More quotes from the West Coast

Posted on December 11, 2008 
Filed Under Uncategorized

Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here’s some Q&A from San Jose this afternoon — Wes Welker, Heath Evans, Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo:

WIDE RECEIVER WES WELKER
Q: What are your thoughts on being out here and getting ready for another big game?
WW: It has been nice. A little cool for California, but it’s been nice. A lot better weather than what we have been use to the past couple of weeks. We are just trying to get our work done and make sure we are ready to go on Sunday.

Q: Three games to go and three teams tied in the AFC East, how do you look at these as you come down the stretch?
WW: You just try to control what you can control and just going out there, playing well and try to win games. That’s what it comes down to. We have to make sure we are preparing and are ready for Sunday.

Q: Is tn nice to have Matt Cassel back with the team?
WW: Absolutely. Obviously, with him being our quarterback now and the circumstances that he’s had to face… let him take care of his business. It is good to see him back out here.

Q: How much do you feel for him at this time?
WW: It is tough. It is never an easy deal. You just hope the best for him and his family and support him in any way you can.

Q: Where there any words of support that you were able to express to him today?
WW: I really haven’t gotten to talk to him yet. I sent a text to him and said I was here for him for whatever he needs.

Q: Sometimes do you think the best thing is to be with your teammates, it is like you are with your own family almost?
WW: Yeah. Being able to get away and make sure you focus on something else away from that. He has to do what he has to do to make sure he is prepared and ready.

Q: What about the Raiders defense and the challenges they present for you this week?
WW: There are a lot of athletes over there. They run with the football real well. They are fast [and] real physical. We are going to have our hands full with everything they present for us.

Q: On going up against Nnamdi Asomugha…
WW: You are always looking for challenges out there and he’s it. You have to make sure you are ready and doing the best you can against a cornerback of that caliber.

RUNNING BACK HEATH EVANS
Q: How excited are you guys to have three games to go and be tied in the AFC East?
HE: It is definitely a good spot. These are the games of the year that you have to play well. You have to finish strong. It has been a model all year to finish, so that is what we are trying to get done.

Q: Do you shake your head at Junior Seau and Rosevelt Colvin that they have stepped in this late doing what they do?
HE: It is crazy that they came in last week and ended up playing as much as they played. But, that is kind of the way things have gone this year. We have needed bodies and I have faith those guys will get it done.

Q: Can you talk about the loss of Matt Cassel’s dad and what is means to have Matt back with the team?
HE: It is hard to speak because I have never really lost a loved one. Obviously, you think maybe being around the guys might ease it a bit. I don’t know that for a fact, but I know I just wanted to wrap my arms around him and tell him I loved him. At this time, that is probably the only thing you know to do. So, hopefully we can be some encouragement to him and see how that helps him.

Q: When you face a team like the Raiders, what kind of challenges do they pose especially on defense for you guys?
HE: It is good we had the game we had last week. Seattle was in the same scenario. They had a bunch of loses racked up on them and we were in that game until the end. If anyone needed to have their eyes opened to how the games are in this league we got it. So, Oakland is going to be tough. They are probably the fastest team we have played all year. That can offer a wide array of different challenges, so hopefully we can be ready.

Q: Have you thought about the kind of reception that Randy Moss is going to get in the Black Hole?
HE: The last time I was there was my rookie year. That is probably the closest place that you get to a college like atmosphere. That will be crazy.

NOSE TACKLE VINCE WILFORK
VW: I feel better, a lot better. This is down the road where you need to start getting a lot of treatment because your body starts to breakdown around this time. I am doing everything I can. I am happy to be back on the field. Hopefully, Sunday it will show.

Q: Do you expect to play on Sunday?
VW: Oh, yeah. No question. I am ready for Sunday.

Q: How scared where you when the injury occurred?
VW: It bothered me a little bit when it happened because of the pain that I was feeling. But, everything came back OK and I feel a lot better. I am still sore but at the same time everybody is sore around this time. I am happy to be back out there. Hopefully, it shows on Sunday.

Q: Not playing last Sunday, were you just trying to be smart?
VW: I wanted to play, but I am not going to put myself or my team in a situation where I am basically useless out there on the field and last Sunday I was because I couldn’t move my arm at all. But, now it’s a lot better. I can move my arm and that’s all I need to know. Hopefully, Sunday it will show.

Q: There are a lot of guys going down, how excited are you to actually be able to get back out there?
VW: I am very fortunate that it wasn’t anything major. Like I said, I am very happy that I can support my team in any way I can. I am ready to grind it out. From here on out, as long as I am healthy enough I am ready to grind it out. I am looking forward to grinding it out.

Q: Was it good to see the guys come together in your absence and come together late in that game?
VW: I knew we had it in us. We always speak about when it is your time, when your number is called, you have to be ready. Those guys numbers were called. They went out and early in the game we had a few problems with the running game. I think they had over one hundred yards in the first half, but in the second half they basically shut the running game down. That could have happened with me out there. I think there were a few adjustments that they had to make on the sidelines, which they did. They came out in the second half and did a pretty good job. Hopefully, we can start off where we left off against the Seahawks because we can’t be giving up points that easy. It is going to be tough for us and our offense to get back on track. Our main thing is to start off fast and continue to finish the game.

Q: Have you spoken with Matt Cassel at all?
VW: I sent him a text and told him that I was sorry to hear about his loss. I have been through a similar situation with both of my parents and I basically left him alone. I saw him and he thanked me for sending him the message. I told him, I am here for you if you need me. I know what you are going through. Some people handle it differently. He knows that he has a bunch of brothers on this team that are here for him with open arms. So, if he needs to cry or get something off his chest, however he wants to express himself, he can do that.

LINEBACKER JEROD MAYO
JM: I am enjoying this weather out here, taking it one day at a time and am getting ready for the Raiders.

Q: On losing guys on defense…
JM: It is crazy, but guys are stepping up, taking their role and playing well right now.

Q: What is it like to watch Rosevelt Colvin and Junior Seau step in late in the year and do what they are able to do?
JM: It is amazing. Junior has been playing for 19 years. It is crazy to see how these guys have come in – in shape. You can tell that they have been working out. I have been really impressed with those guys.

Q: On Darren McFadden…
JM: He was an explosive player. He still is an explosive player. He can change the game with one carry and that is what he’s doing in the NFL right now as well.

Q: Do you miss Tedy Bruschi already?
JM: Yeah. Ever since I came in on the first day Tedy has taken me under his wing and showed me the ropes. I do miss him. He’s like an older brother to me.

Q: What have you seen from Junior Seau so far? Everyone talks about his spirit and his passion, have you picked up on that already?
JM: The intensity of the pregame speeches, the intensity on the practice field – I am trying to take as much as I can from him while he is here as well.

Q: Do you notice a change in the level of intensity of these games as the playoffs are approaching?
JM: Coach told us every game is a playoff game from here on out.

Q: How are you holding up physically?
JM: I feel great.

Q: What will you miss most about Tedy Bruschi?
JM: The conversations that we had before the game, on the field and things like that. The rest of the guys have been picking up the slack and have been doing an excellent job of it.

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