NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS LOCKER ROOM QUOTES
December 17, 2009
Sam Aiken, Wide Receiver
(On what the Patriots have to do to neutralize Buffalo's special teams units)
"We just have to take away their main guys, stay disciplined and just keep that edge."
(On how working on Buffalo's special teams units has helped him in his career)
"I would say a lot, especially as far as a lot of little, small technique coaching points, [such as] getting beat on the block, and how to come and recover - stuff like that. It meant a lot."
(On going back to Buffalo again)
"It's definitely fun. It's mostly the same, but some of the guys they'll always call me before the games. And now, with some of the guys, I'll talk to them after the game."
(On whether Buffalo's approach to special teams is different from the rest of the league)
"Yeah, it is. It's something that they hark on, they definitely hark on it. As you see, year in and year out, they're always in the Top 10 in special teams."
(On what he's brought to New England from Buffalo as special teams captain)
"I try to if there's something that comes up. There are more and more guys that are coming along as we meet together day in and day out that eventually they come to know it."
(On what he thinks of the Patriots special teams now)
"I'm happy, but we can be inconsistent at times. But when we do turn it on, you do see the difference."
(On playing in Buffalo in December)
"I just remember that wind, coming up over the top of the stadium in the right-hand corner, and it's ridiculous."
Shawn Springs, Cornerback
(On how the 2007 Redskins dealt with the death of Sean Taylor)
"We were struggling, but I think it brought us closer together as a team. I think just everybody started appreciating each other more. Although we play a sport, sometimes we take it for granted how lucky we are and how fortunate we are to be in the position we're in. So guys started saying 'I love you, man' and started appreciating each other more. The whole organization came together and we kept fighting - a lot of times that was difficult. One of the toughest things for us was when we played Buffalo that next week. We came on the field with 10 men and left a space open for Sean. I don't know if you all remember seeing that, but that was unbelievable, Coach Greg Blache did that. Just as an organization, we came together. Mr. [Daniel] Snyder flew the whole team down to Miami to his funeral and it was one of the classiest moves I've ever seen. I think it just changed the whole outcome of the season.
(On the lives of Sean Taylor and Chris Henry)
"I mean, I think I might have been the only guy that was there in the defensive backs room for the four years he was there, so I got to see him change firsthand. With having his little girl and everything, he'd really changed his life and turned it around because he had that bad guy reputation. But he really was a great kid. I'm probably sure it was the same for Chris Henry. I know early in his career he had some troubles and things like that, but he seemed to be doing well this year."
(On whether hearing the news of Henry's passing brought back memories of Taylor)
"I guess a little. Obviously, there are comparisons that can be drawn because both were during the season. All I can say is that I feel for Chris Henry's family, and fiancée and the team."
(On overcoming the death of a teammate)
"I think one of the biggest things that helped was that Coach [Joe] Gibbs is a spiritual man. And he put it in the aspect that we're all here to provide a service, and there's a reason and that all of our days are numbered. We brought it in as family and became tighter as a group."
(On preparing for a football game after tragedy)
"In our case, we just thought about what Sean represented, and the type of player that he was and what he would've wanted us to do. A lot of guys just took it upon themselves to just do it like Sean would do it. He was always talented. He was always a hard worker, very competitive. He played every game like it was his last and we just kind of took on that attitude."