Skip to main content

Official website of the New England Patriots

Patriots locker room quotes

New England Patriots players offer their comments on Saturday's playoff game against the Denver Broncos.


Q: What is the key to stopping the bootleg?

Brown: The best way to defend the bootleg is not to let the run hurt you, where you are biting on the run. That is probably the easiest way.

Q: Can you talk about the running backs Denver has and how they help them set up play action?

Brown: Their offense is fueled by their running game and it is all set up off of that. Off of each run there is probably a boot that looks very similar. The more success you have slowing the running game down, the more successful you are against the passing game.

Q: Mike Shanahan has been in Denver for a long time and Bill Belichick has been with the Patriots for a while. How much of an advantage does an organization have with a lot of continuity in a league where there isn't a lot of that?

Brown: It has to help. With my situation in Seattle, [Mike] Holmgren was there a while, but there was a lot of turnover in the defensive staff. Every year or every couple of years you are relearning defenses which makes it difficult to truly be a good team on that side of the ball. Having the same coaches in place obviously helps the success they have had here.

Q: You have been a good soldier here all year. How gratifying was it to get some meaningful snaps last week against Jacksonville?

Brown: It was gratifying, but there is a lot of football left to play. I hope to contribute more.

Q: Your coordinator, Eric Mangini, is not that much older than some of these players. That could be awkward, but what makes it work?

Brown: I am actually older than Eric. It is not awkward at all. There is a hierarchy and you follow the hierarchy. He is the defensive coordinator. It is not how old you are. He has been doing this for a very long time for someone his age. The hierarchy is also based on how well you do your job and he does his job very well. He has earned the respect.

Q: When was the last playoff game you won?

Brown: When I was with Pittsburgh. It has been a long time.

Q: It must have been very gratifying to be a part of the playoff win against the Jaguars?

Brown: It is gratifying, but you can't focus on past success because you will run into something funny and we have the Broncos coming up real quick. Jacksonville is over and whatever I did in that game is over now. I have to prepare myself for the Broncos this week.

Q: Did you learn a lot from the Broncos game in October or is it so far removed and you are a different team and they are a different team now?

Brown: That and I suppose we can figure out some things not to do. Again that is getting to that specific game plan area that we don't touch on.


Q: What was Denver able to do against you guys in the first matchup or was it something you weren't doing?

Green: There were some things we weren't doing as far as executing and we had a lot of missed tackles in that game. Those were some big things. There were guys not doing their job.

Q: What are your thoughts on Jake Plummer and his strengths?

Green: He had a good year. He looks pretty good and confident out there leading the team. Overall, Denver has been playing very good, with a 13-3 record.

Q: How about that offense and Mike Shanahan, does a defense rise up and get excited to play against a team with a great offense?

Green: It is just about playing hard when it is time to play those teams. It is not any different then playing a team that has a great defense. You have to play on both sides of the ball. You have to play well and execute.

Q: What about facing Tatum Bell? They have a strong running game.

Green: He had a good game against us. In the season stats, he led the league with the best average per carry. He is a tough guy and another guy we have to stop because they have a lot of weapons. Mike Anderson had more yards than Tatum Bell but we have to stop both of them.


Q: Can you talk about Jake Plummer and his ability to throw the ball more efficiently?

Vrabel: I think that's the key, the efficiency and the manner he's able to protect the football and get the ball to the guys that are going to help them win.

Q: How has the team changed since you played Denver?

Vrabel: I think we're just playing better. We're playing better against the run. We understand a little bit more of how we win games around here. The complementary game that we talked about all season wasn't there. We'd win a game then lose a game. And now having the ability to give the ball to Tom Brady and the offense and watch them grind clock and score touchdowns. Good special teams and gaining advantage in field position and then the defense going out there and getting three and outs.

Q: Why is it so tough to win in Denver?

Vrabel: I think first of all, they're a good team - they're a great team. When you combine that with a good fan base, a good crowd - like when we're playing well here. It's a good football team in a tough atmosphere. It doesn't mean anything to say, 'Oh we've got 80,000 people in here yelling.' If you don't play well, there's no such thing as an advantage.

Q: Does the defense thrive on going up against an offensive coach like Mike Shanahan?

Vrabel: When you get to this point in the season, you're going to be up against good teams. Not only a good offense, you're going to be up against a good offense and a good defense. We're playing a Denver Broncos team that's first or second in the run, second in giving up rushing yards. It's going to be important for us to try to outplay their defense.


Q: What are your thoughts on Benjamin Watson's athletic ability?

Fauria: He reminds me a lot of Shannon Sharpe, as far as his athletic ability. He is not necessarily a big, thick guy, but he is one of the strongest guys on the team. He is one of the fastest on the team. He is holding down, so he is not getting too crazy.

Q: What do you see for his potential?

Fauria: I don't think anyone knows what his ceiling is. I think he is too young. He has shown a lot of great things. This is really only his first year. There are a lot of intangibles with him. You don't know how well he can be. Right now there is no ceiling for him. He could be one of the best ever or we will have to wait and see.

Q: If you had to say how different your team is now compared to the last time you faced them how would you in categorize it?

Fauria: Our record is better. That is the most important thing. We have some more wins. I think we have always had a good attitude and good confidence, but we weren't playing well. We weren't consistent. Regardless of injuries or not, we just weren't playing good football. There were a lot of situations where we put ourselves in holes with holding penalties, starting drives first-and-15 or first-and-20. If you play against anyone who is good, you just aren't going to have a chance to win. The last time we played Denver it was 28-3. The game was over and they were killing us. We couldn't get anything going. Since then we have been practicing harder and harder. We haven't given up. We knew it was going to be long season and we are in the position we are now.

Q: Why is it so difficult to win in Denver?

Fauria: First of all, they are good. I think that is the most important thing you have to realize. Regardless of where they are playing, they are a good team. I don't even want to get into the altitude and all of that. They have a great fan base. They have smart fans. Some of the toughest places to place are in the AFC West, with Kansas City and Denver. Just from experience playing there, I played there against them once a year for seven years and we beat them once in Denver. They just had good teams. I don't think you can attribute it to anything else but them just being well-coached and they execute very well.

Q: Why are you guys better now compared to Week 3 and Week 4?

Fauria: I think we are playing better. It comes down to that. Guys are making more plays and we are not making as many mistakes. We are a little more focused. You realize this season is not a sprint. It is a marathon. You have heard it all before. You want to kind of define yourself later in November and December, and I think we have done that. We have been working hard on all the things we screwed up on earlier in the season. We have been working on the third-down conversions, the short-yardage, the run game, the pass game, and defensively as well. We are just playing better football.


Q: Can you talk about Denver's defense and the challenges they present?

Graham: They have a pretty good defense. They have a lot of guys that can make plays on their defense. They have a good front four and when they get tired, they have pretty good backups that come in who would start anywhere else. They have a pretty good defense.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content


Latest News

Presented by

Trending Video


In Case You Missed It

Presented by