FOXBOROUGH -- Patriots safety James Ihedigbo came to the defense of wide receiver Wes Welker on Monday, telling reporters at Gillette Stadium that you can't point fingers at anyone for what happened in the Patriots loss to the Giants in the Super Bowl.
“You can never point fingers at anyone," said Ihedigbo. "You look at the plays that [Welker's] made all year long, how hard he played that game, and how hard he prepared for that game. We wanted it just as bad as [the Giants] did. They just made some key plays at the end and came out on top, so hats off to them.”
"If you look across the board, Wes made amazing plays all year long and even yesterday he did," Ihedigbo continued. "As a team, guys made numerous plays for us to even be in the position we were in last night. So you wear it as a team. You win and you lose as a team and we lost to a good football team.”
Ihedigbo, who started 12 of the Patriots 16 regular season games this year, admitted that the plane ride to Boston was a tough one, especially knowing that it was likely the last time he'd get to see some of the members of this year's team.
“It was very difficult ride," he said. "It’s the National Football League. The group of guys that were on that plane, it’s rare that all those guys are going to be back. We were a very special group, we worked hard. We’re a family, and we played like that, so it’s a tough pill to swallow.”
Asked if he thought this team could get back to the Super Bowl next season, Ihedigbo who hails from Northampton, Mass., had this to say:
“Yeah, I think [we're] only going to get better. That’s what should be expected, you know, is this team being back in the Super Bowl. God willing we can get back, but [this loss] makes us have that hunger and desire to get back and bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Boston.”