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Patriots Postgame Quotes 10/25

HEAD COACH, BILL BELICHICK

BB: I'm really proud of our team again today. It definitely wasn't our best performance - a lot of things that we left out on the field, just didn't do well enough, but in the end we were able to make the plays we needed to make when we needed to make them, and that was critical in all three phases of the game. Some of the good things - not turning the ball over - that was certainly a positive. We were able to make some stops defensively at the right time and that was good. And we had good field position in the kicking game. That set up a couple good opportunities for us. Typical hard-fought game against New York, and it's always good to come out on top. We've got a long way to go here. Short turnaround, we'll have to get ready in a hurry now for Miami, but it's good to get a win here today. The players did a good job fighting through this week after a couple tough road games. They laid it out there today when they had to and I'm proud of the way they played. 

Q: There was not much of an effort to run the ball today. Was that by design coming in or was it based off what you saw after the game started?

BB: Yeah, they have a pretty good run defense. We felt like we had good matchups throwing the ball, so we tried to take advantage of those matchups. The runs that we ran, we didn't get a lot out of. 

Q: The way you guys respond week after week when things get tight, does that ever get old to you? Not every team responds like that week to week.

BB: You've got to be ready to play situational football. We did some good things situationally at the end of the game and some things that weren't so good, things we could have done better. That's always important. So many games in this league just come down to the last few plays or the last possession or last two possessions, whatever it is, so being able to make those plays at the right time determines the outcome of a lot of games. So, we work on that every week. We never know what the situations are going to be, but hopefully we're prepared and we can execute when we need to. 

Q: Were you pleased with the way Danny Amendola stepped up?

BB: Yeah, Danny made some great plays, like he always does for us - big catches over the middle, big catch on the sideline. He did a good job inside there like he always does, gave us some field position in the return game as well. I thought we competed hard. Like I said, it wasn't perfect. We missed plays out there and [there are] things we can coach better and perform better, but the guys played hard, they played with a lot of toughness and a lot of effort, and fortunately we were able to make enough plays to win. 

Q: Brandon LaFell just said that he would give himself an 'F', but that it was a matter of timing. What did you see from him out there?

BB: Like I said, I don't think any of us really felt great about the way we performed today. We can all do a better job, so I'm sure that everybody feels that way. I do, and I'm sure everybody else does. We just left too many plays on the field too often. 

Q: Can you talk about the anticipation of Tom Brady on his third-and-17 conversion to Julian Edelman?

BB: We got split safety coverage on that. It looked like they were in kind of a quarters look. Julian got up on top of the safety and broke to the inside, Tom hit him there. It was a well-executed play. You know when you get split safety coverage generally speaking somewhere on the inside part of the field is where you want to go and that's where that one ended up going so it was a good read. I thought overall our line gave us pretty good protection today - obviously not perfect, they have a good front and we took some hits. We also held the ball. We also didn't execute the passing game as well as we need to. But they hung in there and that was a big play for us. I thought they handled some of the blitzes on the last drive well. Yeah, third-and-17, third-and-18, although we were giving them up on defense right and left so it was one of those kinds of games where third-and-17 is sometimes easier to pick up than third-and-one. 

Q: How impressed were you with the defense in the second half, particularly limiting Ryan Fitzpatrick from scrambling around like he did so successfully in the first half?

BB: We had our moments. Never good to see them drive the ball 80 yards or whatever they did. I thought we had them in third-down a number of times. We just couldn't make enough third-down conversions. But overall our first and second-down defense was competitive and for the most part we were able to give ourselves a chance there. We just didn't convert on enough third downs. We had the big one at the end where [Justin] Coleman broke up the pass down the sideline. But overall we've got to do a better job. We've got to do a better job at everything - coaching, playing, all the situations, you name it. There are plenty of things we can improve on from tonight.

Q: What were your impressions of the Jets defense today?

BB: They're a good defensive football team. They don't make it easy for you. They have a lot of good players and they have a good scheme. We were challenged. 

TOM BRADY, QUARTERBACK

Q: Can you talk about the decision to slow the game down after they pulled ahead?

TB: Yeah, we had a couple of different modes trying to attack them, and they did a good job. They have a good defense. They rush well, have really good guys in coverage. They have a good scheme. They're well coached. So there were a lot of challenges, and I think it took us a while. I thought we played better as the game went on, so it was good. We got a good turnover from our defense to start, and then it wasn't great execution from us for most of the game. And then there in the fourth quarter we did a few different things and made some more plays, so it was good to win. 

Q: What did you see on the 17-yard completion on third down in the fourth quarter?

TB: Yeah, Julian [Edelman] did a good job. He was running full speed at the safety, and he finally got the safety to turn his hips to run and then he ... I was kind of reading Jules, and then Jules broke across his body and let it go. So, it was a good play. Jules made a real smart play. It's not exactly how we drew it up. I think there were a lot of plays like that today that weren't exactly how we drew it up. But I was glad to make some of those key plays when we needed to make them.

Q: How clutch was Danny Amendola when other receivers were struggling today?

TB: Yeah, we made the plays when we needed to make them. I think that was the most important thing, and sometimes we play this team and a lot of division teams that we play a lot and we're familiar with, they had a lot of confidence with the things they were doing, as they should because I think they've been the top-ranked defense all year giving up 15 points per game. So they're just tough. They put a lot of pressure on you with the scheme. I mean, our guys competed really hard. I wish we would've all executed better. There were a lot of throws I wish I would've made better throws on. All the receivers, they want to make every play, too. So [we've] just got to do a better job with execution, and I have a lot of trust in all those guys and a lot of confidence in everything that they're doing. So we've just got to try to do it better against Miami. 

Q: Was not running the ball very much just a function of the game plan or the way that things were going? Is putting up 30 points on the number one defense a good sign for things going forward?

TB: Yeah, we definitely did some different things today. I think we adjusted a little differently than ... We were just talking about things all through the week, about ways that we needed to attack them. And you're right, we were down a couple of running backs, so it just turned out that way with the run game. And I wish we would've run it better when we had the opportunity. It was just more of a passing game for one reason or another.

Q: You actually led the team in rushing. What is your reaction to that? What did you see on that 11-yard rush on third down?

TB: I actually enjoyed this because it will probably never happen again. And then the third down play was ... They had pretty good coverage, and I just saw a little seam. So, I just kind of rumbled toward the goal line, and it's good when I have the threat of the ball in my hand because they're not quite sure if they can go drill me or not. I just try to keep pump-faking as long as I can to keep them all at bay.

Q: Did a game like this tell you that the Patriots have too many weapons to be stopped?

TB: I just think there's got to be different ways to win every week, and I think that our team has always tried to figure out ways to attack the teams. And you're right, we were down some players. And every week you've got to adjust. Sometimes you're down on offense. Sometimes you're down on defense, and that's the beauty of the season. It's a long season, and you have 53 guys at one point who all need to make plays when they're called upon. So a lot of guys stepped into some roles today, and like I said, we were installing plays this morning at the 11 o'clock meeting. So you just keep trying to churn your way through the week to figure out if you can make a bunch of plays, and we made some plays when we needed to in the fourth quarter. Like I said, it wasn't exactly like we drew them up, but it was good that we made it happen when we needed to.

Q: When you completed a 19 or 20-yard pass to Brandon LaFell, the camera panned to you and you were fired up. What were you fired up over?

TB: It was just, I think the emotion of the game. It's a great rivalry we have with that team and those players. We see them a lot, and I was pretty emotional like I am most of the time, so it was not a big deal. 

ROB NINKOVICH, DEFENSIVE END

Q: Did you come in with the intention of trying to slow Chris Ivory down? How do you think you did?

RN: The guy was doing great this year, and he was leading the league in rushing. We knew coming in that he was a very good running back, and they were playing well as a front. So, yeah all week [we were] practicing. [We] knew that he was going to be a tough runner, so again, I think that we've just got to continue to improve and get better as the season progresses. 

Q: Does it say more about this team that you were able to overcome adversity and win a tougher game than it does to blow out a team?

RN: We're a very mentally tough team, and I think that the work that we put in during the week. Again, we go into these games, we understand that you're got to play four quarters and you've got to stick to the plan. Again, I think just believing in ourselves and knowing that we continue to fight, continue to play hard. We're going to, at the end of the game, we're going to come out victorious as long as we continue to play hard, believe in each other, and I think that our offense did a great job at the end there scoring. And defensively, again, we've got to get off the field on third down. I don't know the percentage of it, but it wasn't good. So we have to do better there, and again, short week here. We've got to watch the tape and have a quick turnover here for Miami, who's playing well. I don't know what their score of that game was, but I think it was pretty ... Forty-one, nothing, yeah. That was a good, you know, obviously they're playing at a high level. Again, very happy with the win; 6-0, it's a good feeling. But we've got to turn the page, right?

Q: How tough will the quick turnover be?

RN: Yeah, it's playing a Thursday night game. It's definitely quick, and you've got to make sure you're taking care of your body and doing the best you can to get to 100 percent and go out there and play tough. So another division game is definitely a tough game for us, and Miami always plays us tough. So again, I just think we have to turn the page quickly on the Jets. Again, happy to come out victorious, but now it's the Jets. I mean now it's Miami. Sorry. The Jets are over with.

Q: How did you manage to bat down all those passes?

RN: Again, I think anytime the ball comes out quick, the trajectory is lower, so any time it's a quick passing game, you can get your hands on the ball. You just have to obviously read the quarterback, get your hands up and match the throwing arm. So coming into this week, they didn't have many sacks. They only had two on the year, so you knew that the ball was coming out quick. They wanted to have quick hidden routes, and as a front, you get your hands up, knock passes down. I should've caught a couple of them, Jeez. 

Q: A lot of the talk coming into this week was about the Jets defense. Do you take that as a team challenge?

RN: No, I mean again, we really don't focus on other teams. We really just try to work on ourselves. Coming out of this game, there are going to be a lot of things that we need to correct, and we're going to watch the tape, get them corrected and move on. But we're always focused on ourselves and just getting better and trying to play better every week, so again, we're going to focus on ourselves and get better.

Danny Amendola, Wide Receiver

(On the victory) 
"The Jets always come to play, so we knew we were going to be in for a battle for four quarters and that's what we got."

(On his performance and his touchdown catch)
"It's just a play that we've been working on for a long time and they gave us the coverage that we like and it ended up working out."

(On the Patriots' final drive)
"They [the Jets defense] manned it up a lot on that drive, specifically. And we need to score – had to score. Gronk [Rob Gronkowski] made a great play right there at the end to get the ball in the end zone."

(On the short turnaround to Thursday's game versus Miami) 
"It's tough, but we have a great coaching staff, great players here that can get ahead in preparation and get on to Miami."

(On the team's decision to abandon the running game)
"You know, we wanted to play fast and wanted to kind of slow them down by moving the ball by getting in-and-out of plays and getting in-and-out of the huddle and going quickly, so that was our motive."

Malcolm Butler, Cornerback

(On improving as a team) 
"Most definitely it wasn't our best [game], but that's a great team. That's a good team out there. Got to go back to the drawing board and get better. That's it."

(On giving up catches)
"[Receivers] are going to catch balls. It doesn't matter who you are. You're going to get a ball caught on you. But you try your best to limit them and not give up a catch almost every play. Some of those games come, but like I said before, I thought I played well, held them off long enough, and got the 'W.' That's all that matters."

(On the Jets having the biggest receiving corps thus far) 
"Yes, I'd say that. They're pretty good; pretty big, pretty strong, but you've got to keep playing. Next play."

Julian Edelman, Wide Receiver

(On the Jets making the Patriots earn the win today) 
"They did. They came out and we knew it was going to be a dog fight. It was."

(On Tom Brady's ability to come up big in the fourth quarter with two long touchdown drives)
"That's what we practice. We practice those situations all the time and it was good to get those points and finish it right."

(On Rob Gronkowski's ability to rise up in the fourth quarter) 
"Gronk's Gronk. Never surprised with those two (Brady and Gronkowski); [Amendola] had a big game and the defense made plays when they had to. We've got to do a lot better. We've got to play a lot better and execute a lot better, but we made plays when we had to."

(On whether the focus turns to the Miami Dolphins tonight) 
"Yeah. I'm thinking about [the Dolphins] right now."

(On if there was any sense of urgency or panic late in the fourth quarter)
"No. You fall back on the fundamentals of the play and just try to go out and execute it."

(On renewing acquaintances with Darrelle Revis) 
"It was good. It was good to go out there and compete and he played well."

Rob Gronkowski, Tight End

(On what made the difference in the fourth quarter) 
"We just stuck together. I mean obviously throughout the game the offense wasn't clicking the whole time, which we need to be. We can't be having so many three-and-outs, but in the fourth quarter we just dig down, dig deep. Players were stepping up, making plays. Tom [Brady] was on point. The line was doing a great job and we just executed as an offense, as a unit, in those final drives, which we should be doing all game."

(On what transpired on that last touchdown)
"They were playing a lot of blitz. I was in pass protection a lot, a lot of blitz zero. Just throughout the game, [I] just saw they were coming with my guy that had me man and just leaked out there in the end, leaked out in the flat. Tom [Brady] saw it and it was just a good play. Good, smart football and it was a great play."

(On if there was any sense of panic in the fourth quarter) 
"No, you can't panic. You can't worry. You've just got to stick to the script, stay level-headed, and when our turn is up on offense we've got to go out there and execute. They have a good team. We had to keep fighting. We had to play 60 minutes."

Chandler Jones, Defensive End

(On when he will start preparing for Miami) 
"Right now. Start watching film. I'm going to watch the game they played today. They played a good game against Houston. I saw that at halftime. They're a good team. [Ryan] Tannehill is a good player and we'll have to contain him."

(On if 6-0 is an indication of how good the Patriots are)
"No, not even close. We have a long season ahead of us. We're just taking it one week at a time. You can't think about what's going to happen or what has happened."

(On the short week) 
"We just have to put our nose to the grindstone and get ready. It's a quick turnaround. We've done it before. It's something that we're just going to have to be ready for next week. They have a quick turnaround, too. They played today, so it's fair."

Brandon LaFell, Wide Receiver

(On his performance) 
"Performance? If I had to give myself a grade, it would be an 'F.' I let the ball get out of my hands too many times. Tom [Brady] threw some good balls, I should have caught them. But overall we got the win. I just have to get back to it. We have a short week. Dust the cobwebs off and come back out here and play."

(On his first game back)
"First game, last game - it doesn't matter. I expect more out of myself and my teammates expect more from me. I'm just really down on myself right now, but I'm happy for the other guys around me, stepping their level of play up and held on for us, and made plays when we needed it."

(On his drops) 
"I was just trying to forget about the play before and try to keep moving forward. After the first one I felt [frustrated]. Kind of got down on myself, but Tom kept telling me he was going to come back to me, coaches kept telling me to keep making plays. I just wasn't making them."

Devin McCourty, Defensive Back

(On whether you needed a tight game like this to toughen the team up and prepare for what's ahead)
"I don't know if we needed it, but we knew coming into this one it was going to be tough. I remember the last time we played these guys it was a big win. Every game we've played against these guys has been decided by three points or two points. Every guy on this team knew that this was going to be a tough win." 

(On whether you were surprised by the Jets' third-down efficiency) 
"I don't know if surprised is the right word, but we expected to come out and play well on third down. We didn't execute that well early, but we picked it up. I don't know what their third-down percentage was, but overall it's never good when you start off giving up five-out-of-seven on third down, so it was an uphill battle from there, but I thought we stuck with it and made some key third-down plays."

(On the last few moments of the game)
"After the onside kick, maybe they had a shot, so you don't want to let them get out of bounds. You want to make sure to tackle them in bounds and it all started with [Patrick] Chung making that tackle in the middle of the field. That forced them to get on the ball and try to spike it. There was an illegal procedure and we won." 

(On what you were doing out there schematically)
"I think they made some good plays and I thought the plays we made had better execution by all of us on the field. Whether it was a guy helping out over the top or whether it was zone or leverage, guys were just helping each other. I thought we just executed better." 

Logan Ryan, Cornerback

(On if there is more pressure on you individually when you don't have safety help) 
"You know, it's a position that's always pressured. You don't want to make the wrong step. A lot can go wrong, a lot can go right as well, so it's just a pressure position. It's the NFL, so it's a competitive league. It's not going to be perfect, but you just want to finish with more points than they have."

(On if you have any satisfaction form quieting Brandon Marshall for portions of the game)
"Yeah man, he's a huge competitor and I had to match his energy level and just try my best with that guy. I knew he's not going to get completely shut down or anything like that. He's too good. He's too big. But the front seven did a great job. I've got great safeties behind me and Malcolm [Butler] had a tough task today. They asked him to do a lot, too, so I'm thankful for those guys putting me in that position."

(On if you could sense any frustration from Brandon Marshall) 
"He's a guy who wants to ball. Good or bad play, he wants to ball again like any great competitor would, so I knew to keep bringing it because after the first quarter, after the second quarter, he's going to keep wanting the ball. He's going to demand the ball and they're going to find a way to get that guy the ball. That's why he's been having those games – that hundred-yard streak he's been having – so he's definitely a big part of their offense, so I knew the ball would be coming my way."

Sebastian Vollmer, Tackle

(On the focus on protection) 
"I think the focus is always there no matter what. Whether it's the first play of the game, last play of the game, I don't think that changes."

(On if he prefers playing against better competition)
"I'll take a win however it comes. They don't come easy in this league. It's good for the fans, but again, I'll take them by a lot or a few – however we can get them."

(On how the offensive line communicated) 
"It's a growing process, but I think that's what training camp is for. You practice a lot of different things and I think the guys that we have are professionals and they work hard and I feel like whoever is in there, it doesn't really matter, if it's the original five or not, each game we should get better, and that's what we're striving for. So, hopefully, next week we'll be better, and in a month, we'll be better, and all that stuff, so, it continues."

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