Nov 23, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (left) talks with quarterback Tom Brady (12) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Shortly after the New England Patriots dismantled the Detroit Lions yesterday, the players met with the media to discuss the win.
Q: What does it say about this team that you can run for 250 yards one week and throw 53 times the next and it results in pretty much the same thing: a lot of points?
TB: Yeah, we did a decent job so it was good to – I thought we got off to a good start and then played from ahead. We struggled a little bit there in the third quarter, but rallied there in the fourth. It was a good win. I thought a lot of guys made a lot of great plays. Some penalties really held us back from being a little bit more consistent, but it was a good game. Whatever it takes, we’re going to try to figure out, whatever it takes.
Q: Do you feel like you guys have a competitive advantage in the areas of coaching and preparation?
TB: We get great coaching and we get great preparation. This is the only place I’ve ever been, so I don’t know really how it goes in the other places, but I know as players we always feel very prepared. We work hard at it all week and we get one chance to go out and do it and execute it a week, so it’s fun when we win.
Q: Was it good to see LeGarrette Blount back out there for you guys doing what he does?
TB: Yeah, he made some really great runs. He’s a big guy, he runs hard, and once he breaks your defense, he’s got a little bit of explosion so it was great to see on a couple of those big runs. We’re going to need a lot more of it.
Q: Is your mind already on to the Packers?
TB: I’ll let this one settle in for a little bit and then I’m sure tonight I’ll be getting after it. They’re a great football team. We’ve played a lot of those it seems lately. They’re the next one on the schedule, so it will be a great challenge for us.
Q: It seemed you guys wanted to get the ball out fast against this defense. Were you able to do that?
TB: Yeah, we took some shots down the field that we didn’t come up with that I wish we would have hit, but had some good ball possession-type passes and we hit a few good runs and didn’t really make too many big plays, so I wish we could have done a little better job of that.
Q: How does Tim Wright always get open in the end zone?
TB: We ask ourselves the same thing. Every time we throw to him it’s a touchdown. We’ll try to find him more down there. He does a great job in the coverage and finds the open spots, makes the plays, so it was a big day for that.
Q: Do you feel for a guy likeJonas Gray who had to stand and watch this game?
TB: Yeah, I know. I don’t have much comment on that. I love when everyone is out there contributing, so that’s usually the way I love it the most. Hopefully he’s out there next week.
Q: I know you’re focused on your offense, but has it been fun to watch your defense out there the last few weeks against three pretty good teams?
TB: Yeah, they’re playing great, it’s amazing what they’re able to do with another team’s passing game and shut the run down and really kind of suffocate the passing game. We see it in practice, so I’m glad some other people have to go against it too. They’ve got really good cover guys, good scheme, they’re athletic and they played great today.
Q: What do you think about how Josh McDaniels comes up with a different game plan each week? Does it keep you guessing?
TB: Yeah, Josh is the best. Josh is the best. He’s so smart, gets us all prepared. He’s a great coach. We’re lucky to have him.
Q: How has special teams kind of given this team a spark? If it’s not Julian Edelman it’s Danny Amendola or someone else.
TB: Yeah, Danny made a phenomenal run there on the kick return. That really did spark us. We didn’t have a lot going there and then he made that huge play. It got us the short field. Jules had a great punt return that got called back; that would have been incredible. Those guys are both dangerous with the ball in their hands. This is the time of year where the kicking game really comes into play. You get – not necessarily today – but the weather plays a factor in the kicking game and you get some missed kicks and you get some good returns and good opportunities. Those guys do a great job when they get it, so it’s been fun to see.
Q: This was supposed to be a really tough stretch, but how much of a difference does it make when you see that balance and see how much you can spread it around to different guys?
TB: It’s great when we can spread it around to different guys and it makes us tough to defend. I thought we did a good job of that trying to find out matchups and making the plays. There’re a lot of guys that are making plays out there: Gronk [Rob Gronkowski], Tim [Wright], Jules [Julian Edelman], JoJo [Brandon LaFell]. We’ve got a lot of guys that are contributing, so it’s a lot of fun.
Q: Today was the Salute to Service military appreciation game. Did that make the win that much more special knowing that there were a lot of service men and women in the audience?
TB: Yeah, absolutely. It’s been a fun couple games. Thanking a lot of the guys that have come out – the men and women who have served. Those people and what they’ve sacrificed for us is incredible. Coach [Bill] Belichick has a long history with the navy and he keeps us really well school on Veterans Day and Memorial Day and obviously the last two [Salute to Service] games, so we’re very appreciative and very thankful.
Q: You were asked about coaching and preparation and this team’s understanding of complementary football. After a slow start today, how much appreciation do you have, knowing that you guys will eventually find your stride offensively, that the other units complement what you have?
TB: Well everyone is linked together, so we all feed off each other. Offense, defense, special teams, you need those big plays. We talk about situational football and complementary football quite a bit and it’s exactly what you said: when you’re down and out on offense, the defense does some things to spark it, special teams takes advantage of it and makes a play and then offensively we finally get some momentum based on what they’ve done for us. That’s a very important thing and we’ve found ways to do that and it’s helped us score some points. We’re going to need that here coming