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Patriots Replay Wed Jun 03 | 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM

What They're Saying: New England Patriots

Find out what Patriots coaches and players are saying about their upcoming Divisional Playoff game against the Houston Texans.

On playing the Texans...
"They're a really impressive team, a big win last week against Oakland. They're playing very well here at this point in time, outstanding on defense, a lot of explosive players on offense, kicking game, well-coached. Obviously, a very good fundamental team. They don't beat themselves, don't get penalized, don't turn the ball over. Just a really sound football team. This will be a big challenge for us this week to be able to compete with them. That's a big win that they had in the wild card game. I'm sure they're coming in here with a lot of confidence, as they should."
- Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick

"I'm preparing like this is the hardest game we've faced all season, which it will be, and it means the most. There's only one priority for all of us this week, and that's to be at our best mentally, physically, emotionally for three hours on Saturday night starting at 8:00 p.m. All of my attention is focused on those three hours and getting prepared for that moment so that we can go out and play with anticipation and confidence against the best defense we've played all season. There's nothing easy about it."
- Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady

"I think that it's going to be a real challenge because they have some familiarity with the area, they have some familiarity with the way we do things, everything that we do. I think they have great coaches and I think they have a really good defense, so it's going to be tough for us."
- Patriots Tackle Nate Solder

"Very exciting, we've still got another chance, another opportunity to go out there and play, but the only thing that matters is getting the win. You've got to prepare for the best and play your best because all the teams left are the best teams, so you've got to be ready to play."
- Patriots Cornerback Malcolm Butler

On what has changed since playing the Texans in week 3...
"I think one thing is their tight ends are making a lot more plays now than the first time we played them. The running game has really been working for them, getting Lamar Miller going and really feeding him. I think he had the ball 30 times last game; well, he ran 30 times. I think for us we just have to be ready to go and know this team knows us well. They're going to come in here with a game plan. I think we've changed some since we first played them, so they'll come in ready to do different things that they feel we don't do well just from knowing the coaching staff and how they game plan. So what exactly they'll go to, we're not sure until we go out there and play, but they still have [DeAndre] Hopkins, they still have [Will] Fuller to take you deep and make plays. We were able to do a decent job the first game, but I don't think that's really going to matter for this game Saturday night."
- Patriots Defensive Back Devin McCourty

"Obviously [Lamar] Miller is doing a great job of running it. After watching film these past couple of weeks [and] this past game, Brock [Osweiler] is looking a lot more comfortable and they're trying to get [DeAndre] Hopkins the ball. All around I think they just really found their identity and they found out what they're good at and what they need to do and they've been excelling at it."
- Patriots Linebacker Dont'a Hightower

"I think we all evolve as the season goes on. Playing a game that early in the season, I mean, there are some things you learn from it, but honestly, they've improved in a lot of different areas. This is a defense that doesn't give you anything easy. You're going to have to execute a lot of plays to drive the ball and get points. They make you earn everything you get – first down, second down, third down, red zone, short yardage, very few big plays allowed. They're physical, they're aggressive."
- Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels

On Brock Osweiler...
"He's a big guy in the pocket. He can stand tall in there, he can make all the throws, and he's also athletic so he can get out and extend plays, so as a front you have to do a great job with your pass rush integrity and understand that he's a good quarterback in the pocket and can make all the throws."
- Patriots Defensive End Rob Ninkovich

"I think he's doing a good job getting the ball out. He's an athletic guy. Obviously, I think he had a couple Division I basketball scholarships coming out of high school, so he's a guy that knows what he's looking at, reads defenses and understands at times that he can get out of the pocket and make plays with his legs. He's a tall guy, big arm, able to make really every throw on the field. He's dangerous really in two aspects, even though he's not known as a runner, there are times he can hurt you if you take away everybody in the passing game in man-to-man and everyone turns their back to him. He reads that and he's able to get out, whether it's up the middle or out the side of the pocket and just get yards, especially on third down, and just gets the chains moving."
- Patriots Defensive Back Devin McCourty

On the Texans running backs...
"Very strong runners, break a lot of tackles. Everybody is at the point of attack with those guys because they can run up inside, they can get to the perimeter and they're hard to tackle in the secondary. They're also dangerous on check-downs, screen passes, flat routes, things like that. [Jonathan] Grimes as well, they've used him in passing situations but also he's carried the ball. All three of those guys have been very productive for them. They're different, but they're all good. We'll really have to pay attention to who's in the game and make sure we've got those guys, try to keep them boxed in. Tackling will be a big issue with all three of them because they make a lot of yards on their own with the ball in their hands, so that'll be important for us, to do a good job of tackling. Again, it's all of their skill players but the backs are good."
- Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick

On Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney
"With a guy like that, he's so talented, very athletic, very long; you've got to be playing great ball. You've got to be working with your teammates, you've got to be able to change things up on him and be able to play really well when you need to."
- Patriots Tackle Nate Solder

On the playoff atmosphere at Gillette Stadium...
"I'm sure it'll be wild. We have the best fans in the league. It's usually cold so I'm sure they'll be looking forward to that. But all around, playoff time and home field advantage, it helps as far as just the overall emotion and excitement that it brings. Those third downs and those backed up situations where we have the offense on the ropes back there - those really help. Sometimes, believe it or not, a lot of guys get pretty crazy to want to make a play and get up and do the little sack dance or whatever. So always being at home always helps."
- Patriots Running Back Dont'a Hightower

"I think this is the time of year that our fans love. They understand the role they play in the game, the role they play in home field advantage, and we're excited for them to be at their best. We're expecting their best on Saturday, and we're in it together."
- Patriots wide receiver Matthew Slater

"It's pretty awesome, a lot of energy. We feed off them a bit. I'm pretty sure they're going to bring their best too. I think we have some of the best fans in the NFL, and when it's a big game, I feel like they're going to bring their best out just like we will."
- Patriots Tight End Martellus Bennett

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