BILL BELICHICK, HEAD COACH
BB: Always a hard-fought division game with Buffalo, but always good to win in the division, always good to beat Buffalo. I didn't think that was our best. I think we need to do a better job of coaching, do a better job of playing. But we made enough plays and we got some big plays from special teams, got some big plays defensively. So it was good today and we scored enough points, so we'll take it and move on to Denver.
Q: With Danny Amendola's questionable status, who is next man up?
BB: Well, we'll see what the situation is this week. I don't know the answers to those questions yet, so we'll see what it is and get ready for Denver.
Q: What was your understanding of the inadvertent whistle?
BB: Yeah, what they explained out there.
Q: Were you surprised, disappointed or upset about it?
BB: It is what it is. I thought they explained exactly what happened and those are the procedures they follow. I mean, you can send a pool reporter over there and talk to them. I'm sure they'll tell you what happened. What else is there to do?
Q: How would you assess James White's performance?
BB: We'll have to go back and look at it on the film, but he made a nice play on the touchdown run, broke [Corey] Graham's tackle there on the 10-yard line, eight-yard line, whatever it was. But James has been a dependable player for us. He came through with a couple big plays last week against the Giants and had them today. We need everybody every week and he made some plays for us today. Again, overall I'm sure everybody feels like we could have done a better job. I don't think anybody was perfect out there.
Q: What went into the decision to try the 54-yard field goal in the third quarter?
BB: We thought it was OK there. He's hit plenty of those.
Q: What did you think of your defense's performance in the fourth quarter? It seemed like they made a lot of big plays.
BB: We did, we had some negative plays there. We had some tackles for loss in the running game. We gave up a couple long passes where we lost good field position but in the end made some stops on third and fourth down, made a big red area stop down there and held them to a field goal with like four minutes to go in the game, whatever it was. But defensively, yeah, other than the one touchdown run where we kind of got out of position, we held the points down - that's really what it's about.
Q: Being down to just two healthy receivers, how does that affect the play calling?
BB: We had to work around it a little bit tonight, yeah. I mean, we'll see what it is going forward but tonight we definitely had to work around it. I thought Josh [McDaniels] did a good job managing the game, and we were able to do what we could do. It wasn't necessarily what we wanted it to be, but it was good enough, so he did a good job managing it.
Q: Brandon King made a big special teams play tonight. What was it that made you interested in him?
BB: That's really I'd say most of the credit on that one has to go to Joe Judge. Joe dug him out. Brandon is kind of an interesting guy. He's really played pretty much every position on the field on defense. He played three-technique at Auburn. It's hard to imagine him as a defensive tackle, but he was and he actually didn't play bad. He was just obviously undersized, but he had good playing strength and could definitely run. We've used him inside on the punt team. Today, we used him as a gunner. We used him some as a gunner last week, another fumble, got another fumble out there on [Leodis] McKelvin, so that was a big play for us. But he's given us big plays in the return game blocking and also kickoff and punt coverage. He's kind of given us some versatility. He's bigger than a lot of the speed guys and he's faster than a lot of the big guys, so he's kind of a mismatch guy whether he's inside or outside if you will. He's really done a good job of learning multiple positions. Joe and Bubba [Ray Ventrone] have done a great job of training him both in assignments and techniques. He's been a good player for us. He made plays on the punt team inside, and now he's made some plays as a gunner opposite of [Matthew] Slater. So if they double Slater - they actually had three guys on him on one play tonight - then that creates some opportunities on the other side. He's taken advantage of those and helped us. He's done a good job, but really Joe dug him out.
Q: A word on Tom Brady's toughness in the pocket tonight? He took a lot of hits but hung in there and made some plays.
BB: I don't think anybody ever questioned Tom's toughness, mentally or physically. He's about as tough a guy as they come.
TOM BRADY, QUARTERBACK
Q: Can you explain the use of the audible, "Rex Ryan"?
TB: Yeah, we have a lot of things that are kind of in the playbook, so that's one of them.
Q: Was it meant to distract them or to send a message?
TB: No, just communication on offense. We use a lot of terms.
Q: It's unusual though.
TB: We've used a lot of things in the past. We have a lot of unusual terms. I think we run the gamut. So we've got to get creative and think of different things, so that one is pretty unique.
Q: What did you see happen on that inadvertent whistle? How frustrating is that?
TB: It's just one of those plays. I don't know really what happened. So I was just kind of rolling and Danny [Amendola] did a good job kind of springing free and made a great play. He played great all night. He just makes play after play after play for us. I really don't know what happened. We were on the sideline and he sprung free, so that ended up being a good play for us. I wish we could've converted it into more points.
Q: What was the call originally? Did they think you were out of bounds?
TB: I don't know.
Q: Did you expect it to be tough sledding out there tonight with all of the changes?
TB: Yes. I think we did, but I don't think that's an excuse. I think we can play better, and I think some of the things that we didn't do well have nothing to do with missing some other guys. We've just got to do things better if we want to score more points, and I always talk about just execution, us all being on the same page. And I think there were a lot of plays out there where we didn't necessarily do our job very well, and if you don't do it well then no one else can really make up for what you're trying to do. So there were a lot of critical plays that we left out on the field against a good defense. And I think they do a good job challenging you because they've got good players and they've got a good scheme, and if you're not on top of everything then they make you pay. And there were a lot of plays that were just uncontested. We didn't really have much of a chance.
Q: How difficult is it to get Rob Gronkowski free when other skill players are going down with injuries?
TB: Yeah, we've lost a lot of guys, and we've lost quite a few guys over the last three weeks. So I think we'll just keep fighting and figuring out a way to win, and it's good to win against a good defense. Any way you can get these wins, I think it's a positive. I think just whoever is in there, we've got to have confidence in what they're doing and Gronk, obviously I have a lot of confidence in him. If two guys go on him, then other guys have to really step in and make the plays, and we made some. I just think we left some out there, and I think we'll kind of review the film. We're playing against a good team next week. We'll see if we can do a little bit better.
Q: Is it good to be 10-0?
TB: Yeah, it feels good to win. It's obviously hard to get to this point. Every team goes through different things, and we've kind of withstood a lot. So, we'll just keep fighting.
Q: Do you think you're still trying to figure out how to do certain things without certain players or was it all just execution tonight?
TB: It was, I think, a lot of execution that we could do better. And we lost Danny during the game, we lost [Aaron] Dobson during the game, and we were down to two healthy receivers. You get pretty limited quickly in the things that you can do, and we still played hard and we fought hard. We just, we've got to try to review some things and [sync] some things up and see if we can play better next week.
Malcolm Butler, Cornerback
*(On his performance during tonight's game) *
"I think I did okay, but I can always do better. There was a penalty, but I just had to turn around and look for the ball. Other than that I think I had a pretty solid night, but I do have room for improvement."
(On the offensive and defensive performance during tonight's game)
"We're a team. Sometimes the offense will win it for us and sometimes the defense will have to go out and win it for us. We're all going out there together and taking it play-by-play. We have 60 minutes of playing and we just hope for the best."
*(On how the Patriots play upfront helped the back end) *
"For the most part the defensive line did a god job and contained in the best way they could. We really just need to be out there running with the receivers and finishing the plays."
(On the Patriots performance over the past two weeks)
"It has all been a team-effort and when we're out there we have each other's backs. I go out there and try to do the best I can just like every other player. We just put in a team-effort.
Rob Gronkowski, Tight End
*(On getting the win during a tough game) *
"It's good. It's tough to get a win every week in the NFL and you take whatever you can get. We definitely could work on a lot, but a win is a win, and you got to give credit to our defense. They played unbelievable today. The effort they gave and all the stops they had - huge for our defense."
(On how the offense will continue if Danny Amendola needs to miss significant time)
"Guys just keep stepping up. Guys are hungry on our team. [Chris] Harper had his first game – always working hard. Players on our team are always working hard. If you're starting or not starting, it doesn't matter. We all have chemistry throughout practice."
*(On the Buffalo Bills) *
"They're a good team. You got to give credit to them. They got a good defense. They got a lot of good players out there and you got to give them credit. They did a lot of things right – tough, physical and ready to play. The thing is, we just came in here and got the win and wins are always big."
(On the offense struggling to put up points)
"You just have to go out to practice and work out what you did right, what you did wrong and knock out the kinks and fix some things and bring it out next week."
*(On if he feels he's receiving extra attention on defense) *
"I see it all. It's about the same every week. They had a good defensive plan and we just need to execute better as an offense and myself. I just got to play better."
Brandon LaFell, Wide Receiver
*(On the difficulty of getting into an offensive rhythm tonight) *
"They [the Bills] played a really good game on defense. We couldn't convert on third downs, they put a lot of pressure on the quarterback. They were just sending more guys than we could handle. They played lights out on third down; I think we converted like three-out-of-12 third downs. We could never stay out on the field and get into a rhythm and I get into some up-tempo plays because they kept stopping us."
(On winning despite the injuries and a tough defensive effort by the Bills)
"We are going to do anything it takes to win the game. Whether we have to run the ball or throw the ball. Their [the Bills] game plan was very different from what it was the last time; they didn't let us go out there and throw it 50 times like last time. We had to go with a different game plan, but we had a lot of guys step up and make plays, even plays that got called back like Chris Harper's [reception]. That was a big catch on third down. A lot of guys, next guy up, continue to make plays. Every game we play from here on out is not going to be easy."
*(On what was going through his mind when he saw Danny Amendola injured) *
"I was just hoping it was something he could shake off and get back on the field, but it wasn't. Hopefully he will be OK in the next couple of days because we are going to need him the rest of this year, especially with Jules [Julian Edelman] out."
*(On seeing Chris Harper step up tonight) *
"He does it every day against our defense, so it's no surprise to me that he goes out there and makes plays like that. I wish they wouldn't have called his [reception] back though. That was a nice play."
Devin McCourty, Safety
(On the defensive effort)
"We know it's always going to be tough playing a division game. They [Buffalo] have got a good defense, so we have to step up and play well. Our job is to get off the field and obviously we want some turnovers. [Brandon] King and [Jonathan] Freeny's play was big on the punt, so we've got to keep playing tough like that."
*(On his pass-breakup in the end zone) *
"They say I'm kind of fast on the team, so when the ball's in the air, I just try to get there. Whenever a guy like that [Bills RB LeSean McCoy) is outside of the backfield, you've got to have a high awareness. They were trying to get him the ball, so I ran and tried to make a play. I think they ran a play just for him to get him open, so it was a big play before the half because it kept points off the board. It ended up being big for us."
(On winning despite injuries piling up)
"It's next man up. I feel like year after year in the game of football tough injuries happen, but guys [on our team] step up and play well. Obviously we hope guys don't go down and guys that are down we hope can get healthy and get back as soon as possible, but guys stepped up and were ready to go. I think we have a team of competitive guys who all want to play."
(On limiting the Bills running game)
"That's always the number one goal – stop the run. If teams run, everything's open from that standpoint, so stopping the run is first and foremost. It was a total team effort. [Patrick] Chung had some big plays out there and Tavon [Wilson] played really well today so we've got to try to keep it rolling."
Jabaal Sheard, Defensive End
*(On how important it was to keep Bills QB Tyrod Taylor from running) *
"That's very important. Everybody's got a job and that was our job, to keep him contained. He's a great player, very athletic, very slippery. He made his plays."
(On how it feels to still be undefeated in the division)
"It's important just to win the game. We had a game plan and went out there and won the game and now we're moving on."
(On the defense picking the team up)
"We've just got to do our job, focus on our keys, stay disciplined, stay in the rushing lanes, whatever coach asks us to do and do our job."
James White, Running Back
*(On the play that resulted in his first touchdown) *
"[I was] in one-on-one coverage with a safety. [The Bills] blitzed, Tom [Brady] threw it to me quick and I just stiff-armed a guy and got into the end zone."
(On how it felt to score his first touchdown)
"It felt good. Anything I can do to help this team win I'm going to try and do it and it felt good to put some points on the board."
*(On the mood of the offense throughout the game) *
"We knew it was going to be a four-quarter game. We knew it was going to be a tough game. We didn't play that great as an offense, we know we have to play better. We know we have a short week this week and have to get ready for the [Denver] Broncos. We have to improve."
*(On the team's injuries adding to the challenges to move the ball on offense) *
"Guys are going to go down, so people have to be ready, whatever the situation is. It's unfortunate, but that's just how it goes in this league sometimes. People just have to step up."
(On scoring two touchdowns tonight)
"It felt good. Like I said, guys went down, people had to step up and I just want to be one of those guys."
(On if scoring his first career touchdowns builds his confidence in the offense)
"I'm just playing confident regardless whatever the situation is. I want to be a confident football player, whether it's catching the ball, running the ball or blocking. Whatever I can to do to help this team."
(On if this is the kind of performance he's been waiting for)
"I wouldn't say that. When the ball is in my hands I'm going to try and make a play and if I have to block I'm going to try and do that. Whatever happens happens."