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Patriots Quotes Part II 1/27: Tom Brady, Shane Vereen & more

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QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY**

(on if he imagined playing on this stage this many times as a kid) "I never imagined this in my wildest dreams. I loved playing sports growing up. I loved having a chance as a kid to go out there and play with my friends, so to play football in the street with the older boys was fun. To get a chance to play in the Super Bowl, I never thought I'd play in one. So it's pretty unbelievable to be able to play in six. I've played with so many great teammates over the years – guys that really made the Patriot legacy and what our team has been all about. This team has really got to establish its own identity and we have a great chance to do it on Sunday."

(on potentially tying Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw for four Super Bowl wins and what it would mean to his legacy) "It's hard to think about those things. Like I said, I've just been fortunate to be on some great teams. Those guys are unbelievable players, they were so great for this league. They were great teams. I was the biggest 49er fan growing up and to watch Joe and Steve Young – who were my two idols – who were just great for the game and great for the sport. And to watch guys like you (former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner) that I was lucky enough to play against. We had some pretty close games."

(on the mindset of this being either his last Super Bowl or just another year at the Super Bowl) "Well, I think there is a balance between those two things and I think you've got to have ambition and you've got to have a belief that you can accomplish those things or else why would you play? Why would you work hard if you didn't think you could accomplish that? But you also know that the reality of football is a contact sport and your career can end at any one point so it's a blessing to be able to be here. It's a blessing to make it through a full season and not get injured. It takes a lot of good luck and a lot of blessings and a lot of prayers to walk off the field every single game. I think the one thing I learned, I had a tough injury about six years ago and even when we lose now, I walk off the field going, 'Well, at least I get a chance to go out there and do it again.'"

Check out photos from Patriots Media Day at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona during on Tuesday, January 27, 2015.

(on attacking the Seattle defensive scheme) "There's a lot of challenges. We've had a little insight from (New England cornerback) Brandon Browner who has talked to us about how he coaches and I think Pete's (Carroll) run the same defense for a long time. And they don't give up anything easy, I'll tell you that. I think that's a challenge and everything has to be coordinated so well. You need great distributions in your patterns, you've got to make great decisions. It's a very disciplined defense. He coaches his players to be very disciplined. And it's really a battle of that. It's whether you can sustain that for 60 minutes and if you can't, then you know they will. We played against them a couple years ago and we did a good job moving the ball. We just didn't score enough points so hopefully we can move the ball well on Sunday and we've got to get the ball in the end zone – but these guys make it pretty tough."

(on New England tight end Rob Gronkowski) "He's a big part of our offense. He's a great player in this league. He was an All-Pro this year and he's done his job at a high level. He's a big part of what we do."

(on the scout team defense and their recognition of the offense's plays during practice) "Yeah, that's a great point. You've got to be able to believe in what you see earlier in the weekdays, especially when you practice against a team that you have several practices against them. This team (Seattle) doesn't change too much of what they do. So when your scout team sees the same play four, five or six times and they start giving it away, sometimes you start to question, 'Is that really going to work in the game?' I think we've been pretty smart about that, so we've got to be able to believe in what we saw, believe in the installation and hopefully we can get a win."

(on those close to him and the support system they provide) "They mean a lot. My parents and my wife, certainly. I've got a great support system."

(on New England wide receiver Julian Edelman's touchdown pass against Baltimore in the AFC Divisional Round) "He threw it better than me. That was probably the best pass all season, unfortunately. But he's shown that in practice a bunch and he's been a great player for us."

(on the spectacle of Super Bowl week) "Well, we just got down here yesterday so we're trying to obviously get settled here in our hotel. It's a big game, obviously, with a lot going on here. But we're locked in on practicing. It starts tomorrow."

(on who has the best beard on the team) "Yeah, there are some good ones. (Rob) Ninkovich has got a pretty good beard. Jules (Julian Edelman) has a great beard going right now."

(on any pregame superstitions) "Not much. I'm not really the superstitious type. I don't put my right sock on first or any of that. I do whatever feels right."

(on who his favorite teammate has been in his career) "I've had a lot of them. It's hard to choose just one. I've been lucky to play with so many great guys. Guys that I play with now, guys that I played with in the past. Everyone is different, everyone says something different in their own unique way, so I've had a lot of great teammates."

(on what hurts when being sacked) "There's been a lot of those over the years. The hard parts are where you land on your shoulder or get a helmet to the back, so any of those hurt."

(on who gave him the hardest hit in his career) "I took a pretty good shot in that Baltimore game, in the playoff game. Their rookie defensive tackle."

(on other athletes that he has admired in his career) "I've had a lot them. Derek Jeter, LeBron (James), Kobe (Bryant). A lot of great football players that I really look up to. Peyton (Manning) has been a great player since my rookie year, Aaron (Rodgers) and what he has been able to accomplish. Those guys compete every day and want to win. They work their tails off to help their team. Those guys I really look up to."

(on Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson) "He's phenomenal. He's a phenomenal player, phenomenal quarterback, great leader for his team. He's a great competitor as you see out there on the field. He's led his team to two overtime wins. He's the quarterback and to get it and go the length of the field and score as he did against Denver and Green Bay, he's a great player."

(on his pre-game play-list) "Something to get me hyped up so it's usually Jay-Z. So he's been a big fan of mine for a long time."

(on the storm in the Northeast) "Everyone's pretty hunkered down. There's a lot of snow, causing a lot of problems in a lot of cities. So hopefully everyone is okay."

(on Football Research Director Ernie Adams) "Ernie has been around for 15 years. He's a football historian too. He always adds his insight into what he thinks we're going to see, the way the offense and defense go through. He's got a really unique perspective on the game. He's a really great asset to this team."

(on what it means to potentially win for the first time in ten years) "Well, it would be great for us to win this game and do that. We've had some pretty tough losses in past Super Bowls but none of those matter at this point. We've got to go out there and we've got a big challenge. We've got a team that is the defending Super Bowl champs. Those guys worked hard. They've earned their spot here. They've won two great playoff games and we have too so that's what makes for a great fight."

SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR SCOTT O'BRIEN

(on how quickly a team can sense that they have a good staff in place when there's turnover) "My first experience back in Cleveland, when I think of that staff that we had together, I never thought about where they're trying to go to with guys like (University of Alabama Head Coach) Nick Saban being head coaches and (University of Iowa Head Coach) Kirk Ferentz and that was just the staff that worked together at the time and had different responsibilities. When you look back at those staffs, obviously there were a lot of good coaches that had ambitions of being coordinators or head coaches if that's what they wanted to do. They were well schooled, and that's one thing that I can say about (New England Head Coach) Bill (Belichick) being with him at three different times in my career, he teaches football to everybody. Football isn't just technique and x's and o's and schematics. It's about strategies. You have to develop a plan for things that come up in games. I think, in my opinion, that's what sets him apart from a lot of guys I've been with."

(on what the Chicago Bears are getting with John Fox as their new head coach) "Obviously his personality affects everybody. He's very intelligent. He has a great idea of all three aspects of the game. John and I go way back to the University of Pittsburgh where we first worked together, and he's a great coach. He's good to work with and for. Like I said, he'll affect everybody in that building."

(on what Fox was like at Pitt) "A little wilder, he had a little more hair. It wasn't quite as grey."

(on how he's preparing his unit for the Seattle Seahawks) "I think we prepare like we do any other opponent. You have to understand their personnel, number one. Number two, you have to understand their schemes and where their strength is, and then you've got to be able to match that up and be able to prepare your guys for what we're going to have to do against them. Let the game play itself out, and just be ready for them."

(on if he's seen anything on tape that he feels can work to the Patriot's advantage) "I think, first of all, this is a good team. They've always been good. They've got very good specialists. They've got a good core group of players that we played in 2012, and they were younger like (Seattle wide receiver Doug) Baldwin and (Seattle linebacker Mike) Morgan. Obviously we've got a couple of those players too. We're a little bit familiar with them like they are with us. Obviously their specialists are the same. Our specialists are the same except for the punter, Ryan (Allen). We'll play him for the first time. It's very close that way, as far as the personnel that had a chance even though we haven't played them since then, having a chance to know those guys because we've played them before. They're a good team. They're well coached. Schematics are sound. We've got our work cut out for us."

(on the St. Louis Rams exploiting weaknesses in the Seattle unit during the regular season and if there are things he sees that he can do) "For us, we just have a game plan. We're going to have to stay with it. Guys have worked hard. We've had one week of preparing, and we've got, like I said, a big challenge. We've got a game plan that we feel comfortable with. Of course game plans change every week based on what you think they will do or what they think you're going to do, and you have to be able to adjust during the game. We're looking forward to it. Our group will be well prepared, and we'll try to face the challenge."

(on if he has any tricks up his sleeve) "I think every coach has something up their sleeve. I don't know if they want to use it or not, but I think everybody is prepared to run plays."

(on what it's like seeing guys make a name for themselves on special teams) "I'm happy for those guys. They work extremely hard. For any coach, your success comes from the players' success. That's the only thing you really do it for. That's what drives me, and when you can give a plan to those guys and they can go out there and execute it and have success doing it, that's what it's all about. The bottom line is they're helping you win on fourth downs or to get the game started at the half. It's just part of the success that they've worked hard to get."

(on if he's a hard coach) "I'm a hard coach. That's true. There's no question about it. I haven't changed at all"

(on if he gets his toughness from Head Coach Bill Belichick) "I think I was this way when I first worked with Bill."

(on what keeps him staying around and where his love for special teams came from) "I'm not sure. I'm sure I was influenced by a lot of people I came up with through my career. I've always enjoyed it as a player. I can't put my finger on it, but it's always been something I've enjoyed doing. I love the schemes, the creation of it. I don't know. I don't think it's just one thing. I've had a lot of influences on me."

(on if how much Bill Belichick's respect for special teams helps him) "I think that's true anywhere. Anytime you have the support of a head coach that understands that part of it and doesn't just give it lip service. You have to have time for your players to prepare and execute on and off the field. I think maybe early in my career, you didn't see as much of that because in the position I had, a lot of coaches just used it to get onto a staff before they could get the position they really wanted the coach. To me, personally, I've never had that ambition. I've always wanted to do this. It's been a great ride. I've made a lot of great friendships and had great experiences, good and bad. It's just kind of what I like to do."

(on the blocked kicks coming together more often this year) "I think a lot of it has been, like I said, timing. It's a group effort no matter who blocks it. To block kicks in this league is hard to do. It usually takes more than one thing to happen to have that success, but I think these guys have always worked hard at it. You just get the right combination of the right players in the right spot. You give them a chance to have success, and they have it. It's obviously had a big impact during the games."

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR MATT PATRICIA

(on being called relentless by his players) "I like that word. I don't know. I think, for me, it's all about work ethic and just trying to get in there and make sure that I can do everything that I can to help those guys be productive on the field. That's really the thing that drives me the most. I just want to make sure that I've given those guys all the information they need to be prepared to win. That's what keeps me up at night."

(on getting the most out of Rob Ninkovich) "We've been around each other long enough where there's certain things or certain ways I can tweak him a little bit, where I know he can perform in a certain way."

(on the amount of sleep he requires) "Four hours is a good night. I enjoy sleep, but there's just not a lot of opportunity to get it. It depends. It could be a couple hours or an hour. It could be three. Four hours is nice, but it doesn't happen all of the time."

(on whether he uses his science background in football) "I think the biggest thing in going back to college is that college was a grind with the curriculum and the course study. There were a lot of sleepless nights and all-nighters just trying to figure out what they were talking about. For me it's just about continuing that work ethic. It's more than science, it's problem solving."

(on his engineering background) "It's really aeronautical engineering, designing planes and such. That was kind of what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a pilot and design planes. Basically I went to school for that."

(on why he switched to coaching) "I played college football. I had stayed an extra year to start my MBA, so I coached one year and started my MBA. I got out, did engineering for a couple of years and it just wasn't what I wanted to do. I didn't want to be in a cubicle in front of a computer, working with numbers. I just thought, as a college player, looking at coaches that I had, just what an influence you could have on young men's lives and people in general. I thought that was great."

(on how he got on Bill Belichick's staff) "I worked my way to Syracuse University and there were a lot of SU connections. Brian Daboll, who is back with us, he and I actually played college football against each other. So, at the time, he originally called me and then Ivan Fears is a Syracuse guy, Scott Pioli is a Syracuse guy. There were some Syracuse guys here. I was very fortunate and very lucky to have the opportunity to interview and was lucky enough to stick around."

(on being such a young coordinator) "I just turned 40. I'm very fortunate. Bill (Belichick) has been great to me. When I made the switch here from offense to defense and began coaching the linebackers, I spent a lot of time with Coach Belichick, picking his brain and he really taught me the ways of how he wanted things done. That experience was invaluable. I've just been very fortunate to have been put into those positions."

(on if he's gained confidence as a play-caller) "I think you definitely feel more comfortable in certain situations when you've coached for a while. There's so much going and there's so much that could happen on every single play and in every single situation that, as you gain the experience through those situations, you can kind of draw back on those to help you make faster and better decisions."

(on his beard) "Yeah, I'm pretty natural. I just kind of let it go. Rob (Ninkovich) likes to trim his. No, that's not me."

(on the beard oil they use) "We got some beard oil in the mail from a company, so he dove right in to that. It's got a nice lumberjack smell."

(on growth of Rob Ninkovich's game) "He's a guy that we brought in. He's played a couple of different positions for us. I think it's benefited him. He's been able to see the game from the linebackers level and the defensive line position, on the ball and off the ball. When you gain that experience it helps you as a player to better understand what everyone is doing around you. He's a guy that's a very smart guy. He understand the scheme that we run. He's got a great skill set. We try to make sure that we put him a position to use his skill set and not put him in a bad position."

(on defensive players with multiple positions) "We're actually fortunate. We've got a lot of guys that play multiple roles for us or different positions. We ask them to do whatever it is that can help us win each week and our guys are great about it."

(on where Ninkovich is best) "That's a hard question. I think it's whatever we're asking him to do that week. I've seen him do all of it. I've seen him off the ball setting the edge, off the ball in coverage, intercepting passes, rushing the quarterback. He's been able to do all of it, so it's really helped."

(on the attitude Vince Wilfork brings every day) "It's phenomenal for me to have a leader like Vince in my meetings every day. He's a guy that sits in the front, pays attention, sits upright and is really into the meetings. If I need to point to anybody in the room that I think needs to do it a certain way, I can just point to Vince and say, 'You need follow this guy's example. This is how you sustain in the NFL. This is how you're a champion in the NFL. You do it like he does it and you attack each day and each week with the preparation that he does.' I think it's an easy follow for the young guys that come in."

(on what it means to be a true professional) "The wonderful thing about the game of football is that it's all about what you put into it. Whatever you put into it is what you're going to get out. There's nothing besides hard work. There are no shortcuts. There's no way around it besides getting in and grinding through it. That means getting in early. That means watching extra film. That means that when we put you through a nine hour day, you have enough in you to say, 'Alright. I'm going to put an extra hour in doing something.' Whether it's taking care of your body, extra film sessions or more weight room work, it's that ability as a professional to say, 'I really want to go home because I'm tired, but it's going to help me win on Sunday if I stay here for an extra 30 minutes or an hour.' A professional grabs one of his teammates and says, 'Hey, let's go watch some film. I saw this or this could help us win. Let's get on the same page with this.' That's the sort of stuff that, if you can have that as a group and the group really takes ownership of itself, separates you."

CORNERBACK BRANDON BROWNER

(on his comments that New England wide receivers should target Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas III) "Those are my brothers, at the end of the day there's no hard feelings. That's like in any game, you have a guy that messes his ankle up and you're going to tackle and make sure you land on his ankle. If a guy messes his shoulder up, then you tackle him and land on his shoulder – that's just a part of the game. You guys know how close I am to those boys and at the time that felt like the right thing to say."

(on playing in the Super Bowl) "It's awesome, it's a dream come true. Just like everybody else, we all dream of getting to this day and I'm fortunate to be here."

(on how hard it was missing the Super Bowl last season with Seattle) "It was very difficult watching my teammates play and I'm fortunate to be here this year and hopefully we make the best of it."

(on facing his former team in the Super Bowl) "I'm very excited about it. The thing about it, they know my weaknesses and vice versa. It gives me a chance to match with those guys."

(on the differences between New England Head Coach Bill Belichick and Seattle Head Coach Pete Carroll) "The difference is they're two coaches on two different sides of the spectrum. One is old school, hard-nosed and Pete Carroll is a great guy, he keeps it looser. On our way to walking into meeting rooms in Seattle you could hear music blasting, pumping, but none of that is going on in New England, it's all business orientated. But I love playing for both coaches. I grew up with hard-nosed coaches from Pop Warner to high school, that's what I'm used to and it brought back a little structure to my game."

(on playing for Carroll) "He's the ultimate player's coach. I've never met any coach like him as far as the way he approaches the game. He keeps it loose around there which keeps guys loose and you're not walking on egg shells."

(on the challenges of facing smaller receivers) "It's tough because you're not as subtle as those little guys. My steps are a little bit longer and my strides are a little bit longer. It's tough and we'll have to face (Seattle Seahawks wide receiver) Doug Baldwin and those guys. They're a little quick, smaller guys. Doug is what about 5'10" or 5'11"? He's probably one of the quickest guys that I had to face in the league."

(on how his roles are different between playing with New England and playing with Seattle) "When I was in Seattle we basically played right and left. Here in New England, if you watched the games, I moved around sometimes. I was in the slot, I would be in the box and I think that's made me more of a well-rounded player because in Seattle I only played one side of the field. I had a man-to-man mindset and a lot of times I didn't know where my help was coming. Being able to move around in New England, now I know where my help was coming from because I'm put in that position at times."

(on if he misses being a member of Seattle's 'Legion of Boom') "I wouldn't say that I miss it, but those guys mean something to me. I'm happy to be playing with the likes of Darrelle Revis and (safety) Devin McCourty – it's like I didn't miss a step. It's not like I went and played for a team that didn't have solid DBs (defensive backs). It is fun."

(on how Belichick and Carroll are alike) "Besides what you see from TV, I think they are the exact same. Their football IQ is the exact same. Belichick this week broke down some of the philosophies that Pete Carroll likes and sitting back I felt like I was listening to Pete talk to me. Over in Seattle he talks about the ball and that was one of the things Belichick said to us and he said it in the exact three words in order, 'It's about the ball.' Just the same Pete Carroll says it."

(on how good the two defensive back groups are in this game) "Not to pat ourselves on the back, but we're probably the one and two best groups I'll say all-around, not just specific players. As a total group we're probably the two best groups."

(on comparing New England quarterback Tom Brady and Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson off the field preparations) "I think that's what makes them great is the off the field, the little things, the intangibles, both of them have it. You see what they do on the field, but it's the preparation going into games, I think is what gives them an edge."

(on always being considered a member of Seattle's 'Legion of Boom' defensive backfield) "That's what it is. I got tattooed 'LOB' 'Legion of Boom' that's what they mean to me. What I said, that wasn't coming from a bad place. I'm a competitor, those boys are competitors, that's why we have that bond and we connected because I knew that they were going to lay their bodies on the line for me just like I would for them. I love those guys, I wish those guys the best, but ultimately I want to win this game."

(on changing the way the public views him) "I'm trying to clean up my image a little bit, but I truly believe everybody makes mistakes. Just on this level my mistakes are magnified and blown up a little bit. The reason I say I want to clean it up a little bit, not more so for the media, but for the kids and elderly fans that watch the game. Just change up some of what they think of me."

(on how Wilson is different from other quarterbacks that they have faced) "He's an athlete more so than a quarterback, but he throws the deep ball well, he can use his legs to buy time and get out of trouble. Those are all of the obvious things, but I think he's a very intelligent guy too and he's going to make the right decisions at the right time."

(on trying to tackle Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch) "He opposes a big challenge, just like he does to week-in and week-out against guys. I think if we do a good job of wrapping up or gang tackling, I think teams cover Marshawn and try to get the big hit, that won't work because he's a big guy, wide base and has good balance about his game. I think that if we just go in there and wrap him up and gang tackle him then we'll be alright."

(on the matchup between New England tight end Rob Gronkowski and Seattle safety Kam Chancellor) "That's going to be one for the ages I think. Gronk is a beast and Kam is a beast. It will be interesting to watch that matchup, it could go either way."

(on having physical battles with Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse in practices) "Doug, like I said he's probably one of the quickest guys I ever had to face and he opposes some challenges for someone like myself, but we have good game plans for those guys and I'm confident in the game plan. It got heated (in practice) a couple of times, I won't say what happened, but it got it heated."

(on how important it is to slow Kearse down) "It will be big because I got familiarity with what they like to do. Kearse has gotten a lot better too. I think I have a better beat on those guys with this week of preparation and film work because it doesn't stop until all the way up until game time."

(on comparing New England and Seattle linebacker groups) "They really remind me of each other. (Seattle linebacker) K.J. Wright and (New England linebacker) Jamie Collins, both are the same build, long length, both from Mississippi, quiet guys, to themselves. Dont'a Hightower and Bobby Wagner, fast guys, little thick, bulky guys, and I think our teams on paper or watching film matchup really well."

WIDE RECEIVER MATTHEW SLATER

(on his pregame ritual) "I think the biggest thing for me is just calming myself down. I actually do a lot of reading prior to the game. Read my bible and just calm myself down so I don't get overanxious and over excited. I'm a big gum chewer, I chew a lot of gum. I think that helps with the nerves."

(on if he's ready for Sunday) "We're getting ready. We've got a little bit more preparation to do, but we're excited about our opportunity."

(on if it's been frustrating to talk about deflated footballs instead of the game at hand) "It's an unfortunate set of circumstances that we faced, but we'll handle it and remain focused on the Seahawks and that's where our focus is this week."

(on if he has a particular bible passage that is his "life passage") "I think Romans 8:28 has been a verse that I've really learned to lean on. You look at that verse you learn over the years is that God has shown himself more to me in times of adversity than times everything is going well. I've learned so much through times of adversity, God showing up and really teaching me that I need to lean on him more. When he talks about things working together for good, it's not necessarily for my personal good, it's the greater good; the good of the kingdom. The more I think less of me and more of him the better off I usually am."

(on if there is a certain time in his life that he can remember that passage helping him) "Certainly my college career. I never started a game in college and now I'm seven years in the NFL. That four, five years in college of injury, lack of playing time things of that nature to be here at this stage at this point God has shown me, 'Listen Matthew, I've got it under control.' It may be different for everyone. That doesn't mean everyone's going to play in the NFL, obviously, but I think he has a specific plan for everyone and he's going to take you on a journey and you've just got to trust him."

(on if he saw himself as being a key special teams playmaker when he was in college) "I went into college thinking I wanted to catch 20 touchdown passes and have 1,500 yards like everyone else, but my path was a little bit different. Things unfolded a little bit different. To be honest with you, I wouldn't have it any other way. I've been very blessed. I never thought I would have the type of career I've had and to be a part of a team like this."

(on being named a Pro Bowler for his special teams duties) "It was very humbling, but I certainly think a lot of credit should go to the guys that I'm playing alongside and the coaches that are coaching me week in and week out. I look at it as not an individual award, but a team, group award. I'm just very thankful to have that acknowledgment. I like to think I take a lot of pride and work hard for what I have done. At the same time, I've realized that the good Lord has really blessed me with the abilities and the opportunities and the people in my life to be where I am now."

(on his dad's influence on him) "I think nothing took precedent over faith for him. His faith in God, his walk with Jesus was the most important thing. That was never in doubt. That was never a question for my brother and I or anyone who knew him. Despite all that he accomplished in his career he understood why he was able to accomplish it. He understood that without Jesus his life had no purpose, no direction and really it was nothing without him. So, I think he was able to convey that to my brother and I and really teach us to be men to fear God and understand that, 'We're men, we're human, we're going to make mistakes, but if you continue to trust and lean on Jesus everything's going to be alright in the end.'"

(on when his dad's influence turned into his own ideals) "I turned to Christ when I was seven, but as a seven year old you really fully understand what it means to walk with Jesus. I think as I went into college my faith was tested a little bit more. I had to personalize my faith. I had to understand there were certain decisions that I would have to make, certain things that I would have to do that would allow me to walk with Christ at a closer level. That's an ongoing process as I think it is for anyone who walks with the Lord until we're sanctified and go to heaven. So, it's been a great journey. I feel like I've learned so much. The Lord is continuing to teach me in triumph and in failures. It's been a great ride and I'm just thankful for what the Lord's doing in my life.

(on how he navigates life through his faith) "I'll make a comparison football is temporary. It's going to be over for all of us at some point, but I think when you look at a relationship with Jesus you understand you're living for eternity. If you can't get excited about that, I don't know what you can get excited about. So, as I navigate life with God's help, it just gives me a sense of comfort knowing that I'm going to make mistakes, there's going to be highs and lows, but at the end of the day I'm covered in grace and mercy and I've got something to look forward to and that makes me excited, definitely. And I'm excited for everyone that's put that same trust and faith in him. Because as I said, this stage it could be the end all and be all for some people. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for this opportunity. I think it's a great experience for all of us and our hard work, but at the end of the day I'm living for eternity."

SAFETY PATRICK CHUNG

(on being excited to be at the Super Bowl) "Absolutely, it's a blessing to be out here and enjoy this event."

(on off the field distractions) "We just come here to work. We can't really worry about what everybody is saying. We can't worry about things we can't control. We are just going to keep working like we did all season. It's the best stage to do it."

(on Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch) "I didn't hear the first part of your question but I heard you say Marshawn Lynch. Yeah, we've got to stop that guy. He's a problem out there. So we have to figure out a way to contain him a little bit. He's a great player though, he's going to get his yards, he's going to get his carries, he's going to get his big plays. We just have to try to limit him to the best of our abilities."

(on why he improved so much in man coverage this season) "Just working on it. You always have to work on everything. I mean, we all work on that during practice. (Safeties) Coach Flores always puts the safeties through man-to-man drills. It's hats off, really, to the other 10 people helping me have that coverage on receivers or tight ends so they have better coverage. It's something we've been working on all year and it's paid off for us."

(on what he's been doing better this year than he did last year) "I mean, I'm not hurt. I wasn't injured. I mean, just kind of being calm, just being more calm about things. Just kind of letting the game come to me rather than forcing it. Just trying to be as consistent as possible. I'm not trying to make all the big plays, just make my plays. That's definitely what team football is about. That's what's helped us this season."

(on what he learned from being hurt last year) "Things happen. You can't worry about things you can't control. You just have to go out there and do what you can do and don't let what you can't do interfere with what you can do. Just life lessons, things happen. You have to be able to bounce back from it."

(on coming back to New England) "I love it here. I never wanted to leave in the first place. I love it here. It's a great organization, great locker room, great city. The fans love their sports. It's all around a good team and good organization so I'm just glad to be back."

(on having a lot of talent in the secondary) "It helps. It helps us as a secondary. It helps to have players out there that you can do different things with. It frees up for other players to do other things. It definitely helps. We just have to finish this out. We just have to finish this one out and we will be alright."

(on how he is playing right now) "It's not about how I am playing. It's about how we play. We've been playing consistent and we just have to continue playing consistent and we will be alright."

(on having doubts after last year's injury) "No, you can't doubt yourself. Things are going to be different year-by-year, so you can't really doubt yourself. If you doubt yourself you won't be able to perform or be confident. So just bounce back and continue to work and continue to grind it out. It all worked out, I guess."

(on the keys to defending the read option) "Just do your job and trust that the person next to you is going to do their job. To defend something like that you have to have team defense. Just do your job and do it consistently and hopefully we can stop it a little bit."

(on why he excels so well with New England) "They just bring the best out of you. (Coach) Bill (Belichick) brings the best out of you. He going to put you in the right position and you just have to be able to execute and do it on a consistent basis. That's kind of our bread and butter, just do your job and trust that the person next to you is going to do it. That's his philosophy and it works because we play good team defense and good team offense."

(on what Seattle does on offense) "Everything. They run the ball. They can pass the ball. They have a quarterback who can run and throw. They have good receivers, good defense, good special teams. They are a good team, they wouldn't be here if they weren't. They're the best team in the NFC."

(on how hard it is to tackle Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch in the open field) "Very tough. He's been tough since college. He's good. He's one of the best. We are going to have to do our best to contain him. He's going to have his runs. He's a good player. He's going to have his plays, we just have to try to limit the game."

(on New England's game plan for Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson) "The game plan is just try to stop him. I mean, you can try to do all you want to do, game-plan all you want to game plan, but it comes down to execution. If we are able to execute our game plan, whatever our game plan is, I think we will be ok. At the same time, they are getting paid, too, and they are going to make some plays."

(on Seattle's receivers) "I'm not going to label them. They work hard, they play hard and they are very passionate. I see that on film. You can say what you want to say about them, but they are here for a reason. They are here because they are good and they can make plays."

RUNNING BACK SHANE VEREEN

(on if it's been difficult to stay focused with all of the surrounding controversy) "I've tried to ignore it. I've paid special attention to my TV and my TV channels and I've stayed away from a lot of the ESPN and a lot of the sports channels, but we've done a good job as a team to stay focused and just keeping our eyes and our head on the prize."

(on if the team finds extra motivation from the controversy) "Well you know, you said it – it's the Super Bowl. Literally nothing else needs to be said, no extra motivation. It's the biggest game of the year. It's what we play for. It's what you dream about since you were a little kid. That's about it. That's all that needs to be said."

(on New England's preparation) "We've been working. Some is in. We've still got some to go. We're trying to take this week as normal as possible, so we still have some ways to go."

(on what a Super Bowl victory would mean to him) "I can't really describe what it'd mean. It would mean a lot for both teams. Us and Seattle both want it really bad. Both teams have worked very hard to get here. Both teams deserve to be here. I'm just looking forward to the game."

(on what jumps off the screen about the Seattle defense) "There are a lot of things that jump off the screen. They're a very good defense, and they deserve the praise that they've gotten. They wouldn't be here if they weren't a great defense. I think their speed, I think their toughness, they're physical, their mental-physicalness – you name it, they've got it. They're coming from all angles at all times."

(on what he does during the halftime show and if he's excited for it) "Bruno Mars killed it last year. This year, thank God, I won't be able to watch it. I'll be hydrating trying to get ready for the second half."

(on if he thinks the Super Bowl halftime show is a cool thing) "Absolutely. Everything about the Super Bowl is awesome. It's a fun experience."

(on what it's like knowing all those fans are in attendance to watch Media Day) "It's kind of cool. You wouldn't expect this many people to just come in and watch us talk to some people, but it just adds some excitement to the game. It's what the Super Bowl is all about."

(on if the team enjoys being at Media Day) "Oh, yeah, we do enjoy it. We wouldn't be here if we hadn't worked hard all season and hadn't won a lot of games."

(on what Media Day is like for him) "I think it lightens the mood. I think it's good because you've got to be prepared for all types of questions, not necessarily questions about football. It lightens the mood and it's kind of fun."

(on the most interesting question he's had so far) "I was asked earlier how many times I was going to be ineligible this game. I thought that was pretty funny. That was well-deserved."

(on how he answered the reporter who asked him how many times he would be ineligible in the Super Bowl) "I said, 'I don't know,' because I still don't know. Still early, still early."

(on the size of the crowd at Media Day) "It's pretty awesome. It's not every day you walk into a room, like you said, with this many media, this many fans to just sit here and watch us talk. It's special. This whole week is special. This is what the Super Bowl is all about."

(on if he's taking the Super Bowl all in and how it feels) "It's awesome. It's hard to describe. I'm just trying to take it all in. I'm just trying to make sure I remember this one."

(on how he feels like he fits into the New England offense) "This offense, everyone's got a role, and this offense is ever-changing. Each week it's something different. Everyone feels comfortable in their role, and this week coming into the game everyone's working hard and everyone's trying to perfect their role and try to play the best they could. It's the biggest game of the year."

(on if quarterback Tom Brady has been the same person in the meeting room all week despite the surrounding controversy) "Tom Brady hasn't changed one bit. Nobody on this team has changed. Everyone's been focused. Everyone's been focused on the goal, and everyone's been happy to be here. We worked very hard to be here. Just the fact that we're able to kind of reap the benefits so far has been awesome."

(on if the controversy can be used as a rallying cry and if the team has talked about it in the locker room at all) "I wouldn't say it's a rallying point. I would say it's talked about just because everyone's talking about it. I think we've done a good job of ignoring the noise and staying focused on what we need to do."

(on what kinds of problems the Seattle defense presents) "A lot. It's hard to narrow it down. They've got a lot of speed, they're tough, they're physical. It's going to be a tough challenge for us."

(on needing to get the run game going and how tough it will be against the Seattle defense) "Oh, absolutely. The running game always helps our offense. It helps any offense when you're able to run the ball and move the chains with the ball on the ground. We're going to have to come with a great game plan. We're going to have to play tough for four quarters. That also stands out."

(on if there was a key or two he's focusing on going into Sunday) "I wish there were one or two keys. I wish there was, but it's the Super Bowl. There's a lot to worry about. There's a lot to think about. I wish there was just one or two keys."

(on who's going to win Sunday) "The best team – the toughest team, and I think it'll be a great game."

(on tight end Rob Gronkowski becoming an icon and a sex symbol) "He's become a sex symbol with some kittens. It's crazy. Whoever thought that some furry little cats would've created a sex symbol, go figure?"

(on how Gronkowski handles being a sex symbol) "The best thing that I've told a lot of people about 'Gronk' is that he's the same person every day. It's hard to find Gronk on a bad day. He's literally just a person that you want to be around just because his attitude is always positive. He's always got something to say. He's always got something on his mind."

(on how the team handles it when they see pictures such as the ones with Gronkowski with kittens) "We just laugh. It's part of who he is. We take it with a grain of salt and just keep on moving forward – probably print some pictures out, put them around the locker room, throw some in his locker – just let him know that we see it."

(on if he can recall a specific incident where the team has poked fun of Gronkowski) "There's been a couple. Me personally, I just get to come into the locker room and laugh at it all. I don't really have much of a part in it, but there have definitely been some blown-up shots posted in the locker room, posted in his locker. It's all good fun. Of him, usually not with many clothes on, and he takes it and he loves it and it's cool."

LINEBACKER JAMIE COLLINS

(on why he hasn't talked to the media a lot this year) "Yeah man you know, I'm a busy guy."

(on how his role has changed over the course of the year and how his responsibilities have shifted) "I mean, it's changed a lot, and it's helpful. I never back down. I need it. It's just given me the opportunity to do more things. It just shows my talents. It shows what I can do. Like I said, I don't turn anything down.

(on comparing his overall growth from last year to this year) "I try to live in that day. I try not to go too far back or try not to look so far ahead. I just try to stay in time."

(on working with linebacker Dont'a Hightower) "I mean it's been fun. It's been a success as you can see, so you know, we just need to keep that brotherhood going. I learned a lot from Hightower and Jerod Mayo. I try to use everything to my advantage."

(on how linebacker Jerod Mayo has helped him grow) "In the film room, just being the veteran around the locker room. You can pick up any little thing from Jerod. He's done a good job."

(on working with linebacker coach Patrick Graham) "It's been good like I said. You need the information and that's his job to give you the information and to just go out there and do it on the field."

(on having more fun this year) "Yeah, it's been a lot more fun because where we are at now."

(on his preferred spot on the field) "I do, but I tend not to settle, you know, I like to experience a lot of stuff. I like to do a lot of things on the field, especially if I can help my teammates. If they want to put me at safety, I'll play safety. Put me at quarterback, I'll play quarterback. I just do what's best for the team."

(on his take on Media Day) "It's not something I look forward to. I can tell you like that. It's just not something that I get excited about. If I had a choice, I wouldn't do it. I don't really need all the publicity."

(on playing against Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson) "We keep an eye on him. He's the quarterback. If there's one person you have to keep your eye on, it's the quarterback."

(on defending against a zone blocking scheme) "Its stuff we've seen all year. Everybody runs it, but they run it better. We just have to do our job. We do our job and everything takes care of itself."

(on his recollection of past games) "I'm just trying to get this right here over with. I'm just trying to get this Super Bowl over with, so I can go back home."

(on playing against guys like Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch) "Sometimes you have to go into the game with your own game plan and not try to be someone else. And that's me. I try to go in with my own game plan. We just have to stop the run game. Our defense, we get in the right position."

(on his focus on pass coverage) "That's what I did. I wasn't always big, so I wasn't always a rusher. Growing up, I played all of them (positions)."

(on one specific thing that he has improved on over the past year by staying at linebacker) "I might have to go with my covers, maybe. I mean, that's something I started doing a lot, covering. You can rush, you know, that's nothing, but covering someone is really different. I'm a big guy."

(on if he feels he is the best defensive player in this game) "No, not really. I mean, I just stay in my lane. I'm not a big hype. That's not me."

(on facing running backs his size) "It's a different type of running game, but you know, it's just all about will. The will to get out there and do what you got to do."

(on his athleticism and being able to stop Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson) "We have a chance, you know. We are here. If that wasn't the case (stopping Wilson), then we wouldn't be here. So, I think we have a pretty good chance.

(on Wilson's versatility) "He can do a lot of things. He's playing for the Super Bowl, just like we are. Obviously, he's doing something right."

(on special routines before games) "I just constantly listen to music all the time."

(on his advice for kids aspiring to be in the NFL) "Whatever you've been doing, just stick with what you're doing. You have to do certain things to get to where you need to go, but as for me, I just maintain. I just kind of do what I've been doing."

(on the recent controversy) "As for me, I mean, I really just kind of shy away from it. It had nothing to do with me and I know nothing about it."

(on his Super Bowl experience so far) "It's cool. I mean, it's pretty shocking. I can't complain."

OFFENSIVE TACKLE SEBASTIAN VOLLMER

(on if the offensive linemen are the most insightful players on the team) "I like that. It's probably not true, but I like that."

(on if the offensive linemen are offended that none of them got a spot at the podium despite the fact that skill players require offensive linemen to make plays) "I don't know what to tell you. I feel like as much we need him, he needs us. I feel like we all have the same importance on the team. I don't think it bothers anybody."

(on the last time he gave that many interviews in German) "Probably the last Super Bowl."

(on if he thinks about his journey from Germany to the University of Houston and playing under Art Briles and Kevin Sumlin) "I don't look at it as bizarre; maybe not typical. I don't know. I appreciate those guys. Obviously they took a shot at a 220-pound kid from Germany. Five years later, I was lucky enough to get drafted. I don't know. It's a great journey and I'm not really into reflecting yet, at least, probably after my career. I love Houston. It was a great town. I had a great time there. The University of Houston gave me the chance."

(on if he's heard from former University of Houston Coach and current Baylor Coach Art Briles) "Every once in a while, yeah. I wouldn't say it's every day or anything, but you know, he knows how I feel about him. I'm really appreciative of him. I support what he does. Obviously he's doing a great job at Baylor now."

(on his transition from Germany to the University of Houston and the culture shock he endured) "I've got to say, Texans in general, I would say they were extremely nice to me. They really helped me out. I remember the first day I walked into the locker room and I didn't understand a word. They were inviting me to the barbeques and all the stuff. I don't know. They really welcomed me and it was great. It wasn't always easy, but it was a great experience. Looking back, I loved every minute of it."

(on what he thinks the biggest factor in the Super Bowl will be) "All of them. I don't think there is one single one that I want to point out. For us, obviously their defensive line because we've faced them. I think it's the best defense that's left in the league and that we're going to face. I think that they're all good."

(on how he prepares to face one of the toughest defenses in the NFL) "We're going to see on Sunday."

(on the way he's seen the NFL growing overseas and his impact on the NFL's global expansion) "I could see that, but I don't know. I think that's more of a business question I would say. Growing up, I watched the NFL Europe. I think there was a great turnout to games in London. I played two of them there. It was great. It was a great experience. I loved the towns. As a player, I think it would be great. If all the owners in the NFL see that, I don't know."

(on his experiences playing London) "It was great. The first time we flew up on Friday or maybe Thursday. I don't know. It was great. Obviously we didn't get to see too much because we had to play a game. It was my first time in London and my family came out and we hung out afterwards. That was great. I really loved that. We got to see a little bit of the town itself. We played in a stadium that was great. The fans were awesome. I feel like they were cheering for everything. It wasn't a home field advantage or anything like that."

(on if he celebrated Germany's World Cup win and if it gave him any added inspiration) "I was happy for those guys. I don't think it gave me any added inspiration. I feel like we're all very motivated and we're trying to get it done. But you know, it's great and all and obviously in Germany, being involved in soccer, it was great."

(on if playing in the Super Bowl was his ultimate goal when he was growing up in Germany) "I feel like the way I was always approached was taking it one day at a time or a year at a time. You get to Houston and you get to be, I don't know, become a starter, get bigger. Whatever it is, you work on those goals and eventually it all fell into place. I wouldn't say being at the Super Bowl was my ultimate goal. Something smaller and then those goals ultimately become bigger."

(on if he looks back at his career because of growing up in Germany) "I don't really think about that now. I think it's going to come later when I'm done with everything. But right now, I'm just enjoying the ride and appreciating where this team has been. I don't think it's something that just happens easy. Hopefully we come away with a win. We'll see."

(on if he would like to see more European players in the NFL) "I don't see myself different from any other player. I just know what kind of great experience it has been for me. I would like for some other German kid to go through that because it has been amazing. Other than that, whatever I can do, I will do. I see myself just like any other offensive linemen."

(on what he would say to a young German kid watching the Super Bowl that wants to play in the NFL) "Well, I did that 14 years ago. I watched the 2001 Super Bowl with the Patriots. I'm here now. If that's your goal, keep at it. Hard work."

(on center Bryan Stork's serious attitude) "I would say it's been a great experience for him, too, being a rookie and getting to experience a Super Bowl. I'm glad to have him around."

(on the evolution of center Bryan Stork this season) "Like any rookie, it's gotten better, obviously. I'm happy he's on my team. He's a good guy. He works hard. He's a good football player. That's all I can really tell you."

(on how difficult it is for a center to play effectively as a rookie) "We're all professionals. I don't think age is an excuse. But it hasn't been a problem, so I don't expect it to be a problem going forward."

TACKLE NATE SOLDER

(on any jobs he has had outside of football) "My mom did real estate so my job was to go and clean out the old houses. The people would trash the house, and I would clean them up, paint them up, fix them for the next people. And then I had another job where I was a whitewater photographer. So I stood on the side of the bank and took pictures of people that went down the river."

(on if he had any unique stories from cleaning out the houses) "Usually it's just kind of trashed. Occasionally you'll find treasures or whatever, but I don't remember anything specific."

(on his faith and how he lives his life as an NFL player) "Well, I don't think it's easy. The road is narrow. I don't think a lot of people are able to do that. I don't think any area of life is going to be easy. I think that's the challenge of it. I think that we're all put here in the NFL for a specific reason because God knew that we had that sort of characteristic that could handle that."

(on why the offensive linemen don't get a podium) "That's because nobody knows who we are. We're the flush rooms. I think the guys that you get on the offensive line actually appreciate living under the radar. It's not about us. A very thankless job, we love that part of it."

(on if it bothers him that offensive linemen only get noticed when they give up a sack) "Well, we know the odds are against us. We have a great hundred plays, then you get beat once and you have a bad game. So going into the whole situation you know what is stacked against you."

(on how the offensive line has come together this season) "Well, we are growing. We are improving each week. We just focus on what we can do each day and improve and get better."

(on the importance of having the same five guys on the offensive line for the last 12 games) "I don't look back too much. All our focus is right now. Whoever is in the game, they put a lot of work in and a lot of preparation and are prepared to do what they need to do."

(on what turned the season around after starting 2-2) "Like I said, I'd rather not go back and review the whole season. Right now we're just improving, taking it one day at a time and getting ready for the Seahawks."

(on the challenge of facing the Seahawks) "They're the second best team or could be the best team in the NFL, and I think it's going to be a tough challenge."

(on if he ever envisioned standing right here) "It was pretty surreal. It's been an amazing season. There have been so many great things that have happened this year and this is just one of the many things that I am so honored and privileged to be here."

(on New England running back LeGarrette Blount) "He's a great player. He runs really hard, plays really tough. Big, hard physical guy to take down."

(on Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson) "He seems like a great guy. He runs around really well and makes big plays."

(on how wireless tablets have helped him learning the playbook) "You get two pictures instead of one on every one and it's much quicker. You can look through it and adjust it and zoom in on it and that's been helpful. I know it's definitely helped the coaches out because they can relay information quicker to us. They can draw on it and those sort of things."

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