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Patriots Postgame Quotes

Patriots players comment on their game against the Green Bay Packers at Gillette Stadium, on Sunday, December 19, 2010.

Danny Woodhead, Running Back
(On Dan Connolly's 71-yard kick off run)
"That was a big play. That was maybe someone that you wouldn't expect to have the long return but we saw some shifting at the end of that run. It was a big play that set us up to score at the end of the first half."

(On preparation)
"We ended up picking up the win and that's the most important thing. Things didn't go the way we would have liked them to but we got the win and we are happy with a win."

(On winning without playing their best game)
"We are just happy to get the win. Anytime you work during the week and show up on Sunday you want to make sure you get the win. That is the ultimate goal. Obviously, it wasn't the prettiest game but we ended up getting it done."

Jerod Mayo, Linebacker
(On pulling out victory over Packers)
"I think we showed mental toughness on both sides of the ball today. Green Bay came out and played a tough game. With our backs against the wall, we came out and made plays."

(On defenses' lack of execution)
"We just weren't tackling well. We weren't doing the little things. Like I said, it shows mental toughness and the fourth quarter was ours."

(On whether the Patriots prepared poorly this week)
"No, not at all. We prepared well this week just like the last two or three weeks. We just didn't go out and execute like in the past."

(On Matt Flynn)
"He played well. I played against him in college. I knew he was a decent quarterback. They played to his strengths. [They] got him out of the pocket, boots, you saw him break a lot of tackles. He played well tonight."

(On team's preparation this week)
"I'm going to be honest with you, I felt like we prepared just as well this week [as] we have the past five weeks. We just didn't go out and execute. How many missed tackles did we have today? We had a lot of missed tackles. That extended drives. Then we had the penalties, which kept the drives going as well. We have to eliminate those. We can't play like this next week."

(Thoughts on the game?)
"Coach kept coming over telling us we needed to pick it up on third down. It's just frustrating the penalties on third down, those drive extenders. Letting a check down go for long yardage. At the same time guys really stepped up in the fourth quarter and made plays."

(On whether is was good to face some adversity?)
"Anytime you face adversity, you build character and I think this game built a lot of character for this team."

(On expecting a big play to happen when times like this come around?)
"All year somebody has stepped up and made a play and today Kyle Arrington and Dan Connolly, those guys stepped up and made huge plays for us."

Devin McCourty, Cornerback(On defense stepping up to make plays to support offense)
"You really don't notice I guess. You're out on the field. First thing we talk about when we got to go out there is getting off the field. Anytime we got to go out there, we're just focused on trying to get off the field. Usually the way our offense plays, we don't have to worry about that. I think tonight we got called on a couple times. And that's big. Bill [Belichick] always talks about complimentary football. When the offense does good, then we've got to come back and do good, get them right back on the field. It just works out like that."

(On defensive performance)
"We had some ups and some downs. I think the key is like always [with] two minutes to go in the game, you're on that field and you've got to find a way to get the win, and that's what we did today. So I think that's big as a defense, making sure we get that win and finish."

(On defense not getting off the field on third down)
"That's aggravating. As a defense, your goal is to get off the field – either a turnover or a third down. And when you can't get off the field, it adds plays to a series. And usually, when you've got a chance to get off the field and you don't, sometimes that equals points. So that happened to us a couple times today."

Dan Koppen, Center
(On finding a rhythm as an offense with low time of possession)
"It's tough. With that said, our job is to go out there and to score points and get first downs, and we just didn't execute as well as we needed to. Consistency wasn't there. We do that and put ourselves in long yardage situations; we're really at a disadvantage. We have to go back and look at film and correct the mistakes that we made and get better."

(On offensive line's lack of execution)
"I think it was just breakdowns. We've got to do a better job of communicating. We've seen a lot. They threw a lot at us, and they played well. But we've got to play better."

(On Connolly's kick return shifting the momentum)
"We were able to get a touchdown there before the half [to] bring it within three. Come out in the second half, defense made a great play, and took one back. We've just got to be more consistent with things. Defense stepped up and made plays when they had to, and that was good to see."

Dane Fletcher, Linebacker(On the sack during the final series)
"It looked like a protection where the tackle went down on the end and the guard fanned out towards me. I got a good jump on the ball and it worked out in my favor."

(On if he read the snap on that play)
"I played D-end in college, so I saw it and I took it. I felt like I was used to it in college in a way, so your eyes get wide open when you see it and you get excited when you see it. And don't miss."

James Sanders, Safety
(On the defense's performance tonight)
"A lot of guys were trying to do too much and we weren't playing fundamental defense. They made us pay for it early. I've been in this game long enough that you realize every game is not going to be easy. You just have to pull it out at the end and that's what we did tonight."

(On how the defense came through in the end)
"We had to make a play eventually. We were doing it to ourselves, going out there and not playing solid football like we've been doing the last couple weeks. We dug ourselves a hole that we had to get out of and we did that in the fourth quarter."

(On Mat Flynn's performance)
"They came out and ran their offense. He was being really smart tonight. He didn't force anything. When things were covered and nothing was open downfield he used his check downs. He made us works for 60 minutes – running the boots, couple scrambles here and there. Like I said, he had us scrambling in the first half, but we found a way in the fourth quarter to pull it out."

Matt Light, Tackle(Are you upset that Dan Connolly didn't get in the endzone?)
"I'll tell you what, Dan Connolly right now probably has the greatest return average in the National Football League. That was incredible, it was a heck of an effort, I couldn't believe it when I was watching it to be honest with you."

(Describe what was going out there offensively?)
"We kept putting ourselves in long-yardage situations and a team like that, that strives on staying ahead of you on down and distance and being able to mix up the pressures and do what they do... We talked about it all week, the last couple of weeks things have gone really good for us, we have got off to a great start and we have got into a great rhythm. This week it didn't happen that way, we didn't pick up some of the things we should have. Overall, we come out the second half, the defense was out there for a long time, I mean they controlled the clock and hats off to all of those guys, they played a tough physical game. A lot in the running game obviously from them and our guys I think did a great job. It was a great team victory. "

(Did you see momentum change after Dan Connolly's return?)
"I think it was a good swing, before the half to be able to go down the field like that and for him to set up a touchdown late in the second quarter. It was huge, we hadn't had any rhythm, you need something like that. Obviously the defense coming out and getting a big a big pick and doing what they always do, which is playing tough nose football. That was huge for us."

Aaron Hernandez, Tight End
(Are you licking your chops on that last match up with *(Sam) Shields when you had him wide? He changed the play on that?)*
"Tom sent me out there, gave me a route to run a quick out, and he thought it was a mismatch. So I just tried to do the best I could and he threw a great pass and I just needed to finish. Yeah, he gave me the quick out and I just tried to make it work."

(On getting a sense of rhythm when you only had the ball for 19 minutes?)
"We've got Tom Brady. He is going to find a way to get the offense going and we just need to follow his lead. We have to make plays when the chances are there and the opportunities come. We finished this game, it was a tough one, there were bumps in the road and we have got to overcome the bumps like we did today and just keep fighting."

(On the first touchdown drive)
"At first I was covered and I just kept moving to try to get open. Tom reads everything and he came back to me and I just had to catch the ball."

(On not playing your best and getting the win?)
"A victory is a victory and it's another win on our record. We are happy to be at 12 and 2."

(On playing 60 minutes)
"We played until the end and we had to play until the end. Our defense stuck it out and that's why I love this defense. I wouldn't want any other defense."

Kyle Arrington, Cornerback(On who had a better return, he or Dan Connolly)
"[Laughs] I think Dan's [Connolly] was more impressive, just because you don't see a lineman that's 300-something pounds running away from skill players, so his was definitely impressive."

(On his interception return for a touchdown)
"I tried to tell [Bill Belichick] in the offseason to put me at kick returner. But no, just kidding, Brandon [Tate] is a hell of a kick returner. But, first career pick and that close to the end zone, so I just said I'm going to let my feet do the rest. I just tried to keep them alive and keep them moving and fortunately I got in there."

(On what the last drive was like)
"Oh, man, it was surreal. It was crazy, the stadium was loud, they were rocking and we knew it was going to come down to us. We were kind of struggling all day and then we knew it was going to come down to us and we had to bail the offense out. The d-line just made a terrific play. We definitely have to play a lot better though next week."

Tully Banta-Cain, Linebacker
(On Dan Connolly's return)
"Yeah, everybody was out their seats once we realized that he was about to score...He was like Gale Sayers out there...A much bigger version."

(On if Matt Flynn's success was a function of what he was doing or what the defense wasn't doing)
"I think a little bit of both. He's a competitive quarterback and obviously they have a lot of trust in him to be [Aaron] Rodgers' backup because Rodgers is a great quarterback and usually your backup has to be able to fill his shoes. He made the throws that he needed to make, some of it was us miscuing on plays and other times he was able to make good throws and plays. So I take my hat off to him for making it as tight a game as it was."

(On having enough energy at the end of the game to make the game-saving sack)
"This is what we're paid to do, you've got to dig deep in these type of games. When it comes down to it, somebody has to make a play and I just happened to be that guy today."

(On playing in a closely contested game)
"Every week is a battle and you can't expect to go out and blow out every team. But this is definitely a game where we're getting closer to playoff atmosphere and it feels like every game is a one-game season. So this is definitely a big win for us and hopefully we can play better as the games go on."

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Running Back
(On the blocks he got on his touchdown run)
"That's what it's always all about, our offensive line does a good job of blocking and also the receivers have done a good job blocking downfield. It helps us put points on the board."

(On if he was wondering when the offense would get on the field in the second half)
"It seemed like we weren't going to get out there, but when we were out there, we didn't do enough to keep ourselves out there also, so we've got to thank ourselves for that."

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