Rob Gronkowski, Brandon Browner, Akeem Ayers React To New England Patriots’ Win Over Chicago Bears

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Oct 26, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) walks off the field with the team Dr. Matt Provencher (R) during the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Akeem Ayeers

On his time on the field)
“I didn’t really know how much playing time I was going to have coming in. I was just trying to prepare the best as I could and just whenever I’m out there, try to make the best of the opportunity.

(On his sack)
“It was a stunt that we had. I was coming around to wrap him and found the opening, and just happened to get through and get the sack.”

(On coming to New England)
“There was a lot going on. Me having to get situated with moving, meeting guys around the building, [learning] the playbook, meeting teammates, and [getting used to] the schedule. Everything is difficult early on but everyone around here made it easy for me and they really worked with me, and that made the transition a lot easier.”

Brandon Browner

(On the defense building momentum for itself on the first few possessions)
“That’s what you always want to do, start fast. And that’s what we did, hit [the Bears] in the mouth early. That was the game plan: hit them in the mouth early and try to get them to shut it down. We put up points early and had them trailing, fighting from behind early on.”

(On how important it was to tackle Matt Forte on catches out of the backfield)
“If I’m not mistaken, I think he is [the Bears’] leading receiver, as far as receptions go. We had to key on him just as well as we had to on [Martellus] Bennett, [Brandon] Marshall and [Alshon] Jeffery.”

(On if matching up against the Bears’ big, physical receivers is what he and Darrelle Revis were brought in for)
“Most definitely. And next week, we’ve got a big matchup. We’ve got to just keep stringing them together.”

Jonas Gray

(On his overall thoughts of the game)
“We knew that this game, we had to get back to the run. The guys up front did a good job. One of the main things we want to do is get good double-teams and inside zone, outside zone, cut the backside off, and the guys up front did a great job all night. It was pretty much just playing with your keys, playing with good vision. Most of those plays, anyone could have ran through those holes. Most of them were blocked and the rest was whoever had a good enough burst. They blocked well up front.”

(On Chicago’s goal-line stand)
“A lot of it was congestion. They gave us some looks that we hadn’t seen. We had to adjust on the run and they got good penetration. Pretty much just good defense.”

(On more players contributing to the team)
“Just like I heard Tom say before, all of us are in the same meeting room together, so the coaches expect us to know [what’s going on]. They did a good job preparing everybody for it. No matter what could happen, they give you all the scenarios, all the situations. As many hands as we can get on deck, those guys are ready. We prepare the best in the league.”

(On facing Denver next week)
“We’ve got some time here to enjoy the win, so we’re going to do that and we’re going to come ready to prepare for a good opponent who’s playing well. Peyton [Manning] is setting all kinds of records. All we’re going to do is get that scouting report, stick our heads in the playbook and the film, and see what we can get.”

Rob Gronkowski

(On his overall thoughts on the game)
“It was a good day overall for the team. Everyone was executing well. The offense was clicking. The defense was playing very well. Overall a great day, a great win, and it’s always good to get a win at home.”

(On getting off to a good start)
“It’s always important to get the offensive rhythm going, especially early. Once we get a first down, I feel like we can pick it up from there. Everyone starts clicking. We did an excellent job as an offense overall, executing out there, making plays. Everyone contributed, got first downs, yards, touchdowns, so it was a great team win overall.”

(On his third-down receptions)
“We know that the completion percentage, and to get a first down from that, is very low, but you just have to go out there and execute and run the route just like it’s any other play. [You’ve] got to get open and Tom [Brady] made some great throws. Just had to catch the ball and get the first down.”

Brandon LaFell

(On if he had fun)
“It was a lot of fun – everybody catching the ball, everybody making plays. Sometimes you see Gronk [Rob Gronkowski] go out there and make a play like he made and you turn into a fan real quick, so it was a lot of fun today.”

(On if he felt good coming into the game)

“Yeah, we felt good. We knew they were going to play a lot of zone coverage, and we just go out there, have good spacing, catch the ball [and] protect the ball because those guys – I think they lead the NFL since 2010 in takeaways, strip fumbles and stuff like that. We knew what type of game it was. We just had to go out there and execute.”

(On setting the tone fast)
“Yeah, we kind of figured it out. We come out, play fast, get the first first down in the series, get things going. And then also, [when we] play ahead, we’re a different team, and the quicker we score points, the whole team feeds off that.”

(On if he’s ever seen Tom Brady this dialed in)
“Yeah, every day in practice. He’s like this every day in practice. What’s been so good about here, the same looks we get out there at practice with Malcolm [Butler] and the guys on scout team, we come out here and it’s just allowed us to play fast. We’ve seen the look in Tom already throwing the ball like that all week, so it’s allowed us to play faster.”

(On using his size)
“It’s just about being a big guy. Obviously I’m not as fast as the [defensive backs] and the safeties, and some of the linebackers are really fast too. I just have to use my body as leverage to out-fight big guys and use it like a basketball move to box-out. I’m just using the body to get open.”

Devin McCourty

(On Sunday’s win)
“It was just good coming out here and getting the win. You come from 10 days off – a little extra time – and that’s how you want to come out and play. We took advantage, I think, of our preparation time and it showed out there. So it was a good win for us. We’ll enjoy it tonight and then get ready to go. We know that feeling we had walking off that field in Denver. We know it’s going to be a tough game and we’ve got to be ready to go for next Sunday.”

(On what the defense is doing better in the last few weeks)
“Just playing football. There’s no panic here. We prepare each week for the opponent and when we put in the work, it shows. We’re not going to get the same type of game or the outcome we want maybe sometimes, but as long as we keep putting in that work that we’ve been putting in all season, it shows. Coming off a tough one Thursday night, this is a good feeling coming in and getting a win.”

(On the play of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner)
“That’s why they’re here. They went out there and they challenged [the Bears’ wide receivers] on every play and they made plays. I think, coming in, we know that when I’m back there at safety, I have complete confidence in both of those guys, no matter where they’re at – left, right, inside. I know that they’re going to do a great job and I think that’s the confidence that this defense is playing with right now.”

Zach Moore

(On the win)
“It’s a great team win overall. Great play by the defense and you have to keep stringing games like that together.”

(On forcing a second-quarter fumble returned by Rob Ninkovich for a touchdown)
“I was in the three-technique. Rush up the field, he [Bears quarterback Jay Cutler] was wrapped up by [Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower]. It’s the way we play – first man in, second man strip [the ball]. I saw him [Cutler] wrapped up and came in and hit the ball. I didn’t even know I hit the ball out, I just knew to try and strip it.”

(On how mental preparation has helped him prepare for his on-the-field contributions)
“I would say there’s definitely room for improvement. Try to take this game, go look at the film, study it and see what I could have done better, try to improve on that and move on to the Broncos.”

(On how much it helps having fellow rookie defensive lineman Dominique Easley in the system)
“We do feed off of each other. Same rookie class and obviously it’s fun being out there with your fellow classmates. He played a good game today. I would say we all did as a defense and we’ve got to take the step forward and move on to Denver.”

(On the importance of establishing a pass rush without defensive end Chandler Jones in the lineup)
“It’s critical. He was the pass rush on the team. We have to fill that void any way that we can, so just great defense, great team effort. If we can get it done like that then we will be better moving forward.”