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Patriots locker room quotes

Patriots players offered their comments on playing in Saturday's playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium.


Q: How are things different this time of year?

Colvin: It's snowing today and a little chillier. Not much has changed around here. We're still playing football. That's the big thing. I think we're fortunate to be in the postseason, so we're going to try to stay there.

Q: Now you know it's a one-game season.

Colvin: Definitely. It's very critical to go out and prepare as best as you can to go and do the things at practice that you hope will lead to success on game day. We've got a tough opponent and we need to try to get the game plan down as quickly as possible so we can get through practice as best as we can. Hopefully on Saturday we can come out on top.

Q: There's always a sense that you want to be at a certain point at this juncture of the season. Has your team reached that point? Are you ready?

Colvin: I think we accomplished one goal - qualifying for the playoffs. We'll see if we are where we want to be at the end of the game. I think that we have to take this week to prepare as best as we can and hopefully put ourselves in a position so that we can show up and play at a high level on Sunday.

Q: Can you assess their quarterbacks?

Colvin: I think that both of their guys are younger guys who have a very good grasp of the offense and know what they have to accomplish - moving the ball and getting first downs. Obviously, Byron [Leftwich], with the success that he's had the last couple of years, and then with [David] Garrard stepping in there and the successes he's having, it's sort of a two-headed monster. You've got to prepare, and whoever you get to see, you'll need to make an adjustment, whether it's Byron or whether it's Garrard. You've got to be cognizant of your rush lanes since both of them can move around and they're both athletic. We've got to make sure we're doing our jobs and read our keys and fundamentals.

Q: How tough is it going to be to deal with the top-to-bottom size that they have on offense, not just on the line, but at the receiver spots and the backs and quarterbacks?

Colvin: They're a big group. The offensive line is big, the tight ends are big, the wide receivers are big, the quarterback's big, the running backs are a good size. It's going to be a heavy dose of physical football. You've got to make sure you're prepared. You don't want to put your shells on. You've got to put your 'big boy' pads on. They're going to try to bring it, and it's going to be up to us to stop the run and once we stop the run to put ourselves in the position where we can get off the field on third down.

Q: Does tackling become more of a focus this week because you really have to wrap these guys up?

Colvin: I think it's a focus every week. But for sure, when you've got bigger bodies pushing on you and you've got good running backs like [Fred] Taylor, and you've got big wide receivers that can break tackles, you've got to put an emphasis on getting more than one guy to the football. I think that after you get your job done, second effort and hustle can help the guy next to you who's trying to make a play.

Q: How is the intensity level different in the regular season as opposed to the playoffs?

Colvin: I think it's the same as in the regular season where one play can determine whether or not you win or lose the ballgame. It just so happens that now if you win or lose a ballgame you either move on or you go home. I think that you have to emphasize remaining focused at all times, no matter what the situation or circumstances are. If it's a run or a pass, guys still have to communicate well. You've got to continue to play the run and rush the passer and you've got to get the job done. It's either going to be a run or a pass. Don't make it that hard. Just get out there and get the job done.


Q: Are you preparing like you might see Garrard or Leftwich?

Vrabel: They're very similar as far as the way they take care of the football and the way they distribute it. I think that Garrard can give you a little bit more on the edge where I think Leftwich can stay in the pocket a little more. They both are extremely careful with the football and they're not going to turn it over. They move the offense.

Q: Have you played against a running back like Fred Taylor?

Vrabel: It's not only Fred Taylor. They have four backs. He is the focal point and he's their number one back, but you need to talk about [Greg] Jones and you can go right on down the line. There are other guys that can spell him and that makes that harder on us.

Q: They have size everywhere. What kind of challenge does that present for you guys?

Vrabel: I take a look at it and we're looking at a rough road. They're going to run the football and take care of it. It's important to just get guys to the football. I think that as far as the DBs are concerned, you just understand that the bigger receivers are going to make plays. They're going to catch the ball. They're going to make plays in the open field. But the defensive linemen and the linebackers can run to the football and maybe make a hit and make a play.

Q: They are underdogs. How do you not think about that?

Vrabel: We don't. We have no money riding on this game, so we don't think about it. We've been in that situation. We've been 14-point underdogs. We've been as low as you can be. There's no disrespect to the Jacksonville Jaguars. They won 12 football games. They're a good team. They're physical and they're tough. They're well coached and they're a reflection of their head coach just like we are.

Q: Players normally develop a routine based on a Sunday afternoon game. How do things change since you're playing on Saturday night?

Vrabel: Well, I think right now it's already Wednesday. You wake up early and the whole family knows that it's Wednesday morning for us. That's the beauty of the NFL. You can switch days and turn Wednesdays into Thursdays when they're not. When we're playing, we just count back the days. If we're playing on Monday night, Thursday is a Wednesday. If we're playing on Saturday night, Tuesday is a Wednesday, if that makes any sense.

Q: So it's like a Sunday night game, then.

Vrabel: It is like a Sunday night game on our normal clock. I can go home and see the kids for a little bit and then come to the stadium. A lot of guys do it differently. I like to come to the stadium early, regardless. Even with a late game, you're here four-and-a-half hours before kickoff. You just have to get away from everything - kids and people who are in town - and have some sort of calmness where it's not as crazy.


Q: You guys have been in Jacksonville's role as far as being underdogs. How does Coach Belichick turn that around and not make you guys think that they are underdogs?

Izzo: I know that everybody has a good understanding of what the Jaguars are capable of and the kind of game that they play and the importance of this week. We've got to kick up the preparation another notch. It's the playoffs and it's crunch time. Obviously they're a challenging opponent, so we're going to do what we've got to do to win the game.

Q: What about their quarterback situation? Is one more threatening than the other?

Izzo: They're both good. They're a little different in terms of their styles of play, but both of them are good and would present a challenge for us. We have to prepare for both of them. Whoever we have, we've just got to take care of business.

Q: What's the toughest part of getting ready for a playoff game? Is it harder to get ready mentally or physically?

Izzo: In the playoffs, any play can be the difference between a team ending their season or moving on and playing another game. The intensity is kicked up to a whole other level. We've got a lot of guys here that have been around that before and a lot of guys that haven't. It's going to be important for the young guys to understand the magnitude of every play and how any particular play can change the entire complexion of the game.

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