QB RYAN MALLETT**
Q: You said after the Tampa Bay game that sometimes it takes a little while for you to get going. Was that the case tonight? It seemed like you really started moving the ball that third time out.
RM: No, I thought we came out and moved the ball well. We had a few missed opportunities there on the first two third downs that we could have easily completed. But the first two drives I felt good, felt comfortable. We've just got to convert on third down.
Q: The television showed you very excited when Tim Tebow got that first touchdown pass. Why the excitement?
RM: He's my teammate. Quentin [Sims] made a great catch and then made a great run. Tim, he had the boo birds out the play before and then he comes back and throws a touchdown. It just shows what kind of player he is, his character. It was a great play and a great throw overall.
Q: Does he deserve to be on this team?
RM: There're a lot of guys that deserve to be on this team. Everybody has been working hard. That's not up to me; that's Bill's decision, so you should ask him that.
Q: How much are guys rooting for him? You even saw defensive players coming up to him after that touchdown.
RM: Yeah, I mean, we're a pretty close-knit team all the way around. That's what makes our team great to be on, great to be a part of, is how close we are. We're never not cheering for our teammates. That doesn't make much sense to us.
Q: What's the biggest thing you think you've shown this preseason?
RM: I felt good. I felt in command of the offense. I made a few plays. Missed a few that I should have made, but that just comes with playing more.
Q: How about the speed of the game? Has it slowed down a little?
RM: Like I said, I feel comfortable with it. If it get called on, I'll be ready.
Q: Can you talk about your touchdown pass to Josh Boyce?
RM: I mean, Josh ran a great route. I wasn't even looking to his side at first. The coverage took me over there and he went and made a great play. I had all day to throw the ball, so you couldn't ask for [more]. It couldn't have been drawn up better than that.
Q: Did you think the defensive back would catch up to Boyce? Did you think you over threw him?
RM: No. Josh is a fast, fast player. I didn't think I overthrew him. I was hoping I threw it far enough.
Jake Bequette, Defensive Lineman
(On his general thoughts about Thursday's game)
"It was fun for the whole defensive line unit to get other there, stop the run, and get after the quarterback, especially in some big situation. It wasn't perfect by any means but we had fun out there and I think the camaraderie really showed up."
(On the impending final roster moves this weekend)
"I can't speak for anyone but myself, but as for me, it's just another day. The body of work over the past five weeks, four preseason games, speaks for itself. Hopefully you've been out there and giving your best every day, played, worked, and trained as hard as you can. You just let the chips fall where they may. I'm confident. I think I showed some improvement this off-season. I worked on perfecting my craft and getting bigger, faster, and stronger. Just come in every day, try to set high goals, and achieve them."
(On his overall performance tonight)
"I'm not sure. I'll have to watch the film. My goal is to feel good going to sleep at night, knowing I gave my best effort and played as hard as I could."
(On playing extended snaps)
"(Rhythm) is the word that I'd use. It's great to go out there and start the game, get into that early flow of the game, and feel your opponent and the offense's game plan. Get into that rhythm where you can kind of anticipate the plays and get a feel for the game plan, and I think that makes the game easier."
LeGarrette Blount, Running Back
(On the play of rookie running back George Winn)
"He's a good running back, I like him a lot. He was out there and he was really productive."
(On roster cuts coming Saturday)
"It's pretty tough but we all know what this league is about. We have to continue to hope for the best and continue to go out there and do what George [Winn] did and what Leon [Washington] did to plead your case."
(On not playing Thursday)
"It could have been several reasons why [I didn't play]. It could have been I didn't play because George [Winn] didn't get to play much this preseason and they wanted to see him. You just never know so you just got to stay prepared and keep on working."
Josh Boyce, Wide Receiver
(On his touchdown catch)
"It felt good. (My) first touchdown. Hopefully I can make more plays like that, but it felt really good. Mallet threw a great ball so I just tried to go out there and make a play. He threw it pretty deep."
(On his progression with the team)
"I feel pretty good. Getting better every day. You learn more and more about the playbook and how things should be done, so I feel good."
(On if there's competition between Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson, and himself)
"No, not at all. It's friendly competition, but as far as that, we always try to push each other. We're three rookies trying to accomplish the same goals, so we're always pushing and being hard on each other."
(On his reverse runs)
"It's fun. Coach (Belichick) trusts you with a play like that so you've got to have fun doing it. It was great."
Michael Buchanan, Defensive Lineman
(On whether Thursday night was the best he has felt in a game this preseason)
"Yeah I would definitely say [yes]. I did a lot more preparing and getting ready for this game, so I'd definitely say that was the most comfortable I've felt."
(On how he prepared more for this game)
"Just my studying habits and trying to pick up different things on guys because I knew I was going to see a number of different tackles tonight. Just tried to study on my own and be prepared for whatever guy is in the game."
(On how he feels about his progression since the beginning of training camp)
"I made a lot of improvements. I think I have a good grasp for my job on this defense and some of what my role on this team may be. I think technique-wise and just overall everything, I think I've made some improvements, but I still have a long way to go."
Quentin Sims, Wide Receiver
(On the fade catch from quarterback Tim Tebow)
"All training camp, me and Tim have connected on that a few times. Coach put a big emphasis on wanting to do that, so it was good we connected."
(On chemistry with Tim Tebow)
"Me and Tim, we pretty much all training camp have been working together. I've made plays for him and he makes good throws for me, so we got good chemistry and he knows to look for me."
(On his 52-yard touchdown catch)
"I knew I had a chance to get open – it was man coverage – I noticed the man guarding me fell on the pass and I saw a single-high safety and I just tried to out run him."
Tim Tebow, QB
(On tonight's performance)
"I thought we did some things well, some things we can try to improve on. Me personally, same goes. You just try to keep getting better every single week and I thought we made some strides."
(On the importance of his two touchdown passes)
"You're just trying to execute every play and improve from weeks past and get better and work on the game plan. You obviously want to win, that's why we keep score, but you're also working on certain things as well, so you're trying to improve on that as well."
(On his thoughts on the upcoming roster cuts)
"I'm just taking it one day at a time and be able to enjoy playing this game tonight and come in here ready to work out tomorrow."
(On his improvement since joining the team in June)
"I think I've improved in a lot of ways. One, learning this offense; two, understanding more decision-making, getting in rhythm, understanding the guys that I'm playing with, and I'm just getting this offense down as well."
(On his improvement over the last two weeks)
"I think I showed some improvement in certain areas. We'll have to look at the film, but that's it, you're just trying to get better every single week."
(On his touch in the passing game)
"Felt pretty good. I'll have to look at the film. One or two passes I'd like back: the interception, just a little bit of miscommunication, my fault, led him too far inside, so you definitely want that back. You don't want to have a turnover in that point of the game. But I felt like I was on a pretty good rhythm and pace with the receivers and I feel like we've been getting better every week."
(On what he can bring to the team)
"Someone that will just work hard, loves the game of football, will always hopefully, Lord willing, have a great attitude, a great work ethic and someone that tries to be an encourager in here."
Leon Washington, Running Back
(On playing when a lot of veterans had the night off)
"I had the opportunity to play football. Early in the preseason I didn't have much of a chance in some of those games, so I wanted to go out there and give them an opportunity to play football, so it was pretty cool."
(On how satisfying it was to have a long punt return)
"Well, it was pretty good. We've been trying to fight for field position all preseason long, trying to get some returns going, so it was good to set up one of those touchdown drives we had early in the game. Pretty good feeling to make a play – bunch of key blocks out there, so it was easy to do my job making the guy miss and trying to get up the sideline."
(On how he felt his preseason has gone so far)
"It went pretty good, I think, especially in practice. I think I performed pretty good in practice going out there with heart each and every day – being healthy, that's a big key and helping my teammates out, so I think it went pretty good."
(On the situation between the close running back group heading into Saturday's cuts)
"Most of the guys in the meeting room besides George [Winn] have been in the league for a few years now, so they kind of see what happens after the last preseason game. I think most of those guys are comfortable knowing the situation, what it could be, and what it might not be."
Tavon Wilson, Defensive Back
(On roster cuts coming Saturday)
"We just can't worry about it. We'll see what happens."
(On how he felt his preseason went)
"I just try to get better every day. We will see [Saturday] what the coaches think."
(On if he thinks he will make the team)
"That's not [my decision]. I try not to worry about it. I just try to control what I can control and just put my best foot forward."