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Patriots Postgame Quotes

New England Patriots players comment on their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, November 27, 2011.


*Opening statement...  *
"Alright, well, it's good to come down here and win. It was obviously a short week, but I thought the players did a good job here of bouncing back, you know with the short week, Thanksgiving break, and all that, just trying to cram everything in here, I thought they really did a good job the past couple days of pulling together on the game plan. Going out, I think they really tried to play the game the way we want it played today and did a good job of all three phases of the game. So it's good, it's good to come down here and win and I hope we can build on this and keep improving every week here."

*On the Eagles' early scoring and their ability to respond...  *
"Well we certainly didn't want to start the game the way that we started, giving up a couple long passes, and we didn't get one first down on offense and gave the ball up. So we kinda stumbled out of the gate there, but it was good to see us bounce back and kinda fight through it on the road, similar to the Pittsburgh start, but we were able to respond better and get a little bit more done. I think the players hung in there for 60 minutes, we knew it was going to be tough. The Eagles got a lot of good players and they're well-coached, so we knew it was going to be a tough game, but they got off to a good start but I give our guys a lot of credit, they hung in there."

*On being disciplined with RB LeSean McCoy...  *
"Yeah absolutely. All of them-McCoy, [QB Vince] Young, obviously [WR] DeSean [Jackson], they got a lot of explosive players, [TE Brent] Celek, he's a tough guy too. So, yup, absolutely."

*On changes and improvements in the secondary...  *
"I just think as a team, we're just trying to hang in there. We've battled through different challenges every week, whether it's personnel or other things that come up, we just try to deal with it, keep our head down, and keep moving forward."

*On the offensive line improving after the first two drives...  *
"Well, again, they got a good pass rush, they got a lot of good players on the front, so give our guys credit for blocking them. [QB] Tom [Brady] got rid of the ball, he stepped up and took advantage of some openings in the pass rush where they look like they got a little bit up the field and he either scrambled or stepped up and was able to deliver the ball. So it was a good job by both him and the line of creating some space and then Tom finding it and being able to get it off. They hit us on a couple, they ran one blitz and we didn't quite handle it right. I think [DT Mike] Patterson got us, [DE Trent] Cole had a little pressure on the edge there, [DT Cullen] Jenkins had a good rush early on that first drive. They're an explosive group, especially the first time you play them, which we haven't played these guys in a while, I mean, I know it's preseason last year, but it's a little bit different when you see them live and face them. They're a very talented group."

*On WR Julian Edelman in the goal line situation...  *
"Julian's worked hard on that, he's had to keep up with what's going on on offense and also the kicking game. But he's worked hard, spent a lot of extra time with [defensive backs coach] Josh Boyer and kinda splitting time between meetings, between offense and defense, and of course he does all the special teams stuff too. He's worked hard and he's really been a huge help for us. We've been in a couple tight spots here and we were in it again today and we went strolling back outside at the end of the game. He's worked hard and he's really helped us."

*On changes in the game plan between Vince Young and QB Michael Vick...  *
"Well, I think they're pretty much same, they run the same offense. I mean obviously right handed quarterback, left handed quarterback. I don't know if there is another quarterback in the league like Vick. I can't say there's no difference, I mean that guy is as dynamic of a player as there could be at quarterback, all the things he can do. But I think fundamentally, other than the kinda righty-lefty thing, and knowing that Vick's Vick, it's still basically the same offense."

*On defensive adjustments after the first two drives...  *
"We were trying not to give up post patterns, yeah. We were trying not to give up 50 yard post patterns, that was the first thing. But I mean, they made good throws and good catches and we were trying to tighten up a little bit on them and they got over the top on us. So we just didn't do a good job there. You know, [CB] Antwaun [Molden] had a big interception there that really, we didn't score off of it, I think defensively we stopped them and then Antwaun got the interception and put us in good field position. So that was another big stop for us defensively and we finally really made a play on defense, so that helped us in our confidence a little bit."

*On Brady's performance today...  *
"Well, I think Tom did a good job of really pressing the issue. We felt like we had him on the run a little bit with some of the empty stuff and some of our matchups. We felt good about our running game too, but just when we felt like we had some matchups we could take advantage of, Tom just kept pressing it. Everybody got involved there and that's what Tom does best, is finds the open guy, puts the ball on the money, and he did it many times today. Did a very good job of avoiding the rush, and not so much the yards he got scrambling, but just staying out of bad plays, keeping us on track with some positive yardage and giving us another chance to line up and make another good play, and not being in 2nd and 18 and stuff like that. That's suicide against these guys."

*On improvement in defensive execution...  *
"Well I think there's some things that are better, but it just seems like we are trying to catch up here. Kinda on a treadmill here. If it isn't one guy, it's someone else and guys going in and out at linebacker and the secondary, it seems like we'll kinda get one thing getting some continuity and consistency and then something else happens, so we just kinda have to fight through it. Individually, yes, collectively, I don't know. Yes and no. Hopefully we can progress quicker."

*On being 8-3 and progressing forward...  *
"I don't know, we got a long way to go. There's a lot of football left. I mean eight games, that isn't going win anything in the National Football League, so it's going to take a lot more than that. Hopefully we can continue to improve and play better. I thought our play in the kicking game was definitely better today. We got some good coverage, we did better on the kickoff returns. We're just going to keep taking those steps every week in every phase of the game and I think we can be competitive. But we got a long way to go. I don't think we're where we need to be."

*On not giving up the big play against the Eagles...  *
"Well that's always the message. We never go into a game saying 'Let's give up the big play.' You never want to give it up on one play, so of course. You always want to make the team drive the ball down the field. NFL defenses don't try to give up 40 yard completions."

*On grabbing the number one seed...  *
"I don't even think about the big picture. Big picture right now is Indianapolis, that's the big picture. I'll leave that to all the experts to figure out. I know you guys spend a lot of time on that. Right now I think our focus is how to improve our team on a weekly basis and how to get ready for Indianapolis and be competitive against them. That's really only thing we can do anything about, so all the rest of it us just a bunch of garbage."

*On integrating WR Deion Branch and TE Wes Welker into the offense today...  *
"Played every game. We try to move the ball and score points, it's not about individual stats and who has what stats and all that. That's not what we try to do, we try to go out there and win. Whoever that is, whoever is productive, however we can best move and have the offense move the ball and score points, that's what we're for. That's what we try to do. We don't go out there and feature one player so he can get some stats, no. We don't play that way. I hope we never play that way."

*On exploiting the best matchups...  *
"Yeah, sure, of course, we're always trying to exploit the best matchup. We're always trying to get the ball to the guys that are open that can make plays and that's what Tom does. But we're not trying to go out there and throw so many balls to this guy. No, we're trying to win."

*On effectively defending McCoy...  *
"You know, I think our players were very aware of him. I mean he still got outside there one time and had a big run, but they were very aware, tried to be very disciplined, we knew he could cut back, bounce out. He's a very hard guy to tackle. So we studied a lot of film on him, we really tried to, like you said, be disciplined and contain him, but also be able to play good technique inside so he wouldn't give up seams trying to run around guys at all that. And I thought they really tried to do that. He's a hard guy to handle. That guy's as good a back as we've seen all year. He's really a good player."

*On if this win means more because of the short week...  *
"Well it was a tough week, definitely, it was a tough week. The Eagles are a hard team to get ready for, they have a lot of good players. Andy does a good job. I think he's one of the best coaches in the league. And the players had a short week, we were banged up, tough game against Kansas City, we had some guys that weren't able to play, obviously, and other guys that played banged up. So I give the players a lot of credit for sucking it up and not just physically being out there, but mentally, all the preparation and the film work and the studying that they did, the extra meetings that they did to really try to prepare for this game, it was absolutely a great effort by the players and the assistant coaches too. It's a tough week on them when you only have six days, you have a holiday right in the middle of it, and like you said, you're on the road and all that. But that's the NFL schedule. But those guys did a good job, they deserve a lot of credit."

*On if he was surprised they did not go to McCoy more on the goal line...  *
"Well they did go to him. They went to him a couple times, right? And he scored on the first series. So look, they're not going to do the same thing every time. That's why they're a tough team to defend. They use McCoy, they use Celek, they use the receivers, the quarterback who just moves around in the pocket. They give you a lot of things to get ready for and you just can't go in there and say 'Oh we're just going to stop one guy.' They have too many weapons and they use them all and you got to defend them all. I wouldn't expect them to do that anywhere-all of our passes are going to go to this guy, all our runs are going to... They keep you off balance and that makes it tough, it really does."

*On his players sucking it up this season...  *
"I think our players, yeah, they've given good effort. I think they're trying to do the things we tell them to do. I think sometimes we go to do better and coach better and have things maybe a little cleaner for them, but I think they're trying to do they're part in terms of physically and mentally, day after day, week after week, be consistent, be dependable and do what we ask them to do. I know we demand a lot and this isn't an easy place to play and I'm not an easy guy to play for, but they have tried to respond. I give them a lot of credit for that."


*On today's performance...  *
"I thought it was okay, I thought our execution was a little better. It's good to come on the road and get a win, it's a team [Philadelphia Eagles] that has obviously a lot of very good players and I thought getting down 10-0 and then rallying and coming back like we did, showed a little bit of mental toughness, which we've shown consistently throughout the year."

*On the matchups going up against the Philadelphia Eagles defense...  *
"Our guys we were getting open, we got some good quickness on the underneath play of the field and I thought we took advantage of some plays there, and I thought that we should have hit some other ones though, but all and all it's a good win and as we do at this time of year, we've got to move on."

*On the deep reception to WR Deion Branch...  *
"He had a comeback route, he ran it, and I scrambled up, and then he kind of stepped up, and then wheeled inside and the DB lost him, and I just tried to jam it in there to him. He caught it and he did the rest, I thought he had a great cut back there at about the 15 or 20-yard line to get us down to the 1 [yard line], but that was a huge play in the game. I thought really it stopped the momentum that they had established and for us to make some plays like that really softens up the defense."

*On the 41-yard play action TD to WR Wes Welker...  *
"Yeah and he said before the play that if I get this certain look, then I'm going to fake like I'm running the in cut and then run the post, and he did it and came to the sideline and said I told you, I told you! So that was pretty funny. It's nice when they work out kind of like how you talk about it. Wes [Welker] is so consistent and reliable and he's a phenomenal player."

*On WR Wes Welker's ability to get the ball across the plane of the end-zone...  *
"He has a knack for it, whenever he's around there he just sticks that ball across so that was a hell of a play by him."

*On the New England Patriots' offense...  *
"I thought we ran the ball pretty effectively. The first drive I thought we did a good job of running it, we just kind of sputtered out and we didn't make some plays in the passing game, but I thought we played with a little power today, we ran the ball to really balance out the passing game, but there were plenty of yards that we left out there too."

*On his rushing performance today...  *
"Yeah that's a rarity, there's just a few times where I felt it opened up in the middle and I just took off. I'm not moving very fast, they're converging pretty quickly, so I just got down there as fast as I could."

*On the TE Aaron Hernandez fixing the brace...  *
"I thought the brace was bent, but it just ended up having a lot of turf jammed up in there and TE Aaron [Hernandez] was trying to tug it out of there which fortunately he did and we were in the no-huddle so we were able to get on the ball and get the ball snapped with some time left on the clock."

*On being down early in the game...  *
"There's a ton of football to play, so even their first touchdown drive was probably two and a half minutes, it wasn't like it was an 8-minute drive, so there was a ton of football. We didn't do much on the first drive we punted, and they kicked a field goal, our defense made another big stop in the red area to keep it from it going 14-0 which then you're really in the hole, but we were down 10-0 and then we scored and then we scored again, so that was really a good job by the entire team really to stem the tide."

*On the no-huddle offense...  *
"I thought we did a pretty good job executing it, I thought there were a few drives where we had more of an opportunity and we missed some plays in the passing game which you know we stopped a field goal, mainly the one before half-time, but our no-huddle was somewhat effective. More importantly I think the run game complemented the pass game and we really balanced it out."

*On the New England Patriots' passing attack...  *
"I thought it was more balanced today. I thought we did a good job getting it to the wide outs, WR Wes [Welker] and WR Deion [Branch] both obviously had a big day, and then the tight ends made some plays too. That's how it needs to be, you got to run it, you got to throw it to everybody and you gotta keep them off balance, you got to screen, you got to draw, you got to trap, you got to downhill run, you need quick hitters, you need all levels of the passing game. When they're able to take a few of those away, obviously it makes it more difficult to execute, but I thought today we did a good job of really maximizing all of the guys out there who are playing offense."


On what caused the defense to get better in the game...
"I think we started a little slow on defense in the beginning of the game and then we just had to settle down. The sideline made some great adjustments and it really paid off for us. It worked out for us and we played better."

On whether the adjustments in the 2nd quarter and halftime made the difference...
"The defensive coaches made some big changes and it was really helped us and the defense went out and executed it."

On what QB [Vince] Young did differently after the first two drives...
"He was back there making the reads and made some nice throws but our defense really tightened up. The offense got a lot of yards but fortunately we made the plays when we needed to."


On whether the adjustments on defense made the difference...
"I think the Eagles offense at first had a lot of quick throws and they were working.  I think we needed to press them more and it worked.  We felt that we needed to mix the coverage's up more and make the Eagles earn it."

On whether the changes on defense hurt their rhythm...
"That is what practice is for and we work with different formations and different guys in there and it just works. When the guys on this team get in, they make the best of it and it shows on the field. Injuries happen and it has to be next guy up ready to play."

On whether the defense is playing better and not giving up many points...
"We are always working to just get better everyday.  We like the way we are playing and allowing teams not to score a lot in the past few games."


On whether his yards early helped the offense get moving...
"I think it helped because you always want to get the offense moving and I think by the second quarter we started executing a lot more.  I am happy with our performance tonight."

*On whether the wind went out of the sails of the Eagles after WR [Desean] Jackson dropped the ball... *
"The defense just played really well and him dropped the ball did not matter.  They are really playing together and making it tough on the offense."

On whether the offense is really executing right now...
"The offense really wanted to play well tonight and QB [Tom] Brady played great.  Our receivers ran great routes and the backs and line are just playing so strong. We cannot have any let downs and keep it going."

On whether things will keep rolling...
"I think it could if we still practice hard and keep playing together.  We have the Colts coming in next week and we have to take it one game at a time right now. We just need to each do our own jobs and keep winning."


On what worked so well with the no huddle...
"It changes the pace and I think we have a lot of different spreads out there and it is hard to cover. I like when we just keep get it moving on offense."

On whether he likes the hurry up better on offense...
"I like the offense because we can see what the defense is doing more because the defense cannot disguise it really well.  We did that a lot tonight and it paid off but you can get a little tired."

On whether he was surprised the offense moved so easily on the Eagles defense...
"I feel that when our offense is on plain we are tough to defend.  So I am not totally surprised at all.  When the offense is moving so easily then they mix in us, the tight ends, and it just goes so well. I really love being a tight end on this kind of offense."


On whether he likes playing on defense...
"To be really honest I do not mind whether it is offense or defense.  I just like being in on plays and doing what needs to be done to help us win."

On what it felt like to get a hit on the quarterback...
"It was funny because with all the rules floating around, in regards to hitting quarterbacks, I wanted to hit him but do it right. I just did not want to get any kind of a penalty and hit him in the right zone."

On whether he has been practicing on defense in practice...
"Absolutely I have been practicing with the defense because you have to, to know where you need to be. Any win in the NFL is a big win and I like helping in anyway that I can.  We just need to keep it rolling and get ready for the Colts."

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