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Replay: Best of Radio Thu Apr 18 - 02:00 PM | Tue Apr 23 - 11:55 AM

Patriots Postgame Quotes - 2/5/2012

New England Patriots react to their Super Bowl XLVI loss to the New York Giants


(on the game)
"First, I'd like to give the Giants a lot of credit. They certainly made the plays when they needed to. That is a very good football team. They put a lot of pressure on us. We just came up a little bit short. I think we had a couple of missed opportunities out there. Every guy in the locker room wishes he could have done a little bit more and maybe the outcome would have been a little bit different. It was a very hard fought game and we fought until the end. I'm very proud of that. I'd say we just came up a little short."

(on if he thought there was a enough time left at the end of the game to win)
"We got to the 50 (yard line) and just ran out of time. We threw a hail-mary at the end. I'm not sure how close we were to getting it. Obviously I wish we could have done a little bit more."

(on the play intended for Wes Welker in the fourth quarter)
"Wes (Welker) was running down the field and it looked like they messed the coverage up a little bit and I threw it to him. (Welker) went up to try and make it, as he always does, and we just couldn't connect. He's a hell of a player. I'll keep throwing the ball to him for as long as I possibly can. He's a phenomenal player and teammate and I love that guy."

(on if this loss feels similar at all to the Super Bowl loss four years ago)
"We just didn't make enough plays. In the first quarter, we didn't have the ball a ton. The second quarter, we played a little bit better. Third quarter, we started well and it came down to the fourth quarter. (The Giants) made some plays there at the end. We went out there to win the game. We just didn't make enough plays."


(on the loss being a tough one to swallow)
"I mean, it's tough man. Especially when we didn't play good ball but still had the chance to win the game. Tip our hats off to those guys that won, the Giants. Congratulations to those guys."

(on a turning point in the game)
"I look at everything as a whole, from the start to the finish. The start of that we only had the ball a couple plays in the first quarter. Second quarter we had the ball and made some amazing plays. We got ahead then came out second half, went down and scored. From that, we just didn't do anything else to effect the game and really push us over the top."

(on Tom Brady's missed pass to Wes Welker at the end of the game)
"That one play wasn't the end of the game. There was so much stuff that went down throughout the third and fourth quarters. All of the plays were big, every play is very important. Had I made the catch that was behind me, that could have been a key third down but we didn't connect on it."

(on whether the Patriots left a lot of plays on the field)
"We did. We made more mistakes and regardless of the plays we made, we didn't capitalize on the opportunities that they gave us. We caused a fumble, we had 12 guys on the field, we put balls on the ground two more times and they recovered the ball which would have been on their end of the field. Those plays like that don't happen too often in a game and we didn't capitalize on the opportunities."

(on the Giants and Patriots playing against each other)
"It's just two great, physical teams playing great football. Today they got the best of it."

(on Rob Gronkowski being limited in the game)
"With the role he did play, I tilt my hat off to that kid, he's a tough guy. I promise you 75% of the players in the NFL wouldn't play today and this guy toughed it out for his team and I truly appreciate that guy."

(on whether the Patriots veteran players feel that this was their last chance at a Super Bowl)
"No, we have a great team, a great young team. We will have to see what happens. That's the coaches' job, to sit down and dissect and get this team back into order. Once we get into our off season program, mini camp and training camp, it's time to start developing."

(on the loss being tough)
"It's tough man. There are so many guys you go out there playing for. It's not just myself and my teammates, it's my family, my kids. The last thing I want is for all of our kids that go to school and the other kids are looking at them. It's more than just us who we're playing this game for, Ms. Myra (Kraft) more importantly. This entire season is for her and I feel like we didn't get the job done this year."

(on the last drive, if he felt that Tom Brady would lead them down to a win)
"Yes, always. We always have confidence in our quarterback. That's why he's the best player out there."

(on the Patriots defense)
"They did a great job. And we knew that coming into the game. It was all about what we were going to do on offense; as far as putting points on the board, scoring touchdowns instead of kicking field goals. We want to be consistent, but it just wasn't enough today. That was that."

(on whether he will return to the team next year)
"This is where I want to be, this is where I want to retire. This is why I came back, for the opportunity to play in this game and I'm pretty sure I will be here in this position next year."


(on the loss)
"They're a good team; hats off to them. They've got a good defense, a good offense, and they deserve it. They're a good team."

(more on the loss)
"Well, the Giants are a great team. They played a great game. They've got a great defense, and we've just got to execute better. We've got to execute well, and unfortunately we didn't. We've got to be playing like we did in the second quarter all four quarters."

(more on the loss)
It definitely hurts. Just losing the game hurts so much (with) how much we dedicated ourselves, how much our teammates all went through, just grinding every single day and every single off-day all together. We've just got to keep going and hope we can get to this position again."

(on finding an offensive rhythm late in the second quarter)
"We were just rolling there. We were executing well late in the second quarter, and (TE) Aaron (Hernandez) made a great play and got a touchdown. We've got to be rolling like that all four quarters."

(on how confident the offense was on the final drive)
"We're always confident with Tom as our quarterback—an unbelievable quarterback. We've got so many great players around our whole offense starting with our O-linemen. They're all great players, and we're confident every time we go out there."

(on comparing the loss to New England's Super Bowl loss in 2007)
"I wasn't here four years ago, so I don't know those feelings. I wasn't on the team. I just got here last year, so I know the feeling of losing the big game, and it's not a great feeling at all, and we've just got to keep on grinding."

(on his health)
"I was good. I was 100 percent out there doing everything they asked me to do."

(on being held to two receptions)
Just how they defended. They've got a good defense. They played well, and (QB) Tom (Brady) hits open men. He finds open men, and, unfortunately, he was just hitting the guys who were open, and that's just how it goes."

(on the final drive)
"When we have the ball in our hands with 0:57 left, basically a minute left, we're confident that we can drive down the field and get some points. We were doing well. We got a couple of first downs, but unfortunately, the time flies pretty quick when you don't get out of bounds and you don't have three timeouts left. We're always confident that we're going to drive down. We've done it many times before, but, unfortunately, we didn't do it this time."

(on his ankle injury)
"The trainers did a good job for two weeks, so when it got to the game time, I was ready to go."

(on if it was frustrating to have to good drives but to struggle offensively at other times)
"We've got to execute all game long. Those two drives in the second quarter were huge. We were moving the ball well. Unfortunately, we didn't keep it up in the third and fourth quarter, and that's how you win games, just executing in all four quarters and playing hard all four quarters."

(on if the Patriots can make it back to the Super Bowl next season)
"We're looking forward to next year already. We've just got to have a good offseason. We've got to keep on grinding and stick together as a team and have everyone dedicate themselves."

(on how he plans to rehab his ankle)
"Just keep doing treatments. I'm recovering now. It'll be good to go, so I'm not worried about it at all."

(on New York LB Chase Blackburn's interception)
"Tom (Brady) just threw the ball up in the air, the linebacker did a great job. He boxed me out kind of, had good position on the jump ball and made a great catch. It was just a good play by him."

(on TE Aaron Hernandez)
"He's a heck of a player, Hernandez. I love playing with him. You saw how good he is, how he can ball, how he's good with the ball in his hands. He's an excellent player, and he's just going to get better."

(on if he was close to catching the Hail Mary at the end of regulation)
"I was close, but close doesn't matter. Close isn't enough. Close doesn't get it done. It's either you catch it or you don't, and that didn't happen."


(on how he feels)

(on if QB Tom Brady had him going for the ball on the last play)
"Yeah. We just didn't make enough plays. They made more plays than us."

(on what will stand out most to him about this game)
"That we should've won."

(on if a certain play sticks out to him)
"Nope. One play doesn't win the game, it's a whole bunch of plays. And we didn't make enough plays. They made more plays than us."

(on his feelings after the game)

(on if this loss stings)
"Yeah, it hurts. We had to make more plays."

(on the last play)
"We knew it was going to be a toss-up and I saw it in the air and the defender got up more than me."

(on what happened in the second half)
"They just made more plays than us and we've got to make more plays."

(on how it affected the team not having TE Rob Gronkowski at 100 percent)
"He still did a great job and even though he had that hurt ankle he played through it and he still had a good game for us."

(on what makes the Giants so good)
"They make plays and they made more plays than us today. And it shows because they got the victory."

(on what it came down to)
"They made more plays than us and we had to make more plays and like I said they made more."

(on what play he wishes they would've made)
"It's not just about one play. It's a whole bunch throughout the whole game, from the first quarter through the fourth quarter. We had too many errors and too many mistakes and when you make mistakes early on, they catch up to you later in the game."

(on why they made errors)
"Like I said, the whole game, not one play just comes to mind. We started off sloppy and it hurt us in the end."

(on if  he felt there was a shift in momentum in third quarter)
"Definitely and I thought we were going to run away with it and it happened we didn't."

(on why they were sloppy)
"There were just turnovers and just missed assignments and in games like this they cost you, like today."

(on the last play)
"It was a toss-up and we all tried to form a box in the back of the end zone and he threw it up and we didn't make the play."

(on if he got his hands on the ball on the last play)
"No, I didn't. The defender got up high."

(on if Coach Belichick talked about how much respect he had for this team after the game)
"Not really. He just said he was proud of us and that's about it. It was short and simple and we knew, each player knows what they did, what they did good and what they did wrong. We had to make more plays."

(on if he was surprised there was a linebacker covering him)
"No, I thought there would either be a safety or some type of star on me. They played a good game."

(on how frustrating it is knowing they left some plays on the field)
"Frustrating. We lost and if we would've made those plays we would've come out with a victory."

(on letting the Giants score on their final possession)*
"Yeah, we were trying to let them score. That was the smart play to make. Let them score, and hopefully give the offense back the ball. (It was) situational football."

(on playing another close game against the Giants in the Super Bowl)
"(It's) just disappointing. We played hard and two good teams going at it, and unfortunately we were on the wrong end of the stick."

(on playing physical and causing fumbles)
"Man, we tried to go out there and play aggressive, tried to go out there and make turnovers. We feel like if we can get the ball back in our offense's hands ... nine times out of 10 they'll go out and score a touchdown. Unfortunately, we didn't come up with those loose balls and they did. Hats off to them."

(on his thoughts of the team going forward)
"We've got a young team. This one stings. We'll remember it for a long time, and this offseason, we'll get back to work real soon and try to get back to this point. You know, it takes a lot of work to get back to this point. It will be a lot of work."

(on if it's a shock to let this season end)
"We lost about 10 minutes ago, but at the same time it is what it is, and my hat goes off to the Giants. They came out and got all those loose balls, got all those dirty plays and won the game. It was two good teams today."

(on the Giants' comeback)
"You know what, to be honest with you, those guys have been coming up with big plays all year. Sometimes that happens.  We have to, on our side of the ball, the defensive side of the ball, we have to stop the Giants from scoring touchdowns, and we just didn't do that enough today."

(on the strategy of letting Ahmad Bradshaw score late in the game)
"We were trying to let them score. You want to let them score so you can get your offense back on the field. We go over those situations all the time. We had a timeout left; we want them to score (quickly). He was about to take a knee right there, but then he ended up going into the end zone, which worked in our favor, but we just didn't come up with it."

(on what defenders would have done if Bradshaw was about to kneel the ball)
"We were going to drag him into the end zone, pretty much. That's what we're taught to do: drag him into the end zone."

(on the difference in the outcome of the game)
"They came up with the loose balls. We had a lot of balls out. We just didn't get the turnovers we needed. We didn't get the offense the ball."

(on if forcing turnovers was a point of emphasis)
"That's a point of emphasis every week: strip the ball, go after the ball, you know, steal a possession."

(on the performance of Giants QB Eli Manning in the fourth quarter)
"Yeah, you know, he's a great player. He's done it time and time again throughout the season and did it again today."

(on if he is disappointed in not being able to come up with a defensive stop)
"I wouldn't say disappointed. It stings for a while, but it's temporary. We have a young team, great coaches and the core guys will be back. Hopefully we can make another run."

(on if the Patriots thought about letting the Giants score earlier on their final possession)
"No, (not) at first, (but) when they got that first down, obviously, then our mantra was to let them score. We (prevented touchdowns) a couple of times throughout the game, but you know, when it got down to 54 seconds or something like that, it's kind of like crunch time. We had a timeout left and needed to (get the ball back)."

(on what terminology is used on the defensive play call to let an opponent score)
"It's very rare. ... Just, 'Let them score,' over the headset. That's the good thing about headsets. If we didn't have a headset, I'd probably have to run over to the sideline."

(on if it is hard to let an opponent score in spite of the strategic decision)
"It's hard as a competitor. Being a competitive person, you want to try to force a fumble, get the ball back, something like that, but you know, our offense is great, and that was the best decision at that point. What else can you do?"


(on Giants WR Mario Manningham's catch down the sideline on the Giants' final drive)
"He had both feet down. Good throw, good catch, man."

(on if he feels like it had to take a championship play like Manningham's to win the game)
"Yeah, I mean we fought down to the end. It was hard fought but didn't work out in our favor so hats off to them."

(on how it feels after the loss)
"How do you think it feels?  It feels badly. We fought hard. We know the taste and we don't like the taste so we're going to keep working offseason to try to get back here next year."

(on what he will remember most about the season)
"Close doesn't get it, man.  Almost doesn't get it either. They played a good game. They finished the game; we didn't. It is what it is, man."

(on what the Giants did to be able to run the ball so well and control the clock)
"I have no clue. They did run hard. We had a couple missed tackles. We're going to watch film and see what really happened. I don't think we can answer all those questions right now. I mean, they played a good game. I can't take it from them. They played a good game and got the win, so hats off to them."

(on if they felt as if they had the opportunities to put the game away)
"We had plenty of opportunities. Those were the two best teams in the NFL. They're going to make plays. We're going to make plays. It's all about who makes the most plays. They ended up making the most plays."

(on how tough it is to handle the loss after winning 10 straight games)
"It's very tough to handle. It's a big game and you lose that game that close, you can almost be proud that you fought all the way to the end, but it sucks, man. We know how it feels and we've just got to keep working."

(on if they were feeling pretty good after they came back from the nine-point deficit to then take the lead at the half)
"Never feel good until the game's over.  Regardless of whether we're on a roll or we're not on a roll, all that matters is the score at the end. They ended up having more points than us and they won. They got the victory."

(on if he thought Giants WR Mario Manningham had his feet in on the catch on the sideline in the fourth quarter)
"We're always going to think it's not a complete pass. It's a good throw, a good catch. He got his feet inbounds, so it was a good play."

(on if he was shocked that Manningham held onto the ball on that catch after they hit him)
"I mean, all we can try to do is knock the ball out. They're good, too. They're in the NFL too, man. They're going to make good catches. He has good hands and it is what it is."

(on what the defense was thinking when the Giants got the ball with three minutes)
"We're thinking we've got to make a play. We're thinking the game is on us and we've got to stop them. They're good, too, so they just finished the game. They finished the game and we didn't. But we fought hard, man. I'm proud of everybody. I'm proud of the whole team. We fought hard."

(on the closeness of the locker room and what it feels like to go through the loss with his teammates)
"It just sucks, man. Plain and simple, point blank, it sucks. We know what it feels like now. Now we have to make sure that we don't have that feeling again."

(on how he feels following a close loss)
"Right now, words can't even really express how I feel right now. It's a letdown, and we've got to go to work next year and try to get better."

(on what his head coach said in the locker room)
"Just how it goes. The better team won today, and they made their plays and we didn't. We had opportunities to make big plays when it counted, but we just couldn't come up with it, so the better team won today."

(on the late catch by Giants WR Mario Manningham)
"It was a terrific catch. It was a good game, a championship game. He made a play and that's what it's about, making plays when it counts. My hat goes off to him. He's a great receiver."

(on whether the defense could have proved something by holding on to the lead)
"Absolutely. I still feel like defense wins championships. We had our chances. We were right where we wanted to be as a defensive unit. I just feel like I let the guys down myself. There were a few plays I could have made myself and I was just a step late. It just hurts right now. Like I said, I can't really sum it all up with words."

(on the plays that he could have made)
"I can just remember plays that I recognize and I was just a half-step late. That kills me, and obviously it will motivate me this offseason to get better and be ready to make those plays when I get the opportunity."

(on the feeling walking off of the field)
"Like I said before, I never dreamed this part of the game. A good team has to lose and that's just how the game goes. Like I said, they played well and they beat us."

(on whether it was hard to let the Giants score the final touchdown)
"It killed me. When the call came in to let them score I kind of was like, 'What?' I'm here to do a job and it's my job to play the defense and let them score. It was tough, though. It definitely was tough."

(on whether they could have stopped the Giants without letting them score)
"Yeah, you never know, but in that situation, that's what we're taught to do and what we had to do."

(on what his offseason will be like)
"Just work, just trying to get better. I'm going to make sure I let my teammates know to be grinding and getting better every day. I never want to feel like this again. This feels terrible. It's a nightmare right now for me. I'm just at a loss of words right now."

(on what his offseason will be like)
"Just work, just trying to get better. I'm going to make sure I let my teammates know to be grinding and getting better every day. I never want to feel like this again. This feels terrible. It's a nightmare right now for me. I'm just at a loss of words right now."

(on what this offseason will consist of)
"Just grinding. There's no easy way around it, just head first, jump right in. I'll take a few weeks off and jump right in and just remember this moment, remember how it felt and just be motivated by it. You can't look back. It is what it is, and I feel like me personally, everything happens for a reason. We got a few balls out; they recovered them. That's just how it goes."

(on whether he was surprised they weren't able to recover three fumbles)
"That's the thing I'm talking about. We planned to put pressure on the ball and that was our whole gameplan. Like I said, it was just a step for us. They made plays and they were in the right spot. Like I said, my hat goes off to their team. They fought to the end and they deserved this one."

(on whether there was confusion with 12 men on the field early in the game)
"I don't think so. We were just trying to get it from up top and see what personnel they were in. We fixed it after that. We were good. We had opportunities defensively to do what we wanted to do; we just couldn't get it done."

(on what the conversations in the locker room were like)
"Most guys just felt like we let each other down. My thing is we fought until the end. I know that defensively we tried everything we could do. Like I said, they had some great players that made great plays when they needed it. That's just how it goes. Like I said, they came to play today and they beat us."

(on whether they can return to the Super Bowl next year)
"Absolutely. We won't have the same defensive unit; we know that. I'm pretty sure there are going to be some changes. There's always changes in this business. We're just going to go to work with what we have. Me personally, I think we have a young defense with a lot of talent, a lot of good guys, a lot of great friends and as long as we can just keep together and get better as a whole unit, I think the sky is the limit for us. I'm really looking forward to this offseason and getting with the teammates and trying to get all the little details that we missed and trying to correct them."

(on what he is most proud of and most disappointed by)
"I'm proud that my team fought until the end. We never game up and we played 60 minutes. That's all I can ask for from my guys. As far as the disappointment, it's the 'L.' Nobody wants to lose, but that's just how it is in this game. Two good teams played today and a good team lost. I can't take nothing away from those guys. Like I said, they made their plays. It was a good game."

(on whether he has spoken to Robert Kraft and what was said)
"I haven't spoken with him yet. I just want to let him know that we're going to be better. I feel like we're going to be better, and I'm going to make sure to work my butt off in the offseason. I'm looking forward to it right now. I'm going to soak this all in, but with my family and my teammates, I'm pretty sure they are going to be there for support. I'm looking forward to this offseason."

(on his first full offseason coming up)
"I just feel like no matter what the situation is, I'm going to put my ten toes in head-first. I'm going to grind my butt off. It was a great experience to get here, and the way we lost, it just hurts. But like I said, I'm going to use this as motivation and try to keep developing as a professional player."


(on if he was confident the Patriots would score on their last possession)
"Any time that we get a chance to get our offense on the field, we think we have a chance to score.  It didn't work out like that.  They ended up getting more points than us, and they ended up winning the game."

(on having a chance to score on the last play of the game)
"Any time there's time on the clock, we think we have a chance.  It didn't turn out how we wanted it to."

(on how painful the loss is)
"It's as tough of a loss as I think I've ever had.  You get so close, and it doesn't end up the way you like it.  It's a tough pill to swallow."

(on the confidence level of the team at the start of the second half)
"We always have confidence as a team, as an offense, defensively and on special teams.  They just ended up scoring more points than us.  That's what happened."

(on how the Patriots seem to play close games against the Giants but come up short)
"They're a great football team, and I think that's what it comes down to—two great football teams playing and going neck and neck towards the end of the game.  One team ends up winning."

(on if he sensed his role was going to increase this week)
"I approach every week the same, and that is to be ready for whatever can be thrown at me.  No matter how many carries or receptions I may get, I just feel like I need to stay ready all the time."

(on his touchdown reception)
"I was able to get open, and Tom (Brady) did a great job of putting the ball right on me.  I had to do the easy part, and that was just to catch it."

(on putting the loss into words)
"It's tough.  We were that close to being world champions, and it didn't happen.  It's a tough situation, but you've got to wake up tomorrow.  The sun's going to shine."

(on head coach Bill Belichick's postgame address to the team)
"We went out there and played as hard as we could.  We're a tight-knit group.  There isn't any other 53—or 61 including practice squad—guys that I'd want to spend this with."

(on Tom Brady's ability to give them a chance on the final drive)
"We think that no matter what happens, if there's time on the clock, we think that we have a shot at still scoring or getting the first down.  We were able to, but like I said, the tough part is that we didn't score as many points as they did."

(on how special it is to score a touchdown in the Super Bowl)
"That's something I haven't thought about.  The individual statistic of scoring a touchdown isn't going to make me that happy.  It's the score at the end of the game.  This is a team game.  It's not an individual game.  I really haven't thought about it."

(on if the plan was to get him more involved or if they took what the Giants gave them)
"I think every team is going to take what the defense gives them.  Every week I approach it the same.  I try to be ready for my opportunities, and that's really what it boils down to.  If I get an opportunity to go out there, go out and make the best of it."

(on not being the first option on his touchdown reception)
"The O-line did a great job of giving Tom [Brady] time, and I was just trying to break free any way I could.  It happened to work out on that play."


(on dropped pass)
"It's one of those plays I've made a thousand times. Just didn't make it."

(on the locker room after the game)

(on if he felt disappointment after tonight)
"Yeah, of course. We had an opportunity."

(on if he was expecting the pass to be on the other shoulder)
"I mean, no. The ball is right there. I've just got to make the play. It's a play I've made a thousand times in practice and everything else. It comes to the biggest moment of my life and don't come up with it. It's discouraging."

(on if the play is designed to go in the inside or outside)
"You're supposed to get at the numbers. It's usually inside edge of the numbers. Just trying to make an adjustment on the ball and it's a play I've got to bring in."

(on what it is about this Giants team that plays them so close)
"It's the NFL. A lot of great teams and everything else. A lot of games come down to the wire."

(on if he holds himself solely responsible for the dropped pass)
"Yeah, it hit me right in the hands. I mean, it's a play I never drop, I always make. Most critical situation and I let the team down."

(on if they left opportunities on the field)
"No, I think that goes into every game. I think there's a lot of opportunities to miss out on. We definitely had ours and didn't take advantage. I'm right there at the top of the list."

(on if they felt after that drive if they still felt they had a chance)
"Yeah, sure. We always got a chance when Tom (Brady) is back there. Deion (Branch) made a great play on fourth down and kept us alive. It should work out in the end."

(on if it's a perfect play does he score)
"I mean, I don't know. It doesn't really matter now."

(on the coverage on the play)
"I think they got a little mixed up. I think man over me was playing high look and then safety went to one high. That's why it opened up for me when it did.

(on if he got turned around on the pass)
"No, I saw it develop and saw the ball in the air. I went to make the play and on it and didn't make the ball."

(on if Tom Brady saw the play develop)
"Yeah, I mean he saw it and threw me the ball. I think he was a little worried about the safety so he threw it a little wider or whatever. But I mean, its right there. It hits me right in the hands. It's one I'll have to live with."

(on if he's felt this way after a loss)

(on the job the Patriot's defense did)
"They did a great job. They kept us in it. They got the ball out. A lot of great things out there. In the end it just wasn't enough."

(on the team this season)
"We got a lot of tough players who do a lot of great things and keep fighting till the end. We just came up a little short."

(on how uncharacteristic it was for receivers to drop passes in critical times)
"I don't know. I really don't know how to answer that question. We work on it all the time and try to make plays. It's one that will take a while to shake off, that's for sure."

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