The New England Patriots take on the Chicago Bears at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, October 26, 2014.
Akeem Ayers, Linebacker**
(On his time on the field)
"I didn't really know how much playing time I was going to have coming in. I was just trying to prepare the best as I could and just whenever I'm out there, try to make the best of the opportunity.
(On his sack)
"It was a stunt that we had. I was coming around to wrap him and found the opening, and just happened to get through and get the sack."
(On coming to New England)
"There was a lot going on. Me having to get situated with moving, meeting guys around the building, [learning] the playbook, meeting teammates, and [getting used to] the schedule. Everything is difficult early on but everyone around here made it easy for me and they really worked with me, and that made the transition a lot easier."
Brandon Browner, Cornerback
(On the defense building momentum for itself on the first few possessions)
"That's what you always want to do, start fast. And that's what we did, hit [the Bears] in the mouth early. That was the game plan: hit them in the mouth early and try to get them to shut it down. We put up points early and had them trailing, fighting from behind early on."
(On how important it was to tackle Matt Forte on catches out of the backfield)
"If I'm not mistaken, I think he is [the Bears'] leading receiver, as far as receptions go. We had to key on him just as well as we had to on [Martellus] Bennett, [Brandon] Marshall and [Alshon] Jeffery."
(On if matching up against the Bears' big, physical receivers is what he and Darrelle Revis were brought in for)
"Most definitely. And next week, we've got a big matchup. We've got to just keep stringing them together."
Jonas Gray, Running Back
(On his overall thoughts of the game)
"We knew that this game, we had to get back to the run. The guys up front did a good job. One of the main things we want to do is get good double-teams and inside zone, outside zone, cut the backside off, and the guys up front did a great job all night. It was pretty much just playing with your keys, playing with good vision. Most of those plays, anyone could have ran through those holes. Most of them were blocked and the rest was whoever had a good enough burst. They blocked well up front."
(On Chicago's goal-line stand)
"A lot of it was congestion. They gave us some looks that we hadn't seen. We had to adjust on the run and they got good penetration. Pretty much just good defense."
(On more players contributing to the team)
"Just like I heard Tom say before, all of us are in the same meeting room together, so the coaches expect us to know [what's going on]. They did a good job preparing everybody for it. No matter what could happen, they give you all the scenarios, all the situations. As many hands as we can get on deck, those guys are ready. We prepare the best in the league."
(On facing Denver next week)
"We've got some time here to enjoy the win, so we're going to do that and we're going to come ready to prepare for a good opponent who's playing well. Peyton [Manning] is setting all kinds of records. All we're going to do is get that scouting report, stick our heads in the playbook and the film, and see what we can get."
Rob Gronkowski, Tight End
(On his overall thoughts on the game)
"It was a good day overall for the team. Everyone was executing well. The offense was clicking. The defense was playing very well. Overall a great day, a great win, and it's always good to get a win at home."
(On getting off to a good start)
"It's always important to get the offensive rhythm going, especially early. Once we get a first down, I feel like we can pick it up from there. Everyone starts clicking. We did an excellent job as an offense overall, executing out there, making plays. Everyone contributed, got first downs, yards, touchdowns, so it was a great team win overall."
(On his third-down receptions)
"We know that the completion percentage, and to get a first down from that, is very low, but you just have to go out there and execute and run the route just like it's any other play. [You've] got to get open and Tom [Brady] made some great throws. Just had to catch the ball and get the first down."
Brandon LaFell, Wide Receiver
(On if he had fun)
"It was a lot of fun – everybody catching the ball, everybody making plays. Sometimes you see Gronk [Rob Gronkowski] go out there and make a play like he made and you turn into a fan real quick, so it was a lot of fun today."
(On if he felt good coming into the game)
"Yeah, we felt good. We knew they were going to play a lot of zone coverage, and we just go out there, have good spacing, catch the ball [and] protect the ball because those guys – I think they lead the NFL since 2010 in takeaways, strip fumbles and stuff like that. We knew what type of game it was. We just had to go out there and execute."
(On setting the tone fast)
"Yeah, we kind of figured it out. We come out, play fast, get the first first down in the series, get things going. And then also, [when we] play ahead, we're a different team, and the quicker we score points, the whole team feeds off that."
(On if he's ever seen Tom Brady this dialed in)
"Yeah, every day in practice. He's like this every day in practice. What's been so good about here, the same looks we get out there at practice with Malcolm [Butler] and the guys on scout team, we come out here and it's just allowed us to play fast. We've seen the look in Tom already throwing the ball like that all week, so it's allowed us to play faster."
(On using his size)
"It's just about being a big guy. Obviously I'm not as fast as the [defensive backs] and the safeties, and some of the linebackers are really fast too. I just have to use my body as leverage to out-fight big guys and use it like a basketball move to box-out. I'm just using the body to get open."
Devin McCourty, Defensive Back
(On Sunday's win)
"It was just good coming out here and getting the win. You come from 10 days off – a little extra time – and that's how you want to come out and play. We took advantage, I think, of our preparation time and it showed out there. So it was a good win for us. We'll enjoy it tonight and then get ready to go. We know that feeling we had walking off that field in Denver. We know it's going to be a tough game and we've got to be ready to go for next Sunday."
(On what the defense is doing better in the last few weeks)
"Just playing football. There's no panic here. We prepare each week for the opponent and when we put in the work, it shows. We're not going to get the same type of game or the outcome we want maybe sometimes, but as long as we keep putting in that work that we've been putting in all season, it shows. Coming off a tough one Thursday night, this is a good feeling coming in and getting a win."
(On the play of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner)
"That's why they're here. They went out there and they challenged [the Bears' wide receivers] on every play and they made plays. I think, coming in, we know that when I'm back there at safety, I have complete confidence in both of those guys, no matter where they're at - left, right, inside. I know that they're going to do a great job and I think that's the confidence that this defense is playing with right now."
Zach Moore, Defensive lineman
(On the win)
"It's a great team win overall. Great play by the defense and you have to keep stringing games like that together."
(On forcing a second-quarter fumble returned by Rob Ninkovich for a touchdown)
"I was in the three-technique. Rush up the field, he [Bears quarterback Jay Cutler] was wrapped up by [Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower]. It's the way we play - first man in, second man strip [the ball]. I saw him [Cutler] wrapped up and came in and hit the ball. I didn't even know I hit the ball out, I just knew to try and strip it."
(On how mental preparation has helped him prepare for his on-the-field contributions)
"I would say there's definitely room for improvement. Try to take this game, go look at the film, study it and see what I could have done better, try to improve on that and move on to the Broncos."
(On how much it helps having fellow rookie defensive lineman Dominique Easley in the system)
"We do feed off of each other. Same rookie class and obviously it's fun being out there with your fellow classmates. He played a good game today. I would say we all did as a defense and we've got to take the step forward and move on to Denver."
(On the importance of establishing a pass rush without defensive end Chandler Jones in the lineup)
"It's critical. He was the pass rush on the team. We have to fill that void any way that we can, so just great defense, great team effort. If we can get it done like that then we will be better moving forward."
Rob Ninkovich, Defensive End
(On his fumble recovery for a touchdown)
"It was cool. A good team play there. It wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for… I don't even know who had the sack because it was that collective group of men that was all over him, and then [Jay Cutler] tried to get the ball. I don't know if he was trying to throw it but [Patrick] Chung hit it out and I was able to scoop it up, didn't feel anyone around me, stand up, and run it in."
(On the team's play during the day)
"The offense did a great job today. They were able to run the ball, set the tone early, and play Patriots football. That's all three phases playing well. Special Teams were flying around. We were able to do a good job this week stopping the run and getting them in a one-dimensional type of offense. It comes down to preparing well and understanding what they like to do and the things that work for them, and I think we did a good job of shutting that down."
(On the team's status midseason)
"We have a couple hours but then you have to move on because the team we're playing, obviously they're playing at a high level right now and it's going to be a big challenge for us. Again, we have to have a good week of preparation, just like we did this week. I don't think we're playing our best football at all. It's halfway through the year, we have to play our best football at the end of the season. You can never be happy where you're at. I think there's always room for improvement, there are definitely a few things out there that we need to tighten up. It's constant improvement, constantly working harder and trying to get better collectively as a group. It's not just one guy, it's everyone."
Darrelle Revis, Cornerback
(On limiting Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall's production)
"I think as a defense we mixed up zone and man against their offense. Like I said earlier this week, their offense is very explosive. They've got some big time players on offense. As a whole, it's not even about what I did. Collectively, we were out there as a defense and we made plays. Rob [Ninkovich] made a great play. The run was a little bit suspect [laughs]. We made turnovers today and that's the key, we want to make turnovers."
(On moving beyond the distractions of this week)
"That's been in the past. What happened, it was over then. We [Patriots head coach Bill Belichick] talked and we see eye-to-eye."
(On if it's a surprise when everything seems to go your team's way)
"You prepare the best you can every week. Your mentality coming into the game is to make turnovers, especially as a defense, and try to go three-and-out and try to get the ball back for the offense. Clearly, we were hitting on all cylinders today. It feels great to see us doing great in all three phases of the game."
(On the importance of next week's game against the Denver Broncos)
"You've got to enjoy today's game and I'm sure next week is going to be exciting. It is. This is something that kind of reminds me back when I played in New York against the Patriots. We know what's at stake. We know Denver is a great team. We have a lot of respect, but at the same time we are trying to accomplish something as well as they are, too. It's the battle of the AFC and we understand. We totally understand and it's two great quarterbacks going against each other and we are going to have to duke it out."
(On being brought to New England for games like the one against Denver next week)
"These are the games you want to play for. I can speak for everybody that is on this team. We live for games like this, for next week. We are looking forward to it and it's going to be a great matchup."
Sebastian Vollmer, Tackle
(On when the offense knew it was really rolling)
"I don't think we had that attitude. It's more like, to come out of halftime and be like, 'We've got to keep going. We've got to keep putting points on the board.' So I don't think we had that attitude of, 'We've got them.'" It's more about what you're doing right."
(On why the offensive line played better this week than last)
"Every week is the same. Obviously you prepare well and try to do your best out there. I'm confident in the guys we have out there and in what we do. I guess that's kind of it."
(On if the win Sunday gives the team confidence going into next week's game against Denver)
"We know what Denver is. They're a good team; a good defensive team, a good offensive team. A good team overall. It's going to be a big challenge. We're going to have a big week of practice ahead of us and hopefully do well against them, too."
(On the play of running back Jonas Gray on Sunday)
"From what I saw at least, I thought he ran hard and ran well. I'm happy we've got him."
Tim Wright, Tight End
(On beating man-to-man coverage)
"We work really hard on man-to-man in practice doing one-on-ones, and even in between practice just working on beating the man in front of you. I definitely would attribute all the catches and all the openings we had today to that preparation during the week."
(On if he noticed the separation from the defenders)
"Yeah, it was definitely noticeable. Like I said, we work hard at it. We've got great coaches teaching us great technique, so we just try to utilize that on Sundays."
(On Rob Gronkowski)
"He's a great player – very big, very strong, fast – deceptive I guess to the few people who really don't know everything he can do yet. He's a great person, being around him for the short time and just learning everything that I can learn from him and pick up on the things that I can add to my game."
(On getting open from the one-yard line)
"In the NFL, every yard counts. It's tough to get a yard. When you put things together and you start executing, it turns out to be a great thing."
(On his touchdown catch)
"It's just something that we practiced and connected on. It's a whole bunch of options on that particular play, but they happened to drop me in coverage, so I capitalized on it."