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Patriots Unfiltered Tue May 26 | 11:55 AM - 02:00 PM

Transcript: Players Media Availability 1/19

QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY

Q: How is your hand?

TB: I'm not talking about it.  

*Q: Thumbs up or thumbs down for Sunday? *

TB: We'll see. 

*Q: Did you throw any footballs today? *

TB: I'm not talking about that.   

Q: Did you practice today?

TB: I was out there.  

Q: Were you out there for the entire practice?

TB: Yeah.

Q: How was practice?

TB: It was fun.  

Q: How much are you looking forward to the opportunity on Sunday?

TB: It is a great challenge. I think the team has worked hard to get to this point. It will be a great game. We are playing against a really good team that is good in all phases. We are going to have to play really well. 

Q: Are you going to have to be at the top of your game on Sunday to beat Jacksonville?

TB: Absolutely. It is the best team we have faced all year. They are here for a reason. They obviously are a top-ranked defense in the league, some great players at all levels and really well coached, scoring a lot of points. We are going to have to play really well. 

Q: How confident are you that you will play Sunday?

TB: We'll see.  

*Q: Does it worry you at all that you missed some practice and you have to be at the top of your game when you play Jacksonville? *

TB: Yeah, I would always rather practice. Yeah, absolutely.   

Q: Are you confident you will be at the top of your game on Sunday and be physically capable?

TB: We'll see. 

*Q: Can you reflect on your relationship and friendship with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels? *

TB: He has been a great coach and a great friend. I think he is so well prepared and gets me prepared every week. He is so diligent. He is just a great coach. I love playing for him. I love working with him. We have had a lot of fun together.   

Q: Some people have said you and Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia 'go at it' during practice in a good way. Can you talk about the two of you talking some smack to one another?

TB: Yeah, absolutely. There is a lot of that. He is the defensive coordinator so try to keep things lively in practice and little friendly competition and try to get everyone juiced up a bit. 

*Q: Why are you wearing gloves to the press conference? *

TB: I have worn them before. 

Q: When you are managing an injury, is it more of a factor of functionality of gripping and throwing or pain management when you have dealt with injuries in the past?

TB: They are all different. It is football.   

Q: What exactly happened on Wednesday with 'the collision'?

TB: I'm not talking about it, OK? 

Q: Is there anything you can share about the next couple of days and what will determine your playing status?

TB: I have no idea.     

*Q: How much similarity do you see with this Jaguars team and past Seahawks defenses?  *

TB: A little bit different. I think they definitely do some different things schematically coverage-wise, front-wise. The players are a little bit different. It is a very unique challenge. I think their front is great. Their linebackers are very instinctive, very fast. Great cover guys in the secondary. A ball-hawking defense. They strip it off of you. They sack you. They scored eight or nine touchdowns on defense. They are a great defense. 

*Q: Why are you wearing gloves inside?  *

TB: She already asked that. 

*Q: You have been a high-five guy in the past. Is it fair to say you are going to be a fist-bump guy for the rest of the weekend? *

TB: We'll see. 

Q: You had an opportunity to see Patriots QB Brian Hoyer take first-team reps yesterday. How did he look?

TB: Brian has always looked good. Brian does a great job.  

*Q: Have you worked with Hoyer to help prepare for the possibility that you might not play?  *

TB: We are in the same meetings every day. We are sitting right next to each other. Whatever I am hearing or saying, he is hearing the same thing. 

*Q: Have you played in a game in more pain than you are in right now?  *

TB: I have played in a lot of games with pain. 

*Q: Have you ever thrown the ball with gloves in a game?  *

TB: It has been a long time. 

WIDE RECEIVER DANNY AMENDOLA

Q: Did Tom Brady participate with the rest of the team in practice today? Participate in plays, throwing footballs?

DA: He did. He looked good.

Q: He looked good?

DA: Yeah.

Q: How would you describe the way he looked?

DA: Like Tom Brady.

Q: Did he hand any footballs off?

DA: I believe he did. I wasn't watching him the whole time.

Q: How confident are you that he'll be able to answer the bell at 3:05 p.m. on Sunday?

DA: Tom always tends to show up in big games. This is a big game.  

Q: Did Brian Hoyer get more reps than he normally does today?

DA: Brian looked good today, too. Throwing the ball well, handing the ball off well.

Q: How different is it working with those two guys? Tom versus Brian?

DA: They're both good quarterbacks. Hoyer has been playing football for a long time, and so has Tom.

Q: Danny, can you tell us how Tom Brady injured his hand?

DA: I didn't see it. I didn't see it.  

Q: Well, what did you hear? We heard it was a handoff and somebody ran into him.

DA: I think that's the same thing I heard, too. 

Q: Do you know who ran into him?

DA: I was running, blocking. 

Q: It happened two days ago and you still don't know?

DA: No, I didn't ask anybody.

Q: How can you as a receiver group respond to the physical cornerbacks and defensive backs on the Jaguars?

DA: We'll be ready to go. We had a great week of preparation in our room, and you know, running well. We're going to continue to prepare well for the rest of the week and be ready to go, but our room is going to be ready.

Q: What works against that physicality? How do you make sure that doesn't limit you?

DA: You've just got to get open and catch the ball. Make plays, work together, communicate, that's it. 

Q: Danny, did you catch any footballs from Tom Brady today?

DA: I believe I did. I believe I did.

Q: Were they good throws?

DA: Yeah, they're always good throws. 

Q: Danny, when it comes to Tom Brady's toughness - I think it's well documented - but ever since you've been here, would you say he's always answered the bell? I imagine him showing up, playing and playing well on Sunday is not going to surprise you? Can you just talk about his toughness?

DA: Super tough. The toughest. He's a warrior, he's a competitor and there's really only one reason why he's here, and that's to play football. 

Q: Overall, offensively, what is the biggest challenge with Jacksonville?

DA: A lot of challenges, honestly. They're fast, they're physical, well-coached. They hit, they tackle well, they can cover. So, it's a big challenge for us, but we've had a great week so far, and going to continue to prepare.

Q: From a preparation standpoint, do you still have a lot of work to do?

DA: Of course. We're always making adjustments up until the game, and then even throughout the game. So, that's the mentality we take into each week, is to prepare and then if you have to, adjust, and keep rolling.

Q: Danny, did you catch any footballs today from Brian Hoyer as well in practice?

DA: Brian was out there, yeah.

Q: But, I mean, did he throw to you at all?

DA: He threw it to me one time. One or two times I think. 

Q: The scuttlebutt down in Jacksonville is that Danny Amendola might be the secret weapon that the Patriots are going to have in the game. Do the Patriots have a secret weapon? Is that you?

DA: I can't tell you that. It's a secret.

DL ALAN BRANCH

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(On his excitement level for the game)

"We're really excited being able to get to this point in the playoffs again and being able to get another chance to go out there and play. It's always pretty fun to try to get out there and be the last team to win."

(On the challenges of defending Leonard Fournette)

"He brings everything to the table. He's a powerful running back that can run like a 4.4 forty [yard dash] probably or something. He's pretty fast and he has a great ability to find the hole so he's a great running back to play this game against, especially as a defensive line. We like stopping the run and he's definitely going to bring that to the table for us to try defend."

(On playing this game at Gillette Stadium)

"I'm just grateful that we're playing this game. Here or there it really - two teams are coming to compete. I believe in home field advantage but not really. I just more so appreciate it for the fans sake just because this New England area is so great with the fan dedication. It's nice to be able to play in front of them."

CB MALCOLM BUTLER

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(On the Jaguars receiving corps)

"They're pretty good. They're talented. They've got a couple older guys. They've got some young guys too that can fly up and down the field. We've battled against these guys in training camp so we're kind of familiar with them but nothing else matters but Sunday. It's all about the performance on Sunday."

(On his respect level for the Jaguars cornerbacks)

"Most definitely. I like [Jalen] Ramsey. He's big and physical. [A.J.] Bouye, one of my close friends. I love the way he plays off coverage. But yeah, it's all about Sunday. We've got to perform on Sunday."

(On what Patrick Chung adds to the defensive unit)

"[Patrick] Chung can do everything. He can return punts. He can play special teams. He can play corner, safety, linebacker. He's a valuable player. He can do a lot of things. [That's] probably why he's had a long, good career here."

(On making a one-on-one tackle in space)

"Wrap up. Wrap up, head up, wrap up. Get ready for a collision and wait for your buddies to come on and help."

LB JAMES HARRISON

(On the process of building chemistry with his defensive teammates)

"I think guys are getting a better feel for each other. Just from when I've been here, at least me, I'm getting a better feel for those guys and they're just playing better. I'm getting a better understanding for the defense and just playing."

(On the importance of keeping Blake Bortles in the pocket)

"I think the big thing we need to do is try to slow down the run game and that way we slow down his [effectiveness] of being able to do play action passes. They get a lot of their yards from play action passes."

RB DION LEWIS

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(On the importance of the running game)

"It's always important. I think we just have to be balanced. The run helps the pass and the pass helps the run. We'll [try to] be as balanced as possible. The more success we have early the more we stick with it so we just have to execute. It's a team effort."
* (On the Jacksonville defensive front)*

"They've got a whole bunch of guys in the front four that are ridiculous. Their linebackers are fast and they've got [Marcell] Dareus that rotates in as well. It's definitely going to be a challenge but I think we're up for it. We've still got the next 48 hours or so to keep preparing and get ready for that."

(On this past year for him personally)

"It's been a long journey, especially being this year getting to the point we are as a team in the AFC Championship Game. It doesn't get any better than this. This is what you work all year for, a chance to play in this game. We're definitely excited for myself and my teammates to be out here and play in this game."

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