QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY
Q:I noticed your eye is red. Did you get poked in the eye?
Q:Is that affecting you at all?
Q:It seemed like it did at the end of that game.
TB:No, it was good. Just part of the tussle of football. Everyone deals with obviously different things, so this one is nothing, fortunately.
Q: **Did you hurt it on a quarterback sneak?
TB:No, it was when I was in an argument with that guy and then he poked me in the eye, and then I was trying to yell at the ref, 'Did you just see he just poked me in the eye!' He obviously didn't see it.
Q:He poked you in the eye in the scrum or afterwards?
Q:Was it sort of like an old professional wrestling move?
TB:It was a good move – the eye gauge. You can't even do that in pro wrestling.
Q:Some guys said that when they were watching the film of last week's game, they could notice the camera shaking because of the crowd noise. Is that one of the loudest crowds you've ever seen at Gillette?
TB:We do have such a great home crowd when they're into it and that blow horn is going off and we're scoring and making plays, it gets really loud. It's a great advantage when we have those momentum swings can be really big at this stadium, and we've scored in bundles at times this year, and the energy and enthusiasm from the crowd always helps. It was raucous. Hopefully it is this weekend, too.
Q:What is it like going against the Patriots defense every day in practice over the course of the regular season as far as getting you prepared for game action?
TB:We have a very talented defense, and they've been playing well all season. When we faced them in training camp, I could see the challenges that they present for opposing offense. I know the opposing offense they have this week is very talented. Coach [Belichick] has really hit hard with the message of the things that those guys need to do. It's a big test because they've got a lot of guys who can make a lot of plays.
Q:What have you seen from what Darrelle Revis has brought to the team, both on the field and in the locker room?
TB:All those things. I think he's a great, positive leader. He comes to work every day. He's one of the most competitive guys I've been around at that position. I mean, he hates when you catch a ball on him. He's a big challenge covering a lot of the premier players we face this year. Every week, he gets a tough assignment, and he always seems to do a great job.
Q:Is there anything you learned from him here that you didn't previously know? I'm sure you didn't like him much when he was playing for the Jets.
TB:I'm glad he's on our team now. Playing against him twice a year for a long time, I think I gained a lot of appreciation for what he's able to do. Like I said, he's got a big challenge this week. He's got a lot of fast receivers that really, you've got to cover everywhere on the field with these guys. This week is what it all comes down to for all of us. I know he's excited. We're all excited.
Q:You talked about Brandon LaFell's toughness yesterday, and I was trying to think of another tough and similarly large receiver you've had in the past. The best I could come up with was David Givens. Is he at all similar to him or is there another guy that sticks out to you?
TB:I think they were both very tough players, obviously, and that physical presence, like I said, it's hard to … To me it's really the fullback position. The offensive linemen, they have to be tough. I think where you really get it out of is the fullback position, if you get a big receiver and then obviously a big, physical tight end and big backs. Those all contribute to a tough, physical offense. It's important to have. It's just like a physical, tough defense. You need big guys in the middle. You need a big strong safety. I mean, the corners can't bring toughness. It's hard to do. We have certain guys in the league who do, but for the most part, those guys have to cover all day. The free safety has to cover all day. The strong safety who's involved in the running game can be a tough, physical player. So on offense, you need some tough, physical players, too. You don't want the strong safety running in there and blowing up every play. A lot of times you need those receivers to come in in run force and block those guys. They've got a guy in LaRon Landry who's a great point-of-attack guy. They send him on a lot of blitzes. He's a tough guy because he's so physically strong and fast. You've got to have guys who can counter that, too. It's great to have some of those big guys in there to do that.
Q:What's been most impressive to you about Danny Amendola this year?
TB:Whenever his number has been called, he's made the play, so I think that's a great tribute to what he's done, the work he puts in every day. He comes out to practice every day and works his butt off. He's made some huge plays for us this year. He's a great player for us.
Q:What impressed you the most about how much the Colts defense was able to disrupt Peyton Manning last week?
TB:They've done a number on a lot of teams this year. They've got a good rush. They've got a couple good edge guys, really athletic linebackers, and one of their corners is in the Pro Bowl, two experienced players in the secondary. Mike Adams had a great game against us last time, and [Greg] Toler has had a great year, really an underrated player in my estimation. He does a great job. So, they challenge you at all levels. I think that's the important thing is nothing is easy. They want to get up in your face and make you make the plays. So, that's what we'll have to be ready to do. We have to be ready for that type of challenge. Hopefully we can go out there and execute against it, but they make it tough on you.
Q:There were only seven handoffs in the Ravens game, and the last one was in the second quarter. What's the confidence level in the running game right now?
TB:Look, we're comfortable with everything we're doing. I think we wouldn't be doing it if we weren't. Just the way the game turned out, when you're down twice by 14 points, just sometimes that's the way the game goes. Whatever you've got to do to win and advance, that's all that matters. Obviously, we want to be balanced. We've got to be able to run the ball really well. We've got to throw it well. We ran it great against these guys last time. We're going to need to run it really well this time. And if they stop it, then we're going to have to throw it really well. It's a 60-minute game. It plays itself out over the course of 60 minutes. The thing we've got to do is score more points than them. However we have to do it, however we have to move the ball down the field, that's what we're prepared to do.
Q:I know it's a busy week for you, but will you find time to give a friendly call to Ray Lewis and tell him that your career is more than just the "Tuck Rule" game? He said that yesterday.
TB:Yeah, [vice president of media relations] Stacey [James] told me that. I mean, everyone has an opinion. I think Ray is a great player. He's a first-ballot Hall of Famer. I was fortunate enough to play against him.
Q:He never tried to gauge your eyes out?
TB:No, maybe worse than that. He was a pretty tough player.
Q:A lot of times, Andrew Luck seems to go out of his way to congratulate guys that hit him. We don't see a lot of that from you. Is that not in your makeup?
TB:Not much, yeah, I don't do that much. Whatever his style is I think works for him. You've got to do what works for you. He's a great guy. In the times that I've got a chance to talk to him, I really enjoyed it.
Q:What kind of interaction do you have with players that hit you?
TB:I try to be polite. I don't want to do anything more to instigate or antagonize them. I try to butter them up all the time.
Q:Jonas Gray lit up the Colts last time and hasn't done much since. Where has he gone, and might we see him again this weekend?
TB:Well he's fought through a couple tough bumps and bruises over the course of the year. Hopefully, we have all those guys ready to go, and we're going to need them all. We have a good backfield, whoever is in there, whether it's Shane [Vereen] or LeGarrette [Blount], Brandon [Bolden]. Brandon started the game last week. Jonas has done a great job when he's in there and gotten opportunities. Whoever is out there, hopefully they run it well, and if they run it well, I'm sure they'll get more opportunities as the game goes on.
Q:How much has Bryan Stork meant to the offensive line?
TB:He's done a great job for us. For a young player at that position, it says a lot about him. It's a tough position to play. You've got so many calls, you're responsible for so much, obviously between quarterback and center, center and the rest of the line – it all starts with the communication there. You've got to be able to handle that. There is a lot of communication and there are a lot of things to see. We've played a lot of good defensive fronts over the year. I think all those guys have really matured in their role. We've played a lot of football to this point, so there aren't a lot of new things that catch you off guard at this time of year. I think it's more about great communication, being really sound, playing with great fundamentals and everyone really being on the same page.
Q:Does it really help having guys like Ryan Wendell and Dan Connolly, who have both played center before, in case Bryan can't go?
TB:Absolutely. Those guys have flanked him all season, so those guys have a great idea of what to do and an understanding of what we're trying to accomplish. Those guys have both played. We've got a lot of depth at that position, not that we want to dip into our depth any more than we have, but whoever is out there has to go out there and do a great job. We're playing against a great defense.
WIDE RECIEVER JULIAN EDELMAN**
Q:So how is the arm?
JE:The arm is fresh, it's nice.
Q:Did you have to ice it afterwards?
JE:No – one throw. We're on to the next week. That was a fun play and everything, but we're thinking about the Indianapolis Colts and their team. It's going to be a good game.
Q: **What do you see from their secondary? It looks like they like to play it tight and physical at the line of scrimmage?
JE:Yeah – they do that. They like to play press when they do man-coverage and they also have a bunch of other stuff that they like to do. When it's a 'gotta have it' situation it seems like it's always man, but of course against us that's changed, if you go back and look at all that stuff. You've got to be ready for everything against them. It's a new game, [it's] a different situation; it's the higher stakes. We'll see what they have to do and we'll be ready to adjust.
Q:What's it like to play for Bill Belichick? In some ways is it easy because you know what to expect day in and day out?
JE:In my professional career that's all I really know. I think it's an honor to play for coach Belichick. You never not go into a week not thinking you are prepared. Even if it's one play that the defensive coordinator had when he was a GA at LA Tech, you're going to see that play and you're going to be ready for it. It's definitely a different mentality around here. We definitely do the whole grind thing to the max here, in comparison to anywhere I've ever been. Like I said, it's an honor to play for coach Belichick. He's our leader and [the] reason why we've been here and we've won a lot of games is because he's our leader and he's showed us the way and showed us what we've had to do.
Q:Does his demeanor change this time of the year or does he remain the same?
JE:I think he's kind of the same. He brings in the same approach every day. You know what you're going to get with what he presents that day – his keys and all of his stuff. He tries to keep it even keel and that's one of the reasons why each and every week we ignore everything out of our little office and just worry about what we have to do and it usually prepares us for the games.
Q:Does he create anxiety in you? When you see him coming down the hallways are you thinking 'is he going to ask me something?'
JE:Early in my career it did. When I see him in the hallway now I still just kind of walk – I don't have anxiety, but you're always being tested with him. You could be walking down the hallway and he'll say, 'Who's the opponent, what [are] his strengths?' [and] this [and] that. It does keep you on your toes, but I've been in and around here for a little bit now and I study all of those things and you kind of have answers for him; or at least try to have answers for him and just work.
Q:Did you ever not have an answer early in your career?
JE:There are plenty of times I didn't have an answer – where he got me. That was all in the past. I'm still looking for the answers and he'll still have crazy questions for you, but [you] just got to [be] prepared to know.
Q:You had a lot of success in high school and college, but you were never highly recruited. Is that something that drives you or where you always that driven?
JE:I feel like I'm pretty self-motivated. I've never really been the top of the class anywhere I've went per say. I don't think you keep that in your mind. Maybe earlier in my career you did, but around here you're just trying to get all of those questions right for coach Belichick, so you got to keep your mind in other areas. That's really what you do, you just try to focus on our opponent and this week it's the Indianapolis Colts. It's going to be the toughest game of the year.
Q:How much of that grind that you talk about is offset with the excitement that's ahead if you guys do your job and execute?
JE:The funnest thing to do is win. No one likes going out and sprinting 20 sprints, but you do it because it's going to help you. Whatever the coaches prepare for us the week, the material, whatever they have for us – it's not the funnest thing to do, but you know it's going to put you in the right position to succeed, so you do it. I'm not saying you always do it with a smile on your face, but you know that coach Belichick and the coaching staff, they've won Super Bowls and they've done all of that stuff, so you know that whatever he does is one of the formulas that's going to help you to get to the next game. Right now we are thinking about those Indianapolis Colts.
Q:I read a story about you in college playing against Kentucky after a great game. The Kentucky fans were cheering for you; what do you remember about that?
JE:I don't really remember that. I remember we lost; we were winning at half and ended up losing the game. That's all I really remember.
Q:Nate Solder mentioned coach Belichick's quizzes build accountability with not only coach Belichick, but to each other. Do you agree with that?
JE:Definitely – when you're usually asked a question or something it's around the team. You don't want to be 'that guy' that doesn't know the answer or says the wrong answer. You go to play the game with these guys and they're looking to the left and right and you're in that huddle you want them thinking and knowing that you're as prepared as best as possible. Having that accountability, being dependable, being consistent – all of those things, it's his way of doing things. It's weird, but it works. It's always good to see when your other teammates answer a question right and they go over and they answer it to a whole other level. It's kind of a joke now where you try to go above and beyond to try to get coach.
Q:Are you at the point where you know what's expected in terms of studying and preparation?
JE:No, not always. I'd be lying if I said that and it would be taken away from the coaches – what would they do. You kind of have your position coaches and your coordinators and those guys they kind of feed you the information and then you could possibly [be] quizzed on it. I still have a lot of stuff to learn, I don't think I'll ever be at that level of the coach – especially our coach.
Q:What's different about the Colts now than when you played them back in Week 11?
JE:Well going into that game I believe their time of possession was the best in the National Football League. Their defense is getting offenses off the field, and their offense is staying on the field. They had kind of tailed off, but they've definitely gotten back to that formula winning these games. They've got a couple players that have stepped in. It's always a little different when they play us, a lot of the teams, you'll see tendencies and this [and] that, but they usually change. We're going to have to be able to adapt and be able to adjust on the fly and see what they're doing. You can be prepared for what they've done, but you don't know if it's going to be that. It's a whole new game and they're coming off two wins. This will be the best team we've played all year – two playoff wins. You can take that and run with that.
Q:When you emerge from the tunnel pre-game, you're the first guy and you run a dead sprint to the other end of the field. How did that start?
JE:I don't [know] – just getting fired up. You know it's always fun to play in front of your own crowd. You hear them going crazy, it gets you a little fired up and gets the blood moving and get ready for the game. So I just started doing that.
Q:You've got to be careful with the color guard and people on the field?
JE:I know, I've ran through the fireworks like three times. I've hit almost a soldier a couple times; I've had to apologize about that. So it's definitely something I've got to work on.
Q:Have you run through the shooting of the rifles?
JE:No – not the shooting of the rifles. We've had some [pyrotechnic] stuff, whatever, and I ran through those once. It was pretty scary.
Q:Are there any times when you've taken stock in how far you've come personally from a small junior college to here as one of the best receivers in the league?
JE:When the season is over you kind of sit back and you go over the year. You watch the old highlight films and all that stuff. You think about that, but then you think, 'Well, I want to keep on doing this' so might as well go out and work. You start training and you start working – you start running, [and] you start catching. There's something that my dad always used to say – this is while I was training for the combine, I'd come in and I'd be done training, and he'd be like, 'Did you outwork those guys' and I was like 'Dad, I was running by myself' [and] he goes, 'I'm not talking about those guys, I'm talking about the three kids that are still in high school that are going to be trying to take your job in three [or] four years, five years.' I always to try to think about [that] kind of stuff.
DEFENSIVE END CHANDLER JONES**
Q:How do you feel the defense has evolved this season?
CJ:Well, I wasn't a part of the defense – well, my presence wasn't there. Off the field, I was there. The defense is doing very good. We've been doing very well, and hopefully we can keep that success.
Q:Going against your brother Arthur on the Colts, how is your family going to feel in the stands?
CJ:My mom and dad are pretty excited. They get to go to the Championship no matter what. But, it'll be a good family gathering, and everyone will be there, so that'll be fun for our family.
Q:Have they figured out who they will cheer for?
CJ:They'll probably root for both of the defenses.
Q: **Has it become a family ritual now, seeing that you've faced your brother before when he was with the Ravens?
CJ:They scheduled to come down to the game, and every year that they do have a chance to come down to the game, it's always a family gathering. With both of my brothers being professional athletes, we very rarely get a chance to see each other. For a weekend like this for us to go out there and have a family gathering, it'll be a good time.
Q:What's it like when you play against your brother? Will you talk to him before the game or after the game?
CJ:No, I don't see too much of him. I really don't see a lot of the other players before the game.
Q:But you'll talk to him after the game?
CJ:Probably, yeah, I will.
Q:Describe your brother as a player.
CJ:Well, I could describe him as a big brother. No, no, he's a good player and I've been a fan of him since he started playing football. He's the reason why I started playing football. I followed him into the sport, and we've made it this far.
Q:Who's the bigger trash talker? Have you guys been talking this week at all?
CJ:We don't talk too much trash.
Q:Have you had any conversations with him this week?
CJ:No, actually we rarely talk. But that's how it is usually. We're both very busy, so we rarely get a chance to see each other.
Q:How hard is it to bring down Andrew Luck in the pocket?
CJ:Andrew Luck is a phenomenal player. He's a great player, and he's had some postseason success. For me just being a fan of the game, I've watched him, and even from studying him, he has a strong arm, he can run the ball, and he's strong. As far as running the ball, he's strong. It's just our job as a defense and as pass rushers, [including] myself, just to try to contain him and give him hell.
Q:How does the Patriots offense do in practice as far as getting your defense ready for games?
CJ:I feel like Coach Belichick and [offensive coordinator/quarterbacks caoch] Josh McDaniels, they do a good job of coming up with a good game plan and Tom [Brady] does a good job of getting the guys ready. I'm sure Tom will have the guys ready and hopefully you guys will see a good game on Sunday.
Q:Andrew Luck is a guy known for congratulating defenders when he gets hit. Have you ever been a recipient of some of his praise?
CJ:No I haven't. I have not actually, and hopefully he'll be doing some patting me on the back on Sunday.
Q:Does that take any steam out of you?
CJ:I don't get into too many mind games and conversations on the field. We have a job at hand, the task at hand, and we try to accomplish it.
Q:What has Darrelle Revis brought to the team, both on the field and in the locker room?
CJ:I was a huge fan of Darrelle Revis even before he was on the Patriots. He's a great player, and I even told him that when I first met him. I said, 'You know, I'm a fan.' I didn't ask for an autograph yet, but he's a good player and I really love what he brings to our defense. Hopefully he can continue forward with that.
Q:What have you learned most about Darrelle Revis?
CJ:Overall, overall, and a lot of athletes, they get too caught up on the game and on the field. With a player like Revis, he does a lot of things off the field, like film study and even being there late, coming out of the facility late. Having his presence and his leadership on our defense and as a team, as a whole, it's great to have him as a part of the Patriots, and, like I said, congrats on his success.
Q:What kind of challenges does your defense present a young quarterback like Andrew Luck?
CJ:I really don't see Andrew Luck as a young quarterback at all. I know this is his third year. We actually both got drafted the same year. But this guy, he plays like a veteran, and I'm pretty sure you guys see it as well. He's a great quarterback. For a guy like Andrew Luck, our biggest thing is our execution. They're going to come out with a game plan and we're going to do the same thing. It all boils down to who plays the best. That's what we're going to try to do on Sunday.
Q:How loud do you guys think it'll be on Sunday? I know when you guys were watching film of last week's game, the camera was visibly shaking.
CJ:It's the AFC Championship Game, so I'm expecting it to be pretty loud. It's postseason football. I'm excited for that, too.
Q:What kind of big brother was Arthur growing up?
CJ:Growing up, it was very fun with us three – me and my two brothers. But my brother Arthur, he was the oldest brother and he would always look after us. He was always the older brother figure. So, playing against him Sunday will be fun, but I'll speak to him after the game.
Q:You guys gave up 31 points and are now going to face arguably a better offense. How much of a concern is that?
CJ:Each week, every team, out of all 32 teams in the NFL, I feel like each week, each and every team is a different team. That just comes with game plans and how players are and how players feel and what kind of game certain players have. I feel like that's just a part of the game. You try not to harp on what happened last week, but [focus on] the week we have now, which is against the Colts. As of right now, the score is 0-0, and we're trying to put our best foot forward.
TACKLE NATE SOLDER**
Q:With the big game this week, have you noticed a change in the team's demeanor and the way you practice or is it business as usual?
NS:We take a lot of pride in the way that we prepare and that's carried out through the entire season.
Q:What do you remember about your success running the football last time against the Colts?
NS:We've done a lot of great things throughout this season, but what's going to matter the most is how we play during the game. Really, what we did before is not going to affect that.
Q:What are some of the strengths of the Colts front seven?
NS:Well, the guys play extremely hard, and that's not diminishing their talent at all because they're all very talented. And I don't think there's really a drop off because you've got seven or eight guys who can come in there and play really well. There's a large group of guys that they can rotate in there that play good ball.
Q:What have you seen from Arthur Jones and Jonathan Newsome and their impact on the Colts defense?
NS:I think both of them are tremendous players. [Newsome is] a young guy and he's making a lot of huge plays and he's going to be a huge challenge for us.
Q:Did you ever imagine growing up and being a professional NFL offensive lineman?
NS:This is definitely more than I could have ever dreamed of. This has been awesome. It's been a wild, exciting adventure definitely. I think it all kind of came in college, where I finally realized maybe this could happen, and obviously I didn't know I'd end up here and it's very cool for me.
Q:But you didn't think you'd be wearing a number in the 70's? You thought you'd be a tight end.
NS:What's everyone think when they're playing with their dad in the backyard? It's probably either quarterback or receiver, right? But I love O-line. It's been so fun for me.
Q:What has Bryan Stork meant to the offensive line?
NS:He's a real, tough guy, hard worker, team guy. I think he's a great player.
Q:There have been some things written about Bill Belichick's quizzes that he gives you on Wednesdays to test you on your knowledge of the other team. What kind of affect does that have on the entire team and your preparation?
NS:I think it's [about] accountability, too. We're all held to a very high standard on what we know, how much we know, and I think it shows our coaches but it also shows each other that we're preparing and we're doing the things that we need to be doing to be ready to play.
Q:What is the biggest difference between the Colts you played in November and the Colts now?
NS:I think they're a much better team. They're playing great. Their defense has been stopping a lot of people. I think they've figure it out what they are and they're playing it well.
Q:Is it easy to play for Bill Belichick?
NS:He's the only one I've ever played for. I don't think the NFL's been anything easy. No, everything is very difficult.
Q:Is there a certain consistency to that, where you know that he's expecting a lot and you better deliver?
NS:I guess that's a constant, yeah. He expects a lot.
Q:Do practices get tougher this time of year because of what's at stake?
NS:I think the tactic that we take with that is from the first OTA all the way through, we're preparing to be the best that we can be. Wherever that leads, we never back down from just doing things better, improving, continue to get better as we go ahead.
Q:How much better of an offensive line unit are you know as compared to the beginning of the season?
NS:I think we've made huge improvements, but I think that we have a lot to grow still.
Q:How did you feel for Josh Kline and the way he played last week against the Ravens?
NS:I think that says a lot about Josh. Through adversity, he's continued to work hard and improve, and when he's had an opportunity he's made the most of it.
Q:What's the biggest difference this week that lets you know it's the AFC Championship Game? Is it the phone calls, the media attention?
NS:I guess the media attention and those sorts of things are a lot of peripheral things that have changed, the way things are going on the outside of this building. But really, we go about our process the same way we always have.
SAFETY DEVIN MCCOURTY (National Conference Call)
(on both the Patriots and Seahawks rebounding after tough games in Kansas City against the Chiefs)
"I think for us, the biggest thing we understood from that game was just it was a game where everything went wrong. I think when you have players that are built on hard work and getting better, you understand one game doesn't make up your character. So, for us, we just put our head down and went to work. We chalked that up to a bad game. We watched the film, we learned from it, but then we just moved on. We got focused and I think the key thing was we felt going into that game we had a good week of practice, so we wanted to continue to do that and see what that brought us. And next week we got a win and we kind of got rolling from there."
(on what he learned from watching the film of the Kansas City game)
"It was just X's and O's, certain things they did on plays. I think in the NFL, no matter what, whether you win or lose, you always have to watch the film because in this league, teams watch films. If they see someone do something well against you, they'll do the same thing, so I think we learn just from the X's and O's standpoint about that game."
(on how the recent player-safety rules have affected how defenses approach defending the passing game)
"I think one of the main things is teams throw the ball a lot more now than throughout the history of football. There is more passing. And like you said, I don't think much has changed on how defenders are playing, but for offenses, the odds are in your favor. You throw up a deep nine route on the outside, a 50-, 60-yard throw, you have a chance where if a guy goes up and he makes a great catch, he catches. If not, you have a chance to get a pass interference and move the ball down the field. I think teams take advantage of that, and like you said, throwing across the middle, it's a lot harder with the new rules to knock the ball of somebody without getting a penalty or a fine or things like that. I think that's why you see a lot of change even in the secondary with different guys playing safety and different guys being on the field. You see more defensive backs just everywhere, whether it be in a so-called linebacker position just to try to outwork a passing game because of how it is now."
(on if his job is harder now than before the recent rules were put in place)
"I don't know. I think it's just the evolution of football. I think with or without the rules, with the more passing that the league has gone to now, it would have been harder, yeah."
(on if he has seen any changes in the Indianapolis Colts' offensive attack in preparing for Sunday's game)
"I think one of main things we always talk about for our team is as a team, you don't stay the same; you either get better or you get worse. I think for them, they've continued to work on the different things, whether it [Colts QB Andrew] Luck throwing the ball or… I feel like they are throwing more check-downs now, getting the ball in [Colts RB Dan] Herron's hands and he's making plays with the ball in his hands. I think they are just doing a better job of whatever they're choosing to do gameplan-wise. I think it's sort of like us. At different times in the season, we talk about getting better, which doesn't always mean doing a bunch of new things and having a totally new gameplan, but it's just executing better. I think that's one thing that they're doing right now. They're executing at a high level, especially offensively. You see a guy like [Colts WR Donte] Moncrief making more plays than when we played them the first time. You play more, you get more reps, guys end up having different roles and they're playing a little bit more. To me, when watching the team on film, they are doing a lot of things that they did earlier in the season, but just doing it better."
(on going up against his brother, Titans CB Jason McCourty, in 2012 and what it will be like for Patriots DE Chandler Jones going up against his brother, Colts DT Arthur Jones)
"It's actually a pretty awesome feeling. I think for both myself and Chandler, it's not as much a head-to-head match-up because we both play defense, but it's just cool. I think you kind of sit back and look at another a person you grew up with, you went through a lot of similar things and then both be playing at a high level and playing in the NFL is great. I think for them it's even more, playing in a Championship Game with the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl, which they've done before going against each other. I think it's a great feeling and I know they'll enjoy it, and one of them will enjoy it more, so hopefully that's Chandler."
(on if he ever gives Jason a hard time about that win over his team, the Titans)
"Always. I talk about it every chance I get."
PATRIOTS LOCKER ROOM QUOTES
CORNERBACK DARRELLE REVIS**
(On how the Colts have changed since the Nov. 16 game in Indianapolis)
"You can tell they made a couple of changes. It's a credit to their coaching staff. They're believing in each other and improving as a team."
(On putting T.Y. Hilton on his Instagram page and whether that means he has his eyes on him)
"No, just promoting the game."
(On why he chose Hilton)
"It's me and him on the pictures. The NFL made it. It's a promotion."
(On what makes Hilton difficult to cover)
"He's a great receiver who makes a lot of plays."
(On the challenge of playing against Andrew Luck)
"He's very talented. He's a rising star and he's very unbelievable. The passes he throws [inaudible]. He's great; we've just got to give him credit. He's worked hard, he's brought them this far and this is the matchup we've got, so we're looking forward to it."
(On being back in the AFC Championship Game)
"It's great. It takes a lot of hard work to get here and you just have to continue to improve."
(On whether a game like this is why he came to the Patriots)
"I think I answered that question before. I think it's self-explanatory."
(On how far this defense has come over the season)
"We've come a long ways. Probably had one of the most tough schedules of the year, playing against some great quarterbacks and offenses, very explosive offenses and we stood up to the challenge all year. We've got to give everybody credit."
CORNERBACK KYLE ARRINGTON**
(On the difference in the Colts now compared to the Nov. 16 game)
"Well, the atmosphere is different, everything is different. You lose these games and your season is over, so you can tell they're a hungry team, [their] attitude is different and they've had the emergence of a couple of guys like [Donte] Moncrief, who has stepped up his performance over the past couple of games; getting the running game going, especially when you get the running game going, that opens up the whole playbook."
(On how difficult it is to cover T.Y. Hilton)
"He's about as tough as there is. They don't get easy, especially at this point of the season, so we have a big challenge on our hands. They line him up everywhere, too, so guys on the team have to be aware of where he is at all times."
(On whether it is bizarre to concentrate more on Hilton rather than Reggie Wayne)
"They're all tough. Whether it's Hilton, Moncrief, Reggie, those two tight ends, running back out of the backfield, so like I said, everybody's job is [of] utmost importance this week and we just try to focus on winning our one-on-one matchups as many times as we can."
(On whether he knew Revis before this season)
"Never personally, no, I did not."
(On his impression of what Revis has brought to the team, particularly the defensive backs)
"Tremendous professionalism. From day one, him and [Brandon] Browner, they came on the team and put the team first. Selfless guys, whatever they can do to help the team win; that was their mentality, that was their mindset and it's been like that since, like I said, since day one."
(On how much better Revis has made the secondary)
"It's a collective effort, I would say. It's definitely a benefit having a guy like that around. I mean, he's one of the hardest workers there is, whether it's on the field or off the field. He does a great job of studying his opponent. It's just contagious. Guys watch the film together with him and he's giving advice, tips on the practice field, things of that nature, so it's been beneficial."
WIDE RECEIVER BRANDON LAFELL**
(On learning a new offensive system this year and having a leader like Tom Brady)
"Definitely, man. It's my fifth year in the league and this is my third system. We kind of had this similar system my rookie year in Carolina, so I kind of knew half of the stuff; just different terminology and different wording of the situations. But a demanding leader like Tom [Brady], I had a demanding leader like that with Steve Smith, and just like that was Jon Beason. He demanded the best out of everybody even though he was on the defensive side of the field."
(On choosing to sign with a team that will challenge you like the Patriots)
"Playing with Tom and winning, you look at all the franchises out there and the New England Patriots since the early 2000s, they've been one of the most winning franchises. And also come to get a chance to play with Tom, why would you pass that up?"
(On what he expects from the Colts secondary)
"They've got a good group of guys. Their top three corners match up with anybody's top three corners: Darius Butler, [Vontae] Davis and [Greg] Toler. Guys got long arms, very, very athletic and guys go out there and compete their butts off. And they're playing great ball at the end of the year."
(On whether he likes the physical challenge)
"I like to just play, man. Physical challenge or not you know those guys are going to bring it. And at this time of year, everybody's playing their best football and everybody's been tough."
(On what he knew about Danny Amendola before they were teammates and what he's learned since)
"We were going to play [against] Danny in the state [championship] game my junior year, but we lost in the state semifinal, so I've been watching Danny since I've been in the 11th grade. He balled out at Texas Tech. And he was a good punt returner and good receiver for St. Louis. Steve Smith always used to talk about him. And just being here with him, when I first got here he was one of the guys I used to ask a lot of questions about the playbook. Whenever I had a chance, I just pulled him aside and picked his brain about stuff because you know he's a great receiver."
(On the importance of having a pass-run balance offense, especially this time of year)
"It's very important. You can't be one-dimensional at this time of the year because you'll just give the defense an easy way out. So we lucked out and made it through last week not running the ball. So we know as a team this week we have to come out there and put more emphasis on the run game, make plays in the run game to open up everything else."
(On what it means when Bill Belichick calls him a tough player who he loves to coach)
"It means a lot, especially coming from Bill because he's a guy that hardly ever gives compliments out or hardly ever pats anybody on their back for just doing their job. It means a lot."
(On the importance of playing through bumps and bruises and being out on the field this time of year)
"At this time of year, everybody's banged up. So when you think about sitting out, you think about all of them hard days you put in in camp, OTAs and you're like, 'I didn't do all of that work six-to-seven months ago to sit out now.' So no matter what injury [anybody's] got in this locker room, they're going to play through."
WIDE RECEIVER MATTHEW SLATER
(On what drives Julian Edelman)
"I think a lot of things drive Julian. I know he wants to be great at what he does and he wants what's best for this football team. He wants to win at the end of the day. I think he was raised by some great folks that really instilled him [with a] work ethic and understood that nothing was going to be given to you in this life. And he's embraced that and he really works at what he does. He comes to work every day and gives you everything he has. And I think he's starting to experience the fruits of his labor at this point."
(On what Edelman is like personally)
"He's one of a kind. We'll leave it at that. He's one of a kind, I guarantee you that."
(On whether it is difficult to beat a team the second time around)
"Certainly. It's difficult to beat a team one time around. When you're going against a team of this caliber with the coaching staff and the players that they have it's going to be very challenging, especially with everything on the line. So we understand that we have to have a good week of preparation here and we understand that the game is going to be totally different than the one a couple of months ago. It's up to us to just prepare ourselves as best we can and go out and play with as much effort and intensity as we can and we see where that gets us."
(On what he knew about Darrelle Revis before he signed with the team and what he has brought to the team since his arrival)
"Well, I certainly had a great deal of respect before he got here for what he does on the football field. We all see the tape and the way he played over the years at a high level. And then coming here, I think you just see why that's the case with the way he works and prepares. Again, a lot of this comes from the preparation. Guys can be as good as they can be physically, but if you don't prepare you're not going to have success because there's too many good players in this league. His preparation is excellent. He puts himself in position to have success by the way he prepares during the week and he's been a great teammate. We love playing with him and are happy he's on our team now."
(On Revis' film study and how in-depth he gets)
"Well, you'd have to talk to him about that. I can't speak for him on that."