The bye week always comes at a good time no matter what part of the season because all of the guys need it to get those little bumps and bruises and get those healed up and get ready for a long push when we start against Pittsburgh in a few weeks. But we’re always trying to improve things – I don’t think we ever come out of a game thinking, ‘yeah, we have everything figured out.’ Especially a game like yesterday where we’re all pretty proud of the way we pulled it out, it was a great team win, the defense really stepped it up when we needed it to and offensively we did some things when we needed to as well. When you play a good football team like that, you gotta win those games and we had a chance, we had an opportunity to do it, and we took advantage of it.
On playing complimentary football:
No question. No question. Coach Belichick has really been stressing that, that when the offense turns it over not to allow points and when the defense gets a turnover for us to get the ball in the end zone. And that is complimentary football, and that’s a team really working together, understanding the situation and really capitalizing. I don’t think we really did that this past game. We have plenty of things we have to work on, but to turn it over four times and still win, that hardly ever happens. I think we’re pretty fortunate there.
On whether the game slowed down for him in the last 2:31:
Well at that point you’ve got a pretty good feel for what you’re doing, you’ve got a pretty good feel for your matchups, the coverages you’re seeing, obviously it wasn’t our best offensive performance out there yesterday, but if the score is 44-41, you still have to go down and score points, so I think the situation was we had two minutes there and we had the chance to win the game and as I said after the game, we work on that every week. Every single week we have two-minute drives in practice, against our defense, against the scout team, and we’re expected to go out there and execute so I don’t think there was a guy on that offense that didn’t think we could go down there and score points and ultimately once we got into position, we were going for the win. Every single guy in that offense really executed at a high level and that’s really what it took because we didn’t really execute at a high level all day and that’s why I think we came out of the game not scoring as many as we had hoped.
On Dallas' three-and-out that gave the ball back to New England with 2:31 to play:
We practice that situation as well, we call it a four-minute offense, when you’re ahead and you have to try to run the clock out. I think the first time was a run, then they got a penalty at one point, right? So that always hurts you and then on the third-and-long, the chances of picking up a third-and-long are probably 15, 20 percent anyway, so they’re banking on the fact that we can’t go down there and score if they kick it to us. And you know, they made it tough on us. They made it tough on us all day. There weren’t a lot of easy throws out there, they really made us earn it. And that’s really the hallmark of that team, and especially a Rob Ryan-coached team, who’s a damn good coach, damn good coordinator, and he was here and helped us win some Super Bowls so we know how he had those guys playing and they played a great game on defense.
On what Rob Ryan does to make it so tough:
I think it’s just that: there’s nothing easy out there. There’s no – he doesn’t give you any easy throws, he tries to take away your main routes, he tries to double-coverage your main receivers, and they did a lot of that. They put a lot of extra guys in coverage that teams typically don’t do and that was to more get our receivers and they were rushing three guys most of the time and they force you to throw the ball even with those three guys because they’re very good pass-rushers. Anytime you can drop a lot of guys into coverage and still get pressure on the quarterback, that’s pretty good defense. And he mixed it up well enough where it wasn’t always that; he’d pressure us but then he’d also back off and play coverage. It just made it tough. And there were plays out there that we certainly could have executed – we don’t need to not execute the play even if they do do that, there were plenty of times where we could have done a better job and we got down close in the red area and didn’t really take advantage. We kicked a field goal on the opening drive, we kicked a field goal on another drive, we got into the scoring zone and turned the ball over on another drive…those all limit points and when you limit points against a good team it ends up being a close game. We made the plays at the end in order to win the game.
On Chad Ochocinco:
Look, he’s working hard at it and we’re all working hard at it. I’d say there’s definitely a lot of improvement that we’ve made and we’re going to continue to make. I have a lot of trust and confidence in him; I don’t lack for that at all. He didn’t get a lot of opportunities yesterday, I think that’s the reality of that game. There were a lot of other guys that were in there – Aaron was in there a lot, Gronk was in there a lot, obviously Wes and Deion have been out there, so that was just primarily the way it turned out yesterday. How it turns out when we play Pittsburgh, I have no idea, but it will probably be pretty different there too. Like I said, I have tons of confidence in Chad.
On the "most clutch" player he's ever played with:
Oh God, we’ve had so many guys over the years. Look, guys that I played with on those championship teams were pretty clutch – David Patten, think of all the critical touchdowns he’s had in his career; Troy Brown, Wes Welker, Randy (Moss), Kevin Faulk. I mean, Kevin Faulk…is probably the most clutch player I’ve ever played with. He is a remarkable player, and he’s made so many big plays in big games for us. Matt Light, he plays his best in the biggest games against the best opponents, so he’s as tough as they come also.
On whether Faulk will be back on the field this year:
Yeah, I think so. He’s on the team. I know he’s on PUP, this is the week where guys can start coming off PUP. I don’t know what coach Belichick is going to do this coming week but it’s nice that he’ll be out there and ready to be part of the team. I know he’s itching – every time I see him I keep saying there’s a countdown for him. I’ll love seeing him out there and his 33 jersey out on the practice field, so I hope that comes very soon.
On his right arm, which he had wrapped during the game yesterday:
Just a little precautionary, nothing to worry about.