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Patriots locker room quotes

WILLIE McGINEST
LINEBACKER

Q: Willie, what is different about the postseason? How much does it get you amped up? What changes?

McGinest: It is another level. You've just got to play consistent ball. Everybody has to understand and recognize that. You do not have time to make mistakes and go out to another game. This is it, a one game season, you [lose and you] go home. The team that plays the best situational football, the team that doesn't make the most mistakes, the team that executes the best is going to win.

Q: How do you prepare for the size of their receivers and tight ends?

McGinest: They are a big physical team and we understand that. But that is the game of football. Sometimes you go against guys who are bigger than you or over-mass your size, but it really doesn't matter. It is just how you play the game and control what you do. Size doesn't really play a factor unless you know sometimes you might get an advantage, you might get a tall guy against a shorter guy you might try to throw the ball, a fade or something like that. But we are not preparing for size we are preparing for what they do. We are trying to get ourselves ready for our game plan and stop the run, that's a real important key. From there, if we can't do that, nothing else really matters.

Q: Do you feel any extra pressure in a playoff game or when you step on the field it is just like any other game?

McGinest: I think we have been under pressure all year. So this is a team that reacts pretty well under pressure with our backs against the wall. Of course, there is pressure for the playoffs. If you don't win, you go home. So we have to have more pressure on ourselves than anybody else to go out and perform well so we can get another weekend.

Q: Can you break down the Rose Bowl for us? [Can you tell us] how good Texas is and [how good] USC is?

McGinest: Texas is really good team and SC is really good. It is going to be a really good game. Two athletic teams going at it and nobody can predict what's going to happen. I just hope it is a good game and SC wins.

DON DAVISLINEBACKER

Q: What do you think Jacksonville is trying to emulate?

D. Davis: I am not sure. I think just there's an overall team concept that sometimes you don't see on other teams. Maybe that is what they are trying to emulate. I mean, obviously the success we have had in the past years, [they're] trying to emulate that. You know you want to be the best. So that could be there also. I can't really speak for those teams but that would be what I would assume.

Q: Don what do you guys say to the younger guys who are in the playoffs for the first time and might have the jitters?

D. Davis: Well, you don't really say too, too much. You know that they are professional and they realize, they can see the intensity and some of that can't be talked about, it can only be felt. I remember when I was first in it, you talk about that, but until you're in it you don't really know.

Q: How does Jacksonville match up to you guys or vice versa?

D. Davis: They match up very well. They have a great running game, they have a good quarterback and their defense is playing well. So, it is going to be a nice physical game. Both teams feel disrespected, so to speak, you have heard that all week. But it is going to come down to who plays the best football on Saturday. We are going to prepare and do all we can to go out and win the football game.

Q: Does it make you play better feeling disrespected?

D. Davis: I don't necessarily think so. I think that everybody has a chip on their shoulder for some reason or another. Now whether you feel like it's disrespect or whether you feel like a team doesn't think that you are as good as you are or I myself, being a free agent guy, I know my first few years, it was like, I am going to prove that I belong here. Whatever it is, everybody plays with some kind of emotion or with some kind of chip on their shoulder. If that is the reason, then so be it.

Q: But why do you guys feel disrespected?

D. Davis: I myself was asked about that and don't feel necessarily that way. I think that the way we were playing football, when we won one then lost one, I mean you are not going to pick that team necessarily to go all the way to the Super Bowl, especially when other teams are winning six and seven in a row. So, for me it is all about going out and being prepared to play and playing well on Saturday.

MONTY BEISELLINEBACKER

Q: How more important is tackling this week?

Beisel: They definitely are a physical team and run the ball hard in all aspects. Like you said, their returning game and running backs, they bang the ball right up in there and tackling will be important. They have big receivers as well so this will be a big week for us with tackling.

Q: Talk about the preparation this week, the focus more importantly?

Beisel: I mean the focus is everything. It's one and done. With the playoffs, you don't get this opportunity often in the league and you've got to cherish it. This will be a big game for us on Saturday and we are going to be ready to play.

Q: Not that you lacked confidence before, but has the way you played the last few weeks increased your confidence level?

Beisel: As a team, yeah. I think the team has definitely been playing well in all aspects of the game. We just have to turn it up one more notch because Jacksonville will be coming in here ready to play.

Q: Is there any rust factor with Byron Leftwich being out for six weeks?

Beisel: He is going to come in ready to play. He has obviously been getting practice reps and has been playing well. The way I look at it, he is going to come in here that much more rested. He is going to be ready to play and amped up ready to go.

Q: Is there a difference between the way in which Belichick and the Patriots approach the playoffs verses how they do in Kansas City?

Beisel: They are a lot more used to it around here than the places I have been before. They know what they are doing and they know how to get it done. I am just trying to fit into the whole scheme of the week and just fit in line and hopefully we will go in the right direction.

ADAM VINATIERIKICKER

Q: Do you get nervous leading up to a playoff game?

Vinatieri: I think every person including myself gets anxious and excited about being out there. This is a fun time of the year. With the excitement level of the crowd, you know it's a one game season. I think there is a little bit of butterflies for everybody when they step on the field. To be able to control that and stay focused is a major key.

Q: How do you control your anxiousness?

Vinatieri: You just focus in on the things you can take care of, like your mechanics and that stuff. You don't think about what it means and the hypothetical things that really don't matter.

Q: Has what the playoffs mean become a tradition around here?

Vinatieri: There is an expectation level and everyone holds each other accountable and holds themselves accountable for trying to be the most prepared and doing the best job they can. And if everyone does that and plays well together and does a good job, then we have been pretty successful. I think that is kind of a decent reason why this team has been successful because everybody takes it to the highest level that they can.

Q: How are you able to execute at such a high level as a team?

Vinatieri: Every time you step out onto the field you have to redo it. Just because you've done it in the past doesn't mean anything. I think we've got good leadership on this team. I think we've got great coaches. But when it comes down to it, you've got to make that kick and you've got to make that catch, you've got to make the tackle. Whatever your job is, you've got to go out there and actually do it when the time comes.

Q: How much do you think that level of excellence starts with a.) the coach and b.) the quarterback, in what he is able to bring as far as his mentality to the football field?

Vinatieri: Obviously our coach has instilled a certain philosophy in us where we have to be accountable and have to play well and do our jobs. 'Do your job' is the most important thing. A guy like Tom, what can you say about him. He pays so much attention to detail. He is such a competitor and he is calm under pressure. He is such a great athlete. He definitely gives us an opportunity when we step on the field. He is going to do his best job and we are going to have an opportunity to play well.

Q: Tom was a 199th pick and you were not drafted. Is that something that sticks with you no mater how many titles or how many games?

Vinatieri: I think everybody has their own reasons and their own motivations, like saying 'Hey, I wasn't drafted, nobody expected me to do much of anything.' For me, I try to go out there and help the team and do whatever I can to try to make the team better. I think that is what everyone else's philosophy is too. If they do their jobs well, then our team will be successful and that is the most important thing.

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