How Did The New England Patriots React To Beating Tennessee?

3 of 4

Dec 20, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) breaks the tackle of Tennessee Titans free safety Daimion Stafford (39) (right) as he runs downfield during the second half of the New England Patriots 33-16 win over the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Alan Branch

(On the defensive effort today)
“I thought we did pretty well as a defense in the first half. I feel like if we want to go to the place that we need to go to later on in the year, then we’ve got to definitely start playing better, finishing the game all 60 minutes. Defensively, we didn’t let them in the game but we gave up some plays that we typically stop on a normal basis. We’ve just got to go out there and put all 60 minutes together and that’ll help us going forward.”

(On your first impression of Joey Iosefa during practice)
“He definitely has a good impression. He has good feet and honestly we don’t thump on the running backs, so I didn’t know that he had a truck-stick ability like he does, but he definitely showed everybody out there.”

(On the excitement of seeing Akiem Hicks score a touchdown)
“We were dying laughing. The funny thing is when a big guy gets a touchdown, no matter what, it’s going to be funny because it doesn’t look normal and it isn’t regular. It doesn’t happen on a regular basis. The big fella got in there and he had to double-catch it for a touchdown, but we got the seven points and I was proud of the big fella.”

Malcolm Butler

(On the win)
“We could have played a whole lot better. It wasn’t perfect, but it’s the NFL and a win is a win, but we most definitely want to take advantage of more opportunities.”

(On re-adjusting from Marcus Mariota to Zach Mettenberger)
“We just continued to play the game. He [Mettenberger] can move too, but we didn’t really change too much. He’s less mobile, but we stuck to the game plan.”

(On the team’s injuries)
“It’s next man up and whoever steps into that role, you’ve got to have confidence in them. I don’t think you’d be out there if the staff and the organization and the teammates didn’t have trust in each other. We’re just going to roll with what we’ve got.”

AFC Power Rankings Week 16: Chiefs rise to No. 2

Rob Gronkowski

(On dedicating today’s game to his friend that recently passed)
“My good friend [Dana Parenteau] loved the game of football, [he] loved being at all my games, always had my back. I definitely dedicate that touchdown to him. I pointed up. I know he was up there watching. [I] just definitely made that score for him and I know he was going crazy knowing that it was dedicated to him.”
(On whether it was difficult to prepare for the game this week in light of his friend’s passing)
“I know he would want me to go out there and whoop some booty, which we did as a team. He’s pumping me up before the games and loves seeing me go out there and ball. That’s what we did today and I know he’s up there and he’s proud.”

(On the contributions from some of the lesser known members of the team today)
“It was great just to see the rotation. Whenever a guy comes in, they just come in and play hard. Everyone works hard at practice no matter who it is so that when they get called into the game they’re ready to play, they know the situation, and they’re ready to play hard.”

Next: Akiem Hicks, Others Speak