How Did The New England Patriots React To Clinching The AFC East?

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Dec 14, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) catches the ball in front of Miami Dolphins safety Jimmy Wilson (27) during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots won 41-13. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

James Develin

(On the difficulty of winning the division)
“The NFL is a wild, wild league. Anybody, on any given Sunday, can beat anybody. We just look at it – we just have got to focus on what’s ahead of us. We’ve got to play the Jets down in New York next week. It’s going to be a tough game, they play well down there. We’ve just got to take care of business from week to week.”

(On the boost that Jonas Gray gave the offense in the second half)
“Jonas [Gray] is a great running back. He’s a no-nonsense guy: just gets his pads down and gets those tough yards. It’s fun to block for a guy like that. And when he starts rolling, it’s always good to get the run game going a little bit.”

(On if a lot of adjustments are made at halftime)
“No, no. We knew that we just had to execute better. There was nothing out there that we really had to change, really had to make any drastic adjustments or anything like that. Because really we just weren’t executing in the first half. So we just went out there and made a point to just do our job and do it better. That’s kind of the change that you saw.”

(On Tom Brady’s speed on his 17-yard run)
“Oh man [laughs], [Tom Brady] looked like a gazelle out there. I wish he would tuck it and run a bit more. But no, we’ll see about that.”

Julian Edelman

(On the team’s play)
“The first half, we didn’t really execute what we were trying to do. On the first drive, we moved the ball a little bit here and there and kind of puttered off or fluttered off or whatever you want to call it. We came in and basically just said, ‘Let’s just play each play and try to do your assignment and just try to execute,’ and we were able to do that a little bit better in the second half.”

(On the emotion of the game)
“We gave up a big lead the first time we played these guys, so we just came in here and said, ‘Let’s go back to the fundamentals of what we have to do each and every play.’ It’s not about X’s and O’s; it’s about execution and going out and just doing your job and making a play. It seemed like we were able to do that a little better in the second half. There were a couple things that we still have to work on, and we’ll do that this week, but it was good to come out here and get my sixth division title in the six years that I’ve been here.”

(On the experience of winning the division every year)
“It’s pretty amazing. You put in all the time and the effort in the offseason, and you go through the long days of training camp, and before that you have the OTAs, and you put in all this time and work and effort for this right here. I’ve been fortunate enough to get six, and now we get to play some real football.”

Stephen Gostkowski

(On his record-breaking feat)
“Something like that doesn’t really set in. I’ve said this before, but any accomplishment that I make will be something that I’ll look back on when I’m done playing, and be excited about and probably brag to my kids and my grandkids about, hopefully. It was cool. It was a special game for me. It’s my son’s birthday tomorrow and my whole family is in town. Just a coincidence of something like that happening at home and with a lot of people in town. It was cool because my family doesn’t come to many games. Just happened to come to this one and make it a little more special. I looked over after they announced it and my family was really excited. They were jumping up and down. It was pretty cool. My oldest son turns five tomorrow and my family is from all over the place. My brother’s from Florida and my dad and mom both live in New York. We won, on top of it. It was just a special day. Winning another AFC East Championship and then to get a little bit of recognition was cool, on top of it.

(On being a special teamer here)
“It’s fun. As much work, time, and effort as we put into it, as much as Coach [Bill] Belichick stresses it week-to-week, we feel confident going out there and we want to be a difference-maker in the game, not a reason why a team loses. There’s a big difference. We go out there and play with a lot of confidence. We have a lot of really good players who put a lot of good time and effort into it. Sometimes in high school and college, people might think that’s kind of a diss to not be able to play on offense and defense, but our guys have a ton of pride in playing special teams and it shows. We make a lot of really good plays and we want to be a difference-maker and help the team win.”

(On the moment he found out about the record)
“I knew there was a chance this game. People had been bringing it up to me. I wasn’t trying to count the points during the game. My focus is to try and help the team win and score as many points as possible. It was cool that it happened on a field goal. I was like, ‘did it happen yet or no?’ and then they announced it and it was pretty cool. I was about as fired up as I’ve ever gotten on a kickoff before.”

Rob Gronkowski

(On his touchdown reception)
“It was a good throw by Tom [Brady], good protection, and just a little play action and I just had a seam route, so I just ran up the seam and Tom had a nice pass and we just completed [it] and scored. It was just good execution as a whole on offense.”

(On the team’s emotion at halftime)
“We just knew we could play better. We were terrible the first half as a whole and as myself. We just had to go out there and execute and play together as an offense. The defense was doing a great job and we just had to get out there and make plays and we did in the second half. We made some plays out there as a team and as an offense.”

(On if he saw Tom Brady’s 17-yard run)
“I kind of saw it – I was out there. It was a nice run, so you got to give props to him and he made a very nice play to get the first down and we eventually scored on that drive, so huge props to Brady on that run, it was huge.”

(On if he sees Tom Brady taking off for runs during practice)
“Not really, but whatever it comes down to win he’ll do, so he saw the opening, he ran, and, what was it for – 17 –yards and a first down? That was huge. Huge props to him and he does anything to win.”

(On if his first catch after halftime helped establish a rhythm for the second half)
“Yes, just got to start off with just one play, just one play to get the drive going and get the first down and get going and start clicking from there. It just takes one play at a time, do what you got to do, and just keep on going from there.”