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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Wed Jun 12 - 11:55 AM | Thu Jun 13 - 11:55 AM

Patriots Quotes: Defense - 2/1/2012

New England Patriots defensive players comment on their upcoming Super Bowl XLVI game against the New York Giants on Wednesday, February 1, 2012.


(on the chemistry in the secondary)
"Whoever is out there is going to play. Coach (Bill Belichick) has full confidence in whoever he puts out there. The (Giants) have a very good receiving corps. They have three different kinds of receivers that can make big plays. I think we have a good secondary. We matchup well. It's going to be a battle. We have to try and contain them. We can't stop all three, because they're that good. We're going to try and contain them and do the best we can."

(on the defense growing from the beginning of the season)
"We'll be the underdogs and that's fine. We're just going to keep playing. You play with those guys for a number of games, you're going to develop camaraderie and family. You are going to play by just making eye contact. People can say what they want to say. I think we're good."

(on the excitement of the week setting in)
"Yes, it's starting to set in, but you have to contain yourself. You have to save your energy and your excitement for after the game. We're on a business trip. The first couple of days you have fun, go out and do what you need to do. When business time comes around it's time to go. Right after (this press conference) is over, it's back to business."

(on getting the travel to Indianapolis out of the way)
"Thankfully, we didn't have to travel too far. It's all out of our system and now it's time to work. We have a couple of days to get ready for the Giants."

(on the message from his veteran teammates)
"Prepare like it's a regular game. You can't be too hyped. Some guys can be hyped the whole way through and some guys can relax. Composing yourself and preparing the same exact way you would for 20-some games. Take it as another football game. This one is called the Super Bowl."

(on taking the lead from the veterans on the team)
"You listen and watch the veterans. You see how they are walking and what their aura is. You feed off them. When you pay attention and learn from other guys who have been there, it's going to make that transition so much easier for you."

(on the difficulty of mixing and matching personnel in the secondary)
"Not hard at all actually. (Matthew) Slater and (Julian) Edelman are good. Julian has the mentality that he can play any position. Slater played defensive back before he came back over. It hasn't been that hard at all. They are in the same room learning the same things. They are on the same page. It hasn't been that hard of a transition."

(on Devin McCourty playing safety)
"Devin is a baller. Wherever you put him, he is going to play. Coach (Belichick)
has full confidence in him. "

(on the secondary feeling settled from the beginning of the season)
"I feel we're perfectly fine. People have their comments or whatever they think, but we're fine. We're a very good defense, a good secondary and we're going to play hard."

(on the area where Belichick is strongest in coaching)
"It's overall game planning and getting his players to play better. It's getting guys to know concepts and defenses. He tries to teach his players how to play the game in his mind. It's more than just the players on the field. It's the coaches on the field as well who can call out plays and know what's coming before an opponent lines up. As far as everything, he makes us play better and he can do it fast and easy."

(on Belichick being as good as advertised)
"I figured that before I got here. You hear stories about coach and he has that straight face and he wants to win. When I got here, it was the same exact thing. He's cool and very laid back. He's kind of funny on the low. He just wants to win. He could care less about who you are or what you did. He just wants to win."

(on what makes Bill Belichick funny)
"He's low key and undercover. It's those low-blow, funny jokes. You could say he has humor like Popeye."

(on parody in the NFL)
"Anything can happen in the NFL. You have to come ready to play a Super Bowl team every game. Even if they are not the Super Bowl type, you have to pretend that they are a Super Bowl team."

(on focusing on the rest of the week)
"It's go-time. We have four days to get ready for a very good team. (The Giants)
are getting ready for a very good team. It's grind time and it's time to go hard."

(on what the Patriots need to specifically focus on when preparing for the Giants)
"Everything. I can honestly say everything. They have a good receiving core, good tight ends, running backs who can break tackles and a quarterback who is on fire. When you add all of those up, you have a dangerous team."

(on what will be going through his head prior to the start of the Super Bowl)
"I can't call it right now, but in my mind it's just a regular game. You have to play like it's a regular game. It's just the Super Bowl. We're going to attack it like it's the Super Bowl, but it's a football game when it comes down to it."

(on having a Super Bowl dream)
"Everybody has a dream. They want to have that game-changing play that makes a difference. I play the game in my head a thousand times. On the plane and here at media day. I play the game in my head because you have to visualize what you do."

(on the result of the game when he plays it in his head)
"Usually I'm back-peddling, reading the quarterback and then I intercept (the pass). Usually I think about the calls and the formations they'll be in. You make your calls and see how the play (results). You sit down in a pitch black room with no TV and play the game in your head."

(on what a Super Bowl victory would do for the legacy of the Patriots)
"It would feel awesome. That will be tagged on your name for the rest of your life. It's just a blessing to be here, but to win it would be crazy. I'm getting chills talking about it. But, we have to play hard, we can't just talk about winning. We have to play a very good team."

(on being a part of the Patriots and building on the legacy)
"You have to keep playing and try to keep the legacy. That's as much as I can say. The legacy has been going on for a while and I just got here. The guys coming in have to keep that going and keep working. We have to keep the New England area proud."

(on the reality of winning the Super Bowl)
"We're playing a very good team so we won't know until the end of the game when the clock hits zero. They are coming here to win too and I will never take that from them. It's going to be a hard fought game. This is the big show and we're both here to dance."

(on what it would mean to him to be a Super Bowl champion)
"It's not just Patrick Chung, but it will feel good to all of us. All of the young guys coming in who get to experience the wins like some of the veterans did would be amazing."

(on Belichick's message to the team this week)
"Business. We're here to play a game. Enjoy the festivities, have fun, soak it up, but when business time comes around, it's time to work."


(on if he is still disappointed with the way things ended with the Jets)
"No, I'm over it. When things first started happening and they weren't going to bring me back and how that went, it was disappointing. With an organization that you spent so long with and you put all your heart into it to get to this point that I am at now. For them to basically close the door, it was tough, but I forgave them. I have put it behind me. I understand that it is a business. I had to go out and find the best situation for me and I found it here as a New England Patriot, and I'm at the Super Bowl."

(on how they fight colds that may come with this type of travel and with meeting so many people)
"You just try to keep your hygiene up – keep your hands washed, use hand sanitizer, take your vitamins. You just try to stay on top of that so if you do get something, you have something in your system that is kind of working already."

(on if they tell the younger players about keeping their hygiene up)
"Definitely. It was something that was mentioned before we got here. Anytime you are in a group or a crowd of people, germs can fly. For us, guys have been doing a great job of staying on top of those types of things. For us, it's a matter of taking care of yourself, taking care of your body. It's going to be a physical weekend for us, so we have to make sure we are on all cylinders going out. Health is a huge reason in that."

(on the joy of being a new father)
"It's a feeling you can't explain - to have all of your kids look at you like you are their king. Just seeing them grow, run around and see the transformation that they make. It's great. It's something that I always wanted to have and I am fortunate enough to have kids. God is extremely blessing."

(on how big it would be to win and avenge the loss in Super Bowl XLII)
"It would be great. I wasn't on that team, but just to go out and get a win, period. For us at the end to have one more point then they have, and to put a ring on our finger would definitely be a great ending to the story."


(on what this experience has been like so far)
"It's been exciting. (Coach Bill) Belichick is always telling us just to keep everything calm and cool, so that is what I have been doing. But this definitely will be a moment I will never forget."

(on his attitude on and off the field)
"I'd say that (I'm a pretty even-keeled person off the field). I turn into a whole other person on the field. I have been like this since middle school. Some people tell me to calm down a little bit, but I just love the game. I am excited making plays and watching other guys making plays."

(on the multiple different personalities on the defensive line)
"We all just try to work together. Our whole thing as a defense is just to try and gel, play together and play well, and feed off of each other. No matter what the mix is on the defensive line – whoever is in – we all have to trust each other and know what (one another) is going to do before we do it and just play hard."

(on if veterans Vince Wilfork, Shaun Ellis or Mark Anderson have given him any hints for his play)
"I would like to tell you, but I would like to keep those a secret. (Wilfork)
will tell me just to play with heart. When you're out there, play with heart. That's all I want to do. That's another thing about the defensive line – we don't want to let each other down, so that's why we play so hard for each other."

(on his journey from being undrafted to playing in the Super Bowl)
"Sometimes it seems that this isn't real (having been) in the predicament that I was in. At the end of the day, God brought me this far and I continue to praise him for playing this game of football."

(on what he personally took away from the Patriots/Giants game earlier in the season)
"We just have to finish the game. Personally, I just have to play harder the entire game, because I started off kind of slow. I tell myself that I can't allow that this game. I have to start from the beginning until the end. I have to play hard the whole game. When it comes down to the fourth quarter, Eli (Manning) is going to make plays, so we as a defense have to finish it. We didn't do that last game, so we have to do that this game."

(on when the fact he was playing in the Super Bowl sunk in)
"It didn't really sink in until we landed. The whole time we were back home I was like, 'Man, we are going to the Super Bowl. This is wild,' but I would like to say that now it (really) has sunk in, especially with (all) the media. This is crazy."

(on if he ever could have imagined being here)
"I never would have imagined this – playing football in the NFL – (having) not been drafted. It has just all come full circle. It is crazy to me. But to be here is a blessing. I enjoy playing for this team and playing my role as a player. Whatever Belichick asks me, (I'll do). I have so much respect for him and I love this team."

(on if getting after Manning is the most important element of their job this Sunday)
"I would like to say that that is part one. Part two would be stopping the run. They have two good backs also. People aren't really putting them in the mix. They are just talking about the pass attack and whatever, but they have two good running backs that can do some damage on the ground as well. So, stopping them and stopping (Manning) is key."

(on if practicing in pads on Monday set a good tone for the week)
"Definitely, definitely. That was a big move right there. We needed that. It got a lot of guys loose. We needed that. It was perfect timing."

(on what their goals are throughout this week)
"Treat nothing different – keep our bodies well, stay focused and keep practicing hard."


(on preparing for the game)
"I've been watching film for a long time now. They're playing good football right now, running the ball, passing the ball, so you've just got to try to take away some of the weapons. You've got to try to contain them. I don't know if you can really just stop them all together because (Giants QB) Eli (Manning) is hot right now. The running backs are running the ball well, the offensive line is blocking well, so we've just got to do a good job trying to contain them."

(on trying to contain the offensive weapons the Giants have)
"They're clicking on all cylinders. It's like, 'What do you do? Who do you take away?' Do you try to take the run game away and then you open up passing lanes and you try to take the pass game away and then you have (RB Ahmad) Bradshaw and (RB Brandon) Jacobs and (RB D.J.) Ware running the ball, so it's like what do you do?"

(on the team's mood)
"I think this team is ready to go. Everyone is working hard. Yesterday after media day I saw guys in there watching film and they're still studying to prepare for this game. I think the sense of urgency is there and we've just got to keep it going."

(on if he's enjoying the atmosphere)
"Definitely, but we're not out here to go to all the festivities and concerts and things like that. We're out here to win a football game. That's our mindset. Even though we have a young team, we have a focused team, a hungry team ready to go."

(on some Giants players predicting victory)
"To be honest with you, they're a great team. They wouldn't be in this game if they didn't have a good team. It's good to have that type of confidence. That's their opinion and we'll play the game on Sunday."

(on the mindset today after an off day yesterday)
"It's go back to work and pick up where we left off. Guys were still studying yesterday, so it wasn't a true off day. I think guys really know that this is a big game. The sense of urgency is there, and everyone is ready to go."

(on keeping the routine similar to the routine all season)
"Obviously this isn't normal right here, but at the same time we're pretty much isolated from everyone. They set it up so it's just like our complex pretty much. We feel comfortable in the hotel and comfortable watching film here and practicing."

(on if the team is excited to play)
"It's like counting down days before Christmas. Guys are very excited and anxious to get on the field."

(on if keeping the routine the same plays a big part in preparation)
"Definitely. I think the coaches have done an excellent job making it feel like home and making everything the same except for things like this, obviously. We're ready to go, we're ready to rock, and doing the same things we would be doing if we were back in Foxborough."

(on how Head Coach Bill Belichick has organized the week)
"Meeting rooms are the same. Meeting times are the same. He's still getting on us about little things, and that's the way we like it."

(on other linebackers he looks up to)
"I've always been a big fan of (former Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB) Derrick Brooks my entire career. He was a great linebacker who could do it all; cover, he could tackle, play the run, do it all. Also (Baltimore Ravens LB) Ray Lewis. Obviously the career that he's had is a great career and he's a great player."

(on if his body feels better after a bye week)
"Definitely the body feels better. We're getting guys back healthy and it's huge. This will be our third bye week, right? We had the first round bye, we had the regular bye week, and now this one. So guys are getting back healthy and it's always good to have that extra week of preparation."

(on learning from the group of linebackers before him)
"I didn't feel pressure at all. I was fortunate enough, like you said, to come in with (Tedy)  Bruschi, Junior (Seau) was here, Rosevelt Colvin. All those guys really took me under their wing. I really didn't have to do too much. I just had to be a sponge and learn as much as I could from those guys, and they taught me a lot."

(on how he was able to adjust to the level of play in the NFL so quickly)
"I think it came from my upbringing. My grandfather always taught us about work ethic, and then coach John Chavis at Tennessee taught me how to study film and break down film and be a professional. He's a great coach."

(on his expectations prior to being drafted and if they've been met)
"To be honest with you, the year before I got here they won 18 games and lost in the Super Bowl. It's like, you go first round to a team that won 18 games, it's no pressure. If they need me to come in and play on special teams and that's it, I was willing to do that. This is everything I expected. Great owner, great coaches, great teammates, and no selfish players on this team and I like it like that."

(on the Patriots finding key contributors that went undrafted)
"I think that's just a testament to the scouting department and Coach Belichick just finding guys that no one else wants. He brings us all here for a reason and that's to win football games."

(on getting motivated for the game)
"Any time you're playing with an extra chip on your shoulder, it's huge. That extra motivation can go a long way, and then it's the Super Bowl on top of all that. I think guys are ready to go and guys are focused on the game."

(on the role that former teammate Tedy Bruschi played in his development)
"A huge role. I learned a lot from Bruschi not only on the field, but off the field as well. He's a huge figure in the Boston area, in the New England area, in the community and he's a great player. I learned a lot about studying film from him. All the things that he's done, it's hard to even think about matching what he's done for the community."

(on if he's glad to really be getting down to the game plan)
"Definitely. I'm ready to start tightening down all the loose nuts and bolts and get this game plan in cement and see what we can do on Sunday."

(on if he's worried about Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning helping his brother Eli prepare for the game)
"To be honest with you, I'm not worried at all. We're going to go out here and prepare like any other game. Peyton is a (University of Tennessee) Vol, so hopefully he'll take it a little easy on me. I know they're probably breaking down film together, but they're great quarterbacks. Eli is playing as good as anyone is right now, and he'll be a tough challenge for us."

(on the evolution of the tight end position)
"I'm not sure, to be honest with you. I think sometimes tight end is a forgotten position, but now everyone is kind of looking towards them and they're making a lot of plays deep down the middle of the field and spreading them out, moving them to different positions, and I think it's been huge for the game."

(on if it's difficult to cover tight ends)
"Well, in the deep part of the field, sometimes it is when you have a tight end streaming down the middle and have two good wide receivers on the outside. It's like, 'Who do you take away?'"

(on being a team leader)
"To be honest with you, I didn't come in here trying to be a leader or anything like that. I just try to lead by example and go to work every day, bring my hard hat. I'm a blue collar kind of guy, so I just like to put in the hours and put in the work and hopefully guys follow."


(on his style of play)
"I haven't changed my game one bit. I approach the game every time like, 'Just play hard,' like every snap is my last."

(on if his experience in national championship games helps in this atmosphere)
"Yeah, I think so. Every year in my career I always want to show in the big dance and the big game. I think as far as me and all the stuff the Super Bowl offers is you got to try to soak it in and make sure you don't get your emotions too riled up and make sure guys know at the end of the day we're here on a business trip. We came here to win this ballgame."

(on playing with a lot of emotion in the Super Bowl)
"I just feel like I'm caged up right now, pacing back and forth waiting. I'm ready. It's hard to explain. Like I said, I'm enjoying all this, you guys. It's fun; it's a great experience. It's something I can tell my kids a long time from now."

(on what challenges the Giants running backs present)
"I think personally they can anytime take it the distance. We're just got to contain and make sure we got guys at each position that can do it all. It can pop, anytime so we've got to do a great job of just containing and being fundamentally sound and everyone just hitting their assignments, being in the right place."

(on what he can do as a linebacker to help contain the Giants receivers)
"I think as far as disguise and making sure Eli (Manning) can't really tell what we're in if we're blitzing or in base defense."

(on if it's challenging to enjoy the moment here)
"Me personally, I don't think so. Throughout my career I've had a lot of schedules being in the big show. High school, college, I always played in a big game. With those experiences, they helped me out a lot."

(on the Giants' offensive weapons)
"I think we want to get after Eli (Manning) first of all, because he runs the show. They don't give him enough credit. He's a big, physical guy; he's tough. He gets up after you knock him down. He just runs a tight ship. He does a great job so he's the guy we have to try to get off track."

(on if he is undefeated with the pink suit)
"Undefeated with the pink suit. I had it in high school. The time I didn't wear it was against Alabama. The cleaners closed early."

(on the rules protecting offensive players)
"I just do business. You're playing football. This is a violent sport. I think the fans and everybody should understand that. You know what you're getting out here. It's like gladiators out here. Now it's changing but like I said, I do business. It is what it is."

(on if he ever thinks about his body physically after his career)
"To be honest with you, I'm going to play the game as long as I can play. I don't know no other way."

(on his first sit down before being drafted with Bill Belichick)
"We had a pretty deep conversation. He called me and was like 'We drafted you in the second round.' He said, 'Don't worry about it. I know you're a hell of a player. I know you're probably upset because you slipped but whatever.' That was good for me just to hear him tell me that I was going to be a great player as long as I work every day and get better and better. I just feel like everything worked out perfect. Everything happens for a reason. Look at me today."

(on if it bothered him that he slipped in the NFL Draft)
"Of course. You go to college, you get up every morning, five o'clock, you're grinding, you want be the best of the best. I just felt like I played so hard. I put my whole heart into this game and I felt like it was overlooked. Bill (Belichick) gave me a chance and I play hard every day."

(on his reputation before being drafted)
"I think it was all about the 40 yards in a straight line. It is what it is. I'm not regretting anything that happened."

(on if Bill Belichick asked about his eye gauging incident in college)
"He hasn't, but a lot of coaches are like 'yeah, we want that.' I'm not going to say no names. We're on the defense. I'm going to try to do all means to try and hurt you. That's how I play. I play violent, physical and I feel like if I don't play like that they're going to do it to me."

(on the praise he gets from the coaches)
"I'm honored to hear that. I've been playing this way since I can remember. Parents at games were saying he's too old, he's hitting too hard, we want to see his versatility. I thought it was funny, but I was watching just the older games on the NFL channels back in the day. Guys that played my position, that's how they played. They tried to rip your head off. I just try to move my game after that. That's all I know."

(on his involvement in the Patriots' defense)
"Anytime my number is called I just want to come in and get the job done. I want my teammates to know that. No matter what they can depend on me. When #55 is in the game they know he's going to do whatever he's got to do to get it done. They know I'm trying to make plays, trying to be a difference maker."

(on being injured)
"Mentally it just drained me. Every day you got to be up early getting treatment. It ain't like you're getting treatment getting ready to practice. It's just a slow process watching film with your teammates. You're seeing them on film every day. You don't get to see yourself. It just kind of became depressing after a couple weeks went by. Like I said, with those guys supporting and pushing me like they did…get better, do whatever you got to do. That kind of helped me with that whole process."


(on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' comments about the Pro Bowl not being competitive)
"That's a privilege to play in a game like that. Everybody's going to have their opinions about playing in that game, but guys play a whole season, and it's a tough, physical, brutal season, but you get rewarded. So, the last thing you want to do is go out in a game and hurt yourself. That's not good for the individual or the organization. I really haven't paid too much attention to it."

(on the Patriots having a number of unheralded players playing key roles)
"I think some people use it as a motivational tool, not being drafted or slipping in the draft because there was something negative that was put out, but I think you can always find a diamond in the rough no matter where you go. I think some guys get overlooked because the bigger the school is—the higher name or the stars on that team. But if you look deeper, you find guys like that. Our organization does do that. They look past the big names and the stars, and they look for that diamond in the rough, and we've been pretty successful by doing that."

(on if having unheralded players makes for a better team)
I think this team, we fight towards one goal, no matter where you were drafted, no matter how you got here in the league. Everybody has the same mindset of wanting to win ball games, wanting to be a team player, and I think that's one thing that we have, a lot of guys that aren't selfish. They care less about themselves, and it's more about the team, and it shows. We don't have one guy that's playing good football. We have a bunch of guys that kind of step up and play some good football for you."

(on what linebacker Jerod Mayo has brought to the team)
"When Jerod came in, it wasn't about, 'Can he play?' or, 'Can he lead?' The first day he came in, you could see right then and there that this guy was a leader. He had what it takes to run our defense. He had what it takes to be a younger leader for us. We had guys around for a long time that were there—like (former linebacker) Tedy Bruschi and more guys—but he got a chance to come in and learn the ropes from those guys. You see right away his mindset, his hard work, the passion he has for the game, and I always say he didn't look like a rookie. When he came in, he didn't act like a rookie, didn't play like a rookie; it's like he was always at this level, so that was better for us. It was definitely better for us, but I've seen Jerod grow from a player to a friend to a father, so he's been growing. But like I said, it seems like when he first got here, he had all of those things already in order, like someone taught him the right way."

(on his rookie season and how early trials shaped his career)
"My rookie year, I had a bunch of guys around me, leaders and veteran guys. It was more of a veteran team, so new blood coming in—it wasn't the easiest thing to come in on a team that had just won a Super Bowl against Carolina. Then all of a sudden, you're drafted there, and the expectations are high. Just being able to see these guys work, what it takes to be a professional, just seeing the difference between college and pros—how they approach the game, and how they approach the week, time management, things like that—I got a chance to learn a lot early. But, I was always like that, my whole life. I always was a leader on the football (team) or a leader on the basketball (team) because of the passion I had for sports. It doesn't change now. I still have love for the game. I still have a passion for the game. I think a good leader leads by example. I don't think you need leaders all the time that talk. I think if you work hard and put everything you have into it, your younger guys will flock to you."

(on the most athletic thing he does that surprises people)
"Probably dunk a basketball. People look at me and are like, 'He's a butterball, he can't.'"

(on if his excitement for the Super Bowl in increasing)
"As an individual, for me, it's slowing down for me with the media coming to town, getting ready to play, getting ready to practice—doing this, doing that— now all of that stuff is going to slow down a lot, and you get a chance to really focus in on your target, and that's playing football. For me, that's where I'm at. It's a long week until gameday, and guys get anxious, but at the same time, we have to be able to take it one day at a time because you don't want to get too amped. You don't want to get too over the top, because we're still a ways out. But for me, it's slowing down now. It's starting to slow down, and everything's starting to get back to a normal week for us.

(on keeping a routine and if it helps maintain focus)
"I think the more you can stay on a routine, the better it is. If you go outside and do something that you're not used to doing, throw something in the schedule that you're not used to doing, I think it will screw people up. This is a little different. We always have media, but we never have it before meetings, so this is not a big deal for us. I think going on to meetings, once we get into that meeting, we know exactly how it runs. We know the times. You're not running around saying, 'What do I have to do? Man I missed this.' It's not like that."

(on his main concern about the Giants offense)
"The running game. I think that's probably one of the biggest threats. When you have three backs who can run the ball, you get 10 carries apiece from those guys. That's 30 carries. That's 30 carries, and (Brandon) Jacobs and (D.J.) Ware and (Ahmad) Bradshaw, those are some tough runners. I've faced all of them, and every last one them is a tough runner. I think defensively for us to be successful, we're going to have to slow it down. If they come out and run the ball and we can't stop them, we're going to have a problem."

(on Bill Belichick's biggest strength as a coach)
"I think Bill focuses a lot on the little things. He'll sit in his office for hours and hours and hours and come out with one thing, and you'll look at him like, 'Are you serious? This is what we're doing?' But he always comes back to it. I don't know what he does; it always comes down to that little thing that he gives us. I learned that as a rookie, just listen because this guy's been around for a long, long time. Just listen and trust what he does. I've been doing it for eight years, so he hasn't failed me yet. So, I'm going to continue to listen, and whatever he brings to the table, I'm sure he put a lot of thought into it, and I think it's going to carry us a long way if we keep trusting in him because he keeps delivering."

(on the drastic changes to the roster since they played in Super Bowl XLII)
"I don't really think about that. I think the biggest satisfaction I got this year was winning the AFC Championship. From the organization to the fans, to my teammates, coaches, we put a lot into it. We put a lot into it, and these guys deserve it. They worked their tails off all year. It wasn't perfect, but nothing's perfect."

(on having success with so much roster turnover)
"It just goes to show you, the coaches that we have, the guys that we bring in, understand their roles. We've probably got the best coaches out there. We believe that. We definitely believe that. We believe in what Bill (Belichick) teaches us. We believe in the coaching staff and what they teach us. That's everything. When you can have a team that believes in what we're doing and in what the coach is trying to get through to you… Sometimes it may be a no brainer, but if the team believes—because that's one thing special about this team. They believe. They have a passion for it, the love it, and they believe."

(on what he tells newcomers to the Patriots)
"The first thing I tell them is you can't think about yourself. In this organization, it's all about the team, so if you can understand that, you're okay. Guys that didn't understand that, they had a problem, and they're probably not here. But for the most part, these guys understand that and they come to work every day ready to work, ready to get better. That's all we're asking for."

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