BUFFALO BILLS HEAD COACH REX RYAN
Opening Comments: Alright, obviously, you know, shoot, we weren’t good enough. The better team won today without question. We made way too many mistakes—mistakes we haven’t made all season and against a guy like (Tom) Brady, he makes you pay anytime you have a mistake and we knew that going in and he was true to form, but we didn’t deserve to win by any stretch. The Patriots deserved it and they won the game, without question. So with that, I’ll open it up.
Q: Was that the most discouraging thing? Because it looked like last year in terms of mistakes and just not bring smart.
A: I guess it was similar, I don’t know. It was without question frustrating. You get them backed way up on the third-and-long and we blow a coverage that---it’s just 10 guys playing one thing and somebody else playing something else. And even if you’re not singing out of the same hymnal, it looks bad and sounds bad and everything else.
Q: Was that the (Chris) Hogan play, the touchdown, that you’re referring to right now?
A: Yeah we just—obviously we blew an assignment and they executed the play and so, you know, bad result.
Q: Is that a product of trying to give Brady more looks than you would kind of throw at a different quarterback?
A: Well I guess so. That could be, that could be.
Q: You said on Monday that if you lose this game, it doesn’t break your season but hopefully it isn’t something you worry about. You said you hope you don’t have to worry about it.
A: No, not break our season. I mean it’s the halfway point, but I think in the division, I think it’s unrealistic to think you’re going to win your division when you just got beat by---how many games now are they up by? Three? Something like that, so I don’t see that changing. I just told you the truth, but I never said it was going to ruin our season. I thought within winning the division you’re pretty much shot if you really think we can really run the table and still win it. I don’t think so.
Q: Do you think you’re playing for a wildcard spot?
A: Well I would think that’s what you’re (playing for). That team’s three games up on us and I think at the halfway point they’ve lost one game. And No. 12 is back, so yeah, I don’t see that happening (winning the division). I hope I’m wrong.
Q: You’re also 1-4 in the conference.
Q: With Jacksonville’s record, it’s even worse than 4-4, isn’t it?
A: Well I think it’s 4-4. As bad as you want to be negative-wise, I get it. We’re halfway through the season but we’ll see. We have a lot of football left to be played. I believe in this team maybe more so than others.
Q: Specifically with your defense, you know you’re down injury-wise offensively. You really look at the last couple of games, evaluate your defense.
A: Well it’s not where we want it to be obviously. I was happy to get Marcell (Dareus) back even though clearly he’s probably not 100 percent but I was happy to get him back. I think we can turn things, we just got to play smart, and that was what was disappointing about this game in particular. We knew we had the big man (Dareus) back, we knew that we could stop the run, and then trying to get them one-dimensional and then unfortunately they killed us. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them this hot. Maybe one other time he scorched me like crazy, but I can’t ever remember that kind of day.
Q: Obviously you played against (Jacoby) Brissett and you didn’t have many problems that day, but Brady comes back and he’s so much better than everybody else. Does ‘demoralize’ ever become part of your vocabulary?
A: No. I think you go in, you think you’re ready to roll but know who you’re up against. This guy is probably the best who’s ever played or he’s right up there in the conversation. So you know what you’re getting. It’s a young kid that was in there, the rookie (Brissett), it’s not fair to say, “Well, he’s garbage.” No, he’s probably decent, but he’s not Tom Brady.
Q: Where are we on (Brandon) Tate and (Lorenzo) Alexander?
A: Alexander’s got a hamstring. Tate is in the concussion protocol and then Reggie Bush had a groin. Those were the injuries from the game.
Q: How many different things did you try on Rob Gronkowski today and how good is Gronk?
A: He’s pretty dang good. The problem is, you know, somebody has to have a tough down and win that tough down or whatever but yeah, that guy’s (a) phenomenal player and he’s been that way for a long time.
Q: Is it a bit of a revolving door with guys coming in-and-out from injury or suspension? It seems like losing and getting big-name players is a weekly occurrence. In terms of your personnel, do you feel thin in terms of your roster?
A: No, I think it’s just that some guys have to understand that you might be a backup, but your role can drastically change. I mean drastically change. And if you’re the fourth guy up, you might have to play and that kind of happened to us a little bit today and (it) can’t be an excuse, you got to be ready. Unfortunately we made some mistakes and even if we don’t make mistakes, I don’t think it was going to be good enough today. I mean that team was on fire and they deserve all the credit.
Q: You’ve talked about Stephon Gilmore being an elite corner back in this league. He had three holding penalties today and Hogan got behind him. Where are you at with what you’re getting from Gilmore and are you getting what you need from him?
A: I don’t want to isolate one person or whatever. Obviously, collectively we weren’t good enough today and it wasn’t even close.
Q: Does Brady’s presence just underscore to you just how far Tyrod Taylor is from being the franchise quarterback you need?
A: No I disagree. I think Tyrod is exactly what we need, we just have to catch the ball better, we have to protect a little bit better and I think he’s a great quarterback. I’m not saying he’s Tom Brady, there’s only one of those, but I’m saying he’s a great quarterback and he’s got a chance to be. It might be fair to judge him when you have everything out there. I think it’ll be nice one day to sit back and have a full roster. I think you talk about the talent of your team, we got to get them all healthy and then we’ll probably be able to evaluate this team a little bit better.
Q: Would you rank your third-down play on defense near the top of today’s problems?
A: Oh yeah, it’s right up there. There’s no doubt. And the penalties obviously, we had way too many penalties, embarrassing quite honestly, and then the third down efficiency on third down defense is something we’ve been—you have to do a great job on third down defense against Brady and company for sure and today we weren’t even close I mean they hit on 69-percent of their third downs and you’re not going to beat them if that percentage is that high.
Q: How demoralizing was it to miss a field goal and then for New England to turn around and hit a field goal 27 seconds later and start the next quarter with a big kickoff return?
A: Yeah, obviously that was a big turn because---Dan (Carpenter) hit it great. He did. Three-quarters of the way up (it looks good), he hits the upright. Their kid hits the upright, it goes through, but that was kind of the day it was for us.
Q: What do you see from the rookie after Shaq Lawson’s second game?
A: I thought he did some good things. I know he got the sack. We actually put him in a couple different coverages, I thought he did a decent job, I really did. We have to see the film but I know he got a late hit on the quarterback. He’s got to understand that you might be able to blast them in college but this game, if it’s late, they’re going to call it. And there was too many of those things that we got to learn from but this is a young man that we all think is going to be a tremendous player for us. He’s had two weeks of practice, so hopefully he keeps getting better and better as the weeks go on.
Q: Rex you emphasized getting your guys healthy. Where exactly does LeSean McCoy stand and does he have a chance of getting back for the Seattle game?
A: I’m not sure. He wasn’t healthy enough to play in this game. Next week, the fact it’s a Monday, we get another day, hopefully he will be, but right now I’m not sure.
Q: What happened with the challenge flag?
A: That was on me. I was a little ticked off because I was showing them like, “Guys, just look at the replay. He’s in! Look at the replay. I can’t throw this flag.” And then I threw the flag.
Q: You were a little late getting in here. What was your message to your team?
A: The message was pretty obvious I think that for us to compete against a team like this, we got to improve a hell of a lot and we know that. Backups have to step up and know what they’re doing, number one, would help, and that comes down on us too as coaches. We got to make sure everybody’s ready to roll and eliminate the mistakes and the things that we can avoid. There’s going to be some combative penalties but some of the other ones we got to do a much better job of. I thought that was in our past and clearly it’s not.
Q: What are the types of penalties that you think are acceptable?
A: Well no, sometimes you’re going to be competing for balls. Sometimes you may get a play where you’re just finishing a play and maybe somebody observes it differently. But that’s always going to be the case. You may get beat, you might grab a guy or whatever but you got them in first-and-20, a holding call, that’s not acceptable. That’s not acceptable and there’s things like that that we obviously have to get much better at.
Q: Talk about the miscommunications in the secondary.
A: I wish I knew.
Q: Are you concerned about Taylor’s accuracy?
A: No. I think Tyrod will be fine. I thought the day might look a little different if you take away the drops. I mean we had a couple of big drops, back-to-back drops that were disappointing to see for sure but Tyrod’s going to be fine. It seems like each week I’m defending him. I don’t understand it.
Q: With the trade deadline coming up, is there any possibility of you guys looking to bring in a new receiver?
A: Well I think what we do a good job of is we turn over every rock, we’re looking at not just the receiver (position) but everything. If we can make our team better, we’ll certainly do that. Doug (Whaley) and I are always in communication and Rob (Hanrahan) and guys, but the trading thing-- and I get it. Hey, let’s trade for Randy Moss. Okay, I got it. But you have to have a dance partner and it has to be reasonable so in the NFL, trades don’t happen. I mean we can say they do but it’s very odd that they happen.
BUFFALO BILLS QUARTERBACK TYROD TAYLOR
Q: Tyrod, you knew against a team like this your execution needed to be tight. I guess run through the settling for the field goal on the first drive, second possession you had a couple of drops, you had guys open, just seemed like you weren’t on point with everything.
A: Yeah. We definitely didn’t do a good job with extending drives. I think we left some plays out there on the field definitely early on in the game to get ourselves into a groove and that’s definitely something we have to be better at moving forward.
Q: The play where you handed off to Reggie (Bush) and he threw it back to you, it looked like he could have flicked it into the end zone.
A: Yeah. He wasn’t throwing it back to me I don’t think. He was just trying to get rid of the ball and get hit, but that play was a double pass. Bad execution.
Q: Rex was very unhappy with the mistakes overall what is your take on that, you need to play smarter?
A: Yeah, we definitely gotta clean up in a lot of areas, be the team that we want to be and reach the potential that we know that we have. We definitely have to play smarter and it all comes down to us executing and us cleaning up the penalties as well.
Q: When you go into a game knowing you’re down a wide receiver and then during the game it’s like every other play a guy is jogging off the field and going into the locker room; do you ever take a minute and say “Man we’re six, seven deep in the depth chart, what am I working with here?”
A: No, that doesn’t process or go through my mind. I’m confident in the guys we have out there. I gotta give them chances to make plays and we gotta go out there and make plays. To be on this team you understand it’s for a reason so when you’re out on the field the other guys are definitely depending on you to make plays and that’s something we can be better at as far as going out there and making plays.
Q: Tyrod, Mike (Gillislee) has some runs early and he had a good average and he had a good run game going. Was that just thrown out the window because the score got flipped?
A: For sure. Of course. People definitely know that the running game is part of our offense, but when you fall behind early you can’t really run the ball as much as you want to. Get into the groove. And that’s why we have to go out there and make plays in the passing game.
Q: Do you think that you could be more accurate with your throws in general?
A: We can be better executing, that’s it.
BUFFALO BILLS C ERIC WOOD
Q: One of things Rex said is you need to be perfect to beat these guys, is that kind of the feel now?
A: I don’t know if I would use the word perfect but you got to run the ball well against them, you got to make plays that are there. We didn’t a good enough job of that, especially early. You are playing catch up against them, and that is a tough team to play catch up against.
Q: Lose two, win four, lose two, is there a sense of don’t panic we have done this before?
A: Yeah we are not panicking, but we got to get back to work. We got to get better, we got to do a better job when we get to Sunday.
Q: The second half seemed to turn for you guys because you were right there with them to start?
A: Yeah I did necessarily feel we were out of it till the very end. I was just hoping for some momentum at some point, get the crowd back into it. Down two scores, down three scores, you get one back, get a turn over, something, you never know in this league. But right before the half we had a tough stretch, we had early couple three and outs on our second and third drives. Not a lot of positives throughout the first half.
Q: How many injuries can one offense overcome?
A: Yeah I had a lot of confidence in the guys that were still in there at the end. A lot of guys that can make plays in this league. I am not going to sit here and make excuses about it.
Q: From continuity stand point though that has to be challenging to get a rhythm?
A: Yeah for sure. This week with the guys that are going to step in this will be valuable practice time before Seattle and get on the same page as Tyrod (Taylor).
BUFFALO BILLS WR ROBERT WOODS
Q: How did you feel out there, and did you have any limitations?
A: I felt pretty good, just going as my number was called no real limitations out there. It felt good, felt healthy.
Q: Were they limiting you or was it just play it as you go?
A: Little bit of both. Early on just see how things go, go out there a little bit. Feel good, stay out there.
Q: Does it limit what you guys can do as you go further down the depth chart, you can only over come so much?
A: Yeah, at the same time it is still our team. This is next man up, still Bills, still our team. We got to be able to step up, make plays and contribute. Doesn’t matter, third down on our depth chart, fourth down on our depth chart, doesn’t matter. There are guys we have, we trust to make plays. When they are called up we got to do something.
BUFFALO BILLS RUNNING BACK MIKE GILLISLEE
Q: Your running style is obviously different than Shady’s [LeSean McCoy’s], but you’ve certainly demonstrated that you can be effective right now, running the way you do behind that line. There were some yards there for you today.
A: Yeah, there were some yards out there. The offensive line did a great job opening up holes.
Q: It’s tough to match points with New England. They can score a ton and if you get into a shootout with them, you’re probably going to get into trouble.
A: Right. That first drive, we probably should’ve gotten a touchdown instead of three points.
Q: You guys had first-and-goal at the six [yard line], I think. What do you think that did?
A: It was just a momentum swing. They got the ball and went down and scored, so it was a momentum swing.
Q: What adjustments need to be made before Seattle?
A: We get Shady back next week. [Robert] Woods was able to do a little bit, but hopefully he will be 100% next week. We’ll be ready.
Q: How good can this team be when you guys are 100% healthy?
A: We’ll be great. We got a chance to go out next weekend and get a victory, so that’s what we’re going to focus on.
Q: When did it seem to get away from you guys?
A: Penalties. Penalties on offense, penalties on defense. We messed up early on, put ourselves in bad situations on third downs, and on their third downs we gave them first downs. So penalties cost us.
BUFFALO BILLS DT KYLE WILLIAMS
Q: How much was third down an issue not being able to get off the field?
A: It is a lot of it. When we didn’t make it, not communicate well, blew some defenses and we weren’t good on third down. That is a really good formula to get beat by those guys.
Q: A lot of guys are talking miscommunication on your end not, necessarily by what they did?
A: No, that is both. Yeah we blew some plays that lead to some of their big plays, but we didn’t play well enough in general. So it is not all on us. It is them outplaying us too.
Q: A lot of penalties on third down that kept drives going?
A: Yeah you know a late hit, something else there, it is something you can’t do against those guys. You can’t miscommunicate, you can’t blow defenses, and you can’t give them extra opportunities on third down through penalties.
Q: You almost have to play a perfect game against Brady, do you think he is that good?
A: You have to be on top of your game plan. You can’t blow things in your game plan, you can’t give him second opportunities with penalties and things like that. He is good enough to beat you when you don’t do all those things. So when you do all those things it snowballs, it is a bad combination.
Q: Half the season left, big picture?
A: Half the season left, disappointed obviously the last couple weeks. Especially here coming home and losing and just really not performing well. Just through, like I said blown assignments, bad eyes, and giving a really good football team second opportunities. True character will get tested now. We have to go on the road against probably the best team in the NFC. So we have to get ready for that, we are going to go back to work. We kind of got tested there at 0-2 and here we are again. So I think the guys will respond and we have to put our best foot forward.
BUFFALO BILLS CB STEPHON GILMORE
Q: They just kept seeming to convert on third down, what happened?
A: Penalties gave them everything, just gave them everything really.
Q: What happened on that touchdown to (Chris) Hogan?
A: Busted coverage.
Q: Do you have any idea how that happened that you guys gave them everything?
A: It happened.
Q: What do you mean you gave them everything what are you thinking in particular?
A: They didn’t ever beat us one on one really. We just gave them everything. He seen it, easy throws, just gave them everything.
Q: How frustrating is it to have a game like that?
A: It’s frustrating.
BUFFALO BILLS LINEBACKER PRESTON BROWN
Q: Third down today seemed to be a real problem. What was it on third down?
A: I mean, they kept getting first downs. It was as simple as that. They outplayed us on third down. They kept getting third downs. I don’t know what the percentage was, but I kept looking up and it seemed like it was 7-for-8, 8-for-9. They kept getting first downs and you’re not going to win any games if you keep doing that.
Q: How frustrating is that? Because you’re making plays on first and second down, sometimes putting them in third-and-long, and [Tom Brady] just keeps finding a way, doesn’t he?
A: I mean, we were finding ways to get them behind the sticks but third-and-long, third-and short – they just kept converting and that’s the key to disaster.
Q: Third down penalties were an issue too. It seemed like they picked up a lot just off of penalties.
A: Definitely. We had a lot of reaching and holding calls, roughing the passers. It seemed like every time we did get a stop, it wasn’t a stop because we got a penalty. It just wasn’t a good day for us, overall. We have to play better, and it starts with me.
Q: You’re 4-4. So where is this team right now? Halfway through, you’re even. Where do you think you are?
A: We’re mediocre. That’s as mediocre as you can be. We’re 2-2 in both of the first halves. That’s not what you want to do. We know we can only drop about two more games if you want to try and get into the playoffs. We have to go out there and find ways to win. We have to start over. Monday night game – it’s a bigger stage. Guys get the opportunity to show the league that we’re not the team we showed the last two weeks.
Q: In the second quarter, you guys had back-to-back defensive series where you stopped them three-and-out. You sacked him a couple of times. It was the best defensive sequence of the game, but it seemed like the pressure is coming from different places. What was going right in that sequence and what happened to that?
A: I mean, we were just showing different things, showing different pressures. Things we picked up from other teams and saw some things that got after him. We tried some new things and had some success, but as the game went on they found ways to pick up first downs on us.
BUFFALO BILLS DT MARCELL DAREUS
Q: First of all how did you feel being back out there with the guys?
A: I mean I felt pretty good. We were flowing pretty good for the most part, just a couple blown things, couple missed coverages, and (Tom) Brady will tear you apart from there. So we just had a good time out there, but at the same time I wish we would have won the game.
Q: How tough is it to play against Brady when you don’t play a perfect game?
A: You lose. That is the most part, he is a pretty good player, everyone knows that.
Q: Communication is a word that has been brought up, was that an issue today?
A: Yeah. One thing we pride ourselves on this year was the better communication we built over the offseason. For the communication to fall the way it did was kind of a blow to the stomach. We just kind of trying to get back to it, get back to normal what we do and sticking to it. Happens like that sometimes.
Q: Physically, did you feel pretty good coming out of the game?
A: Oh man I feel like a player coming off the streets right now man, sore as hell.
BUFFALO BILLS SAFETY COREY GRAHAM
Q: Corey, there were two defensive series in the second quarter where you had their number. They went three-and-out twice and it seemed like there were a couple of different pressure looks for [Tom] Brady. What went right then, and did he come out of that and change after that?
A: You know what was crazy about the whole thing? They do what they do. I mean, you pretty much know what you’re going to get with those guys. They’re not trying to trick you, and it amazes me how they just seem to make the plays. They seem to make the plays. Brady seems to make the throws. It’s not like they’re tricking you or anything like that, it’s just that they were the better team. We had a good game plan to stop them. We had some communication errors. It was pretty much just on us. It sucks to say it, but they did it a lot. They do what they do, they don’t try to trick you, and they wait for you to mess up.
Q: Does that just speak to how great Brady is?
A: It really does, because they’re not tricking you at all. When you watch the film, you get exactly what you see on the film. You know what you’re going to get. They’re not trying to trick you. [Brady] just looks for matchups and he just pretty much says ‘my guys are better than yours.’
Q: You’re at 4-4, halfway through. Where do you think this team is?
A: Right now, we’re exactly where we are: a mediocre team. We’ve got to be a lot better. Especially defensive-wise, we’ve got to make a lot more plays. We have to play better. Right now, we just have to fix it. We got to get off the field. You can never allow a team like that to stay on the field that long and get all of the long third downs. You’re just giving them the game. They were better than us today. We have to find a way to get better. We need to go watch the film and fix the errors. We can’t have so many communication errors. When it’s all said and done, a lot of those big plays and big passes that you saw – pretty much all but probably one of them – were communication errors and we do that.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
Opening Statement: I thought it was a really good effort by our team this week. We had a good week of practice. We had real good focus for the game. And I thought we found plays in all three phases of the game. Good team win, complimentary game. So it’s always good to come up here and win. It’s great to see our fans here at the end of the game cheering us on. Good to come in here and win and good to have contributions from our players. Like I said, we had a solid week of practice and played a fairly solid game today. Not perfect, but did a lot of things well.
Q: Can you comment on Rob Gronkowski getting the most touchdowns as a Patriot?
A: I love it. Love to see his presence.
Q: When you look at Gronkowski and the way he plays as a pass catcher, blocker, just complete tight end, I’m curious if you’ve seen any sort of match for him and the way he plays the game.
A: Well there’s a lot of great players in this league and there have been a lot of great players but obviously Gronk does a good job. He competes hard. Nice plays in the passing game, blocks in the running game. Does whatever you ask him to do. So a very unselfish player. He’s great to coach. So, given his great leadership as a captain, something he hasn’t done in the past, but now it’s kind of had a new role for him and he’s embraced that, and done well for us there too.
Q: Some similarities between his touchdown today and last week, in the sense that it almost seemed like momentum might have been going to the other side and you know you guys hit a big play.
A: Yeah big drive to answer the score and, you know, they took the safety out of the middle field. You know, we were in empty. Rob beat Robey (Nickell Robey-Coleman) right inside and ran away from him so that was impressive.
Q: Is Tom Brady at 39 years old just as good or better than he was at 29?
A: Well again, I thought that we had good play from our entire team today. You know, Tom did a good job, but we had a lot of the guys play well today. It was a good team win.
Q: On the touchdown play to Chris Hogan, the one that got called back, it looked like Brady took a pretty good hit on the play before. What was your thought on just his toughness to come back on the next play and make that long throw to Hogan?
A: Yeah, Tom is a tough player. So we’ve seen that since day one and that’s never been an issue. Mentally and physically, he’s as tough as they come.
Q: I know you guys don’t lose faith in Stephen (Gostkowski) and what he’s able to do, but it must have been nice for you guys to see that from him today.
A: No, Steve’s one of the best kickers in the league. You know, we have a lot of confidence in him. When we need a kick, there’s nobody better to send out there than him. Nobody better to send out there than Steve.
Q: Looked like another solid game from Malcolm Butler. Some change at the number two cornerback spot, but how valuable is it to have a guy you can depend on, so solid at the number one spot?
A: Yeah you know, Malcolm has practiced well the last three weeks, and you know has been giving really solid performances. You know, they threw a lot of balls outside, a good test for our corners all the way around, so I’m sure we’ll see that going forward but, you know, this is a good group. Good deep ball, threw the ball well inside the numbers, big receivers, so…I think we made some plays.
Q: Any initial thoughts about going into the bye at 7-1?
A: No. Just get ready for Seattle. We’re heading into the NFC West now with Seattle, San Francisco, and the Rams are coming up soon so it’s not like we had early in the year with the AFC North, with three out of the four teams. So we’ll get a lot of teams we’re not very familiar with. Obviously Seattle, I’ve got a lot of respect for coach (Pete) Carroll and the Seahawks program so that’s a big test for us.
Q: I think there were a few opportunities where you had too many players and one where you had to get another player on. Were there any headsets or technology things that you would’ve been struggling with, or was that more of human—?
A: I think I’ve already talked about that. Offense changed, but regardless of that, we’ve got to do a better job of what we’re doing. So, they had them, we had them. We need to substitute cleaner, regardless of what else is or isn’t going on.
Q: Danny Amendola’s kickoff to open the second half.
A: Huge play. Good blocking. Got him up to about the 30-40 yard line. He broke a couple tackles and Danny has just been clutch for us. Ever since he got here, he’s made big plays in big games. Punt returns, kick returns, blocks. He does whatever you ask him to do. Really unselfish player. That was a huge play for us. You know we kicked a field goal at the end of the first half and then that gave us a chance to kind of stretch it out without letting them get possession of the ball. SO that was a huge play for us. But, you know, good job by our kickoff return team creating the opportunity for him to get started and make a play there.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY
Q: Let’s start with Rob Gronkowski. Throwing his 69th touchdown, which breaks the franchise record. One, your thoughts on the play and two your thoughts on him as the player who accomplished it?
A: Yes, it’s a great accomplishment. He is a dynamic player for us. He makes great plays in the pass game, down the field, intermediate, short; he’s tough to tackle. He has a great enthusiasm about him. He’s just done a great job since he’s been here, so it’s a credit to him and his toughness, his mental toughness. I’ve always talked about that with him and his ability to overcome the difficulties that he’s faced over his career to get to this point. We need it because he’s such a great player for our team.
Q: How about that play, it seemed like they were maybe cutting into the lead a little bit there, what did you see?
A: It was a big play and it was running up the seam and it looked like they were going to blitz, but then they kind of pulled out of it and gave me a little time. Gronk [Rob Gronkowski] had one-on-one with Robey [Nickell Robey-Coleman] and cut inside and I just tried to put it out there for him and he made a great play. He had a great catch and run and he’s tough when he’s running through the middle of the defense. He did that against Pittsburgh last week too. It was just a big play.
Q: Were you surprised at all about when they took the safety out of the middle of the field?
A: I think that it’s a product of doing a lot of different things. I think a lot of guys are making different plays and running the ball and trying to keep them off balance. At some point they tried to take a shot and that’s when we have to take our shots. You go against a team like this who has a good defense, a good scheme, so you never know when you are going to get your opportunity and we got it and tried to take advantage of it.
Q: Especially on Gronk’s touchdown, that match up there- he’s got 10 inches and 100 pounds on Robey. Do your eyes light up when you see that match up?
A: Yeah… well I’m just trying to find open guys. That’s what I’m trying to do and Gronk was the guy on that play. He does a good job all day of getting his opportunity. Sometimes they double him with coverage and squeeze him from inside and out but on that particular play he had a seam running down the defense and it was just good to put it out there and let him make a play.
Q: Did you see that match-up pre-snap or was that something that developed later?
A: I think they do a pretty good job of disguising their pre-snap stuff, everything kind of looks the same. You have to figure it out once the ball is snapped and if you get a good match-up, you get a good match-up.
Q: Did you get your usual warm and fuzzy welcome when you came into this place? It’s been so many years, and you’ve been here so many times and beaten them so many times, what was it like and what is it like to play in front of them when they crank it up?
A: Well they can crank it up pretty good here so I was glad our defense held them to a field goal to start the game. That was a big start for us, they got the ball down the field and if they can score right off the bat at home it’s always good to play from ahead and we marched right down after that and scored a touchdown. It’s good to play from ahead, when we got down there and got the ball, the crowd was definitely into it and they cheer loud for their team. And they have a good football team.
Q: They also cheer against you because of the history, I know you can’t hear individual things, but you know the tone of what’s going on, so how does it feel to come out here and do that?
A: Yeah, it’s good. I think the best part is at the end. That’s the best part because you know we’ve had a lot of experiences where there are 70,000 people against you and at the end there are 5,000 Patriots fans, on the road, that are cheering for you. That’s a great motivation for us, to go into some really tough places to play against a team that always really challenges you in different ways and at the end to be so far ahead to be able to run out the clock feels good. It’s a great feeling.
Q: Tom, talk about Danny Amendola, not heavy on stats but big plays. It always seems like there is one or two or three like the kickoff return and the touchdown, can you talk about his role and what’s going on here?
A: Yeah, that was a huge play in the game that kickoff return. That set us up for the whole second half. There was a big swing there because they missed the field goal, we go down and get the three, we get the ball to start, Danny returns it. It’s a 10 point swing, probably a 13 point swing, and that was huge. Danny is always around for big plays, important plays and he’s a great competitor. He gives everything he has for the team. He always knows when to make the right play, whether it’s to kneel in the end zone or to run it back like he did, he made a great run and it really set us in great position.
Q: When Chris Hogan meets Stephon Gilmore down field, is that something that developed during practice or something that you saw during film study or something that just happened during the course of the game?
A: That was something that was pretty early in the game and Hog’s just looked like he had a chance. It looked like they were giving favor in coverage to the other side of the field and when you do that, it’s one on one back side and he had a good inside release and Hog’s fast; he runs by people and they don’t catch him, so if you can put it out there for him and let him run under it, he’s able to make those plays. And he’s done that all season long so it was great and that put us up 13-3 and it was a big play in the game.
Q: 7-1 going into the bye week, how do you feel about where you guys are?
A: Well, it’s pretty early still. We’ve got a long way to go. I think 7-1 is good, but coach always says 7 wins won’t get you anything in this league and he’s right so we have a lot of football ahead. This is when it starts to get to feeling like football season.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS TIGHT END ROB GRONKOWSKI
Q: Pretty good place to set a record?
A: Yes, definitely. Definitely an honor to come home to my hometown and get that record. To hold the record for most franchise touchdowns is just unbelievable. I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates, my coaches. We’re just always working together making strides every single day that we step out onto the practice field and just seeing everyone how the way they work, seeing all the opportunities the coaches gave me and giving some credit to myself coming in and working hard every single day to get to where I need to be and its just an awesome experience. Stanley Morgan actually called me to congratulate me and he was an awesome player, awesome guy. He said congratulations and it was pretty cool so to get a phone call from him already right after the game in the locker room was something special, and its cool, but I mean the win is definitely way more important. Its awesome to get that win for sure and that’s what’s most important is going out there and having your team win which we did today on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Overall, it’s definitely an honor, but I just got to keep working keep on grinding every single day.
Q: Could you have ever envisioned that this would be the place where you would set this record?
A: Nope, we never envisioned it like that. I never envisioned it like that. Definitely envisioned big things though, but nothing like that on a scale of being like this so, it’s just unbelievable. And to come back to my hometown where I grew up watching all the Bills games vs. the Patriots, so it’s just an unbelievable honor and just got to give a lot of credit to this organization overall for giving me all the opportunities and helping me to get to where I am.
Q: Talk us through your touchdown.
A: It was definitely a two call play. It’s a lot of times like 50% of the time in games, you get two calls and whatever looks better he’s going to change it to so he did a great job of reading the play and I just ran the route that I needed to run and he put an excellent ball out there to do what I had to do to score.
Q: What did you see from the coverage on the play?
A: I saw, I think it was a cover four I think, but I just kind of had a feeling just had to get up on the safeties toes, give him a little move, and cross his face. Tom (Brady) read it super well, and it was a great throw and great play overall.
Q: Describe the bow
A: The bow, just bowing. You know, just bowing and it was awesome. But I want to give a shout out to my mom because the first thing yesterday, we sat down when I saw her she came to my hotel, we sat down she goes, “Rob, I’m so proud of you when you score your 69th touchdown.” So I was like, I have to give her a shout out now for sure for letting me know that she’s super proud of me so, hi mom, and thank you.
Q: Talk about Danny Amendola’s kickoff return.
A: That kickoff return meant a lot. I mean, it changes the momentum right away in the second half just like that. Just getting the kickoff return and bringing it to what, the 25 he brought it to? It was just awesome. We had great blocking, saw a lot of great blocking. Amendola just had a great run.
Q: Can you feel that people here don’t like you when you’re on the field?
A: Yes. I feel that for sure. When you get 50 middle fingers from the people in the first three rows, so I definitely feel that. I feel it.
Q: What is it like for you and Brady coming in here and torturing this team?
A: Yes, it’s awesome. I love being part of this organization, love being part of the Brady era. I couldn’t ask to be in any better situation when I got drafted here seven years ago. It was definitely an honor. And I’m super glad that that’s what happened, I got drafted to the New England Patriots man. So it’s just awesome to come here and tear it up.
Q: Can you talk about the versatility of this offense?
A: Yeah, that’s what makes this game so awesome, it’s a team game. It’s not about individuals at all and just dispersing the ball. Tom is doing such a great job. If you look at the stat sheet everyone probably had three, four, five catches, just six guys. It’s just awesome. You don’t know what you’re going to get, you don’t know who he’s going to throw it to. And everyone is working hard. Everyone works hard to get open, and we all try to help each other out so, it’s just a huge part of our game and it’s definitely a huge part of our offense. Giving the ball to a lot of players helps out big time.
Q: Maybe they’re saying your number one, with the middle fingers?
A: Oh no, they’re not. You can tell by their facial expressions and everything.
Q: Is there a sense of significance in the sense that the Bills beat you last time you played?
A: Yeah it’s, you know how that game went. It’s just great to come in here now and show them what we’re really about and put up all those points. You know they talk all that, everyone talks all that every single time they got that win, 16-0, or whatever it was but, I’m so glad we came in here and showed them what we’re really about.
Q: You have 11 touchdowns against the Bills, what is it with you and homecomings?
A: I don’t know. I just go out and play every game. Just go hard every game.
Q: It was also a homecoming for Chris Hogan, did you guys talk about that?
A: Yeah that was huge. I’m so happy for Chris Hogan to see him get that touchdown. It was a bomb. I was in the middle of the field so the ball got thrown over my head and I was watching it like whoa. It looked like a bird just going … and then I just saw Hogan. I looked at Hogan I was like, “Oh he’s got his man beat”, and I saw him make the play and score the touchdown, I was super happy for him and he deserves it, he’s a great guy, great teammate, and a hard worker.
Q: Was that a tipping point in this game?
A: That was another tipping point in this game. A lot of big plays are a lot of turning points. The Amendola run, Hogan’s touchdown, you want to make big plays at big times to help turn the game.
Q: What have you learned about Stanley Morgan’s style of play or anything as a player?
A: I’m going to tell the truth; I really don’t know much about Stanley Morgan. It would be actually a great honor to actually meet him in person and actually study up on his game and see what he’s all about so, I’m going to be looking forward to that.
Q: You beat his record in just about half as many games, how is that possible?
A: Just doing what I got to do. Coming in everyday, working hard everyday, and just being in the right situation and taking advantage of it. Every time you get an opportunity you have to take advantage and you have to be ready so, it’s all about hard work, dedication, and going hard.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS WR CHIS HOGAN
Q: This game went really well. Can you talk about the deep pass that you took from Tom (Brady)?
A: It’s just one of those plays. You know, when it’s third down you don’t have the chance to do a lot. The defense was good on the line and the ball was getting dunked to me, so once I got off the line the ball was already in the air. It seemed like the ball was up in the air for a long time, it was just one of those things that I go up and make a play.
Q: Emotionally, was it somewhat gratifying to come back here and play well against guys that you know so well?
A: Yeah, I mean especially after the first game that we lost. You know it wasn’t really my best game and it wasn’t our, as a team, best game, but to come back here. You know, we played, we wanted to play really well. It’s always fun to go up against old teams.
Q: You guys know this very well from practice and playing all season but, how tough Tom is. Before the touchdown, he took a hard hit and came right back and threw that deep ball. Talk about his toughness.
A: Yeah, it’s second to none. He’s a competitor, he’s gonna be out there no matter what, I don’t think he wants to take those hits, but if he does, he’s gonna come right back and make those plays for us.
Q: On the touchdown, (Stephon Gilmore) tried to chuck you a little bit, right, it wasn’t a totally free release?
A: No, he did, but once I got past him I just had to go get the ball.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS WIDE RECEIVER JULIAN EDELMAN
Q: Any doubt you were in on the touchdown?
A: Who knows these days? It’s tough.
Q: What about winning after what happened in Foxboro?
A: Any time you get a road win against a division team it’s a good win. The last game was the last game. Every game is a new game. It’s a different scenario and a new situation. We handled it well.
Q: Julian what does it say about Tom [Brady]’s toughness to fire that pass to Chris [Hogan], one play after taking a pretty big hit?
A: I’ve seen it for years. The guy’s a tough SOB. It’s a pleasure to get to play with a guy like him.
Q: How does it feel to get into the end zone?
A: It feels good. Feels good to get in the end zone.
Q: You catch that and Amendola’s block, is that where you’re looking to play off of?
A: Unbelievable block. Dola made a great block after an insane third. To see your teammates go out there and put forth that kind of effort on a play, that’s Dola. He’s a great teammate, a great player and I’m happy to get to play with that little guy.
Q: How about the accomplishment of Rob Gronkowski, breaking the franchise record?
A: Rob, he’s a phenomenal player, a phenomenal teammate. It’s a pleasure to get to play with that guy. His attitude towards the game, he has so much fun. He’s just a flat-out beast that goes and has fun. What a great way for him to go out and beat a record, the one that he was anticipating.
Q: How did you guys see Chris Hogan fitting into the team?
A: He’s been very effective all year. He’s another guy that’s a great teammate, he works his tail off. He works very hard. He brings a physical game, he’s got good speed. He’s a guy that, it’s fun to go out and play with him. We’ve got a locker room full of those types of guys, you enjoy going out and putting on the helmet.
Provided by the Buffalo Bills.