Ellis Hobbs, Cornerback
(On what was a bigger play, his kickoff return for a touchdown or his interception)
I don't necessarily say one was bigger than the other. I think they were both important as far as game-changers. The kickoff return, they are coming off of a score when they drove the ball all the way down the field on us. When you get a situation like that you want to respond. You don't want that offense to get momentum and feel like they can do something. That is a big downer for them and a big morale lifter for us. The pick, any time you get a turnover on defense it is always a morale lifter for your offense, coming right back out there and driving right down to the end zone.
*(On his kickoff return for a touchdown)
*It was just kind of like last week. You have all types of returners. You have guys that like to circle people up and get them all in one spot and try to outrun them. My technique is to get it up the field. I told Willie [Andrews] before the play that I'm following you wherever you go and that's where I'm going. I saw Willie make that cut and it was almost like he was reading my mind. I saw the guy to the right and I said 'No, Willie, don't get that guy on the left, get him on the right.' I guess he just read my mind and got over there and hit him. My job was to just break through after that and then we run it all the way to the end zone.
*(On the move that broke the kickoff return)
*I gave a hesitation move to the right side just to kind of slow those guys down and make them stop so my blockers could do a great job. They have confidence in me. I said it last week, anytime you have a guy out there that they feel can return the ball and get it up field and not cost the team, that makes them want to go out there and block. My hats off to the other [special] teams guys that were out there blocking with me.
*(On the importance of the win and whether the team needed it)
*I think so, coming off the loss last week and going into the locker room disappointed, not because we got beat so badly, but knowing that we could have gone out there and done a better job all around in the three phases. That was our main goal today. We would not cost ourselves the game. They would have to beat us today. Anytime we can get to situations where we have to make them beat us, it is very hard to beat us on those days.
*(On what it meant to him personally to make plays)
*It means a lot. Last week, getting back to my form of ball where I don't think of myself as an average player out there. I want to get back to making plays. Today we took a step in making those plays. I think we have a long way to go. I'm only in my second year. I don't worry about too much when I'm out there. Bad things happen and it has been a long road this year, personally and on the field. I'm getting my mind focused and just staying focused and fighting through those tough times. Having days like this really gives you inspiration.
*(On defending Andre Johnson)
*We understood what type of player he was. We understood who they were trying to throw the ball to. Our main goal was to shut him down. If we shut him down, then we shut [David] Carr down. I think our D-line did a great job of getting in there, and really everyone pressuring the quarterback and making him throw the ball into situations he didn't want to throw it into. I think once he got kind of rattled out there, he was laying it out there for grabs. Putting our hands on Johnson and being physical with him, he is a big physical receiver so you can't back down.
Artrell Hawkins, Safety*(On the victory)
*It feels good because we had a chance to come out and have some of our hard work pay off. That is the biggest thing. Hats off to the Texans, I don't want to rub it in their face by any means because we all practice and we all try to perform well. Today was a good relief. It is the most complete game we have played in a while in all phases of the game: defense, offense and special teams. We all came and had good energy and were able to make plays. Hats off to all my teammates and coaches.
*(On whether it is a foreign feeling to play a good game)
*It is not a foreign feeling. I think we all remember what it feels like to play good games, especially, and certainly, all the guys that have been on championship teams here. That feeling you never forget. When you are not playing well, you are trying to find answers and that type of thing, you continue to work but sometimes it doesn't go in your favor. Today it just happened to go in our favor. I don't think we changed our work ethic at all. I think today we were clicking on all cylinders and brought good energy. We got some turnovers. The offense didn't give the ball away and they scored points. When you have a day like that, and the special teams scores a touchdown. It is like you are hitting on all cylinders. You don't know why it happens sometimes. Like Bill [Belichick] always says, 'you have to make a deposit to get a withdrawal.' We have been making deposits for a few weeks here. We got a little payout today.
*(On the improved play of Ellis Hobbs)
*I spoke to Ellis. We talked personally. His attitude is one of the best attitudes I have seen. He works hard. It is hard to not play the way you are used to. I have been in that situation. A lot of players have been in that situation in this league. What matters is how you react. I told him last week when we were flying back from Miami, I was proud of him and to keep working like he does. He did just that. He answered the bell. I don't think anyone deserves a better game than Ellis had today. First the special teams score and then the interception. He was all over the field making plays here and there. That is the kind of character he has and that is the kind of individual he is. He deserves it. I'm happy for him.
Rosevelt Colvin, Linebacker*(On the interceptions)
*I think the story at the beginning of the season is that we couldn't create enough turnovers and I think we tried to emphasize that. It's not going to make a difference in the game but we can change it. We give Tom and them plenty of opportunities, they try and make them pay, so they came up big for us.
*(On good field position)
*You give any offense the ball in the short field, it's not automatic points, but there's a good chance they'll get at least a field goal out if. Tom [Brady] and the boys did a good job of putting the ball in the end zone.
*(On pressuring David Carr)
*I think we just had plenty of opportunities. You look at the way Tom and the offense moved the ball put us ahead in the first quarter like that, so it sort of made it a one-dimensional game. We had chances where we could sort of pin our ears back and rush the passer, that's the difference between this game and maybe the Miami game and the Detroit game, we were sort of even-keeled in the middle of the game, so you can't necessarily know which way the game is going to go, so you have to continue to play the tendencies. I think team-wise it was a good effort, I think special teams, offensively and defensively we came together and did some things well and we got to keep working hard we got a good football team coming in this weekend.
*(On guys stepping up)
*Yeah, I think you know how we do things around here. Regardless of who you are, what year it is in the league for you, if you've started 50 games or two games, you're expected to go out and perform at a high level and we definitely had some guys step up and make some plays, like Mike Wright, like James [Sanders], like Tully [Banta-Cain]. A bunch of guys made plays, not just on defense, but in the kicking game. If we continue to work hard, hard work pays off, we have two more games left in this year and it starts with Jacksonville.
*(On Ellis Hobbs' kick-off return)
*It was huge. I think we were the only team in the league that hadn't scored a defensive or a special teams touchdown. [That's] the skill set that Ellis possesses. Last year, when he was returning kicks he was always a dangerous threat. I think he did a great job of taking it and hitting the holes and the guys did a great job of blocking and the rest is history. He kind of show-boated going into the end zone. That's what you're looking for. That's the excitement. That's game-changing plays and he definitely has the skill set to get it done.
Tully Banta-Cain, Linebacker*(On making the most of opportunities)
*I just try to do my job and, because of the injury situation, I've been called upon to step in and I'm just trying to make the best out of the opportunity.
*(On being more consistent)
*I always try to be more consistent. It just comes down to concentrating and every time you're in [the game] taking full advantage. Some games, depending on the package, I might not have been in as much, so this game I actually got the start and played the majority of the game, so I took advantage of it.
*(On staying in the lineup)
*You just want to be the best football player you can be. It's not so much trying to force them to play you, that's going to happen on its own. So I just try to make as many plays as I can while I'm out there.
*(On the win)
*You can't underestimate any one in this league. We just got a good start with good special teams, good field position, the offense put points up, and we just had to keep running with that momentum and it carried us through the rest of the game.
*(On how the whole team played)
*I think we played well, every phase complemented one another-- the offense went down and scored, special teams goes down and pins them deep inside the 20, defense goes out and gets a couple three-and-outs and it was just a complementary game.
*(On needing a team win)
*Definitely. Any time you get a win, you need that. It's a confidence thing but we're not satisfied yet. We're still not where we want to be. We're going to keep working.
*(On defending David Carr)
*We definitely emphasized trying to get to him and put some pressure on him. The corners, they had a challenge with [Eric] Moulds and [Andre] Johnson. Yeah, we definitely had a challenge, so we wanted to do whatever we could to get them off their rhythm.
Jabar Gaffney, Wide Receiver*(On beating Houston)
*I came in and I wanted to do well against them. I wanted to get into the end zone and I was able to. It's always fun. It was special to go out there and get a win against my former team. At one point towards the end of the game I remembered I used to be over there on that sideline. I know exactly what they're going through and besides today, I wish them all the luck. I hate that they're still going through that and hopefully they'll get it around because they have a lot of talent over there.
*(On Tom Brady after dropped pass)
*He came over and said 'Keep your head up, I'm coming back to you' and he came back to me again. It gave me a lot of confidence. I wanted that first one and it should have been a touchdown but I was able to make up for it later on.
*The way that they played, the other DB ran with Reche [Caldwell] and I was able to break open in the corner.
*(On Kevin Faulk's touchdown)
*He was wide open. We worked on that play a lot in practice and today they just gave us the right defense for that play and we executed it well.
Heath Evans, Fullback*(On many field goals)
*It's the NFL. Obviously, when we get down there we want to punch it in for seven, but they did some good things on defense today that at times kind of stifled us. That was one of those drives today where weren't able to punch it in, but Stephen [Gostkowski] did a great job kicking all day and we got points; that's the main objective.
*(On not turning the ball over)
*About time. You know, we didn't do anything differently this week in practice. We're always focused on it as a core group of skill position players and just got it done today.
*(On special teams, defense, and offense all making plays)
*We've been desperate for a team win. It's been a while—probably Green Bay or Minnesota was the last one. It's definitely a confidence builder going into the tough road stretch we have.
*(On the fake punt)
*Corey [Mays] had a great play. I'm on the end making sure nothing comes around the side. We were just coached better on that play than they were. That's kind of the bottom line. We were ready for it; we were able to stuff it; we were prepared. Brad [Seely] had us all week, gadget team, gadget team, gadget team. So we knew, hey, they want to come in here and get a win on our turf. We were expecting everything. It's not like they gave anything away until the last second there and then we hopped on it.
*(On being anxious for a playoff birth)
*[I'm] thinking about going to Jacksonville right now, as tired as I am, that's kind of where we're focused. We've screwed up a couple games this year and we know we've put ourselves in a position we shouldn't be in. The focus is still jelling together as a team. It's sad to say that's where we're still at, but that's where we're at.
Tedy Bruschi, Linebacker*(On giving the offense good field position)
*Sometimes you get turnovers, but they're on the negative end of the field and the offense still has 80 yards or 70 yards to go, but we put them on a short field today. That's what we've been talking about for the last couple weeks. That's our job: get turnovers and make it easier on our offense.
*(On tipping a pass)
*It was a reach. I just popped it up in the air for James [Sanders] and we were off and running.
*(On guys stepping up in place of injured players)
*What's nice to see is the young guys getting better. You know, they're getting better. Second, third year [players] are starting to produce for us. I think that's a tribute to them, how much they've decided to make a conscious effort of working. You know, Tully [Banta-Cain] getting a couple sacks like that; Mike Wright making a big sack on the screen-play, too. He was there that fast. Usually on the screen, the quarterback is dropping back and you can't get to him. And James coming up with the big play. It's nice to see the young guys contribute.
*(On whether that was the game they've been looking for all season)
*It's a start. You know, it's a start. We've been harping—it seems like the last month and a half—about picking up our game and not getting penalties on third down. Our defense will be trying to get turnovers to help our offense out so it's a start and hopefully we can build on this and build to the next game and build to the next two games.
Reche Caldwell, Wide Receiver*(On win)
*Our defense had, I don't know how many, turnovers and our offense moved the ball. We got our running game going. I think we did a good job. We didn't have all the turnovers like we have in the past. We didn't have the penalties. I think that was a big key to our victory. We didn't have any turnovers and we didn't have any penalties. I think that was the most pleasing thing about it. We got our running game going and our short passing game too. And they didn't get to our quarterback so I think that was the big thing to our victory in this game.
*(On Faulk's screen pass)
*The linemen did a great job and the blocking receivers did a good job blocking down the field for him. He did a good job of reading the blocks and hitting the hole.
*(On response to Brady's comments during the week)
*I think we all just wanted to play well. The last few weeks we haven't been playing our best football. This is where the good teams play their best football. It's close to playoff time and you're going to have to come and play your best game if you want to stay in it. I think everyone realized that and that's what we wanted to go do.
Mike Wright, Defensive Lineman*(On motivation)
*Throughout the week, I've heard that 'Vince [Wilfork] is out, and Mike Wright is the backup, and we're not sure if he can hang in there the whole game.' I've tried to take that to motivate myself to prove them wrong. I thought I did a good job other than that one drive when I guess I was just thinking a little bit too much. But other than that, I thought I did my job.
*(On team's effort)
*I think it was a complete game as a team, as a whole. We played really well on special teams. We played really well on offense. I think everybody did a really good job. We had a good week of practice.
*(On week of practice)
*Everybody was giving a lot of effort, focusing on what they had to do. Whenever you do that and get comfortable with what you're doing, you're going to bring it to the game. It's all about how you practice.
*(On comfort level)
*I was very comfortable out there. I try to prepare myself each week to play the whole game. You never know when somebody is going to go down, so I felt comfortable. I wasn't nervous. I knew what I had to do and I tried to do it.
*(On getting after David Carr)
*We knew he was a scrambling quarterback. We were going to try to contain him as much as possible, keep him in the pocket. I feel that everybody did a really good job containing him and giving him pressure.