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Patriots Postgame Quotes

Patriots players comment on their game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, October 17, 2010.


Q: Long game. You pulled it out.

TB: It was a battle. I think there were a lot of things we wish we could have done better but, I'll tell you, it feels good to win down 10 [points] in the fourth quarter. We are going to watch the film and there is a lot to correct and a lot to build on but it's a good one to win.

Q: How much did Deion Branch help you out?

TB: He did great. You guys asked me earlier this week if there was some chemistry there. I've been throwing balls to him for a long time; he made some big time plays, [a] touchdown catch, so we all kept battling and I think that was why we pulled it out.

Q: On that crucial third down play there was it a coincidence that [Deion] Branch goes for the ball?

TB: We put him over there to see if he could get open and he doesn't let us down.

Q: You seemed to rely on him down the stretch. You really haven't seen him in four seasons. How do you pick it up that quickly?

TB: We've known each other for a long time so I think that chemistry is there and it will be there for a long time. He made some big catches - all those play-action passes - he made some good plays on those, so it's great to have him out there.

Q: Were you limited at all on what you could do with him?

TB: No, not at all.

Q: What can he do best? What makes him such a good receiver?

TB: Everything. I don't think there's a lot that he doesn't do well. [Jokingly] I don't think there are any limitations other than that he is as big as Danny Woodhead and Wes [Welker]. We put that jump on there at the end of the game and I look over and its Wes and Brandon [Tate] so, there's not many limitations that Deion has.

Q: Do these kinds of comebacks ever get old for you?

TB: No. I am telling you, the first half we just didn't play well and the second half we were sporadic. We had some opportunities there and those are the things we are going to kick our self on. I know I missed some reads out there and some open receivers so I have to do a better job of getting us the ball and getting those guys the ball and keeping those chains moving but I am glad we pulled it out.

Q: How do you come back when they had the ball more than you did? How do you deal with that?

TB: Well they did and when we get the ball we have to possess the ball, I think that's how you counter it. You can't go in there and they have the ball for a while and then you go out there and go three and out, which we did a few times. You have to be able to protect the defense when they've been on the field for a while, we have to go out there and put together drives.

Q: Coach [Bill Belichick] talked about this being a big week for the captains. Can you talk about the influence that guys in the locker room have had this week? He even mentioned Kevin Faulk as well.

TB: Kevin is always involved. Alge [Crumpler] has been a great addition to that group as a captain. I think there is a sign when you come in the door that says "mental toughness," and that's doing what you've got to do for your team. I think that was on display today and [is] something that we can really build on and hopefully go out and play better next weekend in San Diego.


Q: Big kick...

SG: It's nice to get a win. The couple times that I've had a chance to be in overtime it seems like I kick off every time and haven't had an opportunity, and I was just glad to get an opportunity. As a field goal kicker you can't make your own opportunities. You just got to go with what is given to you on the offense and defense and when you get an opportunity to come through for your team it's very rewarding to be the last person to touch the ball and come off winners.

Q: At the end of regulation, you had the chance to kick a 65-yard field goal. Did you think you were going to get that opportunity?

SG: Like I said, you take what you get, that's not my call. I am not going to be the guy tapping coach [Bill] Belichick on the shoulder saying, 'send me out there'. I just get ready to go and when my name is called I do it. I've made kicks that long before in practice and I've never gotten the opportunity to kick one of those in a game, but I would have gone out there and tried my best. The only bad thing that can happen there is that you get the kick blocked. I don't think the coaches are going to be out there yelling at me the next day so it's kind of like a freebee. We ended up winning so I could care less they didn't send me out there. I am just glad I got the opportunity to go out there at the end.

Q: You don't care now, but at the time was there any disappointment?

SG: No, I knew whether I tried it or not we were still going to have overtime. If I let my emotions get the best of me and get mad they [coaches] didn't send me out's no disrespect. The percentages of a 65-yard field goal are probably pretty low and if I let that affect me and end up missing the next kick then I am not a very good professional at what I do. It would have been cool to try it, but oh well. I went three-for-three with a game winner. I can't go mad about anything.

Q: This is the second straight week you've had a strong special teams showing. Can you talk about that?

SG: We definitely have a lot of pride in special teams and coach Belichick used to be a special teams coach back in the day and Scott O'Brien is a great coach. The attention to detail that we take and the time and effort we put into it...You don't want to work that hard all week and those guys that have to play offense and defense that run around they don't want to be doing those extra reps in practice to go out there and stink it up. Once you get a couple good plays, you get confidence and it carries over. It's nice to see the results and any time you can help the team win as a special teams unit it is very rewarding.

Q: Regardless of the situation is your mental checklist the same when you prepare to go out there?

SG: I am just getting ready to go. All I am thinking about is making good, clean contact. The hardest thing about kicking a kick at the end of the game or end of the half is not letting your excitement get the best of you. I am not going to get out there and celebrate before the kick is made. A lot of times guys have the tendency to try to kick it too hard or over-kick it. Just like a golf swing, the harder you try to hit it the less chance you have at it going straight. I just try to calm myself down, take a deep breath and, you know, I kick hundreds and hundreds of kicks each week and there is no reason that is any [different]. The consequences are greater but I am not thinking of that at the time.

Q: Is it disruptive at all to make the kick and then find out it was the two-minute warning and that you have to do it again?

SG: We've practiced that. I didn't know it was a two-minute warning but anytime the whistle blows we have a chance at a free shot then we are going to take it. On a windy day like that where the ball can be affected by the wind, it is good to get a practice shot and I am glad that Jake [Ingram], Zoltan [Mesko] and myself had the mental toughness to do it not once but twice. I would like to thank those guys for sure because they have been working hard. To have two perfect snaps and holds in a row shows their mental toughness too.

Q: Is that more annoying than anything?

SG: You have to be able to deal with it. It's something that happens and it's something that we practice. We will have a two-minute drive at the end of the game and call timeout. You've got to be ready. I had that opportunity...I made the kick against the New York Jets and had the five-yard penalty and missed it the next time, but instead of griping about it and making it be a point of worry you just have to move on from it and learn from your experience. You're always going to get another opportunity if you're doing the best you can.

Q: Can you talk about the special teams contributions lately?

SG: In special teams you get one opportunity. We talked about it a second ago. We take a lot of pride in what we do and coach Belichick and Scott O'Brien put a lot of time and effort into it. To have an impact on the game is very rewarding and I know the guys take a lot of pride in it. Zoltan had a big kick there at the end, Wes [Welker] did great and in an ultimate game when all three phases do well it is more rewarding then when one part of the team plays bad.

VINCE WILFORK, NT(On his feelings now compared to last season's playoff loss to Baltimore)

"I'll tell you, exhausted. Both teams came out and played good football, a lot of credit to the Ravens. They are every bit of a championship team. Those guys came out and fought hard, but at the same time, we came in and fought hard. What we displayed today was a team. When things weren't going well, we stuck together. We kept on saying, 'Hey, let's just control what we can control.' [It was] one play at a time and everybody got the message, so - big win. This is probably one of the biggest wins around here in a long, long time. [This was] the most physical team game I've ever played in and my hat goes off to my teammates, coaching staff [and their] preparation. We felt good coming into this game. A lot of guys that were here for this playoff game last year understood what this game meant. To get away with a W and how we did it - down 10 [points] and we fought back. At times, we were getting booed, but you know what? We looked past all that stuff and stuck together as a team, a true team. That's what we have here. We have a very, very good team and we go to war every day for each other. We practice together. We work hard every day, and it paid off today for us. I'm very excited about this win - tired. But at the same time, the feeling is a really good feeling. "

(On how the defense stepped up late in the game)

"Oh yeah. We stepped up when we needed to step up. All year on third down, we've had problems in that area. Then, something went off and we basically turned it around. It's third down and we get off the field. Once we get off the field, we're a totally different defense. You know what? Nobody's getting off the field now? Now everybody understands how important third down is. Something that small, you know? We never gave up. I don't care what the clock said, we always believed that we were going to win that ball game. How? We didn't know. But one thing I do know, we stood up for one another out there. We played for one another. That's a team. I can go play for anybody if they are willing to do what we did today. They stood up and they stood hard and you know what? We came out with a W. [That is] a very good team in Baltimore, don't get me wrong. Like I said, they played their butts off and they maybe made a few more plays than we did, but that ball game could have gone either way. We both were slugging it out, back and forth, back and forth, so I'm happy to be on the W side this time. "

ZOLTAN MESKO, P(On getting more attention than normal from reporters after the game)

"Yeah, I'm very humbled. I can't let this get to my head, got to keep working hard. I'll be back in the weight room with everyone else tomorrow. We're excited for the rest of the year."

(On his 65-yard punt in overtime)

"It was just a great feeling to help the team win. I know in the fourth quarter of the first couple games, I was a little - I wouldn't call it shaky, but I didn't deliver it when the teams needed to be backed up. We had some unique situations where we were either up by a lot or the Jets game where we lost. It was definitely rewarding. It was good to see that hard work paid off."

WES WELKER, WR(On Deion Branch's performance Sunday)

"He did a great job of just getting open. He's a great player and he showed it all week in practice and he really came in here and showed up and made some great plays for us. He's a great addition to our team and we're lucky to have him."

(On how meaningful it was to have Branch back and producing like he did Sunday)

"It's great to have a competitor like him. He's going to compete every play and he's going to give you his all and run great routes and be in the right spot and he's a very accountable guy. So it's great to have someone like that out there on the field with you."

(On if it was the most physical game in which he's ever played)

"It's definitely up there. [The Ravens] are definitely a very physical team and we knew it was going to be that coming into this game and we were fortunate enough to come away with the victory."

(On if the win Sunday was as or more gratifying than the last win in Miami)

"The thing about this game is that it could have gone either way. They're all gratifying, especially in this league, but to win in overtime like that and a physical game like we had was huge."

(On if the offense changed its mindset when they were down 10 in the fourth quarter)

"We just had to score points, that was all there was to it. We were able to come out and get 10 points and put it into overtime and that was very crucial. We were able to get it done in overtime."

(On the difference between the first half and the second half for the offense)

"We obviously put more points on the board and that was definitely more important offensively. We just came together; we knew it was going to be a tough game throughout and we just had to keep grinding away."

(On if he's ever had a win feel as big as Sunday's)

"Honestly, wins, I don't look back really on this win or that win, just because I'm a very present guy in the present time. This is a huge win for us because it was the game that we had this week. Obviously it was a great AFC opponent and it was definitely a win that we needed."

(On what it means to pull out a victory in such a long and difficult game)

"Definitely we pulled together. I don't think that was needed to have the belief that we can be a good team. I think we know what we have here and we're just going to keep working, keep working every single day and now it's off to the San Diego game and getting ready for them."

(On how it came about that he was selected to be a captain and what it means to him)

"It was an honor. Coach [Belichick] announced it to the team on Wednesday that I just continue to do the things that I've set forth from the first day I stepped into this organization, that's help this team win. I've been through a lot of situations; I've been a captain before. I didn't expect this, but I embrace the opportunity to keep leading and keep helping this ball club win games. We've lost a lot of guys, due to injury, trades, whatever you want to call it. But we believe in this locker room that we can get it done. We have a core group of guys that are optimistic that, regardless of what the situations are, regardless of what happened last year, that we can continue to play together and stay together and win ball games. I'm excited that this team showed that we can come from behind 10 points and win a ball game. I've seen the team be up 10 and then win. So we have things that we can build on. It wasn't perfect; [if we] don't jump offsides, don't drop the football, we might run away with this thing. But I'll take a win any way you can get it in this league."

(On what the key was to shutting down Baltimore's offense late in the game)

"The biggest key was everybody doing their job. I think everybody did their job better later in the game than we did early in the game. We were doing our job, I just think we did it better at the end."

(On what it felt like to be able to stop Baltimore on third down)

"Yes it felt good, but we still have a long way to go. We just need to play better, period. We still have some breakdowns in the defense that we still don't like. We're headed in the right direction, though."

(On what it felt like to get all the defensive stops late in the game)

"We were having fun. Everybody was having fun and playing well together and we were all communicating. It was just fun for us."

(On his play in overtime deflecting a Joe Flacco pass)

"It just felt good to come back and make a play. I had some bad plays earlier in the game, but [I] just told myself [to] keep fighting. Flacco threw the ball up and just going up and challenging [Todd] Heap on the play."

(On the defensive adjustments they made from the first half to the second half)

"We just kept fighting. You always come to the sideline and talk about some things, but it was basically just going back out there and forgetting what just happened and going out there fighting trying to get back off the field."

(On defending the pass in a stop-the-run game)

"I think each week you come into a game focused on stopping the run, and then especially when you play Baltimore, you know you have to stop the run because if you don't they'll just keep running. Each week we come in trying to stop the run, and I think [from] a secondary's standpoint we feel like each week that's our job: to come in and challenge receivers and challenge everybody in the passing game."

(On if the defense "grew up" over the course of the game)

"I would say so. We're young. We had a couple plays that we wish we could get back, me in particular. You just have to always stay positive [and] keep your head up. Good teams are going to make good plays, so you [have] to keep battling."

(On if he could feel the momentum shifting in their favor)

"Yeah, we knew because our offense started to get going as well then. We just got off the field and gave the ball back to our offense, and [we knew] we were in pretty good shape."

(On if he is encouraged by what he saw out of the secondary as a whole)

"There were a few plays that we could have executed better on. Better technique, things like that. To get a win in this league, and from this team, we'll take that. But like you said, we still have some work to do."

(On what clicked in the fourth quarter to start the comeback)

"No one really got down throughout the game. It was just one of those things where we got to string plays together [and] be more consistent. When we're operating like that, I think we can be pretty good. That fourth quarter for us, everybody just seemed to be on the same page and [started] going down there making plays."

(On Deion Branch's play)

"You know what you're going to get out of Deion [Branch]. He's just a great guy, a great player, and came up with a few big catches for us again today. You want guys on the team that can do that."

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