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Patriots Postgame Quotes

New England Patriots players comment on their game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday, December 18, 2011.


On winning today and clinching another division title
"It was a good day for us. It was a very emotional game. The place was really rocking early. We showed some mental toughness, playing hard for 60 minutes. We really played good football. It's what we needed."

On the back-and-forth scoring in the first quarter
"We take it drive-by-drive and try to take it play-by-play. We answered their first score. We didn't answer their second score, but we kept it close. Once we got some turnovers from our defense, that really sparked us."

On handling Denver's defensive pressure
"They had a few sacks, didn't they? Two or three? They got me pretty good on one. They have two very good pass rushers on the outside. They're good with schemes. I thought, for the most part, our protection was very good. I just tried to find good matchups and throw the ball there."

On being sacked by DE Elvis Dumervil
"I was looking to throw the ball up in the slot and didn't see Elvis coming. He got me pretty good, but we really answered the next time we got the ball, which was important. He's a very good player—Elvis and [SLB] Von Miller. We talked about them all week. I thought our guys really hung in there.

"When one of the best passers in the league gest a clean shot it's going to hurt. He got me pretty good. I'm sure I'll be feeling that one in the morning."

On scoring a rushing touchdown and showing passion afterward
"I don't get in the end zone very often—maybe once or twice per season—so when I do, I get pretty excited. It's nice to score. It's usually once a year for me."

On whether he played with extra edge because he was facing QB Tim Tebow
"No, certainly not. This is a good Denver Bronco team, and we focused all week on our job and what we had to do. Obviously Tim's had a great year. They're in first place in their division; they've had a very good season, also. We knew it was going to be a 60-minute game. I thought we really played well for all 60 minutes for the first time all season."


On clinching another division title
"It never gets old. We work so hard the whole year to get to this step, and this is just one of the steps, hopefully. Division champs, that's awesome. We've had a lot of games where we've had to fight and battle our tails off, but guys never gave up."

On stopping a potential Denver fourth-quarter rally
We executed our game plan. We knew they were going to come out fighting, come out fast. But our main goal was to weather the storm. We knew going into the game we were going to have to adjust. We saw that in the first quarter. We take a lot of pride in doing our homework in the fourth quarter. We knew [QB Tim] Tebow and the Broncos like to play well in the fourth quarter, but that's one of the things that we try and do. Our main goal was to get to the fourth quarter and fourth-quarter execute, which we did."

On preparing for Tebow, and the hype that comes with him
"We approached this game just like any other. We've faced some decent quarterbacks this season. Tebow does some things that most quarterbacks don't do, but this is the National Football League. There's going to be a point in the game where you have to make sideline adjustments, which we did. We took advantage of the opportunities."

On DE Andre Carter's injury
"That's tough. Andre puts so much in with his leadership alone. He gives a lot to this team. To see him go down is tough. Anytime someone goes down it's tough, but to see a guy like that—he hasn't really won a lot in his career, but now he's winning, he's happy here, he's having fun, he's playing well—to see him go down, it's a blow. We had to have guys step up. We stepped up and got this 'W' for him."

On the atmosphere
"I haven't won much here. It's a tough place to play. They have great fans, a great atmosphere. This is a great football city. They live for this team. It's good to come on the road and get a 'W'. It makes the plane ride home a lot smoother."

On 'Tebowing' after a sack
"Yeah, I 'Tebowed'. Absolutely. Are you kidding me? Trust me, everybody in the world hears about this guy [Tebow]. He's a very, very good athlete. I said it last week, he's a winner. You look at his whole resume, the guy knows how to win. He knows how to win. Anytime you speak to a team or little kids or whatever about winning, I'm pretty sure his name's going to come up. How he does it, he does it. It's part of the game. I'm pretty sure I won't be the last one, and I wasn't the first one. That's what he does; he put it out there. I wanted to steal it. I don't think he'll mind, just for one play [smiling].


On his touchdown
"It was great. The most important thing is we scored, not necessarily that I scored, but the team scored. It was nice."

On the offense having more rushing yards and balance again
"We're just going out there and executing whatever game it may be. If we get more rushing yards, great and like you said, to balance it out. We're just going to try to do whatever we can to win the ball game, and not worry much about how many yards we get a game.

On having lots of Danny Woodhead jerseys in the stands
"It probably helped being closer to Nebraska. It was great to get out there and play closer to home. The most important thing is that we got that win, we're in the playoffs, and AFC East champions."

On having friends and family in the stands
"I definitely had some family and friends [here]. It's always nice to have them support you. It was nice to play in front of them."


On turning the defense around during the game
"It's really just some adjustments. Anytime you're on the sideline and plays aren't going the way you coached, you have to make adjustments. Our coaching staff did a great job of that. We came out and executed and played great ball."

On how it feels to clinch the AFC East Division
"I mean, wow! AFC East champs. We have a competitive division. A lot of great teams and to work as hard as we have this year and come out on top; it's a big step in the right direction. We have a few more championships to win though."

On beating another division leader and Tim Tebow
"We knew that it was about us. [QB Tim] Tebow is a great player, and I said it before, he's kind of shown the power of Christ as his and our savior to the world and made that known. That's a powerful thing. Coming on this field, it's about winning a football game, and that's what it's about. We were determined, it was a tough early, but we focused and settled down, and played great ball the rest of the game. And now I'm wearing one of these [AFC East Champion] hats."

On defense turning it around in the second quarter after DE Andre Carter went down
"Any time you lose a leader like that, [DE] Andre Carter is a phenomenal player. He's been a big force for us as a team. I don't know the extent of his injury, but anytime you lose a guy like that guys looked around and took it real personally, had to step up and play not only for him, but for each other."


On clinching the division
"Yes, it does. We just clinched the division and everything and obviously we are all happy. We also got two more games to go and everything. Two more important games to go and everything. We got the Miami Dolphins this week so we're definitely going to be practicing hard preparing for them."

On his concern coming into the game with all the media's talk on Denver's defense
"I don't think they really talked about Denver's defense, the media, I think all they talked about was [QB Tim] Tebow. That's all we did was study their defense and everything. No matter what the media is saying, we are inside the stadium doing what we got to do, practicing and studying up defenses."

On any differences from what you studied during the week and what Denver's defense showed on the field
"No, basically we saw what they have been doing all year. We just did a great job overall as an offense. O-line, running backs, wide receivers, everyone was executing well."

On TE Aaron Hernandez being so involved in the offense today
"You never who is going to be heavily involved. That's what is so great about the game, it takes a team effort every single week. You don't know who is going to be the guy getting the ball every single week. It happened to be him this week. He played great. He juked a lot of guys, got a lot of extra yards. I loved watching him do that kind of stuff, so it's cool."

On the atmosphere and energy from the crowd during today's game
"We were expecting that. Obviously the atmosphere here is going to be crazy. Six games in a row and everything. We knew was hot around here and that's what we were expecting."


On how the win feels
"It feels good; it was a team effort and we got the victory."

On the adjustments they made to stop Denver's offense
"(Denver) came out smoking. We had to make a couple adjustments on the sideline; that's what football is all about, making adjustments and getting the job done."

On what playing a '3-4' defense allowed the Patriots to do
"Show different looks, as far as bringing different people and things like that. Setting the edge, and I thought the guys did a good job."

On forcing Denver into three turnovers
"We always talk about turnovers, and turnovers are huge, especially as far as wins and losses are concerned. Turnovers were huge today."

On his contract extension
"I'm very grateful just for my family, Mr. Kraft, Coach Belichick. I'm so excited to be here for another five years."


On whether the team was annoyed by all the attention given to Denver QB Tim Tebow throughout the week
"Not really. We just focused on what we needed to do as a team, and understanding that we had to play and that they are a good fourth quarter team, and everything else. They have a great defense, so we just tried to focus on that stuff."

On New England's mental toughness
"I think it shows some resiliency on our part, and understand that no matter what we have to play through the ends, and not really worry about what the score is, and then just go down and score points and keep the ball moving."

On TE Aaron Hernandez
"Aaron's a heck of a player. He's tough to cover one-on-one, and doing different things out there. He's a big mismatch for a lot of defenses, so getting him involved and him making the plays he did is huge for us. I'm sure he'll continue to do that."

On the absence of WR Deion Branch
"Deion's such a great player, we understood that we all had to step up, and make some plays, and get him healthy and back, and just try to take care of business this week."

On New England's fourth quarter touchdown after Denver had tightened the score to 34-23
"It was big. We always talk about finishing those drives with touchdowns, especially in that situation and putting ourselves up three scores and making it really tough on them. Our defense really responded and was able to get us a turnover on downs. It was a good team effort, and we all played well together, and played well through the end."


On New England's fourth quarter touchdown after Denver had tightened the score to 34-23
"Every time you score it's huge. Obviously a touchdown just puts them further away from coming back."

On his AFC East Division champions t-shirt
"I haven't tried it on yet, but I'm sure it will fit pretty well."

On whether he talked to Denver QB Tim Tebow
"Before the game and after the game I said I'm proud of him, and he said he's proud of me, and we need to get in contact."

On winning a division championship in each of his first two seasons
"We're obviously working for this and we're not sure about it, but that's what we work for. I'm happy to be here and to be some sort of champ."


On how it feels to win the AFC East
"It feels good. We work hard and we were able to go out and get the victory, and that was the main goal."

On Denver's quick start offensively
"It was just the beginning of the game. We still were getting the feel of the offense, what type of scheme they were coming with. We got things adjusted, and made a few plays, and were able to turn things around to get the offense back on the field."

On the adjustments they made to stop Denver's offense
"It was critical; we came into halftime, made some adjustments and were able to work those adjustments out and make plays, and cause some disruption against [QB Tim] Tebow and the whole offense."

On whether he felt added pressure after DE Andre Carter left with an injury
"Not at all. It's something we work on in practice, we all get reps. Losing Andre is a big part of our defense, so hopefully it's nothing serious. We were able to look past that and everybody stepped up to make plays."

On losing DE Andre Carter to injury
"Andre is a very vocal leader on our team and everybody looks up to him. He's been there before. Losing him was very critical and everybody stepped up."

On defending Denver QB Tim Tebow
"He's a very talented player. He's a strong, physical quarterback. He's like part running back out there. We were able to get him a few times. Everybody contributed as a team and we got the victory."

"One thing you want to do is have everybody flying to the ball, getting hats to the ball when you're playing against Tebow because he's able to scramble."

On his fumble recovery
"I don't know what happened. One of their players must have pulled my helmet off or something. Once you're in that pile, anything goes and I was just making sure that I secured the ball and got a turnover for the offense."

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