CHUCK PAGANO, HEAD COACH**
CP:Ok, [from] an injury standpoint, Andy Studebaker was our only guy that went out and didn't return. We'll know more on Andy tomorrow and stuff he'll be checked out. It's obviously, a very disappointing loss. We ran into an outstanding football team that played extremely well in all three faces. They got us really early on. They kind of had us on our heels tempo – situational football they played well – we didn't. Third down, red zone we had issues stopping the run – we did not do that. We couldn't get off the field on third down. I felt like we made a couple of plays there towards the end of the half – D'Qwell's [Jackson] interception and a stop in the red area to force a field goal and make it a 10 point game at the half. I felt like we got things kind of calmed down and then they exploded for a bunch of points and we had no answers on offense in the third quarter, so it's obviously a very disappointing loss. Nobody wants to end their season that way, but like I told the team, we'll learn from this, we'll grow from this and go to work to try to make 2015 better than 2014. We took another step forward; I'm very, very proud of the coaches and very proud of the players. They took another step in the right direction and I don't think anyone ever envisioned us getting to this point, so I'm very proud of the guys for what they accomplished this season and the things that they over came.
Q:Did you feel like Andrew Luck essentially had to play a perfect for you guys to be in this?
CP:Well, not only him. I thought we had to come up here and win. Just looking back on history, three previous meetings that everybody had to play their best game of the year. We were playing good football and were coming off a big win, but again, I think we ran into an outstanding football team and they beat us in every phase of the game.
Q:How difficult is it to have the last game be like this as far as going into the offseason? Is a close loss better than a blowout?
CP:It's hard because it is the last game and you don't have another Sunday to look forward to, to go back to work and prepare and get that taste out of your mouth. We use and will try to learn from it – we have to learn from it – we have to grow and find some answers, obviously. We're well aware of the fact that we need to go to work and find some answers to get over the hump to take that next step, to reach our ultimate goal to try to find a way to win a football game like this.
Q:I know you wouldn't want to use anything that happened this week as an excuse, but could any of those things have been a distraction taking some of the guys mind or focus away from the game?
CP:No. No, we've got too good of veteran leadership in our locker room and [I'm] not going to use that as an excuse like you said. It is what it is. It's unfortunate, but it had nothing to do with the outcome of this game.
Q:What are your emotions like when you go into that locker room and you realize this is where it all ends – the long journey you've been on and to have to say this is where it comes to an end?
CP:Well, we all envisioned coming up here and playing better and giving ourselves a chance to get it deep in the fourth quarter and try to find a way to win the game, Chris and move on, and to have an opportunity to try to play for that Lombardi [trophy] – play for that championship and it just didn't work out. It's a tough pill to swallow, obviously, but we know that it comes with the territory and it's not for everybody. It's not for the timid, so we'll lick our wounds for a while, but again, we've got a lot to look back on and a lot to be proud of.
Q:Can you tell me what happened with the pass to Nate Solder the lineman on that touchdown? What went wrong?
CP:We didn't cover him. [We] didn't line up right and didn't cover him, so credit them.
Q:How do you feel about Andrew? Do you feel that you have to give him more or surround him with more? Going forward, what to do you need to do?
CP:We're not going to, obviously, pin it on one guy. It takes a lot to come up here and win a football game of this magnitude and beat a team that's as good as this one is. We've got to go back to work and find some of those answers. It's doesn't all fall, obviously, on the quarterback. We're going to look at the tape and we'll move on, and we'll continue to work and grind until we reach that ultimate goal. I'm sure glad we've got the guy because I probably wouldn't be having this conversation with you if he wasn't our quarterback.
ANDREW LUCK, QUARTERBACK**
AL:Long day, they obviously outplayed us and deserve to move on.
Q:This is kind of a familiar thing when you play the Patriots. What is it about their defense and this place that gives you guys such fits?
AL:I think specifically to this game, I haven't really thought too much about the others, they did a good job making plays and we didn't. It seemed like they were more on the details and we weren't. I know my play wasn't up to par for where it needs to be. To give you a chance to beat a quality, quality team like them. And it's a great atmosphere, it is a great place to play, but they certainly had our number tonight.
Q:Do you think any of the stuff that went on this week, the guy missing the plane, and the other stuff, had any impact on this team's psyche coming into the game?
Q:Did you feel out of rhythm from the start? I knew you were high on a couple balls early?
AL:I missed a couple balls early, high, that needed to get on top of those. But I thought we built up a decent rhythm on a couple of those drives and at 7, got a chance at a field goal. But they did a great job of not letting us sustain that and making plays, and we didn't.
Q:How much did the weather, the elements, affect the grip on the ball, throwing?
AL:I don't think it had a negative effect on anything.
Q:Andrew, is the toughest thing that you have months before you can do anything about this?
AL:Yeah, I guess I haven't thought of it in that terms, in those terms, but yeah.
Q:What can you take away from this evening?
AL:It's hard to find much good right now, fresh off this game, but very proud to be part of this club. I guess you could say that we took another step, but we had our sights set higher and obviously we're not there.
Q:You talked earlier in the week about them sort of trying to take T.Y. Hilton out of the game, what did they do to make it difficult for you to find him?
AL:They do a good job of getting guys up there, making it hard to get free releases, putting a safety over the top of him, not let him get clean across the field. But he's such a dynamic player that he finds space, he does things to get open. And you know, they did a good job of holding us in check tonight, really.
Mike Adams, Safety
(On the frustration of the loss)
"To be this close and not get it done, it is very frustrating, definitely frustrating. We didn't stop the run, 30 carries for 150 or something like that. You can't win like that."
(On the Patriots run game)
"You can't take nothing away from them, they had a great game plan. We knew they were going to come out here and run the ball, but we just didn't stop them when we needed to. We didn't tackle well at all."
(On still being in the game at the half)
"We were still in the game at the half, but they came out and scored, we didn't get a 3 and out like we were supposed to, to stop the momentum, stop the bleeding. I think that's what caused everything to spiral downhill."
(On feeling surprised at the outcome)
"It definitely surprised me. I never thought we would go out like this. It definitely caught me off guard."
(On whether this is the right step for the organization)
"This wasn't my first year here, but what I know every year they got a step closer. It's crazy when your right there knocking on the door. Right there, just one game away, and we couldn't get it done. That is the most frustrating part about it. "
Dwayne Allen, Tight End
(On the loss)
"It is very difficult. I don't think we practiced or prepared for the outcome to be what it was. To put all the hard work and energy into the game plan and come out and...our hats off to the Patriots, they played a heck of game. It just seemed like they wanted it more."
(On the Patriots defense)
"They are a very talented bunch. I am not going to blame it on the elements and I am not going to blame it on the rush. They just outplayed us. They got us into third and long situations and we weren't able to convert."
(On remembering the loss)
"It seems like the reoccurring theme every year. I really felt like we were at a point collectively where we could take the next step. I thought we grew up and were coming up here ready to take the next step and a get a big victory. I guess I was wrong."
Anthony Castonzo, Tackle
(On the Patriots)
"They just score more points when we play them and they seem to play a lot better when we play them. Not that I think we can't beat that team."
(On the team's progress through the year)
"Ultimately, we didn't accomplish everything; we didn't accomplish our main goal. I think we are getting better. You can see it from week to week. Season to season we want to continue to improve. Looking back, there is no point looking at the mistakes you make. So you try moving forward, and in the next season hopefully take the next step."
Matt Hasselbeck, Quarterback
(On the game)
"We need to be successful and run the ball. It is what we say every week and we have done a good job of that. For whatever reason, the three times we have played these guys the game hasn't gone the way we wanted it to go."
(On Andrew Luck)
"The conditions were bad and it was really rainy and wet. They [Patriots] always do a good job and they make you beat them left-handed. They took away some of our favorite things and some of our favorite people. Like I said we have to figure out a way to beat them because they are not going anywhere."
T.Y. Hilton, Wide Receiver
(On suffering a defeat similar to earlier in the season)
" Coach [Bill] Belichick, he did the same thing, had the same game plan – [Kyle] Arrington on me, [Devin McCourty] over the top. They took away everything. When I tried to go across the middle, they had the linebackers drop. The linebackers hit me to try to disrupt me. It pretty much was the same game plan as last time. They did a pretty good job of taking me away."
(On how to beat that coverage scheme)
"You've got to step up and make plays."
(On Andrew Luck having time to throw but not being able to find receivers in good coverage)
"There wasn't too much I could do. They took me away. As a team, we've just got to get better."
(On why the Patriots have been successful in recent matchups)
"I don't know. They've just been a better team, the times that we've been playing them. Just got to get better in all phases."
Q: Did they do anything today that you haven't seen on film? "Not at all. They just doubled me, tripled me at times. Wherever I went, I never saw one [defender]. I always saw two, three or four. They took me out of the game."
Arthur Jones, Defensive Tackle
(On what happened during the game)
"In all phases they were clicking and we never got on track. We had a couple of sparks but our good wasn't good enough tonight."
(On what the Patriots scheme was)
"I have no idea what their scheme was, I just want to hold my head high. I fought as hard as I could but obviously it wasn't good enough. We'll be back. We have to remember this moment and how we feel. We have to take it into the offseason as a team and learn from it."
(On how disappointing the loss is)
"It's very disappointing. We worked so hard and people counted us out all along. We wanted to prove the world wrong, but we'll be back."
Jack Mewhort, Tackle/Guard
(On the game)
"You have to credit New England. They are a great football team and tonight they played better than us. I don't know exactly what happened here. As an offensive lineman, I try to do my job to the best of my ability. Obviously we didn't execute well enough to win the game. Our staff does a good job of having us prepared. It comes down to execution and obviously tonight they executed better than us."
(On the Patriots defense)
"Every NFL defense is pretty nasty. New England, they have been there and done that. They are a great defense. That is all I can say about them. They are a bunch of great football players. They are smart and tough and tonight they came to play."
(On the season)
"I am just a rookie but I knew coming in they had a good thing going here. I just want to do my job."
Cory Redding, Defensive End
(On the game and what was different this week)
"They put the ball in the playmakers' hands and kept the chains moving. They kept capitalizing on our mistakes and they were the better team tonight. Fundamentals, you have to tackle and you have to wrap up regardless of the atmosphere and the situations you have to play good ball. It is tough to win when you get away from that and not get the job done."
(On the disappointment)
"Very disappointed because we had the makings of going all the way and we just fell short. The last three years we have been taking steps forward that we can be proud of. When people wrote us off we kept rising up and every single year we have gotten better."
Greg Toler, Cornerback
(On the Gronkowski touchdown)
"He is a great player. He just got position and Brady made a great throw. I tried to get my hand in there but he made a great catch. You can't take anything away from those guys. They are playing at a great level right now. Today wasn't our day."
(On the game)
"I think we were well prepared. We had a great week of practice. We have no excuses. They played better than us today. We just have to execute and not make mistakes. We didn't do that and as a team we accept that. We have to go back to the drawing board."
Adam Vinatieri, Kicker
(On his thoughts on the result after all the preparation during the week)
"It's a tough loss. We had a good week of practice. We came in here playing a couple of good playoff games and we just didn't play very well tonight. You have to take your hats off to them, they are a great team and they played much better than us today. They get to continue on next week and we don't."
(On the missed field goal being a sign of things to come in the game)
"I don't know about that. It was a lot of things. It was a tough kicking day out there today; it was windy and rainy but it's part of the deal. You never want to miss, but unfortunately that one didn't go through. I don't remember if they capitalized on that one or not, but, they capitalized on a bunch of others."
(On how surprised he was that the Patriots ran as much as they did on them again)
"It was a butt-kicking across the board. They outplayed us in all three phases. They were ready to play and I thought we were too, but unfortunately we just didn't show up as well as we thought we would. They are a really good football team and they were the number one seed and they showed it tonight."
Reggie Wayne, Wide Receiver
(On whether he can appreciate the immediate success of a young team under head coach Chuck Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson)
"Absolutely. Absolutely. [Andrew] Luck, Coach Pagano, and we have a great organization here. We're going to do nothing but keep getting better. I have all faith in them. Just got to keep fighting. We've got to learn from this and keep moving forward."
(On why New England is so tough to beat)
"They're a good team. They're a well-coached team. They're a team that tries to make you play left handed. If you can only play with one hand, you're going to struggle. We've got to take our hats off to them. They executed their game plan and defended their home turf and came out with the win."
(On whether he can still appreciate the season even after a difficult defeat)
"Obviously, it wasn't the ultimate goal that we wanted. Like I told a lot of the guys, 'Keep your head up. Just remember this feeling.' There's no reason to hang your head down. There's only going to be one winner, and that's the way it goes. There's so much put into this, but at the end of the day, we all want to get the ultimate goal. It's still fun. It's still a kid's game. It's still something that a lot of these guys in the locker room dreamed of doing since they were kids. It's not something that I think we should have our heads down with. It's a tough loss. We've just got to find a way to not get this feeling again.
(On whether the offense ever got into a rhythm)
"We went down and got a drive and scored some points. It got quiet in the stadium a little bit. Like I said, they're a good team. They were able to come back out there, move the ball and kind of get two scores right there – got the field goal and then came out and went down and scored again. That kind of took the wind out of our sail a little bit."
(On how close the team is to making a complete playoff run)
"Each year since Coach Pagano has been here, we've taken that step. I believe we're getting better and better and better, but everybody has got to be all in. You can't have anybody that is kind of on the fence. It's either you're all in or you're not. Hopefully, we can learn from this mistake and guys can, even though it's incomplete, take the season for what it's worth. There were a lot of good things this year that we can kind of hold our heads up high about. Just continue to work and get better."