LB ROMAN PHIFER
(On thriving since the 2001 Super Bowl)
"To come here and have the success we had in 2001 really kind of rejuvenated me and I felt motivated. After losing for so long early in my career to have that success it's kind of contagious and it motivates you to keep working hard. Here I am going for my second ring. Hopefully it will work out."
(on returning to the Patriots)
"I just liked the direction the Patriots were going in and I felt comfortable here. I think coach Belichick and the staff here is committed to winning so I really had a lot of confidence if I was to come back we would somehow find our way back to this point."
(on the connection between him and Belichick)
"I really felt like coach Belichick gave me an opportunity after I was released by the Jets to rejuvenate my career. He really gave me an opportunity when there really weren't too many teams knocking down my door to give me an opportunity to play. I'm thankful for that. I just come to work, try to work hard, do what they ask me to do and try to contribute."
(on Tedy Bruschi)
"Tedy's been huge for us this year. I really thought he should have been in the Pro Bowl. He's definitely made plays for us and is definitely one of the reasons why we've been so successful on defense this year."
(on the Panthers running game)
"They have two great running backs. They're a very physical team. They really don't try to fool you but they just come at you and they're able to knock guys off the ball and are able to run over guys. They've been doing it all season. Basically, that's our biggest concern."
(on knowing what the Panthers intentions are)
"They know Stephen Davis is going to get the ball or DeShaun Foster, yet guys aren't able to stop them. It's just a matter of getting familiar with them, studying film. You have to bring your hard hat. You have to come out and be prepared for a physical game."
(on being the favorites)
"We try not to get caught up in who's favored and all that type of stuff. We just try to focus on what we have to do to be successful. We know we're facing a good team and it's going to be a big challenge. We know they're a physical team and we feel like we're a physical team, so basically we know it's going to be a battle out there."
(on if their defense can get even better)
"There is always room for improvement, trust me. If you were in some of those films sessions you would think 'God, didn't we win the game.' There's always room for improvement, especially with coach Belichick. He looks at the film and he wants us to be as good as we can. We know that if he sees a weakness then our opponents might see a weakness. We're definitely always looking to get better."
(on having the same perfectionist personality as Belichick)
"That's his personality, he wants to cross all the Ts and dot all the Is. He doesn't leave anything out. It kind of filters down to the players. I think it's been a positive thing for us."
(on the Patriots not making bulletin board type comments)
"We kind of learned our lesson from other teams. We've dealt with that in the past where other teams have made comments about us. Really, you're adding fuel to the fire. It just motivates your opponent. We respect all of our opponents, everybody that has been on our schedule this year, we've respected and we've gone out and played our hardest. That's what we're going to do this week."
(on whether Belichick tells the team not to make inflammatory comments)
"We have enough veterans to kind of spread the word throughout the locker room and tell these young guys who haven't been around what to expect and what this league is about. That's the type of coach Belichick is. He's not the type of guy who's going to talk and he doesn't want us to be doing that. Basically, we want to go out there on Sunday and let our playing do the talking."