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Patriots Locker Room Quotes - 1/8/2014

Various Patriots players addressed the media in the locker room at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, January 8, 2014. Read their quotes below.


(On how much better Andrew Luck is this season compared to last season)
"He's matured a lot. Obviously he continually gets better, his decision making, his ability to not turn the ball over and things like that. He understands his offense and getting them in the right checks and plays and things like that, and just controlling the tempo of their offense and things like that. He's continually gotten better, and he's playing at a high level right now, so we'll have to be ready for him.

(On his ability to both run and throw the ball)
"Absolutely. I mean, he can make all the throws from inside the pocket, and then when it breaks down he can scramble around, he can hurt you with his legs, he can run. He gets outside the pocket, he's like a running back running the ball, and then he has the ability to throw on the run whether he's going to his right or his left, which you don't see out of a lot of quarterbacks, so he does pretty much everything at a high level. "

(On if he has thought about coaching in the future after Devin McCourty mentioned he could be a coach some day)*
"Not really. I'm a player right now, so I'm hoping on playing for a little bit longer."

(On how much his intelligence on the field can help him in a playoff game)
"Yeah, definitely. Just with anticipation and things like that, recognition of formations, where guys are, route combinations, things like that, understanding the schemes and stuff that we're running, where help is, that all ties in to being able to play fast and play at a high level."

(On if that intelligence on the field comes from film work)
"I think it's a little bit of everything. It's a little bit of film work, it's a little bit of studying, understanding really what the scheme is within your defense, what your job is, what other guys' jobs are, and then kind of just having some instincts of football, just kind of understanding the game itself, and those things can go a long way."

(On if T.Y. Hilton is overlooked with the attention on Andrew Luck)
"After last week, I don't think he's overlooked at all. The guy is explosive, he's fast, he's quick, he's got good hands, when he catches the ball he has the ability to make guys miss and break tackles, things like that, so to say he's overlooked I think is not correct. I mean, the guy is an explosive playmaker for them. He's a go-to guy, a guy that's been productive all year for them, and somebody we're going to have to understand exactly where he's at on the field at all times."

(On how his appreciation for being in the playoffs has grown since joining the Patriots)
"Yeah, it's great. I mean, obviously your goals are always to get into the playoffs and then obviously make a run at it, so to be in a position where you're on a team that's good enough to make the playoffs, that's a blessing. But we need to still keep working hard and put in a good week this week and go out and try to accomplish something this weekend in beating a very good football team in the Colts."

(On the advice he has for his teammates who haven't played in a postseason game)
"Obviously everything's hyped up a little bit more. Every little detail, every little play, every second of every snap means so much more, because it's win or go him. There's no more losing and, 'We'll get it corrected next week.' You lose and now you're done for the year and you're on to next year, and you don't want to have those regrets. You want to put in every little bit of time you have this week into studying and understanding what we need to do in order to win a football game. This way, when we go out on Sunday we can play fast, we can play sound, and then at the end of the day, as long as we give everything we've got and we put everything we have into it, we'll let the chips fall where they fall then."


(On how this week of preparation is going)*
"Of course. Every week we're always into it, so yeah, it's intense. You have to step it up, it's the playoffs, you don't always get this chance. It doesn't always come around, year by year you never know, so it's a fantastic opportunity to go out there and showcase what we can do as a team. But we're just working hard and doing what we can do to control the situation and hopefully go out there and get a win this weekend."

(On how difficult it is to stay on point when the defense is trying to disrupt what the offense is doing)
"You just try to execute each play by play. They're fantastic players, obviously [Robert] Mathis, 19½ sacks during the season, he's incredible, so we're going to have to do the best that we can do to control what's in our abilities, and that's to just go out there and whatever play is called, execute it and try to neutralize what they do best and see what happens."

(On what this season has been like for him)
"It's been a fantastic opportunity obviously, coming in to play for the New England Patriots, a great organization. So I'm thankful to be here, but my focus right now is to do whatever I can do to help the team in this playoff run, and hopefully we can get a win this weekend because it's huge for us. We've had a bye week, we're itching to get back out there, and we'll go out there and perform really well."

(On if his 'friends' from Maine have been asking him for playoff tickets)
"No, everybody's been really great all year long, so they've respected my wife and I. It's been good."


(On what the difference is this week now that they know their opponent)
"It's just the playoffs. Everything, every play is a little bit more important, it's win or go home, so it's the same thing for us, but just the intensity has picked up."

(On how tough the Colts receivers are to cover)*
"They're tough. I think it all starts with Andrew Luck. I think he spreads the ball well, he's a good quarterback, he goes through his progressions, goes through his reads, and he gets the ball in those guys' hands so they can make plays. So I think it all starts with Andrew Luck."

(On how to Luck and the Colts receivers)
"You've got to get on those guys. We've got to have a great pass rush, got to be a team effort. I'm just going to focus on doing my job, I'm going to cover whoever they ask me to cover, and just try to do my part."

(On if anything phases him from seeing how good Luck has been)
"I practice against a great quarterback every day, so I think that practicing against Tom [Brady] makes everything a little bit easier, because I think he's one of the best, and just to get to see that day in and day out, there's not much more I can see."

(On what the veterans have told him about playing in the postseason)
"Really just take it play-by-play. It's still football at the end of the day, don't get too overwhelmed, but I understand the importance of it."

(On if there is more anxiousness in the playoffs than there normally is)
"Yeah, I'm sure there is. That's how it started with my first Monday night game and then the first game I started, so [it's] just the next step in my career, and I think I need to step up and have a good game."


(On it seeming very likely that he will cover T.Y. Hilton on Saturday night)
"That's what you figure, huh? Who's your source? Nah, I'm just playing. I mean, I obviously can't give that away, but he is a tremendous talent, obviously. A guy that size and with that much production, he's just the ultimate competitor."

(On whether he's played against anyone like Hilton this season, like Desean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles in the preseason)*
"[He's] Jackson-esque, yeah. They do multiple things with him. A reverse guy, he lines up in the slot, on the outside. So, like I said we just have to be aware of where he is when they line up in their formations and I mean everybody has to be definitely at the point of attack this week."

(On how in tune the defense has to be to not let the receivers get behind them for big plays as the game goes along)
"Well, I mean [we have to play] 60 minutes, definitely this week. If not any other week, this week because it's either win or go home this week. We all know what's at stake, and we're ultimately here for one goal."

(On whether last year's game means anything and if they can garner anything from that game)
"Last year is last year. We have different personnel. They have different personnel. We studied it a little bit, but there's obviously a lot of growth from [quarterback Andrew] Luck as well. So he's not going to make the same mistakes he was last year. He's extremely careful this year with the ball."

(On whether he sees any differences with the Colts this year)
"As far as our game specifically? I haven't watched the game in its entirety, because like I said, we're different teams. A lot of growth from Luck this year, so we're more so focused on the games we played this year."


(On Colts running back Donald Brown and whether he sees any similarities between how he and Brown are used in their respective offenses)
"You know I've seen a couple of Colts games, and he's a big-play player. Somehow, someway he finds ways to makes plays for their offense, and I feel like their offense relies heavily on him."

(On his immediate reaction to what he sees on film from the Colts defense)*
"They're strong in a lot of areas. Their d-line is very good. I mean, [outside linebacker Robert] Mathis is having a career season, and in the backfield and secondary they're very fast."

(On how they've handled players like him previously)
"I think what they've done well is they've shown different looks and done different things to try and keep offenses on their toes. Not knowing what you going to get until the ball is actually snapped."

(On the Colts defense giving up 16 receptions to the Kansas City Chiefs running backs in the previous game, and whether that bodes well for him)
"Yeah definitely, definitely. I'm sure that in our offense and our game plan this week that that's kind of the plan as well, but you never know. You never know what we're going to get on Saturday. I'm looking forward to seeing."

(On having four running backs on the roster that all have a different skill set and whether that has helped the production of the group as a whole)
"Oh definitely, definitely. I think it helps all the running backs as well because each one of us is different and the defense has to prepare for four different running backs, four different styles. So, because of that I think it plays in our favor."

(On how important it is to get the running game going)
"I think we're going to need to get the whole offense going really. If it starts with the running game, then that's what we need to get going first, and one thing leads to another. We get the running game going and it opens up the passing game and vice versa."


(On his focus this weekend)
"Win the ballgame, that's it."

(On whether he has any message for the folks back in Indianapolis)
"Love you guys. It was a fun time."

(On what he has seen from the Colts' defense on film)*
"They've got a great group of guys. They've got experience in the secondary, They've got [safety] Antione Bethea, who is a smart player, very good at his position. Obviously they have [outside linebacker Robert Mathis] Rob on the edge and [defensive end Cory Redding] Cory inside. Just all the way around they've got great depth. So, it's going to be a tough game."

(On what his time with the Colts means in the grand scheme of his knowing their player or tendencies)
"Like I said, I look forward to seeing guys that I've built relationships there, but to me it's just – we've got to win. It's all about advancing. That's what my mindset is."

(On whether there is anything about the Colts system or personnel that he can help the Patriots players prepare for)
"I mean I can give my two cents about different tendencies for different players, but as far as scheme wise, when they came with the new defense I wasn't there that long because I got put on the IR that third week. So, I didn't get to see a lot of what they did. So, from that standpoint, no. From scheme, probably not."

(On whether guys have been asking him about the Colts tendencies)
"Not really, no. I don't think – I think it's one of those things where we're going to play our game and expect to win."


(On how excited he is to get the playoffs started)
"I'm really excited. We've been working hard. We've been out here in this cold trying to get used to it and see how it's going to be for the game on Saturday. I'm excited about it."

(On Shane Vereen speculating that an offense can break the defense's will by running the ball successfully)
"I agree. You can. It wears and tears on a defense. They get tired of hitting backs like me, like Rid [Stevan Ridley], like [Brandon] Brandon, and they get tired of chasing Shane [Vereen] around. So, I feel like if you do that to them for a while, sooner or later they're going to crack."

(On whether he is having run with all the media present in the locker room)*
"I mean, I'm enjoying playing ball and I'm enjoying the chance to play in the postseason and I'm enjoying this team, but I'm not too much for the attention."

(On it seeming like he is enjoying the attention)
"Nah, I mean it comes along with the job. So, it's part of what we have to do."

(On Shane Vereen saying that he is running with a lot more confidence now and whether he feels that way)
"Yeah definitely. I feel like I ran hard in the beginning also, but as the season went on I got more comfortable and I got a chance to figure out the blocking schemes, what's supposed to hit where, who's supposed to block where. As far as that goes, I just kind of figured out a lot more about the offense to be a little bit more successful."

(On how he would compare what a player has to know here versus other teams)
"I feel like a playbook is a playbook. You're going to have to learn it regardless, no matter where you are. It's just the fact that knowing you have a chance to go to the postseason makes you dig into that playbook a little bit more."

(On how he stopped from being discouraged early in the year when maybe he didn't get as many carries as he would have liked)
"I just went out there and worked. I went out there and worked every week and whenever my number was called I just tried to take full advantage of it."

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