PATRIOTS TIGHT END AARON HERNANDEZ
(On preparation for the playoffs the past few weeks)
AH: I feel like we are ready. We are a team that comes out to work. With Coach Belichick as your coach, you are going to come out and give it your all every day, so we come out and work. I feel like we're ready.
(On how he is feeling physically)
AH: I feel great. [My] hip is feeling good. We had a good week of practice and I am ready to go.
(On the intensity level of Sunday's game being higher than previous games)
AH: Definitely. That is what I've heard. I've never been in a game like this and I don't even know what the playoffs are about yet, but I will definitely see on Sunday. I am ready to go and I'm ready for this experience. If the pace picks up, then I'll have to pick up my pace.
(On noticing a faster pace in practice this week)
AH: Definitely. [The] coaches are a little bit more intense. Everyone is a little more intense and more focused. You have to be more focused in a game like this. You can tell in everybody's eyes that we are ready to play.
(On what advice the veterans have given about the playoffs)
AH: That basically, it's time to make plays. Give it your all or you are going home - there is no tomorrow. We have got to leave everything on the field. The intensity is going to pick up and the game is going to get faster, so I am ready to see what happens.
(On wanting to get out there and play)
AH: I always hate the process of waiting until the games. I feel honored just to be out here and to be in a big game like this - it's special and I am too excited to play.
(On Wes Welker's feet comments yesterday)
AH: I thought it was an interesting interview.
(On how important it was to have the extra time of the bye week)
AH: It was definitely good to get the bye week. I could relax, get my hip better, and be ready for a huge playoff game.
(On the success against the Jets this year)
AH: They are a man-to-man team and they're going to come in and do what they do. They're going to play man [coverage]. In a man-to-man game it's you verse him and you've got to get open. I love man-to-man and I'm ready.
PATRIOTS CORNER BACK DEVIN McCOURTY
(On memories from the last Jet- Patriots game)
DM: No that's over with. Now we are focused on Sunday and being ready to go out there and play.
(On the advice veterans have given younger players about the playoffs)
DM: Just going out there and playing. Guys say, 'It's a bigger stage but at the end of the day it's just football'. You've got to go out there and prepare the way you've been preparing all year and you've got to put a little extra in your preparation. When Sunday gets here, you've just got to go out there and play.
(On being a rookie and such thing as a rookie wall)
DM: If I hit it [rookie wall] I'm over it now. I'm just ready to go.
(On his ability to play well in the playoffs)
DM: I'm just going to go out there and play Sunday. I'm not really worried about what other people are saying or what they're thinking. I'm just preparing to go out there and play.
(On facing running backs that are solid pass-catchers)
DM: You just have to be aware of them, especially if they're in zone coverage. You've got to know when a guy is good at coming out the back and catching the ball. You've got to know how quick he can get to you and how far you have to drop away from him to come up and make that tackle.
(On the Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez handling pressure in the second half of last Saturday's game)
DM: I think he showed that last year, too. He is very poised and he is a competitor. I don't think that situation really changes who he is as a player. He is going to go out there in a close game - and he made a big throw to set up for a field goal and I think that's where he is showing that he is a competitor. He is going to come out there and play.
(On possible trick plays in the game this Sunday)
DM: I think you have to be aware of everything once you get in the playoffs. It's do or die now. There is no more preparing for next week so anything can happen and I'm sure they are just as prepared as we are.
(On what is different about himself from the first matchup against the Jets to now)
DM: Just more experience. The first time we played them was in week two. I have gotten a lot more experience since we played them later in the season. I still have gotten to play a few more games [since]. Each game and each week in practice I think I've gotten better and I will just keep putting that under my belt - trying to put good games and practices together and keep going.