QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY
(on playing in his fifth Super Bowl)
"To be in this game one time is a pretty unbelievable experience, and to think that this is my fifth time, my fifth Media Day and fifth Super Bowl is pretty incredible."
(on anything he wished he could do over from the Patriots' last Super Bowl appearance vs. the Giants)
"All the games you lose, there are plays that you want back. Certainly, every time you lose, you think there is more that you could have done to help the team win. But when you win, you don't think about any of those things, you think about what you do well."
(on growing up a 49ers fan watching games at Candlestick Park)
"I remember being in the parking lot (before games) *throwing the ball, wearing my *(Joe)
Montana and *(Steve) *Young jerseys. It was really great to grow up in the Bay Area at that time and watch two of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play. That's really where I began to love football."
(on whether his late-round selection in the 2000 NFL Draft is still a motivating factor)
"I don't think it's just that 2000 NFL Draft. What you're always trying to do as an athlete is prove it to yourself. You go through a college career and think you do a decent job - not that you get overlooked, it's just that there are other guys who they feel can do a better job - so you just keep working hard, you just keep believing in yourself and looking for your opportunity. Unfortunately, I got my opportunity through Drew (Bledsoe)
getting injured. At the same time, I wanted to take advantage of that opportunity. Life is about taking advantage of opportunities, and you never know when you're going to get them. You have to be prepared to take advantage when you get them. You try to go out there and be confident in yourself so you can inspire confidence in others. I always tell young players, 'How do you expect me to be confident in you when I look at you and see that you're not confident in yourself?' You're always bringing that level of confidence so guys look at you and say, 'I know he's going to get it done, so this is how I'm going to prepare myself.'"
(on what the return of Josh McDaniels brings to the coaching staff and the offense)
"It's great to have him back. It would be a challenging position for any coordinator to come into, and having Josh back, I think it makes it very seamless because of his familiarity with our offense, our style, our locker rooms, our meeting rooms, all of the other coaches. He's been a great friend of mine since the day he got to the team. He's a great addition."
(on what stands out from his first Super Bowl experience 10 years ago compared to this one)
"That was the 9-11 year, so there was only one week to prepare. We went down to New Orleans and there was so much happening, not just with Super Bowl week. I had actually hurt my ankle in the previous game, so I spent a ton of time in the training room getting ready for that game. We were playing one of the greatest teams in football (St. Louis). From what I do remember, it was a pretty crazy week. There was a ton to do in a very short amount of time."
(on not taking the Super Bowl for granted)
"Look at this (Media Day). How could you ever take this for granted? It's pretty cool to think as a kid growing up that a bunch of people would come watch us play a football game. We love to play the game, practice, prepare and to have this experience, as well."
(on whether he wanted a Super Bowl rematch against the Giants as much as many Patriots fans did)
"There is a great rivalry, there has been between Boston and New York for a long time. When I got to the team, it was always Red Sox-Yankees. We've had some pretty meaningful games against the Giants over the past few years, so I don't think anyone is disappointed that it's the Giants."
(on what he plans to do to ensure a better outcome than the last Patriots-Giants Super Bowl)
"I want to make sure I don't throw any interceptions. I want to try to play really well. They're a good team, that's why they're here. They force you into a lot of mistakes. But we can't go out there and make mistakes and expect to win. We have to go out there and play a very clean game."
(on his advice to younger players in this game)
"I know this *(Media Day) *is a big part of the week, dealing with a lot of requests, not just media requests, but also family requests. But ultimately, when that game is kicked off, you'd better be ready to play. It's a game that we've played all year. The rules are the same, but you'd better be doing everything you need to do during the course of the week to get ready."
(on whether his sons understand the magnitude of this game)
"I have a four-and-a-half-year-old who is much more interested in the Millelnium Falcon and his Lego sets than football. I try to keep tossing him the ball. My two-year-old, he's definitely going to be a little athlete. One thing over the years that has really changed is being a parent. It's a little different (balancing) your work and your parenting. I'm sure everyone here deals with that, as well. That's obviously a great part of my life."
(on how much a win would mean in this game after a loss against the Giants in Super Bowl XLII)
"A win means everything. That's why we're here. It's certainly not going to be easy. I know there is a lot of build-up around the fact that we played these guys five years ago, but those were very different teams five years ago."
(on how whether he's reflected on how far he's come since his college days at Michigan)
"Not on a daily basis. I think those experiences of competition, those serve you well as you mature. I think I was very fortunate in college to go through some pretty stiff competition in order to withstand that competition once you got to the next level. A lot of the lessons that I learned when I was 18, 19 years old have served me well when I was 23 and 24. This game is about competition. You have to compete every single day in practice because if you don't, you're not going to be around very long. The most competitive guys that I've been around - Rodney Harrison, Willie McGinest, Troy Brown, Wes Welker, Randy Moss - these guys wanted to win at everything. I think that's why they've always worked hard to compete and put themselves in a position to win."
(on whether the Patriots are more relaxed heading into this Super Bowl)
"I think you're most relaxed as a player when you're prepared and when you're confident. You're not worry about what they're going to do. I think we're playing good football. We've won our last 10 games. It's a confident team. If we go out and we play well, we expect to win the game. I'm sure the Giants feel the same way. We have to go out there and earn it. It's not going to be easy. They're a very good team. We played them earlier in the year. They gave us everything that they could handle. We've been pretty good at home over the years and they beat us at home. They are good in every area. They score points, they play good defense. It's going to be a great challenge."
(on how the joy of winning a Super Bowl compares to the agony of losing one)
"Any time you lose, it's a tough thing. We've lost one Super Bowl. I remember waking up in Arizona the next morning after an hour of sleep thinking, That was a nightmare, that didn't happen. After time, you learn to move on and get over it. Anyone who loses in the playoffs knows it is difficult to deal with. When you win, you still probably get an hour of sleep, but that feeling doesn't go away for a long time. The winning, the things that go along with winning, those are really special memories that you have with a lot of close friends. It's a great feeling."
(on any advice that he has received from his wife)
"Throw the ball quickly. She doesn't like it when I get hit very often. My guys up front do a great job of protecting me."
(on growing up with three older sisters)
"It was great, I didn't have anyone to share clothes with, I didn't have to fight over the bathroom. They were pretty easy on me. They dressed me up a few times in their clothes and painted my nails once, but it was nice. It was pretty easy when you were a kid and you had three older sisters. They'd bring all of their girlfriends over to the house. It was pretty cool. They (my sisters) were the best athletes in my house. They were certainly better athletes than me. They all had successful athletic careers. It was a very athletic family. We grew up on baseball and soccer fields. I loved just tagging along. I'd loved going out there and cheering them on. I was living and dying with every win and loss that they had."
(on the key to Kevin Faulk's longevity with the Patriots)
"I think he's a Patriot type of player. He's tough, smart and he plays well under pressure. He's made some huge plays for us in our biggest games. The last time we played the Giants in the Super Bowl he had a huge game. If you look at the plays he's made over the years - catching the ball out of the backfield, blitz pickup - he can really do everything. It's great to have a guy like that in the backfield who understands what you're trying to do on every play."
(on how important the dedication of this season to Myra Kraft is to him and his teammates)
"She is a woman who has been smiling down on us over the course of this season. I think Mr. Kraft and his family have had a challenging six months. Mr. Kraft said the other day that he is a very spiritual person, and hopefully we can go out and get a win for him. I think it would make this year very special for him and special for his family."
WIDE RECEIVER DEION BRANCH
(on Super Bowl XLVI)*
"Our job is to come out and execute our plays and that is what we are going to try and do."
(on whether it takes the pressure off of him coming into this game after having been named the most valuable player of Super Bowl XXXIX)
"No not really. I think there is a lot of pressure on all the guys. It's all about going out and doing our jobs and doing what we have been doing all year long. I think that is the reason we are here. We didn't get here by mistake. We put a lot of hard work in this season and hopefully we can come in and finish the job."
(on whether this is a revenge game for the Patriots since the Giants beat them in Super Bowl XLII)
"No I don't think so. This is a different year and a different team. It's really all about the game on Sunday."
(on how excited he is about playing the Rams next season in London)
"We're going to play over there next year? Who are we going to play? I've been to London and Great Britain two years ago with the kids and my wife."
(on the best thing about his visit to London)
"I really liked everything. What I remember most was the freshness of the air."
(on what type of game he expects to have on Sunday)
"My confidence is very high. I'm never lacking in that part. It's all about opportunities and what the defense gives us and taking advantage of it. Whether it's me or any of the other guys, I'm going to go out and play my game."
(on what he thinks of the Giants' defense)
"I think what gives us problems, and also gives teams problems across the league, is the Giants' front seven. Their front line is really good. All those guys bring a lot of pressure."
(on how the Patriots are going to attack the Giants' defensive secondary)
"It's just part of our game plan. They are going to do what they do and we are going to do what we do best."
(on how he feels about playing in another Super Bowl)
"It's going to be great. It's an honor just to be a part of this. I'm truly thankful to be a part of playing in another Super Bowl. I think all the guys truly will go and play their hearts out on Sunday. Everyone has put in a lot of hard work all season. Everybody was ready to go when we reported for training camp and excited about the season."
(on what part faith plays in his life)
"Faith plays a big part in my life. I was raised a Christian and I believe in God. He's the reason I am here. I'm very thankful for everything in my life. Every day that I wake up I thank God. The things I do outside of football are really important to me. I'm more than just a football player. I feel like we are put here to serve a purpose whether you are a football player or not."
(on what he thinks about Super Bowl Media Day)
"I think all the stuff that leads up to the game for these two weeks is fun but I'm obviously getting prepared to play the game on Sunday. It's different this year because they have a lot of fans in the stands. These people in Indianapolis have been waiting for this game for a long time although I don't see many Patriots fans in the stands. There are mostly Colts fans in the stands but this is what it's all about giving back to the fans. That's why the NFL is the greatest sport. We are the best of the best. We are the crème de la crème."
(on how much football he played growing up)
"I played Pop Warner football as a kid, to middle school which I didn't get to play football because my high school coach didn't allow me to play in middle school, and then to high school and then to college. All these times are a big part of my life and my upbringing."
(on why he has a video camera with him recording the Media Day festivities)
"We get recorded all the time, and so I thought I would put you all on the spot today. Don't be surprised to see yourself one day."
(on what he expects his role to be on Sunday)
"Exactly what it has been all year to get to this point. Whenever the coach calls my number I am going to respond. I'm going to be there and answer. Each and every one of us has a role. Our jobs are to go out there on Sunday and do what the coaches ask us to do. I try and do that each and every week. If the coaches give me the opportunity I am going to take advantage of that. I never go into a game thinking that the coaches are never going to throw me the ball. They would never do that."
(on what the Super Bowl means to Indianapolis)
"It's really good for the city of Indianapolis. This is what the city has been waiting for. I think they have set all kinds of records already with the opening of the Super Bowl (festivities downtown). I think the fans were ready to go even before we got to town on Sunday. Maybe they will get a chance to have the Super Bowl back here again."
(on how Patriots coach Billl Belichick been able to find so many talented free agents like Rob Ninkovich)
"First off, coach Belichick has an eye for talent, and given the opportunity, most of his players take advantage of it. He gives each and every guy the opportunity to play football and what each player does with that is their choice, and I think Rob has done a great job with that. Coach is going to allow guys to get on the football field."
(on what it has been like playing with Chad Ochocinco)
"He's a great guy on and off the football field. He's a great friend. He was one of my friends before he got here, and since he's been here, our friendship has strengthened. I truly love playing with this guy."
RUNNING BACK BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS
(on Super Bowl media day)
"It's been fun. I'm having a good time out here. Just enjoying talking to some nice people, so it's fun for me."
(on how he has managed to never fumble the football)
"Like I said, I've just been blessed and fortunate. God has been watching over me to let me hang on to the football because nobody wants to fumble the ball. It's just something that happens. It's a part of the game and it's just something that happens."
(on where he got his nickname 'The Law Firm')
"I actually got it from the fans. I'm not sure between the fans and the ESPN people, the Trey Wingo's and Chris Berman's, somewhere in there. I like it. I see people come up to me all the time that give me their cards and ask if they can join my law firm and stuff like that, so that's fun."
(on what his favorite part of the Super Bowl experience is so far)
"Going to practice. I think that's my most fun part, going to practice and getting out there and actually just being with the guys and just running through plays. Just having fun out there doing what I actually love to do."
(on if he dreamed about this moment and playing in the Super Bowl)
"Yeah, actually I was on the phone with my little cousin Mike Wallace. He's coming back from Hawaii and I was talking to him and he was telling me about the Pro Bowl. He was here last year, well not here, but in Dallas, and he was just talking about how we used to be in the back yard thinking about Super Bowl and he was like, 'Man, we're really here.' And I was like, 'Yeah, you're right.' I never really stopped and thought about it until he said that."
(on what to expect from the Patriots' running game)
"We expect to try to come out there and be successful and try to win plays and execute on all cylinders."
(on if he is superstitious)
"I'm not superstitious at all really. I'm not into the whole superstition thing. I just don't split poles. That's something I don't do. I don't walk around poles."
(on what his cousin Mike Wallace has told him leading up to Super Bowl week)
"I talked to him last night, he was getting ready to fly back from Hawaii today. He was just saying that basically, just enjoy the experience because we used to dream of this and play in the backyard."
(on the Impact Indicator chin strap he will be wearing in the game)
"It's actually, it registers the amount of impact that you get hit on and I'll be wearing it to the game on Sunday. But I'm really wearing it just to improve the awareness for parents and things like that. You can get hit and you see your child out there, you don't really know what's really going on, but if you can see the light is blinking than you can have a coach or somebody check them out. It can do more for concussion tests because it's something that's really been serious. You see all the concussion hits that have been going on in the NFL and I just want to bring up the awareness."
(on if he has tried wearing the Impact Indicator chin strap and if he thinks it will be a distraction)
"No, it won't be. I've been wearing it for the last couple weeks. It's a chin strap. It's not really nothing that's different about it, it's just a chin strap. The only thing that's different is it registers the amount of impact that you're getting once you get hit. That will be fun. I think that's fun."
(on how it registers the hit)
"It's green now, but if there is an impact of like a concussion the light will start blinking and it will turn red."
TIGHT END ROB GRONKOWSKI
(on his ankle)
"I am just going day-by-day every single day. Working with training staff, whatever they ask me to do, that's all I am doing."
(on if he expects to play on Sunday)
"I don't know yet. We are going day-by-day. We are making new steps every day and feeling better every single day. That's a positive sign. You just want to keep going in the right direction. I want to be out there with the team, obviously. I want to help out the team, obviously. I am just taking it step-by-step, and getting better every single day."
(on if he will practice Wednesday or Thursday)
"Today is Tuesday, we have a day off. I am just going to be with the trainers, just trying to get stronger, trying to get better. Tomorrow is a new day and we will see what happens tomorrow."
(on if he can imagine not playing on Sunday)
"Yeah, but I am not really worried about if I am playing or not yet. That's on Sunday. The only thing I am worried about is Tuesday, which is today - to get better today, to keep on improving today, to keep on getting stronger today and get on progressing today. We'll just keep on moving forward, going in a positive direction and that's all that counts."
(on if he could still play if he doesn't practice all week)
"I am not sure. That's why I am with the training staff, whatever they have me do. I trust in the organization here. I trust in the coaches. I trust in all of the trainers to get me ready for whatever I have to do, so when Sunday comes along, they will have me at the best and where I need to be."
(on if he will put the boot back on his ankle once Media Day is over)
"No, it's off. No more boot."
(on if he would be honest if the coaches ask him if he feels capable of playing)
"I am definitely going to give an honest answer. Whatever the best is for the team, that's all I am trying to do. I am just trying to get better every day, trying to get stronger every day and just progress every day so when it comes to game time I can help out the team as much as possible. Whatever it is, however it is, if it's a whole game, if it's a couple plays, no matter what it is, just trying to help out the team as much as possible."
(on what he has accomplished this season)
"It's been a great season. It definitely wouldn't have been able to get accomplished without the guys around me. The supporting cast around me, the QB, the coaches, all of the veterans around me. It is just unbelievable playing with so many great players, so many great coaches. It's a lot of fun too. Aaron Hernandez too, playing alongside him is awesome. Nothing would have been able to be accomplished without this team. We all help each other out. We all benefit off each other, I believe. We come together as a team, we accomplish things and we get things done."
(on if he could imagine breaking all of the NFL records for tight ends when he was injured in college)
"Definitely not. That's not what you are imagining when you are hurt in college for a whole year. You are not imagining breaking records at the next level. The only thing you are imagining is getting better, staying focused to get healthy again, to get back out there and contribute, to make sure you are ready when it comes time to play again."
(on if he would be out if it was a regular-season game)
"It's not a regular-season game. It's the Super Bowl this week. It's the biggest game, it's not a regular-season game. You have to treat it a lot differently."
(on if his ankle is improving)
"I am improving every day. When you are hurt, you want to improve every day. You are just trying to get stronger every day. Listen to the training staff and what they have to say. Trying to heal up, getting stronger and making sure I am more fluid out there and can be on it and everything. Basically, going in the right direction."
(on if his ability to play and produce is key in this game)
"I am not sure. If I am out there, obviously, I am going to have the ability to be playing and I am going to be going full speed and everything, just doing as much as I possibly can. Like I said, we are taking it day-by-day. I could be feeling 100 percent when it comes to gameday on Sunday, you just don't know. You are just trying to get better, you are trying to progress every single day, doing the treatments that the trainers have you do, moving forward every single day and moving in a positive direction. So far it's been good."
(on how much of a support system his family has been)
"They have been a huge support system. It's great having your family out here. It's great that my brother (Chris)
is on the Colts. He has a house right down the street. I get to hang out with him at night, catch up with my brother and everything. I am not just coming to the Super Bowl and hanging with the team, I get to see my family, my brother and hang out with him. Talk about the life of being in the NFL, helping each other out and supporting each other. It's awesome."
(on if he has seen the media coverage his ankle is getting)
"A little bit, but that's not really what I am focused on. I am really focused on getting it better. I am not worried about the coverage on my ankle or any of that. I am just worried about getting better, listening to my trainers, listening to the coaches, listening to the players on the team and just trying to get better every day so I can be out there."
(on if he has ever played hurt before)
"It depends on what 'hurt' means, there's a difference between hurt, sore, a little banged up. If you are playing and you are hurt, it's not that serious. Obviously, you don't have anything broken. If you are in the NFL, the way you got here, you definitely played hurt before in your life."
(on if he says to the trainers that he is willing to do anything and everything to be out there on Sunday)
"Oh yeah, definitely. I am anxious to be out there with the team. It's all I want to do - be out there with the team, helping out the team, just trying to give whatever I can. Who wouldn't be anxious to be out there? It's the Super Bowl, the biggest stage in sports every single year. I am really anxious, so whatever the training staff has to offer. I listen to all of the advice and everything just so I can get out there and help out the team."
(on what he would like to say to the fans)
"The fans are awesome. The New England Patriot fans are unbelievable. The atmosphere of the playoff games was off the charts. They are loud, they are proud. They were just going wild, so I'd like to give a shot out to the New England Patriots fans for sure. They are always there, always supporting, always getting wild, always getting crazy, they are always hyped. It's a lot of fun playing for them. They are definitely the reason we go out there every single week. When they are cheering it gets us motivated, gets us going and it's a pleasure to be playing for them."
(on if he will be able to play if he continues to improve at this rate)
"Hopefully. Like I said, we are making positive strides every single day. That's the goal, to make positive strides every day and do the most you can, so you don't look back and regret that you didn't do it all. It's going good, and hopefully I will be ready."
(on if he will be able to do what he needs to do if he can play)
"Hopefully, that's the goal - get out there, be effective and help out the team. But, that's in like six more days, you never know. It could be 100 percent by then or it could be 2 percent by then. We are just taking it day-by-day, making positive strides, moving forward, so it's going good."
LINEBACKER JEROD MAYO
(on his football dream)
"To be honest with you, this team. It is all about the team, we just want to win."
(on Victor Cruz)
"Cruz he possesses that down field threat. He can stretch the field and he can run those irregular slot routes. He's a dangerous player."
(on defensive plan for the game)
"We don't know what they're going to do. You know those first few possessions will be interesting. I think both teams have done a good job in terms of making those adjustments, during halftime and obviously on the sideline. We're trying to figure out what they're going to be doing, so we'll switch it up."
(on his feelings about the last time these two teams met)
"It was a good game, but unfortunately we were on the wrong side of that ending. This is a different team. We have some new players, some new key guys."
(on Indianapolis and the experience thus far)
"It's been a great experience so far, the fans have really been good to us. The hospitality has been good, they love us out here. As soon as we got off the plane, they threw us Super Bowl scarves. It's been a lot of fun so far. But at the same time, we're out here to work hard. "
(on his feelings towards Tennessee and Coach Fulmer)
"You know he was a great coach. He's also a great father figure. You come out a man. You start out as a boy, and he raises you and then helps you become a better football player. And beyond that, I have to mention his defense. He's just a great coach."
(on his initial feelings of media day)
"It's been great so far. There is a lot of media. At first it is a little overwhelming, but I guess then you get used to it. We're having fun."
(on the Giants offensive line)
"They have a great line. They do a lot for the guys out front. And when they don't protect Eli, you can count on his to make plays with his feet. You can count on him to do a great job running the ball."
(on how different Eli and Payton are as players)
"That's a tough question. They're different. Eli is doing a better job in terms of running the ball, especially on third downs you can count on him to make those plays. Payton has a different gift."
(on looking forward to the Super Bowl game)
"I've played it over and over in my head. So many times. I've even thought about it when I was a kid, and dreaming about the Super Bowl. And now it's finally here."
(on trying to be the Super Bowl MVP)
"I mean you always want to be the one to make those plays. You want to be the one to be the MVP. But then there are those days where you just focus on winning that game."
(on his college career preparing him for the NFL)
"My coaches just really paved the way for me. They're extremely professional and they take football seriously. They're constantly studying film, breaking down film. They by far had a major influence on my life."
(on how the fans in the South and his favorite Tennessee tradition)
"Well, you know those fans down there. Football is huge. My favorite tradition would have to be running through the 'T.' You know when you see that 'T' coming up it's time to play some ball."
(on his best college memory)
"It would probably have to be playing in the SEC Championship Game. Even though we came up on the short end of the stick, we played a great game. We just came up a little bit short."
(on the hospitality in Indianapolis)
"Everyone has been more than welcoming."
(on Eli Manning)
"He's been amazing in the playoffs. He's also very dangerous and he's been making a lot of plays for them. We're going to handle him the best we can. We're going to have to attack him in different ways. But we have guys that can make those plays."
(on the Patriots line up)
"This will be the first time that we've had the same group of guys for three weeks in a row since I can remember."
(on what's going to give the Patriots an edge)
"I think that it's just having the same group of guys out there as the past couple of weeks. We're finally coming together and getting guys healthy."
(on his feelings of this being his first Super Bowl)
"I'm just taking it as a regular work week, and we'll celebrate whatever we have to when it's over. It's easy to focus when you have a coach alike Coach Belichick, who keeps everything isolated from everything. He just does a great job of keeping us in focus."
(on his teammates feelings and the Super Bowl experience)
"You know you can prepare your whole life for this moment."
(on if experience matters in the Super Bowl)
"I don't think so. We have some veterans we have some newer guys. But we have a great coach in Coach Belichick. He's won multiple rings and he's as good as there is. We're just going to go out there and do our thing."
(on what have the veterans told him)
"To just go out there and do business like it's a normal game. We're in a hotel where it's just us and we're away from everyone to focus."
SAFETY PATRICK CHUNG
(on his podium being next to Tom Brady's)
"I know, right? This is crazy. It's a crazy experience."
(on whether being next to Tom Brady makes him feel unwanted)
"No, not at all. We're a team. We're not worried about that stuff."
(on being at the Super Bowl)
"It's crazy. It really is crazy, man. It's a great experience. Guys don't get to experience anything like this for years, so it's a blessing to finally get to experience this."
(on the New England secondary playing better later in the season)
"Just playing together, being able to be with this same group for a number of games. Guys in the back end, we know we have to buckle down now. It's a big game, and now it's time to play with the most intensity we've ever played with."
(on the defensive secondary as a whole)
"We're all one. We're all brothers in there, like a family. Honestly, like a family. We hang out together, we talk crap together, everything is together. We do everything together. That's why we're so close."
(on whether there's a leader in the New England secondary)
"We all feed off each other. It is a very young group. We feed off each other and we ask each other questions and go from there. There's a bunch of leaders back there, a bunch of guys that know how to lead and make plays."
(on the feeling in the locker room right now)
"'Like this.' (smiling) It feels good. I can't even explain it. It's the big show. It's time to dance."
(on the difference between this team and the other Patriots teams he's been on)
"I can't speak on that. This is our team, you know? These are new faces, new programs, so it's about us right now."
(on whether the secondary has taken the criticism personally and as a challenge)
"I think anybody would take it as a challenge, you know? People talk, people say what they want to say, but hey, we're winning games, we're playing well and now we're in the big game."
(on his best skill as a player)
"Me? Nah, it's not about me. You tried to get me (laughing)
. I'm just playing football. I love being with my teammates. I love being with my family."
(on what he takes pride in as a player)
"Honestly, it's not even on the field. Just off the field, being a good person. I'm very humble and down to earth. I'm totally different when I'm on the field and off the field. Just being cool with everybody, being a good guy and being down to earth."
(on Julian Edelman playing on both sides of the ball at CB and WR)
"I like Julian. He's a beast. He has that mentality, that beast mode in him. He's tough, he's fast, he's physical. I have no worries about Julian. He's good."
(on whether he was surprised when WR Julian Edelman started playing CB)
"No. I have faith in Julian. Julian, (Matthew) Slater, I have faith in both of those guys. If coach *(Bill Belichick) *puts you at a position, you're ready to play."
(on whether he was aware of how HC Bill Belichick used to use WR Troy Brown on defense)
"The best guys play. If he wants you to play somewhere, you're going to play there and play to the best of your ability."
(on the Giants receivers saying they can exploit WR/CB Edelman)
"I'm not going to comment on that. We've got a couple days, so we'll be all right."
(on whether Edelman is a weak link)
"Not at all. I think he's good. If you put him there, he's going to play well. I have full faith in Julian, 100 percent.
(on whether he played receiver)
"In high school. Never since."
(on if he could imagine playing receiver at this level)
"If coach put me there, I would have to play it. That's the kind of mentality we have here. If coach needs you somewhere and needs you to perform, you're going to perform at a high level."
(on being on the field right now preparing for the Super Bowl)
"This feels good, man. It feels good. As the week goes along, it's going to get more intense, but right now I'm enjoying it. We're enjoying it, having fun and everything's good."
(on whether it's better to be in Indianapolis as opposed to a warm-weather city because there are fewer distractions)
"It is what it is. Whether it's cold, hot, muggy, humid, you've got to play the game."
(on whether he's OK with this weather)
"It's the last game. You're going to have to be OK with any weather."
(on letting fans into Media Day)
"This is crazy, man. It's crazy. I've never seen anything like this ever. I'm soaking it all up. I'm enjoying every moment."
(on whether he's talked to his teammates who have played in Super Bowls on what to expect)
"No. I kind of want to see it and just react and see everything for the first time, you know? I told them yesterday, 'Don't tell me anything.' Now I see, man. It's crazy. I love it. It's good stuff."
(on whether today is not about football)
"Right now, it's about enjoying the moment, man. We have a whole week to get football done. Enjoy the moment, have fun and just soak it all up."
(on whether he thinks the fans in Indianapolis will boo the Patriots)
"That's a good question. They've welcomed us here. Shout out to the Indy fans - we appreciate all the hospitality. Thank you for letting us use the facility."
(on whether he thinks the fan support will be equal on Sunday)
"It doesn't matter, man. We're here to play a game."
(on how the Patriots defense keeps teams from scoring a lot of points despite allowing a lot of yards)
"Red area *(red zone defense) *. If they don't score, they can't win. You can drive the field, but if you don't score you can't win. We've got that bend but don't break mentality. That's the main thing. If they don't score, they don't win. That's it."
(on how he is health wise after missing time this season)
"It's the last game, man. Everybody's healthy."
(on how he has adjusted to the changes in how the game is played)
"It's kind of hard to answer. You just have to play. Once you start thinking about different rules, then you're not going to play to your full potential. You just have to play and hopefully don't hit anyone illegally, but you just have to see how it plays out. You try to avoid it as much as possible, but once it's gametime, you just have to play the game."
PUNTER ZOLTAN MESKO
(on trying to be more versatile and improve his craft as a holder)
"The more things you can do the better. As long as I can help the team win, I will do whatever."
(on what the mood of the team is)
"It's a business trip, but it's a business trip that we may never get to relive again. So you have to soak it in to a certain extent, and at the same time get ready for the game."
(on if Coach Belichick is loose before the game)
"He is, because you have to. You can't be too tight in this game. You want to feel some butterflies, because the adrenaline is going to help you a little bit. But you don't want to overwhelm yourself, and by that happening throughout the whole week, you prepare for your job that is at hand and the rest will take care of itself."
(on how Belichick has shown that he's relaxed)
"You can just tell in his demeanor, and basically, the team is that way. We are very thankful to be here, but at the same time, you sense the sense of urgency in everyone that there is a job to be done."
(on how his time at the University of Michigan prepared him for a game like this)
"For this? There are more people in the stands at Michigan, which is quite an experience. The five years I was there, it was something that, the things I learned like time management and hard work and what it takes to be successful on such a stage are lessons that you can't pay for. You just have to live through them."
(on if there is more pressure in his job at the Super Bowl or at the Big House at Michigan)
"It's kind of the same, because there are teammates depending on you, and that's what it boils down to. It's you not wanting to let your teammates down and you putting in the work to succeed for your teammates and hopefully celebrate together.
(on the experience of having other Michigan Wolverines on the Patriots' roster)
"It's great to kind of reminisce at times, places we liked to go and eat and classes we took and teams we played, funny things that happened."
(on if he thinks he's found an edge in the kicking game this week)
"If I would tell you, we wouldn't have an edge anymore. But we've been preparing hard and we try to keep the fundamentals going across the board. Even with what we've accomplished so far, we can't lose that. We need to maintain it and keep working hard."
(on if more starters play special teams with the Patriots than with other teams)
"I can't specifically comment on that, but in the NFL, the numbers on the roster are limited, so you try to involve the people who can help you the most without jeopardizing their primary positions."
(on if he is the only NFL player known in his homeland of Romania)
"I don't know how that came about, but there's no way people don't know Tom Brady more than me."
(on if any of his friends from home will be watching)
"I don't know. It's going to be a midnight kickoff, or a 1:00 (a.m.)
kickoff there. Hopefully people will get their afternoon naps in and support me because I'll be supporting them."
DEFENSIVE BACK DEVIN McCOURTY
(on if he's ready to go)
"Yeah, we'll keep preparing this week and try and put it all together by Sunday."
(on playing the Super Bowl in Indianapolis compared to Miami or New Orleans)
"I think right now, guys are just ecstatic and happy to be here, excited. I don't think we really cared where it was at as long as we were here playing in this game. I think that was the most important part."
(on this experience)
"It's been great. You can't even begin to explain the feeling of being able to play in the Super Bowl, and it's only my second year here. The guys we have here know how important it is. We have guys that have been in the league for 10-plus seasons and this will be their first one, so I try not to take it for granted and I realize how blessed I am to be here."
(on how his time at Rutgers prepared him for the NFL)
"I think the biggest thing was the way coach (Greg) Schiano ran the program. We always had a professionalism about us with the way we took on things, the way we practiced, so once I came to this step it was kind of like falling in and learning my role here. Taking what I learned in college and improve it."
(on how he thinks Greg Schiano will fair in the NFL as a head coach)
"I think he'll be a good coach. Just being around him and the type of guy he is, and how he is with the players and running the program. Now, running Tampa Bay, I'll think he'll be a good coach."
(on making the Pro Bowl his first year and now being in the Super Bowl his second year)
"It's been an enjoyable ride. Just trying to make sure I enjoy every moment of this. Don't take it for granted. Being in Hawaii last year was an awesome feeling with all those guys out there, and then here with all my teammates I think is even more special because it's the guys you grind with all season, all last season. To be here, playing in the Super Bowl, it's like a dream come true playing with my teammates."
(on what kind of challenges he sees from the Giants receivers)
"They kind of bring every challenge that a wide receiver group can bring. Three very explosive receivers, but they all kind of go about in different ways. I think the biggest thing for us is we all have to come ready to play. They don't have one guy that you need to make sure you stop. They have three guys that are in any game, and I think they showed it in the playoffs; that no matter what, one of those guys has stepped up and had a big game. We just have to come *(prepared) *and all across the board be ready to go."
(on if the Giants come out passing knowing they struggle against the pass)
"We have to come ready to play. At this time of the year it doesn't matter what you have given up throughout the season because it seems that playoff stats are thrown out of the window. If they come out passing we have to be ready to go, but if they're running the ball we have to be ready to go too. There's one game left, and each team is going to do what they have to do to get a win."
(on if he could give a shout out to all the service men and women)
"Big shout out to all the service men that help us play this game, protect us, and let all the fans come and support. We just want to tell you guys thank you, I hope you have fun watching the game, and I hope you're rooting for the Pats."
(on what he sees in Tom Brady from a leadership standpoint and his ability to bounce back)
"He comes back ready to practice. For us, you don't know whether you have one of those crazy games like he had in Miami, or if he has what he considers a bad game because he has that same work ethic every time he comes to the facility, or if it's his workout, or watching film. Then, each day at practice when we're out there competing, he's trying to complete every pass out there. With Tom you never really see a change in his attitude."
(on what Tom Brady's work ethic does for the team)
"It kind of makes you perform that way as well. When you come in no matter if you're a rookie, you're a first-round pick, undrafted, if you see Tom Brady with a certain attitude and a certain way about going about everything, how could you not watch him and do the same thing? So I think it starts with him and other guys like Vince (Wilfork), Kevin Faulk, those guys all do the same things every day, day-in and day-out, so it trickles down through the whole team."
(of if Greg Schiano and Bill Belichick are similar in the way they run their programs)
"In a way, there's definitely some similarities. Just the way they go about expecting your best, expecting you to be a professional in everything you do. So I think there's definitely some crossroad between those two guys in that sense."
(on what it means for a kid from Rutgers to be here at the Super Bowl)
"I think the best part is I'm here with four guys also from Rutgers. Guys make fun of us in the locker room, but we just took our Rutgers picture since we have the most guys on the team from one college. I think it just shows how far the program's come and to be here playing in the Super Bowl is just a great feeling."
(on who has a better sense of humor between Schiano and Belichick)
"People might not believe, but I'm going to go with coach Belichick."
(on what the biggest challenge this Giants receiving corps presents)
"I think just them as an offense with how balanced they are with (Ahmad) Bradshaw and *(Brandon) *Jacobs in the backfield. If you worry about the run too much they have three guys with a great quarterback that can get down the field, throw it short, break tackles, and take it the distance. So the biggest thing with their receiving core is they do everything well. They're not just a bunch of fast guys that know how to run vertical. They can catch short passes and break tackles so we have to be ready to go, each guy on the defense; linebackers, defensive line, and the secondary."
(on how he describes being two years removed from Rutgers and being in the Super Bowl)
"It's hard. You can't describe it. I've just been walking around with a big smile on my face. Just happy to be here and trying to take advantage of the opportunity. I'm practicing hard, preparing, and then trying to get ready to go on Sunday."
(on one thing that allows for them to standout)
"I think our work ethic. Preparing in practice, preparing throughout the season, and going about everything the same way that we've been doing it all year. It lets us know if we do this and keep doing it this week, we'll be confident that we'll go out there and play well."
(on what he's thought of Indianapolis so far)
"It's been pretty cool. We got a chance to go to some restaurants, go out, and just kind of relax with the guys. Capital Grille one night and then St. Elmo last night. Once we get there, we just sit there for about two, three hours just cracking jokes and enjoying each other's company."
LINEBACKER ROB NINKOVICH
(on the Patriots' defense playing with confidence)
"Coming here, obviously we have a great opportunity and there has been a great tradition of winning. When you get here, Bill (Belichick) is only going to play the best guys and the guys who are going to contribute the most. Coming in in 2009 (with the Patriots), if someone told me I was going to be the starting linebacker for the Patriots in two years, I don't know if I would have believed them. Everybody has been working really hard all year. We've had our ups and downs on defense and obviously, we gave up some yards that we didn't want to give up. At the end of the day, we did great in turnover ratio and we really stayed together as a group. We fought through the whole season and worked hard. Once the regular season was over, we knew it was a one-game season in the playoffs. We prepared the best we could each week in the playoffs. Whoever we had to face, we were going to be prepared for them."
(on the team having a motto this year)
"No. We're all working really hard. The one thing about the group is that there are a lot of guys who came from free agency or a lot of guys who were cut and had a lot to prove. I think when you go through that route of getting cut, not having a roster spot, wanted to only be a special teams guy and trying to break into the roster on that aspect, it's kind of tough. Coming here, it's really been a blessing for a lot of guys. You take every moment and every opportunity you have and you make the best of it."
(on being told he could only play as a long snapper with the Saints and how he's used that as motivation)
"When (New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton) told me I was a long snapper, I didn't think he was seeing me in the right way as a football player. I think that was my only opportunity to be on the team and that was it. He told me my only chance of making the team was as a long snapper so I just went and snapped a ton of balls. I tried to improve on that. At the end of the day, it didn't work out there and I came here. So it was just my fate to come to New England."
(on why New England is a good fit for him)
"I think they gave me the opportunity and the way they play their defense, they are really an "edge" team. You have to have bigger guys on the outside as linebackers who set the edge. Bill (Belichick) has always preached setting the edge and stopping the run. If you do just that, that's one area of the game that he emphasizes. Coming in here, I was able to do that."
(on what it is like playing close to his college of Purdue)
"It's pretty nice being 45 minutes away from Purdue and about two- and-a-half hours from home. So, yes, it's pretty cool. The family could just jump in the car and they didn't have to get on a plane or anything like that."
(on how many tickets he had to secure for his family)
"Just my family. My mom, dad, sister, nephew and finance. That's it. Once you give a ticket to a cousin, everyone else wants one too. I can't open the flood gates."
(on having an extended family)
"Yes, I have a big family. They are all going to be watching and cheering for me."
(on the success of Purdue's alums in the Super Bowl)
"I think Purdue is obviously a great program. We have a lot of guys in the NFL and a lot of defensive ends that were a little bit undersized and moved to the outside linebacker spot. It's a great school and I have great memories of being at Purdue."
(on playing at Joliet Junior College prior to playing at Purdue)
"That was an experience. Coming out of high school, I wasn't the biggest guy. I had to put on some weight and really develop and mature. The best option for me was to go to JJC. That made you appreciate everything. I had my high school pads, had to buy my cleats, had one pair of gloves all season and had to drive to practice every day and the games. So, it really made me more hungry to continue. I have great respect for Coach Bob MacDougall. He called me up and I really didn't think to go to a junior college. He called my house, talked to me and made me go that way."
(on playing football in junior college giving him more motivation to succeed at the next level)
"I've always had to prove people wrong. My whole life, guys have been turning heads and overlooking me. You have to go out there and perform. Your performance is what defines you as a player. The more plays you make, the more people recognize you. When I was at junior college, I made a lot of plays. I decided to go to Purdue even though they had a lot of starters there. I thought if I went in there and competed well, I'd have an opportunity. Coming into the NFL, I knew that I'd be a special teams guys and I'd have to do whatever I could to get on defense. Once I got on defense, I had to make a name for myself."
(on having success in college against Indiana University)
"Yes, I think IU helped me get to the NFL. I had eight sacks in two years, which isn't too bad."
(on working construction prior to starting his football career)
"Right before I went to junior college, I worked a couple weeks of nights. From 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. I did iron work with steel and things my dad has done for 30 years now. It was on a bridge off of Interstate 57. I was over water and it was kind of scary. I opened up my eyes to knowing I didn't want to be an iron worker for the rest of my life. I'm not a big fan of heights. Looking up (at Lucas Oil Stadium), someone had to put that up there. I don't think I could have done it."
(on being from an area where tough football players have come from)
"Getting to the NFL is a lot of work. All of the time and effort put in to getting to where you are right now. You have a great appreciation for it. I look back at the years I've played and I could write a book about it. Just the ups and downs and the injuries you have to get through. Rehabbing for eight months after a knee injury. Emotionally, it's tough. You want to be playing, you know you have the skills to play, but you just don't have the opportunity. To anybody who is listening and looks at my story, work hard and once you get your chance, make the best of it."
(on his junior college football program being taken away)
"Joliet Junior College - they took its program away. I think it's sad for the kids who need that step to get to the next level. Obviously, if I didn't have that, I wouldn't be where I'm at right now. I feel bad for those kids who won't have that there for them. I think there are other places that they can go. Just for guys in this area, it kind of takes away some of their options."
(on selecting Purdue coming out of junior college)
"Coming out of junior college, I had a lot of Mid-American Conference offers. Toledo (was one)
. Iowa said I was a little small for them so that wouldn't have worked out for me. Illinois offered me a scholarship as a long snapper and I didn't want to do that either. Purdue was really my only offer. My goal was to go to the Big Ten."
(on what kind of player he thought he would become as he developed)
"When I first started playing football my freshman year of high school, I didn't know anything. That was my first year of playing. I was playing offensive guard and I was terrible. I didn't know the game. There were tapes of my pulling and guys completely running past me and just killing the running back. I had a lot of learning to do so they just moved me to defense the next year. It's something that fit me well. Chasing the ball and the pass rush stuff was natural for me. It's been a long road, but defense is 100 percent. When I went to Purdue they offered me a scholarship, but they didn't have enough scholarships on defense so I signed as a tight end. On the first day of two-a-days, I asked to play the first practice as a tight end and the second as a defensive end."
(on the NFL being a realistic goal for him)
"That's always in the back of your head when you're in college. That's your projection. You want to get in the NFL and that's your dream. Not until after my senior year was over did I realize that this was really going to happen. With agents talking to me and telling me I had a chance to get drafted. That was the first time I knew it was going to happen for me. It was a pretty cool feeling."
WIDE RECEIVER CHAD OCHOCINCO
(on if his experience this past year was solid, and if it has excited him in coming back next season)
"The winning experience is always great. Whether you have a big role, small role or no role at all, that's awesome. Everything this year is something that I've never been used to, and what I've had this year is something I can grow accustomed to."
(on if he came to the Patriots with the goal of winning a Super Bowl)
"Of course. You come in with expectations to be successful, and the goal in the back of your mind, as always, is to get to the Super Bowl."
(on if there were ever thoughts like, 'It's never going to happen,' on making it to the Super Bowl while in Cincinnati)
"I never thought of it like that. But, what I always do is always work, always work. You guys know how I am. A workaholic, and that's the way I've always approached it. Maybe in a little different way I'm a little buoyant, a little flashy at times, but that's what drove me."
(on how the Bill O'Brien and Josh McDaniels combination been)
"It's been good. It's been really good. We've got two geniuses, two offensive masterminds at the same time. It's very dynamic."
(on how he looks back at his career in Cincinnati)
"Really good, really good. Mike Brown, who said he liked me and gave me a whole new life drafting me. Marvin Lewis was my coach over a long period of time. That's the person I confide in over a long period of time. Everything about that organization, that city, it was made me what I am today. The fans were awesome. Coach Lewis (was)
like a dad."
(on the possibility of facing the Bengals in the divisional round)
"It was a possibility. I didn't really think too much about it. I watched it, good game, and if it would have happened, it would've been cool."
(on if he thinks he may play a bigger role on Sunday if Rob Gronkowski is hurt)
"I don't know. I haven't seen the script."
(on what it's like being surrounded by players doing the hard work)
"Well, we worked hard in Cincinnati also, so that's really not a good assessment. But, sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. My work always produced results in the past. That same work goes so well, but I still just kept working. Sometimes it goes good and sometimes it doesn't."
(on if he's ready to win the Super Bowl for Mexico)
"I'm ready to win the Super Bowl for the Patriots. To go out there and have fun, it's been a dream of mine for years and that's it, that's all I want to do."
(on if Tom Brady is the best quarterback ever in the NFL)
"You'd have to look up the stats and decide for yourself. Without me seeing, I would think so."
(on if this season has been tough on him)
"No, not really. If it was emotionally draining I think I would have spoke out like I did in the past. I took this as a challenge, as a lesson. I think it was a test from you-know-who upstairs, God. Will he be able to handle himself in different circumstances when he's not that guy, if he's not that main focal point? Will he be able to handle it? And I think I did extremely well."
(on if he would rather have 100 catches or be in the situation he is right now)
"I'd rather be right here. I've already put up all the numbers. I've already done that. One of the things I that I was really happy about was that this is one of the few times, or really the only time, that I won't be home at the Martin Luther King parade because I'm always home the first week of January. It's so much bigger than what everybody else is thinking about. They're thinking about the individuals. If I would have been thinking like that, I would have got cut Week 3, complaining about the ball. It's been a joy."
(on his maturation process and if he felt tested)
did it for a reason. Let me tell you what happens. I'm in New England, and when you're in New England, you think of the elite of the elite when it comes to NFL teams. Now, if God put me in this situation and he puts me through this test and I act up on the biggest stage of them all with the elite of the elite, what comes after that? Where am I going after that? He already put me here, so there isn't any sense in going back. So I'm seeing it in a whole different light than anyone else is."
(on if this experience is humbling)
"You know how I got here? I came from Dade County. This place called Liberty City, where the odds were against me all through life growing up. You think I'm going to complain after all I've been through to get to this point?"
(on Deion Sanders asking Tom Brady to get him a ball)
"I'm going to do my job; that's the easy part."
RUNNING BACK STEVAN RIDLEY
(on whether he's surprised at the success he's had)
"I would have to say so. You look at this game, and this is the pros, the big leagues. You never know how you'll do. One thing about LSU (where Ridley went to school) is that they prepare you for the next level. For us, we know how to work hard down there, and coming into the league, I think hard work always pays off wherever you are. If I'm committed to my career, my teammates and my coaches, you have no choice but to be successful, and that's what I try to do each and every day."
(on the Patriots having an LSU pipeline)
"Right. I look at (RB Kevin) Faulk, a guy that's from down there, and LSU is a school that has a lot of tradition. You look at the Patriots, it's a team that has a lot of tradition, and I think that's what they both have in common. Faulk is trying to teach me as a 13-year veteran to a rookie from the same school he's coming from. If I can have half the career that Faulk did, I'll be a happy man. At the same time, I'm trying to go out there and get 13 (years) *out of it, too. Faulk is teaching me those things, how to handle coach *(Bill Belichick), how to handle the different things that come along with this game. It's more than just playing football. You have to be an adult. This is your job, and that's what he's teaching me, the right way to do things." I'm just trying to go out there and be a good *(LSU) *Tiger and good Patriot at the end of the day."
(on LSU always having a strong and deep running back corps)
"Man, I'm going to tell you this: that (LSU locker room) room is a special room, a room of history. You look at the backs that are in the NFL. I remember when I got there, (Chargers FB) Jacob Hester was there. He wasn't the fastest guy; he wasn't the strongest guy; but the one thing about him is that he had heart, and that's one thing that I took note of as a young player, and that's someone I looked up to. I look at how fast the four years went by, playing with those guys and running behind that offensive line. LSU has always had great backs and a big offensive line, so we know how to run the football. For me, that's the easy part of my game, running the football. I have to focus on some of the other things to bring my game all the way around so I can be a complete all-around back."
(on Frank Wilson, who was Patriots RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis' RB coach at Ole Miss and Ridley's at LSU)
"Coach Frank, I'm going to say this: he's a realist, man. Frank never sugar coated anything and he told us we're only as good as we want to be. You have to perfect your trait, and our trait was running the football. If you're dedicated to that, you can take yourself a long way. I'm here to say I never thought I'd be here in a million years. I never thought I'd be playing football in the NFL, but one thing I did know how to do was work hard, and that's something coach Frank told me: keep your nose clean and work hard and the sky is the limit. That's all I can do right now is just stay focused, keep that tunnel vision on and try not to be distracted with all the extra stuff even though it's great. It's great to be here, but at the end of the day, when you step on this turf and in between the white lines, you have to come out here and put your 'A' game on the field, and that's all that I can do."
(on how this experience feels)
"It's an opportunity of a lifetime, and it's a true blessing. Like I said, this is a dream come true for me, but it's not true just yet because we have to finish this on Sunday night. But for me, I'm not taking this opportunity for granted, and I know who's in control of my destiny. So for me, it's just going out and being the player God created me to be, and that's all I can do."
(on the purpose of this game)
"The purpose of this game is just to go out there and play ball. It's the big stage, and there's a lot of people watching, and it's easy to get overwhelmed. But I find peace when I'm on the field, and I know there's someone cheering from above. I've been raised in a Christian home. My mom raised me in a church. It may not look like it, but I have fun and do my thing, but at the end of the day everyone can't perform on this level. For me, it's a blessing that I've been able to come out here and just play and be the person and player I am and have confidence in what I do, because I know that God has my back. It's just going out there and playing ball and making it easy on Sunday."
RUNNING BACK/KICK RETURNER DANNY WOODHEAD
(on if there was a moment during the past week where it hit him that he was going to the Super Bowl)
"Maybe while we were game planning and getting ready to come out. But you have to approach it like it is just another game. As hard as it may be at times, it still is just another game and we have to get ready just like we always do, and that's preparing and knowing what are supposed to do during the game."
(on if he ever feels like the "lights are too bright" having come from a small Nebraska town)
"I wouldn't say that I have ever felt that way. I try not to get too caught up in it. I know what you're saying, but I have never had that feeling. I feel like I am going to come out and play to the best of my abilities every play. I don't think the light being too big or having so many people at a game really affects it. I just want to be the best teammate that I can be on every play. That is what I am more concerned about."
(on the difference between getting a high volume of snaps in college and playing for the Patriots, where the game plan changes every week)
"It isn't something I am really concerned about. I am (more concerned)
about being ready for every play and whenever your opportunity may come, it will come. I just try to stay prepared all the time."
(on how his faith has helped him get through adversity)
"I think having faith, number one, is how you get through any adversity. I try not to let the outside stuff affect me because when all is said and done, God has a plan for my life and I am here to live it. He has a plan and whenever I try to make my plan, it doesn't work out that way, so I am just going to try and live my life and I know God has a hand in it."
(on if he thought his career might be over after he got cut from the Jets at the beginning of the 2010 season)
"No. I felt like I'd get another chance. I don't know if there was something that made me believe that. I guess I just didn't think it was over. I felt like I had a lot of football left in me."
(on if he realizes that other people with smaller statures are living the dream vicariously through him)
"I don't think I realize. I am just trying to go to work every single day, and I never think about my size because to me it is not an issue. I don't think it is something that I have to fight at all, because it is not something I have had to worry about ever. I don't think being 5-8 has ever hurt me - maybe in the eyes of some - but it is not something that I worry about at all."
(on what it says about the Patriots that they pick up so many players that have been cut or are undrafted)
"I think they just try to get the guys that they think will work in their system the best, and we go out there and try to do our job every single play. They are going to do their job trying to find the best players for them and we are going to go out there and work as hard as we can."
(on how year one with the Patriots is different than year two)
"I think the fact that things just happened faster because I was picked up (a couple of weeks into) the season and wasn't at training camp. It is something I look back on too much … I wouldn't say (it has been easier). I don't think any NFL season is ever easy. I think you have to grind every single week. If you want to be prepared for everything, you have to make sure that you are prepared for each game. It is hard work and that's just part of it."
(on if he was prepared for the type of season he had last year, from being cut to being the "cult hero" of the Patriots)
"That is not something that I think about too much - being the so-called "cult hero." I think about just trying to help my team out. So, yeah, I think I was prepared to help my team out. I was prepared for every single game."
(on getting to Indianapolis a day early to maintain their normal schedule)
"I think (Head Coach Bill Belichick)
has been to a couple of Super Bowls before, so I think he knows what is best for us. We are just trying to keep things normal and approach the game like we approach all the games."
(on if the offense is going to run the no-huddle this Sunday)
"I think whatever the coaches want us to do at any particular time, we are just going to go out and try to execute the plays."
(on how sweet this opportunity is after being waived by the Jets)
"I don't think it is the fact that I left the Jets. I think any time you get this opportunity to play in the Super Bowl, I think that is what's awesome. I don't think it is because I left a team or whatever it may be."
(on what is working with the Patriots that wasn't working with the Jets)
"I don't know. I just go out and try to do everything that I can, every play, and try to do my job to the best of my abilities. Maybe things have worked out a little better here."
(on if there are places in this upcoming game where he thinks he can be a big factor)
"Honestly, I am going to go out and execute whatever play that the coaches give. I am not worried about what I can do here or what I can do there. Whatever the play is, I am going to go out and do it to the best of my abilities."
(on what the most opposing part of the Giants' defense is)
"I don't think there is just one thing. They have a great line; they have great linebackers and they have a great secondary. Their defense as a whole is great, so I think you just have to go out and have everybody do their job because they have a great defense."
LINEBACKER TRACY WHITE
(on what his favorite part of Media Day is)
"It's my first time. It's kind of crazy. It's a new thing with the fans being able to buy tickets and come watch us do interviews. It's pretty cool."
(on how he's prepared for the game)
"This is my ninth year (in the league)
and my first Super Bowl. Just being here is a great experience, and it's what you play for your entire career."
(on how the Patriots got here this year)
"Everything has come together. There's a lot of accountability and everybody is working towards one goal. We've been working hard and playing hard, so that's why we're here."
(on whether he would consider this game a rematch from the 2007 Super Bowl)
"It's a little different because the teams are built differently with different players."
(on taking this whole experience in)
"I've been playing for a while, and it's hard to get to the Super Bowl. When I get in (the game)
, I'm going to take in all that I can."
(on what his teammates who have been to the Super Bowl before told him)
"Expect anything, because anything can happen. They've been guiding us through on what to expect and how to practice throughout the week to get ready for the game."
(on the importance of Rob Gronkowski playing)
"We're trying to get everybody to play. We're not too worried about Gronkowski, he'll be out there."
(on which way he sees the game going)
"It's going to come down to who wants it the most."