How Are The New England Patriots Feeling About The AFC Championship?

5 of 5

Jan 10, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola (80) carries the ball as Baltimore Ravens cornerback Anthony Levine (41) and Baltimore Ravens defensive back Rashaan Melvin (38) defend in the fourth quarter during the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Danny Amendola

(On Tom Brady’s emotion and enthusiasm)

“He’s very emotional. He has a great ability to lift the players around him to their best. He’s our leader and we love playing for him.”

(On starting faster after being down by 14 twice last week)

“You never want to be in that position but at the same time you want to be successful in every single play. Sometimes it doesn’t go that way but at the same time all we can do is focus on this week and prepare our tail off to try to make as many positive plays this weekend.”

(On how different the Colts look defensively)

“They’re playing well. They play hard. They’ve got a bunch of great athletes – really the same guys that we faced last time, here and there [they] have a couple new guys in new spots. They’ve been playing really hard, they’ve been playing really well and we’re excited for it.”

(On whether there is advantage of already facing the Colts this season)

“Every game is different. That’s why we get out there and play. We’re going to watch their film from last year [and] we’re going to watch all their film this year and try to get out there and make plays.”

(On his confidence after making a big play last week)

“You want to make as many plays as you can just to help your team to get points on the board. If that happens you’re going to naturally gain confidence. There’s a lot of work to be done this week and we’re all looking forward to it.”

(On the effect of weather – specifically to special teams)

“Wind, weather, everything comes into play when you’re in the kicking game – how far the ball is going to traveling in the air, where it’s going to travel with the wind. Every play is different too.”

(On if playing on special teams has helped his confidence)

“I love playing special teams. It’s fun, it’s like Braveheart sometimes but it’s a lot of fun. I love every aspect of football, so getting out on the field is fun for me.”

(On having Rob Gronkowski healthy for this game as opposed to last year)

“Gronk is obviously a great tight end, one of the best. He does a lot of great things for us. A health Gronk is a good Gronk.”

(On what getting to the Superbowl means)

“We want to win the championship. We want to be the last team standing. It goes unsaid in this locker room. That’s what we’re working for. We’re focused on this week and we’re going to go out there and prepare today and try to get ready for it.”

Rob Gronkowski

(On controlling emotions during a game of this magnitude)

“You just got to go out there and play football, and definitely it’s an emotional game. When the emotions get rolling you’ve got to put the team first, that’s all. You’ve got to play with emotions – go out there play hard, play physical and be mentally ready. Emotions definitely come into play but you’ve got to be emotionally ready too, no doubt.”

(On whether he feeds off emotion or tries to control it)

“Both – you don’t want to hurt the team at all but at the same time you want to go out there with some fire underneath you and go out there with some passion.”

(On whether the focus ramps up as the team advances deeper into the playoffs)

“Every single game we put details and work into the game. We prepare every single week to the max. This week is like no other, [we’ll] definitely prepare to the max of our ability – put details in and make sure we prepare together as a team and go out there and execute and play like a team, no doubt.”

(On what he sees from LaRon Landry)

“He’s a good player. He’s big, he’s fast and he can keep up with you. [He’s] definitely very good player. They’ve got a lot of great players also so you’ve got to be prepared for anyone and be ready for anyone.”

(On Tom Brady’s emotion on the sidelines)

“That’s always good to see a teammate like that – it gets everyone fired up, it gets everyone passionate. I hope every player does that on the team, but definitely when you see Tom do it, it motivates you and shows how much passion he’s got going on at the moment. It definitely gets you going.”

(On his relationship with Bill Belichick)

“We’re here together as a team. We’re all here for the same goal – to prepare hard, practice hard and go out and get the W this week. We’re just here together to work together, work as a team and get the job done. Whatever it takes”

(On Bill Belichick saying the Colts are the best team they’ve faced, despite beating them by 22 points earlier this season)

“It doesn’t matter about the last game. Teams change, teams get better, teams get worse. Definitely the Colts are playing unbelievable right now. They’ve won two playoff games and they’re very, very good. [We’ve] definitely got to be ready. I would have to agree they’re definitely going to be the best team that we’ve played all year. They’re ready, they’re prepared, they’re fast, they’re big, [and] they’re physical. We’ve just got to be prepared ourselves and go out there and be ready.”

Rob Ninkovich

(On recording at least eight sacks in each of the last three seasons and the importance of playing with consistency)

“I’d like to break that number. I had that in college, too. I think I had a couple of penalties that took a couple away from me. Again, being consistent and not dropping below that number, because that’s the line, that’s the goal. You always have to be consistent throughout the year and I always like to say, ‘be better than you were the year before.’ Or match what you did the year before.”

(On thinking about the big picture as it relates to the AFC Championship Game and what’s next if the team advances)

“Honestly, I just focus in on what I have to do right now and that’s getting ready for practice and go out there and get better because it all starts right now. This is going to be a big game. They’re a good football team. They’ve improved throughout the season and it’s another big challenge for us. We’ve got to play well.”

(On whether he likes not being bigger than the opposing quarterback)

“I’m bigger [laughs]. I’m just kidding. [Andrew] Luck’s a big guy. He’s a strong guy; can run, very smart. Again, it’s another challenge for us.”

(On the team’s success in forcing Luck to make mistakes in the past)

“Everyone has got to do their job and play within the responsibilities of the defense. He’s a guy that’s extended plays in the past. He does a good job of breaking the pocket, getting out and looking for a guy down field and making a good throw. You’re always conscious of that to be under control and understand where he is and not to let him go where he wants to go.”

(On the difficulty, as a defensive player, to play fast but be under control)

“You just have to understand that that’s the way it is going to be. So you go into the week preparing for that. You practice those situations and you just can’t go out there and run up the field, pin your ears back, otherwise it’s just going to hurt you. You do your best to be under control, but still beat the guy in front of you.”