How Are The New England Patriots Ignoring The Noise And Focusing On The Super Bowl?

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Jan 18, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (50) during the fourth quarter in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Connolly

Q: What did you have for breakfast?

DC: Some eggs and some sausage. It was good.

Q: What’s your reaction to everything that happened yesterday with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick up here answering questions?

DC: I think they did a good job of handling it and I think everything that needs to be talked about on that subject has been discussed. I’d like to focus on the game we have next week against Seattle.

Q: How hard is it for you to get the guys to focus on the game and not on any potential distractions?

DC: There’s always noise. Throughout the season, there’s always something that can draw your attention away from the game. So, it’s nothing new. It’s something we always have to try to focus on the task at hand and just focusing on the game. We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing and just focus on our job.

Q: What are some of your initial impressions of the Seahawks defense?

DC: They’re very good; a very good defense. They play with a lot of energy; a lot of quickness. They have a great front; very disruptive players in [Michael] Bennett and [Cliff] Avril, [Bruce] Irvin, guys like that. Their secondary is very good as well. [They’re] defending champions. They’re in this game for a reason. They’re a very good team, so we’ve got our work cut out for us playing against them.

Q: What can you say about Nick Caserio and the job he’s done?

DC: Obviously he works with the personnel, bringing the guys in. I don’t know all the ins and outs of what they have to do, but generally they do a good job of having guys that buy into what we do and work hard. That’s what we expect from our teammates and I think they do a good job of bringing those guys in.

Q: You’re not familiar with Seahawks, as you were with the Ravens and Colts. How much more difficult is it to prepare for a team you can only watch on film, that you don’t have as much game experience against?

DC: It is a little bit more difficult. We have to rely solely on our film, our film study. There are always teams that we play that we don’t play every year. Obviously teams in our division we play a lot; like you said, the Ravens we play every year. There are always new players on a team so getting familiar with those guys a lot of times you have to depend on the film. In this case, it’s going to be the whole defense [you’re] getting familiar with with just watching film.

Q: How much of a confidence booster was the Colts game for the offensive line?

DC: Definitely it was a good game. It was good to get a win because we can continue playing and play in the Super Bowl. I think everybody is excited for the opportunity that we have. We just want to keep building on what we’ve been trying to do all season and that’s to improve every week. I think last week we improved from the week before and hopefully in the Super Bowl we can improve again.

Q: How do you expect the Super Bowl crowd to be?

DC: You never know. Sometimes it can be divided, it can be one-sided. Who knows? Fans will be cheering for one thing and they might [be] loud on third downs, they might be quiet on first down. You never know. You always have to [be] prepared for both – using the cadence, using the sideline cadence, whatever. You have to be prepared for anything.

Matthew Slater

(On if he watched the Seahawks come back in the NFC Championship Game)

“No, we were preparing for our game. Obviously, we’ve seen it now on tape. [Seahawks have] character guys. It starts with their coach and it starts with their quarterback and the guys that they have on defense. Character guys across the board.”

(On if one play can swing momentum of a game)

“I certainly believe that it can. That’s the nature of our sport. Big plays, especially when you’re playing at home like they [Seahawks] were can make all the difference at the end of the game.”

(On the significance of special teams in this game)

“I think it will be huge. What you have are two units that are very well coached and I think when you look at those 15, 20 plays over the course of the game, as I have said often times throughout the season, you expect things to just be routine. We punt, they fair catch or get a small return and vice versa, but if we’re able to have a momentum-swinging play, as we just talked about, it can change the game, so we have to make sure we’re ready if that play comes our way and we have to make sure we prevent them from having a play going in their favor.”

(On the benefit of having a coach with Bill Belichick’s experience in Super Bowls)

“I think it definitely helps to have a coach who has led men into this situation before and knows what to expect. Obviously the game is not too big for him and he’s going to get us in the right frame of mind to play and he’s going to prepare us as far as Xs and Os are concerned and put us in the best situation to have success. We definitely feel good about having a guy who is arguably the best coach of all-time in your corner.”

Darrelle Revis

(On his first impressions of the Seahawks)

“They’re very physical. They’re very talented; they play tough, they play hard, even in the running game. You see Marshawn [Lynch] running the ball, 40 or 50-yard gains and they’re blocking down the field. Our secondary knows it’s going to be a physical game.”

(On the challenge the secondary faces in defending Russell Wilson)

“We’ve got to plaster. He extends a lot of plays and he makes a lot of plays with his legs. We’re very familiar with that, we’ve played a lot of great quarterbacks, including him, who can hurt you with his legs and in the passing game, so we’re very aware of that in the secondary.”

(On what he means by ‘plastering’)

“Plastering is once a receiver runs his route he might look back and the quarterback is scrambling. He tries to come out of his route and actually go vertical or he comes back to the ball and tries to catch it.”

(On if he has had a moment to appreciate his first experience going to the Super Bowl)

“I’m trying to. Everything is surreal right now. I’m actually asking some of the guys who have been here that are on this team, you know, ‘What’s the process?’ Vince [Wilfork] has been helping me. Dev [Devin McCourty] has been helping me and even [Brandon] Browner. It’s surreal and I’m just trying to go through the process the best way I can.”

Akeem Ayers

(On facing a quarterback like Russell Wilson and the challenge of containing him)

“Yeah, I mean, just don’t let him get out of the pocket, but at the same time we don’t want to not bring the rush or not do the things that we want to do.”

(On how well Wilson balances his game)

“I mean, he’s just real good at extending the plays and he’s also a good runner, so it’s definitely a challenge when you’re playing against a quarterback like him to buy time, throw the ball downfield or even pick up the first down with your legs.”

(On if he has ever tackled Marshawn Lynch before)

“Yep, I have. I played against him, I believe my second year. He’s a good running back, solid running back. Never goes down from the first tacklers. He usually has to be gang-tackled and a lot of times he gets out of that.”

(On if Lynch hits defenders hard)

“He’s definitely a big running back.”

(On if he’s faced a quarterback like Russell Wilson before)

“I wouldn’t say so. He’s not one of the big quarterbacks; he’s a lot shiftier. A lot of times he’s hard to find in the pocket with all the big linemen. Like I said, he’s real elusive and real shifty and makes great decisions.”

Logan Ryan

(On his thoughts about the Seahawks)

“They’re a good team. They’re the best team in the NFC. We’re the best team in the AFC, so we need to have these next couple of days and the upcoming week to prepare and we’ll see.”

(On the challenge of facing Russell Wilson)

“Everyone’s got to do their job. The people that got to rush need to rush, the people that need to cover need to cover and we’ve all got to do our job a little better and it’ll take care of itself.”

(On how tough Marshawn Lynch is to tackle)

“I’ve never tackled him.”

(On if Lynch seems like a tough player to tackle)

“He looks like a good player.”

Julian Edelman

(On if he sees any relation between how the Seahawks and the Patriots play)

“They’re a really good team. They came back against an unbelievable team in Green Bay and they played the situations out correctly and they executed some tough plays such as an onside kick, getting the ball back, scoring [and] executing the overtime situation. They’re a fundamentally sound team when it comes to all of that stuff. It’s definitely going to be a tough match.”

(On the challenges of playing a team like that)

“Right now it’s trying to prepare for them. We’ve got a week. It’s a crazy week with the Super Bowl. Since the last time I was there I remember just kind of blocking out and trying to make a routine and going out and trying to prepare to the best of your ability and unfamiliarity. That’s what I’m worried about right now.”

(On Jeremy Lane’s comments about Rob Gronkowski)

“I’ve never met Jeremy. He can have his opinion. I think Gronk is really good and I’m glad he’s on our team.”

Rob Gronkowski

(On facing Seattle’s defense)

“No doubt about it. The Seattle Seahawks [have a] very, very, very good defense. They’ve got tough mentally and physically players all throughout their defense at every position. We’ve got to be ready. We’ve got to practice hard; we’ve got to prepare hard. We’ve got to make sure we are ready come game time because they’re good.”

(On his thoughts on Kam Chancellor)

“He’s got great size, he’s got great length and he’s an excellent player. He brings it on the field no doubt about that and we’ve definitely got to be ready. We’ve got to not just be ready for him but we’ve got to be ready for the whole defense.”

(On his excitement for the Super Bowl)

“I’m super excited no doubt about that. I mean I can’t wait for the game. I’ve been [excited] every single time a playoff game is over – I can’t wait for the next game and now it’s the Super Bowl game. I’m super excited and I’m super amped up. I can’t wait. It’s going to be a lot of fun. [We’re] definitely playing a great opponent and I’m super pumped and excited. I can’t wait.”