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Patriots Locker Room Quotes - 1/12/2011

PATRIOTS GUARD DAN CONNOLLY

(On 71-yard kickoff return against the Packers)
"It is pretty, I'm not going to say common, but it's something that I've been faced with I think three times this year. I had it once last year. We don't work on it that regularly, but we have worked on it before. I just saw the ball, grabbed it, and I was planning to just get what I could, and it ended up being a lot more than I [anticipated]."

(On whether he thought someone would tackle him)
"Yeah, you can tell watching the film that I thought I was going to get tackled. The most I've ever gotten is maybe 10 or 15 yards, so I expected to go down."

(On whether seeing daylight gave him inclination to go for a big gain)
"Yeah, and there was nobody to hit me. There was no one. I would've had to run into one of my own guys."

(On whether he thought he could get a touchdown)
"I don't think it really did. I just was trying to get as much as I could and protect the ball really."

(On whether it was the greatest moment of his life)
"No, I'm not going to say that. I'm going to say the birth of my first daughter is probably the best moment [of my life]."

(On the reaction of his teammates)
"That was cool. What felt even better is I think it gave the team the energy and the spark we needed to kind of the get that game back in our favor."

(On avoiding smaller players trying to grab the ball from him)
"I don't know. Hindsight, maybe I am. I was only thinking at the time, protect the ball [and] get as many yards as I can."

(On where he learned his ball-carrying technique)
"I haven't really ever practiced that, so that was instinctual."

(On what made him change his grip on the ball)
"I really don't know. It just happened."

(On the injury)
"I'm not going to talk about the injury. I'm healthy now. I'm back to practice."

(On fan reaction to his play)
"Friends and family, I've gotten a lot of emails, text messages and calls. And I guess maybe my name, I'm noticed a little bit more. I get a little bit more fan mail than ever before. That's about it."

(On how the injury affected the way he enjoyed the kick return)
"No I don't think so. I got to enjoy it with my family, though and that's what is important.

(On facing the Jets for the third time)
"They're a defense that can do many different things. During the season we split with them and they are coming off a big win over a team with a good offense. We have a lot of work to put in this week."

(On what he think about what the Jets have been saying)
"I honestly have not heard what they said. That's their opinion. They can say what they want."

(On Tom Brady's competitiveness)
"He is definitely competitive. And he expects the same level of competitiveness out of his teammates."

(On the locker room mood this week)
"Yes, it has been business as usual this week. We have a big game this weekend and we'll do as much as we can to get ready for it."

PATRIOTS LINEBACKER ROBNINKOVICH

(On playing the Jets for a third time)
"I think that you have to look back at the games we've played against them. Obviously they won the first one, so they may want to do some things from the first game and not from the second game. I guess you just have to look at how they played us in both of those games and look at the games they played the last couple weeks and go from there."

(On whether pregame trash talking has affected the team at any point this year)
"We just focus in on playing football and don't listen to everything else out there and focus in on having a good week of preparation and being ready for Sunday because that's what really counts."

(On what it would take to get the trash talking to affect the team)
"I'm just focused in on what I have to do out there. I'm not really listening to anything else outside of what I'm listening to in here, what the coaches are telling me to do."

(On whether he files away the personal attacks on Tom Brady)
"It's one of those situations where you go out there and your performance speaks for itself. We're just going to go out and play a good game on Sunday. That's what we're looking forward to doing."

(On how the defense will combat the Jets physical running attack)
"We just have to match it. You have to go out there, stop the run and get into third-down situations and that's basically it. You have to go out there, play hard and play tough football."

(On if the Jets have the most physical offensive line in the league)
"They're a good offensive line. They have some big guys up there and they're all talented, so it should be a fun game."

(On what he saw from the Jets offense against the Colts)
"With the Colts having such a great offense and Peyton Manning out there, you want to keep him off the field as much as possible. Using the clock and keeping the ball away from their quarterback is something that worked for them. Obviously with us having Tom [Brady], he's a great quarterback, they will want to do the same thing and not let him on the field. So as a defense, we need to do our job and keep him on the field."

(On one of the keys to stopping the Jets offense)
"First down is a big down. You have to stop the run and that's the biggest thing about this week - having a tough attitude towards the run."

(On what the Jets offensive game plan might be)
"I really don't know what they're going to do, but I think that we'll be competitive and ready to roll."

(On how watching the games during a bye week affected him)
"You get a little amped up. You want to go out there and play, but it helps you get an extra week of recovery and get your body right. So, we're going to have the energy on Sunday."

(On whether he's disappointed that the team practices in the field house on Wednesday)
"Yeah. I wanted to go out and make some snow angels, so a little bit."

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