Patriots place kicker Stephen Gostkowski addresses the media during his postgame press conference on October 17, 2010.
Q: Big kick...
SG: It's nice to get a win. The couple times that I've had a chance to be in overtime it seems like I kick off every time and haven't had an opportunity, and I was just glad to get an opportunity. As a field goal kicker you can't make your own opportunities. You just got to go with what is given to you on the offense and defense and when you get an opportunity to come through for your team it's very rewarding to be the last person to touch the ball and come off winners.
Q: At the end of regulation, you had the chance to kick a 65-yard field goal. Did you think you were going to get that opportunity?
SG: Like I said, you take what you get, that's not my call. I am not going to be the guy tapping coach [Bill] Belichick on the shoulder saying, 'send me out there'. I just get ready to go and when my name is called I do it. I've made kicks that long before in practice and I've never gotten the opportunity to kick one of those in a game, but I would have gone out there and tried my best. The only bad thing that can happen there is that you get the kick blocked. I don't think the coaches are going to be out there yelling at me the next day so it's kind of like a freebee. We ended up winning so I could care less they didn't send me out there. I am just glad I got the opportunity to go out there at the end.
Q: You don't care now, but at the time was there any disappointment?
SG: No, I knew whether I tried it or not we were still going to have overtime. If I let my emotions get the best of me and get mad they [coaches] didn't send me out there...it's no disrespect. The percentages of a 65-yard field goal are probably pretty low and if I let that affect me and end up missing the next kick then I am not a very good professional at what I do. It would have been cool to try it, but oh well. I went three-for-three with a game winner. I can't go mad about anything.
Q: This is the second straight week you've had a strong special teams showing. Can you talk about that?
SG: We definitely have a lot of pride in special teams and coach Belichick used to be a special teams coach back in the day and Scott O'Brien is a great coach. The attention to detail that we take and the time and effort we put into it...You don't want to work that hard all week and those guys that have to play offense and defense that run around they don't want to be doing those extra reps in practice to go out there and stink it up. Once you get a couple good plays, you get confidence and it carries over. It's nice to see the results and any time you can help the team win as a special teams unit it is very rewarding.
Q: Regardless of the situation is your mental checklist the same when you prepare to go out there?
SG: I am just getting ready to go. All I am thinking about is making good, clean contact. The hardest thing about kicking a kick at the end of the game or end of the half is not letting your excitement get the best of you. I am not going to get out there and celebrate before the kick is made. A lot of times guys have the tendency to try to kick it too hard or over-kick it. Just like a golf swing, the harder you try to hit it the less chance you have at it going straight. I just try to calm myself down, take a deep breath and, you know, I kick hundreds and hundreds of kicks each week and there is no reason that is any [different]. The consequences are greater but I am not thinking of that at the time.
Q: Is it disruptive at all to make the kick and then find out it was the two-minute warning and that you have to do it again?
SG: We've practiced that. I didn't know it was a two-minute warning but anytime the whistle blows we have a chance at a free shot then we are going to take it. On a windy day like that where the ball can be affected by the wind, it is good to get a practice shot and I am glad that Jake [Ingram], Zoltan [Mesko] and myself had the mental toughness to do it not once but twice. I would like to thank those guys for sure because they have been working hard. To have two perfect snaps and holds in a row shows their mental toughness too.
Q: Is that more annoying than anything?
SG: You have to be able to deal with it. It's something that happens and it's something that we practice. We will have a two-minute drive at the end of the game and call timeout. You've got to be ready. I had that opportunity...I made the kick against the New York Jets and had the five-yard penalty and missed it the next time, but instead of griping about it and making it be a point of worry you just have to move on from it and learn from your experience. You're always going to get another opportunity if you're doing the best you can.
Q: Can you talk about the special teams contributions lately?
SG: In special teams you get one opportunity. We talked about it a second ago. We take a lot of pride in what we do and coach Belichick and Scott O'Brien put a lot of time and effort into it. To have an impact on the game is very rewarding and I know the guys take a lot of pride in it. Zoltan had a big kick there at the end, Wes [Welker] did great and in an ultimate game when all three phases do well it is more rewarding then when one part of the team plays bad.