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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Mon Dec 16 | 12:00 AM - 09:00 AM

Patriots SB LIII Postgame Quotes

HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK

(Opening statement)

“I'll start out by saying I'm proud of our football team, coaching staff, this entire organization. These guys worked so hard all year going all the way back to the offseason program in April and just grinding it out day after day. Players would come in, they worked extremely hard. We had our ups and downs over the course of the year. In the biggest moments when we had to play our best football and compete the hardest, they did it. Can't say enough about them, the coaching staff, Brian Flores and Josh McDaniels, Jerry (Schuplinski) and all the rest of the staff. Certainly their conditioning helps us prepare. The strength and conditioning staff, they all did a great job. It was a great team win and jut extremely proud of everybody and obviously couldn't do it without all of them. They're the ones that really deserve the credit. The players went out there and competed against a great football team. I have a ton of respect for Sean (McVay), his staff and the Rams football team. That's a great team and we knew it was going to be as hard a competition as we had all year. Just happy to come on top, out on top and had a few more plays we were able to make there.”

(On how the team responded after two losses in December)

“Great. They came in, we tried to correct some of the things we did wrong. 15 penalties in Pittsburgh. You don't win many games doing that. We got some things straightened out there and played well in the next two games against Buffalo and the Jets, which enabled us to get into the playoffs and to get a bye in the first round. These guys, they're competitors. When things don't go well, they take it hard, but they have a resolve to come back and try to fix it and get it right and get it better. It was like that after the Tennessee game. It was like that after the Detroit game. Jacksonville, Detroit. We had a couple stretches like that here, really. I always felt good about where we were, but we just kept grinding, kept playing and things and got it done.”

(On the connection between QB Tom Brady and WR Julian Edelman today)

"That was a big part of us moving the ball and certainly Tom's two big plays to Rob (Gronkowski) on the touchdown drive, on the play-action and hitting him down the seam. That was some great play-calling by Josh (McDaniels) and great execution by Tom and Rob. Julian always gives us those kinds of plays – tough plays, tough catches, catch-and-run plays, breaking tackles for a few extra yards, third down. He did a tremendous job. Our backs made a lot of plays – Sony (Michel), Rex (Burkehead) – especially there at the end were able to change field position. Steve (Gostkowski) made a big kick there to make it a 10-point lead. Offensive line, you can't say enough about those guys. That's a good front they were blocking. We were able to move the ball, we just weren't able to score very many points. We couldn't sustain drives and get into the red area or get into the end zone in the first three quarters. Again, that's a credit to their defense. It wasn't like we couldn't move the ball. It just didn't show up on the scoreboard."

(On whether there was a feeling the team would breakthrough when they were not scoring points)

"I think the real key breakthrough came when Josh (McDaniels) went to the—McDaniels made a great adjustment. We talked about that on the sideline. We went to a two tight-end offense, but we spread them out. We were able to complete some passes to Julian (Edelman) and then to Rob (Gronkowski) at the goal line to score. It was really well executed. Not something we had, I'd say anticipated doing a lot in this game. We did it against Kansas City, but it was kind of right time, right situation. We had good protection to be able to make those throws. Tom (Brady) did a great job getting the ball to the open guy. That was a great throw he made to Gronkowksi to get it down to the 2-yard line. Josh McDaniels did an – as usual – did an outstanding job of play calling and eventually finding things that worked and made some big drives for us. Running game at the end, we were able to knock out a couple of big runs when we were backed up and then really got the ball back until we had the 10-point lead."

(On the defensive keys)

"Team defense. There is not one guy that can stop the Rams. They have too many good players, too many explosive guys and they're too well coached. We played the run competitively. I felt we rushed the passer competitively. I thought we covered competitively. We didn't give up big plays, which they hit on everybody. We for the most part kept the ball in front of us and force them to execute a solid number of plays to move the ball. Eventually, we were able to get some stops. I thought our third-down defense was competitive. Those shortened some drives and got us off the field. Our kicking game was really good, too. I don't know how many times we pinned them inside the 10-yard line. That was at least three. The field position we had, (Patriots K) Steve (Gostkowski) gave us a couple big touchbacks. That helped our defense out, too. They were on the field several times [pinned deep]."

(On the effort from CB Jason McCourty to break up a potential touchdown)

"We had two mistakes in coverage in that series. That was a tremendous play. That was a tremendous effort, a great play on the ball. We had several good pass breakups in there. Of course, (Stephon) Gilmore's play on the blitz, going up and high-pointing the ball and took it away for the interception was another huge one. Jason McCourty, that was a tremendous play. It was (Rams WR Brandin) Cooks standing there fair-catching the ball in the end zone (laughter). McCourty came out of nowhere to make the play. It was a tremendous play."

(On the Patriots organization)

"We have a lot of great people in the organization. It starts at the top with Robert (Kraft) and his family. He's given us great support in all the things we need to do to be competitive. Again, we have a great group of players and coaches that work extremely hard to compete the best we can. Happy that things worked out for us this year and we were able to be the best team in football this season. That's hard to be in this league, but these guys earned it."

QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY

(on this year's victory)

"We grinded it out. It was tough, they made every play tough tonight. I give them a lot of credit, Coach (Wade) Phillips, all those players. They played really well on defense, fortunately our defense really played the best game they have all season. It was just an incredible win."

(on their last offensive drive)

"We put a couple together and we were just chipping away. We were moving the ball, we just couldn't convert enough. It was a great football team. They're at this point for a reason, they have a lot of great players and we just made enough plays.'

(on what he saw in Patriots WR Julian Edelman)

"What did I see in Julian? I mean he just played the best game he has all year. So proud of him (and) what he's accomplished coming back from his ACL (injury). He just fought it out, grinded it out just like everyone else."

(on why Patriots WR Julian Edelman rises to the occasion in big moments)

"He always does. He's a fighter, man, that kid. He's – I'm just so proud of him. He's been an incredible player for this team in the playoffs and he just cemented himself, again, in the history of the NFL for what his accomplishments are."

(on the performance of Patriots RB Sony Michel)

"He ran hard, broke some big runs when we needed it. What an incredible rookie season he's had. Just so proud of him. He's done an incredible job. Ran hard, got some tough yards. There wasn't a lot of space at times but (he) fought his way through and (it's) just an incredible win."

(on what went through his mind as he came onto the field for the last drive)

"We talk about four-minute situations where you're ahead with the lead (and) you have to make yards and we ran the ball. The way Sony (Michel) busted that one and we had a lot of plays – I don't know if it affected them much in the second half, certainly in the fourth quarter. I thought we had good time of possession and (that's) sometimes when you make the most plays. We moved the ball decent, we just couldn't get the points on the board for one reason or another. But in the end, it feels a lot better than last year when we did get some points on the board and (it's) just a great win for our team."

(on if he ever thinks about moments where he's going to make something happen)

"I just felt like we needed to grind it out all night. We couldn't take our foot off the gas pedal, we were playing a great football team. They're explosive in all areas. They got the one turnover. They have a great team."

(on the Patriots defense)

"Our defense? That was incredible. It's a team game. We needed everyone out there. The defense played so well and we finally helped them out by getting a touchdown there. They stopped them, got the interception, Stephon (Gilmore) got the pick and then we were able to run a bunch down and Stephen (Gostkowski) kicked a field goal. That was a great way to end it."

(on the uncharacteristic start by the offense)

"We weren't very good on third down. There was obviously the turnover, we got stopped on fourth down. We just moved it, we just couldn't sustain it. We obviously could have played better offensively, but the reality is (when) you get in these games, you just have to find a way to win and we played well in the end and that's what we needed."

(on the way Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski played)

"Incredible catch. He's an awesome player, great teammate, friend, and just so proud of everything that he's done for our team. He just had an incredible game."

(on what the Rams did well)

"They were tough on defense. They definitely had a good plan and they made us work for everything. There wasn't anything – look, they have a good front, good secondary players, they're very athletic at linebacker. They have a good team. I thought they played really well. Again, we left some points out there but I'm happy with a win."

(on the performance of Rams QB Jared Goff)

"He's a great player. He had a great year. Our defense was tough. They had a great plan tonight, everyone was confident going in and the guys executed it so well.'

(on his former teammates enjoying every one of his championships)

"It's pretty sweet, man. I think we do play for each other. Vince (Wilfork) came and spoke to us last night and it means a lot. There's been a lot of guys (be) a part of this journey with this team and it's just been so fun to be a part of it and (you) just do your best every day. Coach (Bill Belichick) makes it a – it's a challenging football environment, the pressure's always on, and for moments like this, you have to rise to the occasion."

(on what his kids said to him after the game)

"They were so happy. Last year was tough on us, but to be able to win, it's just incredible."

(on what's next for him)

"What's next is Monday and some rest. I'm looking forward to getting some rest."

(on which play stuck out to him)

"There was a lot of them. Our defense played great all game."

WIDE RECEIVER JULIAN EDELMAN

(on if he could have imagined his season ending with a Super Bowl victory and MVP Award considering the way it began for him)

"No, I wasn't really thinking about that. My head was down, just trying to go out and try to win ball games and help the team. It's pretty surreal. Tough times don't last. Tough people do. I preach that, and I guess you have to live to it."

(on how tough it was for him to see his team lose Super Bowl LII)

"Injuries are psychologically so hard for an athlete because you don't get to do what you love to do. When your team is going out there and playing in the Super Bowl and you don't get to help or you were not a factor, it was definitely very tough, but we have it this year so we're good."

(on his relationship with Patriots QB Tom Brady)

"He is like a brother to me. He has helped me so much. He has been a huge part of mentally kind of coaching me up just through his actions and how he is as a football player, as a professional, as a father and as a family man. It is an honor to get to play with a guy like that. He has six Super Bowls now so it is pretty insane."

(on if tonight's game was a matter of perservering and waiting to get on the scoreboard)

"I think we just had to worry about one play at a time and just keep knocking at the door, and yes, it is being resilient and just keep on working. That's what our group did. It wasn't pretty, but I'll take that ugly win over a pretty loss any day."

(on if he has been saving something special to drink in celebration after the game)

"I haven't even thought about that. I'll take a water."

(on producing early in the game)

"Just try to get open. Your job as a receiver is to get open and catch the ball and block in the run game. My name was called, I was asked to make a couple plays and we were able to do that. There were a lot of plays by other guys. The defense was unreal holding that offense to three points. It is pretty crazy. They should be the MVP – the whole [defense]."

(on if he ever dreamed he would be named Super Bowl MVP)

"Honestly, I didn't. Whenever I start to get sidetracked from preparing for a game, I like to just kind of think about what I have to do to get ready and think about right now. Coach harped that if your mind gets wandering about anything, just think about right now. What do you have to do? What do you have to do? I just watch film and go over my gameplan and do all those types of things. Naturally, your mind wants to wander, but I didn't really think about that."

(on playing quarterback at Kent State and if he ever thought he would be an NFL wide receiver while in school)

"My first game was against Minnesota, and we lost. Second part of the question, did I ever think I was going to be an NFL receiver? At that time, I didn't. I was just trying to go out and help Kent State win some ball games. I really wasn't thinking about after that."

(on winning his third Super Bowl and being named Super Bowl MVP after being drafted in the seventh round as a former quarterback)

"It's hard to [imagine], that's for sure. I'm getting to live out a dream so it's pretty surreal right now. I think everything happens for a reason. I was always taught as a young boy that you always just have to work hard. Work as hard as you can, put in the extra time and we will see where it goes. Worry about what you have on your plate at that time. That's what I have tried to do."

(on how his playoff numbers compare to Pro Football Hall of Fame WR Jerry Rice and if he will consider his own legacy this offseason)

"No, I will probably be thinking about trying to relax, and then start all over and be ready for the next year. It's an honor to be put in the same sentence with Mr. Rice, Jerry Rice, but I'm just worried about now. Just have to relax and get away."

(on his connection with Patriots QB Tom Brady in the first half and his embrace with Brady after the game)

"I was just trying to get open and catch the ball. The hug was just two Bay Area boys that love football, love to compete and are living out our dreams. I think he held me. I didn't hold him."

(on when the team came together and made sure last year's Super Bowl loss wasn't the end of their story)

"I don't think we ever thought about last year, because that was last year. It was a different team, a different year. We were just thinking about what we had to do to win each game each week. We went in and we lost to Miami, then we lost to Pittsburgh. Then we had legitimately two playoff games to get that bye. Guys were just worried about what we had to do to win each game, constantly trying to improve, constantly going out and practicing hard and having good weeks of practice. When you have good weeks of practice, you put yourself in the best position to have good results in games. We had a couple good weeks of practice. This week, we didn't get to do too much. It was a hard-fought game, but we got away with one, so that's all that matters."​

WIDE RECEIVER MATTHEW SLATER

(On if he has spoken to his dad, former Rams DL Jackie Slater)

"Look, he is a father first. I know this was certainly an interesting situation for him, but I knew that he was going to support me no matter what. Blood is thicker than water. As I said all week, my family and I, we have a lot of respect and appreciation for the Rams organization. They will always mean a lot to our family. We will always be thankful for every opportunity they have afforded our family. I most certainly feel that way. Tonight, I'm just so glad to be a Patriot and I'm so thankful for this experience with my teammates. There is truly nothing like it."

(On the Patriots rebounding after last year's Super Bowl loss)

"It's just character. It's character. I said it all year long. So many times we want to talk about 'Well, this guy is this size and one is this speed and has put up these numbers,' but there is no way to quantify character. What you have in there are 53-plus guys that just have belief and character. That character is built when the lights are off. That's built off of the football field, making tough decisions, doing the right thing when nobody is looking, not seeking your own glory and trying to see it all and do what's best for others at all times. You have guys in there that truly bought into that and display that each and every day, and that's why we are sitting here and talking now."

(On what goes into downing a punt at the 5-yard line)

"Ryan (Allen) and I practice that a lot and it depends on the situation—where we're at on the field. We work on that a lot. Again, that's not a glamorous play. But in a game like this when field position is so critical, it was nice to be able to make those plays that help win the game."

(On the Patriots' defensive performance)

"Look, the Rams, their offense has been unbelievable all season long, and they have some of the most explosive players in their positions across the board. The quarterback (Rams QB Jared Goff), that kid is going to be good for a long time, but the way those guys played tonight was really unbelievable. For them to be able to compete down after down, keep pressure on Jared and stay in the face of the receivers, it was really big."

(On Patriots DB Jason McCourty)

"Best corner in the league."

(On what his father said to him after the game)

"He just said he was proud of me. To be able to experience this with him, I just thanked him and my mom for everything they did to make this possible for me. I wouldn't be here without my parents."

(On if he thought special teams would be a key to the game)

"You never know how these games will play themselves out. Last year, there was one total punt in the game. I think there were 14 punts today. These games are funny sometimes like that. To think that it would be 3-3 late in the game, I don't think anybody would have predicted that. We prepared ourselves in such a way to be ready to execute. Obviously, having to deal with Johnny Hekker and all his fakes, I feel like we dictated the pace of play. We were able to make some big plays when we needed. Ryan (Allen) punted his tail off. Our communication was great. All around we played very well."

(On losing S Patrick Chung)

"It's tough. Pat is an emotional leader for us. He brings so much toughness, so much grit to our team, so much passion. To see him go out, I think it was kind of a blow to us. We kind of had to pull ourselves out of a little bit of a fog there. When he came back out on the field, he made sure everybody was focused, locked in and trying to make the most of our opportunities. His leadership was very important tonight."

(On if the win is the ultimate vindication that the Patriots dynasty is not done)

"We don't do it to say I told you so. I said a few things in jest here earlier just for some laughs, but we do it for one another. We don't need the approval of men. That's not what we work for. If you work for the approval of man, then you'll never be satisfied. I think you have a lot of men of faith in this room that are working for something much bigger than themselves. Ultimately, there's only one person's approval and that's the good Lords that I want at the end of the day."

(On CB Jason McCourty and DB Devin McCourty)

"This is so special for their family. For them to be able to be on the journey together the last 31 years and Jason having the type of career that he's had with a lot more downs than ups, to come over here and contribute in such a big way for our team and play alongside his brother, you can't write a story like that. Those two brothers are special men. It's an honor to call them teammates."

SAFETY DEVIN MCCOURTY

(on how happy you are for [twin brother] Jason)

"Oh, I'm ecstatic. That guy humbly came here, openly said 'I'm willing to accept any role you have for me, I just want to be part of a team', and you guys know, it started in training camp – is he going to make it, is he not going to make it? Six plays the first game, started off the rest of the season. He's played inside, he's played outside, he's played the tight ends, receivers. He's been that Patriot guy, he's been that all year. He's been good inspiration and motivation since we've been down here in Atlanta. He's got great perspective, he's laughing and enjoying everything about this trip."

(on how [the Rams offense] couldn't diagnose what you guys were doing on defense)

"Yeah, it's what we thought. We knew we couldn't come out here and just play one thing. We couldn't just come out and play zone, we couldn't just come play man, because (Head Coach Sean) McVay is too good, (QB Jared) Goff is too good, they've got too many good skilled players out there, but we also knew from a defensive standpoint we were good enough to do multiple things. It's something we worked on all year, you guys have been seeing it – whether it's been no guys down with their hands in the dirt, everyone walking around, whether it's been two high safeties, one high left, we've done so many different things this year and I think that goes a lot to the guys studying and coaches coming up with things that might be tough, but knowing that we can take it on and accept the challenge."

(on what it was like seeing your brother Jason play)

"Mama, we made it! Yeah, that's what this team's been about though. We cut a guy loose and the guy backside is hustling his butt off, and it's actually a play that (Jason) blew earlier in the game but they didn't throw it. They came up the second time and we didn't plan to cut him loose but him knowing that play coming out the gate, just hauling it to get there, probably the biggest play of the game, getting out there and not let (Rams WR Brandin) Cooks squeeze out when we played with Cooks for a whole year last year, we thought he was going to catch it."

(on whether this is your last year)

"I don't know. I'm going to enjoy this. I don't even know what I'm going to do tomorrow. Just going to have fun and enjoy this, man. Like I said all throughout this year, there won't be no special year like this year. Just the fun we had, the group we had, playing with my brother – the guy I started playing with when I was 10 years old, to come out here and play a whole season and win a Super Bowl together, it's amazing. Then to win with the defense only giving up three points, the feelings tonight I just can't explain."

(on Rams HC Sean McVay commenting on the challenge of facing the Patriots coaching staff)

"These coaches work their butts off. We obviously get a lot of credit as players, but these guys, whether it's staying in there all night, whether it's changing a whole game plan because we don't like it as players – Wednesday night they'll go do that. Whether it's going to search for plays on a certain player or deep throws on the quarterback, they go do that and we're so appreciative of everything they do and when a coach says that, I think that shows. When McVay says something like that, hats off to our staff. And if it's a way that we had to go out with losing some guys on the staff, I let Flo (DC Brian Flores) know this was the way – three points on the defense led by him. Unbelievable."

(on whether that was the most they blitzed in one game against a team)

"No, we've had so many different game plans, but no. This was probably the most zone we played in a game all year, honestly. Up front, those guys did a five-man rush, four-man rush, that was all these guys. I would say throughout playoffs they've made it tough for the offensive line and the quarterbacks to know what we're in and know how to block it up. That's credit to the big guys, and then I think we've done a god job of just meshing rushing coverage, guys covering, giving him time when we need it, we go third and one or two, we cover everybody up, […] comes up with a coverage set – those are the plays we need."

(on how you adjusted when you lost [S Patrick] Chung)

"It was awesome. It's tough to lose a guy like that, but […] we knew nothing was going to stop us tonight. We had to make a quick adjustment, guys had to play a little different roles, but we knew we were going to trust and get it done."

CORNERBACK JASON McCOURTY​

(on what this moment is like)

"It's a beautiful thing man, God is good. O and sixteen last year, Super Bowl champion this year. I couldn't have thought this up man. I texted (coach) Bill (Belichick) and told him that two McCourty's are better than one. I guess he believed that and I know tonight he believes it. This group of guys, the journey that we've gone through this season, from 1-2 to start the season, to losing in Miami on the last play of the game, to going to Pittsburgh and losing again on the road, to having to go on the road and go to Kansas City and having everyone say how bad of a team we were on the road, to go out there to Kansas City, win that game, to this offense and defense holding them to three points. The staff has told us the past few weeks, this is the moment we are built for. I remember when I first came to this team in April, there was a whole media spectacle that it wouldn't be any fun here. It's my third organization and my 10th season, I haven't had more fun than this season."

(on making adjustments and breaking a pass up intended for Rams WR Brandin Cooks in the endzone)

"Just running. That was a play we came to earlier in the game. After a few plays I said to Stephen (Anderson), "Man, I have to get that for you." They came back to that play and I just took off. I saw Brandin (Cooks) wide open, and really wasn't sure if I was going to get there in time, but I was able to get the ball out of there and live to see another play. That was huge for us."

(on the reaction to Patriots S Patrick Chung going down with an injury and how the team responded)

"I said to (Matthew) Slater, "is it bad?" He said, "I think he broke his arm." As a defense, we're on the field, and there is nobody that can replace Pat. It's not just like he goes down and it's next person in. He plays safety, he plays linebacker, he plays the most different positions on our defense so when he goes down, it's an adjustment on what guys can play different roles. Hats off to the staff and us as players for adjusting. Everybody knew that we had to pick up a little bit for Patrick and seeing him come back to the field with a sling on just encouraged us. This was a team win."

(on Patriots DB Duron Harmon coming in)

"Duron (Harmon) is the closer. This guy has made so many plays throughout his career here of game wins and stealing interceptions. These are huge plays, not only this season, but his whole career. When he goes in, no one bats an eye. It's not like, "Oh, man, Duran's in the game." This guy has played so much meaningful football and he's wanted another Super Bowl. He's not new to this. He stepped right in in the moment."

(on Patriots DB Stephon Gilmore's interception in the fourth quarter)

"I didn't even see it to be honest. I just know that a series before that we were sitting on the bench and Stephon goes, 'He's going to throw us one. We just have to make sure we squeeze it and hold onto it.' He really locked down on it, though, how he has been doing it all season against opposing teams. He is the best corner in the game this year. There hasn't been anybody that played better football in the cornerback position. For me, as an old guy, it's been fun watching him this year."

(on how special it feels to win a Super Bowl)

"I remember being on the field when a trophy got brought through before, and my mom said, 'Touch it.' I said, I can't touch it until I earn it. I got to touch that trophy tonight."

(on his new podcast)

"My brother (Patriots DB Devin McCourty) and I both had a Momma We Made It t-shirt on today. On the back, it had our podcast handle. You can find it on iTunes and YouTube."

(on Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores)

"He is a great person, and that is what makes him special. Obviously, the X's and Os as a coach, holding that offense to three points, he has that, but him as a person, how much he cares about everyone in the locker room, he has been all through the Patriots system. The entire staff is amazing."

(on finding his mom after the game)

"My mom definitely shed a few tears. She put some of the confetti in her bag. I know she has hoped and prayed for this. It means a lot to her and the entire family."

(on his mantra of faith, family, football)

"All of these past two weeks, people keep texting me and on social media saying I deserve this. I don't deserve this. I have done so many things in my life wrong, but God is good and he has brought me through a lot, like me and my brother losing our dad at three and my mom shouldering so much of it. As twins, as brothers, to celebrate the Super Bowl means a lot. I'm honored and blessed."

(on the Patriots defensive performance)

"I don't think we care about what people had to say. We just knew what we were capable of, and we still had the chance to win the Super Bowl. It doesn't matter how many people doubted us."

(on his pass defensed on a potential Rams touchdown)

"I was just running my tail off. We had talked about it early in the game. It wasn't a great play for the defense, but we were able to get the ball out. We had a next-play mentality throughout the whole game."

(on his inspiration)

"My brother reminded me that this was for our aunt. She suffered from sickle cell for so many years, and that was the inspiration behind our sickle cell campaign. We went down to say goodbye to her in Miami, and she loved seeing us together. I know she is up there with my dad smiling down at us."

CORNERBACK STEPHON GILMORE

(on making a crucial interception late in the fourth quarter)

"Our defensive line put some great pressure on the quarterback. I knew once they get down near the goal line they like to take shots so I was able to get zone vison on it, and I knew he was going to chuck it up and I made a great play."

(on if he ever dreamed of making a game-sealing interception in a Super Bowl)

"It is a blessing. It is what you dream about. It goes back to all the hard work we put in through the season. Nobody believed in us, and we stuck together. Nobody knows how hard we work in the meeting rooms and the practice field. It is a great feeling."

(on recording a pass breakup late in the game prior to his interception)

"[Rams WR Brandin Cooks] kind of got me off the line a little bit. I was able to stay with him and make a great play. In the Super Bowl when you play against great players, it comes down to fight until the end."

(on if his interception was the key play in the Super Bowl victory)

"We had a lot of key plays in the game. The D line played great, and they stopped the run. We were able to play tight coverage on the back end. I don't think one play was key. We kept fighting, and we played a great game."

(on the defensive effort after Patriots S Patrick Chung sustained an injury early in the game)

"We responded well. Patrick is one of the warriors on our team. He laid it all out on the line. You watch that play, he came in full speed. When you see a guy like that coming in and putting his body on the line not caring, you want to fight more for your teammates."

(on taking pride in the defensive effort tonight)

"A lot of people doubted us. They doubted our defense. We stuck together. We got better and better as the season went on. We found our identity and we believed in each other. I would take our defense against anybody."

(on how he would characterize the identity of the defense)

"Playing aggressive, knowing who you are going against and being able to be interchangeable and switching plays up. The coaches put us in great positions to make plays. It all went hand in hand."

(on Coach Brian Flores helping build the identity of the defense)

"He's great. All of the coaches are great. I don't think it's just him. We never know the game plan, but we come in, learn it and practice it. It's not perfect all of the time but we get the job done."

(on whether the doubters put a chip on his shoulder)

"Always. I have had that ever since I was a kid - doubters. You have to keep believing in yourself and your teammates, working hard and try to do your job every time."

(on how big his eyes got when the ball was floating to him on his interception)

"I just knew I couldn't drop it. I saw it the whole time and I knew Jared Goff was going to chuck it up. It was probably one of the easiest picks I've had all year."

(on how it feels to be a world champion close to where he grew up)

"It feels great. This is what you dream about as a little kid. All of the hard work we put in the offseason and the weight room. I feel like we meet more than anybody. It's worth it."

(on the Rams taking a shot towards the end zone on his interception)

"We knew it was coming. They have a great team. We just took away what they're good at. Our defensive line stopped the run, put pressure on the quarterback and we were able to make a lot of plays."

(on whether his interception was a career defining play)

"It's a great feeling. It was a great play for me, but I couldn't have done it without the pressure on the quarterback. It goes hand in hand. It's not just me. I try to do my job the best that I can, but I think our team played great."

(on the coaches preparing the players and pushing them)

"All of the coaches are great. They push us every day. When we win, it sometimes feels like we lost because we want to be perfect. It brings the best out of us. It is worth it. We are world champions and that's what it's about."

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