Patriots Postgame Quotes & Video – 9/7/2008

New England Patriots players comment on their 17-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, September 7, 2008.

Randy Moss, Wide Receiver
(On his 51-yard reception on the last play of the first quarter)
“Well, it was actually a play designed to try to get deep into Kansas City’s territory. When I came off the ball I saw the corner and the safety squat, meaning they had their feet flat-footed. I just thought I would try and make a play. I cut my route off and just went deep. The offense just executed. I think in this game when you have 11 guys on the same page good things happen. When you have one of those 11 not on the same page as everyone else then bad things happen. We did some good things out there but on that particular play everybody was on the same page.”

(On why he cut his route off on his 51-yard reception)
“Well I cut my route off because they were in the vicinity where I was suppose to break to catch the ball. It was just an adjustment that I made and hopefully the quarterback [Matt Cassel] saw the adjustment. Like I said, we were all on the same page and we got out of there.”

(On how bad it was to see QB Tom Brady get injured and on QB Matt Cassel’s play)
“Anytime you have a starter go down, no matter if it is your quarterback or anybody [else], I think it hurts. By him [Tom Brady] being the face of the New England Patriots and Tom being who he is and the competitor that he is, it actually…it kind of hurts to be honest with you. I know the show must go on and hopefully Matt Cassel is ready to step in. From a team standpoint we are ready to embrace him and let him lead us. I don’t know what Tom’s situation is; I don’t know how serious it is. Knowing that he didn’t come back to the game…I was talking to Jabar Gaffney towards the end of the game after he [Tom Brady] went in the locker room, every time the fans cheered I looked over at the door [of the locker room tunnel]. I was like a little kid at the candy store just hoping you would see that No. 12 come out those doors and up the steps. Like I said, every time the fans cheered I looked at that door so basically I was just snapping my neck around every time. Late in the fourth quarter and after halftime, when I knew he wasn’t coming back, I don’t know his injury or what happened but all I know is he didn’t come back. Matt Cassel had a hell of a game and hopefully next week (at the New York Jets) he can pick up where he left off.”

(On if it was tough for the team to come back after QB Tom Brady was injured)
“I really don’t know how everybody was feeling. I am talking from my perspective and how I was feeling. I don’t know how the team was feeling. Anytime you lose a key guy, like a quarterback, it hurts. Everybody holds their breath. I just saw the play actually after the game was over on the replay. It kind of looked bad. I don’t know his injury, what happened, how long the injury may affect him or what it may be. He wasn’t out there for the rest of the game and anytime something like that happens there is a concern. Hopefully Tommy boy will bounce back. The show must go on so we look forward to next week.”

(On how effective the offense was today)
“Well of course there were some bumps in the road. I think our running game stepped up big today. Laurence [Maroney], Sammy [Morris], Heath Evans, LaMont Jordan and the offensive line did a hell of a job opening up holes and letting the backs find a way to go. It was a good game even though there were bumps in the road but every team has that. I think that a lot of people are really spoiled from last year by just being able to see our offense move up and down the field. It is not going to be like that every week. Some weeks you are going to move the ball and some weeks you are going to struggle. Today was just a heads-up victory from all sides – special teams, defense and offense – we pulled together.”

(On what he thought of the hit that injured QB Tom Brady)
“I don’t really want to get into it. For me personally, I think it was dirty. I didn’t really see anything because I was running down the field. It looked dirty to me. I have never been a dirty player. I honestly don’t know how to play dirty. I just play the game. Anytime you see something like that that looks foul and looks dirty it opens your eyes. To me personally, it looked dirty.”

(On if he thinks the NFL should look into the hit that injured QB Tom Brady)
“I don’t really know. It is not my job and not my decision to make. I have never been into dirty play. When stuff like that happens, of course it opens eyes. That particular situation opened my eyes just seeing what happened. It is not my decision. Hopefully the league will look into it. If it’s good it’s good. If its’ bad it’s bad. They (NFL) will handle it.”

(On if QB Tom Brady’s injury makes him feel like he should show more leadership)
“No, I have been doing the same thing I have been doing for 11 years. I don’t plan to change. I think that everybody knows that with the loss of Tom [Brady] today for this game, we knew we lost a leader for three quarters. I think it isn’t just my job to step up to lead but also the other captains and leaders of the team to step up and lead. I don’t really consider myself someone that leads by my mouth. I think I try and lead out there by example; by going out there and playing. We are a team here so whatever the team needs I am willing to do.”

Matt Light, Tackle
(On Tom Brady’s injury)
“I don’t know what his status is, but anytime your starting quarterback goes out of the game, especially with a guy like Tom that has so many qualities on the field that lead to our success and who is our ultimate leader on offense, it’s a bad feeling.”

(On Matt Cassel’s performance)
“I think he’s taken a lot of fire, especially in this preseason. I felt like his job as a backup quarterback is to understand everything we do on offense and be able to step in there and perform at a high level. That’s what’s expected of him and that’s what he did.”

(On the difference between Brady and Cassel)
“It’s business as usual. Other than a few things that we may need to talk about in the huddle, between him and the receivers and everything else and even us up front, it’s pretty much business as usual. I thought he did a good job coming in and obviously made some big plays for us. It’s nice to see that when it happens. Like I said, he’s had a lot of criticism passed down on him, and I felt like he stepped up and played like a professional.

Wes Welker, Wide Receiver
(On Brady’s injury)
“Obviously you try to stay confident in the game, but at the same time you’re looking at your starting quarterback and your friend out there and you’re hoping and praying that he’s OK.”

(On trying to help Cassel)
“I let him know that we have his back and we’re going to go out there and do the best we can for him to try and make plays and make his job as easy as possible. I think he did pretty good for a guy who you all thought should have been cut. I think he did an excellent job coming in and he did really well.”

(On Cassel’s 51-yard completion to Randy Moss)
“That was a great play by him and Randy. He threw right on the money and Randy ran a great route. That was a big play for us and really got us started and we were able to finish from there.”

Sammy Morris, Running Back
(On the Patriots’ 98-yard touchdown drive)
“I think Matt [Cassel] played well and he played with good intensity. He was able to remain calm. He’s been playing hard and we have a lot of faith in him.”

(On his performance)
“I felt good. It’s been a long time for me. I haven’t played since last October so it’s been a long time coming.”

Tedy Bruschi, Linebacker
(On whether the defense had to step up in Tom Brady’s absence)

“We always have that feeling. I think we’ve had a track record around that when guys go down we just sort of anticipate and the next person in line is prepared. Hopefully, he did his work. We know that he did his work during the week so we just keep playing.”

(On the defense’s stance in the red zone)
“That was important for us. It was an emphasis for us this training camp to start off on a good foot in the red area because we had our struggles in that area last year so to get a few stops was a great feeling.”

Adalius Thomas, Linebacker
(On what he thought the defense did well)
“It was just the way that we hung in there. The way we did on the goal-line stands, really controlling the line of scrimmage and not really giving up a lot. We did let some plays up, but we’ve really got to go back and look at things tomorrow to really assess everything that we did.”

(On Damon Huard’s intended pass for Tony Gonzalez on third and goal in the fourth quarter)
“They’d been focusing on him on third downs; that was one thing. You know that he’s one of the greatest tight ends in the league right now. We didn’t want to give them what they wanted. We wanted to let them go to someone else. It just happened on that play that we had him doubled.”

Laurence Maroney, Running Back
(On if the running backs felt more pressure to perform after Tom Brady got hurt)
“We knew everyone had to step up on offense and defense and especially us as running backs and set the tone for the game”

(On his performance today)
“I could have been better but for the most part I feel I played fairly well. The o-line did a good job getting me to the line of scrimmage and after that anything can happen.”

(On how he thought Matt Cassel did)
” I thought he played an outstanding game. He came in and stepped up and took control of the team. He had a great first play and we just took it from there.”

(On how the Patriots will react if Tom Brady is out for a while)
“Tom is definitely our leader, but the team is the key factor. We need to stick together as a team and play together as team which is the key to a victory.”

Dan Koppen, Center
(On Matt Cassel’s performance)
“I thought he did a great job. He prepares himself every week like a starter and he wants to perform well when he is in there and I think he did a real good job for us today.”

(On if the 51-yard pass to Randy Moss set the tone for Matt Cassel)
“I think it was just big for him to get his first completed pass, not necessarily a 51-yard throw down the field. It was a great call and everyone did their job. He was able to stand up there and make a throw and we took it from there.”

(On how the team will react if Tom Brady is out for a while)
“Tom is our leader but we have to play with what we got out there. You can’t control a lot of things that happen and you can only really control what you do every play. We just need to move on and get the job done. Everyone needs to rally together and the defense has to play well, which they did today. They made a huge stop for us today at the end of the game but they were good in the red area all day. ”

Rodney Harrison, Safety
(On their red zone defense)
“It was definitely an issue last year and is something we focused on in the off-season and training camp. If you want to win close games you have to step up in the red zone and I think we did a good job today.”

Deltha O’Neal, Cornerback
(On if the defense put the game on its shoulders once Tom Brady left)
“That’s always our mentality. Any adversity, we have to put it on our shoulders. Coming into the game before any adversity we always put it on our shoulders. So it was just a bigger challenge for us. We tried to hold them to three points or however many points they had and help the offense a little bit.”

(On his game-saving tackle on Dwayne Bowe’s long reception in the fourth quarter)
“He just made a play. Hats off to him, he did a wonderful job and put them into scoring position. I was just thinking, ‘Get him down so we don’t go into overtime. Get him down, get him down. We can stop them.’ Once I got him down we had four downs to try to stop them.”

(On his pass break-up on the last play of the game)
You know, that’s just a gut-check. It’s the last play, fourth down, you know they’re going to pass it. Nine times out of ten it’s either going to go to [Tony] Gonzalez or [Dwayne Bowe]. [Bowe] was on my side. I was thinking, ‘This ball is coming to me, this is a gut-check. I’ve got to play my part and play my position.'”

Logan Mankins, Guard
(On if he thought the hit on Tom Brady was a dirty play)
“I saw the fumble and was already on the bench before I knew Tom was down, so I don’t know what happened.”

(On what his mindset was when he saw Brady was down)
“You’re just like, ‘Come on, Tom, get up.’ And then Coach comes and tells you that Matt [Cassel] is in so you’ve got to go back to work.”

(On if that was hard to do)
“Not really. Football players are used to people getting hurt. You know that if a guy goes down the next guy has to step up and we’ve got to move forward.”

(On if it was tough seeing Brady go down when it’s the offensive line’s job to protect him)
“Oh yeah. Tom, he’s the best in the league and he’s our guy. We always want him in there. We take a lot of pride in protecting Tom and then when you see him get hurt by a guy we were probably blocking, it will bother you, especially if that was your guy.”

Ellis Hobbs, Cornerback
(On his performance Sunday)
“I try to play 60 minutes. When he caught the touchdown…hey, he gets paid, too. He went sky-high. I jumped, he jumped, and he’s a big body. That’s the life of a DB, you can’t worry about that stuff. You go out and make the plays and as long as, at the end of the day, you’re making more positives than negatives, you know it’s a good day at the office.”

(On if his eyes got wide when he saw he had a chance to record a sack on a corner blitz)
“They get wide from the jump, I’m just glad he called it. You only get so many. That might be my last one for the season, but you make them count. As you’re running toward them, all you’re doing is just praying that he holds the ball that much longer. When you get there, you just try to unleash it on him.”

(On his interception)
“It was basically the same situation on the goal line when [Bowe] caught the touchdown. Anytime you overload, [Damon Huard] read it, he saw that it was single coverage over here. I couldn’t believe he was running the same route, but it worked for him to get the touchdown. Instincts just took over, I stayed squared, and just made a play on the ball. That’s the final thing: Catch the ball. I did that and made a good play.”

Ty Warren, Defensive End
(On if the defense’s good red zone play was encouraging)
“Yeah, I think the way things went in the red zone in the latter part of the game was good for us, just because of the way we played in the red zone last year, which wasn’t so good until the later part of the season. But it was definitely good to get off with a good start.”

(On how worried he is about Brady’s injury status)
“We can’t be too worried about it. We definitely have some concern because he’s a leader on this team. He has helped lead us to a lot of wins over the years. So there will be some concern, but…whatever the case may be, we have to play next Sunday.”