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Patriots Postgame Quotes - 1/20/2013

New England Patriots players addressed the media following their AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, January 20, 2013. Read their quotes below.


Devin McCourty, Defensive Back*
(On how frustrating is it to get this close to the Super Bowl and not win)

"It is the worst feeling. You get this far, you don't see your season coming to end. You can't prepare for this."

(On if Baltimore Ravens' quarterback Joe Flacco just took what they gave him instead of pressing the issue)
"We will see when we watch it but that is how it felt. We knew coming into the game that he is a smart quarterback. He understands the game of football. He understands what is there. What he can do and what he can't do. He played well tonight."

(On how much did Aqib Talib's injury played into the loss)
"We adjust and we moved on. We know what we had to do to go on. We were prepared. We are always prepared for a guy that goes down but injuries always stink when they happen in the middle of game like that."

(On if Baltimore wide receiver Anquan Boldin is a handful)
"He is a good player and he made plays tonight. He did a good job of making plays tonight."

Matthew Slater, Wide Receiver

(On how much the Aqib Talib injury hurt the team)
"Well, you know, I'm not over there defensively and I can't really comment on the game plan. Obviously, Aqib or anytime you have a player hurt in a game of this magnitude it's going to throw a little wrench in what you've got going on. It's unfortunate he wasn't able to finish the game, but I know he wanted to be out there. I know he was doing everything he could to get back on the field, but things like that happen."

(On the hits during the game)
"It was physical football game. They're one of the most physical football teams in the NFL the Baltimore Ravens. That's what they pride themselves on, so there was a lot of hitting going on, but it's the AFC Championship game, so you expect that."

(On what coach said after the game)
"I really don't want to get into that too much. It's kind of between our coaches and my teammates, but you know we're obviously disappointed. There wasn't much that needed to be said because we realized we squandered an opportunity, but it wasn't for a lack of effort or focus or preparation, it's just the way football goes."

(On if the team can return to this stage next season)
"Certainly. We feel confident every year that we can compete to win, but it's a lot of work. We just can't think we're going to come back next year and have a good football team. We have to start from the ground up again. It's a long road ahead of us and hopefully, we can have a successful season, but right now it's kind of hard to think about next year when we were just playing an hour ago."

(On Ray Lewis heading to the Super Bowl)
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for that man and the way he's played the game. He's played it the right way; he's changed the game how he's played it. As a football fan, growing up watching great players like my father, you know, Ray is a great player. I'm happy for the guy, happy he has a chance to extend his career and wish it wasn't against us, obviously, but I have a lot of respect for that man and wish those guys the best of luck."

Steve Gregory, Safety

(On if they are able to put the season in perspective)
"Right now it is hard. After a loss like this it is hard. This is just about as low as you feel. After a long season of getting to this point and it ends like this. I think tomorrow we will get in and with a little bit more clear conscience and start to think about the season that we did have and some of the good things that we did do. To get to this point is a great thing but we fell a little short of our goal."

(On what kind of problems the Ravens gave them in the second half that opened things up and spread them out)
"They had a good game plan. They come out with a check with me type offense, just kind of trying to see what we were in and make the check and call the play based off that. Give them credit, they played a really good game today. They played better than we did and that is why they won."

(On Ravens QB Joe Flacco's performance)
"He was good today. He was making smart decisions, putting the ball in good places and giving his team a chance to win. He is one of the elite quarterbacks. I know he gets a lot of flak for possibly not being that type of guy but he is. To their credit, they played well and they deserved it."

(On if it was tough to lose Aqib Talib)
"Of course, you never want to see one of your guys go down. I don't know the extent of what happened to him or anything like that, so you would have to ask him. But we have to keep playing. It doesn't matter who is in there, what guy has to be able step up and play. We need to just find a way to go out there and make plays and give ourselves a chance to win the football game. Just overall we didn't do that today."

Aaron Hernandez, Tight End
(On what went wrong offensively in the second half)*
"They came to play; they made better adjustments than we did and they outplayed us."

(On the team's mood following the loss)
"Obviously we're down. Nothing really you can do now except get prepared for next year and hopefully, a different result."

(On if Baltimore made any noticeable changes in the second half)
"They came to play and we didn't and it showed with the final result."

(On whether Baltimore out-hit and out-willed the Patriots)
"I wouldn't say that. I would say they made more plays and they came up when they needed to more than we did."

Wes Welker, Wide Receiver

(On what made the difference in the game)
"They made more plays than we did and at the end it just wasn't enough for us. That's the way it goes."

(On how hard it is to get so close to the Super Bowl and fall short)
"It's always hard. You put a lot into it all year round and we want to finish strong; we just didn't do that."

(On what the Ravens did defensively to take away the Patriots passing game)
"Obviously they're a good defense. They have good rushers and good defensive backs and good linebackers. So, across the board they're tough."

(On if Baltimore made any halftime adjustments)
"I don't know. I'd have to go back and look at the film. We just didn't execute the way we needed to and it showed."

Brandon Spikes, Linebacker
(On the Ravens' overall play)*
"They came out and made the plays. It's that simple. You have to come out, get the job done and execute, and obviously they did a better job than us preparing through the week. They showed up today and it's tough to swallow."

(On if the Ravens made any adjustments in the second half)
"Honestly, I don't think anything really changed. We prepared and expected how they were going to come at us. We failed to execute. They made their plays and we came up short on the times when we had opportunities to make plays. Back to the drawing board, back to the offseason, attack that and get ready."

(On the play of Joe Flacco)
"I think he played phenomenal, all the way around. He kept his guys (in line) with poise and he did a great job trying to find a hole in the (defense). He got the opportunity to make plays and my hat goes off to him."

Deion Branch, Wide Receiver

(On if Coach Belichick had addressed the team yet)
"Just to keep our head up. We lost to a good team, we know that, but we know that at the same time, we didn't play our best football."

(On not scoring any points in the second half)
"That's the game. Not only in the second half, but getting the ball in the red (zone) two other times and coming up with field goals. You've got to score touchdowns against that team. They're a tough team with a tough defense. They play good ball, but you just have to score points."

(On the Patriots' play calling)
"Once we got behind in the second half, it was more about getting down to put points on the board. Earlier, I thought we did a good job of managing the game, with Coach (Belichick) calling some plays. I think overall, (we should have scored touchdowns) instead of kicking field goals. We never really had control of the game, and that was the outcome, on top of the fact that turnovers hurt us."

Kyle Arrington, Cornerback

(On how the game changed when the Ravens used three-receiver sets in the second half)
"It was obviously a hurry up, fast tempo offense and it's not like we don't see it almost every day [at practice]. They just executed better than us."

(On if the Ravens did anything that surprised the defense)
"I think it just came down to them making plays and I mean we had opportunities. We just came out short today. It's a one game season at this point. It is what it is."

(On if the injury to Aqib Talib changed the defense)
"Nothing changed. We kept the same game plan, so like I said, kudos to them for making in-game adjustments and getting to that 11 personnel, hurry up offense [and] fast tempo. We just couldn't get off the field."

(On if the loss hurts more due to how close they are to the Super Bowl)
"Definitely. To come so far in the season - whoever won this game, obviously, [making] a trip to the Super Bowl. I can't give them enough credit. They were the better team today and that's all that matters; whoever plays the best football today they move on."

(On pending free agency)
"I can't talk about that. I haven't really thought about that. Tonight is a hard pill to swallow. I'll move forward and just take it one day at a time for here."

Nate Solder, Tackle

(On whether Baltimore did anything out of the ordinary defensively)
"No. I think they played straight up and beat us."

(On being shut out in the second half)
"You have to give them credit. They played good."

(On putting the season in perspective)
"That is something we are going to start doing. We have to take things from this and improve."

(On the Patriots running game tonight)
"I thought we did some good things in the run game. Then we got in a situation where we couldn't keep running it and I wish we could have."

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