VINCE WILFORK, DEFENSIVE TACKLE**
Q:Obviously we don't know what the details are on Jerod's (Mayo) injury but being a captain you guys have been playing together for a long time, you've been through this last year when you went down and the team rallied, how big is it for the team for the next guy up to stand up and rally?
A:I mean it's always tough when you lose a guy like him we don't know exactly what it is but I just talked to him for a little bit at halftime and we had to make adjustments and stuff so I haven't really spoken to him, but you know he means so much to this team on the field and off the field he has character and that's what it's all about, who he is as a person first and foremost and he is a great leader and contributor to the team so we lose some value, so you know I'm sure I'll talk to him on the way home and see how he's feeling and stuff like that but you know we all have to rally around one another. This was a big win for us just coming in and understanding that up front offensively and defensively we knew coming into this game how good they were defensively, they're fine and we knew how big the offensive line was, the way they run the ball, so we knew what we had to do and I think this game said a lot especially on the character of this team, who we want to be how we want to attack teams, that's two weeks in a row so just want the team to build. But it's a great team win, special teams, defense, and offense we really put it together on the road and in the division, and for the lead in the division. I think we really stepped up to the challenge so it's going to be another challenge for us this week on a short, short, short, week making return plays basically on the plane ride back home so we can get a jump on the Jets and hopefully we can continue to be successful.
Q:Someone like Jerod (Mayo) and how close you got over the off season and you have a friendship like you guys do, must cut a little deeper than just a teammate going out with an injury.
A:I mean it does because we are so close it's almost like we're brothers. Our wives, our kids, we are always spending time off the field together. You know watching film, just doing little things so it kind of means something a little different for me just because of the personal relationship I have with the main leader on my defense, being the one guy I can turn to if I want to make a certain check and you have to go over some things and coach is not around, I can always turn to him on leading the team in and out of the game so it's tough to lose somebody like that but I'm pretty sure this team will rally around, one thing he said when he was leaving the field was "finish the job for us" so at the end of the day I think we did a good job at threatening them one on one…we played this game for him in the second half. It means a lot to us what he brings to this team, not only on the field but off the field also, so it's a tough one but at the same time he understands, we're going to have to rally and he's going to be with us so we just have to continue to play some good football.
Q:Did he say any additional words of wisdom at halftime when he spoke?
A:No I mean he just said hey, how you doing, whatever, just finish the job for us and that's the one thing we took on the field. We need to be able to move forward, it's tough; it's tough, this is more than football dealing with a guy like that. For me it's more than football, but you have to move forward, you have to be able to move forward, and like I said with it being a short week, short isn't even the word its more than a short week, but we need to be ready to play another division game Thursday night so we have our plans for it once again but as a team the progress we've been doing in the past, just moving forward, make the corrections, add some things, get rid of some things and everyone's level of focus needs to be at the highest, we'll be the team to do that and we'll be okay around here but we'll have to keep coming out.
Q:You guys have faced a lot of adversity in the last couple of weeks and you've shown a lot of character while handling that. Do you think that this two week stretch could bring something better for you guys?
A:It is what it is, I mean every team gets a chance to be on a stretch but it's a short stretch from a Thursday night to a Sunday night we just happen to get it this week so we've done it before, we've been successful doing it before. We know what it takes to get our bodies and get our mind frames back to the level that it needs to be for a football game, not just a short week, but for a football game. We want to take it personally, each one of us is taking care of our bodies, getting treatment, hydration, game plans, so it's a lot of stuff bundled in at once but we are professionals, we've done it before. We have great a great bunch of guys here, we have great leaders, the captains, the coaches, so it's not going to be hard for us to get everybody to rally around and do what we need to do to be successful this week.
JULIAN EDELMAN, WIDE RECEIVER**
Q:Tom got popped again pretty good today but he hung in there and he hung in there and he kept finding you guys out there. Does he kind of lead that toughness that way?
A:Definitely. He's our leader. Everyone's looking at 12 and he knows that and he always puts on the right face and you kind of look at him and know he's ready and it all starts from there and you know that our guy's tough and he's going to be banged up and play and all that stuff and guys just try to follow that lead.
Q:I'd thought they'd get more pressure on you than they did today. The offensive line in particular, guys mixing and matching in and out did a really good job.
A:Yeah, we overcame a couple things and that's what's this game's about; battling adversity, going out there and doing your job, doing your individual assignment and guys were able to do that today and it was a good coming here on the road and getting the division win and we're on a short week now against the Jets.
Q:That seems as much as a test of character as talent. Bill Parcells used to say, "Never give players an excuse to lose." In theory, you guys had an excuse to lose today and you just wouldn't. To fill those guys and just keep going including that last drive; they're back in the game….30-22.
A:Yeah, everyone out here….everyone gets paid so you have to do your job. If something happens to someone, that's why we have other guys. That's why they made this team. That's why you play the game. You never know what's going to happen. You're always an injury away. I've played in that situation for a lot….three, four years. Guys around here, when you're on this team, you really know that if someone comes down, you're going to have an opportunity to play and they're going to keep guys that can play when people go down so that's the depth of our team.
ROB GRONKOWSKI, TIGHT END**
Q:How does it feel in front of the home town fans to come out with a performance like that?
A:It's great. We had a great team win, a team victory. Everyone was clicking on all cylinders and we were playing together as a team. It's great to come home to the home town in front of my friends and family and get that victory.
Q:Rob, last week you were very passionate about wanting that victory for Tom. You were emotional about that. Was there some sort of similar rallying cry?
A:Yes, we just wanted this game as a team. We wanted to get ahead in the division and get a road win, a solid road win. We came out and worked hard and played hard. That was our goal to get the victory and we came in and got a passionate win.
Q:What happened on that play when you went down and had to be helped off?
A:I just got my wind knocked out of me. You can't breathe for like two minutes when that happens but that's all that happened so I'm all good.
Q:Did you mess up your brace to?
A:I don't know, I think my brace broke on the play before. They have backups though.
Q:Can you tell us about the way you played in the first half and the second half in terms of energy, enthusiasm and execution?
A:The first half the defense played unbelievable. They had three turnovers and they kept us in the game. They were great. In the second half, we came out as an offense and started clicking. We started playing together as a team and we were putting up points. The defense was still making plays and stops. That's a great formula for getting a victory.
Q:If there were any questions about this team, and there were after four games, can you put all that to rest now?
Q:We are clicking as a team right now. We are clicking on offense and clicking on defense. We just have to keep it going and keep working hard. We can't put our heads down no matter what it is or what situation it is. We just have to keep looking forward to the next week and keep working hard.
Q:Does it seem right again though? I mean you have been in this offense when things were great.
A:Yes, definitely. It's not fun losing and it seems more right now. We just have to keep working hard.
Q:Rob, they took some shots at you but you got right up and seemed empowered by the fact that you handled those so well.
A:Yes, definitely. It's the game of football. I'm not stepping out on that field thinking that I'm just going to be able to go out there and not get hit. No way. Those guys are getting paid and they are all big and fast. They were giving me so lickings. All you can do is get right back up and get right back in the huddle and go on to the next play. It's part of the game and sometimes I like getting lit up.
Q:Rob, one of your trademarks has been getting open on big downs and there were a couple today. What goes into that?
A:Focus and concentration. You got to make a play to keep it going on third down. Converting on third downs is always huge. We did a great job today of converting a lot of our third downs. We didn't get them all obviously, but we got enough. We can always improve in that area.
BRANDON LAFELL, WIDE RECEIVER**
Q:If you're going to have a final drive, that's kind of the way to do it instead of like you emptied the backfield and you kind of just go for it. That's what you guys did.
A: **Anyway to score on the road, in an environment like this, in the division, when you need this win, cause you know we was all on one at first. We came in and got a tough win. Anyway we can get a touchdown to put this game out of reach and put our defense in a better situation, you have to get it.
Q:Talk about the execution. There was a couple of critical third downs on that last drive where you hit Edelman, you hit Gronk, you hit yourself, and you get the touchdown but it's not easy to do especially with what they were going with. They were running with motivation for their touchdown.
A: We knew it was going to be hard all week. When you playing against a defense with a front seven like that guy with the Williams boys up front were huge coming off the edge. We knew it was going to be a sixty minute game, man. Looking at film at these guys. These guys just play sixty minutes. They actually won a game in overtime so we knew it was going to take some third down conversions late in games to win games like this and we did it.
Q:Can you speak to sort of the toughness the team showed. You lose Mayo; one of your leaders. Stevan goes down. Connolly's out and yet somehow through all that, you guys excelled.
A: **When you lose a guy like Mayo; the heart and soul of our defense. One of the leaders on this team that go out and put us in there everyday, when you lose him, it makes you, it messes up your game. It makes you the next guy behind him has to step up and play and we know on offense, that losing Mayo is a big part of our defense, we have to make plays. We have to go out there and convert some third downs. Keep some drives long so our defense can get some rest and not put our defense on the field a lot and that's what we did.
Q:This is back to back weeks now with big character type performances. You were up against the wall a little bit against Cincinnati. You did what did to them and now to come into this environment to win has to make you feel really good about where this team is headed.
A:It feels good but we know as a team, we haven't put our best foot out there yet. We haven't played to the best of our abilities yet and we felt like that today in the first half. We came out there, got field position to start the game off but we knew, if we didn't do anything with it. These next couple of games against better teams, we have to capitalize on field position. We have to continue to do that this year and hopefully we can start doing that.
Q:What'd you think of Tyms going up and getting that one?
A:I was on the field before they called it a touchdown because that guy is pure speed and the things he does in practice, he does the same thing in a game. The way he went up and got the ball, I was so excited for my guy.
BRIAN TYMS, WIDE RECEIVER**
Q:You talk about trying to build that confidence with Tom. Seems like today was a good way to go about it?
A: **Just being around him gives you confidence. He's not what everybody thinks he is; he is a really good guy. He's down to earth. He will work with you. He treats everyone the same. It's not just a select few people. Just that in itself gives me a lot of confidence. Whether I get one play or 10, I could care less. I just go out there and give full effort.
Q:Did you read the coverage on your big play? Did you know you were going to have to split or go up and fight for it?
A:Gilmore is really good. I knew regardless if I ran past him, I knew he had make-up speed so I have to attack the ball. That's just my M.O. I always try to attack the ball. I don't like to let the ball come to me. There are a lot of good players in this league that can make a play. I wanted the ball more. I'm not going to run 40 yards without the ball.
Q:What does it say about this team and the way you guys responded from a lot of injuries, both going into the game and during the game?
A:It just showed character. We are fighters and we are a family. This is a family. Regardless of how many years you have played, when we step out there we are brothers. We just told each other, like we tell each other every week, its 60 minutes. Every team is good, so there is not one quarter where we are up by 10 and it's ok to chill. We are trying to go for their throat. It's just full effort from everyone. It just shows everyone that it takes a team to win.
Q:This summer you were saying that you had to pinch yourself because you were in the same huddle as Tom Brady. It sounds like your relationship has changed a little bit.
A:You have to get used to it. You can't sit there in awe the whole time when there are 100,000 fans out there screaming. After a while I just got accustomed to it. He's great so you have to match that intensity. I don't know about everyone else, but I feel like I have to make the play because he's done so much. Everyone on this team has done so much and I just came here so I feel like I owe that to them.
Q:What did you make of it then when he was getting criticized?
A:When you're so good for so long, there's not many things people can say for your personal life and they will wait for anything. I didn't really read into it. I felt like anyone who said that was a fair-weather fan.