bay Packers)
“It took all of us; it took every single personal defense. We knew it was going to be a tough game and a tough match up. We knew we had to make a play somewhere in there to turn the tide of the game. We understood it was going to be a tough game. We just had to make sure we stayed focused.”
(On playing against Aaron Rodgers)
“I just made sure I stayed in front of him and made sure to stay on my feet.”
(On the team’s performance during game)
“We are coming along even though we have been up and down. The one thing is to be consistent and that is what we are trying to do especially in the final stretch of this season.”
(On Adrian Clayborn)
“He has adapted well with coming in and understanding the way they want us to rush. I think Clayborn is a team player with discipline, especially since there are a lot of unselfish guys in this locker room and that is what it takes.”
*Stephon Gilmore, CB *
(On the defensive performance)
“We knew it was going to take 60 minutes to play this team with a great quarterback and good receiver. We knew it was going to take all of us on defense to make plays and get the ball back to our offense.”
(On playing against Davante Adams)
“He was pretty good but after playing my game regardless of who I am going against I did not like what he said earlier in the week. I kind of took it personally but he is a good receiver.”
(On the fumble recovery in the third quarter)
“It was big, Lawrence Guy made a great play on the ball. I happened to get on it and cover it up as they were trying to take it from me. It was a great play.”
(On the importance of changing up defensive plays each week)
“You have to because reading defense is easy. You have to mix it up and disguise on them. Defense did a great job with disguising but it is all a team effort.”
Lawrence Guy, DL
(On the mindset going into the fourth quarter)
“Just execute, we’ve got to continue to execute. Every time we step on the field we have to get a stop. It’s not like, ‘Oh we’re good, we can take this series off.’ Every series we need to get a stop, every down we need to get a stop, and that’s what we go out there and try to play like every time.”
(On Aaron Rodgers escaping pressure by scrambling)
“He’s a good quarterback, hands down one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. You expect that to happen, so the best that we could do was continue to apply pressure. Because even when he’s escaping from the pocket, that is still a positive for us because he still has to move out and look for his target.”
(On the impact and momentum of his forced fumble)
“Of course, you know every turnover is a momentum shifter for us. Being at that given time and down, it was big for us to have. We went out there and executed. The big thing about it is not knocking the ball out, it is recovering the ball. We got the opportunity to recover, so that’s the biggest part of that play.”
Duron Harmon, DB
(On the secondary doing stuff to stump Aaron Rodgers)
“I wouldn’t say stump. He still made some good throws, there were some good catches. We were able to put some pressure on him. The front did a god job of getting there, creating plays where he had to hold the ball. We just tried to give him different looks. Not be exactly where he thought we were going to be.”
(On the fumble being a momentum shifting play)
“It was a huge play. If you just look at where they were at, they were driving the ball and getting into the red area. It was just a great play by Lawrence [Guy]. We always talk about creating turnovers. That’s the only one we had today but it was a big one. Definitely switched the moment a little bit, and we were able to use that and create a good gap.”
(On holding Aaron Rodgers to 17 points)
“We knew the type of defense we have, we know how good we can be. We knew it was going to be tough. He’s a great quarterback, they score a lot of points, and we just wanted to play the best game that we could and limit them to the least amount of points as we could. Seventeen was the number today. So that’s something that we’re proud of and we’re going to continue to try and work on and get better at.”
(On some wins being more pleasing than others)
“The Packers are an elite franchise, a franchise that’s always in it. Aaron Rodgers, great quarterback. They have great offensive players: Davante Adams, Jimmy Graham, Randall Cobb. It was a big test for us. For us to be able to go out there and do what we did, play solid defense and give our team a chance to win, it was a great day for us.”
Devin McCourty, DB
(On the game)
“We played how we wanted to play. I think the cool thing about this week was the couple of snaps that we got against Tom [Brady] and all of the snaps that we got against [Brian] Hoyer. Both of those guys are very cerebral at reading coverage and how we were disguising. Hoyer would come up to us with Tom and be like ‘that’s good, do it this way’ and we felt that tonight. Some of the disguise looks that we were trying to make it tough for Aaron [Rodgers], we knew that would be clutch. He still had a couple of throws where he put the ball where you just couldn’t get it. He even caught us on one of our blitzes where that was the one where we were like ‘he got us on that’ and we kind of left [Jason McCourty] and [Stephon Gilmore] out to dry on that play. When you go against the greats, it’s hard to be perfect, but you got to be close if you want to have a chance to win.”
(On the fumble in the fourth quarter)
“That was clutch. I think us creating that turnover, it was kind of a back-and-forth game. The team was driving, held in the red area, they scored in the red area, they held our offense and then we scored. Just to get a takeaway, we talked about during the week, which defense could create some type of takeaway to give the offense an extra possession. I think them scoring and us getting a stop and then them scoring again, that is what wins games especially against two really good teams.”
(On the defense)
“We always talk about progression. You see a lot of guys playing and us doing different things each week. That’s not easy. I think every year we are talking about getting better as a defense and improving. It’s that time of the year where you want to see some of those improvements. It wasn’t perfect, but some of the things that we want to do defensively, tonight we got done. I think that’s the biggest difference against a really good offense.”
Jason McCourty, CB
(On how well the defense handled Aaron Rodgers)
“I think at the end of the day we came out on top, and I think that is what the league is about. You want to win games, and I think that’s what it comes down to. Obviously he’s a tremendous quarterback over there, a Hall of Fame guy. He made some plays, he scrambled around and got out of the pocket at times. Obviously you want to play a perfect game but you know when you’re competing against some of the best that’s not going to happen. Whenever you come out with a win, I’m always going to walk away and say we did enough. We’ll go and watch the film tomorrow and make corrections and adjust, but whenever we come out with the win, we played well enough to win.”
(On playing situational football)
“You don’t come into a game where you’re playing against Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers and think that you’re going to go out there and just shut them out and everything’s going to be perfect. We knew there were going to be times in this game where they were going to make plays. We knew coming into this game that it was going to be a huge challenge for us on defense. One thing we talked about is that we knew they may make some plays, but we just have got to be able to bounce back, continue to work, and continue to execute our game plan.”
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR
(On playing wide receiver and running back in the offense)
“I just try to make plays when my number is called. Whether it’s at wide receiver or running back, I just try to go out there and show the best of my abilities.”
(On his mindset when he’s playing running back)
“The offensive line does a hell of a job week in and week out. There’s no way I could have made yards without those guys and James [Develin], I told James every time he’s out there and I’m running the ball I love it because he always gives me a good look.”
(On if he’s feeling more comfortable playing running back after this week)
“I said I wanted 25 carries this week, but I don’t know how many I had. I told them to give me 25, but I don’t think they gave me 25. Like I said, whenever my number’s called I’m being ready for whatever I need to do on the football field.”
(On the trick plays called in tonight’s game)
“We’ve been practicing those for a long time. We’ve been ready for them to be called and today it came and it was good. I like stuff like that.”
(On the fumble recovery by the Patriots defense)
“It was real good. Defense, they do what they do week in and week out. They always come away with an interception or a fumble recovery or a pick-six or something. Every week they’re showing up.”
(On the change in momentum in the third quarter)
“We just go out and do what we need to do as Patriots. We don’t care if they score, we score. We try to just go out and finish the game.”
(On how big it was to get the win tonight without Rob Gronkowski and Sony Michel)
“I mean it’s the next man up. It’s the NFL. If you can play, you can play. We didn’t like that the guys weren’t ready, but every guy is going to step up because this is our job. This is our life.”
(On which No. 12 looked good tonight)
“Both No. 12s [Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers] looked good tonight. I was excited for this game and see both of those guys go head-to-head. Of course I’m going to say my No. 12 [looked good].”