Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Vince Wilfork React To New England Patriots’ Win Over Raiders

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Sep 21, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass against the Oakland Raiders at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After the New England Patriots squeaked by the Oakland Raiders yesterday, a few players talked about the ugly win.

Here is the official transcript: (And Brady’s transcript, and Wilfork’s)


Tom Brady

Q: Sometimes you have to win ugly, right? 

TB: Yeah, we had some opportunities there to score more points and we didn’t come away with it. We left some chances on the field and certainly scoring opportunities. That’s something we’re going to have to obviously get a lot better at, so we’ll keep working at it

Q: Can you talk about Vince Wilfork’s huge interception for you guys at the end? 

TB: Yeah, that was awesome. They scored and I thought we were going out there for a two-minute drill and they said ‘No, there was holding,’ and then on the next play, Vince – he has three career interceptions, so he’s getting up there. That’s pretty cool. Great play.

Q: How do you see a game like this? Is it frustrating? A character test? 

TB: It was a tough win. That’s a good defensive group. As I said earlier in the week, they’ve got a lot of experienced players who have played a lot of football, won a lot of games and won championships, so it was going to be a dog fight. We need to do a better job getting the ball in the end zone. We settled for field goals down there on the one-yard line and then another play at the half where we had opportunities. We just have to be able to ultimately score more points because if we don’t, we’re going to get beat. That’s what it came down to.

Q: You’ve talked a lot about execution issues that seem to keep appearing. What’s the general thought on how much better you are or aren’t since the first week? 

TB: I mean, we’re going to try to keep making improvements. I don’t think anything is perfect out there. There are some teams that are playing really well already. We’re not really doing that offensively yet. Defensively we played great but it’s a team sport. We’ve got to handle our business and do our job, whether it’s situationally, whether it’s scoring when we need to score. Not turning the ball over has been good – I think we’ve done a good job of that. We’ve just got to score more points. Especially getting down to the red area and having opportunities to score and not being able to do it.

Q: Have those situations been execution issues or the defense playing better than your offense? 

TB: I think each play is different. We’re not really fair catching them in the end zone. There are some plays that happen every week. We haven’t had any of those yet. It’s tight throws, tight windows. We’ve got to throw it and make the play. It’s not going to be easy for us. I don’t think any team plays us and we get – you know, we get their best. We’ve got to play a lot better and we’re capable of it, so we just have to go and practice and try to do it. It starts there.

Q: Is it close on film? Last week you talked about the execution being the frustrating part about it. Do these things seem fixable pretty quickly? 

TB: Well, I mean, we have first-and-goal on the one-and-a-half-yard line and settle for a field goal. You just can’t do that. You know, our execution needs to be a lot better all the way around, yeah.

Q: You haven’t felt like you’re in rhythm yet this year at all, have you? 

TB: No. No, we haven’t and you know what, we’re going to work toward it and see if we can get better at it. Defensively we’re playing good. They’re limiting the amount of points that are being scored. Hopefully we don’t turn the ball over and we can take advantage if we get some of those. But we have to execute better on a consistent basis in order to get the ball in the end zone and score points. It’s good to be 2-1, I’ll tell you that. Starting 0-1, it’s good to be 2-1, but obviously there is a lot of room for improvement, and that’s why we’re going to come in tomorrow and work hard tomorrow to try to make it right.

Q: You talk about execution. Do you worry that maybe some of these guys can’t execute these plays? Does that thought enter your mind? 

TB: I think we’ve always gotten better as the season has gone on and as players, gained more experience in what we’re doing. We’ve got some new players. We’ve got different things that are happening. We’re all trying to get used to one another and used to the things we’re doing and trying to understand the things you’re good at. And then ultimately as the season goes, you work on the things that haven’t been going well and you try to stay real ahead of the things that you are doing really well at and then at the end of the year, you’re in a position to hopefully make the playoffs and do those types of things. Right now we’re building our team. We’re trying to make improvements. It hasn’t all gone right. It doesn’t go right when we have penalties or turnovers or negative runs. We’ve just got to do our assignment, do our job. We’ve got to do it better and then ultimately that’s going to lead to more scoring.

Q: What’s your assessment of why you’re not scoring in the red zone? 

TB: They’re all different drives and they’re all different plays. I think, you’re right: our red area hasn’t been very good. We’ve got to try to run it in. If can’t run it in, we’re got to hit the tight throws and make the tight plays. We had plenty of opportunities today and didn’t do it, so we’ll try to get to work on it this week. It’s not one person. It’s not one thing. It’s everybody doing a better job, because it’s tough to get in. There are a lot of bodies down there. We have to make the right plays and the execution has to be at a high level in order to get the ball in there.

Q: But what’s different? Throughout your career you’ve seemed to get it in pretty consistently. 

TB: It’s only three games in, so we have a long season ahead of us. There’s a lot of football to play. We haven’t done a lot of good things offensively, period. If you want to settle on the red area, I’d settle on everything – certainly the pass game, run game, penalties. But you know what? We’re 2-1. I think we can make the improvements and understand that we’re trying to build something. But we have to improve everything. That’s the stage we’re at.

Q: You were hit a few times today and there was a change at center. How do you assess how your offensive line is playing so far? 

TB: They played hard. I think we tried to go a little faster and wear them down a little bit and I thought we did a decent job of that. Those guys are playing hard. They’re working hard to do the right thing and make improvements. It’s a physical game, so that’s what we train for.

(Continue on for more quotes from Edelman, Wilfork, and Gronk)