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Archive for the ‘ Press Conferences ’ Category

Bill Belichick’s Post Game Press Conference Transcript


Bill Belichick won his fourth Super Bowl ring with the Patriots on Sunday night against the Seattle Seahawks. (USA TODAY Images)

Here’s the transcript from Bill Belichick’s postgame press conference as released by the NFL’s PR Department:

(opening statement)

“I just want to start off saying that I couldn’t be prouder of this team. These guys have been counted out many times through the course of the year by a lot of people, but they always believed in themselves and just kept fighting. They did a couple weeks ago against Baltimore, and we did it today, just tried to play good solid football, tried to string some plays together even though there were times there where things weren’t looking the way we wanted it to look. They kept fighting and they kept trying to play better each series, and we were finally able to cut it to a one-score game, which was the big touchdown to (Danny) Amendola and then getting the ball back and then obviously, making the stop there at the end on the goal line. A lot of big plays in all three phases of the game. A lot of guys contributed that I just can’t say enough about the players. This is a great team—a great group of competitors who never gave in, never lost their will, mentally and physically as tough of a group as I’ve been around and I’ve been around some. These guys are really special. I’m happy for them, and they deserve all the credit in the world. They’re the ones that made the plays. They’re the ones that fought for 60 minutes out there on the field against a great football team. I was very impressed this week in preparation for Seattle. I’ve said many times, I’ve spoke about the job that Pete (Carroll) and his staff and that organization has done. That’s a really good football team. My hat is off to Seattle. The game couldn’t have been any closer than what it was. They’re a great football team that is within a yard or so, or a few seconds—however you want to look at it—of winning a second title. They should be congratulated. I have all the respect in the world for them. I just can’t say enough about our players and our assistant coaches too. I’ll say that as well. We got off to a little bit of a slow start last week, but Matt Patricia and his defensive staff, Josh McDaniels and the offensive staff, Scott O’Brien (and) special teams, those guys did a great job of putting the gameplan together, preparing for this game for our team while I was doing some other things. I was able to catch up. I couldn’t have done it without those guys, for sure. I just can’t say enough about the job that our coaching staff did as well as the players. I guess the last thing I’ll say before I open it up is the last time I won and I got Gatorade(d), my dad was here. I was certainly thinking about him tonight, and I’m sure he was watching. I hope my mom is watching too, so, ‘Hi Mom.’”

(on his defensive strategy on the goal line at the end of the game and if he considered letting them score or using timeouts)

“We would have used our timeouts if that had been a running play on the interception. We might have done that. We put in our goal line defense with just corners. It wasn’t true goal line because they had three receivers in the game. So we were in our goal line with all eight guys stacked on the line of scrimmage and we were man-to-man on the three receivers. We prepare for that situation as part of our goal line package—three corners, two corners, one corner, no corners if they have all tight ends and an offensive line in there. That’s what they were in for that play.”

(on how he would explain the success of the last offensive drive with nine consecutive completed passes)

“I’ve been in a few of these games and we’ve been on the other side of it. It’s just hard to rush the passer for four quarters in a game like this. You just expend so much energy. Our offensive line did a great job, but I think as the game wore on, that probably helped neutralize the pass rush a little bit. I’ve been on both sides of this one, so I know what that’s like, but I felt like in the fourth quarter we just kind of pressed it and stayed with the passing game. We kind of got away from a little bit of balance there, running regular people and two tight ends and that kind of thing. We just put our two-minute-type personnel out there with Shane (Vereen), three receivers and Rob (Gronkowski). I thought that was our best opportunity there from let’s say about the 10-minute mark or so. It worked out well and our offensive line did a great job. Tom (Brady) did a great job. Our receivers made a lot of tough catches and tough yards. That’s what you’ve got to do against a team like Seattle. They don’t give anything easy.”

(on if he was surprised that Seattle did not run on the goal line play)

“No, when you’re on defense, you defend whatever they do.”

(on the interception by cornerback Malcolm Butler on the goal line)

“He was a rookie tryout guy. We had already had our draft. We had already signed our free agents after the draft. He was part of what we like to call, ‘The few, the proud, the free,’ that came in and did a great job in that rookie minicamp. We kind of created a roster spot by juggling some other guys around and then signed him and he had a good training camp. He has competed every day. He plays against a lot of good receivers and quarterbacks in practice. He’s had his moments. That’s a big jump from West Alabama to the NFL but Malcolm competes hard and he works hard. We had gone into this game expecting to play all of our corners: Logan (Ryan), Malcolm, Brandon (Browner) of course, Kyle (Arrington) and (Darelle) Revis, and we ended up doing that. We’ve done that in other games before too. That was kind of the plan, that’s the way it worked out, and certainly looked like Malcolm kind of had a hot hand in the fourth quarter—broke up a couple passes, so we stayed with him.”

(on with the parity in the NFL, if four Super Bowls is as close to a dynasty as the league gets now)

“I don’t know. That’s up to you guys to write about.”

(on tying legendary coach Chuck Noll with four Super Bowl victories)

“Coach Noll is a great coach. I have all the respect in the world for Chuck Noll, but really, this isn’t about me right now. It’s about our football team and I’m proud of the coaches and players that I’m with that come to work, work hard every day, prepare hard every day, compete hard every day. That’s really what this win is about. It’s about our football team. It’s not about some other record or some other year or whatever. It’s about these guys, and what we’ve accomplished as a group, that there is a lot of people that never thought we had a chance to accomplish. So it’s a great feeling to be able to do that. It’s really my appreciation for our team more than it is some other record or something.”

(on if he would’ve called a pass play on the goal line at the end)

“We were on defense.”

(on if he was, hypothetically, on offense, he would’ve called a pass play on the goal line)

“I don’t do hypotheticals. We have a different team than they do. We have a different quarterback, different receivers, different linemen—it’s two different teams. We were on defense.”

(on if he had ever seen a catch downfield like that from Seattle wide receiver Jermaine Kearse)

“Yeah, I’ve seen two of them.”

(on his thoughts on Kearse’s reception)

“I thought it was incomplete and then he ended up with the ball. I saw the replay and it was a tremendous catch, great concentration. It was a tremendous catch, kind of like two other ones I’ve seen.”

(on if the controversy in New England makes this victory sweeter)

“I’m not really concerned about that. I’ve already spoken on that, so I’m not going to have anything to add to it. I’m happy for our team. We won. I think our team deserved to win. We were the number one seed in the AFC. We played the number one seed in the NFC. We won tonight in a tough game. I don’t know what more we need to do. This team deserves to be champions and that’s why they’re up here.”

(on at what point this season did he know that this Patriots team was something special)

“At halftime at Kansas City.”

(on what happened at halftime in Kansas City that convinced him this was a special team)

“We weren’t having a good day, but we kept fighting. We showed a lot of toughness and a lot of fight. We didn’t have good results, but, to me, if there was ever a time to not compete as hard, that would’ve been it. It wasn’t going well on the road, Monday night, great crowed, good team, but we battled them all the way to the end of the game. We weren’t close to winning, but the fight and the competitiveness was there. That gave me a lot of confidence going into the next week’s game against Cincinnati. I would say, to me, that was probably a key point in our season.”

(on what went through his mind when cornerback Malcolm Butler intercepted the ball on the goal line)

“Ecstasy. Still, at that point, the ball was inside the 1-yard line and we had a celebration penalty. A lot can happen. Snaps get fumbled or if the ball is on the half-yard line and we don’t get it out and it’s a safety. Another play that we kind of went through that in the Baltimore game a couple weeks ago, where we weren’t able to run all the time off the clock. We had to punt and then defend a Hail Mary. You know, Seattle, there is no team better, more resourceful than they are. You saw what they did last week against Green Bay. I watched the Tampa game this morning, where they were down 21-0 against Tampa Bay last year and they came back and beat them in overtime. Nobody plays better situational football than the Seahawks and Coach Carroll, they do a great job on that. They are in every game, unless they’re way ahead, but they’re in every game and they had great situational football at the end like they did at the end of the first half against us. As happy as I was for the interception, there was still 20 seconds left on the clock and they had one or two timeouts left. It wasn’t done yet.”

(on the goal line situation and having had situations go against him before at the end)

“We were ahead 24-20, so everything wasn’t going against us. I’d rather be ahead 24-20 than behind 24-20. That’s just me.”

(on celebrating this championship with his son Steve, one of New England’s assistant coaches)
“We sure will—Steve, Brian and Amanda. We will celebrate it. We will celebrate it hard.”

(on what the difference was having a healthy tight end Rob Gronkowski in the Super Bowl)

“Rob was, once again, I think a big factor in the game. I thought we created—Coach (Josh) McDaninels created some good matchups with him. He put him on (K.J.) Wright a couple of times and (Kam) Chancellor. I thought the over right on the last drive, when they were in a five-man rush or man-to-man coverage, Rob got across the formation on a second-and-15 or maybe it was the penalty offensive interference, so second-and-11. Somewhere in there, he caught that over route and that was a big play for us, got us a first down. It put us into field goal range. Rob was a big factor in the game, but you can’t say enough about (Brandon) LaFell, (Julian) Edelman, (Shane) Vereen, (LeGarrette) Blount, the offensive line, it was a great team effort. I’m proud of everybody.”

Tom Brady Super Bowl Post Game Press Conference Transcript


Tom Brady and the Patriots won their fourth title Sunday night. (USA TODAY Images)

Here’s the transcript from Tom Brady’s post game press conference, as provided by the NFL’s PR department.

(on the resiliency that his team has shown all year)

“It’s been a long journey. It’s just a great win. We left it all on the field.”

(on the keys to victory in today’s game)

“Mental toughness.”

(on if he thought this was a game that he would throw the ball 50 times)

“You know, whatever it takes. We were playing a great defense and they’re a great team. Took everything all the way to the last play. Just proud of our effort and our determination. We showed it all year. Every team has a journey and a lot of people lost faith in us early, but we held strong, we held together, and it’s a great feeling.”

(on if he was able to process his emotions going from Seattle about to score to New England getting an interception on their final drive)

“Unbelievable play by Malcolm (Butler). We didn’t call a timeout and the clock was winding down and we realized, you know, this is basically it if we stopped them. I saw the interception and couldn’t believe it. It was just an incredible play. You know, what a play. A championship play. My guys made them. A lot of guys just did some great stuff out there. Took everybody. We knew it was going to take everybody. It was a 60-minute game. Just proud of how everybody played.”

(on if he is thinking about where his legacy fits in NFL history)

“No. I’ve got a lot of football left. It’s hard to play this game and it take a big commitment, a lot of sacrifice. For all the players that have played in the past and I’ve looked up to and admired and a lot of the players now who I look up to and admire – it’s a big challenge and it’s incredible to experience this feeling once and I’ve been fortunate to play on four really great teams, so I’m really blessed.”

(on what it means to have won four Super Bowls and three Super Bowl MVPs like former San Francisco QB Joe Montana and to be compared to him)

“Well, I haven’t thought about…I never put myself in those discussions. That’s not how I think. There are so many great players that have been on so many great teams and we’ve had some great teams that haven’t won it and I think you’ve got to just enjoy the moment. Enjoy (it). We’ve been on the other end of this twice now and being ahead late and not being able to make the plays to win, and, this time, we made the plays to win. Just awesome. What an experience. A lot of mental toughness by our team, a lot of physical toughness. We played against a phenomenal defense and we just ultimately made enough plays. We made a couple of crappy plays – I certainly did – but we made enough plays to win.”

 (on what it means to get those performances out of guys like WR Julian Edelman, WR Danny Amendola and RB Shane Vereen)

“We needed them because without those guys, we don’t win. They stepped up. They did it. They were in there a lot. It was hot. It’s a long game. I don’t know what time it is, but it’s late. But we needed a great play at the end and we got it. Offensively, a lot of guys made huge, huge plays. Defensively, a lot of those guys made huge plays. It’s a great team. They’ve got a great offense, well-coached, great defense – that’s why they’re here and it took a lot to beat them.”

(on what the attitude was taking the field down three points on the final drive)

“We were down 10 and we just said, ‘Look, we’ve got to put one good drive together to get us back in the game.’ We made the plays. We overcame a couple of penalties and made the plays to do it and then got the ball back and then scored again. They had a great drive, made some phenomenal plays, and we made a great play in the end. These games, they’re tough. They go down to the end. Glad we finally pulled it out.”

(on finding wide receiver Julian Edelman on the game-winning drive)

“I saw Jules. I had an opportunity to move up in the pocket, and Jules had kind of a deep in-cut. I tried to drill it to him and he caught it and made a great catch – took a big hit, and that was the key to the whole drive. There were a lot of keys to the game. You single any one play out today, it could be different. Like I said, I give a lot of credit to them. They’re a great team, but we just made a couple more plays than them.”

(on some of the things Seattle did to disrupt the timing of the offense)

“We made some good plays. We had some great drives. Early in the game, I thought we moved in really well. We just stopped ourselves. I threw the interception on the first drive after a great drive, and then we had a third down play, which could have been a really big play, but execution was pretty poor. Going into the second half, I felt like we were ready to do it, and then Bobby (Wagner) made a great interception on the one I threw him. We got behind bad, and then found a way to slug it out and come back. It was a tough day – a lot of energy, a lot of effort. We just made enough plays to win.”

(on going 8-for-8 on the final drive, and if that will be a signature drive in his career)

“I didn’t think about that. A lot of guys – we made great catches. It’s a team effort. There’s never one player. It took the whole team. We blocked great all day against a great front, made a lot of great catches and a lot of critical plays in the red area. A lot of guys overcame a lot of mentally-challenging moments, and I’m just proud of the way we overcame it.”

(on comparing his game-winning drive tonight to his game-winning drive in New Orleans in his first Super Bowl)

“Hard to remember that far back. I’m a little bit older now. You just have to make the plays to win. It was great. We haven’t had many games this year that have come down like this. I’m glad we made the plays when we needed to.”

(on if he thought Marshawn Lynch was going to get the ball at the one-yard line)

“They had a lot of options, so you know, that was their choice. Russell (Wilson) played a phenomenal game. Marshawn played unbelievable. We lost the turnover battle two to nothing and won, and that’s pretty hard to do. I’m glad we did.”

(on what it means to have the most Super Bowl touchdown passes in NFL history)

“However we get them, the goal is to score points, so running it, throwing it – I don’t care. Whatever it took today, that’s what we needed to do. We played against a great defense and they made a lot of great plays. We found a way to get it down there at the end, and I’m just proud of the way our guys played.”

(on the last two weeks being mentally challenging and if he feels any vindication now after all the controversy)

“No. I don’t feel any.”

(on if he’s tired)

“Yeah, it’s a long day. I think we put a lot into it. Yeah, I’m tired.”

(on if it felt at home and at peace on the field after all the controversy surrounding the team leading up to the Super Bowl)

“Well, it’s just a lot of mental toughness. I think the whole team had it. Coach (Bill Belichick) always says, ‘Ignore the noise and control what you can control.’ We had a great two weeks of practice. That’s what it took, and every situation that came up was important – every third down that we made, every short-yardage, every red area possession. So that’s who we were focused on, that’s who we needed to be focused on, and that’s how we got the victory.”

Tuesday’s media day for the Patriots featured some interesting quotes from quite a few players as they met with reporters in Arizona leading up to Sunday’s showdown with the Seahawks.

There were some entertaining moments, including Rob Gronkowski singing Katy Perry’s “Roar”, among some other good quotes from Robert Kraft, Darrelle Revis, LeGarrette Blount, and many others.  Here are some of the highlights:

From Patriots owner Robert Kraft:


“I love being around the guys. There isn’t one guy in our locker room that I wouldn’t be pleased to have at our dinner table.” – Robert Kraft (USA TODAY Images)

– Kraft spoke at length on Tuesday about the admiration he has for the players in the locker room, saying there’s not one player he wouldn’t welcome into his own home.  “After my family, my team is my passion,” said Kraft.  “I love being around the guys. There isn’t one guy in our locker room that I wouldn’t be pleased to have at our dinner table. They’re great guys. I can relate to all of them. That’s just fun for me. I would pay to do it. I guess I am.”

– He also gave some insight into his thoughts of Pete Carroll’s tenure in New England, saying he shoulders part of the blame for their lack of success while Carroll coached the team.  “When I hired Pete, I was coming off my first experience as an owner,” said Kraft.  “He’s pretty special to be around. He’s a lot of fun. He’s not your typical head coach in the NFL. He’s also very smart, and especially in defenses, very capable.  Coming off the situation I had been in – although I had a great coach – I believed in more checks and balances like my other businesses, and I think I handicapped Pete from doing as good a job as he could have done because I was coming off a situation I was reacting to. So, then when I was privileged to hire Bill Belichick, I think my evolution as an owner and trying to understand how to be a good owner and run a franchise, I think I matured to the point where I knew how to set it up and then see how the person performed. I think having Bill Belichick as my head coach, I don’t think I could have a better one. I also think my partner, Paul Allen, has done very well with Pete Carroll. So, it will be fun on Sunday.”

– Kraft also said that Rob Gronkowski’s demeanor in the locker room is a big asset to his teammates.  “He’s really the same guy,” said Kraft when talking about the difference between Gronkowski as a rookie to now.  “In our next life, a lot of people might want to be Rob because he never has a bad day. It’s great for the locker room. When he walks through the locker room, his spirit, sense of camaraderie and no matter how many injuries he’s had, he’s always upbeat and positive. He’s just a great guy to have around. His levity always loosens things up.”

From Cornerback Darrelle Revis:


“We found a way as a team, as a unit, to go out there and stick together and play just tough football and play great ball and we did that.” – Darrelle Revis
(USA TODAY Images)

– On Tuesday, Revis talked about the adversity the team dealt with in 2014, and he’s proud that the Patriots are in the position their in.  “Our schedule was very tough,” said Revis. “It was tough. We played against some great quarterbacks, some great teams. We found a way as a team, as a unit, to go out there and stick together and play just tough football and play great ball and we did that. Overall, we had ups and downs. There was the controversy with deflate-gate and all of that, but that’s adversity. Adversity strikes every time and I think as a team, as a whole, we’ve handled that well. There’s one more game and we are just trying to weed that out and focus on our ultimate goal and that’s holding up the Lombardi Trophy.”

– When asked about the fact Jets fans have to see him wearing a rival uniform, Revis put the blame in that decision on Jets management for letting him go to begin with.  “It’s not really my fault,” said Revis.  “I didn’t make the call. Management made the call at that time and they felt it was best to get rid of me. So that’s the situation. That’s how I look at it.”

– Revis also admitted he’s been impressed with what he’s seen from teammate Devin McCourty.  “Devin, he’s outstanding,” said Revis.  “He’s been outstanding before I got here and he’s continuing to be outstanding. I feel like he’s the best free safety in the league. He has so much range out there. He’s so fast. I think the biggest thing I respect him for and appreciate him is how he studies the game and how he knows the game so well. He’s a student of the game and he works so hard at it. It’s crazy. It’s pretty awesome to get feedback from other guys and see how hard they work.”

From Linebacker Rob Ninkovich:

– Ninkovich talked about his opportunity to play in the Super Bowl, and he’s excited about Sunday’s game.  “Really, having the opportunity is huge,” said Ninkovich. “For me, it’s capitalizing on another great opportunity. We worked very hard to get to this point, so we’ve just got to go out there and play well in all three phrases.”


“We worked very hard to get to this point, so we’ve just got to go out there and play well in all three phrases.” – Rob Ninkovich
(USA TODAY Images)

– The veteran told the media Tuesday that he’s got a good relationship with former Patriots linebacker Roosevelt Colvin.  “He’s a great guy,” said Ninkovich. “He texts me all the time. We talk, and he’s a really good dude.”

– Ninkovich had some kind words for teammate Vince Wilfork, who he admits is one of the players he works very well with.  “Playing with Vince is awesome,” said Ninkovich.  “His experience and his ability to communicate with me during the game is huge. When you’re with somebody, when you’re next to somebody for a long time, the communication has to be really good, but also you really don’t have to talk too much to know what he’s trying to do or what I’m trying to do. That’s maybe a hand signal, maybe looking at him and saying, ‘Hey, I’m doing this,’ and just give him a little eye, and he understands what I’m doing. Having him back this year was awesome. There’s nothing like having a big body next to you that can take up two guys.”

– While talking about his mindset for achieving his goal, Ninkovich said he believes that going after what you’re passionate about is the key to success.  “Just the never giving up mentality and continuing to fight, going after what you’re passionate about and what you aspire to do,” said Ninkovich.  “I think that you can go after your goals and go after things that you want to do. I’m a big believer in putting all your eggs in one basket. Some people say don’t do that, but I put it all on what I want to do. If I don’t make it, then I’m better for going after it.”

– He also admitted that the film “Rudy” is one he watched before the Patriots match-up against Indianapolis.  “I’m not going to lie, I watched it last week before the game just to get me going,” said Ninkovich.  “I’ve been watching that movie since I was a kid.”

From DT Vince Wilfork:

– Wilfork said on Tuesday he’s been impressed with what he’s seen from Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch.  “Yeah, he’s unbelievable,” said Wilfork.  “This team is built to run the football. They are built to play football. You look at this time – everything in a football team you want, they have. They have the right mindset, the physicality, they make plays, their playmakers make plays all the time. It seems like they’re always in tune with the game. They’re a really good fourth quarter football team. They play really, really good situational football. We’re going to have to be at our best the whole game to be successful against this team.”


Insert Caption Text Here.
(USA TODAY Images)

– The veteran talked about what it was like to be sidelined last year with his Achilles, and he missed being out there with his teammates.   “Me being out of football last year, it was one of those things that I never imagined being hurt and being away from my teammates and not being able to be on the field with them,” said Wilfork. “My main goal this year coming back was to make sure I was healthy and help my team win. I think we all play football because it’s a team effort. It’s not just one individual. We have a bunch of individuals doing their job, which leads to team success. My goal to the team was to come back healthy and better than I was and hopefully we can get the job done moving forward. Everything I thought about in the offseason – the way I trained, everything that I did, everything was set up for the team – not just my myself, but as a team. I knew if I was at my best, everybody around me would be at their best. That’s how I approached this offseason.”

– He admitted on Tuesday that he had read about the odds against him making a proper recovery and being able to play at a high level, but that didn’t stop him from proving people wrong.  “I was reading all these stories about a person my age, my size, coming back from this injury,” said Wilfork.  “Sometimes I tell people I’m not human. Don’t put me in that stat, and I believe that. That’s one of the most things that really drove me, just to hear all the gallows saying that I can’t come back off of it because of my weight and my age and all that stuff. When I went to work I went to work. My training staff, they got me right. My people back home in Florida got me right, my wife got me right. I literally killed myself every day to make sure I’m all right (coming off his injury), and I think I’m as strong as I’ve ever been, and I’ve never looked back from it.”

– Wilfork had some nice things to say about his wife Bianca, who he credits for pushing him. “She’s always been my rock. No matter what happened – good or bad – she’s always right there and the one person I can always come to and get the truth. Being out of football last year, she was the one person that really pushed me to the limit. She woke me up every day at 5:00, 6:00 in the morning and we’d work out three times a day. Sometimes we’d go to bed at 10:00, 11:00 at night just because she knew how important it is to me, and I thank her for that. She’s the one who really got me in tune and got my mind to saying, ‘What I need to do now in my career is this.’ We looked at it and said, ‘This is going to be a challenge,’ but at the same time, I’m always up for challenges. She pushed me to the max. I’m very grateful to have her in my life.”


“That’s all I know is hard work.” – Julian Edelman (USA TODAY Images)

From WR Julian Edelman:

– Edelman had some kind words for his former college coach at Kent State, Doug Martin, on Tuesday, giving him credit for believing in him and helping him get to where he is today.  “Huge part. Coach Martin is one of the only coaches who believed in me that I could play quarterback at a Division I level. He’s a part of where I am at right now, so I am very thankful for him.”

– The veteran receiver talked about Gronkowski, who he said is just a lot of fun to have in the locker room.  “Rob is a great teammate,” said Edelman.  “He’s a big goofball, a big baby. All he cares about is football and football. You love having him in the locker room. He makes things fun. He works hard. He’s all about this team. It’s great to have him. He’s one of the best.”

– When asked why the Patriots are so good, Edelman came back with a pretty good answer.  “I don’t know. I think there’s a common factor there, of this guy named Tom Brady,” said Edelman.  “He’s pretty good. He and we have some coaches that work their tails off. The scouting department knowing who they want and all of that kind of stuff. They all work together. I don’t know, you’d have to ask Coach (Bill) Belichick on that one.”

– Edelman also talked about where his work ethic comes from, and he credited his parents for that.  “That’s all I know is hard work,” said Edelman.  “I’ve had a father who I watched growing up that I wouldn’t see in the morning and he’d come home at 5 o’clock at night and he did that every day. I don’t know if that’s from him or it’s in the blood or whatever, but that’s kind of how we do it in my household. My mom has been a hard worker, whatever she had to do, she did it. I guess it would have to go through there.”

From TE Rob Gronkowski:

– A media member tried to bait the tight end into making a bold prediction for this weekend’s match-up.  It didn’t work.  His response?  “The game will be on Sunday.”


“Definitely don’t take the game for granted anymore.” – Rob Gronkowski.
(USA TODAY Images)

– Gronkowski was asked about the experience of being sidelined the past couple of years while he battled injuries, and he told the media he doesn’t take football for granted anymore.  “It’s definitely a tough experience, man,” said Gronkowski. “Definitely don’t take the game for granted anymore. It’s an honor to be out there on the field with my teammates and all. Throughout the whole year, especially this time of the year, going to the Super Bowl, being out on the practice field, helping my team do its job and just going out and practicing hard. I’m super excited for this game Sunday.”

– When asked about battling Seattle’s defense, Gronkowski also said that the opportunity to battle the best defense is “an honor”.  “Always. You always want to play against the best,” said Gronkowski.  “This is what the Super Bowl is played for, going against the best. It’s a great opportunity to see where we’re at when we get out on the field. Definitely an honor to be going against a very good defense.”

– Who’s the worst dancer on the team?  “Julian Edelman,” said Gronkowski. “He’s the worst dancer.”  The best?  “Best dancer? I mean, since I’m the only one who really whips out my dance moves, I’d have to go with myself.”

– When asked when he started feeling healthy, Gronkowski said that in Week 5, everything “just kicked in”.  “Totally back to my old self,” said Gronkowski.  “I mean, coming out of training camp I got competitive and treated my knees all week. It just all kicked in. My body felt good. Going into that Cincinnati game in Week 5, everything just kicked in and I felt good.”

– Gronkowski told reporters that he’s liked having the Microsoft Surface tablets on the sideline this season.  “The tablet? You get pictures right there,” said Gronkowski.  “You get to see the defense right there, right after the play when you come to the sidelines. That’s a pretty cool technology now. You get to see what defense they’re in, where they’re at and then go out to the next series. It’s all on a tablet. That’s pretty cool.”

From RB LeGarrette Blount:

– The Patriots running back said on Tuesday that he has plenty of respect for the Seahawks defense but he’s confident heading into this weekend. “Obviously they’re a pretty good defense,” said Blount. “They were good enough to get here, they were good enough to get here last year, so we are going to put a plan together to hopefully make sure we come out victorious.”


“I’m excited to be a part of something special and be a part of the reason why we’re here.” – LeGarrette Blount
(USA TODAY Images)

– Coming off of his big performance against Indianapolis in rainy conditions, Blount said that it meant a lot that the team trusted him to carry the ball as much as he did. “Just the fact that they trusted me enough to carry the ball that many times and put the game in my hands, it means a lot,” said Blount. “I’m excited to be a part of something special and be a part of the reason why we’re here.”

– Blount had some kind words for Brady, and feels having him as his quarterback always gives them a good chance to win. “Personally, I feel like he’s probably going to go down as the best quarterback to ever play the game,” said Blount. “When he’s on your side, you always have a chance of winning the game, no matter what the score is or who you’re playing against.”

– A lot of has obviously been made of Seattle’s defense, but Blount made it clear he’s not scared of them by any means. “I don’t care about them being the top defense, that doesn’t bother me,” said Blount. “They were good enough to get here, just like we were good enough to get here. They’re not immortal. They can be beaten.”

– The veteran emphasized ball security during his press conference, which is an area he said he’s focused on. “I’ve always been told that you can’t win the game without the football,” said Blount. “If you give the football away you have no control of the game. We have to continue to protect it and continue to have it in our hands as much as possible and don’t let it hit the ground and don’t let anybody else get ahold of it. You can’t win the game without the football.”

– Blount discussed why he’s been such a good fit in New England, but emphasized the fact they have the best QB on their side as one of the key reasons they’ve been so successful. “No, they’re a winning franchise, before I came apart of it and now that I’m a part of it,” said Blount. “They’ve always been a winning franchise and obviously they’ve got the best quarterback in the league on their side and it’s always hard to beat him. Once you have the best quarterback in the league and possibly the best quarterback in NFL history on your side, you always have a chance to win.”


Robert Kraft made some strong statements Monday night, and said he expects an apology from the league if the investigation ultimately finds they didn’t do anything wrong. (USA TODAY Images)

STATEMENT FROM PATRIOTS OWNER ROBERT KRAFT ON MONDAY NIGHT:

“On the plane ride out here, I prepared a few remarks, which I’d like to read to you. On behalf of the entire organization, I want to express what an honor it is to be here and represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. I know how difficult it is to get to this game, and I appreciate the work of everyone who helps host the event. We are anticipating a great game against the defending Super Bowl Champ Seattle Seahawks.”

“Given the events of the last week, I want to take a minute to address the air pressure matter, before we kick off this week’s media availabilities. I’ve spoken with coach Belichick. I’ve spoken with Tom Brady. I have taken the opportunity to understand to the best of my abilities what goes on in the preparation of game day footballs and I want to make it clear, that I believe unconditionally that the New England Patriots have done nothing inappropriate in this process or in violation of NFL rules. Tom, Bill and I have been together for 15 years. They are my guys. They are part of my family and Bill, Tom and I have had many difficult discussions over the years and I have never known them to lie to me. That is why I am confident in saying what I just said and it bothers me greatly that their reputations and integrity, and by association that of our team, has been called into question this past week.”

“As I said on Friday in my prepared statement, we welcome the league’s investigation and the involvement of attorney Wells. I am confident that this investigation will uncover whatever the facts were that took place last Sunday and the science of how game balls react to changes in the environment. This would be in direct contrast to the public discourse, which has been driven by media leaks as opposed to actual data and facts. Because of this, many jump to conclusions and made strong accusations against our coach, quarterback and staff, questioning the integrity of all involved.”

“If the Wells investigation is not able to definitively determine that our organization tampered with the air pressure in the footballs, I would expect and hope that the league would apologize to our entire team and in particular coach Belichick and Tom Brady for what they have had to endure this past week. I am disappointed in the way this entire matter has been handled and reported upon. We expect hard facts, as opposed to circumstantial leaked evidence to drive the conclusion of this investigation.”

“In closing, I would like to say to all the fans of the National Football league and especially the amazing fans of the New England Patriots that I and our entire organization believe strongly in the integrity of the game and the rules of fair play, properly, equitably and fairly enforced.”

Here’s the full transcription of Bill Belichick’s press conference on Saturday with the Patriots media.

OPENING STATEMENT:

“So I want to take this opportunity to share some information.  I spent a significant amount of time this past week learning as much as I could learn, more than I could ever imagine, to tell you the truth about bladders, air gauges, stitching, pressure, game day ball preparation, rubdowns, and so forth… Trying to be as helpful as I can here and share with you what I’ve learned having coached for 40 years in the National Football League, played for several years growing up in a football family,  being around this game my entire life, it’s clear that I don’t know much about this area.  Over the last few days I’ve learned a lot more than I ever knew, like exponentially more.  I feel like this is important because there have been questions raised and I believe now  100% that I have personally and we as an organization have absolutely followed every rule to the letter and I just feel that on behalf of everyone in the organization, everyone that’s involved in this organization, that we need to say something.”

“I’ve talked to and gathered a lot of information from members of our staff.  I have talked to other people familiar with this subject in other organizations and we have performed an internal study of the process and I think there’s certainly other things that I can do and there’s maybe other research that can be done, but I’d say at this time I definitely have enough information to share with you.  And so based on the events of today, I feel like now’s the time to do it rather than wait and so I know this is kind of an impromptu thing but that’s just the way it worked out.”

“First of all, let me start with the process.  As Tom explained on Thursday, the most important part of the football for the quarterback is the feel of the ball.  I don’t think there’s any question about that.  And the exterior feel of the ball is not only critical, but it’s also very easily identifiable.  When I feel a football, I can feel the difference between slippery and tacky.  I can feel the difference of the texture of the ball of to what degree it’s broken in.  If you put five balls out there, which ball’s broken in the most, which ball’s broken in the least, that’s easy to identify and that’s the essence of the preparation.  We prepare our balls over time and we use them in practice, and that preparation process continues right up until the balls are given to the officials prior to the game.  That’s when they are finalized – if I can use that word.  I would say that in that process, I’ve handled dozens of balls over the past week.  The texture of the balls is very easy to identify.  The pressure of the balls, footballs, is a whole different story.  It’s much more difficult to feel or identify.  So the focus of our pregame preparation for the footballs is based on texture and feel, and I think Tom went into that extensively on Thursday and he obviously could go through it a lot better than I can because he’s the one that touched them, but that’s the heart of the process.”

“So we simulated a game day situation in terms of the preparation of the footballs and where the footballs were at various points in time during the day or night as the case was Sunday and I would say that our preparation process for the footballs is what we do, I can’t speak for anybody else, it’s what we do and that process, we have found, raises the psi approximately one pound.  So that process of creating a tackiness, a texture, the right feel, whatever that feel is, it’s a sensation for the quarterback – what’s the right feel – that process elevates the psi approximately one pound based on what our study showed, which was multiple balls, multiple examples in the process as we would do for a game.  It’s not one football.  When the balls are delivered to the officials’ locker room, the officials were asked to inflate them to 12.5 psi, what exactly they did, I don’t know, but for the purposes of our study, that’s what we did.  We set them at 12.5.  That’s at the discretion of the official though, regardless of what we ask for, it’s the official’s discretion to put them where he wants.”

“Again, that’s done in a controlled climate.  The footballs are prepared in our locker room, they’re delivered to the officials’ locker room,  Which is a controlled environment, it’s whatever we have here, is what we have there.  When the footballs go out onto the field into game conditions, whatever those conditions are, whether it’s hot and humid, whether it’s cold and damp, whether it’s cold and dry, whatever it is, that’s where the footballs are played with and that’s where the measurements would be different than what they are, possibly different than what they are, in a controlled environment, and that’s what we found.  We found that once the footballs were on the field over an extended period of time, in other words, they were adjusted to the climatic conditions and also the fact that the balls reached an equilibrium without the rubbing process, after that had run it’s course and the footballs had reached an equilibrium, that they were down approximately one and a half pounds per square inch.  When we brought the footballs back in after that process and retested them in a controlled environment as we have here, then those measurements rose approximately one half pound per square inch.  So the net of one and a half, back to a half, is approximately one pound per square inch, to one and a half.”

“Now we all know that air pressure is a function of the atmospheric conditions, it’s a function of that. So if there’s activity in the ball relative to the rubbing process, I think that explains why when we gave them to the officials and the officials put it at let’s say twelve and half, if that’s in fact what they did, that once the ball reached its equilibrium state, it probably was closer to eleven and a half.  But, again, that’s just our measurements we can’t speak specifically to what happened because we have no way of touching the footballs other than once the officials have them, we don’t touch them except or when we play with them in the game.  But it’s similar to the concept of when you get into your car and the light comes on and it says low tire pressure because the car’s been sitting in the driveway outside overnight and you start it up and you start driving it and the light goes off, it’s a similar concept to that.  So the atmospheric conditions as well as the true equilibrium of the ball is critical to the measurement.  At no time were any of our footballs prepared anywhere other than in the locker room, or in an area very close to that.  Never in a heated room or heated condition, that has absolutely never taken place to anyone’s knowledge or anyone’s recollection and I mean, that just didn’t happen.”

“When you measure a football, there are a number of different issues that come up.  Number one, gauges, there are multiple types of gauges and the accuracy of one gauge relative to another, there’s variance there, we’re talking about air pressure, all right? So there’s some variance there. Clearly all footballs are different.  So footballs that come out of a similar pack, a similar box, a similar preparation, each ball has its own unique individual characteristics because it’s not a man-made piece of equipment.  It’s an animal’s skin, it’s a bladder, it’s stitching, it’s laces and each one has its own unique characteristics. So whatever you do with that football, if you do the same thing with another one, it might be close, but there’s a variance between each individual football.  Footballs do not get measured during the game.  We have no way of knowing, until we went through this exercise, that this has really taken place.  So when we hand the balls to the officials, the officials put them at, whatever they put them at, but let’s just say it’s twelve-and-a-half, that’s where they put them.  Then the air pressure at that point from then on until  the end of the game, we have no knowledge and honestly it’s never been a concern.  So what is a concern is the texture of the footballs, and again, that’s the point that Tom hit on hard on Thursday.”

“We had our quarterbacks look at a number of footballs and they were unable to differentiate a one pound per square inch difference in those footballs. They were unable to do it.  On a two pound differential, there was some degree of differentiation, but certainly not a consistent one. A couple of ones they could pick out, but they were also wrong in some of the other ones that they had.  So you’re welcome to do that yourself and I can tell you from all of the footballs I’ve handled over the last week, I can’t tell the difference if there’s a one pound difference or half a pound difference in any of the footballs.”

“Again, anyone who has seen us practice knows that we make it harder, not easier, to handle the ball and our players train in conditions that a lot of people would recommend that we not drive in.  That’s what they do.  They’re a physically and mentally tough team that works hard, that trains hard, that prepares and have met every challenge that I’ve put in front them.  And I know that, because I work them every day.  This team was the best team in the AFC in the regular season.  We won two games in the playoffs against two good football teams.  The best team in the postseason, and that’s what this team is and I know that because I’ve been with them every day and I’m proud of this team.”

“So I just want to share with you what I’ve learned over the past week.  I’m embarrassed to talk about the amount of time that I’ve put into this relative to the other important challenge in front of us.  I’m not a scientist.  I’m not an expert in footballs.  I’m not an expert in football measurements.  I’m just telling you what I know.  I would not say that I’m Mona Lisa-Vito of the football world as she was in the car expertise area, all right? And at no time was there any intent whatsoever to try to compromise the integrity of the game or to gain an advantage, quite the opposite.  We feel like we followed the rules of the game to the letter in our preparations, in our procedures, and in the way that we handle every game that we competitively play in as it relates to this matter.  We try to do everything right, we try to err on the side of caution, it’s been that way now for many years.  Anything that’s close, we stay as far away from the line as we can.  And in this case I can say that we are, as far as I know in everything that I can do, we did everything as right as we could do it.  And we welcome the league’s investigation into this matter.  I think there are a number of things that need to be looked into, on a number of levels, but that’s not for this conversation, I’m sure it will be taken up at another point in time. And this is the end of this subject for me, for a long time.  O.K.?  We have a huge game, a huge challenge for our football team,  and that’s where that focus is going to go.  I’ve spent more than enough time on this and I’m happy to share this information with you to try to tell you some of the things that I have learned over the last week, which I’ve learned way more than I ever thought I would learn.  The process, the whole thing, is much more complex… I mean there are a lot of variables that I was unaware of.  It sounds simple, and I’m not trying to say that we’re trying to land a guy on the moon, but there’s a lot of things here that are a little hard to get a  handle on and again, there’s a variance in so many of these things.”

“So I’ll take a couple questions, and then I’m moving on.”

On if the NFL shares with him the pregame documented psi:

“You would have to talk to the NFL about anything they did or didn’t do.”

On if he doesn’t know if they documented it:

“Look, Tom [Curran of CNNSE], we could sit here and talk about some of this stuff for two hours.  All right?  You want to ask the league any questions about what they do or don’t do, you should ask the league.  I’m just telling you what I’ve learned and the study that we’ve done and the experience that I’ve had over the last few days in looking into this matter.  That’s all I can tell you.  I’m not a scientist and I’m not a league official.”

On if he feels after the work he put in this week if they’ll be exonerated:

“I just told you what I think. That’s what I think right there.”

On if the game preparation has been compromised over the time they’ve spent on this:

“Well, I’ve spent a lot the week game planning, a lot of this week, yeah.”

On if he feels that any of it was compromised spending time on this:

“Look, I told you, I thought this was an important issue and we addressed it.  So we did.”

On reiterating that he felt it was the atmospheric conditions and trusting that the officials filling the balls to 12.5 psi:

“Look, you take the atmospheric conditions out of it, because if the balls are measured in the same atmospheric conditions, than it’s a non-factor.  But if you measure a ball in a controlled condition like this and you measure a ball on, let’s just say the night that we played Baltimore, there’s no way they’re the same.  You take that ball and set it outside and the ball becomes accustomed to those climatic conditions and those temperatures, there’s no way it’s the same.  Now if you take it out and bring it back in and let it sit for x amount of time, then, you know, it probably is the same.  So no, that’s not the issue, although depending on where balls were measured and how they were measured, I mean, that’s a whole other discussion.  The situation is the preparation of the ball caused the ball to, I would say, be artificially high in psi when it was set to the regulated level and then it reached its equilibrium at some point later on, an hour, two hours, into the game, whatever it was, that that level was below what was set in this climatic condition.  I think that’s exactly what happened.  And I think anybody who  wants to do those experiments should go ahead and do it themselves.  Don’t take my word for it.  But, I’m telling you, we’re trying to get an answer to this, and that’s what we have.”

On the fact he tries to err on the side of caution and stay on that side of the rules, but the videotaping, it was clear that they were pushing that:

“I mean, look, that’s a whole other discussion.  The guy’s giving signals out in front of eighty thousand people, O.K.?  So we filmed him taking signals out in front of eighty thousand people like there were a lot of other teams doing at that time too, O.K.?  But forget about that.  If we were wrong, than we’ve been disciplined for that.”

On the fact that’s clearly not trying to err on the side of caution:

“The guy’s in front of eighty thousand people.  Eighty thousand people saw it, everybody’s sideline saw it, everybody sees our guy in front of eighty thousand people.  I mean, there he is.  So it was wrong, we were disciplined for it, that’s it.  We never did it again, we’re never going to do it again and anything else that’s close, we’re not going to do either.”

On the fact he just said they always err on the side of caution:

“We always do.  We always have.  But I mean, anything that’s even remotely close, we’re on the side of caution.”

On if they had any science people help in the investigation:

“We talked to a lot of people.”

On how much time they spent on it:

“I don’t know, I didn’t log it.”

On if he’s relieved by what he found with their investigation:

“Look, I came in here Thursday and I told you that I didn’t have any answers.  And I’m very confident in the things that we’ve talked about, the study that we did, the going through with a fine tooth comb, everything, I’m 100% confident in everything that I’ve told you.  That’s what I believe, that’s what I know, that’s what it is.  I’m as transparent as I can be on this one.  Period.”

On if that’s a “yes” that he’s relieved by their study:

“I did what I did, no, I’m not using those adjectives.  I told you what I did, that’s what it is.”

On if he thinks there’s something that happened for it to rise 1.5, did they put them in front of heaters, dryers:

“No, it was never put in front of a heater, I just said that.”

On when they’re preparing it, what made it rise:

“You rub it, you try to get the texture the way the quarterback wants it.”

On the fact he’s just trying to establish…

“I just said that.  And I said that in no time was the ball ever put in any type of a heated environment.”

On them rubbing the football vigorously…

“We rub it to get the ball to the proper texture.  I mean I don’t know what’s vigorous, what isn’t vigorous, I mean we’re not polishing fine China here.  We’re trying to get a football to the proper texture that the quarterback wants it to grip it.  Does that stimulate something inside the ball to raise the psi?  I would say yes, it does.”

On after all the research they’ve done what they do differently moving forward:

“Well, you’re getting into another whole area here.  You’re getting into a another whole area as it relates to the next game. Yes”

On if they’re trying to prevent it [Inaudible]:

“That’s exactly right.  And that’s exactly why this whole process was done, for that very reason.  And I don’t know the answer to that question, but that’s a very important question.”

 

 

On how tough it was game-planning knowing what their fate was having secured the number one seed:

“I think we tried to go out there and give great effort.  You know, they’re a good team.  They make it tough on you.  They made it tough on us down there when we played them and they made it tough today.  So, they’ve got a good team, but, you know, we’re looking forward.  It’s tough.  We always hate losing, absolutely.  We didn’t make enough plays to win, but hopefully we make them in a couple weeks.”

On his comfort level with the protection he’s getting from the offensive line heading into this postseason:

“I think, everything works together.  It’s not only the protection, the routes and the throws and the catches, offensive football and scoring points is about great execution and if it’s anything less than that, it’s hard to score unless somebody makes really a spectacular play.  So if you have a breakdown on a throw, if you have a breakdown on a block, if you have a breakdown on a route, usually it doesn’t result in a good play and I think obviously the first half, we didn’t have enough good plays to score enough points.  We’re trying and hopefully we do a lot better job in a couple weeks.  That’s what it’s going to take.”

On how concerned people should be about the offense after their struggles the last couple of weeks:

“Yeah … we’re confident, I mean we have a lot of confidence as an offense.  We’ve been able to score points against a lot of good teams, a lot of good defenses.  Nothing that we’ve done this past season is going to help in two weeks from now.  What’s going to matter is how well we prepare this week and how well we prepare next week and how ready we are to go whenever we play.  So, we’ll have a lot of confidence.  I’m not worried about us lacking confidence, going out there and executing.  We’ve got a lot of good players.”

On when he goes back and looks at film if it’s about execution or if it’s about teams having a lot of film on them and taking things away:

“That’s a good question.  I mean, I think it ultimately comes down to, like I said, how well we execute.  I think we’ve played some pretty good defenses and defenses that really challenge you.  We’ll be challenged in a couple weeks, hopefully we’re ready to meet the challenge.  I’d expect us to be at our best.  That’s what this time of year requires.  We’ll be playing a great football team, whoever it is.  I think we’ve got a pretty good team, we’ll see where we’re at.”

On Brian Tyms and how important it was to get into a groove with him:

“Yeah, he made a couple good plays there early.  You know, he’s done a good job since he’s got here, trying to understand the offense and what he needs to do to really incorporate himself and find a role.  It was good to see him make some plays today, you know, we’re going to need it in a couple weeks.  Hopefully, Gronk is ready to roll and Jules [Julian Edelman] is ready to roll and all the guys up front are ready to roll, and that’s important.  It’s good when you have your very good football players out there, we had a lot of good football players out there today that made some plays, we just didn’t make enough of them today.  But we’ve got to be able to go out and do it in a couple weeks, make a lot of good plays.”

Tom Brady Post Game Transcript: ‘We’ve got to keep fighting’

On how proud he is of his team being able to make plays when they needed them:

“We made plenty of good ones in the fourth quarter to come from behind, so that was great.  Defensively we played great again and I’m glad it came out the way that it did, makes for a better Christmas.  It’s always tough to get a win here.   They’re a good team.  They always play us pretty hard and we got their best today.  We obviously didn’t do a very good job there in the first three quarters.  We found a little rhythm there in the second half and got some points on the board, made some plays at the end.  So it’s about making the critical plays and we found a way to do it.”

On if he thinks he’s becoming too bold with running the football himself:

“I just hope I can keep doing it.  If I can make one or two of those a game, it helps.  I thought I had an opportunity to make a couple more that I just missed on…kind of scrambled out there and I had Shane [Vereen] in the end zone open and I threw it at his feet.  I would have loved to have hit that one.  But they’re a good team.  They challenge you in a lot of ways and certainly they have a good rush, they’ve got some real good guys, some good match-ups, they always do every week, they get a lot of pressure.  Kind of kept us off balance early and we figured a way to settle it down a little bit in the second half and we played a little bit better.”

On what it does to a team to be able to keep winning close, division games:

“Yeah, they’re slim margins and I think it always comes down to the last play.  I can’t … I just wish we’d play better for 60-minutes and we just haven’t figured out a way to play against these guys as well as we possibly can.  So we’ve got to keep fighting.  Sometimes you’ve got to grind them out.  It’s tough to win games in the NFL, certainly on the road against Division opponents, Divison Rivals, but we’ve got a big one coming up next week.  We’ve got to finish strong at home in the division, it’d be great to get to 5-1, especially after losing the first division game, to win four straight has been great.  Five straight, it’ll be good to have four straight, got to win the fifth one.  I didn’t add too many times.”

On what they did by keeping a couple of guys in to slow them down in the second half:

“That was good.  We got into a little rhythm there, I think it settled a few things down.  But we’ve got to sustain it and get it in the end zone down there.  We kind of came up short on that 3rd and one, or 3rd and two, whatever it was.  We’ve just got to finish those drives, especially with key drives like that where you finally can get a little momentum, a little rhythm, but we just … You know, it was a good defense.  They challenged us, had a long field all day, we got a couple good short fields that we took advantage of but the defense really stepped up when we needed it to.”

On if it’s stylistic in terms of what the Jets do in how they attacked them:

“It could be.  I think this is a team that is, they do a lot of things well.  They’ve got a good scheme.  They’ve got good players.  They’ve got a good rush, good in the middle of the defense, good middle linebacker, good safeties.  The corners played good today.  So I just think we got their best and I think we kind of sputtered there, got out of rhythm, finally found a little rhythm there in the second half and scored enough points.”

On if the fact they doubled Gronkowski was part of the problem:

“Yeah, we just weren’t very productive in the pass game in general.  So whether it was really Gronk, or JoJo [Brandon] LaFell, or Danny, we didn’t really find a rhythm all day.”

On what Amendola was able to provide without Julian Edelman:

“Did a great job.  He’s really been looking forward to this opportunity.  I thought he did a great job in there in the role that he played and he’s a very good player for us.  He did a good job returning some great kicks and punts.  It will be good to get Jules back next week.  Hopefully he can get back next week.”

On the interception he threw to LaFell:

“It’s a come back, we just couldn’t hit it.  Hate to do that, hate to have those things come up.  I’m glad our defense held.  Ended up working out for us in a weird way, but I wish those things didn’t happen.”

On the fact they have so much success going up tempo and why they don’t do it more:

“That’s a good question, and I think there’s definitely times where we do a good job with it.  I don’t know.  That’s a good question.  We do it at different times and sometimes it works and… I don’t know.”

On if after all the sacks if he’s still concerned about the protection:

“I think they’re giving good protection, I just think our communication wasn’t great with a lot of things where we just all weren’t on the same page.  And when you do that, especially against a team that moves a lot of guys in and out of their defensive front and they blitz linebackers and safeties and, you know, they’ve got a lot of guys coming, our communication has to be on point and it’s kind of sputtered.  We’ve got to be able to do a better job of that, especially here down the stretch.”

On how happy he was to see Vince Wilfork’s hand get in the way of that kick:

“Awesome.  He’s always a big time play-maker for us, so he’s a great player, and he always makes great plays.  You really count on those guys, especially when the offense wasn’t doing as well, to get plays like that from Vince, Jamie Collins, Hightower, Revis, Browner, I mean all those guys in there are doing a great job.”

On his thoughts on Brandon Bolden’s final run to close it out:

“Just a phenomenal run.  I mean, he’s a great back.  Just great to give him the ball and he’s got such great explosion, he can turn the corner, his role on special teams is huge so he’s just a great player for us whenever he gets the opportunity and his number gets called, he always takes advantage of it.  He made some, just great runs tonight.”

On how many of these games are just him versus Rex Ryan mentally:

“It’s a smart defense, it’s really … quality players on the defensive line and the linebacker level.  They’ve played together for a long time, they get pressure on you, they kind of get you off balance early and then you’re thinking about things all day and it just keeps you out of rhythm.  I think we did some good things with the tempo to settle that down to kind of find a little rhythm, but we just didn’t score enough points, or a lot of points.  We’ve got to be able to do a better job than what we did.”

OPENING STATEMENT:

“Another tough game down here.  It was good to win.  I felt like our team needed to make a lot of fourth quarter to win, and they did.  We made them in all three phases.  A lot of key plays at the end that our players came through on, just one right after another.  From the turnover, to the touchdown, to the sack, long field goal, blocked field goal, running out the clock, we were able to make the plays we needed to make at the end of the game and that’s a credit to the players.  We’ll take this one, and move on to Buffalo.”

On with Julian Edelman being out how big Danny Amendola was for them:

“Danny did a good job, LaFell did a good job, those guys came up with a couple real big catches for us in key situations.  Yeah, Danny was…you know…had a big punt return, thought that gave us a little spark there, not that we were able to do a whole lot with it but we…he gave us a spark there in the first half.  So yeah, he came up big, but so did LaFell.  I thought we were able to get a little more consistency offensively in the second half.”

On what it says about his team that they are able to make those plays in the fourth quarter:

“Well, that’s what a team is.  We all count on eachother.  Each guy’s got an opportunity to help us in one way or another.  You never know when it is, or how it’s going to turn out, but when we need them, we need them and they continue to step up.  Different guys, different situations, different phases of the game.  But we played good complementary football in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter and that’s what we needed to do to win.”

On how important Ryan Allen has been to them:

“He’s really hit the ball well three weeks in a row.  I think he’s done a real good job.  We had a couple big field position plays there, there was a lot of field position in the whole first half in terms of the punting game and he’s done a good job for us.”

If this was the type of game he expected from Rex Ryan and the Jets coming in:

“I mean, we’ve played a lot of games like this against the Jets.”

On with the absence of Dan Connolly and his reasoning for the offensive line rotation:

“Well, they’ve got a real good front.  We used Nate [Solder] some as a tight end and [Cameron Fleming] a little bit, but mostly Nate and then kind of rotated the guard situation in there with Josh [Kline] and Cam Fleming at that right guard…well, left guard for Josh, and then right guard for Cam and [Ryan Wendell] flipped back over to the left guard so we had a couple different combinations in there on the line.  But I mean, look, it’s a battle.  They’ve got a real good front.  They’ve got a lot of good players up there.  They’re well coached, they’ve got a good front that’s hard to block, and we battled them.”

On his thoughts on his special teams unit being able to get blocks, how much credit goes to Special Teams Coach Scott O’Brien, etc:

“Well, having coached special teams for a significant part of my career, I know how that goes.  If you see a guy block a kick or you get pressure in a certain area, you try to stop that and then that usually creates opportunities for somebody else.  We’ve gotten them from different guys in different gaps and if a team concentrates too much on trying to stop one guy and leaves an opening somewhere else, then we’ve got to be able to take advantage of that.  We had a stem there, we stemmed right before the snap and kind of changed our alignment a little bit.  It was a long kick, kind of like the one that we had in New England.  So like Chris [Jones] did, Vince got his hand up, ball was probably a little bit low, but it had to be on a long kick like that.  Again, the key to blocking the kick was getting in front of the ball. Vince put himself there and made the play.”

On the fact the sack by Dont’a Hightower was a key sack in the red zone:

“It was, that was a real big play.  That was a look that we hadn’t run the whole game.  I thought Matt Patricia made a great call in that situation and then the sack, I wouldn’t say knocked them out of field goal range, but certainly made it a much tougher field goal.  It kind of looked like they were going to punt it there with the timeout…well, I mean that was the play they were going to run.  They took the timeout, and then it looked like they changed their mind and went back and decided to kick it.  But I think those yards really probably had a lot to do with all the strategy and the changes there and probably, in the end, helped us a little bit by making it a longer kick probably forced a little bit lower trajectory.  That was a big play.  We got a number of big plays today defensively and it wasn’t perfect, but we cut down on the penalty situation on defense, so that was encouraging.”

On the fact they secured a bye this week and how important this week coming up is:

“The Buffalo game?”

Yes:

“Yeah, absolutely.  Every game’s important.  There’s still something …. I mean every game’s important, you’re always playing for something.  But Buffalo’s got a good football team, obviously they had a big win last week against Green Bay. We had a tough game with them earlier in the year.  We had a lot of respect for that football team and it seems like they’ve gotten better through the course of the season.  So I’m sure we’ll have our hands full next week.  We’ve got to turn the page quickly and get on to them and deal with the whole, what this week is and the challenges of having the same type of preparation and so forth, but it’s the same for every team in the league so we’ve just got to do a good job with that and be ready to go.  But Buffalo’s a good football team.”

 

OPENING STATEMENT:

“It’s always good to be able to walk up here after we’ve won an AFC East Championship. Good feeling today, I think our guys really finished the game strong, 27-0 second half. Didn’t play very well in the first half, obviously, but they did a good job in the second half and we were able to get some points on the board, get a little momentum, get some turnovers, Danny had a good play on the punt return that set us up in good field position. We were able to hit some bigger plays, so it was a good second half, played 30-minutes of good football offensively and had our moments on defense and special teams in the first half. It’s good to be in this position and hopefully we can play our best football going forward. That will be our goal.”

On the end of the first half if it was a tough decision deciding what to do when they were at the 15-yard line and just ended up punting the football away:

“It wasn’t our call.”

On his thoughts on the return of Chandler Jones:

“It was good to have him back.  He’s practiced a little bit kind of sparingly the last couple weeks and then this week he was able to take a lot of reps and certainly looked like he was ready to go from a practice standpoint, a conditioning point.  I’d say this week he kind of looked like Sealver  [Siliga] looked last week relative to being ready. Different play styles, I’m not saying that.  So it was good to get him back out there.”

On his thoughts on the defense today situationally and the fact that in the first half they kept them in the game:

“You know, some good, some not so good.  We were up and down.  We were up and down.  Made some plays in the second half, able to keep them out of the end zone but we gave up a lot of yardage in the first half, played a lot of plays.  Didn’t really do much to help our offense other than the interception.  We just didn’t play well in the first half offensively.  Obviously weren’t coached very well either.  It just wasn’t very good.”

On the run by Tom Brady and the fact that after he was hit going out of bounds it seemed to light a fire under the offense:

“I thought it was a good run.  It was a third and long play, third and nine, third and ten, whatever it was.  Did a good job of seeing that in the pass rush, that’s something we’ve talked about this week.  He made a big play on that last year against them on like on a fourth and five or fourth and four, something like that where he had a scramble play in that situation.  An alert play on his part, and it was a key first down for us and we were able to punch it in after that.  But at that point in the game, that was a big third down conversion, one that you usually don’t expect to get that way, but a heads up play on his part and ran well.”

On the fact the Dolphins did score before halftime and if there was anything they did to adjust going into the second half:

“There was a lot of things we had to adjust in the second half.  We didn’t really do much of anything the way we wanted to do it in the first half other than we made a couple of big plays, but other that, I just didn’t think we played the way we needed to play.  We did a much better job in the second half of blocking, tackling, throwing, catching, defending, covering, returning, I mean, just about everything in the second half was executed better than it was in the first half.”

On his thoughts on Jamie Collins:

“Jamie continues to make big plays for us on the defensive side of the ball and in the kicking game he’s got real good length for a linebacker, tall with long arms, great jumping ability, his ability to knock down passes and reach into passing lanes or block a kick in this case.  Very obviously athletic, we all know that.  He just keeps playing faster and faster each week it seems like.  He gets a key and he’s able to make plays, whether it be in the kicking game running through, making tackles for a loss in the running game or tackles in the open field on receivers and backs.  So he’s playing well.  He’s strung together quite a few weeks here of good football for us.”

On his thoughts on now that Chandler Jones is back, how his pass rush is coming together over the final month of the season:

“Well, we’ll see.  It was certainly a good opportunity for us to rush in a game where we were ahead in the second half. That wasn’t the case in the first half and we didn’t generate that same kind of pressure so I think the score had a lot to do with it.  And we rushed well when we had the opportunity, I mean it was kind of the reverse of the game down there when they got ahead and put pressure on us, then today we got ahead and they had a hard time blocking our pass rush.  So I think the score situation has a lot to do with that.  But of course it’s good to have him back out there, it was good to get Siliga [Sealver] back last week, it was good to get Chandler [Jones] back this week.  So hopefully that will just make us stronger going forward.”

On the play Kyle Arrington made on the scoop and score on the blocked field goal:

“I mean that’s kind of what the outside guys are looking for, they’re looking for a block to put themselves in a position, which he did, to be able to attack the ball. That’s the kind of situation where there really aren’t too many guys on the other side of the ball that can tackle or are very good tacklers, so if you can just get it up and get going, a bunch of offensive linemen, a couple specialists.  Kyle’s a fast guy, once he got a little bit of space, I don’t think there’s too many guys who are going to run him down.  But he did his job.  He was in position and he took advantage of the opportunity and turned it into points.  It was a heads-up play.”

On his thoughts on Stephen Gostkowski becoming the all-time leading scorer:

“Steve’s done a great job for us.  We all know that this area of the country and this division’s certainly not the easiest to kick in.  He does a very good job of handling the conditions, he’s got a good leg so he’s got range on kickoffs and long field goals, with good height on the ball.  Good team player, always there to support his teammates, everybody in the locker room likes him, he has a good rapport with everybody.  You’re right, I’ve been really lucky.  Adam [Vinatieri], Steve, Shayne [Graham] came in here, didn’t miss a kick the half a year that he kicked or whatever it was.  Since I’ve been here they’ve all done a great job, but Steve, those are big shoes to follow there with Adam and he’s never blinked.  He’s always kicked with a lot of confidence, a lot of poise, a lot of focus.  He’s kicked with a lot of different holders, different snappers, not the easiest conditions, but he does his job.  He’s very focused, and he’s been a really dependable player for us.  I love having him on the team.  He’s a great asset to this football team both on and off the field, the locker room and productively when we need him, of course.”

On what it means to him to be in the same sentence with Curly Lambeau with 229 career regular season/postseason wins:

“It’s flattering, very flattering.  Curly’s one of the great founders, really, of the National Football League.  Spent the year at Notre Dame, brought the Notre Dame offense into the NFL, ran the box, had Championships in Green Bay, really kind of started the passing game with [Don] Hudson and Cecil [Isbell], so he was certainly not only one of the founding fathers of the league, but really one of the innovators of the league in his time.  So very flattering to be put into his category, in any sentence really.”

On what happens for a team to flip the switch after how things ended in the first half:

“I mean, what happened is we didn’t play very well in the first half and then we didn’t play very well in the last forty seconds, or minute, however much it was.  We just took some not very good football and made it worse.  Then we were able to do things a lot better in the second half.  But i think that whole sequence was just symptomatic of the whole rest of the half.  I mean, what was the difference?”


Brady and the Patriots won another division title on Sunday. (USA TODAY Images)

Here’s what Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had to say to the media following the Patriots 41-13 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

On how they could look so bad in the first half, and then come out and play the way they did in the second half, and how they were able to flip the switch:

“It’s a great question.  I wish I knew the answer, because we would have started that way then.  We tried to start fast and got the ball down the field and then the ball got tipped and intercepted.  Just didn’t didn’t quite go the way we wanted it to in the first half, but we did a good job responding.  So it was a great win.”

On the 17-yard run in the second half, it looked like it lit a fire under the guys and if that was the message he was trying to send:

“Well, I think it was a play we needed to make so it was good to make it at that time.  I was going to slide, but I was pretty pissed off at that time, so I figured I wouldn’t slide and wish I wouldn’t have gotten knocked down, but that’s the way it goes.”

On if he thought getting hit like that lit the guys up a little bit:

“I think the touchdown did more so on the next play. That was a great run.  But whatever it takes, I think that’s what matters.  I think all our guys responded the way we wanted to and it was good to go in there and finish them off the way we did.”

On the fact he said he was pissed off and it seems he plays better when he’s pissed off, and if it filters down to the rest of the offense:

“Yeah, and I think you’re going to have times where you play less than optimum because if you played optimum all the time, you’d score seventy five points a game, which is impossible.  So you’re going to have stretches where you get stopped on third down or you don’t convert plays you should have.  I just think it’s always good to come reassess where we’re at and I know we were all pretty pissed off at halftime.  It wasn’t the that way we … 25 plays on offense and terrible with time of possession and terrible on third down, just didn’t do anything to help our team win.  I thought we did a better job coming out there in the second half, aided by some turnovers by our defense, which our defense has just been playing incredible, which is what we’re going to need.  I’m glad we started to earn our paycheck there in the second half.  It was good to be able to do that, that was a good feeling.  We still left some opportunities out there.”

On the plays to Gronkowski:

“I wish I’d make the other throws look like that too.  He’s a big target and he makes it easy for me.  He’s just awesome.”

On the seventeen yard run and if he just didn’t slide because he didn’t want to:

“No, I could have slid.  [Laughs] But I wasn’t in the best of moods at that time.  I think if it was a bigger guy I would have thought really hard about sliding, but once I was in the secondary … things happen pretty quick for me out there, I’m not the fastest guy out there so things close down pretty quick.”

On if anyone on the sideline told him to slide next time:

“Probably tomorrow.  Yeah, probably tomorrow.  But it was a big third down and I think we, it was at that time of the game where we needed to make some big third downs and the guys gave me great protection.  They tried to … what they’ve done to us a few times is tried to rush three and double-cover some guys and I think I was pretty keyed in on that today and tried to take advantage of when they did it.  I thought we did a better job than we’ve done the last few times we’ve played them.”

On how big it was for the defense to come up big, get a couple of turnovers and turn the defense into offense for them:

“It was huge.  It was what really kept us in the game because we weren’t doing very much offensively.  They really did that last week too.  We’ve got a really good defense, so it’s good to see.  It’s good to see it.  There’s pressure to score each time we get the ball and that’s what we’re trying to do, but it’s also a good feeling knowing that if you have to punt,  you’ve got a defense that’s not going to give up points too easily.”

On his thoughts on winning the division so many times and if he thinks the fans have gotten a little spoiled:

“Well, I think it’s a … every year is a different year for us and every year we have a great opportunity to try to accomplish something.  It doesn’t start this morning, it started back in March.  There’s a lot of hard work that goes into it and I don’t think you ever take winning for granted, I certainly don’t because I know how hard it is to win.  I think we appreciate it.  I also know that we have big goals every year for our team.  This is the one that is the first one to get and it was great to be able to do it against a team that we lost to earlier in the year.  We had a great opportunity to go out there and play a lot better than we did the last time.  It’s great to win, it’s a great feeling.  That’s why we play and I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of an organization where that’s really what matters the most and to play with some really great players over the years.  I think that’s …winning and experiencing it with the players and coaches, Mr. Kraft and Jonathan [Kraft] and his family, it’s pretty awesome.”