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

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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.

Floyd looks to improve rapport with Brady: 'Tom likes things a certain way'

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Floyd looks to improve rapport with Brady: 'Tom likes things a certain way'

FOXBORO -- Michael Floyd has been with the Patriots for about a month, and he admits he still has a lot to learn.

Specifically when it comes to his rapport with Tom Brady, Floyd knows there's room for improvement. Against the Texans last weekend, he was targeted three times. One led to a pick. Another was almost picked. One was caught for nine yards. 

On the intercepted pass and the near-interception, Floyd ran slant routes from the left side of the Patriots formation, but he appeared to run them in ways that Brady didn't anticipate. Instead of coming back toward the ball as it approached, Floyd leaked up the field, perhaps hoping to turn what would be an intermediate gain into a bigger play. 

On WEEI earlier this week, Brady took the blame for the pick. But Floyd shouldered his share of responsibility for the turnover on Wednesday.

"You just gotta come downhill," he said. "Obviously at this time of the year, a lot of guys are really checked in on film work and how you play and splits and stuff like that. You gotta make sure you're really fundamentally sound and come downhill to every single ball."

It's one of many lessons Floyd has tried to absorb since being claimed off of waivers by the Patriots in mid-December.

In the regular-season finale against the Dolphins, he looked to be learning at an impressive rate as he caught three passes for 36 yards and laid a monster block that helped spring Julian Edelman for the longest touchdown reception of his career. 

As he prepared for the AFC title game, though, he acknowedleged that he has a way to go -- particularly when it comes to understanding the nuances of how his ever-demanding quarterback wants things done.

"I've only been here a month so I think that's every single day," Floyd said of getting to know Brady's preferences. "I gotta keep my head in the playbook and ask questions. That's what I do every single day. There's nothing wrong about asking a question. They see that I'm the new guy here, and I -- for the most part -- get all the answers that I need."

He added: "Tom likes things a certain way. Me being the new guy, or any of us, we make sure that we do it that way."

Patriots-Steelers practice report: Full participation for Pats

Patriots-Steelers practice report: Full participation for Pats

Wednesday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

DID NOT PRACTICE
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
TE Ladarius Green (concussion)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)

FULL PARTICIPATION
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)