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Game Notes & Quotes: Redskins vs. Patriots


The Commissioner
Staff member
BGO Ownership Group
Apr 11, 2009
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Greensboro, NC

Marine Corps Virginia

December 11, 2011

Game Notes: Washington Redskins vs. New England Patriots

• Attendance for the game was 77,825. The game was the Redskins’ 367th consecutive sellout, including preseason, regular season and playoffs. All 147 regular season, postseason and preseason games at FedExField have been sellouts.

• The Redskins gained 463 net yards on offense, a season high and the most the team has gained since amassing 465 at Tennessee on Nov. 21, 2010. The team’s previous high for the 2011 season was 455 yards, set vs. Arizona in Week 2.

• The Redskins scored 20 points in the first half, the team’s highest output of any half this season (the team had scored 14 points in a half five times this season). The last time the Redskins scored 20 points or more in a half was Dec. 19, 2010, when the Redskins scored 23 points in the second half at Dallas.

• The Redskins also gained a season-high 270 yards in the first half. The team’s previous high for first-half yardage was 253, set vs. Arizona in Week 2.

• Running back Roy Helu rushed for career highs in carries (27) and rushing yards (126).

• With his 126-yard performance, Helu became the first Redskins’ rookie running back to rush for 100 yards in three consecutive games.

• Helu also became the first 100-yard rusher against the Patriots this season.

• Helu rushed for 55 yards in the first quarter, the best first-quarter output of his career. His previous high was 34 yards, a total he reached in both of his previous two games.

• Quarterback Rex Grossman finished with 252 passing yards. Grossman has thrown for at least 200 yards in five consecutive games, the longest such streak of his career.

• Grossman completed a 51-yard pass to wide receiver Donté Stallworth in the first quarter. The completion was the longest of the season for both Grossman and Stallworth.

• Stallworth finished the game with a season-high 96 yards, his most since posting 136 receiving yards at Dallas on Oct. 14, 2007, as a member of the New England Patriots.

• Stallworth (96), Jabar Gaffney (92) and Santana Moss (81) all finished with at least 80 receiving yards. The last time the Redskins had three different players with at least 80 receiving yards in a single game was Nov. 4, 1990 at Detroit, when Art Monk, Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders accomplished the feat.

• Gaffney, who started his 100th career game, caught a nine-yard touchdown pass from Grossman in the first quarter.

• Wide receiver Brandon Banks completed a 49-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Santana Moss in the second quarter.

• The touchdown pass was the first by a Redskins receiver since Oct. 5, 2008, when Antwaan Randle El threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end Chris Cooley at Philadelphia.

• The 49-yard completion was the longest by a non-quarterback in Redskins’ history, beating the previous long of 48, set on a Randle El pass to Moss vs. the New York Giants on Dec. 30, 2006.

• The pass attempt was the first of Banks’ career. He did not attempt a pass in college during his time at either Kansas State or Bakersfield College (Calif.).

• The touchdown reception was the 35th of Moss’ tenure with the Redskins, tying him with Ricky Sanders for seventh-most in team history.

• Moss finished with 81 yards. He now has 9,011 career receiving yards, making him the 11th active player to reach 9,000 career receiving yards.

• Wide receiver David Anderson scored his first touchdown as a Redskin and the first since Nov. 2, 2008 at Minnesota as a member of the Houston Texans.

• Cornerback Josh Wilson recorded his first interception as a member of the Redskins. The interception was the 10th of his career.

• Stephen Bowen and Barry Cofield split a sack of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The half-sack gives Bowen five sacks for the season, improving upon his career-high sack total in 2011.

• Evan Royster ran for a career-long 15-yard gain in the third quarter.

• Royster registered career-highs in carries (six) and rushing yards (44) in the game.

• Linebacker London Fletcher played in his 221st consecutive game, which is tied with Tampa Bay’s Ronde Barber for most among active non-specialists. It was also his 176th consecutive start, the most by any active linebacker.

• Tyler Polumbus started at right tackle. It was his first start of the season at right tackle, as he previously started at left guard vs. Dallas on Nov. 20.

• Tackle Willie Smith played in his first career game, entering at left tackle on the Redskins’ second drive.

• Punter Sav Rocca added another punt downed inside the 20, giving him 26 for the season.

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On losing the game despite having a good day on offense:
“Yeah, you’re always disappointed when you can’t finish a game. I thought we did a number of good things today, but at the end of the day we fell a little bit short. Some guys stepped up and really did a great job with finding a way to play at a high level even though they didn’t get a lot of reps during the week. [Tackle Jammal Brown] went down in pregame warm-ups with a groin injury and I think Tyler Polumbus came in and did a great job with no practice during the week.”

On shuffling the offensive linemen during the game:
“Tyler Polumbus went right away. We switched series with Sean Locklear and obviously with Willie Smith and I thought they did a good job as well.”

On if he saw the offensive pass interference call on Santana Moss:
“No, I didn’t see it. I didn’t get a chance to see it on replay.”

On the key to the offense:
“I think the last couple of games we’ve been getting better in the running area. I think Roy [Helu] has been doing an excellent job. He’s averaging close to five yards a carry. We’re giving him more of a load, feeling a lot more comfortable with it. I thought [Evan] Royster came in and played exceptionally well when Roy was a little tired. Good effort.”

On what he thought of offensive lineman Willie Smith’s performance:
“We thought we could take a little pressure off him not throwing him in right away starting the game in case we had a few mistakes, so we alternated series. When Willie started playing well, we kept him in there and I think he did a good job.”

On if today was the most in-rhythm the offense has been all season:
“I don’t think there’s any question about it. We made some plays. Unfortunately we had a few penalties late in the game that really cost us. That holding down there on the 10-yard line, the one they called on [Maurice] Hurt. We had a couple mistakes down there – pass interference. We had a chance to finish a couple drives and we didn’t. We set ourselves back a little bit. Overall I was pleased with the effort, displeased not being able to finish it and do what you need to do to win.”

On his reasoning for starting safety DeJon Gomes instead of Oshiomogho Atogwe:
“To be honest with you, health. O.J. keeps on trying to go out there and play at a very high level. He’s playing injured, he’s not playing at full speed. He hasn’t been able to get back to full speed even at the start with his knee, ankle, hamstring. It’s good to have him up with [safety LaRon] Landry being down. We’re a little short on depth.”

On Rex Grossman’s performance:
“Well, we’re all judged by winning and losing. We moved the ball fairly well and scored a few points. You can’t turn the football over early. You give a touchdown. You have to try to limit those mistakes. Still had a chance there at the end.”

On the unnecessary roughness penalty on London Fletcher’s hit on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady:
“Well at least in my opinion I thought it was horrible. That’s what I saw on the replay. What I saw on the replay I thought it was a bad call. I’d have to see it again to know for sure but my first look at it … I talked to them and I asked who called it because I didn’t agree with him.”

On DeAngelo Hall’s unsportsmanlike conduct penalty:
“Well, you have to keep your composure. We all know that. You can’t lose it. This is a tough business. You’re going to have some highs and lows. You can’t make those mistakes.”

On if he thought the Redskins had a chance to win after Josh Wilson’s interception:
“Oh yeah. It was right there at the end. We had a chance. If you score down there you’re going to have a chance to go for the two points or you decide to go into overtime. Either way you have a chance to win the football game. Disappointing we couldn’t take advantage of that opportunity. Josh made a great play back there.”

On if Roy Helu’s development:
“It’s still early, but the way he’s played over the last three games. It’s one of the reasons why he’s been getting the load because of the way he’s played the last two games. Today I thought he really stepped up and played well.”

On feeling comfortable enough to run a trick play:
“You don’t really know. You’re taking a chance with one of those plays. Sometimes you feel like you need a big play. They do a great job supporting the run after they feel a run is called. They’re playing a two-deep coverage. Brandon [Banks] did a good job of extending the play pretty close to the numbers and Rex did a good job on Andre Carter buying a little time to carry out the run fake and Brandon [Banks] did a great job of throwing the ball downfield.”

On Mike Sellers’ injury status:
“Just an elbow hyperextended. To the degree, I don’t know right now. I don’t think it’s any more than a hyperextension, but I’ll have to wait and see on that one.”

On going against a struggling defense:
“What you have to do is score in the red zone. I thought the game would come down to the red zone. We had our opportunity to score touchdowns and we had to score field goals. You take that third down and one on the two-inch line and they did a good job of shifting. They shifted and we jumped. For them it would have been a six-inch penalty and we just have to keep our composure down there and understand what a defense may do. They did a good job shifting on that play and that cost us four points right there. And at the end not being able to score in another opportunity [in the red zone] and we had to settle for a field goal. When you play a team that scores as many points as they do, when you do get down there, you want to score touchdowns to give yourself a chance to win.”

On Rex Grossman’s fumble in the end zone for a touchdown:
“Well, obviously, you’d like a little more pass protection over on that side and we’d like him to get rid of it a little bit quicker, especially down there in the end zone. It’s a combination of both.”

On if going for two points at the end of the game would have been an option:
“Oh, yeah. You have to get a little lucky with the [overtime] coin flip. It all depends on our players. Those are the things that are going through your mind at that time. You have to feel good about your two-point play. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to see, either way.”

QB Rex Grossman

On if he saw Santana Moss’ pass interference call:
“I didn’t see it. I was trying to get outside the edge, on the sprint. I was trying to get outside and I saw him separate, but didn’t know how.”

On what his feeling was going into the final drive:
“I was just thrilled that the defense made a huge play. They kick a field goal and it is pretty tough to score twice. I was just pumped up that we had an opportunity. And then [we] converted some big third downs and kept moving the ball, and all of a sudden, we are in the position to tie the game, or go for two to win it. It’s just frustrating to play well and move the ball and then be in the position to win the game. To have it go the other way is frustrating.”

On if he was surprised how well the offense was clicking throughout the day, and if it makes a loss like this even more disappointing:
“When you are playing a good team like that, who is, year in and year out competitive for the Super Bowl, I thought our guys on offense and defense battled for 60 minutes. They gave their best effort. Our offensive line did a hell of a job. You got some key guys who are missing. But the guys who replaced them are still professional athletes that are waiting on their opportunity. I am proud of what they can do and they stepped up and did well.”

On the sack in the end zone:
“The first route I went to was Jabar [Gaffney] on the outside and they were ready to jump basically a curl route and then I went to number two, Santana [Moss] over the ball and I didn’t obviously see that guy. In that situation, I need to go to number one and throw it away.”

On if he had a feeling that this was going to be a tough game:
“I typically go into every game thinking it’s about the offense’s execution rather than what the defense is doing. But there is definitely some weeks where you look at your plays and how they are going to stack up. I definitely thought that we could get some good plays with the passing game. With the running game, I understand my run checks, but that’s about it. So going through it, I knew it was going to come down to execution, it always is. But some games can be more productive than others. Sometimes you aren’t always 100 percent confident about the game plan, but then it turns out to be a great game, or vice versa. It all boils down to execution.”

On what contribution by Roy Helu and Evan Royster meant for the passing game:
“It’s huge. Unless you have a one-dimensional offense, you have to have a balance. The runs have to put you in good positions to throw the ball, put you in third and manageable, getting first downs on first down, or getting first downs on second downs to keep you out of third downs. Or getting big chunks helps open up the play-action pass. It’s everything to this type of offense and it was a pretty special today. Every time I’d come out of my fake, [Roy] Helu was running down the field making guys miss, stiff arming guys, and running through some wide open holes and making some plays. It was good to see.”
On what he saw during the interference call against Santana Moss:
“He is a veteran and knows if you pushed off or not, so I believe him. It’s frustrating.”

On what he saw on his interception:
“We had a double move on one guy and then they dropped eight guys. They dropped underneath the number one. I was just trying to get Santana [Moss] the ball, so he could put it at fourth-and-five. Fourth-and-10, from the 10, is pretty tough, so I was waiting for him to clear a guy, and I put it out there for him.”

On if he was happy about the way he was able to move the ball against their zone defense, and how they were able to do that:
“Especially when you play a team like this, you have to be able to move the ball and control the clock a little bit while being productive, and for the most part, I thought we did that. And to answer his question, the offensive line executed well, the running backs executed well. [Tight end Dominique] Byrd blocked his [rear] off. Logan [Paulsen] blocked his [rear] off. Those guys were playing really well today. That opened up a lot of our passes as well.”

On Roy Helu’s strength as a runner:
“I think he is a great athlete. He has a lot of speed, he understands his own running scheme, one gap at a time, and being able to make quick decisions on when to cut back and when to stretch it out. When he puts his foot in the ground and makes a decision he runs north and south quickly and he’s tough too. He finishes well and keeps his shoulders forward so when he gets hit hard he’s falling forward for three more yards. He’s got a very good feel for the game and he’s going to be a very good player.”

On if the loss felt like a loss of accomplishment as the offense went toe-to-toe with the Patriots:
“It can be more frustrating when that happens. You try to build something, there’s something to build off of. You can look at it both ways. It’s so disappointing that we had our chances to win and we didn’t get it done, but at the same time on Wednesday the corrections and that type of atmosphere when you’re trying to get better and you’re looking at things you did good or bad, those types of things you can build on, but you still lost and it almost hurts more in a different way.”

On performance of former Patriots Jabar Gaffney and Donte Stallworth:
“They played great, they ran good routes, were aggressive to the football when the ball was in the air and they separated from their defenders. They’re both really good players, I’m glad the Patriots got rid of them.”

On the fumble in the end zone resulting in a Patriots touchdown and what he’d do differently:
“I’ll watch it on tape and usually try to time things out… I felt like I was right on the cusp of getting rid of the football. I believe I was cocking back to throw. It can’t happen and I need to do my part to make sure it doesn’t.”

On team playing with more emotion:
“It’s an emotional sport. You work your [rear] off to get to this point on Sunday to make plays. When you make a play you should celebrate. It is a tough sport and when you do something well, it’s fun and you enjoy it and you’re jumping in the stands, falling down in the stands, and you let your emotions go. It’s what you play the game for, other than it’s your job. Other than that, it’s very fun to play football.”

RB Roy Helu

On if today was a continuation of the last few games:
“The offensive line played their butts off. All credit to them, we had some guys who went down unfortunately right before the game. They played their tails off.”

On if he was concerned when Jammal Brown was hurt in warm-ups:
“I was concerned, but I also know that the next guy is just as qualified, if Coach Shanahan has him here.”

On how quickly he felt they got the running game into rhythm:
“I would say probably in our second drive.”

On how it feels to be the first Redskins rookie running back to run for 100 yards in three straight games:
“It’s pretty cool. All credit to the linemen, they did pretty great.”

On the confidence of the rookies going into the game:
“I’m impressed with Coach Shannahan’s confidence in us. And also, guys stepping up. I think a lot of us had experience going into the game. A few of us had to step up. I think Evan [Royster] did a good job of doing that, as well.”

On what he does best and what he needs to work on:
“I need to work on a whole bunch of stuff, being disciplined in pass protection, while running and accelerating my feet on contact. I think today I can definitely look at some game film and improve.”

On giving himself credit for three straight games with 100 yards:
“Honestly, today I felt like it was a gift from the offensive line. They played real well. And [fullback] Darrel Young played his tail off. We played a lot of fullback in there and I missed a lot of holes, but when I did hit them, it’s due to him blocking so well.”

On if he expected the transition to this level be so easy:
“It looks easy just viewing on Sundays, but there’s a lot of work that my position coach did with me. There’s a lot of heartache and joy in it. We still have three more games, so I’m going to just continue running the ball well and contributing to whatever we need to do to get into the end zone.”

On if it’s better to work your way into the starting position or start right away:
“Right now is just exactly what path I was supposed to take. I don’t think about it that much. It would be a lot of speculation.”

On how it feels in his first year to go up against the Patriots:
“Their defense is very sound and very disciplined. They are a good organization, a winning organization. That’s what we are going to become. I’m very confident in that. Just looking, when we do run the ball well, we have very good defense. The more we can give them some rest, the more we can run the ball, and get it the ball to the house, the better we can be.”

On Grossman’s comment about opening up the passing game:
“I would probably agree with Rex. Rex played his tail off, and he had guys who were making plays out there, other than myself. I feel like vice versa today, I felt like the passing game gave me confidence in contributing to the running game.”

On what he does to get his body ready for Sundays:
“I’m trying to stay right with protein. I try to carbo-load when I go into a game. I try to take naps as much as I can and stay off my feet. The biggest thing is just staying after and later every day, doing extra treatment or core work, little things that will keep me right and the cold tub.”

WR Santana Moss

On what he felt happened on the pass interference call at the end of the game:
“I don’t know, I mean I’ve been playing this game for a long time and I still find it hard to believe that it’s alright for somebody to mug us at five yards but we can’t get the guy off us, so they called pass interference on us. How can I get open if a guy is going to put his hands on me and if I put my hands back on him, you know? It’s just stuff that has been going on for years.”

On the missed catch that turned into an interception for the Patriots:
didn’t make the play, plain and simple. I didn’t make the play but, you know, it’s football.”

On how he thinks the offense responded without Trent:
“We just did what we do - ain’t no moral victories. We lost, so it doesn’t really matter.”

On if the team going to go for two if you had scored:
“I don’t know. I was just trying to score, take care of first things first, and then what ever happens, happens.”

On if the pass interference call was that something you had been getting away with and it wasn’t getting called or was it something different:
“Well, honestly to tell the truth all day the guy been mugging me every time I try to go around I’m getting pulled or you know, so I said, 'Okay, I’m not going to go around. I’m going to go at him. If you’re standing still and I’m running at you, of course we’re going to collide and that’s what happened – we collided. He didn’t move and we collided and I broke off and [it was] pass interference on me. But if it’s vice-versa, it’s good coverage by them and you can see it all through the game if I just let him grab me. I’m covered and there not going to call [anything] because he can do it and he’s going to hold on for ten yards and they’re going to say, 'Well, he’s not getting the ball so it’s not holding.’”

WR Jabar Gaffney

On what his thoughts were about the Patriots’ secondary:
“We felt like we could get off on their secondary today. We knew they were tough up front and they’ve had a lot of injuries in their secondary so we had to try to take advantage of it.”

On two weeks in a row not being able to finish off a game:
“That’s just it - can’t finish. Ain’t nothing really to talk about – we didn’t get it done.”

WR Brandon Banks

On his touchdown pass to Moss:
“It was a reverse pass call. I had the option to run it or keep it. they bit on me so I just threw it up to Santana.”

On what he wanted to do on that play:
“Run it.”

On how many times he practiced that play:
“About four or five times. We played around with me throwing the ball but it was a joke at first. I mean, this week, it was kind of serious, obviously. I got my number called and I executed.”

On if his eyes lit up when he saw it in the game plan this week:
“I wouldn’t say they lit up, I was just excited that they put me on offense, I mean I can’t wait to be out there on offense contributing on offense and putting points on the board.”

LB Ryan Kerrigan

On Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski:
“He’s got it all in terms of being a tight end. He’s strong, he can run after the catch, he’s fast. He can do it all. He’s what you want in a tight end.”

On if the Patriots offense spreading the ball around is frustrating:
“A little bit. As a pass rusher, especially, it’s not as fun because you’re two steps up the field and you have to turn and run downfield. They do what they do and they do it well.”

On the offense not being able to finish:
“They played great all day. That turnover is a really unfortunate turnover but they played great all day – allowing 27 points as we did, them scoring on defense and us not scoring on defense. The offense played phenomenally but we as defenders just have to rise up, even playing a great offense like New England.”

On if he was surprised that the game was so close and high scoring:
“No, we knew what we could do on both sides of the ball. We know the matchups we had. We knew how to exploit some of them. They’re a good team and they found a way to win.”

On why Gronkowski is so hard to stop:
“I think Gronkowski and [Tom] Brady just click so well. They know what each other are going to do in certain situations. That throw that he made where I missed the tackle and Gronkowski scored. That was a heck of a throw right over top. Great catch. Not much you can do besides make the tackle.”

On if the Patriots use two tight ends more than other teams:
“I think so, yeah. They throw to their tight ends more than anybody. You can see why because they’re playmakers and they make plays after the catch.”

CB Josh Wilson

On his interception:
“I was on the backside, singled up. Anytime you’re on the backside like that against a great quarterback, you know what time it is. You know that the ball is coming to you. Brady looked and I knew I was outside and I was going to have to make a big play to keep the ball out of his hands. He put enough air under and it gave me a chance to make a play with it… I didn’t realize it until I got the ball in my hands. Once I got two hands [on the ball], the whole point after that was just making sure I came up with the ball.”

On playing against Tom Brady:
“He’s a great quarterback. He made a lot of great plays today. I’m glad I had the opportunity and made the most of it.”

On tight end Rob Gronkowski:
“Look at him. If you miss the first tackle, that was the biggest thing. You’ve got to take care of the tackles and bringing the guy down while you have him… He’s a big guy who is hard to bring down. As you cover a tight end, you’ve got some pretty good looks on him and he won’t stay up. I’m glad we were able to keep it to a minimum, but he made some really big plays on us.”

On making the interception catch:
“I anticipated he was going to throw the ball. I’m on the backside and I know I’m probably going to get the ball. When he came back, I knew one thing is I’m either going to catch it or nobody was going to catch it. I’m happy I had the opportunity to make it.”

On playing against Patriots receivers:
“I think that me and [cornerback] DeAngelo [Hall] and [cornerback Kevin Barnes], we were just in their faces and making them have to earn everything they got. They did. They definitely went out there and earned it. My hat goes off to them.”

On today’s close outcome:
“As a competitive note, you want to win every game… As a team, I think we need to put some things together. We did a great job out there today and made it right down to the end.”

On his interception:
“I’ve dropped a bunch of them. They say after you catch that first one, the rest of them come raining. I’ve got three weeks to let it rain.”

On Gronkowski:
“I had a pleasure to play with two of the brothers. I knew he was good and going to be tough – one of those big coal mine-type of guys and he showed it. I was impressed with his balance and his ability to run after the catch today. He played big for them.”

New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick

On the game:
“Washington did a real good job, Mike [Shanahan] gave us a lot of problems obviously on what they did offensively, but I was real proud of our defense…I thought we had our moments there all the way around, some good some not so good, but in the end, the Redskins are a good team. I would say Mike [Shanahan] did a really good job. It was a hard fought game, though we made a couple more plays than they did to come out on top.”

On what he saw on the last play of the game:
“We were in a zone defense so they tried to chuck it down, the ball got tipped and Jerod [Mayo] made a good burst and closed it to make a play.”

On being better at closing the game in the fourth quarter than last year:
“We had a chance to make it a two-score game there… and then still kept it a one-score game, but it was great to see us close it out defensively and come up with the ball in the end.”

On quarterback Tom Brady following his interception in the end zone:
“The big thing is we were able to do enough to win and it wasn’t perfect. There’s still a lot of things we can work on to do better, but we’ll keep trying each week to improve… I think this was a real competitive game and we have a lot of competitive players on this team.”

On his decision to not call a timeout in the final minutes of the game:
“We were trying to stop them and if I would have thought it would have been a bad call, or it looked like we thought we had a bad matchup with what they were going to try to do, then, sure, we could’ve used it there. It was second-and-15 and we felt like the same works in reverse. If you take a timeout, they see what you’re in and they change what they do and all that. If you don’t feel good about what your matchup is or if you’re on offense and you don’t feel good about what your matchup is based on the way the defense is deployed, that’s a situation where you could use a timeout at the end of the game if you have extra ones, but if you don’t you’re probably better letting the play play out rather than blowing it and then the next play they come out and you might be in an even worse matchup.”

On Rob Gronkowski’s record-breaking play down the sideline:
“He did a great job there. He didn’t fall to the ground, breaking a couple of tackles, staying inbounds. He almost had no room to work with on the sidelines. He not only was able to keep his balance but run through a couple of tackles and stay inbounds. The one down the middle of the field, it seemed like they were dragging him for 10 or 15 yards on that play, too. We see him every day in practice. He is a tough guy to cover, a tough guy to match up on. We don’t tackle him every day in practice, but we have seen plenty of people try to do it. He is a good guy to bring down.”

On the Redskins matching up against Gronkowski:
“On the two long plays, the one in the first quarter and the one in the fourth quarter, it probably goes man coverage. We caught a couple zone, then he caught a ball in the flat and broke a tackle. It depends on the play and coverage. He’s got Tom [Brady] lots of places to throw it to. He’s a great target, and he’s open to give him a lot [of passes].”

On if he talked with cornerback Devin McCourty about adjusting after giving up a couple big plays:
“No. We are in different coverages, and they are running different routes. At the end, we had that tough pass interference call; it was a close call so they called it. But, I thought we came back and battled.”

On the defense’s performance:
“Some things were good; other things we could do better. It is always nice to score on defense.”

On linebacker Dane Fletcher’s performance:
“He did a good job for us. When Dane’s had a chance to play this year, he’s done well. Unfortunately, he has missed a little bit of time, but he has done a good job. I thought he stepped in and was physical. He made a couple plays in the kicking game, too. He had one in the kickoff team. He played pretty physical in there as an inside linebacker. It is good to have him back. Hopefully, we get some of our other guys back as soon as possible.”

On defending the Redskins’ zone running scheme:
“Mike [Shanahan] does a great job. Offensively, he is one of the toughest guys to go up against. He had some good schemes for us; things that caused us problems. He does things that give you a problem, and then, he has things that come off and balances out so when you start looking a month-in you got something else. He does a good job of keeping it moving. They are a very well-coached football team. They did a great job. We have to play better. We have to coach better. We have to give them credit. They really know how to attack defenses.”

Patriots QB Tom Brady

On his reaction to his interception:
“I threw a pretty bad interception so he wasn’t happy about it. A long line of coaches and players are pretty pissed at me after that, but [Offensive Coordinator] Billy [O’Brien] got to me first, so I deserved it.”

On the interception play:
“I tried to throw it to Tiquan [Underwood] and they made a good play… We’re both pretty emotional guys so that’s what I deserve, you know? If you make bad plays, you are supposed to get yelled at by your coaches. This is not the first time and probably won’t be the last. It was just, you can’t do that in that situation and it was just a stupid play by me.”

On Offensive Coordinator Bill O’Brien’s reaction to the interception:
“I made a terrible play, so he just let me know I made a terrible play. It’s football man, it’s a game of emotion. It’s athletics… I was looking there and then I was trying to throw to Tiquan [Underwood] in the back and was trying to get it over [tight end Rob Gronkowski] and there were two other guys on him and I put too much air on it. I gave the DB a chance to make a play.”

On tight end Rob Gronkowski:
“He’s tough. He’s a good guy. He’s a strong runner and always makes that catch. There were some great catches and runs that he made today and he’s obviously a huge part of this offense. It’s great to see him make plays like that today… He’s a big guy and tough to bring down. He’s a good route runner and good blocker and a smart player. [He’s] very dependable and consistent. He’s really been doing that all season. He needs to continue to do it. Obviously, it was a close game today and every play he [had] helped us win.”

On performance in the red zone:
“We had a few plays where we were close today, especially in the red area, that we probably should have had three other touchdowns instead of three other field goals. When you don’t convert in the red area, and we have opportunities, certainly not the plays or anything, it’s just a real lack of execution by us players. We have to do a better job because a lot of the games are tight. A lot of times you look at how well you do in the red area and we just didn’t do a very good job with that today.”

On the offense having to score a lot:
“We are always trying to score. We moved the ball pretty well. We just didn’t necessarily get it in the end zone when we needed to get in the end zone. The frustrating part about today is that we left a lot of points on the board. The defense finished the game well and made a great play at the end to really save us.”

On the interception and what he should have done:
“You try to throw a ball where if your guy doesn’t catch it, no one catches it. You look like you have a matchup and if it is not there then it is not there. You are trying to make a play and coach says make good ones. It wasn’t a good play.”

On the team clicking on all cylinders:
“We are capable of putting a lot of good plays together. We just need to do it consistently for 60 minutes. I think that is what you see out there. We had opportunities to make plays. For one reason or another, we were just a little off. We are still working at it. There is nothing perfect in football, unless you are the Packers.”

On 10-3 record:
“I think Coach [Bill Belichick] has high expectations for us. He challenges us every week to play better and more consistently. At times we do it and other times we don’t. We are still looking to put together 60 minutes of football.”

Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski

On the single-season touchdown record for tight ends:
“What record?”

On getting the ball back after the record:
“Yeah, so, I mean, I got the ball back and everything so it was cool and everything, but it’s cool to get a record and everything but it really [doesn’t] matter. We got the team victory. We got the W and that’s all that matters coming out. The defense played well at the end of the game. They got that interception which was huge. Can’t be any better than coming out with a victory.”

On his long reception in the first half:
“[Quarterback] Tom [Brady] just made a great throw. The defender was right there. He put it where no one else could get it besides me and I just made the catch and just noticed that the guy didn’t touch me at all. So I got up, started running, and just happened to spin off a couple of guys and everything. I got down to like the 12 or something so it was a good play, big play, and it was a good pass. That’s where it started was the pass.”

On if he was sure he was not out of bounds on the play:
“I don’t even know. There [were] no whistles or [anything] so I was just running. So, when I don’t hear a whistle I just keep playing.”

On being a mismatch for defenses:
“You just got to practice hard, you’ve got to run hard, and you got to go full speed at all times. It’s the NFL. Those guys are big and those guys are all fast too so if you’re not going full speed, they’re just going to knock you down right away. They’re going to get you down so just going full intensity the whole game.”

On if he and Redskins safety DeJon Gomes were talking during the game:
“I don’t even remember him getting in my face or nothing because they didn’t talk garbage or nothing. They were just playing the game. [We] respect our opponents and everything. They played hard. I mean, they’ve got a great defense. They were going hard the whole game. It was just a tough battle throughout the whole game.”

On if he sees more man or zone coverage:
“I mean, it depends on who we’re playing. It depends on all that. Today it was a lot of man, definitely. I would say more like 75 percent man that game.”

On running routes against linebackers versus against defensive backs:
“I mean, it is what it is. I mean, whoever is covering me, that’s my job – to get open. So, whoever it is, I have to have a game plan to get open. If it’s a guy that is just as big as me, I’ve got to figure out a way. If it’s a guy faster than me, I’ve got to be able to use my body or something. So whatever it is, I got to do my job and get open.”

On if it is difficult putting in perspective the accomplishments he has had:
“No it’s not hard at all because that’s how we roll around here. [I’ve] gotta stay humble and everything and we just keep going every game. We’ve got a big game next week against Denver already. That’s all I’m thinking about, basically, already now. It’s a team game and we got the victory and that’s all that matters: getting the W for the team.”

On if he thought he would have this type of success coming out of college:
“No, not at all. I mean, you just go out to practice. You go out to work every single day. You just don’t know what’s going to happen.”

On the argument between quarterback Tom Brady and offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien:
“I didn’t see it. Gotta go watch the tape.”

On what he plans on doing with the ball from his record breaking touchdown:
“I don’t know. Spike it. Practice my spikes.”

Patriots WR Wes Welker

On the game:
“It was a hard-fought game. It was definitely a tough one. Luckily in the end we were able to come away with the victory. The defense stepped up big for us. We had a lot of mistakes out there, but in the end we came out with the victory and that is what matters.”

Patriots DE Andre Carter

On the defense’s performance today:
“I pride myself on working hard and executing the plan. In all, it was a close game. Overall, as a team we just have to find a way to get better.”

On slow starts:
“It is just a matter of finishing. Sometimes we start slow and end well or vice versa. There is a point in the middle of the game where something doesn’t go our way or something in general like the mentality of doing what you have to do. It could just be a variety of things like overthinking and just not executing the plan. We just have to find a way to be consistent for four quarters.”

On if the officials explained the personal foul call against him:
“No, they didn’t. I am sure that will be looked at tomorrow. It is unfortunate, especially when it comes to making a play. There was no intention of going low. I thought it was a good hit. The league has definitely been involved in protecting quarterbacks which I understand. That was my fault and I will try better to not put our defense in that situation.”

On the intent of tackle for which he was flagged:
“It is unfortunate that that play was called. There was no intent. I was just trying to find a way to make a play.”

On defensive lapses:
“We have three more games to go out there and compete. Denver is a great team and we have to analyze [them]. They have been known to show fourth quarter comebacks. In all they have been playing well, period, for four quarters. For us, whether it is offense, defense or special teams we just have to see how we can possibly get better because it is coming down to the wire now.”

On his return to Washington:
“This season in itself has been such a blessing. The opportunity to do what I do and play with some great men on this football field. Overall, that was a way to contribute and try to put some points on the board and I did my job.”
Patriots LB Jerod Mayo

On if the late success raises the confidence of the defense:
“A little bit, but at the same time we still want to put together a full game and, you know, it was good enough today, but it probably won’t be good enough any other week.”

On if the Redskins showed offensive looks that the Patriots didn’t expect:
“We saw everything on film. Those guys just came out and executed the game plan well. You know, those guys have a good team and we just have to continue to improve.”

On if he had his wind knocked out at the end of the game:
“No, no, just a little cramp in the calf. Sometimes when it’s cold outside you don’t think you’re sweating, but you really are.”

On the interception at the end of the game:
“Yeah, I think [cornerback] Tracy [White] made a great play on the ball and kind of separated the man from the ball and it just popped up and fell into my hands.”

On the defense making plays when they needed them:
“Yeah, you know, it was good enough today, but it probably won’t be good enough any other week. So we have to continue to improve and hopefully that happens.”

Patriots DL Vince Wilfork

On the fumble recovery for a touchdown:
“It’s you against everybody else trying to fight for the ball; luckily I got it. We started fast on the defense. It’s simple, when you talk about doing it as a football team, it’s about starting fast and then finish. I think on the defense we started fast, then a little stumble in the fourth quarter, but finished the game with an interception. [You] can’t complain about that. So, we have to continue to work. There are a lot of things that we can take from this game and work on and move forward.”

Patriots DB Devin McCourty

On if the team has a sense of urgency:
“You’ve got to have that urgency. I think we are. What happened [was] we got a win today, but we know it won’t be enough [going forward]. The focus now will be going into next week and seeing if we can do better.”

On how to improve his play:
“You know, just being more consistent. I don’t think confidence is a real issue, just going out there and playing and being consistent.”

On if defenses target him more after he gives up a play:
“When you give up a play, you know, it’s not going to stop you. They’re not going to say, 'Oh, alright, we’re done, let’s move on.’ You know, in this league they’re going to keep going [to you]. So that’s the attitude I take, you know, 'how can I help this team go out on the field and make plays?’”

On any adjustments the team made going into the fourth quarter:
“Oh, just playing [with] technique. I was thinking of what I was doing and just getting the job done. That’s the biggest thing: being close on certain plays and just finishing.”

On the team’s red zone defense:
“I think it’s an awareness. We know when they’re in the red zone, we know our goal is to keep them out. So we’re reminding ourselves of that and I think that’s the biggest thing is awareness.”


The Franchise Player
Jul 15, 2009
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Columbia, SC

While he didn't come right out and say it, I have to think Mike would have gone for two had we scored there at the end. I certainly would have.


The Commissioner
Aug 1, 2009
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Florida State

While he didn't come right out and say it, I have to think Mike would have gone for two had we scored there at the end. I certainly would have.
He had talked about doing it earlier in the year saying he'd done it before. You may be right, too bad we'll never know!

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