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Replay: Patriots Postgame Show Sun Nov 29 - 06:00 PM | Mon Nov 30 - 09:00 AM

Patriots Quotes 1/26: Tom Brady and more

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QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY

(on arriving and being back in the Super Bowl) "Yeah, it was fun today leaving Boston to see the support that we got there. I think all the guys were pretty fired up. I said earlier we had a great couple days of preparation, three or four days of preparation in Foxborough. Just to get here to the site is great. To see, obviously, the turnout here, there's nothing like it. It'll be a fun week. I'm excited for the challenge; it's a big challenge for us. Hopefully we can focus on all of the important things, eliminate as many distractions as possible and go out there and try to play a great game."

(on if he heard team owner Robert Kraft's comments from his earlier press conference) "No, I didn't hear them. They said as I was walking in he said some awfully nice things. I feel very much the same way about him. We have a very special relationship. I've been fortunate to play 15 years and it's a privilege to play for this team. Mr. Kraft, Jonathan (Kraft), they're family to me and I'd love to go out and play my tail off and play as best as I possibly can and try to go win a Super Bowl for him."

(on if jokes regarding the controversy have taken a toll on the team and how the team has moved forward) "I have moved forward and I have moved past those initial feelings and it's all part of the process. I kind of left those things behind and I wanted to move forward because that's what the team expects of me. I think we've dealt with a lot of adversity this season and we've got to deal with it some more. So we'll just keep fighting and like I said, hopefully we go out and get a win. That would be the most satisfying thing at the end of the week."

**

The New England Patriots arrived in Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX and met the media at the team hotel on Monday, January 26, 2015.

(on how he has developed his game throughout his career)** "Yeah, that was a while ago and I think all of those big games that I played in, you can always rely on those things for experience. I think it ultimately comes down to how well you play. You've got to be confident through your preparation and you've got to watch as much tape as you can, you've got to know your opponent as best as you possibly can so you can go out and play with a lot of confidence. So we've worked hard to this point. This is no time to slow down. This is a really important week ahead; we've still got a lot of work to do and we'll see how it shakes out."

(on how New England Head Coach Bill Belichick has evolved since the beginning of his career) "Well, he's very consistent. I don't think there is much that's changed from his personality or his coaching style. He has high expectations for our team, he has high expectations in the spring camps and they travel all the way through the football season up to this point. So he's always coaching, he wants us to all be at our very best. It doesn't stop. The meeting rooms are important, the walkthroughs are important and I think the pressure is always on with him. So that ultimately gets the best out of all of us. I think this team has really risen to the occasion. Whatever challenges he's presented in front of us, the guys have always thought never back down to him, always fought through him and it's part of the reason why we're here."

(on his relationship with Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels) "Yeah, we've had a great relationship since he took over as my position coach in 2004, so we've been together for quite a while. We've been through a lot of games, a lot of big games. He obviously gained a lot of experience when he left our team for a few years. It was great to get him back when the opportunity happened. He's a phenomenal coach. He is so prepared, he's so smart, he's a great leader for us as an offense and I trust him implicitly with everything that he designs, schemes up. He's put together a great plan for this week so we as players have to really take it and figure out how to execute as best as we possibly can."

(on what he likes about Seahawks QB Russell Wilson) "Well, he's a phenomenal player, a phenomenal leader for his team. Every quarterback has a different way to get things done. It's all your skillset and what your ability is to either throw it, run it and the ability to move the ball down the field through creating first downs and ultimately scoring points. A lot of teams do that different ways. You try to play to the strengths of your players. Russell has a lot of strengths, you can see it on the field. I think he's obviously a great competitor. A couple of those overtime games where they've gone right down the field and scored, I think that's all you really need to know about a guy like that. He played great in the Super Bowl last year. I'm sure he'll be ready to go, so it's going to be a great matchup."

(on potentially tying former Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw for four rings and his first impression of the Seahawks defense) "Well the Seahawks have a great defense, there is no doubt about it. They're first in the league in almost every category. They limit you in yards, they limit you in points, they don't make anything easy. You really have to work hard to gain yards. It's a big challenge. I think they present a lot of challenges in all three elements of their defense so it's a big challenge. To have an opportunity to play in this game is really unbelievable. I never thought I'd have the experience to play in one of these. To think that it's my sixth time, I can't imagine that I'd think I'd ever play anything professionally. Certainly to make the Super Bowl is a pretty amazing experience. To do it once and then six times is very, very special."

(on if he feels the Patriots are the away team given the snow storm) "They travel pretty well from what I heard last year when they went to New York. They've got a great home crowd, so I'm sure they'll be in full force. I think we've got a great crowd too. We travel well. You never know these games' ebbs and flows. I think sometimes there is noise, sometimes there is not. We've prepared for it. We expect it to be loud. It's a dome stadium. We've played on the road plenty of times in dome stadiums so you prepare for the noise and then you've got to deal with it whatever it ends up being. That's how we'll approach it."

(on what jumps out when he looks at the Seahawks secondary and if there is any carryover from when they played in 2012) "I think you can look at how they matched up against some of our particular players, not that there were many that were still playing on our team that were in that game, but certainly their players. Having played against Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, some of those guys in the front at the linebacking level. They're great players and I think they force you to make quick decisions. They've got a great rush so the ball has got to come out quick. You don't have a lot of time to figure out necessarily where to go, so it's a great scheme and like I said, they put a lot of pressure on you in all areas so we've obviously watched that game a few times and you try to learn from some of the things that we've done well, some of the things that we didn't do so well. And there's only 60 or 70, 80 more plays left in our season so every one we call is of the upmost importance and we've got to be able to go out and execute as best as we possibly can." 

(on the Seahawks coming back from down 16-0) "It's a 60 minute game. You can be up 16-0. I'm not sure how many we were up at one point when we were there in 2012 in the fourth quarter. Up 10 or 11 and they came back on us, so we've got to be prepared to go for 60 minutes. They're a tough test because I think they have guys that are playmakers on defense. Obviously on offense, they make a lot of great plays. Special teams are very solid. So you can't relax on any element of the game. The pressure is on right from the start. However long it takes in 60 minutes. If it goes into overtime, we've got to be prepared to go down to the wire. We know that they have the ability to do that. They've done that. They've shown that. That is part of the makeup of that team. We've had some tough challenges where we've been down and found ways to come back and win. So whatever it is, if you're ahead or if you're behind, you've got to play until there is no time left on the clock."

(on Seattle DE Michael Bennett) "He's a great player. They move him around on the front quite a bit. He is very disruptive in the run game and the pass game. He's a very stout defender, he's got a great motor, he's got a great knack for the ball. He's a playmaker for that defense. You have to be able to account for him. He's a tough matchup. That's why they signed him, that's why they really like him. They move him around quite a bit, so he can have different opportunities against different guys on the offensive line."DEFENSIVE LINE VINCE WILFORK

(on the addition of Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis) "Those two additions meant a lot this year to us. They practice well. I mean you have two guys that are so competitive in practice and games and they are always seeking to get better. It's easy for guys to look at them and be like, 'I can play for this guy' because they have so much passion for the game and they bring it every week. I'm lucky to be those guys' teammate."

(on the season he had coming back from injury last year) "The ultimate goal was to get to this point. One of my biggest goals was to come back and help my team win ball games and I think we did a lot of that this year. There were a lot of ups and downs and this team has been through a lot, forced to fight all year, week after week, on the road, at home. Talk tough losses, starting the season on the road with a loss. Just to see where we came from just shows you the type of people we have on this team, the character we have. The adversity we've been through. We're just a hard fighting football team that never gives up. We always think we have a shot. I'm never thinking about myself when it comes to playing the game because I think that's one thing that we all love about football, it's a team sport. My main thing was to come back and hopefully I can help my ball club win some ball games and that's exactly what we did. We're sitting right where we want to be right now. This is the most exciting time of the season, especially when you're playing in a game like this, two good football teams on Super Bowl Sunday. We have a lot to be proud of because we battled our tail off all year."

(on the challenge Seattle's offense presents) "It's always a challenge. I mean, they are the defending champs. One thing they do, they play physical, smash-mouth football. They are very explosive. They have a quarterback that's explosive with the ball in his hand no matter if he's throwing it or keeping it. Have running backs that can get the ball downhill, tight ends in the game, their receivers. They do a good job on the offensive line. They are physical. They are big. That's their strength. Then if you look at their defense they are just built from all the way from the back end to the front. They get after the quarterback. They make you pay a lot. There won't be a lot of opportunities that we will have in this game just because of the magnitude of the game. But when you do get a chance to get them we have to be able to take advantage of them. But this is a really, really good football team we are facing."

(on when he stopped enjoying the AFC Championship and focused on this game) "I think the next day that we got back to work we kind of turned the page and knew everything that we fought for was coming to a head and where we wanted to be. Once we understood that, we knew it was time to get our heads back on and get ready to play some good football. And you know we told guys, 'Be excited of where you are, be excited. You have every right to be excited. We played a long season, we had a tough season. Played some good football so be excited of what you accomplished.' But at the same time, let's try to finish it. We have to be able to focus for two weeks, being able to prepare for someone and come play a game, we have to focus for one more time. I think everybody got the idea of what we need to do. We've been doing it all year so we just have to come all together and play our best football. Execute at the highest level all year."

(on if he told teammates about Media Day and it's distractions) "Yeah, we will probably hit that tomorrow before we leave. The night before tomorrow gets here. I think all year we have done a great job of everything we have done. I think some guys might find it really entertaining tomorrow, but it's all in fun. You get some crazy questions but at the same time you try to have fun with it and try to enjoy the moment. But at the same time you have to be on your toes because you never know what you might be asked and you have to be prepared for it. It's going to be interesting."

(on it being 10 years since he won a Super Bowl as a rookie, and how hungry he is to win another) "Well, you play this game for one reason, it's to get to this level and win. I've been fortunate to play, this is my fourth one. Been able to win one and lose two. You just come up short and that's the worst feeling about it. When you have two football teams at the highest level playing, the one thing that's got to happen, you have to have a winner and you have to have a loser. And it sucks because you have two teams that are so good at what they do but there has to a winner and has to be a loser. It's tough to win. In any sport at any level, it's tough to win. So for you to get to this point and be able to have a chance to become a world champion, I mean, it's special. You have to do everything in your willpower to make that happen. I'm pretty sure they are saying the same thing."

(on playing in the Super Bowl in Arizona again) "No it just means a lot to be playing this game. I don't think it's too much of where we're playing, it's what we're playing in. If you win, what are you? That's how you have to look at it. You can't look at it and say, 'The last time we were here, what happened.' You are playing at the highest level. This is the highest of the highest. It doesn't get any higher than this. I don't care what sport you are in, being a world champion in football, American football, that's the one ultimate goal that everybody always wants to see. They always want to watch that game. You have to be more focused on what you need to do rather than where you are playing at this point in time."

(on the challenge of facing Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch) "Hands down, I think he's the best. He's proving it in the passing game, running game, blocking, you name it. I don't think there is any other running back out there that has that many explosive runs, yards after contact. He is exactly what his name is called: Beast Mode. It seems like when the fourth quarter hits, like, he hits another gear. It's amazing to watch when you watch him on film, what he does in the second half of a football game. You can just tell he gets that team going. When he's out there running the ball well, running over guys, running through guys, running around guys, he gets that whole sideline going, offense, defense, he's the one I think carrying the torch when he's on the field, hands down. It's going to be a challenge for us, he's a tough competitor. He's every bit of legit. There's no question about that."

(on Patriots having a chip on its shoulder) "I'll let you guys answer that one. For us, if you can't get up for this game, you have no business being in this game. No matter what goes on around this game or outside this locker room, whatever it may be, you have to be ready to play in this game. I think if we have our minds set that way, we will be ok. We can't let any distraction alter our course of what we want to be and how we want to do it. We just have to continue to focus in on what we have in our locker room, how we feel about certain things and execute at our level. I think that's what it's going to come down to."

(on how New England has handled the distractions of the past week) "We are going about our business. The only thing we can control is playing football and that's exactly what we are going to do. We are going to play football, no matter what goes on outside, what people say about us, we're going to continue to play football. Prepare well and execute well. That's our game plan. Everything else we really aren't concerned about."

(on the criticism of team owner Robert Kraft and Roger Goodell's relationship) "I mean, everybody has their opinions. One thing I learned a long time ago is when you are successful you have a lot of people that are going to point fingers or doubt you, no matter what you do when you are successful. We've been successful for a while, so a lot of teams try to mimic what we do. It doesn't bother me at all. We are going to just continue do what we've been doing. The game is won between the lines, not talking about it. You have to be able to go out and preform on that game and preform at a high level."

(on rallying after the loss to Kansas City) "I mean, we rallied. One thing we always say is, 'No matter what we go through, just stick with one another.' That's exactly what we did. So it didn't surprise me. It was something we had to go through, we went through. I think we handled it pretty well as a team and benefited from it."

(on the players that inspired him and what he has learned about leadership over the years) "Well, when I came in I had guys around me, Richard Seymour, Teddy Bruschi, Willie McGinest, Rodney Harrison, I had guys like that around me. All we did was compete, every day was compete. Just watching those guys, the way they handled practice, the way they conditioned, the way they ran their sprints, you name it, whatever they did they were doing it at a high level. So it was easy for a rookie to come in and see why they had the success they had. Bill didn't say much. He's the coach, but at the same time he had leaders on the field acting as coaches. Everybody respected that. So I learned a lot from those guys. Everything that I basically know now. One thing that I always learned is that leadership don't always come from somebody talking. Your actions speak louder than words at times. I think we have a lot of guys on this team do that. They may not know it but they do it. Starting with our main guy, Tom (Brady), he comes to work every day, competes every day. So it's easy to see the best quarterback in the game practicing the way he is practicing. And you have a guy that is first and second year in the league, he can't do anything but learn from that and I think our guys have done a good job of that this year."

**

CHAIRMAN & CEO ROBERT KRAFT**

(Statement)

"On the plane ride out to here, I prepared a few remarks which I would like to read to you.

"On behalf of the entire organization, I want to express what an honor it is to be here and represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. I know how difficult it is to get to this game and I appreciate the work of everyone who helps host the event. We are anticipating a great game against the defending Super Bowl champs, Seattle Seahawks.

Given the events of the last week, I want to take a minute to address the air pressure matter before we kickoff this week's media availabilities. I have spoken with Coach (Bill) Belichick. I have spoken with Tom Brady. I have taken the time to understand to the best of my abilities what goes on in the preparation of gameday footballs. And I want to make it clear that I believe, unconditionally, that the New England Patriots have done nothing inappropriate in this process or in violation of NFL rules.

Tom, Bill, and I have been together for 15 years. They are my guys, they are part of my family. And Bill, Tom, and I have had many difficult discussions over the years, and I have never known them to lie to me. That is why I am confident in saying what I just said. And it bothers me greatly that their reputations and integrity, and by association that of our team, has been called into question this past week.

As I said on Friday in my prepared statement, we welcome the League's investigation and the involvement of Attorney (Ted) Wells. I am confident that this investigation will uncover whatever the facts were that took place last Sunday and the science of how game balls react to changes in the environment. This would be in direct contrast to the public discourse, which has been driven by media leaks as opposed to actual data and facts. Because of this, many jumped to conclusions and made scarring accusations against our coach, quarterback and staff questioning the integrity of all involved.

If the Wells' investigation is not able to definitively determine that our organization tampered with the air pressure in the footballs, I would expect and hope that the League would apologize to our entire team and in particular, Coach Belichick and Tom Brady for what they have had to endure this past week. I am disappointed in the way this entire matter has been handled and reported upon. We expect hard facts as opposed to circumstantial leaked evidence to drive the conclusion of this investigation.

In closing, I would like to say to all the fans of the National Football League, and especially the amazing fans of the New England Patriots, that I and our entire organization believe strongly in the integrity of the game and the rules of fair play properly, equitably and fairly enforced. Thank you."

**

HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK**

(Opening statement)

"Thank you. I guess we're a step ahead of the storm that's about to hit or maybe has hit in New England. So, it's good to be ahead of that. We wish the best to our fans in New England back there that are dealing with that. I know that they'll show the toughness and the teamwork that they always do to work through these types of situations. Our support is with them as theirs has been with us throughout the course of the year. It's a great honor and privilege for the New England Patriots to represent the American Football Conference in this great game. Our team has worked very hard all through the year going all the way back to the spring workouts. We started back in April and all the way through. I'm very proud of what they've done. We're very much looking forward to the week of preparation down here in Arizona. We've gotten great cooperation from everyone. I'm sure we'll have a great week of preparation. We know we're going to have our hands full with the Seattle Seahawks. There is no way that I could in a brief amount of time express the amount of admiration and respect that I have for that organization, in particular Pete Carroll. I think that Pete's one of the great coaches in my time. We kind of came up together in the same vintage and have similar experiences as coordinators and head coaches at various places along the way. I never worked with Pete. Of course, I followed him into New England. And what he's done at USC and now in his five years with Seattle is beyond impressive. I tried to study him closely and learn from many of the things that he and his organization have done. I've watched them build that organization very carefully. And although we haven't competed directly with them since early in 2012, it's very obvious to me now why they were the world champions last year and why they are here again this year. They have an outstanding organization. They are very well coached. They have a lot of great players. They're very disciplined. They're tough. They play very consistently. They are a great fourth quarter football team. To say in short, they do everything well most all of the time. We're going to have to absolutely play our very best game this season to be able to compete with them. Again, no way that I could express how much respect I have for that organization and for Pete and the job that he's done. I've tried to learn a lot from watching and studying and observing many things about that organization and the way that he coaches the team. I really feel like it's an honor to compete with the Seattle Seahawks, with Coach Carroll and his outstanding staff this week. We know it's going to be a great matchup. We look forward to it. We know it's going to be tough."

(On team owner Robert Kraft's statement regarding the team controversy)

"I appreciate the question. I've spent, as you know, quite a bit of time. I've had two lengthy press conferences about that. My attention is totally turned now and focused on the Seattle Seahawks and our game Sunday, and that's where it's going to stay for this week."

(On new reports regarding the controversy)

"I appreciate the questions, but I've covered everything that I can cover in the previous week and my attention is focused on the Seattle Seahawks. Our job is to get ready to play this game Sunday and that's where it's going to be from here on out."

(On when he became aware of the new reports)

"Right now, the only thing I'm focused on is the Seattle Seahawks. That's what we're going to talk about. I've discussed everything else at length and there will be another point in time for it. But this week, it's all about the Seattle Seahawks."

(On the support of owner Robert Kraft)

"I have a great relationship with Mr. Kraft. I really appreciate the opportunity every day to coach the New England Patriots. Mr. Kraft gave up quite a bit in order to work out the trade, basically that's what it was, for me to be part of this organization after I resigned from the Jets. I'll be forever indebted to him for that and the support that he and his family and his staff have given me as the football- to coach the football team has been tremendous. We have a great personal relationship and a very professional relationship."

(On how long it took for the New England Patriots to turn their attention from the distractions to the Seattle Seahawks)

"I'm totally focused on Seattle. That's it. I'm totally focused on preparing our football team for the Seattle Seahawks. One hundred percent."

(On what the team is doing to prepare for Seattle this week)

"Everything. I mean, the Seahawks are a great football team. They're strong in all three phases of the game. Everybody talks about their offense and their defense – which are outstanding. I don't think they get enough credit for how good they are in the kicking game. I think we saw that last week against Green Bay with the fake field goal and how well executed that was (and) the onside kick. Without those two plays, you know, I don't know. But they made them and they made them in the kicking game. Offensively, they have a lot of great players and, of course, it starts with (Marshawn) Lynch and (Russell) Wilson. Can't say enough about those guys. Lynch is a tremendous back – best back we've faced. He does everything well. He's got great balance, great power, vision, instincts, he's great in the open field, he gets tough yards around the goal line (and) third down. Wilson's just – he's a winner. He plays great in the fourth quarter, throws the ball accurately – especially the deep ball. He tries to run and extend plays or just gain yards; that's part of their read option and bootleg offense. They've got a veteran offensive line. They're very good and they're very good when they have to be. Defensively, they're great across the board, they're well-coached, they have a great defensive front, they put a lot of pressure on the offense – both in the running game and the passing game. Create a lot of negative plays, they're fast and athletic at linebacker and they have an excellent secondary. Those guys can cover, they're good tacklers. (Kam) Chancellor and (Earl) Thomas are as good of safeties as we've played against all year. The corners – (Richard) Sherman, (Jeremy) Lane, (Byron) Maxwell – whoever they use back there, they use multiple guys. It's a strong secondary. They're very fast at the linebacker position with Wright and (Bobby) Wagner, (Bruce) Irvin and there's another linebacker, whatever you want to call him – (Cliff) Avril. It's a very fast, athletic group. You see plays open up and they don't stay open very long – they close and it ends up being a two- or three-yard gain when it looks like the offense is going to have a big play. They tackle well, they don't turn the ball over, but they turn it over a lot on defense. So we'll be working on all those things. They're a really good football team in every phase of the game from the line of scrimmage to all the skill players and all three areas: offense, defense, special teams. And as I've said before, they're very well coached. I can't – there's no way I could – I mean, I could go on and on about the coaching. The technique, the discipline, the execution, the awareness that they play situationally, how smart they play, as well as how fundamentally sound they are. This is a real, real good football team."

(On how far along he is in the game planning process compared to past Super Bowls and what he has noticed from offensive lineman Bryan Stork)

"I think Bryan is doing everything he can to be back. We'll take it day by day. Nobody's working harder than Bryan, though, to get ready and he's made progress. You saw the practice report from yesterday, so that is where it is. You know, again, our preparations, this is a team we're not familiar with. Going back to 2012, that was our last exposure then. And some of the other (Super Bowl) games that you referenced, we have had previous games with some of those teams during that season. So each game's different. This game's different from any other game that we've played, as were each of those. But, you know, again, this is a team that we've got – we had to do a lot of catching up on relative to teams that we had played in some of those other (Super Bowl) games that you had referenced within the season. But that's normal. I'm sure it's the same thing for them. I'm sure they haven't been thinking too much about us. They had other teams on their schedule that they had to deal with and they did. So now we both have the same opportunity and we'll see how it turns out."

(On if he felt like the team on the plane ride was coming together for this game)

"Well I think our team has shown all year that we have a great chemistry and a feeling of togetherness. I think that these guys have supported each other well and worked well with each other through months, really, of challenges – all the different teams that we played, all the different ups and downs that we've had during our season – which every team goes through. I'm very proud of the group. We had a – obviously, to a much lesser scale – a similar experience in December when we traveled from Green Bay to San Diego. We spent the week out there before we played the Chargers and that was a great opportunity for our team to experience, again, something like this, although on a much smaller scale. But preparation on the road, being with each other, preparation in a hotel as opposed to going home every night and that type of thing. So really, our team's been challenged either by myself or by our opponents literally every day of the year, every week of the year since we've started. They've responded every week – hasn't always been perfect, but their attitude, their effort, their preparation, their toughness both mentally and physically I think have been shown repeatedly. I like the team and I like the way that they go about their job."

(On if he's gone back and looked back at how he handled the Super Bowl week from the last time New England was in the Super Bowl, and if he is going to make any changes)

"From a logistical standpoint, a lot of things are pretty well set for us, our different responsibilities and so forth. We've looked at previous schedules and so forth. I think there were some things that we might modify, do a little bit different for one reason or another. It might be because of where our team is or our opponent and so forth and things like that. I'd say not dramatically. We'll probably… somewhere in the 95-percent range to it being similar to what it's been in the past. But there is always a few things that get modified for one reason or another. We're very fortunate. We've been through these experiences before. I think we can fall back on those a little bit, but at the same time, each year is different, each team is different, situation is different. And in the end, we've got to do what we feel is best for our football team this week, regardless of what was or wasn't for some other years, some other teams. That's the way we'll approach it."

(On if he would like to comment on making his sixth Super Bowl appearance, what his legacy is and how he would like to be remembered)

"No, thank you. If we have an opening on our staff, if you'd like it, we'll put you out in front there (laughter). Again, I appreciate the compliments, but again, with all due respect, it's really not about that right now for me. What it's about for me is this week and our matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. What did or didn't happen- in any of other five, six Super Bowls I coached, five Super Bowls as a head coach, three that I was involved in as an assistant, this now being the ninth one- this is the one that is really important. This is the one that I'm totally focused on. The other eight, whatever they are, they are. You can't change them; certainly, a lot of great moments. It's very difficult to get to this game. It's very difficult to win a conference championship. Right now, everything is just about Seattle and what it's front of us. I know someday we'll reflect back on that, hopefully, God willing. For right now, it's all about Seattle."

**

DEFENSIVE BACK DEVIN MCCOURTY**

(On the troops watching the Super Bowl overseas)

"Thank you guys for watching. But more importantly, thank you guys for everything you do. We're going to try to put on a good show Sunday, and enjoy the game. Hopefully you're all Patriots fans."

(On how different the secondary has been this year with the addition of Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis)

"I think we added two, you know, really good players. I think, you know, when you do that of course you get better, and I think those two guys have done a good job of being leaders and fitting into the group, so I think we definitely got better on the field, but I thought we got two really good guys, too. They've showed the younger guys, direction, how to become good players, and it's been joy to play with them, too."

(On Brandon Browner being able to attack receivers)

"That's the thing with B. He's played the same way, I think, everywhere he's played, whether it be in Canada, in Seattle, with us. He has a mentality and a way he wants to play, and that's how he plays the game, so I think everyone feeds off of it. Throughout the game he's always high energy. He likes to be physical, so it doesn't matter what receiver or tight end, he's going to play physical and going to try to get his hands on you."

(On if he talks with Brandon Browner about his time spent playing in Canada)

"Yeah, we talk about it sometimes. He liked it, he said. He said he really liked it in Canada."

(On what today was like with the sendoff rally in Boston)

"It was cool. Going into Boston and doing the sendoff rally, it was really cold, but it was amazing seeing all those fans out there. Knowing a storm's coming and they could be preparing, doing anything else, but they were outside cheering us on. It was a great experience. That's one of the neat things about playing in this game. You get to see the city really come alive and really root for us, so it was an honor being there and hearing the fans."

(On how it feels to be in Arizona and to be able to focus on Seattle)

"It's great. I think that's why we all play the game. It's a dream come true to play in this game, and to finally be here, it makes it even more real. Now we're here. We'll kick off practice Wednesday and start really zeroing in, but like I tell all the guys, enjoy the moment, enjoy the experiences, but, being in Arizona, nice weather, no complaints here."

(On if the Patriots had a different feel after losing to Kansas City)

"I don't think so. I think it was a sense of urgency, just like I think any team after you lose a game you realize you're going to have a great sense of urgency to go out there and practice well the next week and go get a win. No one wants to lose two straight or pile that on and it be three straight, so I thought guys just came in, worked hard, and got ready to go for the next week."

(On if there was ever a sense of doubt among the team)

"No. We didn't feel we had a reason to doubt. We had the same team that we had coming into the season that we were fully confident in and nothing changed."

(On what he tells younger players about preparing for the Super Bowl)

"I tell them just enjoy the logistics part of it. Obviously, it gets annoying sometimes, but, you'll look back and realize how great of an opportunity this truly is. So I tell them to enjoy that as much as you can and with the game, once you get past all the amounts of people on the sideline and all of that, it's just a football game. So you know, just be ready to go by the time that kickoff happens. I think after the first kickoff and you're not worried about the lights and all of that. You just play football."

(On how Russell Wilson has changed over the course of his career as a passer)

"I don't know. You know, for me, I played him in college, so I always thought he was a really, really good quarterback. He kind of ate us up in college, so watching him, to me the amazing part is to see, you know, what we saw in college, him being able to still do it at a high level in the NFL. With staying in the pocket and throwing some balls deep down the field in spots that only the receiver can get it, and then also having the ability when a play breaks down to make three guys miss and then find a wide open guy. Usually when you do that in college the first thing they tell you is when you get to the NFL, everyone's bigger, stronger, faster, you won't be able to do that, and he still is able to do that. Watching him, I still see some of the great things he did in college, he does in the NFL."

(On what makes Russell Wilson difficult to prepare for and to defend)

"A lot of things he does I don't think any team in this league has a guy that can show you that in practice. You don't have Russell Wilson in your locker room to practice against. I don't care what quarterback you have on your roster. You can't practice against it. So, a little bit of it is once you get out there in the game, realizing how fast he is or how deep he can throw the ball, all those things you won't see until you get out there and you play against him. So I don't know if it's as much in the right place at the right time, but I think it's more just his playmaking ability."

(On if Marshawn Lynch is the best back they've faced all season)

"Yeah, he's easily the best back. I think the toughest thing is how he runs the football. He's a guy that can go outside, go in between the tackles, and the best thing he probably does is make guys miss. I think it's tough to look at any running back and see how many highlights he has where eight guys miss him on one play. So he's definitely going to be the toughest matchup we face all year, and you know, similar to Russell Wilson, it's going to be tough to kind of replicate that. We can't see that throughout the week in practice. It's going to be a lot of guys having to get to him and gang-tackle him, because you don't do that. You don't do what he's done in this league for so long and think you'll go into the game and you're going to solo tackle him all game. You're going to need a lot of guys to get to him."

(On if the Patriots defense feels disrespected because of the attention that's been given to the Seahawks defense)

"You know, this is my fifth year here, and for five years, we've played with the best quarterback in football, so, when you have Tom Brady and the Gronks and the Edelmans on the other side, it doesn't leave much time to talk about us on defense, so we're used to that. We just go out there, and we try to win. That's more important to us."

(On what of the Patriots' identity allows them to overcome adversity)

"I think it starts in April. When we come back in, it is a quiet time in the rest of the league. Bill (Belichick) is already talking about ignoring noises, not paying attention to different distractions, so when it comes up throughout the regular season or in the postseason, we don't hear it. It doesn't bother us. I think we have a great sense of focus on what the task is. The later you get in the season, I think you have to be more in tune, more locked in to what you want to do as a football team. I think it starts with our leaders. Like I always say, with Tom (Brady) and Vince (Wilfork), both sides of the ball, we understand exactly what we want to do. The vision coming from Bill and from those two guys, there's never a doubt on what we need to do to win."

(On how he prepares to defend Marshawn Lynch)

"It's more a running style and I think his mentality. I don't think he believes one guy should bring him down, and that's how he runs the ball, and I think defensively we've got to understand, especially in the secondary, we've got to get to the ball every play. We can't start jogging, backside or something and think that we got them. We've got to try to get to him, and if he does come off a tackle, another guy's trying to get him. I think that's the only way you could slow him down. You have one guy trying to make one-on-one tackles all game, he's going to have a good game."

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GUARD DAN CONNOLLY

(On how Tom Brady will channel the media attention this week)

"I think he's just across the room. Honestly, if you want to find out his feelings, you can ask him. I think that Bill (Belichick) and Mr. (Kraft) have done a good job addressing it. My focus, from now on, is just going to be on the Seahawks."

(On the mindset of the team)

"Good, good. We'll take a day or two to settle it and then get back to work."

(On the importance of this trip)

"It's a big game, but we like to look at each game as an important game. We're just going to prepare like we always do and just try to do our best on Sunday."

(On how hard it was to get back to this point after last year)

"Absolutely it's tough. You can ask anybody in the League and I'm sure they'd tell you it's tough to get to this point. With the new season you just refocus and start from square one. You've got to put in hard work. You're not going to get there unless you're working hard."

(On his message to troops watching overseas)

"I hope you guys are watching. Enjoy the game. Go Pats."

(On which factor he finds most dangerous on the Seahawks)

"For me personally, it's their defensive front. They're good. They've got a lot of quickness and a lot of really good players that can rush the passer as well. For myself and the offensive line, we've got a big challenge ahead of us, and we've definitely put in the time and the film study this week to be ready for those guys."

(On how they match up against the physicality of the Seahawks)

"I feel like we're a very physical team too and I like the challenge of a physical game. That's how we like to play and I think that's how football is meant to be played."

(On the key factor in the game)

"Everybody just doing their job and playing a physical, smart and tough game."

(On the mood of the team)

"I think everybody is in really good spirits. We're very excited to be where we're at and have the opportunity to play in this game. We had a really good week of practice leading up to this point. I think everybody's really excited to get started here.

(On whether the team is in the same place as they were in their last Super Bowl appearance)

"I'm not sure. It's hard to compare the seasons. I just know that, right now, I really like the work that we've done this past week. I'm just looking forward to the week here and the practices in preparation for the game."

(On whether his 71-yard kickoff return in 2010 was the most fun moment of his career)

"Yeah. It was pretty exciting. A big guy doesn't really get the opportunity to do anything with the ball, let alone return a kickoff like that. It was exciting. The best part about it was that a lot of guys have said that it was kind of a turning point in the game and gave the team a boost to win over the Packers. That was the best part about it."

(On comparing his run with Marshawn Lynch's runs)

"I don't know. I did it one time. He does it consistently. Hats off to him. He's a good player."

(On preparing with the added media attention)

"Sure. There's a lot going on, but there's always something, no matter what game you're playing or who you're playing against. There's always going to be some sort of distraction, so it's really important to be mentally tough and try to block out those mental distractions, whatever they are, and just focus on the job at hand."

(On whether he can afford to appreciate the magnitude of the Super Bowl experience)

"This plays a big part in what we do, so there's definitely a place for that. When the time comes, we have to just put all of our focus and attention into the game once we get through media day and all of that."

(On emphasis for offensive lineman being aware of loose balls)

"That's something that we always try to be aware of."

(On whether there is game planning for teams that try to strip the ball) "There's definitely teams that are ballhawks and you know the guys that are looking for the ball. I don't focus on that as much. Obviously, that's the ball carrier's concern, but every once in a while there's a team that we say we have to follow after our runners to make sure."

(On whether he can catch)

"I don't know. I can play catch, but I don't know how well I can catch."

(On how easy Rob Gronkowski makes it look)

"He does make it look easy, but Gronk always make it look easy."

(On Seattle's front seven)

"They're good. They do a great job getting to the quarterback. They've got quickness, movement and all sorts of speed, especially off the edge and then definitely inside with their guys like [Michael] Bennett and then [Bruce] Irvin on the edge. We've got our work cut out for us for sure."

(On if there are drawbacks to not seeing Seattle during the regular season)

"Yes and no. We're going to study them on film as much as we can, whether we played them or not. You get to know a little bit more by playing a team, but you're going to still spend plenty of time watching them on film."

(On what Media Day is like)

"Questions are coming from every angle. I'll probably tell a few guys what to expect. There's a little chatter around the locker room and the bus on the questions we've had in the past. You've got to be ready for anything on Media Day."

(On the importance of the offensive line in this game)

"As an offensive lineman, it's always our job to protect the quarterback. These guys have a really good front. They're in this game because they're a good team. Like I said, it's my job to protect the quarterback. It's going to be a big challenge for us against these guys because they're really good."

(On if the Seahawks are better with Kevin Williams replacing Brandon Mebane)

"Mebane is definitely a really good player. Kevin Williams is really good too. We played them when he was in Minnesota a few years ago and he's a really good player. I don't know if they've lost anything. They've got good guys across the board."

(On how tough the early part of the season was for the offensive line)

"I think that the true reflection may come a week from now. We did some shuffling around. We weren't quite getting the job done, but we had some guys step up. When spot needed to be filled, we had guys fill that spot and we've just tried to build on it every week to get better and better. We're just going to try to keep trying to do that this week. We've just got to improve from last week."

(On what Bill Belichick is like around his players)

"I see the guys that you guys see too. He's a tough coach. He expects a lot of us. There are definitely some light moments where we get to have fun, but we try to work hard and focus on the job at hand and concentrate on who we're playing this week."

(On if Bill Belichick every lightens things up)

"Sure. When the time is right, we'll lighten things up and we'll have fun. Most of the time we're focused on business."

(On how Bill Belichick is as a communicator)

"Top-notch I'd say. He helps us prepare for the game as best as he can. Getting to know players or how to play a game, I think he does a really good job communicating with us how things need to be done.

**

WIDE RECEIVER MATTHEW SLATER**

(On owner Robert Kraft being visibly upset of the interrogation of quarterback Tom Brady and Head Coach Bill Belichick and how upset he, and the team, are about it)

"I'd rather not get into how I personally feel about it or how we as a team feel about it. Needless to say, it's a difficult situation that we're navigating through. But, as I've said all week, we just want to focus on playing the game. We don't want this situation to take away from what we've accomplished as a team and where we are, the game we're playing in. So, I'll leave my comments there."

(On if he's given any thought to the ongoing controversy surrounding the team or if he's been only focused on Seattle)

"For me, it's been all Seattle. I can only speak for myself. I realize how hard that this team has worked to get to where we are, and I don't take that for granted. I think we've come too far over the course of the season to allow this to become a distraction. But as I said, I can only speak for myself personally, and that's all I can tell you."

(On if it motivates the team or if it's a non-factor)

"It may or may not motivate guys. Again, I can only speak for myself and tell you that for me, personally, I have all the motivation that I need. We're playing in the Super Bowl against the defending World Champions, and I think that that game is going to be very challenging for us and we need to have our focus and energy on the Seattle Seahawks."

(On how he would characterize the mood of his team the last couple of days)

"I think we're just very excited to be here. You understand how hard it is to get to this game. You understand how hard you have to work. We've put that work in and it's paid off for us. We're just excited. We're going to enjoy our experience down here, but at the same time, we're going to remain focused on the task at hand. Hopefully we can have a good week of preparation, and then come Sunday we can go out and represent ourselves in the right way."

(On if they got a good week of preparation last week)

"I think we got a good start. I think that we got a good start understanding what we need to do to allow ourselves to be competitive on Sunday, but that's going to have to continue as the week goes along. And again, I'll reiterate: this is not vacation for us. This is a business trip, and we understand that and that's the mentality and approach we have to take throughout the week."

(On if they have to change their attack scheme against the Seattle defense)

"Well, I certainly think that they make it tough on you. They take teams out of what they do well, and they just play to their strengths. As far as what we do offensively without getting too much into the game plan, I think we're going to have to remain balanced and aggressive, and we're going to have to play our best game of the season because these guys are going to be the best team, and obviously the best defense we've seen all year."

(On Brady always talking about playing with a chip on his shoulder and if he thinks the events of the past week have made that chip bigger)

"You know, I can't speak for Tom. I can say that Tom has enough motivation just being here in this game, and I know he's excited about the opportunity. How the past week or so has affected him personally, I can't say. You'd have to ask him." (On giving a shoutout to service members overseas)

"How we doing, guys? Just wanted to give you guys a big hello and I appreciate all that you do for us – allowing us the freedom of playing this great game of football that we love so much. You guys are the real heroes. We tip our hats to you. God bless you guys, and stay safe over there."

(On the fallout associated with fumbling on a Belichick-coached team)

"It's obviously not a great feeling. Obviously, you don't want to let your team down first and foremost, but Coach always tells us that when we carry the football we carry the entire fate of the team in our hands. So, that's a big responsibility. I think it goes without saying when you fumble the football it doesn't bode well for the team. I think more than the fear, the fallout from coach, is the fact that you let down your teammates, and I think that's what motivates us to take care of the football when we have it in our hands."

(On the fallout associated with fumbling on a Belichick-coached team)

"It's obviously not a great feeling. Obviously, you don't want to let your team down first and foremost, but Coach always tells us that when we carry the football we carry the entire fate of the team in our hands. So, that's a big responsibility. I think it goes without saying when you fumble the football it doesn't bode well for the team. I think more than the fear, the fallout from coach, is the fact that you let down your teammates, and I think that's what motivates us to take care of the football when we have it in our hands."

(On how much emphasis there is from a coaching standpoint in practice on avoiding fumbles)

"Quite a bit. In this league, turnovers win and lose football games. If you can be in the plus, in the green when it comes to turnover ratio, you know you give yourself a chance to be successful. I think that's something that's preached to us, and that we've really bought into. We've been fortunate this year to do a good job in that category, but I think on Sunday, that's really going to be tested because these guys do a good job of getting balls loose and creating turnover opportunities."

(On being a game away from the Super Bowl the last two years and those losses being extremely painful but being back again and how they reset each time to get their minds right)

"That's a great question. I think when you come to the end of a long season and things don't go your way, it's very difficult. It's draining physically and emotionally, and you feel like 'Man, we put in all this work and we came up just a bit short.' But I think that speaks volumes about the character of this football team, and it starts with our ownership and our coach and obviously our quarterback. I think there's a great deal of resiliency there and guys being able to just press the reset button and just come back and focus on the next season – understand that each season is a new opportunity and a new leaf. I think that speaks volumes to, again, the guys at the top."

(On going against the best defense in the NFL and what's going to be most important in attacking the Seahawks defense)

"Well there aren't many holes in their defense, if at all any. I think for us it's just going to be, as we've preached all year long, just doing our job, playing with good fundamentals, executing at a high level and competing each and every down. We'll see where that gets us. Hopefully it'll be good enough, but we'll find out Sunday."

(On the character of the guys in the Patriots' locker room and how it helped them through the tough moments this year)

"This is a tough group. We've been through a lot this season. I think the season started out a bit rocky for us. Things definitely didn't go our way, but I feel like as a unit, as a family, we've really just pulled together and believed in one another and played for one another. There has been a lot of outside noise that's followed this team all year long, as it seems like it does every year, but we just try to focus on what's going on within our locker room – the coaches, the players, and what's going on in our organization. That's plenty of motivation, plenty of drive for us to just focus on what's going on inside. I understand that we faced some interesting circumstances as we come into this game, but that's not going to take away from our focus and our preparation this week because we know we have a great opportunity. We're playing against a great team, and our focus needs to be on that opposed to all the other stuff going on."

(On the Seahawks showing a flair for trickery on special teams in the NFC Championship Game, and if they can prepare for that)

"I certainly think that we have to play with a lot of alertness. I think that we have to understand that every time our unit takes the field, we have to expect them to be trying to make a big play to swing momentum. It's our job to either stop that big play from happening or create one ourselves. So, understanding that we'll prepare – we've watched a lot of film on these guys. We have to be prepared situationally moving into the game. When you talk about trick plays, you never can predict those. At the end of the day, we're going to have to play fundamentally sound and be able to react if something like that does come up."

(On this team answering the challenge the best when there is adversity and what it is about having an answer and delivering when adversity hits)

"I think it starts with our leadership. Coach Belichick does a great job of just refocusing us week-in and week-out. We don't dwell on the past, and we don't look ahead. We just take it one week at a time, and I think whether good or bad, that needs to be our approach every week, and it has been this season. So, really, the finger points to Coach and the way he's able to motivate this team and focus his team year-in and year-out."

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