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Patriots Postgame Quotes

New England Patriots players comment on their 23-16 win over the St. Louis Rams at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, October 26, 2008.

Kevin Faulk, Running Back
(On stepping up Sunday in the place of injured players)
"I think that's what you come in for. You don't have a lot of opportunities sometimes, but the thing is, you always have to be ready because you don't know when the situation is going to come up. The situation came up today where we were down to three running backs and we had to carry the load."

(On his touchdown reception in the fourth quarter)
"It was a play we put in last week and we had the opportunity to run it today. They showed us a matchup early on that favored that play, so we ran it and it was successful."

(On being able to win despite a number of injuries)
"Well, that's why your team has backups. The coaches have confidence in them to do the job and that's what we have to do no matter what happens."

(On the performance of Matt Cassel)
"Cassel did his job to help us win the game. That's all you can say about it. That's what we want to do, win games no matter what it takes and he did that."

Wes Welker, Wide Receiver
(On the performance of Matt Cassel)
"He played really well today. He made all the right reads and was seeing the defense really well. I think there were some plays that we need to be better on that he was good on and we weren't. And we need to put those things together. But he definitely did a great job out there."

(On if Cassel responded well after being hit)
"Absolutely. He's a tough guy and he understands that you have to hold on to [the ball] and let us get open and take that hit every once in a while. But other than that, he's always popping up and ready to go."

(On the game-winning touchdown drive)
"That was huge. We were really shooting ourselves in the foot all the way down. To finally get that drive really fit together and put points on the board – and not just points, putting a touchdown up there where they would have to go the distance to come back – that was big for us. And Kevin [Faulk] made a heck of a play on that."

Heath Evans, Running back
(On running back Kevin Faulk's performance today)
"Nothing he [Kevin Faulk] ever does surprises me. He amazes me at times. You know he is capable of so much. You see him make catches and pick up linebackers that outweigh him by 50 pounds. There are just so many different aspects to his game. He is probably one of the best. You talk about a complete back. He is a guy you can't guard one on one. If you give him a draw he is going to find yards where there are no yards. He is going to make catches where most people wouldn't even touch the ball. There are not enough good things to say about [No.] 33. "

(On if he is happy with the team's 5-2 record with how surprising this NFL season has been)
"You always want it better. We have been spoiled around here a little bit. The way I look at it is we are starting to make better decisions. I know I am making better decisions in the run blocking. It seems like we are doing better things as a team. Position wise, we are only good as long as we keep getting better. 5-2 is nice but it really doesn't mean much right now. November and December...10-2 would be lovely but hopefully we can get to 6-2. "

(On if he feels his team is improving on adjusting during a game)
"Yeah, I don't think that has ever really been a problem. Obviously you get comfortable with different guys but at the end of the day every week is its own individual week. It is so hard to say 'Oh, if only this was three weeks ago' - You really can't. Team to team and game plan to game plan things are so different."

(On his confidence on throwing to Kevin Faulk late in the game)
"If you're going to put it in one person's hands it might as well be his. When it comes down to pressure situations and someone that's done it for 10 years one way with great consistency, who else's hands would you want it in? This guy does it all, pass protection, catches a tough ball, picks up blitzers that are 50 pounds heavier than him, he's the best."

(On where he ranks the importance tonight's win)
"5-2, obviously every win is big, especially a team that's hot, that reeled off two straight, that seemed like they kind of had a new fire about them. It was a big win but the focus is always winning down the stretch and trying to get better. Let November and December speak for themselves because five and two is a great spot to be in, especially this year where there's a lot of teams that are up and down. At the end of the day we have to continue to get better and we have to continue packing away these wins."

(On if being 5-2 is significant given what the team has gone through)
"We want to be a great team, those are always the goals. You play this game for one reason: that's to win and win a lot. Our appetite around here has been wet with success. The other side of that is no fun to deal with so we work hard, follow the lead of Bill Belichick and most of the time we can find a way to get it done."

(On if the team knows how good it is yet)
"No. It's way too early. I've said it probably four or five times in the last ten minutes that November and December are the only things that count in this league. It's too soon, we've got to keep getting better and I know Indy has had their struggles this year but this will be another stepping stone for us if we can beat a team with the type of success they've had, this type of team that knows us so well and we know them so well and it's going to be a fight like it always is."

Antwain Spann, Safety
(On cornerback Deltha O'Neal getting an interception after being injured earlier in the game)
"That was a big play on him [Deltha O'Neal]. To be out most of the game and come in cold and clinch the game for us, that was real big."

(On the secondary playing well at the end of the game)
"Anytime somebody in the back makes a big play...we are a young group so that gives us confidence. Of course we are going to go through our bad plays because we are young. When we get the opportunity to make plays, most of the time we do."

Adalius Thomas, Linebacker
(On the absence of Steven Jackson and if it changed their game plan as a result)
"It kind of did just because we didn't know what to expect and if they were cooking up a few new things. When one of their best players isn't in there, then you don't know exactly what it is. They stayed true to what they like to do, but at the same time their running game wasn't going to be exactly the same because Jackson was out. "

(On if it was frustrating that the Rams kept converting on third down)
"We won, which is all that matters. It's frustrating because you want to get off the field on third down and we will have to get better at that. We will come back and try to make that correction and go from there. You always want to get off the field and get the ball to your offense, but overall defensively I think we played well. "

(On if the Rams offense changed their protection after allowing the multiple sacks)
"They did change their protection and didn't go back to that certain protection again so I guess they made some kind of adjustment on the sideline and did something totally different."

James Sanders, Safety
(On how the defensive front seven helped make the secondary's jobs easier)
"Obviously it helps tremendously because it shortens the time we have to cover the receivers. By them getting to the quarterback it rushes him and doesn't allow him to make all the reads which is a vital part of a defensive pass rush. "

(On if the secondary gets energized when they see the front seven sack the quarterback )
"Of course. Whenever anyone on the team makes plays it fuels the team. To see guys flying around and making plays it gets us energized and we play at a higher level. "

(On if it was hard to play with players who he usually doesn't practice with in the secondary)
"When guys go down, a lot of things happen but Bill Belichick is the king of moving people around and putting us in a position to make plays. When guys go down others step in and we try not to miss a beat and for the most part we didn't."

Matt Light, Tackle
*(On Matt Cassel handling the pressure)
*"He's not the only one out there. There's 11 guys on offense and we all have a job to do. He has a big responsibility and he's doing a great job. He's getting better week-to-week. That's one of the things we've talked about and I think he's handled the whole situation really well."

*(On the team's 5-2 record)
*"We're all playing a football game. We're getting ready, we're preparing each week and we're doing what we have to do. Collectively, we can always get better if we continue to build each week and we don't slip. We had a great performance a week ago [against Denver], we came out here and had a dogfight tonight, but we played for 60 minutes. We had guys that hustled and finished plays."

*(On Cassel being more comfortable in the pocket)
*"It's hard to rate that. It's hard to see it and get that feel when you're actually out there playing. [Cassel] was making good downfield throws and we were moving the ball. I thought we moved the ball well all night, except for a few situations. We have to win some of those situations in the red area. Obviously, that's been a big part of what we've been working on. The turnovers are the turnovers, you're going to have that, but it didn't slow anything down that we were trying to get done."

Ellis Hobbs, Cornerback(On the play in the fourth quarter in the game that caused him to leave the game)
"I just hit the ground kind of funny. Too funny actually. I didn't feel right [but] we'll get better though."

(On how important it was for the defense to hold the Rams to field goals in the third quarter)
"I think it was real key. Obviously you see a big difference when we would go out there and stop them on third downs and get off the field compared to the first half with the big play on me. They even had a big play in the third quarter but we were able to get off the field. It definitely helps a lot."

(On if it was a disappointment that the Rams had big plays for large chunks of yardage)
"No. It's just part of the game. Regardless of if that was the weak part or whatever teams are going to continue to try that. We just have to continue denying and keep playing ball. That's what we did today, we kept playing ball. There was one play where they tried to throw a deep one on me and I came back and knocked it down. They are going to happen regardless we just have to make plays on them."

Ty Warren, Defensive End
*(On if the injuries in the secondary affected the guys up front)
*"Typically it does in a sense but at the same time you just have to go out there and deal with what you have. Due to some injuries and stuff it's realistic that maybe some schemes or things like that could change, but hopefully everybody can get out there and get healthy. To have everybody out there, especially going into Colts game will be a plus for us."

(On if he thinks the team played its best defense when it counted the most)
"It seems that way. I think in the fourth quarter a lot of guys stepped up and came up with some plays that we needed when it was tied up. The offense did a good job of capitalizing at the right time and our special teams and so forth. I would say so."

(On his sack of Marc Bulger)
"It was good man, my first one of the season. Maybe I can start a little streak here. It took a while, I've been getting back there but I finally got one."

(On being tied for first place in the AFC East)
"[All things] considered our position right now in the AFC East is not a bad position. I heard Miami came out with a win against Buffalo. It gives us a chance and I'm not saying that the division is already won or anything like that but we are heading in the right direction and that's a good thing. We are having fun doing it. We're having fun coming to work every week and blocking out all the speculations and criticism of guys like [Matt] Cassel. Not really knowing how he was going to come along but he's emerging fine as a leader as you see out there on the field. We'll continue to try and get better on defense and special teams and as long as all units continue to come together as one unit we'll be better off. "

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