How Did The New England Patriots React To Advancing To The Super Bowl?

5 of 5

Jan 18, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tackle Nate Solder (77) celebrates with defensive end Chandler Jones (95) after scoring a touchdown during the third quarter against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Dont’a Hightower

(On advancing to Super Bowl XLIX)
“This is what everybody does. The summer, the spring, guys train all year long for this opportunity. We were blessed enough to come out and play the way we did to get that opportunity to play in Arizona.”

(On whether he was surprised the defense was able to hold the Colts to seven points)
“Not at all. They’re a great team, but we are a good team as well. We had a great game plan, we came out and we executed. I mean there were a couple of plays that we obviously wanted back, but I think we played really good out there.”

(On how Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner have helped improve the defense this season)
“It’s really, honestly, I don’t want to say it’s just one or two guys because it takes all 11 people to win a football game on both sides. Whether it’s offense, defense or special teams. Those guys, they bring versatility to this defense. We are able to do a lot of different things. Guys [opponents] don’t know who’s coming, who’s dropping [in coverage]. It brings out a lot of versatility.”

(On the Super Bowl matchup against the Seattle Seahawks)
“They’re a great team, but we’re gonna look at film, probably tomorrow, and get ready. We are looking forward to it.”

(On whether the defense feels like it’s heading to the Super Bowl at the right time)
“Again, I feel like we played really well tonight, but Seattle is a really good team. They proved that this year and they’re proving it this year. So we’re going to have to bring our ‘A’ game, most definitely.”

(On how it feels to win the AFC Championship after falling short the last two seasons)
“It feels great. There’s no words that I can use to describe about how everybody feels in this locker room. You look around and people are posing with the trophy, everybody’s smiling; even coach [Bill] Belichick is smiling. It’s just great to see so many guys work so hard and for us to come together and play the way that we did all season; I’m just proud of everything.”

Chandler Jones

(On whether part of tonight’s game plan was Rob Ninkovich being a spy on Andrew Luck)
“Rob Ninkovich does a good job. He’s very versatile; he can play a lot of positions. Like I said, you just see a little bit of his talent tonight.”

(On whether the team sees its Super Bowl XLIX matchup vs. Seattle as a rematch from the 2012 regular season loss)
“We played them two years ago. I don’t see it as a rematch. Like I said, they have different guys on the team; we have different guys on the team. We’ll see them in February.”

(On whether he talked to his brother Arthur Jones after the game)
“I did. I spoke to him after the game and I told him I would see him.”

(On whether Arthur Jones congratulated him after the game)
“Yeah, he did. Of course. The same as I did for him my rookie year [after the 2013 AFC Championship Game].”

(On how long Bill Belichick will let him enjoy the moment before moving on)
“I don’t know. That’s a good question. That’s a really good question. I haven’t seen Bill around here anywhere, but you can hear the music blasting and everyone jumping around, so we’re pretty excited. We will enjoy tonight and get ready for the Super Bowl.”

(On whether that was a fun game to play in)
“It was really fun. The rain and the big plays and all the trick plays. When [Nate] Solder had that touchdown; that was huge. I was yelling for joy. It was a great game and everyone executed and we came out and got the win.”

(On whether he has ever seen Solder with that kind of emotion after his touchdown)
“No, I didn’t. He was actually moving pretty fast. I didn’t see it live, well, I did see it live, but I was looking up at the and I saw him dive into the end zone. Once he crossed the plane it was just great.”

(On the defensive effort)
“Great job by our defense, and I want to highlight that Darrelle Revis had a great play, Jamie Collins had a big play. Everybody played together and it showed on the field. It’s just a brotherhood, and hopefully we can keep that momentum going forward.”

(On takeaways sparking the offense)
“When big plays happen like that, it definitely ignites the offense, ignites the special teams, and as you guys can see, big plays start happening back to back because it’s a chain reaction.”

(On how special it is to reach the Super Bowl considering his injury earlier this season)
“For sure, it feels good. I try not to look back on injuries but there was a time I was just sitting and watching my team play. To have the opportunity to play in the AFC Championship Game and contribute to help my team reach the world championship, it’s great. It’s a great feeling.”

(On how fun the game was today)
“It was fun; it was very fun. I just spoke to [another reporter] about the defense and offense igniting each other as well as the special teams. One play happens – Jamie Collins makes a pick, Darrelle Revis makes a pick – and everyone just feeds off each other.”

(On how satisfying it is to see the body of work the defense has put together)
“Never satisfied, never satisfied. Like I said, we have another game to play. There are some plays we left out on the field that hopefully we can make those in Arizona.”

Brandon LaFell

(On how it feels to have executed in a big game like this)
“We put a lot of emphasis on it during the week. So to come out here and to play the game we played it just shows you that we listen to our coaches, we believe in each other, we correct our mistakes during the week and we come out here and play good ball.”

(On if he had any nerves at halftime without having a catch)
“I wasn’t nervous at all, but it seems like usually, I’m not going to lie, when it comes to halftime usually if I don’t have a catch I’d be frustrated. But I told Shane [Vereen] on the sideline, I said, ‘Usually right now I’m frustrated, but I don’t care who is making the play right now. I just want to win this game and get to the ‘ship.’ I’ll catch a ball all week in practice and not catch one in the Super Bowl, I just want to win.”

(On what it looked like to watch the offense run the ball down the field)

It feels great to impose your will on a team and that’s what we did all night with [LeGarrette] Blount.”

Devin McCourty

(On beating the Colts for the second time this season)
“The biggest thing is I think we stuck to the game plan. We executed our game plan and we came in confident. We believe if we come out and we execute what we talk about all week, we have a chance to beat every team. Today, we executed at a high level I think in all three phases, especially defensively. That one drive where we got two penalties and T.Y. Hilton made a great catch on the sidelines, and that’s what we want. We want teams to have to make great plays to beat us. If you make teams do that all game, you give yourself a chance to win.”

(On Darrelle Revis)
“He’s stepped up all year. This secondary has been great to play in, not just him coming up with the big play tonight, but all the guys – Logan [Ryan] coming in and dominating his matchup, Kyle [Arrington] going out there and dominating his matchup, [Brandon] Browner going out there and dominating his matchup. Every guy that was called to action out there played great. One thing is when you’ve got that guy on one side, you expect him to play great every week. It’s tough, and he comes and he does it every week. No matter what the challenge is, he comes ready to play and he makes plays.”

(On if he’s ever been a part of a more complete secondary)
“I don’t think so. The key thing is this group of guys resets every week. No matter what we come off a big win, a game where we played great, [or] a game where we didn’t play too well, we reset and everybody gets back on it. It starts with me, Revis, Browner and Chung – all older guys that have been in different situations. Revis has played in an AFC Championship Game, I’ve played in one, Browner’s played in one, Chung’s played in one. We’re all over everybody in the secondary because we understand if we play at a high level we’ve got a good chance to win.”

(On going back to the Super Bowl)
“It’s great. It’s funny, the first time you’re just so happy to get there, and now the whole time I’m all in everybody else’s ear about we want to go out there and play well. We want to go out there and win. It’s a crazy game because you get there, and it’s so much work just to get there and losing the last time we were there hurt. The focus is going out there and playing well. I’m going to enjoy this tonight, but I think we’ve got to turn the page fast. We’ve got to play a great team. They wouldn’t be there if they weren’t and to go back two years in a row is tough and they did it. They’re a deserving team and we’ll have our work cut out for us.”

Darrelle Revis

(On going to the Super Bowl at this point in his career)
“It’s pretty awesome. There are rookies that are in the draft every year and get drafted to a great team. There are rookies that play their first year that go to the Super Bowl. There is one every year. Eight years later for me is very surreal. It’s pretty awesome. We worked hard. We worked hard for it. We started out in April, and I just give credit to everybody in this whole organization with how hard we worked and just sticking to it.”

(On if this moment is why he signed with the Patriots)
“Yeah, to play in these big-time games and you play for the obvious reason; to play in the game – the Super Bowl. Collectively as a team, we’ve done that and we’ve made it. Like I said, everybody stuck to our team goals that we wanted to accomplish and now we get to make that and actually play in the Super Bowl.”

(On if there was any panic after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs)
“No, we had a lot of confidence. I think that’s why we perform so well because there are a lot of veteran guys, a lot of guys with experience. Our coaching staff has a lot of experience as well. We have a lot of confidence plus we rode on it this whole time with just the confidence that we have. The game plans that the coaches come up with, and the players that we have. We have a lot of talent on this team across the board, so we believe in everybody across the board. The coaches do as well. You’ve seen it. When somebody’s number is called, they step up and play. Jonas Gray, earlier in the season, he rushed for 200 yards and we just believe that we have a great group of guys who come to work every day and that are very talented.”

(On when he first felt comfortable with the system)
“I’ve been comfortable with it since the first time I stepped in here in April. It’s a little different from where I came from before, but at the same time, yeah, I was comfortable as soon as I got here.”

(On what he saw on his interception)
“I was covering my man, and they tried to run a pick route on Kyle [Arrington], and I saw he couldn’t get there. I just tried to cover his guy and make a play. I saw Andrew [Luck] staring Kyle’s guy down because he couldn’t get there, and I just tried to jump in front of the route.”

Matthew Slater

(On his thoughts about facing Seattle)
“Those guys are good, man. Those guys are good. It’s going to be hard. Obviously, when you get to this game, it’s never easy. These guys have some great, great players in this league and it’s going to be a challenge for us.”

(On how the game today played out)
“We got off to a good start; had a big turnover on special teams. I think that really gave us a boost, but we didn’t really expect the game to go as it did tonight. They’re a good football team. They’ve been playing at a high level and we were fortunate enough to get up on them early, keep our foot on the gas, and have the end result we’re looking for.”

(On going back to the Super Bowl)
“It means a lot. I think as you become a veteran player and get a little bit older in this league, you understand how hard it is to get to this game and you understand the work that it takes to get to this game. I think it makes you value and appreciate that opportunity even more. I know that those of us who were here the last time experienced a lot of heartbreak, so we’ve done that and we have to see how it goes this time.”

Nate Solder

(On LeGarrette Blount’s performance)
“LeGarrette’s awesome. He’s been running great for us. To be a part of that and to be with that group is awesome.”

(On how he would grade his route on his touchdown catch)
“[Laughs] Just proficient. I made it across the goal line.”

(On winning the AFC Championship)
“It’s a dream come true to play a game like that, to win a game and move on to the Super Bowl. We’re all excited.”

(On if he knew he would be called on to catch a pass)
“There’s no way to know that that was coming. When the time came, I did my best as anyone would’ve.”

Shane Vereen

(On playing in the Super Bowl)
“…This is what we’ve dreamed of since we were little kids and now we get the opportunity. Hopefully we can go out there and put on a good show.”

(On playing the Seahawks in the Super Bowl)
“My thoughts are [that] they’re a great team. They’re the defending champions for a reason. And they’re back in the Super Bowl for a reason. Good team, good defense. I’m looking forward to the competition.”

(On how much the team loves LeGarrette Blount)
“[Laughs] We love LG whether he has 250 yards or five yards. He’s a great player, a great teammate. He’s accepted around here and everybody loves him.”

(On how LeGarrette Blount ran the ball Sunday)
“I thought he ran the ball strong, tough. I wouldn’t want to tackle him. I think he ran the ball well. The O-line did a great job tonight.”

Ryan Wendell

(On if it was a fun game in which to play)
“Yeah, absolutely. Being in the rain, running the ball, walking out and hitting people? It’s always fun.”

(On the team’s journey this season)
“It’s a lot of work. We got one more big one and this one is not going to be easy at all. It’s going to be the hardest game of the year coming up.”

(On Nate Solder’s touchdown catch)
“He gave Coach [Bill] Belichick a lot of confidence in practice running it well. When they called it, I was excited and I was happy that he got in there. If it was me, I would’ve choked, I would’ve dropped it. But Nate did a great job.”

(On if the Colts were any different this time around)
“There were similarities and differences. Arthur Jones was back, he wasn’t there last time we played them. Those guys have gotten better the past two months since the last time we played them. They are a great football team. There’s a reason why they were in this game. We’re going to be seeing them every year.”

(On what it took to win the game)
“Bill [Belichick] really stressed this week: If we can just all focus on doing our job on each individual play. Not focusing on the game or the drive or the quarter or anything like that. Just do each play and stack them all up and the game will work out.”