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Patriots Postgame Quotes

Patriots players comment on their game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, January 2, 2011.

Jerod Mayo, Linebacker
(On the team accomplishments this year?)
"At the end of the day, I am still happy where we are at, but we are 0-0 now. It's time to go to the playoffs."

(What do you think about your season to this point?)
"I think you have seen growth from week one to now. Especially with the young guys, Devin (McCourty) is playing good football, Jermaine (Cunningham), when he is healthy, is playing good football. All those young guys are really stepping up and making plays. You even see Kyle Love making strides. So it's good to see some of the young guys stepping up and the maturation process this defense has gone through."

(Feelings on this team heading into the playoffs)
"We wanted to come out today and perform well and keep the momentum going. Hopefully that carries through the playoffs."

(On being injury-free headed into the playoffs)
"It feels good to finish the season without any injuries and things like that."

(On the defense playing at a different level)
"The confidence is pretty high right now, but at the same time I am sure after watching film Coach Belichick will bring it right back down, back down to normal. I am happy with the maturation process that these young guys have gone through and this total defense."

(On the stats now backing up how good the defense is?)
"You guys can see it. I can see it. I saw it a little earlier than you guys did, but after that Cleveland game, I think the guys really took it to heart how they embarrassed us out there. We have been playing pretty well ever since."

(Is it tough to get time off right now?)
"Not at all. I am sure we will go out there and it will be a game-like atmosphere in practice. Coach Belichick does an excellent job of keeping us on our toes."

Devin McCourty, Cornerback(What did you see on your interception?)
"Just dropping back and reading the quarterback, I just kind of felt like he was looking that way. Once I saw the ball there I was just trying to attack and beat the receiver to the ball."

(What did the defense talk about before the game since the game didn't really matter?)
"As a defense, I know Vince [Wilfork] says every time we step on the field, it's about doing what we do, no matter if we are up a lot of points or down. We try not to worry about the situation and just got out there and do what we do every time we get on the field."

(Was it important to have a strong performance headed into the playoffs with a week off?)
"I think every time we step on the field we want to have a strong performance. We are a young defense and we have gotten better each week. Coach Belichick says that all the time, it's about getting better each week and I think it would have hurt us to come out and not get better. So that's what we did."

(What is the mindset with the week off?)
"That's a good question. I am a rookie and I will find out when we come back and Coach Belichick tells us what the game plan is."

(What are your plans for the bye week?)
"Whatever they say to do, that's what I will do. The playoffs, I know from watching the NFL for years, this is a big thing. I just want to be ready to play when I step out there."

(How confident is this defense and how much has it grown?)
"I think were are very confident as long as we come out and prepare during the week and that's what we have been doing. Just preparing and that's what has given us the confidence to come out on Sunday's and play well. I think as long as we keep doing that we will have that confidence in these games."

James Sanders, Safety(On if he's surprised when different players step up each week)
"No, it's not a surprise. We know what kind of guys we have on this team. When they get their opportunities, you know they're going to run with it. Julian [Edelman] is a very special player with the ball in his hands. We knew all along what he's capable of and he went out there and showed that today."

(On the Patriots looking like they had something to play for)
"We definitely had something to play for. We wanted to continue to be playing good ball this time of year and we didn't want to have any let-up. We wanted to go out there and play solid football for 60 minutes and just to continue to improve as a team and that's what we did today."

(On if that comes more from Bill Belichick or the players just being professional)
"A little of both. Bill obviously will keep us focused, keep us humble, keep us striving to play better week in and week out. The guys on this team, we know the kind of team we have here and what we're capable of doing and we just want to go out there and win games and continue to play as hard as we can."

Rob Gronkowski, Tight End
(On how he feels about BenJarvus Green-Ellis reaching the 1,000-yard mark)
"Great. I'm proud to block for him, proud to block for all the running backs here. They're all great guys, they all work hard, they all run hard. I'm glad he got the 1,000 yards. It's awesome."

(On if he was surprised by how long Tom Brady stayed in the game)
"Not at all, I know it's New England. I always watched them growing up, I always saw him in no matter what. He's the starting quarterback and we're just here to win games. We played a great game with heart in it. He played awesome, too."

(On if getting into the end zone has gotten routine for him)
"I mean, I like getting into the end zone [laughs]. Who doesn't?" [laughs]

Fred Taylor, Running Back(On if he was surprised by how much Tom Brady played)
"You don't want to be surprised about anything, especially around here. Tom was prepared, we were all prepared to play. Coach [Bill Belichick] said, 'Be prepared to play, you might go in and you might come out.' We were all ready to play and that's the bottom line, being ready to play and doing your job."

(On what it's been like to help BenJarvus Green-Ellis develop into a legitimately good running back in the league)
"He is. But like I said, please, you guys, do not give me [credit] or take his shine away from him. I don't deserve that credit. It's in him, he wants it. And a lot of times, I find him motivating me to push forward. I don't always feel like it. Ben, he has his days where he's like, 'Ahh,' but we have to do it. Definitely now, it's time to be stronger. Benny has been steady, he's been wanting it. And it comes from - it's his family. That's just the mindset that they have. You guys don't know about it, but that's just their mindset and it's in him. He's a young guy with an old soul. He's very mature, very smart and he's passionate about what he's doing. That's just BenJarvus."

Rob Ninkovich, Linebacker(On if it's important to have leadership in the locker room from Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork)
"Most definitely, most definitely. Jerod and Vince have been great leaders for us on the defense, so all the young guys look up to them. I'm considered kind of a young guy [laughter] so I look up to them, even though I'm a little older than Mayo. So it's cool, I'm happy to have those guys here."

(On what Eric Moore's progression says about his character)
"Never give up and if you've got a dream, continue to fight for it. He wanted everyone to see that he wanted to continue to play in the NFL and he had to go to the UFL to get back to the NFL. So it talks a lot about his character and his drive. Again, Eric's a great guy to have on your team because you know he's going to fight."

Alge Crumpler, Tight End
(On whether he is surprised about the development of Rob Gronkowski)
"No, if you get a guy that takes coaching and practices extremely hard, they can be successful in this league. It's great up to this point to see Rob play so well. We expect big things out of him not only the rest of this season, but for the rest of his career."

(On what areas he has seen Rob develop in since Week 1)
"We watch film from early in the season and we sit back and laugh. We really do, because there's been so much growth amongst a lot of guys on our team, not just Rob. A lot of guys on our team have been itching for an opportunity and today was that day. I think our guys passed that test really well."

Eric Moore, Defensive Lineman(On how it felt to play linebacker today)
"I've been standing up pretty much the whole time I've been here so I'm getting used to it."

(On if he is surprised by how quickly he has made an impact)
"I really haven't made an impact. I've just been out there playing, trying to help out without taking anything for granted, taking advantage of the opportunity."

Brandon Tate, Wide Receiver
(On young players having big games in absence of regular contributors)
"With them down, somebody has to come in and step up. So, all of the younger guys, we were just ready to go, excited to play."

(On catching Brian Hoyer's first touchdown)
"That was real good for Hoyer's first one. So we just went out there and I told him, 'If you've got a chance, just throw it up there to me.' So, he trusted me and he threw it up there for me and made the big play."

(On importance of ending regular season with victory)
"It was real important to go out here and play hard and finish out the last game of the season. I think the guys, we did pretty well."

(On mindset for the team with regular season over and playoffs starting)
"We're 0-0. We're worried about what's going on next week. We forget about the season. We move on."

Brian Hoyer, Quarterback(On his first career touchdown pass)
"I saw the ref put his hands up, that's what I saw because I got hit. And I saw him put his hands up. I was just so elated, I just sprinted down. That was a play that Brandon [Tate] and I talked about before, and we just kind of had a good feeling about it going into the game. He made a tremendous catch. You watch the replay afterwards, and he really went out and got it and made a great catch."

(On whether he saw the touchdown pass)
"No, I didn't see it. I just saw the ref put his hands up, and I heard the crowd cheer, so I figured it was a touchdown."

(On his comfort level rising as game went on)
"You don't play all year and to get in there, it's just fun. You get in there and start making plays. I hit that quick slant to Taylor [Price], and after that, I felt the comfort level come back a little bit. Like I said, it's just fun to go out there and actually play."

(On getting BenJarvus Green-Ellis 1,000 rushing yards for the season)
"Yeah, we were aware, and that was something we wanted to get for Benny because he's done a tremendous job and he got it on that last play. I thought maybe he was going to score actually. They were all dropped back into coverage, and we handed it off to him, and he definitely got it, so we were just happy for him."

(On how this experience is different from last year in Houston)
"Just fun really. We won the game. Last year in Houston, we didn't win. Whenever you don't win, that's not very fun. Just to go out there and play and complete some passes, throw my first touchdown and move the offense a little bit...I thought when I was in there, we pounded the ball really well, ran the ball really well, so that helped on some of those play-actions."

Taylor Price, Wide Receiver
(On how his first action of the season felt)
"So good. I miss it. [To] get back on the field [and] start competing against somebody else other than my team, [I'm] glad to get back out there. I wanted to show what I can I do and why I'm here. So, I had fun."

(On advice from veterans)
"To go out there and relax. Play ball like you've always been playing. It's still just football. Just go out there, play, react, and have fun. And that's what I tried to do today."

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