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Patriots Postgame Quotes - 8/9/2012

Various New England Patriots players addressed the media following their 7-6 victory over the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, August 9, 2012. Read their quotes below.


Shane Vereen, Running Back** Q: How did it feel out there on offense in the second half?

SV: It was the start of the second half and we wanted to get going, we wanted to get the offense rolling and I think we did a good job of doing that.

Q: How did it feel?

SV: It felt good. It was the first time to finally strap it on and go live. I think everybody felt really good out there.

Q: Where you surprised to get the reps when you got them and to get as many as you did?

SV: I wouldn't say I was surprised. The coaches do a good job of keeping you prepared and they tell you to stay prepared for the whole 60 minutes and mentally I was prepared.

Q: After what happened to you last year – it must have been a frustrating season for you – this had to feel pretty good.

SV: Any time you get to strap it on and go play with the team, it's a great thing. It felt really good to be out there with the fellas.

Q: What do you have to do physically to stay ready if you don't play the first few quarters? Do you have to do a lot more warming up and stretching just to be ready physically?

SV: Yes and no. I was able to play a little bit on special teams, so that helps. I think more important than physically staying ready is mentally staying ready and I was able to do that.

Q: Do you still feel a little bit like a rookie, having missed most of last season?

SV: Yes and no. Sometimes I do; sometimes I don't. We have a pretty young stable of backs right now, so I think Woody [Danny Woodhead] is kind of the vet of the group and he does the best he can to keep us informed so that we don't feel so much like rookies. Every now and then, when stuff comes up that we haven't handled before, you tend to feel a little like a rookie.

Q: What was your excitement level or energy level because it's been awhile since you've had that many carries?

SV: I just wanted to go out there and to be best I could for the team; it's as simple as that. I was excited because it's been so long since I played with the injuries and everything, but I just wanted to go out and perform well as I could with the team.

Q: Is it good to know you still have it? It's been almost two years.

SV: Yeah, it felt good. It felt good to be out there running. The O-line did a tremendous job. I can't take hardly any credit because they did a tremendous job.

Patrick Chung, Safety
Q: How do you think the defense did?

PC: I felt like we played good. We played good. We have to watch some film obviously. I can't really give you a full explanation on that but for the most part we played good. We held them to six points so that's always good.

Q: From an athletic point of view, having guys like Chandler Jones and Don't'a Hightower, how much more versatility does this give you as a defense to be able to do more things?

PC: Having a bunch of young, athletic guys out there is definitely good; guys that want to learn and they're learning fast. First game, first preseason game, just have to build on it, get better and see how the season goes. But it's good to have guys like that. They're working hard out there so it's good to see them having some success.

Q: It's preseason and probably not the most difficult interception you've had but did it feel good to set the tone?

PC: Yeah, definitely. It always feels good to get an interception. It feels good. Like I said in the question before, it's just preseason. We still have to make plays. It's just practice for regular season so when it comes around you're not surprised. I'm taking any interception – easy, hard, kind of hard – I'm taking all of them. It felt good.

Q: Steve Gregory had an interception today, too. How much have you been able to help him as he's gotten used to his surroundings here?

PC: We kind of help each other. He's a veteran, he knows a lot of things that I don't know and he helps me out. I've been here for awhile so I kind of help him out. It's kind of a like a relationship. Relationships can only get stronger so we're going to see how that goes. But yeah, I love playing next to him and he helps me out a lot, definitely.

Q: Is there a bit of a competitive nature there? He got an interception first. Did you feel like you need one after that?

PC: It's always like that but that's what makes us better – always competing, always trying to out-do the other guy. So that's when you make plays; that's when you win. It's all good – he can't talk about me.

Q: Is there an attitude or something with a lot of young players flying to the ball?

PC: That's more practice, more things that we execute during practice and tell them, 'Hey, get to the ball, get to the ball, get to the ball.' It's more of a consistent thing so during the games it's kind of like second nature. It's older guys, younger guys – it really doesn't matter. You have to be relentless and get to the ball and that's what we've been practicing.

Q: Can you talk about how the two interceptions might carry over and give you guys some more swagger in the next few games?

PC: It's just the first game. You have to do that multiple times. You have to do that consistently throughout the whole season. It's a very good start. We'll take that but we have to keep doing it. It can't just be one game. You have to keep doing it for 16, 20 games, however many games we end up playing, we have to do it every game.

Q: Do you feel like you have a chip on your shoulder because of how the pass defense was last year?

PC: You can't get a chip off one preseason game. We have to build and get better, make the communication better, make the play better, make some plays on the ball; fumbles. Everything is a factor. Just having one game doesn't really tell you anything. You have to get through preseason, get a couple games under the belt and then see if we get that little chip.

Q: What does Dane Fletcher bring to the defense when he's healthy?

PC: Dane's good. He's a good, smart, physical, tough guy; very intense.

Q: If he's not able to play –

PC: I don't talk about those. That's a question for coach and I just know he's a good player.

Brian Hoyer, Quarterback
(On how he thinks he did)
"Right now, I haven't watched the film yet, but I can tell there're definitely some things I wish I would have done better. You know, getting the ball batted isn't something that usually happens, so you've got to find a way to get it through and some of the throws that you've got to get on the same page as some of the guys. To go out in the second half and [have] a 97-yard drive, that was definitely a positive, but you've got to do that more often."

(On if he sees a battle between Ryan Mallett at the quarterback position)
"There's always competition. I mean, I'm always trying to compete with Tom [Brady] so, and you know, obviously Ryan's a good player too, so we're competing at the same time. And I think the competition always brings out the best in everyone. You never want to lag off or anything like that, so there's always competition and you're always trying to improve and I think me trying to chase Tom and trying to be as good as he is, that obviously sets a pretty high standard and I try to strive to get to his level every day."

(On if he is more comfortable now being a fourth year player in the league)
"Yeah, I mean, I think the one thing is you know what to expect, you know how games are played. That first one out, you always kind have got to get your feet underneath you and get a few throws in and get feeling comfortable. I didn't feel like I did a good job in that tonight; I've got to do a better job of taking a few easy throws in the beginning and get a good rhythm."

Nate Solder, Tackle
(On if he feels comfortable)
"I want to continue to improve. I know that it's a whole group effort, so I want to be a part of that."

(On what he takes from this game)
"I think we need to get better and continue to work hard and by no means are we there, but we need to keep working towards that."

(On if anyone in the locker room is satisfied with their performance)
"You know, I'm not satisfied with the way that I play and I want to continue to get better, definitely."

(On if it feels more comfortable being out there as a second year guy)
"There're a lot of things that I felt more comfortable with. With that being said, there're a lot of things that I know I need to improve because I've seen some of the good competition out there and I know that maybe I'm not to where I want to be yet."

Stevan Ridley, Running Back
(On if he felt comfortable in the lead back role)
"I mean, I'm just going out there and playing football man. When the coaches call your number, you've got to go out there and make a play and that's all I'm really trying to do. There's really no time to be uncomfortable; you've just got to be out there and make the best out of every opportunity that they give you. "

(On what he thinks he needs to improve on)
"Everything. My game is nowhere near complete. I just have to come out here and better myself each and every day and that's what I'm going to do."

(On if he expects some sloppiness in the first preseason game)
"I mean, it is the first game. Nobody is going to be perfect, but we just go out there and try to get better. We ended up with a win at the end of the day, so I think we did our job."

Bobby Carpenter, Linebacker
(On if he feels the performance tonight was an extension of the work the team has done in practice)
"Well, the easiest throws to make are deep down the middle of the field, so you want to always try to take those away. When you're getting a solid pass rush up the middle and you're able to move the quarterback around, it's tough to make those throws. Our D line did a good job with that and our secondary did a really good job trying to disrupt the timing of the receivers."

(On the type of player and teammate Dane Fletcher has been)
"Dane's been a great guy, he's really helped me a lot – and Jerod [Mayo] – we've got a really tight knit linebacker room and he's a tremendous guy and a really good player. Hopefully he'll be alright."

(On some of the things he can take out of the first preseason game)
"For instance, just an evaluations [to see] where you're at. You can go look at the plays that you played and see where you're at. Hopefully you had some good ones; you're going to have some ones you want to improve too, so we're going to break down the film here and see what happens. We've got a solid week here before our next game, so we'll be able to really focus in and make some corrections and improvements."

Steve Gregory
(On how different the game was than training camp)
"It's different, you know. It's a live game. It speeds up the game a lot. It was good to get out there and get used to that again."

(On if he felt comfortable)
"Yeah, [I] definitely felt comfortable. Obviously [with] those things that we can get better at, we'll go back and watch the film and try to correct the things that we can and learn from it and keep getting better."

(On if he felt good about holding the opponent to six points)
"Yeah, but we'll see. There's plenty of room to improve, I'm sure. We'll just get back to work tomorrow."

(On what he felt the defense did well)
"I think it was great getting the turnovers. That was good. Other than that, we'll have to watch the film and see where we're at."

(On how much stock he puts into the first preseason game)
"It's great, you know. It's huge. Every game is so important and every game you can get out there and play in a live situation like that against another great team is so valuable, so it was great for us to do that."

Jabar Gaffney, Wide Receiver
(On playing in Gillette Stadium for the first time since returning to the Patriots)
"It was great, it was great, a great feeling. They've got great fans here. They support the team tremendously. It's just a great atmosphere for playing football."

(On if the Patriots have a lot on which to improve)
"Yeah, we've got to get everything going, we've got to get everything going. Probably won't win too many games out there the way we played today. We need to get a lot better."

Tavon Wilson, Defensive Back
(On how important it was for rookies like him to be able to show what they can do)
"It's definitely important for us to be able to get out there and show what we can do, but we've got to keep going from here. We can't just stop there, this is just the start. We've got to continue to go out there and try to build every day."

(On the excitement of playing in a game as opposed to practicing)
"Every time you go out there and get an opportunity to show what you've been practicing, that's definitely exciting. But this is just a start. We've got to continue to work hard and get better every day and try to continue to head in the right direction."

Rob Ninkovich, Linebacker
(On being listed as an outside linebacker but playing more of a defensive end role)
"Well I mean, anything I can do to get after the quarterback a little bit, whatever they ask me to do. Obviously defensive end for me is kind of like a natural fit. I had to learn how to play outside linebacker. Defensive end is kind of something I've been doing my whole career. I do have some things I need to work on. It's a little different down on a three-point, obviously, playing the run and stuff. So that's why I'm really excited for these preseason games, really working on my run technique and also my pass rush."

(On keeping the Saints out of the end zone)
"As a whole, the goal is always to keep them out of the end zone. We held them to two field goals, so that's a good thing for the first game, a good first step. But we'll put on the tape and see some things we want to fix and tighten up a little bit."

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