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Patriots Postgame Quotes - 11/26/2006

New England Patriots players comment on their 17-13 win over the Chicago Bears at Gillette Stadium.

Asante Samuel, Cornerback

(On reading Grossman)
We were in a lot of man coverage today. He tried to throw up a couple of deep balls and you just have to go get them at the high point and I did that. I started to get a good feel for the game. He kept coming at me and trying me and I just made the plays.

(On Artrell Hawkins' comments that Samuel could have had five interceptions)
Man, I could have had six [laughs]. I dropped a couple. One on the deep ball, I misplayed it so I left a couple of balls on the field.

*(On both defenses)
*It's hard to tell [who is better]. They made a lot of plays. It was a battle. They had a good defense, and we had a good defense. It was a good game. It was just about making the plays at the time when we need them. At the end of the game if they go down and score a touchdown, they win. So we made the plays and it kept us in the game.

*(On the three game balls sitting in his locker)
*Yes I'm taking them home. I try to keep all my interceptions for memories.

*(On what he saw in Grossman that allowed him to get those balls)
*I got a good feel of the game and he kept coming at me and trying me and I just made the plays.

Artrell Hawkins, Free Safety

*(On Bears' passing approach and pass interference penalties)
*It was throw the ball up and either they're going to make a play on the ball or hopefully they're going to get a pass interference call. Two bad pass interference penalties by myself and Ellis Hobbs. At the point in the game, we have to have better discipline and play the ball in the air because it really swings field position. I'm not ragging on the rules, but the rules don't really go in favor of the defensive backs. You can't cut their progression off and you can't touch them after five yards. It's a good play. If you're an offensive coordinator or a quarterback, just to throw it up. It was underthrown, but the rules are the rules. They called it and it was a big swing of field position. Fortunately for me, the offense came out and they answered the bell.

*(On Asante Samuel)
*He came up big today. He had a Pro Bowl day straight up and down. He could have had five picks. He played the pass perfectly. Even the pass that they caught on him earlier in the game, he was in position to make that play and just didn't go up and high point it. Three picks are big for our team and it's good for him. The first play he picked off a slant and we were in straight blitz coverage. He had no help and no one behind him.

*(On the way the defense was playing the receivers)
*It's harder to help but inside passing plays and shotgun was the whole game plan and of course we brought a couple of blitzes and it was either throw it down field or check down the middle of the field and tried to get it out of the middle of the field.

Kevin Faulk, Running Back

*(On Bears)
*We were impressed with them watching them on film. Coming into this game we knew what kind of defense that they had. We knew that they were ballhawks. It kind of downplays us a little bit by turning over the ball as many times as we did.

*(On winning at home)
*It's an important thing, but just winning in general is important.

*(On breaking the receptions record)
*I just give credit that to the guys that I played with – Drew [Bledsoe], Tom [Brady], all the quarterbacks. They're the ones that threw me the ball, and all the guys that I played with. At the beginning of the season, I knew it was in reach but from that point on it was just playing football. I wasn't worried about the record.

*(On Benjamin Watson)
*Benjamin has improved a whole lot. He got hurt in his first year, and his second year was a learning process. He learned a lot and here he is.

Ellis Hobbs, Defensive Back

*(On Bears offense)
*We knew what type of offense that they were. It's obvious. ESPN, FOX, all of them, commented on how it was a big-play team. What we wanted to do was minimize the big plays or have none. The pass interference on me, the ball that they supposedly called on Asante [Samuel], the pass interference on Artrell [Hawkins], they could have gone both ways.

*(On the team stepping up after Thanksgiving)
*This is where your best ball has to come out. No excuses on the back end. No excuses on defense or collectively as a team, special teams and offense. Everybody has to be playing their best. Whatever you did as far as being 6-0 coming in, 5-1, or whatever your record was previous to Thanksgiving. It doesn't matter now in the NFL because teams that are 5-5 are still in it. Teams out there can be out of it when it comes to January. So everyone has to be playing their best ball right now.

*(On Rex Grossman)
*Rex is a good quarterback. He puts the ball on the money. The one thing that we tried to force him to do was throw the out routes and corner routes, outside routes because he was more comfortable throwing the ball inside. He did a great job of that. We would give him that. The one thing we didn't want to do was allow the big plays and the inside routes.

*(On forcing turnovers in the red zone)
*Live to see another day. That's the way we play. We live to see another down. You get your pass interference and this and that but [the receiver] could have caught the ball and taken it for six [points]. Our mentality is play for the next down. Get the ball back. If they get in the red zone, tighten up a little bit. Coming into camp, through camp and the preseason and through the season we knew that we had to be a good red zone defense to be a good team in the NFL.

Heath Evans, Running Back

*(On the win)
*A win is a win. I think we just enforced our will there at the end and that was the bottom line. You can't say enough about Asante [Samuel's] game. Three picks in one game, I don't know.

*(On Tom Brady's 11-yard run in the fourth quarter)
*We tell Tom to not to try it again is what we tell Tom. We want Tommy to get down. Big players make big time plays and he did it. He extended a drive for us.

He's the best quarterback in football, but he is not the most gifted runner. He's a great player. Bottom line.

*(On Laurence Maroney)
*He is coming along well. He's coming along really well and doing the things he is asked to do. More important than the catching and running is the blitz pickups. He is doing a good job.

*(On Maroney's progress)
*He was ahead of the game even initially, in my opinion. The coaches may not tell you that. But, you know, he is just growing. That's what you want him to do. There are different things that Corey [Dillon] and I and Patrick [Pass] and Kevin [Faulk] are offering his way, and he is learning. I think he is doing a good job. He is willing to learn. That's the best thing about him.

Reche Caldwell, Wide Receiver

*(On the Bears' defense)
*They do a good job on their whole defense of going to the football. They have four or five people around the ball every time we make a catch or run the football. We had our share of turnovers, but we came out with a victory, and that's what it comes down to- winning ball games. We came out with a win.

*(On Asante Samuel's game)
*He is a great corner. One of the best in the league. I enjoy working with him everyday [in practice] and getting better trying to beat him. He did a great job for us and he turned the game around for us.

*(On playing against the Bears' defense)
*That was a very good defense. I just made a couple of plays. Tom Brady made good reads, hitting me with the ball. I tried to make a few plays for the team. I ran out of bounds on one of them. I should have stayed in.

Stephen Gostkowski, Kicker

*(On the timeout before the 52-yard field goal)
*I heard the whistle right before I kicked it and I kind of stuttered. We work on if they call a time out, just kick it anyway. It was nice to see the way the ball was flying. I squeaked it in. I got lucky, but I'll take it any way I can get it.

Ty Warren, Defensive Lineman

*(On recovering from Junior Seau's injury)
*We had Junior go down, so we had to change some personnel, swapping some guys in that usually aren't in there that much. They tried to take advantage of that and our guys settled down and took care of their job.

Dan Koppen, Center

*(On the Bears' defense)
*You can see the type of plays they are able to make if you lose concentration just for a second. That's what we had a couple of times. Luckily we were able to overcome that in the end and make a few more plays down the stretch than they did.

*(On if the Bears' defense did anything to surprise the Patriots)
*No. They are just a good defense. They play the way they play, and they play it well.

*(On red zone offense)
*Our goal is to be 100 percent in the red zone every week. When you get down there, you can't come away without points.

*(On the Bears defensive line)
*They get the hype because they deserve it. They are a good front and I don't think we took anything extra this week and we just tried to go out to practice and get better and execute our game plan to the best of our abilities no matter if we were running or passing the ball. I don't think we took it upon ourselves on anything like thinking it was a challenge because we do that every week.

*(On if the offensive line were happy with their performance)
*I think we played well in some spots and I think we need to look at the tape tomorrow or throughout the week and find out how to improve it, but overall it was a win and that's all we are concerned about.

*(On who he would compare Brady to as a runner)
*I'm probably better than he is. He made that move seven yards away from Urlacher and I don't know how he got around him, but bless him he did and got the first down.

*(On not giving up a sack)
*We knew we had to keep him comfortable back there in order to sit back and make good reads and make plays on them. He was able to do that a couple of times down the field especially. Our goal is to give him everything he needs. Some weeks we have been able to do that and some weeks we haven't. It's about consistency and building from here.

Ben Watson, Tight End

*(On if he feels fortunate to get the turnovers)
*Very fortunate. Their defense played great, but I was glad that we got another chance and I was happy that we came out with the win.

*(On if the 40 yard pass reception made up for the fumble)
*It made up for it a little bit, but it is one of those things that when it happens you feel a little down but then I was fortunate to come up with the chance to make another catch.

*(On preparing for a team who causes turnovers)
*It is one of those things that is hard to simulate in practice sometimes and the Bears do a really good job of punching the ball out and we knew this coming into the game. That is what makes it worse, that you know it is coming and they still do it. They are a physical defense and they bring it. They have a lot of good players over there, but our defense made some big plays and so did our offense.

*(About Brady's run near the end of the game)
*I was watching and I'm yelling, 'Go Tom.' He put a move on Urlacher and made him miss, which we will point out and we were proud of him making that first down.

Tedy Bruschi, Linebacker

*(On the Patriots win even with the numerous turnovers)
*I think we have had success being a sudden change defense this year. We got a lot of practice at it tonight and I know our offense doesn't want to turn over the ball that much. We preached all week that we didn't want to have big pass interferences like that but we still came out with a victory, which is a positive. However, we still need to take a look at those two big, glaring negatives and improve.

*(On the loss of Junior Seau)
*Junior is a big loss. He is a guy who has come in here and picked up the system real well. He is well liked by a lot of the guys and to see him go down like that, it hurts the team and the locker room a little bit. He is going to be missed greatly.

*(On the Bears throwing the long passes)
*Chicago likes to take shots and throw it down the field and a lot of times it's a jump ball. It seems like there are four things that can happen: incompletion, penalty, completion or interception. Samuel was able to get three of those and that's the way they play. They pound you and then Grossman takes shots like that and it's nice to see we won on three of those.

*(On the "Tedy" chant when he was hurt)
*It was like I was [a professional wrestler]. It was nice and the fans fired me up a little bit. It was just a case where I got dinged up a little bit and I was taking inventory. Our fans come up with clever cheers now and their timing is real clever.

Richard Seymour, Defensive End

*(On if he believed that the key today was being opportunistic)
*We just tried to get some plays in any way we can and I just think that's what it takes to win during this point of the season. It's that time of the year when your best players need to step up and take control of the games, so bottom line it's just that time of the year. This is when teams start to separate themselves and make a mark on what type of team you are going to be.

*(On what it means to beat the best team in the NFC)
*I think it was sloppy play at times on both sides. We both made turnovers and we both made plays out there and that's what it is going to come down to when you play good football teams. You aren't going to be perfect out there and you have to play better at times but the bottom line is that at this point of the season is getting a win. I think that is the most important thing and after a win you can correct the rest of it so we got this one behind us and we are going to enjoy it. We also understand as a football team that we can't keep making these mistakes to get to our ultimate goal.

*(On Samuel's three interceptions)
*Samuel played at a Pro Bowl level today. Bottom line-- he had the week off last week and came back fresh and ready to go and we needed that. We needed someone in the secondary to really step up and make plays for us. He is a really talented guy, so it's no surprise that he put up the type of performance he did today. It doesn't surprise the guys on this football team because we definitely know he has the talent and can get it down on any given Sunday.

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