On the fact they had to go out and win this one:

“That wasn’t ugly, that was a great win.  I mean they made it tough on us, there’s no question about it. But I thought we fought hard, we made some critical plays when we needed to. We knew it was going to be tough, and it was. They played really well, challenged us, every single play was a challenge and we made some plays when we needed to so it was a great win.”

On the play of Wes Welker and the fact that Stevan Ridley went over 1000 yards:

“Well, those two guys have had great years. We’ve had a lot of contributions from a lot of guys and were going to continue to need to have that. You know, coach said, “season starts now,” so we’re 1-0 when we need to be.”

On the seven minute drive they had at the end of the game to close it out:

“It was good execution. I thought we did a good job making some critical plays when we needed to. Really, the run game was huge. I thought the running backs ran really hard, protected the ball, got some great blocking up front and that’s what we needed at that time. This is a very good run defense, a good group of linebackers. They’re physical, they rush the passer, they really made it tough on us today.”

On his relationship with Wes Welker and the ability to always be on the same page:

“He’s an unbelievable player and teammate, and friend. Nothing he does ever surprises me. He expects the best out of himself every single day and that’s what he brings to practice, that’s what he brings to the games. We couldn’t be in a situation without him. Some glad he’s on our team and not the Dolphins.”

On what the idea is behind the fact Belichick said “the season starts now”:

“Well, this is when the best teams really start separating themselves. Your depth is challenged, your mental toughness is challenged. Fighting through the bumps and bruises of a long season is a challenge. Getting contributions from a lot of people is a challenge. That’s what you need this time of year, so you’ve got to continue to get better and better and better and string games together, string practices together, so when you need it the most, you’ve got it in the bank.”

On how he keeps himself from looking had after being to the Super Bowl five times:

“Well, it’s easy. I think we’re long ways from that and you can play in that game without improving through the month of December. November, December – that’s when it’s really important. I think we’ve done that. We keep working hard, we listen to our coaching and we’ve won some great games here in the last six weeks.”

On how much Rob Gronkowski wants to get back as quickly as possible:

“Well, he hates being out. He’s as competitive as anybody so it’s hard to really match what he’s able to do for us offensively. But the guys who have been in there have done a great job. They’ve really stepped up to the challenge. No one was quite sure what was going to happen and how we were going to react, it’s the first time that he’s been out, but the guys have responded well. We need to continue to do that, we’ve got as tough of a game as we’ve played all year coming up next Monday night.”

On if it ever gets old coming into the locker room and seeing hadn’t T-shirt hanging up in his locker:

“No, it was great. To be 5-0 in the division, that’s a pretty good mark against teams that always play us tough. We’ve had some tough games against the Bills.  You know, the first game against the Bills was tough through the third quarter, it was tough with the Jets there in overtime, and obviously tough today. That’s what it takes. You’ve got to beat the teams in your division and we’re 5-0 and we’ve got a huge game coming up next week.”

On how nice it was to have 17 points come pretty easy due to the field position given up by the Dolphins:

“We got great field position today. The defense got some big turnovers for us in their scoring area. We didn’t necessarily convert as often as we’d like, but those are important points. It’s nice to put some points on the board. I wish they would’ve all been touchdowns, but we’ve got to execute better in order to do that.”

On how much he anticipated it being a 15 round fight today:

“Well, the last three times we’ve been down here in December, we’ve lost. So that tells you it’s challenging to play down here this time of year. The crowd was into it, they were into it. So it’s not supposed to be easy, and it wasn’t today and I thought they played really well. They played really well defensively, they competed their butts off and so did we and it came down to the end.”