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Patriots Postgame Quotes - 1/19/2014

New England Patriots players address the media following their AFC Championship Playoff game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, January 19, 2014.



On why it was hard to get into an offensive rhythm today
"Credit to the Broncos. They played hard. I feel like we had to play better."

On if this is the toughest loss of his career
"It is, yeah. I felt like we fought hard for the whole season and it came down to a couple drives at the end and we couldn't get the job done."

On how proud he is of the team to get to this point
"It wasn't our goal to lose at the end of the season but we have a bunch of fighters on this team. We fought through a bunch of adversity throughout the season. We just have to get better."

On if he feels that there were plays to be made
"Yeah, we didn't win the game so I'll always think we could do better. Like I said, we have a bunch of fighters and we just couldn't get it done today."


On the disappointment
"We lost. It's disappointing. We had big expectations."

On what made it difficult to get it going today
"They stopped us. That is what made the difference."

On if they did anything that surprised him
"They did everything that we looked at on film."

On the Broncos
"They are a good team. They are a really good team."

On how proud he is of this team after what they overcame this season
"I am extremely proud of this team. We overcame a lot with our injuries to a lot of our big guys, a lot of our big time players. I am proud of us. Every last guy on this team wanted to go and play in two weeks."

On if he felt like they were plays out there that they missed
"Yeah, there were better plays out there that we didn't make. This is my first time getting this far in a season and losing so it hurts. There were plays that we could've made that we didn't make."

On how difficult it was as a team to watch Aqib Talib get injured
"He is a very huge part of our success. A huge part of it all the way up to this point. I wish he would have been able to go back in and play but unfortunately he wasn't able. It hurt us a little bit."

On how shocking it is that it is over
"We just have to come to terms with the fact that it was a good run but it is over."

On what it means to him to have a year like this with Aqib Talib, a guy he is close to
"I know how bad he wanted it. He wanted this as bad as I did. We both came from a program that hadn't been this far in a long time and to get this far and not finish it sucks."

On how much this year has meant to him from a personal standpoint
"It meant a lot to me. Getting a chance to come in and play. Getting a chance to contribute to all the success that we've had and to have it end like this is terrible."

On how much he would like to be back with this team
"I would love to be back here with this group."

On if he felt like a marked man today after all the success he had

On if he was surprised that they were able to stop the ground game


On why the Broncos were able to do so well today
"We just couldn't get a stop. They moved the ball on us, we made them kick some field goals, but we just didn't get any stops."

On how frustrating it was to see his teammate CB Aqib Talib get injured
"I felt we moved on. It was a tough loss overall you know, just with everyone out there and him included. (For) everyone that put in the work this year, it's just tough."

On how it affects the Patriots defense by not having Talib on the field
"It just affects us that he is a guy out there that has played a lot of football for us and he's gone. It affects us that way, but schematically we were able to move on and keep playing."

On if he saw the play where Talib was injured and what he thought
"I didn't see it, I don't know. I only saw the last minute of the collision, so I really didn't see it.

On if the Broncos did anything that he didn't expect today
"I think that they just outplayed us today.

On how Broncos TE Julius Thomas affected the game since he didn't play in the regular season matchup
"He's a good player. They were at full strength and 100% so we got there full offense, but we knew what to expect and we were ready for it. We just got outplayed today."

On how disappointing this loss was for the Patriots today
"It's tough when you lose in the playoffs, let alone the AFC Championship. It's a tough ending to your season.

On if he is proud of his team and what they accomplished this season
"I don't' know, we'll see maybe in a week or two."


On if the injury to CB Aqib Talib was the tipping point for an already injured Patriots team
"That's every team in the NFL, every team loses good players (throughout the season). You just have to keep on moving forward and hope that the next person can step up and do the same job. On the Patriots overcoming a lot of injuries this season
"That's the biggest thing you have to keep moving forward no matter what. No matter what, no matter who is down we overcome a lot of stuff. You just have to keep moving forward and let the past be the past."

On how frustrating today's game was for the Patriots secondary
"It was very frustrating, we lost. That's all I have to say about that."

On it seeming like the Broncos just kept coming at them nonstop throughout the game
"No matter what they're going to keep coming after it and if I was a quarterback I would do the same thing."

On what Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas was doing today to be so successful
"I can't take anything away from him. We watch him on film a lot and he is a very good wide receiver. He has good speed, very good (at) route running and I can't take anything away from him. He is a very good wide receiver."


On the loss
"It's tough. You battle all season to make it where you want to, and to lose this game is very tough."

On what the Broncos did so effectively
"They just played better than we did; they were good against the run, they were good against the pass; they took advantage of our offense today."

On whether the Broncos did anything surprising schematically
"I'm not sure; they played great. You have to give them credit; they filled the holes and made the tackles. They out-played us, so give them credit. It was one of those days where they were playing great and we weren't. We needed to play very well to match those guys, and we didn't."

On whether he is proud of his team for making the AFC Championship
"Always. You are always proud of your team. Someone once asked me if I would rather not get to this point than lose it, and no I will take these games every year. We will come out swinging every year and try and get here. This was a fun team to play for and a fun team to be a part of. There are a lot of guys that I feel are special in this locker room. We had a good year. We didn't have the outcome that we wanted, but it was still a good year."

On playing with small margin of error
"It's tough in this league. If you make a couple of mistakes and get down, the teams are so competitive that you have to play well every week or you are going to find yourself in a whole that you can't get out of."

On giving up the two sacks
"Any time you give up one, it's never a good thing. Usually it is a drive killer, and those were drive killers today."


On the Broncos
"They put up a great game from all sides of the ball: offense, defense and special teams. We weren't able to make them punt. We were able to hold them to a few field goals, but at the crucial points of the game, when it matters, we have to make a stop and we didn't. We didn't create any turnovers either, and that would have turned the game around. They put up a great fight and a great gameplan."

On mindset after holding Broncos to field goals
"The feeling was that we were still in it. The game was still up for grabs, but in the second half as the game continued, they were able to make plays when needed. In the second half, they controlled the clock and the time of possession was in their favor; we just couldn't get off the field."

On how hard it was to pressure Broncos QB Peyton Manning
"It's just timing. When it comes to the connection with him and his receivers, everything is just timed routes. He knows where to throw and he makes quick little adjustments based on our defense, and he is successful."

On whether he is happy for Manning
"I respect him; I'll always respect him. Being an old vet like myself, I've had a lot of good games against him. He'll probably be one of the greatest quarterbacks ever in the NFL. He's a future Hall of Famer and I tip my hat to him."

On whether the Broncos did anything differently today
"They just stuck to their gameplan. Peyton Manning is Peyton Manning; he's a smart player and he is able to make adjustments when he needs to."


On his thoughts on the season
"That's kind of hard to do right now. The finality of it all is tough to deal with, but I'm definitely proud of this team and what we were able to accomplish this year with all of the adversity that we faced. To even make it to this point says a lot about our football team. This was obviously disappointing, but there isn't much we can do about it now. If you aren't hoisting that trophy at the end, it's a tough pill to swallow."

On what the Broncos did well
"They did everything well. Obviously Peyton was on his game. They did enough to slow us down; they stopped us on a fourth down in the third quarter, so they just made more plays than we did. We were able to drive the ball and they kept us out of the end zone, so hats off to them."

On how this team compares to his teams in the past
"Looking back on it, I definitely think this was one of the most special ones I've been a part of. All of the plays that we were able to make throughout the course of the season to help us win games, guys were dedicated to their craft. I'm really proud to be associated with this group this year."


On the Broncos' success on third down
"You can't win when you can't get off the field; it's basic fundamental football. You've got to get off of the field. They do a good job of keeping the sticks moving with various formations and patterns that they run with good receivers and a good tight end."

On how much the injury to CB Aqib Talib affected the Patriots defense
"It's tough. Aqib is definitely a big key player for us, so losing him—it's not an easy thing to just have somebody jump into his spot. He's very talented."

On the effect of the Broncos touchdown drive to begin the second half
"It's just the nature of the beast there; they were able to move the ball down the field. We had them in some third-and-long situations, and they had really good plays called against the coverages we were running."

On if losing to red-hot Broncos QB Peyton Manning makes losing any easier
"Losing is never easy, but when you have somebody who is as talented as him, that puts in as much work and effort and has done it for so long, it's a little bit easier to swallow with a guy who's had that much success and the way that they played today."


On how proud he is of the Patriots for all they overcame this season
"I'm very proud to be a part of this team. We fought through a lot of adversity, there's a lot of ups and downs and it's just very unfortunate that it had to end this way; it's not the way we wanted to (end the season)."

On how special this 2013 New England Patriots team was
"It was a pretty special group. Everyone fights to the very end, and just didn't go our way. They flat out beat us today."

On if he wants to be back with the Patriots next year following free agency
"I'm not even thinking about that right now; I'm thinking about the fellas in this locker room, the coaches, all the hard work we put in and this season. I'll think about (free agency) later."

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