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Patriots Postgame Quotes

New England Patriots players comment on their game against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, January 14, 2012.

Brian Waters, Guard

(On what tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez mean to the team)
"If you decide to take away one, that opens things up for the other. You add the fact that we have receiving threats and some good guys at the running back position. It limits the things you can do defensively as far as trying to take one person out of the game. That's something that we are able to take advantage of."

(On if he has seen the game change a lot over his career)
"I'll tell you what, these two [Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski] are changing the game. I think that you're going to see tight ends get drafted that would have been fourth or fifth round picks will probably be drafted higher because of what these guys are able to do. You're going to see other teams try to match guys with their receiving tight ends by trying to match them with a guy that can do some of the things that our tight ends can do. So I think these two are changing the game."

(On how diverse the offense is)
"What does the other team do? We can run the ball. We can pass the ball. We can go up-tempo and not have to change personnel out. We can be physical and still not have to change the personnel out. What Aaron [Hernandez] added today by running the ball out of the backfield, he's been able to that in different situations through the course of the year. We've had him in on some reverses and pitches and things like that. It just adds another weapon."

Rob Gronkowski, Tight End

(On starting the game well)
"Obviously you can't start a game any better than that. Going down, scoring on the very first drive, that's what we've been aiming to do. It was a good thing we started off good. We played all four quarters of the game, the defense was playing well and we were all just helping each other out."

(On if Tom Brady was better than usual)
"He was on fire, man. That's just how he is, this time just throwing the ball in the playoffs just like any other game. Give credit to the o-line, giving him so much time to throw the ball and getting the wide receivers open, the running backs doing well picking up protection and everything. It was overall a good offense, good defense, team victory."

(On how long the team will enjoy the win before moving on to the AFC Championship)
"You can enjoy it for a little tonight, a little tomorrow. And then right after that game tomorrow, once we know who we're playing, we're right back on schedule. We've got to get a good practice week in and work hard again."

Rob Ninkovich, Linebacker
(On playing against Tim Tebow)*
"Playing against a guy like Tim Tebow, you've got to give him a ton of credit. You've got to prepare for him all week, for a guy that can run an option, get out of the pocket and do things on the run. So [we were] very stressed all week on keeping him contained, keeping the run contained, not letting the ball outside."

(On if it's difficult to play against Tim Tebow because of all his improvisation)
"Yeah, it's difficult because when you're out there playing and you want to go one way because you see him, but you know that he's got the ability to get outside and really hurt your team. So you've just got to be disciplined in your responsibilities in the defense. Just playing good team defense all together and great communication, it starts with that."

(On if he ever got tired of chasing Tim Tebow)
"Man, I wish I would've had that last one. It would've been nice to have that last one because I missed him a few times in the first game. That would've just been the icing on the cake right there."

Kyle Love, Defensive Tackle
(On how much of what the defense saw of Tim Tebow in their previous meeting helped this time around)*
"Everything helped. Just watching film the whole week, trying to learn and play hard, and think, 'What can [Tim Tebow] do? What can we do better?' Just everything kind of came together for us tonight."

(On if the defense fed off each other Saturday night)
"Definitely. That's always the defense here, we always feed off each other. Somebody makes a big play, you've got to be excited. Once we do that, the fans get into it. It's kind of like you can't stop."

(On if this was the most complete defensive effort, beginning to end, of the season)
"Definitely, definitely. We played a full, 60-minute game. And this is the time we've got to do it."

Aaron Hernandez, Tight End

(On if he's played running back before)
"Actually my whole life until I hit college. I played a little bit in high school."

(On how it felt that the offense got out to a quick start)
"That shows when we come out strong and don't come out slow it shows how dangerous we can be."

(On Tom Brady's rhythm)
"The team revolves around him and when he comes to play which he mostly does every game, then we're going to be on fire and when he's ready we're all ready."

(On making big plays)
"Everybody makes big plays on this team that's why our offense is real dangerous. We got so many weapons they don't know who to cover."

(On if Tom Brady was more focused for this game given the last few playoff losses)
"I say that every game you got to be focused here. We treat this like every other game. Playoffs obviously the players are more excited [and] the coaches are more excited, but I say with Bill Belichick you [need] to come prepared every game."

Devin McCourty, Defensive Back

(On playing a complete 60-minute effort)
"It's funny because even though you played so good on the field you will find things that you could have done better, but coming out and just being ready to go [and] having energy and just playing from beginning to end I think this is probably the closest. At this time in the year it's all about having another day to come into work. That's what happened, we came out and now we get to come back and practice again next week.

(On capitalizing on the extra time of preparation during the bye week)
"That's key, when you get time, it's not always having the time, it's what you do with it. That's what coach stressed to us. He said that during the bye week that we can improve and we can really use it and it will help us out. I think we did that and I think it showed a little today. Now, it's all about going forward."

(On continuous improvement to play 60 minutes)
"That's the goal. I know people are probably laughing at us [because] we're saying it every week, but it feels like it's paying off and [if] we just stick at it and keep doing it, keep getting better, keep coming to practice with that same attitude and just let it show on game day - whether it be on Sunday and just go out there and do everything we worked on, just go out there and let it show."

(On what a game like this can do for the team's confidence)
"We still have to go and prepare for whoever our opponent is next week. This game is over. We're not playing the Denver Broncos again next week. We're playing a team that's going to deserve to be playing in the AFC Championship game right along with us, so it helps a little, but it's all about preparing for next week."

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Running Back

(On what Denver did)
"The Denver team came out and played hard and they believed in what they were doing in their scheme and we were just able to take advantage of them today."

(On how quickly the team will be back in the film room preparing for next week)
"Tonight. We don't know who were playing but tonight we can go ahead and make those corrections and then we will find out on who were playing next and then we'll come in and start watching film on those guys also."

(On Tom Brady's leadership and performance)
"Well, you know that's Tom week-in-and-week-out, so I don't think anyone else in this locker room or in this country would expect anything else from him tonight."

(On getting the offense going early)
"It's always good for us to go out and start and get that rhythm going and put teams behind the eight-ball and make them do things that maybe they wouldn't do. It's always good to come out and get started early."

Gerard Warren, Defensive Line

(On the game-time situation)
"That's the game-time situation, you know? And that's what it's about. That's the game of football. Teach the technique, learn the technique, try to perfect that technique, practice that technique. Play what you practice."

(On playing Denver for a second time)
"It's the second time around. We don't look back in the past, we just took a good week of preparation and went out and played a real good Denver Broncos team and we came out on top."

(On making the win look easy)
"It was far from easy, I'll tell you that. It took a whole lot of guts and technique and discipline. But we just went out and executed tonight."

(On looking ahead)
"It's a blessing to be into the AFC Championship. But our job's not done yet - we've got work to do. Looking forward to coming in and getting prepared for our next opponent."

(On the game plan against Tim Tebow)
"It was just more of us just trying to be technically sound and going out and working what plan we put in earlier in the week and executing."

Julian Edelman, WR

(On the team's playoff performance)
"Anytime you're playing a playoff divisional game, it's not going to be easy. We went out and we started fast - we executed and we played complimentary football. We did a pretty good job, but I'm sure there's going to be a lot of errors on the film and we're going to have to try to get better on those and prepare for the next game."

(On the offensive pressure and speed of play)
"It just kept on working, so I guess we just stayed into it. We kept on executing, and if it's not broken, don't fix it."

(On Aaron Hernandez's performance)
"Aaron - he's helped the team out a lot and I'm not a coach -  I don't really comment on that - but we're glad to have him."

(On what else the team has to work on)
"There's always something to work on. We're going to watch this film and we're going to see who we have to play and we're going to prepare and I'm sure we're going to have a lot to work on. It's what Coach always does and we'll prepare for next week."

(On the game potentially being the team's best of the year)
"We turned it on and we played pretty well. Like I said, you've got to see the film. We played some pretty good ballgames, but hopefully we can keep it going."

(On the sense of relief given previous years' playoff outcomes)
"I guess so - you could say it like that. But this is a totally different season, a totally new team, and we really weren't thinking about that. We're just thinking about keeping the ball and going out there and getting a win."

(On celebrating tonight's win)
"You're going to take it into the night, be excited about it, but we still have a job on our hands and we still have a goal, and the goal is to win the next game."

Wes Welker, Wide Receiver

(On goals for the game)
"We came out with a lot of fire and knew we wanted to get off to a good start, score early and play this team from ahead. That's what we were able to do and that is key for us (moving forward)."

(On if anything is different from recent playoff games)
"I wouldn't say anything is different. I think that we are just coming together as a team and realizing that this is our time and we need to really play well. The playoffs are what that is for. Collectively we all went out and did that today and (hope to) follow that into next week."

(On the team working well in all phases)
"It's always good to play complimentary football out there. The offense scores and the defense gets a turnover and then we go out and score again. Special teams makes a tackle inside the 20-yard line; different things like that all correlate together and we all have to play together like that."

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