Belichick: "I'm really proud of our players"

191543.jpg

Belichick: "I'm really proud of our players"

The following is a collection of quotes from the Patriots - Jets post game press conferences, courtesy of the Patriots media relations staff:

Bill Belichick

BB: Its good to come in here after a win against the Jets. It always is. A division game, a hard-fought game like it always is. Im really proud of our players. We stepped up and that was a great drive there offensively to answer the touchdown, field goal. I thought we played better on defense. There were some good things to build on. Weve still got a long way to go, and well see them again in a month, as well as the rest of our division teams later on this season. Its good to win and I'm really proud of our team. They had a good week of practice, they worked hard, pushed through a lot of bumps and bruises banged up and a long trip back from Oakland and all of that, but they hung in there and I thought they really did a good job this week. It was one of our good weeks of practice, so hopefully that was reinforced by what we did in the game.

What he saw from Aaron Hernandez in his return:

BB: Aaron has really worked hard the last couple of weeks to get back out there. Hes in here early, he stays late; he's leaving when the coaches are leaving. Hes getting a lot of extra treatment. He was able to come out and practice later on in the week and handle a little more each day and kept getting better, so we felt confident going into the game and he felt confident going into the game. Again, he got behind the defense a couple times, so he obviously got his speed back. I thought he had a good couples days of practice at the end of the week and was able to carry it over into the game. He's a tough guy to match up against. Hes a good player.

Q: How the defense was overall in getting the right plays without Jerod Mayo:

BB: I didnt think we had a lot of coverage problems or defensive adjustment problems where we couldnt get things lined up or that kind of thing. I think Patrick Chung and James Ihedigbo did a real nice job. James did a great job for us today in his overall communication and of course he was pretty familiar with the team we were playing. Hes a smart guy that really works hard, communicates well and practiced well this week. I thought he did a good job when he was in there, delivered a couple big hits and played well, so he helped us with the communication as well as Gary Guyton and Brandon Spikes and Rob Ninkovich. Those guys have been playing together and especially Spikes now has had a few weeks where hes been in there, and Gary and Rob, they had a good week of practice. I think its going better. Its not perfect, but were making progress and definitely getting better.

Tom Brady
Q: How impressed he was with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and how much Green-Ellis helped the passing game:

TB: He ran great, he always does. Hes a tough runner, hes a real smart runner, hes patient, he sees the holes. That was a big part of the win. I thought we were balanced. Ran the clock out at the end, that was important. We needed that win. When we call upon him, we need him and he makes the plays. That was great.

Q: How important it was to have the threat of running the ball after you didnt last year?

TB: We need to do it. We have to run the ball. If they have a lot of DBs out there, then we have to run it. If they put big guys in, we still have to run it. You just cant throw the ball every single down against these guys, they make it too tough. I thought we could have done better with running the ball; we could have done better passing the ball. Well try to make some improvements and move onto the Cowboys.

Q: Week after week being in the spotlight with the other team raising their game to go after you and the Patriots. What it's like to have your opponents be so up against you ever week and for you to be under attack every week:

TB: We dont think about it much like that, we really dont. Whoever we play, were expecting to go out there and rise up to them also. I dont think we ever have taken an opponent lightly. Every opponent is dangerous. Were going out there to play our best every week. We expect the opponents best every week too. Were not going to expect to go out there and get six turnovers a week and win by 40. You realize its going to come down to the fourth quarter and we have to make enough plays.

Vince Wilfork

Q: Stringing together three straight three and outs and how that can help the team pick up momentum and rhythm:

VW: You know, every time we did it, and the offense went out, and then we went right back on the field. I just remember guys saying to each other Hey lets do it again.' Because we knew eventually our offense was going to get back on track and put some points up. Every week we have that offense. So, I think the better we get defensively, the better this team will be. I think it is a start in the right direction. Thats one thing we are going to need to continue to build on. Especially going forward this week with the Cowboys coming to town, we are going to need another great week of practice. I think everybody can see what two good weeks of practices can do for us. I think everybodys momentum and confidence is up. We need to start stringing it together for 60 minutes.

Wes Welker
Q: Going deep and beating the Jets' secondary:
WW: It was just one of those plays where the safety was a little over-aggressive. We run a similar type play and ran the ball and so I kind of got a feel for what that safety was doing. I went down and then kind of acted like I was going to block him and then took off on it. Tom Brady made a good throw. Hopefully next time I can just finish that out.

Q: Starting to like going over the top?

WW: Yeah, I love it. Anytime you can get the ball deep and make some big plays like that, its huge for our offense. The more you can do out there, the better off were going to be. Just continue to try and make plays every time I get a chance.

Q: How much of a factor Darrelle Revis was covering Welker one-on-one:

WW: Hes always a factor. Hes a great player. You definitely have to make sure youre very crisp with all your routes and really set up him up with stuff and be smart about it. Every play is go-time when hes across from you. He does a great job with all that. Its a little game of cat and mouse sometimes with him. You just have to keep on plugging away and hopefully get some big plays every once in awhile.

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL


Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”