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Replay: Best of Radio Thu Apr 11 - 02:00 PM | Tue Apr 16 - 11:55 AM

Transcript: Players Media Availability

New England Patriots Defensive Back Devin McCourty, Tight End Rob Gronkowski, and Special Teams Captain Matthew Slater address the media during their press conferences at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, January 17, 2018. Plus, hear what Danny Amendola, Adam Butler, Marquis Flowers, Stephon Gilmore, Chris Hogan, Eric Rowe, and Nate Solder had to say in the locker room.


Q: Tom Coughlin surely know how to get under the Patriots' skin. What do you say about him being part of the Jaguars now?

DM: I think like anybody, we're playing in the AFC Championship game, so I'm sure he's going to give it everything he has. He's obviously a great coach; he's won a lot of games in coaching, and now in a different role, I'm sure he's out there trying to plan and help those guys out as best as he can. But, at the end of the day, players are always going to be the ones that decide the games. So, it's going to come down to preparation and who goes out there and plays the best Sunday.  

Q: It seemed against Pittsburgh, Jacksonville took some shots down the field. How do you make sure that you guys are able to find the ball, because it always seems hard to do once it is up in the air?

DM: Not even just that game, when you turn on some different games - I mean you watch our preseason game [and] when they go play action they try to get the ball down the field and it's just going to be key for us to always take that away. You never want to give it up on one play, and that's just our fundamentals, being able to either run with the receiver on the deep part of the field, tracking the ball, making a play. That's the thing you don't want to do. Whether it's a pass interference or you give up one of those deep catches where [after] one play they're in the red area or in the goal line, four-yard line. We want to try to avoid those plays and just not make it easy for them to chuck it down there and get a big play, and now not have to drive the field when they're already in scoring range.

Q: Can you speak to the progress of the defense and the improvements it has been showing since September?

DM: Yeah, I think for us it was no panic. It was all about just progressing and getting better, and I thought guys locked in on that. And I think the key part of our season is not getting away from that. We've continued to have that mentality and mindset, week-after-week, fixing whatever we didn't do well the game before, or games before, and trying to get those things better. Since I've been here, the one thing that's always helped us at the end of the season is the continuous work and fundamentals, and doing things that you might not always like to do, whether that's running the hill or some type of drill that we've been doing since training camp. But this time of the year, those things always factor in and help you. 

Q: The Jaguars, on Sunday, on their first drive they faced a fourth down and they went for it. What has been your impression of how aggressive they are?

DM: Yeah, Bill [Belichick] said that in a meeting the other day, that they are a team who is not scared to go for it on fourth down. The biggest thing is awareness. We've got to know once they get in that territory that we kind of call 'Cuatro situation,' that third down is not really third down. We've got to be prepared for a play that might gain a couple of yards, but not maybe a first down, but get them close enough to the stick. Whether it's in a goal line situation like last week, or you stop them on third down and you're going crazy, you've got to realize that they'll line it up and go for it. So, I think it's more awareness, because at the end of the day we've got to execute whatever defense we call. And we've got to just be aware of how it might change the play-calling and what they're trying to do.

Q: With this being the seventh straight AFC Championship for this team, how much can the experience factor of playing in this game help you guys?

DM: Not really. It's an opportunity to come out here, that I think you take all 16 teams in the AFC, and you all want to be in this game. There are two teams left, both sides are giving it everything they have this week to prepare and be ready. How you prepared and how you've played in the previous AFC's [Championships], those aren't going to help you. It's all about how you prepare and play against the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. So, I think guys have to understand that. We can't sit here and say, 'Oh, we'll be OK because we've got experience.' You've seen guys this playoffs, guys that haven't played in playoffs before, or only played in one or two playoff games, come out and play their best football in the game. Bill [Belichick] says it all the time; at the end of the day, when we get in the playoffs, we need everybody's best. Across the board, whatever role that is, whether it's every play, a couple plays, when you get out there we need your best. 

Q: You can look at the play action for the Jags. How would you describe the importance of it in their offense, and in particular as it pertains to their tight ends and the fullback, who seemed to be instrumental in Pittsburgh?

DM: Yes, it's key. You can see, whenever you run the ball - obviously they average 140 yards a game rushing - and that will open it up. No defense can just sit back and let them run the ball and get 10, 15 yards. You have to try to be more aggressive, and they use that. They get defenses to start biting up, and they'll hit the tight ends. Obviously, they have a big target in Marcedes Lewis and they have a couple different types of tight ends to use. I think that opens that up in the middle of the field, and then when they get the opportunity, taking the shot deep down the field. We're studying the film, we know, but it's always a lot easier to sit here and talk about it and say, 'We've got to stop the run, we've got to stop the play action.' But they kind of go hand-in-hand. So, it's not an easy thing to do, and I think you saw that on Sunday when they got things going. You know, [Leonard] Fournette being able to run the ball, and then [T.J.] Yeldon coming in, and once the shots opened up, taking the shots down the field. You saw that; [Keelan] Cole had a big catch down the field, and I think that shows up time-and-time [again] when you're watching.

Q: Why do you think Bill Belichick has been able to have the career success that he's had, specifically in the playoffs. Most games and wins for a head coach in the playoffs.

DM: Since I've been here, it's just always been consistency. He demands the best out of the team every day. It's not a thing where we come in here, the playoffs start, and it's, 'OK, guys. Now it's serious time. Now it's time to do this.' We're doing the same things we've been doing all year, because I think he believes in how you coach the game, play the game, how you prepare. He believes you do all that stuff one way, and you do it every week, you do it every day. That type of consistency just trickles down throughout the whole team. Obviously, we have guys like Tom [Brady], who has been here 17 [or] 18 years. You have guys like myself who have been here for eight [years]. But then you have the guy who just came in here, either free agent or rookie, and you only see it done one way. From the oldest player on the team, all the way down to yourself, you've got to understand, 'Alright, if I want to have some success, this is what I need to do.' And I think that's the key, and I try to tell guys this time of year is no different. We've prepared, we've done everything, now it's time to put a little bit more in. There's no tomorrow. 

Q: Jalen Ramsey said the other day, "We're going to the Super Bowl, and we're going to win it." Just curious how you guys felt about that?

DM: Nobody plays in this game to lose. I understand that. We're out here, we're preparing, we're doing everything that we can to try to win. I'm sure he's doing the same thing. Everybody's approach is different, and obviously they have a very confident group, I think across the board. Not just defensively, I know a lot of people are writing about how they are a confident defense, but I think across the board. You go out there [and] you win two playoff games on the road, you should be very confident. So, we know they're coming in here, they're going to be physical, they're going to be ready to go and confident. So, we've got to match that intensity and make some plays of our own. 

Q: I know this is the seventh straight AFC Championship for the Patriots, but it's also the seventh straight for you. I know players dream of even playing in one. Do you ever take a step back and just think, "Wow, this is pretty surreal."?

DM: Yeah, I hate saying this every year, but my brother [Jason] on the other side has been in the league for nine years and never played in a playoff game. We're very close, we talk all the time, and he just wants to play in a playoff game, and I've played in a ton of these AFC Championship games. So, I never take it for granted. It's a great opportunity. You try to do everything you can, every guy, whether it's your body, whether it's mentally, just being able to play your best. To me, it's not always just to get to that next game, but you're doing it for your teammates, for the great ride that we've been on all year, for the ups and downs, the battling through. It's a great opportunity for all of us to be together and play together, and try to take advantage of this season, the 2017 season.

Q: Can you describe the unique or different feeling of this game, considering it's the game to get to play for a championship?

DM: Honestly, you don't even think about that. I think 'Flow' [linebackers coach Brian Flores] says it all the time, whenever we get in these big games, whether it's playoffs or a big division game, he always says, 'One play at a time.' We're all as human nature that your mind starts to drift, and you start thinking this, and he says, 'You've got to just lock in. One play at a time.' And not let the moment take over and get too big, or if a bad play happens, you start thinking about this. Just move on to the next play, good or bad, and just continue to do that for the whole game, and I think that has really resonated with me. Hearing that and trying to do that, just a simple one play at a time, not get too high or low, and just see how it turns out.

Q: Is that hard to do?

DM: It's very hard to do. But I think we've seen, because we've been in these games, the more you do that, you see that you have the ability to be playing bad, or a bad play happens, but you keep chopping, you keep doing it. It turns a little bit, and I think you've got to rely on that mentality, and when you work on it throughout the year, you hope that experience of doing it in 16 games that it shows up when you play in these playoff games. 

Q: With Blake Bortles, Jurrell Casey called him, "Joker." Earl Thomas called him, "Sub-par." Jadeveon Clowney said he is, "Trash." What do you see when you watch him?

DM: It's kind of crazy, you know, the guy is still playing football. All those guys that said that, I'm sure they want to be in his spot right now playing in the championship game. But I've seen some of his interviews, and he seems like he has a great attitude, laughing about it and cracking jokes. And I think you kind of see that out on the field - the guy is a winner. Whether it's dropping back and throwing the deep ball in a drive where Pittsburgh cuts it to seven and you need to make a big play and he stays in the pocket and finds [T.J.] Yeldon after surveying the field. Or in other games, against Buffalo, he drops back, they drop into coverage, everybody has their back to him, and he scrambles for 15 yards [and] a big first down to keep the drive going. To me, you see a winner. A quarterback that is smart and makes all the right plays. When he is out there, he's trying to put the team in the best situation, and it shows up. I think you can throw out stats and you can do all that stuff, but at the end of the day, the only thing anybody cares about is winning, and obviously his team is playing in the AFC Championship. They've won a lot of games this year.

*Q: Rob Gronkowski has been able to do anything he wants against safeties and corners. What is it like guarding him in practice? How tough of a matchup is it? *

DM: Remember, I told you, he doesn't do that against us. It's always tough, and for us, I think it's pretty good, because we have a lot of times either two or three safeties that have been playing for a while, so we don't game plan our offense, but when we're out there we mix in some different things that we know we can do to try to slow him down. But, when you're in one-on-one situations, there's no better tight end in the NFL and I think everybody on the field knows that, and a lot of times you have him one-on-one and the ball is coming to him. But you get some good work when you see a guy every day. You can start working on knowing what he does and all those things. So, like I always say, we shut him down every day in practice.


Q: Is there any comfort level that the team has been here before as you prepare for a big game like the AFC Championship Game?

RG: You are just never comfortable like that. You have to put all the work in. We have to do everything that we have been doing all year - practicing hard, focusing and preparing like we have been all year, every single week. No, there is no comfort level. You have to put the work in. You have to keep working hard, you have to study hard and we have to come out and play hard. 

Q: Any comment on the challenge you face in playing the top-rated NFL defense in the Jacksonville Jaguars?

RG: That is a big challenge. They have very talented players on both sides of the ball. Especially on defense, they have many, many great players. It is going to be a big challenge. It is the best team we are facing all year coming up in the AFC Championship Game this weekend. We have to be ready. We have to be prepared. It is going to be a big, tough challenge, for sure. 

Q: Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick has coached in more playoff games than any coach in the history of the NFL. Being in meetings with him and around him on a daily basis, how do you see that experience helping the team?

RG: That is great and all, but he reminds us all the time experience sometimes doesn't mean anything. What means a lot is preparing hard this week and preparing how we have been the whole year and to keep on doing what we have been doing, working hard studying up on our opponents - that is what is big and that is what is crucial - and going out and playing well on Sunday. No matter what the experience is or a player has, I have seen many games where a team with zero playoff members from the previous [years] beat teams with many, many [players with] experience in the playoffs. You have to keep preparing, you have to keep working hard and it is all about who goes out there Sunday and is ready to go. 

Q: How would you assess the Jaguars on defense and how much of an appreciation did you gain for it when you practiced against each other in training camp?

RG: They are competitive. They are a very, very competitive defense - fast, tough, physical and like I said, competitive. You have to be ready to bring it. You have to be ready to play. You have to be ready to make tough plays. There are going to be no easy open plays or wide-open plays. They are going to be tough, contested plays that we are going to have to make. They are just very competitive. 

Q: The Jaguars defense has scored eight touchdowns this season. What stands out about Jacksonville on the tape? Is it surprising at all from what you saw in the preseason practices with the Jaguars?

RG: It shows how good they are. They have a crazy amount of interceptions this year, eight touchdowns during the regular season on defense they have produced. They are good. They are competitive. They compete every single time the ball is around them. They can go and get the ball. They are good at reading where the ball is, reading the quarterback and reading the plays. That is why you have to be ready at all times and you have to compete because they compete at all times. That is what helps them get the turnovers. 

Q: How tough was it last year not being able to play in the postseason? How good is it to be back?

RG: I got this question many times last week. I answered that last week. I am back. I played last week. I am just focused on the Jaguars right now, a tough team that I am putting all my focus [on]. I am not looking [back] when I didn't play. I am just studying up and getting ready for the game on Sunday.

Q: Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said Gillette Stadium is the toughest place to play. What are some of the reasons why New England is a difficult place for opponents to play?

RG: For many reasons. Our fans are always coming out. I remember last year I was watching in the stands, and they were going bazooka. They were super loud, super proud. It doesn't matter where you are, if you are playing home or you are playing away, it is the better team that comes out, it is the team that is more prepared and it is the team that plays harder on Sunday that is going to win the game. It doesn't matter if we are home or away; it is whoever comes out and plays harder on Sunday. That is what we have to do. Obviously, having our home fans being super loud when they need to be definitely helps out, too. 

Q: How would you describe practice, preparation and the mood of the team so far this week?

RG: Preparation for practice doesn't really change throughout the whole year. We prepare hard, we study hard and we go out to the practice field and try to correct what we have done wrong and get everything right. Practice is going well. We have to go out there. We have another solid two or three days left before the big game. We just have to keep preparing and doing what we have been doing. 

Q: Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash spent time in Seattle earlier in his career. What similarities, if any, do you see between the Jaguars defense and the Seahawks defense?

RG: I really can't answer that question right now because I didn't think about that and that situation. I didn't really sit down and compare the two defenses this week. I really can't give you a complete answer on that right now. 

Q: How does Patriots QB Tom Brady's focus change from the regular season to the postseason? It seems like he always steps it up in the postseason.

RG: He always steps it up. [He is] a big time player and whenever the pressure is on, no matter when it is, he always steps up. I have answered this many times - to just my friends, to you guys and to whomever - and it is kind of hard to say how his preparation changes because he is always preparing the same every single week, regular season, training camp and during the playoffs. He is always preparing to the max to be the best player he can be every game. You really don't see a difference in his preparation, but he is focused, he is always ready and he is always ready to go. 

Q: Since you have had a couple of days to look at the film, can you give us a comparison of another NFL team you faced during the regular season that the defense looks similar to the Jaguars defense?

RG: This is the Jaguars defense. I faced them in camp this year, and they are very competitive. I haven't played them in a regular season game this year so I really don't have a comparison for that besides what I remember in training camp and that they were tough, they were competitive and they were competing at all times during training camp. When you watch the film of them playing this year and when you watch the game last week against the Steelers, they are competing. They are always ready to go. 

*Q: How much of the experience playing against the Jaguars defense in training camp can you apply to your preparation this week? *

RG: You can take a little bit. It is not like you are going to say, 'Oh, you have it down' because we faced them during training camp - no, not at all. That was four or five months ago. You can take a little bit. You can go back and see a couple of the matchups, but it is a whole season that already went by. You can go back, watch a little bit but definitely take a bit out of it. I wouldn't say you are going to be super complete watching that, but you definitely pick up some things. 


Q: The Jaguars have converted three fake punts, including a couple big plays for [Corey] Grant this year. There's an aggressiveness in that unit. Is that consistent with what you've seen from Joe DeCamillis through the years? With this particular unit, how dangerous are they?

MS: Absolutely. Coach Joe [DeCamillis] has always done a great job of making sure that his guys are prepared. He's always called the games very aggressively and I think it's no different this year. They've got a tremendous core group of players and it seems as though they play with a plan in mind and they've been able to go out and execute it. Obviously, those three fake punts have been huge for them. Corey scored on one that was a tremendous run. I think we've got to do a great job of playing alert situationally, understanding their tendencies, when they like to call those, trying to get a beat on that, and then just playing our keys. We have to play our keys, we have to play disciplined and be prepared at all times for any number of things.

Q: Can you speak to your locker room's confidence in Stephen Gostkowski, and in the big picture, how important that is particularly at this time of year?

MS: You talk about the positon of kicker - to be able to have consistency at that position year after year, kick after kick is important. And it gives the team a lot of confidence to know when we get to a certain point on the field we count it as money in the bank. Steve has been so reliable for us. You look at the nature of that position and how guys tend to come and go. For a guy to be here 12 years in one place, I think that speaks volumes to what he's been able to accomplish professionally, how consistent he's been. We all have a great deal of confidence in him and his abilities, the way he prepares. I would say he is a true professional, so we consider ourselves very fortunate to have a guy like him.

Q: You had a pretty funny response to what Jalen Ramsey said the other day. I was wondering if his comments have made his way to the bulletin board anywhere behind the scenes here? The button down style of the New England Patriots, why does that work for you guys?

MS: Well, we don't talk about what happens behind the scenes here, as you know. Why does it work for [us]? Look, we just come in here to play football, try to do our job. I think we have a lot of guys here that understand how fortunate we are to be in the position that we're in. We play professional football for a living, so I hope we all understand how blessed we are. And then when we come in here, we try to take advantage of that opportunity because there are no guarantees in this league. From day to day you just try to come in and do what you can to contribute to the team and hold on to a job.

Q: You have spoken pretty highly about Jonathan Jones this year. How do you replace a player like that on special teams?

MS: Well, it's not going to be one guy. He does a lot of things for us and he does a lot of things well. And he's done that since he's gotten here - he's been consistent. He's improved day after day. It's going to take a lot of guys stepping up, doing their job just a little bit better. A few guys in different roles. You don't replace him with one guy.

Q: We asked you earlier about the Jalen Ramsey comments and you all have handled it your own way refusing to sort of give them any material. Can you give us the reason why you guys answer questions like that? Why [do] you never go there?

MS: I will answer that with a question. Why do we need to go there?

Q: Did you pick your shirt out today on purpose?

MS: I was given this by our equipment staff on my way in here. I was told I needed to wear this to the fancy press conference today. I just follow orders. I'm a yes man.

Q: Last week, Geneo Grissom drew a neutral zone infraction on the punt which ended up getting the first down. Coach [Bill] Belichick said this week you guys practiced that. That has kind of been a theme this year. Ben Roethlisberger's fake spike and thinking all the way back to the Super Bowl a few years ago with Malcolm Butler's interception. What does it say about Coach Belichick and Matt Patricia's thoroughness as coaches to prepare you guys to see anything and everything?

MS: Well, they spend a lot of time in preparation trying to make sure that no stone is left unturned. They sacrifice a lot of time away from their families being in the building and preparing us. As players, that gives you a lot of confidence that we're going to go into the game and hopefully every situation that comes up we will have covered. That gives you a tremendous amount of confidence as a player knowing that we're extremely well prepared going into a game. It allows you to play with confidence, it allows you to play fast. I think that's something that a guy like me who's been here only under this staff my whole career could take for granted how well the coaches do in preparing us, but certainly thankful for that as a player. 

Q: Considering his history against the Patriots, how concerned are you about Tom Coughlin being a part of the Jaguars?

MS: Me personally, I'm just worried about covering down on kickoffs and punts and doing my job. Coach Coughlin, obviously legendary in this league, but I can only control and worry about the things that pertain to me and my position.

Q: Coach Doug Marrone said today that Gillette Stadium is the toughest place to play. In your opinion, why is it so tough for opponents to play here?

MS: I think we've got a tremendous fan base that comes out and really understands the game of football and supports us at a high level. Obviously it's New England, so this time of year with the weather is not exactly the easiest of conditions to deal with. So I think those are two big factors in it and I think we have a lot of confidence playing at home. But ultimately, it's all going to come down to how we execute on Sunday and how they execute on Sunday.


(On the Jaguars defense)

 "They run well, they're well-coached, they're strong, they're big and they play physical. They're a talented football team."

(On how experience can help)

 "The more you play in big games, I guess the most you're used to it. There are guys in here who have played in big games, but it's a new circumstance and a new situation for everyone, so we've got to play well. You've got to play well no matter what to stay alive in this league so that's what we're focused on."

(On the joint practices with the Jaguars during training camp this August)

 "You can take a ton of things away - things like one-on-one technique, stuff like that, and the size of guys. The way guys run and matchups and stuff like that. But that's really it."


(On if he can describe the level of his excitement)

 "I can't [laughs]. I can't, I'm too excited. Like I just told someone else who asked me the same question, I'm doing my best to keep my nerves down. That's some advice I got from the veterans - just treat this week like any other week."

(On if he leans on the experience of veteran players)

 "I do. I try to get around Trey Flowers and Lawrence Guy and try to take the same approach that they do because they have experience and I feel like it's a good idea to just listen to them."

(On if having a successful playoff debut is nerve-calming)

"No, because you can't get too high. You can't really get out of your comfort zone. You have to live in discomfort so that you can get better, because every team is better the higher you climb."



(On his level of excitement for the game)

"I'm excited. It's another opportunity to go out here and play. It's a blessing. This is what you ask for and now it's time to show up."

(On the mood of the team and how things have gone so far this week)

"I think we're in high spirits. We're out here grinding. We know what the opportunity at hand is right now so we're not taking that lightly. We're coming in here and working and we know we're getting ready for a great team. This is going to be the best team that we played all year so we're really excited about that."

(On what it has been like working with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick)

"I mean it's been amazing. You talk about two great people - a great player and a great coach. When you get that as a player you can't ask for too much more. So it's definitely been a blessed opportunity and I've been loving every minute of it."


(On his excitement level for the game)
"[It's] through the roof. [It's the] biggest game of the season. This is what we worked all year for. Just glad we got the opportunity so we want to play well."

(On how the team treats this game like any other game)

"You don't get ahead of yourself. This is a good team that's coming in here. It's a battle-tested team. It's the best team we're going to play all year and you've just got to go through the week, think about this game - that's all that matters - and go out there and give your best effort."
(On what makes Blake Bortles so dangerous)

"He's a good quarterback. None of the guys that say things, they're not in here. Obviously, once again, he's a good player. He's controlling the game and he's in the AFC Championship Game so what more can you say? Obviously, he's a good player. It's going to be a tough challenge. He's another guy that can make plays happen with his feet, throw the ball and he can make big plays. It's going to be a good game."



(On his excitement level for the game)

"I'm excited. It's hard to get to this position so you've got to take advantage of the opportunity and go out and do whatever you can to help the team win."

(On what makes this team so dominant playing at home)

"I don't know. We prepare well during the week. The fans are great here. They get very loud and [we] feed off their loudness and just try to go out and make plays."

(On what positive memories he has from working with Coach Doug Marrone in Buffalo)

"He's a great coach. He did whatever he felt was well to help the team win. He respected his players and all his players respected him. He's a great coach."



(On preparing for this game and the Jaguars defense)

 "I think we just have to go about our business and what we've been doing this entire year. Obviously, that's gotten us to this point. We've got to put everything we have into this week in terms of preparation and whatever we can do to get ourselves ready for this game and prepare to go against this guys."

(On the importance of ball control)

 "In these games, ball security is, I think, at the top of the list. In these big games, going against a good defense and a good team, ball security is huge and turnovers will be big. So if you're able to take care of the football, that's going to put you in a better chance to be successful, so that'll be something we're going to key on and make sure we're taking care of the football the entire game."

(On the success he's had in the red zone with quarterback Tom Brady)

"There's a lot of things that go into that. It's all the work we put in throughout the week and the walk throughs and watching film and just knowing where the spots are that you need to be in. Obviously it comes if it's man-to-man [coverage], just winning your on-on-one match up and letting Tom find the open guys."


*[wysifield-embedded_audio|eid="638666"|type="embedded_audio"|view_mode="full"] *(On the pressure of this game because it's the one to get to the Super Bowl)

"We don't think about the Super Bowl, because obviously you've got to get past this game to get there. We don't really think about the Super Bowl so the pressure is [about] how well we can prepare this week to beat Jacksonville, because obviously they're a great team. They're an explosive team - offense, defense, special teams, it doesn't matter what phase of the game. So no one's thinking about the Super Bowl because you can't get there unless you get past Jacksonville."

(On Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles)

"Blake Bortles is in the AFC Championship. There's no other way to put it. The media and all the other team guys can talk about how 'trash' he is, but he's beaten teams. Obviously he's a good scrambling quarterback, he has an arm, he has receivers and he's in the championship, so obviously he's a great player. You can't be 'trash' and be in the championship game."

(On if experience matters in a conference championship)

 "Experience doesn't mean much. You can take the Jaguars for example. I don't think they've been in the playoffs since 2009, but they're in the championship game this year. You can take the NFC with [Minnesota quarterback] Case Keenum and [Philadelphia quarterback] Nick Foles. I don't know how many times you've seen them in the championship game. To us, experience doesn't mean much because it's a different team every year. Even though some guys have been there before, it's about how you perform and how you prepare." 



(On the challenges presented by the Jaguars defensive front)

"Well, they're talented. Those guys, they play extremely hard. They're chasing after the ball. There's always several guys coming after you every play so it's not easy."

(On whether he sits back and acknowledges how unique it is to have only known playing in the AFC Championship Game while with the Patriots)

"I guess I don't know the difference, which is - what an honor. But some day I will be able to have that opportunity but right now it's just the Jaguars really. That's what I'm focused on."

(On whether this game brings any different or unique pressure with it)

"Well, it's a unique game because what are there four teams playing right now? Two best AFC teams, two best NFC teams with a lot on the line. This is what we all play for."

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