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Heard 'round the locker room

Posted by Scott Thurston, Globe Staff  December 18, 2011 09:22 PM

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The hype of facing the ballyhooed Tim Tebow did not affect the Patriots' approach, according to defensive lineman Vince Wilfork.

“We approached this game, just like any other,’’ he said. “We’ve faced some decent quarterbacks this season. Tebow does some things that most quarterbacks don’t do, but this is the National Football League. There’s going to be a point in the game where you have to make sideline adjustments, which we did. We took advantage of the opportunities.’’

Wilfork on the Patriots' first win in the Mile High City since 2003: “I haven’t won much here. It’s a tough place to play. They have great fans, a great atmosphere. This is a great football city; they live for this team. It’s good to go on the road and get a 'W’'. It makes the plane ride home a lot smoother.’’

On the of the quadriceps injury sustained by teammate Andre Carter: "That’s tough. Andre puts so much in with his leadership alone. He gives a lot to this team. To see him go down is tough. Anytime someone goes down it's tough, but to see a guy like that -- he hasn’t really won a lot in his career -- but now he’s winning. He’s happy here, he’s having fun, and he’s playing well. To see him go down, it’s a blow. We had to have guys step up. We stepped up and got this “W’’ for him.’’

Danny Woodhead on the support he received after several fans, friends and family from North Platte, Neb., made the drive west to see him play: “It was great to get out there and play closer to home. It’s always nice to have them support you. It was nice to play in front of them.’’

James Ihedigbo, on the defense turning it around after losing Carter: "Anytime you lose a leader like that, Andre Carter is a phenomenal player, He's been a big force for us as a team. Anytime you lose a guy like that, guys looked around and took it really personally, had to step up and play not only for him, but for each other.''

Rob Gronkowski, on Denver's defense: "Basically, we saw what they have been doing all year. We just did a great job overall as an offense. O-line, running backs, wide receivers, everyone was executing well.''

Wes Welker, on the absence of Deion Branch: "Deion's such a great player, we understod that we all had to step up and make some plays, and get him healthy and back, and just try to take care of business this week.''

Denver LB Von Miller, on the Patriots' playmaking ability: "We knew they were a great team ,and we knew they were going to make plays. We're disappointed that we weren't able to hold up with all the communication errors on defense. It's just back to the drawing board.''

Denver CB Champ Bailey on Tom Brady: "I said it before the game, he is still the best out there in my opinion, When you make mistakes against a guy like that, he is going to make you pay. That is pretty much what happened all day. He is just patient. He knows his guys; he knows where everyone is going to be. He is the best all-around quarterback that I know. That is what you expect out of him; he has been doing it for years.''

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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