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Patriots Locker Room Quotes - 1/17/2014

Patriots players comment on their upcoming AFC Championship game against the Denver Broncos during media access at Gillette Stadium on Friday, January 17, 2014.


(On if he's anxious to get going for Sunday's game)
"Definitely. We still have another day, we have a practice here, so there's going to be a lot of opportunity to get better here, and [I'm] looking forward to that. But of course you're excited, and it's the AFC Championship Game, so definitely excited."

(On if Bill Belichick and Tom Brady expect more preparation during the week at this point in the season)
"I think everyone does. When you come and you play for the New England Patriots, you know that preparation is huge, and just as a whole unit, everyone, you can just tell the sense of urgency for the preparation process. It increases and increases, because you don't want to live with the regret of, 'I wish would have,' so we definitely kind of prepare to the max here."

(On if preparation during the week turned out to be the difference in previous postseason games)
"Definitely. It's your foundation for the game. Everything you learn in the classroom, you take to the grass, and there's a huge saying around here that 'Practice execution becomes game reality,' and every game that we've played well in, we've always had a solid week of practice. So we have another day of practice, and we're going to take advantage of that."

(On if getting to Denver a day earlier will help the team adapt to the elevation)
"I'm sure if there's an advantage to that or any of that, that our training staff and nutritionist and coaching staff made the decision for us to go out a day early on purpose. That's their job."

(On the importance of turnovers in Sunday's game)
"Football comes down to situational football, which the three big ones are turnovers, red area, and third down, so if you can't execute those and take care of the ball, especially in a huge game like this, you're going to lose, especially to an explosive team like Denver. I'm sure if we don't take care of the ball, it's not going to be like last time. This is a completely new game and there's a lot more to more play for, so we definitely have to take care of the ball."


(On how he's feeling heading into Sunday's game)
"I feel good. Hopefully we can go out there and put on another good performance."

(On if he is surprised that Bill Belichick is second on a recent poll of coaches that players would least like to play for)
"Yeah, I'm surprised guys don't want to play for Bill because Bill wins, and that's what this league is all about. That's what you want out of here, you want to win. He's going to leave behind an amazing legacy. I mean, you've heard all week, he's the best coach that has ever coached the game."

(On if the success of the running game has opened things up for Tom Brady and the passing game)
"I don't know what they notice, and that doesn't really matter to me, I don't care. We're just going to go out there and execute the game plan at hand, and whatever is working we'll continue to do, and whatever is not, we'll go from there."

(On if he's getting anxious for the game or if he knows there are still two more days of work to get done)
"I know there's still two more days of work to do. You've got to prepare from the beginning of the week all the way through the game. You have halftime adjustments and all of that, so definitely we're going to prepare all the way through."

(On how it feels to hear that stores are running out of his jersey and if he has gotten any requests from family members or friends for his jersey)
"Yeah, I've gotten a lot of requests, but they've been asking for them since I got here, and [at] that time they weren't making them, and now you can't get your hands on them. To all them, I hope y'all can find them, because I can't."

(On being a household name)
"That doesn't really matter to me. It's just one task at hand, and I'm sure you guys know what that is. It starts here today, and hopefully it continues after Sunday's game."


(On the chemistry that the offensive line has been able to develop and how they've been able to develop it so quickly)
"I think what shows up in the game is just what we try to do in practice. [Offensive Line] Coach [Dante] Scarnecchia rotates a lot of guys in there so a lot of guys get reps, so when guys go down, the guys that go in perform well. I don't know, people say we're good one week, the next week we suck, so all that matters is how we play against Denver this week. They've got a really good front, it's going to be a really big challenge for us, so we're just going to go out and try to do our job, and [if] we each focus on that, hopefully everything will work out all right."

(On how much confidence the success of the running game has given the entire offense)
"I'm not sure, you'd have to talk to defenses about that. I mean, for us, as an offensive lineman I like running the ball as much as I can. It's always fun. I love seeing LG [LeGarrette Blount] and [Stevan] Ridley and [Shane] Vereen and [Brandon] Bolden and all those guys carry the ball as much as they can. But it's all about winning games, so whatever we can do to score points, I'm happy doing that."

(On if he's noticing different looks from the defense because of the success they've had in the running game)
"It's the NFL. Defenses change their fronts all the time, they do what they think is going to be best, and Denver is no different. They run a variety of fronts to try to stop whatever they think we're going to do."

(On how Tom Brady looks after missing practice on Wednesday)
"I'm not a quarterbacks coach, and he plays behind me, so I don't see him too much. But you can ask the coaches about that." (On if staying hygienic has been on his mind recently with some players getting sick)
"Yeah, definitely. I try to keep [my hands] clean. Yeah, a plug for Purell, I try to keep my hands clean."


(On what he learned from the last time the team played Denver)
"They have a lot of good players. They have a lot of go-to guys. Peyton Manning is a good player. Our job is to – for me – is to get pressure on him."

(On how much it helps having a traditional quarterback in Tom Brady who is similar to Peyton Manning in terms of practicing against that style of play)
"Yeah. You know, quarterbacks like that with Tom and Peyton, not to compare, but they take their time. You can see their composure every game. Definitely, definitely.

(On Tom Brady discussing Bill Belichick being a great motivator and what Belichick said to the team this week to get them motivated)
"What he's been saying the whole season, what he's been preaching - just do your job and put the team first and you should be fine. You should be OK."

(On why the team has been so successful in buying into the philosophy of do your job)
"Just seeing the success. Playing for a franchise and an organization like the New England Patriots, it's a great feeling. I haven't been anywhere else, but I feel like there is no place like being here. I really enjoy being here, I do."

(On playing with so many rookies and overcoming the injuries that the team has faced, and the idea that rookies are no longer rookies at this point of the season)
"You said it yourself – they're not rookies anymore. We got that in their heads Week 3. We always say in Week 3 rookies aren't rookies anymore. These guys do a good job, specifically on defense. We've got Joe Vellano, Chris Jones, Jamie Collins – he had a great game last week. Those guys are stepping up big, and I'm excited for them on Sunday as well."

(On how important it is to make Peyton Manning uncomfortable and put pressure on him)
"Not just Peyton Manning. That's for every quarterback, and Peyton Manning is definitely one of them. He's a guy that if you let him sit back there he can pick your defense apart. So, that will be my job to make him feel uncomfortable."

(On whether he puts a lot of pressure on himself to disrupt what Peyton Manning wants to do by getting to him quickly)
"It's not really pressure. It's just trying to do my job. Just trying to do my job."


(On a survey saying that Bill Belichick is the second least-liked coach to play for, and whether that surprises him)
"I don't know. I don't really know what that means, so I can speak for myself and I played for a handful of coaches and I enjoy it here. I appreciate what he does for the football team."

(On players who answered the survey suggesting that they wouldn't like the hardnosed approach that Coach Belichick takes)
"I mean, he wins games. That's for sure. If you like to win games and you're willing to put the effort forth, then I feel like you should love it."

(On what the preparation is like for players on the Patriots and whether he agrees with Julian Edelman saying that 'What goes into practice eventually becomes reality')
"We feel that if you – practice habits turn into game realities. You practice hard, you play hard and hopefully you play good. So, it's all relative."

(On whether Coach Belichick and Tom Brady expect more of the players as the team goes further in the playoffs)
"I mean, we treat every game the same. We prepare the same. Obviously the stakes are different, but we prepare the same every week, and that's as hard as we can."


(On how much missing the first playoff game stung him)
"It was hard, you know, just to watch my team battle without me, but they pulled it out so I'm glad I have the opportunity to get back on the field this Sunday."

(On how much catch up he feels he has to do)
"I feel like I stayed prepared mentally. I took a lot of mental reps when I wasn't out there on the field, you know keeping up on my playbook, so I feel like I'm right where I want to be."

(On whether he felt rusty the first time he came back from his foot injury)
"It's definitely hard to not play and then just go out there and then leave where you left off. So, there's definitely a little rust you have to knock off but it's nothing too crazy."

(On whether he felt that his foot injury was behind him the first time he came back from the injury)
"I wasn't even trying to think about it like that. When I'm on the field I just try to not even think about what's going [on] because I feel like that causes more damage. I was just trying to get my mind off everything."

(On whether the rust was knocked off in his first game back)
"It was just getting a feel for the game and getting back on the field. Just sitting out for a while, [you have to] just get the timing back right [and] just things of that nature."

(On the possibility of going against Champ Bailey on Sunday and what it is like going against a legendary defender like him)
"It's football, man. We're both in the NFL. He's a great player and has been doing it for years, so I'm going to have to go out there and play good."

(On what thinks about people saying that the Patriots need him as a deep threat)
"I just try to go out there and do my job. I don't try to put too much on my shoulders. I just have to go out there and do what I have to do and do what I have to do to help the team."

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