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January 27, 2015 at 2:36 PM

Media day Patriots’ quotage: head coach Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, Darrelle Revis, LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Browner, Devin McCourty

So there are a mountain of press conference transcripts being released by the NFL. Here’s a few of the more important or more interesting ones from the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady didn’t say much. Darrell Revis talked about his comparisons to Richard Sherman and who is the best in the NFL. LeGarrette Blount talked about the Seahawks’ defense that are not immortal. Brandon Browner talked about his early comments about injuring Richard Shermand and Earl Thomas and other things. And Devin McCourty is always pretty interesting.

Bill Belichick 

BillB

Seattle times photo/Dean Rutz

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(on if he feels the media coverage surrounding the recent controversy has been demeaning to him and the organization) “Well, we’re just focused on Seattle this week. That’s it. So it’s all about Seattle, it’s all about us getting ready to play Sunday. That’s where all of our attention is. I’m not really worried about the rest of that.”

(on what will be the key to beating Seattle on Sunday) “Seattle’s a great football team. We’re going to need a great effort out of everybody: our offense, defense, special teams, coaching staff. Seattle’s very good in all phases of the game. They’re well coached. They have a lot of great players. You can see why they were a championship team last year and why they’ve had so much success with the No. 1 seed in the NFC this year. So we’re going to have to do a lot of things well, we’re going to have to do them consistently for four quarters and that will be a big challenge for us. It’s going to take all of the above.”

(on if he has a special message for fans traveling to the Super Bowl from New England) “We have great support from our New England fans. They’ve been there all the way through the season – some cold games, some not great weather games at the end of the year, but they’re always there for us. We’re happy to see them. We saw a lot of them in San Diego (earlier in the season) and that was awesome, too.”

(on what the difference is between his first appearance in the Super Bowl with the New York Giants and this Super Bowl) “I mean, I wasn’t the head coach in that game, so that was a little bit different. But, you know, it’s obviously grown. But from a football standpoint, it’s a lot the same. You’ve got a week to prepare in your home city and then you’ve got a week to adjust and prepare in wherever it is you’re playing. The schedule’s pretty much the same in terms of the media, the families coming in, the days leading up to the game. So, I mean, there’s a lot of carryover, there’s a lot of continuity. That being said, every team’s different, every game’s different, every location’s different, so each one’s unique. But I think there’s a lot of carryover.”

(on if he is preparing for this Super Bowl the same way he has in previous Super Bowls) “Well, again, each one’s a little bit different. I think in some of those games that we could reference going back to the Giants or even at New England, a lot of times we played those teams earlier in the season, which obviously isn’t the case here with Seattle – we played them in 2012. But (with) the Giants, we had played Buffalo a few weeks before. In ’90, we had played Denver earlier in the season, and we played the St. Louis Rams in 2001. So there are some things like that that are a little bit – like I said, each one’s a little bit different. In this case, Seattle’s a team that we don’t know very well from the last two years. So that presents a little bit of a different situation for us, as it does them. It’s the same for them.”

(on Seattle’s secondary) “Well, the Seahawks have a great secondary, they have a great defense, period. They’re very well coached. (Seattle Head Coach) Pete (Carroll) is a former defensive back coach, so as you would expect, his teams are very good, they’re very fundamentally sound, they’ve got great schemes, and they have great players back there. They have a lot of them. They played with different guys throughout the course of the year at safety and corner due to some injuries and also their usage of multiple defensive backs. They’re all pretty good.”

(on which New England player is most important to their success) “Everybody’s important. I think everybody who plays will be important. Each person will have a role to play in this game – every coach, every player on offense, defense, and special teams. We’ll need everybody to be at their best.”

(on if he still has fun and still gets excited after coaching all these years) “This is what you work all year for. This is what you work all year for. We started back in, really, the day after the AFC Championship Game last year in terms of building the team and trying to figure out how we can get better, going all the way back to the offseason workouts in April, OTAs, training camp, and all those things. So this is what it all comes down to. It’s exciting to be here and it’s an honor to be in this game and it’s an honor to coach in it.”

(on what coaching advice he has for young coaches and young players) “My advice would be enjoying playing because that’s a much shorter window. You’ll have plenty of time to coach throughout the rest of your life, but you can only play this game for a fairly short period of time and it’s a great game to play. So if you have an opportunity to play it, play it, and then when that’s over, if you want to coach it, there’ll be plenty of time left for that.”

(on if the controversy surrounding the team could bring any positives for the team) “We’re focused on Seattle.”

(on his relationship with quarterback Tom Brady) “Tom and I have been together for 15 years, so I would say our relationship covers a lot of ground. We played golf together for three days at Pebble Beach last year.”

(on how Seattle’s defense has evolved since their last matchup against each other in 2012) “Well I think Coach Carroll will tell you that their defense is pretty much the defense that he learned and coached in 1977 at Arkansas. So, they have some variations and some modifications, but their defense is their defense. He’s been doing it a long time. I’d say they’ve gone up against everything they can go up against: great quarterbacks, great receivers, great running games, great offensive lines. They’ve always been good. I think that they have a great system. As I said, they’ve been able to compete against everybody. I’m sure they’ll feel the same way this week.”

(on his relationship with Carroll) “Good. Great. Not a coach in the NFL I respect more than Pete Carroll. He’s a tremendous coach. He and I have kind of come up together in roughly the same era. We’ve both been defensive coordinators, we’ve both been head coaches. I have a ton of respect for what Pete does as a coach, how good of a fundamental teacher he is, the way his teams play. I’ve studied him from afar – we’ve never worked together. Studied Pete from afar over a long period of time. I’ve learned a lot from what he does, and indirectly, I think he’s made me a better coach. I have all the respect in the world for Pete and his staff.”

(on if he has any pregame rituals) “No, not really.”

(on if he and Brady have talked about their legacies together leading up to this game) “We’re just focused on this game. We’re not really worried about any of the past games or anything in the future. We just want to get our best game out there Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. That’s all this week’s about.”

(on the last three movies he has seen) “Last three movies I saw: Unbroken, American Sniper – those two for sure. I think back to what I saw in the summer, but those two for sure.”

(on what his favorite movie is starring actor Joe Pesci) “Home Alone. Definitely Home Alone. No question about that. Home Alone and Home Alone 2 over the Christmas holidays. My Cousin Vinny. Put them all in there.”

(on New England running backs coach Ivan Fears) “Ivan was here when I – I mean, I knew Ivan from – again, he’s been in the league a long time and we didn’t work together until I came here to the Patriots in 2000. Ivan was already here. He coached the receivers for a few years then shifted to the running backs. Ivan’s obviously a very experienced coach, steady, hard-working, very consistent guy. He’s got a great energy for the game and I think everybody just likes being around Ivan. He’s a good guy for the team, good coach, works very hard, and he’s had a great coaching career.”

(on if there is anything specific he finds troubling about Seattle’s offense or defense) “There’s a lot of things I find troubling about their offense and their defense. I mean, they’re a great football team. They win games a lot of different ways. Last week against Green Bay, they won with a fake field goal and an onside kick. Those were the two most critical plays in the game – the kicking game. They’re a great offensive team; they’re a great defensive team; they led the league in defense, yards, rushing, points, everything. Offensively, they lead the league in rushing by, I don’t know, 30 yards ahead of the next team. Whatever it is. They’ve got a great quarterback, got a great running back, they’re a very experienced team. So, yeah, there’s a lot of things that worry me about Seattle. Pretty much everything.”

(on if it is valuable to have previous head coaching jobs in the NFL and what do you learn from that first head coaching job) “I think every game, every week, every year is a great experience. I’ve learned things every year that I’ve been in the league, no matter what capacity it’s been in. Hopefully I’ll keep learning. I’ve got a lot to learn.”

(on what he gets from studying Carroll) “Again, I think the way he prepares his teams, the way his teams play – again, the fundamentals, the adjustments. I mean, really everything about their team. The way they handle situations. They’re a smart football team, and it all starts with him. As I said, I’ve known him for a long time, I have a lot of respect for him. The more I look at what they do and what he does, the more impressed I am.”

(on if there is a Seattle defender that serves as the core and is the leader of the defense) “They’ve got a lot of them. I mean, where do you want to start? They’ve got great players on the defensive line: (Michael) Bennett’s a great player; (Kevin) Williams is a strong, physical player inside; (Tony) McDaniel; they get a great edge rush from obviously (Bruce) Irvin and (Cliff) Avril, (O’Brien) Schofield, (Bobby) Wagner, and K.J. Wright. They’ve done a great job. They’ve got great depth at linebacker. Secondary, (Kam) Chancellor and (Earl) Thomas are probably as good of safeties as we’ll face all year or that’s been in the NFL for – I mean, that’s a great group of safeties. Corners are outstanding. (Byron) Maxwell’s done a good job for them this year – he’s played outside, he’s played inside. They’ve got (Richard) Sherman, they’ve got guys all over the place. Corners are big, fast, long. Safeties are hard hitters. Linebackers run well. I don’t think it’s just one guy – you’ve got to deal with all of them. And they’re well coached.”

(on how offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels has changed since rejoining the coaching staff after he left New England to become the head coach in Denver) “I mean, Josh did a great job for us. He’s always done a great job for us. When he came here back in 2000, 2001 – does a great job with the offense, works hard, very well prepared, great rapport with the quarterbacks and the entire offensive staff and the players, and I love having Josh on our staff. Really, I mean, I’m lucky to have a great staff and very fortunate to have Josh. You’d have to Josh about what his experiences were somewhere else. I don’t know.”

(on what gave Seattle the edge in their last matchup against each other in 2012) “Well I would say Seattle played a lot more competitively than we did.”

(on if Seattle will review game film from New England’s loss earlier this season to Kansas City) “I don’t know. I can’t speak for Seattle. We obviously didn’t play very well, didn’t coach very well that night. Chiefs were a much better team. They totally – they dominated us. I’ve said it many times, it is what it is. Coach (Andy) Reid and his staff did a great job that night.”

(on why his system has worked so consistently and how he has managed to remain the head coach for such a long period of time despite the high amount of turnover with coaching jobs in the league) “I don’t know. We just try to do what we do and do the best we can. That’s all. I can’t really speak for other teams and what they do and why they change or don’t change. I don’t really know.”

(on if he has any advice for young coaches coming into the NFL) “I’m just trying to coach my team. I’m not trying to run anybody else’s life.”

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QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY

 

That's a lot of hair product. (AP Photo)

That’s a lot of hair product. (AP Photo)

(on if he imagined playing on this stage this many times as a kid) “I never imagined this in my wildest dreams. I loved playing sports growing up. I loved having a chance as a kid to go out there and play with my friends, so to play football in the street with the older boys was fun. To get a chance to play in the Super Bowl, I never thought I’d play in one. So it’s pretty unbelievable to be able to play in six. I’ve played with so many great teammates over the years – guys that really made the Patriot legacy and what our team has been all about. This team has really got to establish its own identity and we have a great chance to do it on Sunday.”

(on potentially tying Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw for four Super Bowl wins and what it would mean to his legacy) “It’s hard to think about those things. Like I said, I’ve just been fortunate to be on some great teams. Those guys are unbelievable players, they were so great for this league. They were great teams. I was the biggest 49er fan growing up and to watch Joe and Steve Young – who were my two idols – who were just great for the game and great for the sport. And to watch guys like you (former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner) that I was lucky enough to play against. We had some pretty close games.”

(on the mindset of this being either his last Super Bowl or just another year at the Super Bowl) “Well, I think there is a balance between those two things and I think you’ve got to have ambition and you’ve got to have a belief that you can accomplish those things or else why would you play? Why would you work hard if you didn’t think you could accomplish that? But you also know that the reality of football is a contact sport and your career can end at any one point so it’s a blessing to be able to be here. It’s a blessing to make it through a full season and not get injured. It takes a lot of good luck and a lot of blessings and a lot of prayers to walk off the field every single game. I think the one thing I learned, I had a tough injury about six years ago and even when we lose now, I walk off the field going, ‘Well, at least I get a chance to go out there and do it again.’”

(on attacking the Seattle defensive scheme) “There’s a lot of challenges. We’ve had a little insight from (New England cornerback) Brandon Browner who has talked to us about how he coaches and I think Pete’s (Carroll) run the same defense for a long time. And they don’t give up anything easy, I’ll tell you that. I think that’s a challenge and everything has to be coordinated so well. You need great distributions in your patterns, you’ve got to make great decisions. It’s a very disciplined defense. He coaches his players to be very disciplined. And it’s really a battle of that. It’s whether you can sustain that for 60 minutes and if you can’t, then you know they will. We played against them a couple years ago and we did a good job moving the ball. We just didn’t score enough points so hopefully we can move the ball well on Sunday and we’ve got to get the ball in the end zone – but these guys make it pretty tough.”

(on New England tight end Rob Gronkowski) “He’s a big part of our offense. He’s a great player in this league. He was an All-Pro this year and he’s done his job at a high level. He’s a big part of what we do.”

(on the scout team defense and their recognition of the offense’s plays during practice) “Yeah, that’s a great point. You’ve got to be able to believe in what you see earlier in the weekdays, especially when you practice against a team that you have several practices against them. This team (Seattle) doesn’t change too much of what they do. So when your scout team sees the same play four, five or six times and they start giving it away, sometimes you start to question, ‘Is that really going to work in the game?’ I think we’ve been pretty smart about that, so we’ve got to be able to believe in what we saw, believe in the installation and hopefully we can get a win.”

(on those close to him and the support system they provide) “They mean a lot. My parents and my wife, certainly. I’ve got a great support system.”

(on New England wide receiver Julian Edelman’s touchdown pass against Baltimore in the AFC Divisional Round) “He threw it better than me. That was probably the best pass all season, unfortunately. But he’s shown that in practice a bunch and he’s been a great player for us.” 

(on the spectacle of Super Bowl week) “Well, we just got down here yesterday so we’re trying to obviously get settled here in our hotel. It’s a big game, obviously, with a lot going on here. But we’re locked in on practicing. It starts tomorrow.”

(on who has the best beard on the team) “Yeah, there are some good ones. (Rob) Ninkovich has got a pretty good beard. Jules (Julian Edelman) has a great beard going right now.”

(on any pregame superstitions) “Not much. I’m not really the superstitious type. I don’t put my right sock on first or any of that. I do whatever feels right.”

(on who his favorite teammate has been in his career) “I’ve had a lot of them. It’s hard to choose just one. I’ve been lucky to play with so many great guys. Guys that I play with now, guys that I played with in the past. Everyone is different, everyone says something different in their own unique way, so I’ve had a lot of great teammates.”

(on what hurts when being sacked) “There’s been a lot of those over the years. The hard parts are where you land on your shoulder or get a helmet to the back, so any of those hurt.”

(on who gave him the hardest hit in his career) “I took a pretty good shot in that Baltimore game, in the playoff game. Their rookie defensive tackle.”

(on other athletes that he has admired in his career) “I’ve had a lot them. Derek Jeter, LeBron (James), Kobe (Bryant). A lot of great football players that I really look up to. Peyton (Manning) has been a great player since my rookie year, Aaron (Rodgers) and what he has been able to accomplish. Those guys compete every day and want to win. They work their tails off to help their team. Those guys I really look up to.”

(on Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson) “He’s phenomenal. He’s a phenomenal player, phenomenal quarterback, great leader for his team. He’s a great competitor as you see out there on the field. He’s led his team to two overtime wins. He’s the quarterback and to get it and go the length of the field and score as he did against Denver and Green Bay, he’s a great player.”

(on his pre-game play-list) “Something to get me hyped up so it’s usually Jay-Z. So he’s been a big fan of mine for a long time.”

(on the storm in the Northeast) “Everyone’s pretty hunkered down. There’s a lot of snow, causing a lot of problems in a lot of cities. So hopefully everyone is okay.”

(on Football Research Director Ernie Adams) “Ernie has been around for 15 years. He’s a football historian too. He always adds his insight into what he thinks we’re going to see, the way the offense and defense go through. He’s got a really unique perspective on the game. He’s a really great asset to this team.”

(on what it means to potentially win for the first time in ten years) “Well, it would be great for us to win this game and do that. We’ve had some pretty tough losses in past Super Bowls but none of those matter at this point. We’ve got to go out there and we’ve got a big challenge. We’ve got a team that is the defending Super Bowl champs. Those guys worked hard. They’ve earned their spot here. They’ve won two great playoff games and we have too so that’s what makes for a great fight.

 

CORNERBACK DARRELLE REVIS

Revis

AP photo

 

(on playing in a Super Bowl after eight years in the NFL) “It’s pretty awesome. I mean, this is what you play for every year. In the offseason you work hard to get to this point and when you get there, like right now, it’s so surreal to me. It’s awesome, but it’s also crazy. But at the same time, it shows that hard work pays off, and there’s still work to be done. We have one more game left as a team to accomplish our ultimate goal, which is holding the Lombardi Trophy up.”

(on his concerns of never playing in a Super Bowl) “That was the No. 1 goal for me, just winning a Super Bowl. Every year, that’s what we play for. You know I had a bump in the road, having an ACL injury. That kind of twisted my mind up a little bit because it was more so me focusing on my health. Once I focused on my health to make sure I could get back where I need to be and playing at a high level, I was confident and determined. Just focus and get with the right team and that’s what I did.”

(on New England’s path to the Super Bowl) “You know what, we had an awesome record season. Our schedule was very tough. It was tough. We played against some great quarterbacks, some great teams. We found a way as a team, as a unit, to go out there and stick together and play just tough football and play great ball and we did that. Overall, we had ups and downs. There was the controversy with deflate-gate and all of that, but that’s adversity. Adversity strikes every time and I think as a team, as a whole, we’ve handled that well. There’s one more game and we are just trying to weed that out and focus on our ultimate goal and that’s holding up the Lombardi Trophy.”

(on why New England receives a lot of negative attention) “I have no idea, actually. Things come up and I’ve been around a little bit. I’ve been on teams where situations come up and you have to deal with them accordingly. Whatever the situation is, the league office is dealing with it too and you just have to really see what they do about it. Let them handle it.”

(on Jets fans watching him play for New England in the Super Bowl) “It’s not really my fault. I didn’t make the call. Management made the call at that time and they felt it was best to get rid of me. So that’s the situation. That’s how I look at it.”

(on preparing for different offenses ) “I study a lot of film, so I do my own assessment of just studying receivers and offenses and quarterbacks. They do the same thing, you have to give them the same respect. They game plan, they might have double moves or triple moves or certain plays where they really want to attack you, so you have to give them that respect. They work hard too as well. I appreciate that. I appreciate the competition. At the same time, the only thing I can do is focus on that play at that time. And really just zone in on what I’m trying to do and complete my job.”

(on what Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman does well) “Just the ability to shut down your side, whatever side you’re on. Sherman, he plays left corner and he does great. He’s great at what he does. I’m not really knocking him on what he does. He’s a playmaker and that’s what he does for his team.”

(on if he doubted that he would play in a Super Bowl) “You know, there’s always doubt. Especially going through eight years of not really accomplishing what you really want to accomplish as an individual player and also as a team goal. That’s basically getting to the Super Bowl and actually winning it. I can speak for myself personally and I’m sure I can speak for a lot of guys in the NFL who don’t make it to the playoffs. There’s some guys that play 13 or 14 years and never make the playoffs. It’s humbling, but at the same time, it’s a great experience. It just shows that we worked so hard to get to this place that we are at now.”

(on covering Seattle’s offense) “By watching film you see it’s very tough to cover those guys down the field. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson scrambles a lot, which is very tough on the defense itself. It breaks the defense down. Russell does a great job at breaking the defense down with his legs. Scrambling and extending plays. In the secondary we just have to plaster when he does scramble and keep our eyes on our man.”

(on defensive back Devin McCourty) “Devin, he’s outstanding. He’s been outstanding before I got here and he’s continuing to be outstanding. I feel like he’s the best free safety in the league. He has so much range out there. He’s so fast. I think the biggest thing I respect him for and appreciate him is how he studies the game and how he knows the game so well. He’s a student of the game and he works so hard at it. It’s crazy. It’s pretty awesome to get feedback from other guys and see how hard they work.”

(on dealing with off the field distractions) “I’m not really thinking about that right now. This year has been great, it’s been awesome. It’s been enjoyable too, winning so much and being a part of a great organization. At the same time, the off-the-field situations will take care of themselves. That’s how I always approached it and always addressed it.”

(on embracing New England) “I think I really embraced it when I sat down with Mr. Kraft and (Coach) Bill (Belichick) and we had a one-on-one conversation. It was a very chill conversation. We shared football ideas and the idea of me joining the New England Patriots. At that point, I felt very comfortable and I wanted to join the team.”

(on how tough Super Bowl week has been) “It hasn’t been tough. We just got here yesterday. We are just trying to enjoy the whole Super Bowl experience. That’s how we approach it.”

(on how helpful it has been having Coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady as leaders during Super Bowl week) “It’s cool man. They have a lot of experience in this field of going to Super Bowls. The only thing I can get from it is just asking those guys questions about their past experiences.”

(on cornerback Brandon Browner) “He’s very tough. He’s a tough individual and, I think, just how he approaches the game helps us out on defense. He has a lot of mental toughness. He definitely does. As a defensive player and playing on defense, you want that physicality type of player and he brings that at the corner position. There’s not a lot of guys who are very tough and play the corner position very physical, so for him to bring that, it helps our defense a lot.”

 

RUNNING BACK LEGARRETTE BLOUNT

 

AP photo

AP photo

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(on how he feels about coming back to the Patriots) “It’s an honor to be back here you know. I enjoyed my time here when I was here last year, and it’s an honor to be back, just the fact that they care enough about me to bring me back here.”

(on trying to confuse the defense for this playoff game) “Obviously they’re a pretty good defense. They were good enough to get here, they were good enough to get here last year, so we are going to put a plan together to hopefully make sure we come out victorious.”

(on how important Josh McDaniels is to the success of the offense) “Josh (McDaniels) is really important, he’s the offensive coordinator, he’s going to put everything together, he’s responsible for us scoring as many points as we do score. He’s definitely going to be a big part of us being successful.”

(on what it means to be back in PAC-12 country, representing Oregon and all the PAC-12 fans) “It means a lot. They take the PAC- 12 as a soft conference and obviously it’s not, we made it all the way to the national championship game. We didn’t win it but we made it there, the PAC- 12 is a tough conference.”

(on if there is still a rivalry between PAC-12 and SEC players at the NFL level) “Oh yeah, for sure. For sure, definitely.”

(on if it’s a personal challenge to out-play Marshawn Lynch) “No it’s not a personal challenge. I just want to do whatever it takes and whatever I’m needed to do to make sure we come out of this game with a W. It’s nothing personal against him or against any of the Seahawks fans or players. I just want to make sure whatever they ask me to do, I can do it to the best of my ability and come out victorious.”

(on how he felt after rushing for 148 yards against the Colts) “Jus the fact that they trusted me enough to carry the ball that many times and put the game in my hands, it means a lot. I’m excited to be a part of something special and be a part of the reason why we’re here.”

(on if it’s hard to be prepared for having a great game) “No it’s not hard, you just have to be prepared to have your number called at any time.”

(on what he thinks about being a part of media day) “It’s fun. I’m pretty sure a lot of guys don’t like it but I embrace it, I think it’s fun, I think it’s a blast. I see guys go through it every year and I love it.”

(on what he thinks didn’t work out in Pittsburgh) “Things didn’t work out as planned, so we just had to part ways, and I ended up here and now I’m about to play in the Super Bowl.”

(on what makes Tom Brady special) “Personally, I feel like he’s probably going to go down as the best quarterback to ever play the game. When he’s on your side, you always have a chance of winning the game, no matter what the score is or who you’re playing against.”

(on if he think playing in a dome will affect the game) “No, I don’t know that, I’m just going to go out there and play on whatever they put on the ground.”

(on what he thinks about playing on natural grass) “I don’t care what I play on. I don’t care if it’s turf, grass, whatever it is I feel like if I’m going to run good, I’m going to run good no matter what.”

(on how he feels about facing the top defense in the NFL) “I don’t care about them being the top defense, that doesn’t bother me. They were good enough to get here, just like we were good enough to get here. They’re not immortal. They can be beaten.”

(on what he takes the most from his time in Pittsburgh) “I made some really good, close friends.”

(on if as a running back he likes playing against a physical defense) “I like playing against any defense.”

(on what he thinks about Marshawn Lynch’s antics) “Whatever he’s doing, I recommend him to keep doing it, because he’s been successful in this league at it. However he’s handling everything he’s been successful in this league running the football so whatever he’s doing I hope he keeps doing it. He’s probably one of the best running backs in this league.”

(on having a roller coaster season, what has it taught him) “Don’t ever give up. Be persistent and continue to push forward for your dreams. Obviously I’m going to be living one of my dreams in a few days.”

(on doing a good job of ball security specifically in New England, is there anything about technique or coaching that goes into that) “I’ve always been told that you can’t win the game without the football. If you give the football away you have no control of the game. We have to continue to protect it and continue to have it in our hands as much as possible and don’t let it hit the ground and don’t let anybody else get ahold of it. You can’t win the game without the football.”

(on if the protection of the ball is taught differently than in other places) “We put a heavy emphasis on keeping the football. We practice holding the football, we have the defense punch at the football a lot extra then probably most teams do. We do everything to emphasis ball security because like I said, you can’t win the game without the ball.”

(on in his second run with the Patriots, is there something that they do that lays the foundation for his success) “No, they’re a winning franchise, before I came apart of it and now that I’m a part of it. They’ve always been a winning franchise and obviously they’ve got the best quarterback in the league on their side and it’s always hard to beat him. Once you have the best quarterback in the league and possibly the best quarterback in NFL history on your side, you always have a chance to win.”

(on what Seattle does well) “Whatever they do, they win football games.”

(on when he does his video introductions for games, he says he’s from his high school instead of college) “I’m the first person to ever come out of my home town and make it to the NFL. I take tremendous pride in that, nothing against Oregon, I’m Oregon pride all day every day, I love the University of Oregon and what they’ve done for me, it’s amazing. Like I said I’m the first one to come from my hometown and make it this far, so I take a lot of pride in that.”

(on why he thinks it’s worked in New England) “I feel like they gave me a chance to come out here and show that I can do what I’ve been doing in this league for a couple of years. I can run the football and I can do it effectively. I was excited to become another asset to the team, another part of the team and another weapon that they have. I was excited that they gave me another chance to come back and be a part of what’s going on today. I don’t feel like I had anything to prove but I just wanted to show people that I could still run the football.”

(on what did New England know about him to bring him back) “They knew that I could run the football. They know that I can effective with it. They know that I have big play potential. They like my style of running and I fit in perfectly with this offense. It was a perfect match.”

-SB XLIX-

 

CORNERBACK BRANDON BROWNER

Browner

Seattle Times photo/Bettina Hansen

 

(on his comments that New England wide receivers should target Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas III) “Those are my brothers, at the end of the day there’s no hard feelings. That’s like in any game, you have a guy that messes his ankle up and you’re going to tackle and make sure you land on his ankle. If a guy messes his shoulder up, then you tackle him and land on his shoulder – that’s just a part of the game. You guys know how close I am to those boys and at the time that felt like the right thing to say.”

(on playing in the Super Bowl) “It’s awesome, it’s a dream come true. Just like everybody else, we all dream of getting to this day and I’m fortunate to be here.”

(on how hard it was missing the Super Bowl last season with Seattle) “It was very difficult watching my teammates play and I’m fortunate to be here this year and hopefully we make the best of it.”

(on facing his former team in the Super Bowl) “I’m very excited about it. The thing about it, they know my weaknesses and vice versa. It gives me a chance to match with those guys.”

(on the differences between New England Head Coach Bill Belichick and Seattle Head Coach Pete Carroll) “The difference is they’re two coaches on two different sides of the spectrum. One is old school, hard-nosed and Pete Carroll is a great guy, he keeps it looser. On our way to walking into meeting rooms in Seattle you could hear music blasting, pumping, but none of that is going on in New England, it’s all business orientated. But I love playing for both coaches. I grew up with hard-nosed coaches from Pop Warner to high school, that’s what I’m used to and it brought back a little structure to my game.”

(on playing for Carroll) “He’s the ultimate player’s coach. I’ve never met any coach like him as far as the way he approaches the game. He keeps it loose around there which keeps guys loose and you’re not walking on egg shells.”

(on the challenges of facing smaller receivers) “It’s tough because you’re not as subtle as those little guys. My steps are a little bit longer and my strides are a little bit longer. It’s tough and we’ll have to face (Seattle Seahawks wide receiver) Doug Baldwin and those guys. They’re a little quick, smaller guys. Doug is what about 5’10” or 5’11”? He’s probably one of the quickest guys that I had to face in the league.”

(on how his roles are different between playing with New England and playing with Seattle) “When I was in Seattle we basically played right and left. Here in New England, if you watched the games, I moved around sometimes. I was in the slot, I would be in the box and I think that’s made me more of a well-rounded player because in Seattle I only played one side of the field. I had a man-to-man mindset and a lot of times I didn’t know where my help was coming. Being able to move around in New England, now I know where my help was coming from because I’m put in that position at times.”

(on if he misses being a member of Seattle’s ‘Legion of Boom’) “I wouldn’t say that I miss it, but those guys mean something to me. I’m happy to be playing with the likes of Darrelle Revis and (safety) Devin McCourty – it’s like I didn’t miss a step. It’s not like I went and played for a team that didn’t have solid DBs (defensive backs). It is fun.”

(on how Belichick and Carroll are alike) “Besides what you see from TV, I think they are the exact same. Their football IQ is the exact same. Belichick this week broke down some of the philosophies that Pete Carroll likes and sitting back I felt like I was listening to Pete talk to me. Over in Seattle he talks about the ball and that was one of the things Belichick said to us and he said it in the exact three words in order, ‘It’s about the ball.’ Just the same Pete Carroll says it.”

(on how good the two defensive back groups are in this game) “Not to pat ourselves on the back, but we’re probably the one and two best groups I’ll say all-around, not just specific players. As a total group we’re probably the two best groups.”

(on comparing New England quarterback Tom Brady and Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson off the field preparations) “I think that’s what makes them great is the off the field, the little things, the intangibles, both of them have it. You see what they do on the field, but it’s the preparation going into games, I think is what gives them an edge.”

(on always being considered a member of Seattle’s ‘Legion of Boom’ defensive backfield) “That’s what it is. I got tattooed ‘LOB’ ‘Legion of Boom’ that’s what they mean to me. What I said, that wasn’t coming from a bad place. I’m a competitor, those boys are competitors, that’s why we have that bond and we connected because I knew that they were going to lay their bodies on the line for me just like I would for them. I love those guys, I wish those guys the best, but ultimately I want to win this game.”

(on changing the way the public views him) “I’m trying to clean up my image a little bit, but I truly believe everybody makes mistakes. Just on this level my mistakes are magnified and blown up a little bit. The reason I say I want to clean it up a little bit, not more so for the media, but for the kids and elderly fans that watch the game. Just change up some of what they think of me.”

(on how Wilson is different from other quarterbacks that they have faced) “He’s an athlete more so than a quarterback, but he throws the deep ball well, he can use his legs to buy time and get out of trouble. Those are all of the obvious things, but I think he’s a very intelligent guy too and he’s going to make the right decisions at the right time.”

(on trying to tackle Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch) “He opposes a big challenge, just like he does to week-in and week-out against guys. I think if we do a good job of wrapping up or gang tackling, I think teams cover Marshawn and try to get the big hit, that won’t work because he’s a big guy, wide base and has good balance about his game. I think that if we just go in there and wrap him up and gang tackle him then we’ll be alright.”

(on the matchup between New England tight end Rob Gronkowski and Seattle safety Kam Chancellor) “That’s going to be one for the ages I think. Gronk is a beast and Kam is a beast. It will be interesting to watch that matchup, it could go either way.”

(on having physical battles with Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse in practices) “Doug, like I said he’s probably one of the quickest guys I ever had to face and he opposes some challenges for someone like myself, but we have good game plans for those guys and I’m confident in the game plan. It got heated (in practice) a couple of times, I won’t say what happened, but it got it heated.”

(on how important it is to slow Kearse down) “It will be big because I got familiarity with what they like to do. Kearse has gotten a lot better too. I think I have a better beat on those guys with this week of preparation and film work because it doesn’t stop until all the way up until game time.”

(on comparing New England and Seattle linebacker groups) “They really remind me of each other. (Seattle linebacker) K.J. Wright and (New England linebacker) Jamie Collins, both are the same build, long length, both from Mississippi, quiet guys, to themselves. Dont’a Hightower and Bobby Wagner, fast guys, little thick, bulky guys, and I think our teams on paper or watching film matchup really well.”

-SB XLIX-

 

DEFENSIVE BACK DEVIN MCCOURTY

mccourty

Getty Images

 ***

(on if this game defines him) “No, I don’t really think anything in this game can define who we are as people. It’s a blessing, it’s an opportunity to play in this game, it’s a great opportunity. We talked about that before we came out here. Just taking advantage of the opportunity, but there’s still work to do.”

(on how he feels going into the game) “I feel great. Having a good time with my teammates. It’s a great experience to start with 50-something guys, 90-something guys actually back in April, and have 32 teams play hard all year just to get to this one point and then be her e as a team; it’s a blessing.”

(on how his faith has kept him grounded) “That helps me daily, every day in my life. Just staying rooted and having a great foundation to just make sure that you don’t stray too far away from your true beliefs and your faith.”

(on what it means to be back at the Super Bowl) “It’s total excitement. After losing that last time, I always remember saying, ‘If I ever get back I’ve got to win.’ You never know, like you said, if you’ll ever play in this game again and to be here again (I) just want to take advantage of the opportunity and try to get a win.”

(on what the University of Rutgers has meant to him) “Rutgers has been huge. To be playing here with three of the younger Rutgers guys that came in as little brothers when I was back at Rutgers and then now all over again, them coming in as little brothers. I think it speaks volumes to the program that’s being run there from (former Rutgers Head) Coach (Greg) Schiano now to (Rutgers Head) Coach (Kyle) Flood just doing a great job of preparing young kids when we came in there. Letting us know if we do the right things we’ll have an opportunity to play in this league. I’m fortunate to be playing on a great organization with the Patriots and there’s been a lot of winning since.”

(on there being four Rutgers alumni playing in the Super Bowl) “It’s amazing. We’re one of the top colleges in here, having four players. I’m hoping it gets high school kids to say, ‘I’m going to Rutgers.’”

(on what it would mean to win the Super Bowl) “That’s everything. I hate to say it, but the experience is just not the same when you lose. You still have a good time, a great feeling being with your teammates, but when you don’t win it’s just different leaving here. I just want to leave with a win this time.”

(on his versatility as a player to move from playing corner to now playing free safety) “It’s been great. Moving to safety wasn’t as bad. I think the hardest thing was moving to safety and then having to go back and play corner for some games. Technique-wise it’s very tough. I think playing corner before has helped me in different situations and different match-ups throughout this year when I’ve got to go play against receivers, that’s not as a hard as a task for other safeties. We’ve got to play the receivers totally different when they come from the tight end side. That’s helped me out a lot.”

(on his future with New England and if he has thought that this game could be his last as a Patriot) “I don’t even think about it. My whole focus has been on winning this game Sunday. So, I don’t even think about it.”

(on this being a business trip for the team) “It definitely is. I think guys are still having a good time and enjoying the moment, but, I think we’ve got a lot of older guys on the team that understand we want to win this game. It’s a great experience, but at the end of the day it is a business trip. We’re here for a reason and that’s to win a football game. I think it starts at the top with (New England quarterback) Tom (Brady) and (New England defensive lineman) Vince (Wilfork), their demeanor and I think that always goes throughout the team in how they act and how they carry themselves.”

(on if the team is open about their faith and beliefs) “Yeah, we have bible studies twice a week and we do a lot of different things. We have Jack Easterbey he’s a great chaplin for us. He helps us out a lot just with our walking in life. So, we’re always talking about that as a team and a group of us are always together talking about that.”

(on if the New England secondary group discusses the Seattle secondary group at all) “No, we talk about winning, that’s it. We’ve got a group in our secondary that wants to win. You’ve got a guy (cornerback Darrelle) Revis, (cornerback) Browner who’s been playing football for a long time. Then myself and (cornerback Patrick) Chung and (cornerback) Kyle (Arrington), who have all played in this game before and lost. So, it was all with this team. You’ve just got a lot of hungry guys that don’t really care about the headlines as long as the No. 1 headline is, ‘We won the Super Bowl.’”

(on the importance of being disciplined against the Seattle offense) “I take it serious. It’s usually the difference between winning the game and losing the game as far as just giving up huge plays. This game is going to be a disciplined game for everyone, all 11 guys got to do their job. If we’re in the back end and we’ve got to cover guys, we can’t be worrying about (Seattle QB) Russell Wilson scrambling and making plays. We’ve just got to stay on our guy. We’ve also got to have our understanding that he’s going to make some plays. He’s a really good player and he’s done it all year. So, it’s just going to be guys stepping up in their role and not trying to do too much.”

(on the role cornerback Darelle Revis has played this season) “He’s been huge, but it’s really been a number of guys that have been able to do different things in our secondary. ‘Reve’ has been a guy that can take on any guy any week. Doesn’t matter short, quick guy, a big long stride, guy being a guy that can just go play someone, it doesn’t matter what the receiver is. Then (cornerback) Kyle’s (Arrington) ability, and (cornerback Brandon) Browner and (cornerback) Logan (Ryan), (New safety) Chung. All of those guys being able to go lineup on someone in one-on-one play has been huge for us and the secondary.”

(on if Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson is more dangerous as a runner or when he’s throwing on the run) “It’s tough. I mean, I think you’ve got to try to keep him in the pocket and make him throw from there. Obviously, he can beat you there too. He’s done that, but like you said, when he’s on the run and he’s throwing well, now you don’t know if he’s going to run for 30 yards or throw it over your head for 50 yards. Once he gets that going I think it’s pretty close to impossible to stop him. So, you’ve got to try to pick your poison and make it tougher, make him stay in the pocket.”

(on the importance of his platform as a Christian athlete) “It’s important I think to understand that a lot of people are looking at you. When we’re in bible study we always talk about when you’re living the right way what we can see, we’ll see the lord. Our team Chaplin Jack Easterbey always says, ‘When people look at you, they should be able to see God all over you. You’re doing the right thing.’ I think that’s a great way to think about it. We always talk about that week in and week out, whatever different struggles we’re going through to try and keep that at the top of the list.”

(on how his faith helps him become a better team leader off of the field) “I think just being a guy they can count on. Being a guy that shows consistency. Someone they can look at and say, ‘Obviously, he’s not perfect, but we kind of know what we’ll get out of Devin every day.’ I think when people can look at you like that, they know what to expect. They know who you are inside and out. Not just who you are as a football player, but more because of who you are as a man.”

(on what he would say to a high school football recruit about the Rutgers football program) “I’d tell them, choose a program that if you want to focus on having a family, having a group of guys not just teammates, but as a coaching staff, as a whole operation that cares about you as a person, wants you to succeed. I think for every high school kid more importantly, if you want to play at the next level. We have a bunch of guys throughout this league that are playing good football. Having four guys in the Super Bowl, I think speaks to that. I would tell them to look at Rutgers a program that is up-and-coming and a team that has won a lot of game and has guys where I think every high school kid wants to be at.”

(on the challenges he’s had to overcome throughout the season) “I don’t know if there’s just one thing. I think the hardest thing as you get older in this league is, is just the small struggles every day. Whether it be little, nagging injuries. Whether it be family things that come up in your life. I think that’s the hardest struggles. I think as you get older you understand how to deal with it a little more and you understand to lean on other people for help. My mom, my twin brother, my girlfriend they’re all huge for me throughout the season.”

(on if Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson’s ability to move around the pocket makes it difficult for the secondary to cover the receivers) “It definitely is. Especially, with the guys they have. They have guys that are short, quick guys. They have guys that can run it and get deep. So, you’ve got a guy that runs a comeback or so and then he scrambles and they can run across the field, go vertical. It’s very tough to try to stay with them. You don’t know how the long the play’s going to last. A lot of times you talk about a clock in your head, but with Russell Wilson there’s really no clock. A quick three-step drop that should be a play that happens fast. He can spin out of it and turn it into a 10-second play. You’ve got to cover a guy like (Seattle wide receiver Jermaine) Kearse or (Seattle wide receiver Doug) Baldwin or (Seattle wide receiver Ricardo) Lockette for those whole 10 seconds. So, it’s definitely not an easy task and I think that’s one of the reasons they are a really good group.”

-SB XLIX-

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