BILL BELICHICK, HEAD COACH
BB: Alright, it was a good win today. I thought our team really came out and played well. We had a good week of practice, and I thought a lot of that carried over into the game. We got a lot of plays from each unit - offense, defense, special teams - so it was a good complementary game. We were able to take advantage of some good field position offensively. And defensively getting off to a good start, they were getting the ball for the offense right away; it was good. I thought our special teams, even though it wasn't a punting game for us, we had some plays in the punt return, stopped a fake punt, Steve [Gostkowski] kicked the ball well. So, it was a good overall team effort. I'm proud of the way they practiced, prepared and played today. Hopefully now we can take advantage of a little bit of extra time this week and work on some of the things that we still need to improve and keep improving on and be ready to go down to Dallas in a couple weeks.
Q: You were mixing a lot of people in the secondary. How do you think that unit performed?
BB: We'll look at the film. I'm sure there are some things that we need to improve on. But a lot of players played today - a lot of guys in the secondary, linebackers, the guys in the front, the backs, the receivers, all the tight ends. I think all our linemen played, so we had a lot of people contribute, a lot of people played, so it was good to get those contributions from everyone. It was a good team win.
Q: What happened on that fake punt, where Matthew Slater was able to make that play?
BB: You know, it was actually a play that we ran in practice and James White got us on it, and we made some corrections on that in practice and then were able to carry those over into the game. Slate got a good read on it, and he's a hard guy to outrun. It's hard to outrun Matt to get to the outside. He did a good job of tracking it down and making the tackle. It was a heads-up play by our special teams, punt return unit. We've always got to be alert for those kinds of things, whether it's a fake punt or an onside kick or fake field goal - whatever it happens to be. That's part of their job, but I thought the whole unit reacted well to it because we had to obviously stop it on both sides. We didn't know which side they were running it to. Matt had good width and was able to track it down. It was a good job of staying at home, being responsible.
Q: You talked about practicing and preparing well and then it translating to the field today. Can you talk about not letting up? I think you guys scored on every offensive position.
BB: That was one of our big themes this week was to start fast, play 60 minutes and play hard all the way through. We obviously didn't do a very good job of that last week, but I think this week, that was something that we talked about during the week and as the game went on at halftime and into the third and fourth quarter, we just kept everyone reminding themselves about playing 60 minutes and finishing the game and playing well all the way through. I thought the players did a good job of that. They competed hard all the way. So did Jacksonville. Jacksonville had a nice drive there at the end and the drive in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter. But that's Jacksonville - they play hard, they're tough and they kept battling us. We tried to just hang in there with them. They had a lot of guys banged up, they had a lot of guys on the inactive list today and then a couple guys went out. At safety, they had a kid playing safety I don't think has ever played there before that they signed last week. That's a pretty good football team that was playing kind of shorthanded today, so hopefully they'll get those guys back. I think Gus [Bradley] and Dave Caldwell and their staff have done a good job with that team, but today our guys just played well. You've got to give us credit.
Q: Sometimes you were rotating different offensive linemen in and out on different possessions - sometimes during the same series. Is that to give guys more rest or is it scheme-related?
BB: I think most of it was by series, but there were some personnel groupings where we had certain players in on certain groupings, and so then we were actually subbing people on particular plays or personnel groups. I think most of it was by series, but we did have some examples of what you're talking about. But those guys have done a good job - Marcus [Cannon] playing both tackles, Josh [Kline] playing both guards and Sebastian [Vollmer] and Nate [Solder] kind of staying on their respective sides and Tre' [Jackson] and Shaq [Mason] staying on their respective sides. But Josh and Marcus have kind of been able to make that rotation go a little bit. Of course Shaq played in the backfield today. And David [Andrews] did another good job for us at center like he has all year. I think those guys keep working hard and they keep improving individually and with each other in terms of communication, recognition, so I think we're on the right track there and we can keep getting better, but they're working hard. It's a good group, I really like working with those guys. Hopefully we'll get Wendy [Ryan Wendell] back sometime soon, too.
Q: Can you talk about Tom Brady reaching the 400-touchdown milestone?
BB: That, Tom and also Steve [Gostkowski] today. That takes a lot of games, a lot of snaps to do that, and it's certainly a tribute to both of them, the durability, longevity and obviously consistent production that both of them have had. So, I feel really fortunate to have coached and had guys like that on our team, and those two guys in particular, they had a good day as they've had for many, many days in their career. I'm really fortunate to have those guys on this team.
TOM BRADY, QUARTERBACK
Q: How does it feel to be a member of the 400 club?
TB: It was a good day, so it's fun to be out there. I think everyone enjoyed it. It was a good performance by our offense, a good team win. It was a good week of practice. A lot of guys made plays, so I was happy. It was a great day out there for football.
Q: Did you ask Danny Amendola why he gave the ball away?
TB: I don't care. It's just a ball. But I had a lot of fun. Danny can do whatever he wants, so he made a great catch.
Q: After the touchdown for 400, what did it mean to you to have the fans chanting your name?
TB: We've had some great support here over the years. I always say I hope we can give them something to cheer about out there. We've got great fans, and it was great. It was a special day. I've been a part of so many great teams and played with so many great players. I've always said I don't care whether we run it in or we throw it in. As long as we score points and we're winning, it makes it fun for me, so I was happy. It's still early. There's a lot to improve on. We get a little break here, but we come back to work, and see if we can make some improvements and try to get to 4-0.
Q: Do you feel like the team played 60 minutes today? How much goes into your preparation?
TB: Well we wanted to play ... Last week I thought we played pretty well for the first 50 minutes, and then the last 10 minutes, it wasn't our best football. So we talked all week about, you know, from start to finish, being at our best execution-wise, concentration, being disciplined out there, and I think we accomplished that. So that's what it's going to take. I mean, these are all good teams. They're tough to beat. Anytime you win a game, it's hard to do. So I thought we played, you know, our execution was really good today, and that's what we're going to need going forward.
Q: How do you prepare?
TB: I think everybody ... Coach [Belichick] sets a pretty high expectation for how we should work in here, so I've just tried to improve things over the years and be efficient in what my job is and try to go out there and do the best I can do for our team.
Q: Do you wish you were going to keep playing next week with the way the offense is going right now?
TB: I think you just take them whenever they are, and I think we had a good three weeks. After this week, we have a long stretch ahead, so [we] just try to take advantage of it and use the time, as we always do, to evaluate where we're at and try to get ahead on some things and try to get ready for a team like Dallas that we haven't played in a long time.
Q: Did you guys learn anything from the slower start last year that is helping you start faster?
TB: I just think we're playing more consistently, and I think that's, you know, the key is just to ... We've got a lot of veteran players, especially on offense. It comes down to our execution – how well we throw and catch and block and tackle and rush the passer and do all the things our coaches tell us to do. So we put together a good game plan today, and I thought we did a good job executing it.
Q: Is this the best you've ever played?
TB: You know, I'm just happy we're 3-0, so thank you.
DEVIN MCCOURTY, SAFETY
Q: On the interception, did you discuss something before the snap?
DM: I don't remember what exactly I said before. I think we had a certain adjustment, and then they motioned and we had to change it. And then just reading the quarterback's eyes ... [I] kind of needed to have a make-up play. I should've probably scooped that fumble up on the strip-sack, so Bill [Belichick] let me know a couple plays [later]. So, I probably needed that.
Q: How important was getting reps for a guy like Jordan Richards? What have you seen from him?
DM: I thought he played well. He played with a lot of effort, made some plays running across the field and running plays down. So it's always good when you're young to get out there and get some live game reps. Like I said from the beginning when he first got here, he's a guy who works extremely hard. He focuses really on everything going on in our safety room, and it was good to see him get opportunities and then take advantage of them.
Q: Do you feel like the team played a full 60 minutes today?
DM: I thought we did a decent job. Obviously, throughout the game we let up some plays [that], when we go back and watch that probably, we didn't have to let up. And I'm sure we'll hear about it from the coaching staff, but overall, to come out and get a win - large margin of victory and get a win - you always have to be happy about that.
Q: Did Coach Belichick talk about playing for 60 minutes at halftime? What little things did the team do well?
DM: All week we've been hearing about it - playing 60 minutes and finishing every play. And I thought in the second half, we came out with that sense of urgency with some key third-down stops on defense and then our offense moving the ball and then that last drive, keeping the ball for so long. I think defensively, obviously we want to play better. I guess it started with maybe three or four minutes left on the drive, they scored. I think to get off the field would've been a better execution of 60 minutes, but overall, I thought it was a decent job.
Ryan Allen, Punter
*(On not punting at all on Sunday) *
"It never really works that way. This is kind of a once in a blue moon deal. [The offense] did a heck of a job today. I was just focused on my job and my job today was being ready if I was needed to punt and if we crossed over the 50-yard line, be ready for holds and to have good operations for Steve [Gostkowski]. And I think we did a good job today."
(On what it's been like holding for Stephen Gostkowski during his career)
"Great. It's a matter of gaining chemistry with one another and our snapper. I think we've worked well and there's chemistry in our unit. We've just got to keep building on it. I think it's working well."
*(On if Stephen Gostkowski misses any extra points in practice) *
"He's not a robot. But I don't think so. I really don't think so."
Danny Amendola, Wide Receiver
*(On catching Tom Brady's 400th career touchdown pass) *
"I didn't realize it until halfway back to the sidelines, that I gave the 400 ball away. But we got it back and [Tom Brady] got it, so it's good. It was a great pass, a great play and we ended up getting six points out of it. It was a solid start to the game."
(On how it feels to be the one who caught Tom Brady's 400th touchdown pass)
"I haven't even thought about it really. But Tom [Brady] is such a great player. He's thrown a lot of touchdown passes, just to have one of those 400 is pretty cool."
(On if there was talk on the sideline about Tom Brady's 400th touchdown pass)
"Just a high five, really. Tom [Brady] is such a competitor that he's not really focused on records and stuff like that. But just to win a game is what he's looking for."
(On the offense's performance on Sunday)
"I feel like we left some plays out there, offensively, just because we got three points out of the possession. We definitely feel like we should get six there. That's what we strive for, that's what our goals are going into each drive. Don't get it twisted, three points is a great drive. But touchdowns would be better. That's what we're out there for."
LeGarrette Blount, Running Back
*(On getting back out on the field more) *
"You always want to play. You always want to go out there and be with your guys; go out there and perform. It's always nice to be able to go out, play with those guys, be able to get into that rhythm, and score some points."
(On playing 60 minutes of football)
"We've still got a lot of stuff to work on. We've got a lot of room to improve. There's a lot of stuff we have to be able to do to work up to actually get 60 minutes of good football out of us. We haven't done that yet and we still have a lot of stuff to work on and see if we can get there."
(On the offense getting into a good rhythm)
"This is a pretty good offense. We are pretty good. We have the potential to be a lot better. We've got a lot of stuff to work on. We haven't been perfect and we're not going to be perfect. It's early in the season so we have a lot of stuff to work on and get better at what we do."
(On quarterback Tom Brady)
"For me personally, he's the best quarterback to ever play this game. I think he's the best quarterback to ever play this game and it's an honor to be out there and play with him. There aren't a lot of guys who can say that, but it's crazy to be playing with the best quarterback to ever play the game, and he's not done."
Justin Coleman, Defensive Back
*(On how it felt to come back to the Patriots after stints with the Vikings and Seahawks) *
"I actually felt kind of tired after all that flying. But I feel like I'm in a pretty good spot and I'm at home. All I need to do is to continue to do better and get better and I can definitely make an impact for this team."
(On what it was like to bounce around to three teams in such a short period of time)
"It wasn't bad at all, because to get the opportunity to do that, I know that teams are looking for me and teams want me. The Patriots showed a lot of interest, so they came and got me off the practice squad. That was a big part of why I'm here."
(On if it felt good to get interest from a team like the Patriots)
"Oh yeah, it's always good to get interest from a Super Bowl team."
(On joining another team without any long-term guarantees)
"It doesn't matter to me if they're not going to promise me or not. All I need is an opportunity from a team. [The Patriots] guaranteed I'd get an opportunity, so I'm going to take advantage of the opportunity and make the best of it."
Julian Edelman, Wide Receiver
*(On how everything seemed to fall into place today) *
"We went out there and we had to execute and we were able to execute. It was a good team win."
(On the conversation on the sideline after Tom Brady threw his 400th career touchdown pass)
"We really didn't have any. You congratulate him and you think about the next series. It's an unbelievable accomplishment and you're not surprised. It's good to see Tom get 400, but now we got to move on."
*(On whether Brady continues to impress him or if performances like today are par for the course) *
"Par for the course. He works his tail off and everything he does, you understand why. It's great seeing him lead our team."
*(On how much easier it is to go into the bye week with a win) *
"It's awesome to go into the bye week with a win. Especially going in, having the early bye week, being able to go in and make some adjustments and get better. It's good."
*(On if the offense can get any better than the performance it turned in today) *
"It can get better. There's times we didn't score and we kicked field goals and there's times we didn't convert third downs. There's stuff to work on and we've [touchdowns] got to go out there and continually try to improve."
Stephen Gostkowski, Kicker
*(On if he was aware that he set the record for consecutive extra-points) *
"Unfortunately, yeah, because they put it up on a 'Jumbotron' before the game. That's not something I try to keep up with, but it was cool. It's always fun to do well and win, just being on a good team that scores a lot of points. When you kick, you're a beneficiary of opportunity. I've had a lot of opportunities to kick a lot of field goals, a lot of extra points. It's fun when I get to get out there and play and do well."
(On if he looked up to guys like Adam Vinatieri and Matt Stover)
"Oh yeah, for sure. [Adam] Vinatieri was the first person that seemed like a weapon as a kicker. [Matt] Stover, obviously. Just the guys that do it for a long time and do it consistently. That's what I'm trying to do is be good every day, every time I go out there. It's easy when it's going good and it's really hard when things are going bad. But you just ride the wave and try to be good as much as you can. I've got the best holder in the league. I've got a bunch of guys who are willing to block every time. We don't take any plays off here. I guarantee you that if they even come close to getting to a ball, [the coaching staff] will yell at them pretty much all week. Joe Cardona stepped right in and has done a heck of a job snapping. Haven't missed a beat there. It's a good team effort. It's just nice to be on a good team that appreciates all assets of the game. It's cool to have kicked a ton of kicks for the New England Patriots."
*(On what it's like to be mentioned alongside the best kickers in the game) *
"I don't think about it that way. We're 3-0. It was a great win. It's cool to be mentioned on any kind of list. It's something I'll look back on when I'm done playing and maybe brag to my kids about. But right now, I'm just glad I had a good game, I'm glad we won and I look forward to the early bye week."
Rob Gronkowski, Tight End
*(On constantly improving) *
"We want to play better every single week. You never do everything totally right out there on the field and you always want to learn from your mistakes from the week before. We still have to go out there, keep on doing what we're doing right, and keep working on what we are doing wrong."
(On the team win)
"Everybody contributed for sure. Definitely a team win. Offense [played well] on their side of the ball. Defense did a great job today getting the ball back, causing turnovers, and everyone executed together. That's what's great about this game. Everyone working together. Running backs, receivers; a lot of people touched the ball."
*(On playing 60 minutes of football) *
"For sure. I would say we definitely went out and played 60 minutes of football, which is how we always need to play. It was a good game overall and definitely a team win."
Dion Lewis, Running Back
*(On his overall thoughts on the game) *
"We came out, worked hard all week, and executed perfectly on offense. We still have some things we've got to go over and try to work on, but we're off to a good start."
"When you work hard all week and get to play the game, you want to come out here and do as good as you can. Every week we are getting better and we've still got work to do, but it's a start."
*(On quarterback Tom Brady) *
"He's probably the best one out there right now. He works hard, so everything that he does, we're used to it. He's such a great professional and a great teammate."
Keshawn Martin, Wide Receiver
*(On how comfortable he felt out there in his first game with the Patriots) *
"I felt pretty comfortable, as far as the plays. I felt good going in. This past week, I've been studying my butt off just trying to get it down and everything. Going out there today I felt really good."
(On difference between Houston system and New England)
"It's different a little bit, but it's also got some similarities. I feel like me coming here was a good thing for me, just from the similar offenses and giving me a chance to get on the field."
*(On his first touchdown reception with the Patriots being Brady's 401st career touchdown pass) *
"I just really wanted to get out there and make sure I secured every catch that I had thrown my way. On the one play, it was a scramble; it was a great pass. I worked back out and I got a touchdown out of it."
Matthew Slater, Wide Receiver
*(On if score of the game or time of the game makes him more aware of a fake punt situation) *
"Certainly. I think, situationally, you understand it. They needed a play. They needed to do something to keep themselves in the game and we were aware of that every time we went on the field. Like I said, our communication was really good and everybody being on the same page and being alert for something. Like I said, that's really coaching and preparation throughout the course of the week."
(On the offense scoring 51 points)
"Man, I don't even think we punted today. I didn't get a chance to cover a punt. You never really are surprised with the personnel that we have and the way that we work and the way that we're coached. But obviously you never expect to go out there and put up those points. That's a good football team that we played today and they've got a great front and they're well-coached as well. I think that is execution and preparation and the [offensive result] is a byproduct of that."