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Patriots Postgame Quotes

Patriots players comment on their game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, September 12, 2010.

Brandon Tate, Wide Receiver
(On what he saw when he first got the ball on his kickoff return touchdown)

"First, they did like a squib kick that kind of messed up our reads, but I just got it, made a guy or two miss and I was off to the races."

(On if he thought he was in the clear once he beat the kicker)

"Yeah, I figured once I beat the kicker, I just threw my head back and took off."

(On if a squib kick can give the return team an opportunity for a big play)

"Well, to tell you the truth, I thought it was going to mess up everybody. I thought everybody was going to stop blocking and try to get back and get the ball, but everyone stayed to their assignment. So, like I said, my hat goes off to my teammates."

Dan Koppen, Center
(On if it feels good to start things off with a win)

"Yeah, I think it's just one of those things where we came out ready to play. We got off to a fast start, which is what we wanted to do. The defense played awesome in the first half and gave us a lot of opportunities. It was a good step for the first game."

(On if the offense wanted to come out clicking early)

"Yeah, that's what we talked about all week. That's a heck of a team they've got over there. Fast starting, we were able to do that. Play at a good pace and keep the players coming. Right off the snap the guys responded great."

(On if he was impressed by what Wes Welker was able to do in his first regular season game back from injury)

"Absolutely. You're not going to put anything by that guy. He's just - he's a football player."

Rob Gronkowski, Tight End
(On getting his first career touchdown)

"It was a great feeling to get the first touchdown. It was a good-executed play, everyone did their job and it was a good throw by the quarterback. It was a great feeling."

(On if he had any nerves playing in his first regular season game)

"Of course. Going out there, your heart's pounding when I was first out there. Last night, too. A lot of nerves, but after the first couple of drives, it gets out of you. It's like playing football again."

(On if he was able to appreciate Wes Welker coming back from his injury)

"Definitely. I know he's working hard everyday, I see him everyday working hard. I would say that's why he's already back. He's a hard worker and a great leader and I follow him in the strides of working hard."

(On what he's going to do with the ball he caught for his first career touchdown)

"I think someone has it and they decorate it or something...I'm going to definitely keep it myself and send it back home to my family - my parents for the trophy case or something."

Alge Crumpler, Tight End
(On how important it was for the offense to make a statement on the first possession)

"It's always crucial for us to go out there and execute our offense. But we're focused so much right now on closing out games and I thought we were able to do that well today. That drive after [the Bengals] scored in the third quarter, I thought it was really critical for us to go down there and capitalize and put points on the board and give our defense a little bit of a rest."

Devin McCourty, Cornerback
(On first game)

"Just happy we won. Went out there and gave it 100 percent. Just played hard and competed, and I'm happy we came out with a win today."

(On first play)

"Just to be able to make that play, gave me a little bit of momentum and kept the defense going. Anytime you can stop the offense going deep, it's a good play."

(On matching up against Terrell Owens)

"I prepared for it all week. I knew what we were going against. I knew we had to come out and compete today."

(On them going after him a lot today)

"Just prepare for anything. You just never really know. Coach kept saying with openers you just don't know, so prepare for everything."

Gary Guyton, Linebacker
(On fear of being caught by the quarterback on his interception return)

"Yes, there definitely was. All I could think of was 'Run, Gary, run. And get the touchdown.' There was definitely a fear. If I get caught by the quarterback, I won't hear the last of it. All I was thinking about was running."

(On what he was looking at during the touchdown)

"I was just looking at the pylon. It was the closest thing to me. So I was just running. Keep on running, that's all."

(On making the catch)

"I was just thinking about squeezing and running. Squeezing and getting to the touchdown. I saw the green grass, and I kept on running."

(On making the play)

"I was reading my responsibility. And once I looked back at the quarterback, the ball was in the air, so I decided to make a play on it. I just put my arms out, squeezed the ball and kept on running."

(On this being every defensive player's dream)

"It is. It's my first one. Going into my third year, so I finally got me a pick and a touchdown."

Tully Banta-Cain, Linebacker

(On play where Cedric Benson fumbled and Rob Ninkovich recovered)

"They came out in an unbalanced set. I was able to set the edge on it. Mike [Wright] got some good penetration and forced Benson to stop his momentum. Then other guys swarmed in and got the ball out. James [Sanders], I think, ripped the ball out. Rob [Ninkovich] was able to scoop it up. Too bad he didn't know that nobody touched him or we would've gotten a touchdown out of it. It was just good team defense, and everybody was swarming to the ball."

(On overall impressions of the defense)

"I was happy with the way we played in the first half. We were able to neutralize them in the running game and the passing game. For us, that's just a confidence booster because we wanted to play with a lot of energy. We wanted to make plays early in the game to get energy on our defense. And that's what we did. Obviously, in the second half, they came out and put some points up on us. But it was good to see we were ready to play in the first half."

(On starting out the opener)

"It's the opener. We just don't know what to expect week one. And everybody is antsy and anxious to see what's going to happen. For us to come out and play like we did in the first half, to open up the game that we opened up, you couldn't have picked up a better start."

Darius Butler, Cornerback

(On getting off to a good start)

"It's always important every game that we come out as a defense or the offense and set the tone...and we actually did well in the first and not good enough in the second half. Like I said, some things you learn from. "

(On the defensive scheme)

"You learn something new every day. And obviously in the NFL, something's changing every day of the week with the game plan. This is the only scheme I've been in since I've been here. So this is all I know. So it's not too tough."

(On being close in the second half to breaking up some passes and making some plays)

"Like you said, real close. But those are plays that you've got to finish. Those are drive killers. Anytime you get the chance to get off the field, you've got to get off the field. We've got to make those plays."

(On confidence taken from this game)

"We got a win, and that's what's important. I'll watch the film and see some things we did wrong, see some things we did right and go from there."

Aaron Hernandez, Tight End
(On the difference between this game and the preseason)

"It wasn't that big of a jump. You can tell. You can tell the intensity in the players is a lot different and a lot more focused."

(On the offense clicking in the first half)

"I feel like it went pretty well, but obviously it's the first game, so everything has to improve to go where we want to be. We'll just keep working hard and that happens every week. "

(On how his first reception, that went for 45 yards, feels)

"It feels great. I was just trying to make a play, it feels great."

(On how wide open he was on the play)

"I had a feeling because when Randy [Moss] is on a deep route, most likely the safeties and corners are going to run with him and that leaves me alone underneath."

Vince Wilfork, Nose Tackle(On the difference in play between the two halves)

"We'll see tomorrow. We came out with good energy, played well as a unit. We made the plays we needed to make in the first half. The second half, I really don't know. I can't comment until I go in and actually look at the film tomorrow. All in all, for the first game, we came out together and played with a lot of energy and fought and competed. We were physical. We were aggressive. We were everything going into this game I thought. Hats off to my teammates and the coaching staff for putting together the game plan and once Cincinnati came in, they were riding high and they had a right to be. They added some new firepower on their team. But today, I was happy to see the New England Patriots playing how we can play. We saw flashes of how we can play, if we just play together. [Today was] a good learning tool. Hopefully we have more Ws coming. We're far from where we need to be, but the battle's over now. We'll come in and watch film tomorrow and get ready for the Jets. That'll be a pretty tough one, a division game. They always play us tough and it's an away game, first test away. So, we have our hands full. We're going to enjoy this one today, but we're going to get right back to work."

(On getting pressure on the quarterback today)

"We know what we have here. We hear a lot of stuff about the pass rush and the rush defense, DBs, this and that. We try to avoid that stuff. Going through camp out there, we had guys knowing what to expect, how to play. We put a game plan together today and executed it. Everything's not perfect, don't get me wrong, but we did what we wanted to do. We came out with a W. We started the game fast and we finished. Even though there were some little bumps and stuff, some things that we gave up, but we finished. We won the game. Each week get better. This is the first week of many and this week, we have to be better than last week. It's pretty encouraging just to see how we can execute a game plan and play as a team, what we can do. So, it's going to be all about that going forward."

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