|01.10.10 at 8:30 pm ET|
FOXBORO – Thanks to the Patriots media relations staff, here is the transcript of Bill Belichick’s post-game press conference.
BB: First of all let’s start by congratulating the Ravens today. They were certainly a lot better than we were in every phase of the game. They were the better team from start to finish. We just didn’t do enough things well, obviously, to really be competitive in the game. I’m disappointed the way we finished the season. There really isn’t too much to say. They were the better team today. [They] outcoached us. They outplayed us. They did everything better than we did. That’s why they’re moving on.
Q: What did you see happen on the long run at the beginning of the game?
BB: We just obviously didn’t do a good job.
Q: Were you not prepared for the level of pressure they were putting on Tom Brady at the opening snap?
BB: I don’t think they really did anything different. Read the rest of this entry »
|01.10.10 at 8:21 pm ET|
FOXBORO – Thanks to the Patriots media relations department, here is the transcript of Tom Brady’s post-game press conference. He will also make his final radio appearance of the season on Monday morning during the Dennis & Callahan show on WEEI.
Q: Can you put into perspective what this loss means to you as a player and to this franchise?
TB: Well, you know, we didn’t play well. If you don’t play well against a good team, I don’t think it’s anything more than that. To put it in terms of our franchise or anything like that – I think it was one game where we didn’t play particularly well and obviously got off to a terrible start in the first quarter and never really could get back in the game. It’s just the way it is when you get in the playoffs and you play some good teams. We just made way too many mistakes.
Q: Was that first quarter of play the worst quarter you’ve seen this team play since you got here?
TB: I don’t know. I don’t know where to rank them. I mean, you’re not going to be able to win the game if you play like that in the first quarter and you can’t overcome it. We just couldn’t do it. It was certainly not the way we expected to play the game. We had a lot of confidence coming into the game; we just didn’t get it done.
Q: Did the fact that the fans booed multiple times bother you?
TB: I’d have been booing us too, the way we played. That’s their right. We just didn’t play well and you’ve got to give those guys a lot of credit. They played well in all phases and really took it to us. Read the rest of this entry »
|01.10.10 at 8:07 pm ET|
FOXBORO — As the game clock ticked down the final seconds of the Patriots season, Vince Wilfork admitted considering the possibility that he could be playing in a Patriots uniform for the last time. The end of New England’s playoff run means the beginning of the offseason for the Patriots, and the biggest question surrounding the team is what will happen to the All-Pro defensive lineman.
The 28-year-old is eligible to become a free agent next month. There is no question that he will draw interest from many teams in the NFL if he reaches the open market. Wilfork said he talked to his teammates about his situation after being eliminated from the playoffs.
“I told my teammates, I don’t know if this is the last game I play with you or not,” Wilfork said. “But if it is, man, I love you and I’m going to miss you.”
Wilfork spoke at length after the game about several topics. On the subject of his own future, the two-time Pro Bowler admitted that he can see himself putting on a different uniform next season.
“Yes, I can. I surely can,” he confirmed. “This whole process, I did what was best for my family. Family first, and it’s going to be first now.”
Wilfork has played six seasons with the Patriots and has been one of the team’s most consistent faces on the defensive side of the ball. Wilfork has played in 13 or more regular-season games all six years he’s been a Patriot. Rumors swirled before the season started that he would hold out, but he did just the opposite. Wilfork showed up to training camp on time and gave his best all year.
“I could’ve easily been sitting out and wanting my money and trying to prove a point,” Wilfork said. But that’s not me.”
Now, some believe Wilfork could get the franchise tag from the Patriots. Wilfork acknowledged that he would be very upset if the Patriots decided to lock him into the franchise tag and that he’s looking for a long-term deal.
Patriots tight end Ben Watson also is looking at free agency and says he doesn’t know if he wants to be back in New England.
“I don’t know, I’m going to wallow in this misery for a little bit and then talk to the people around me — my family, agent — and see if the Patriots organization wants to have me back,” Watson said. “And if they don’t, there’s so many different possibilities, so we’ll just see how it goes.”
Wilfork and Watson are joined by many other Patriots who will be going into free agency: Kevin Faulk, Jarvis Green, Stephen Neal, Vince Wilfork, Leigh Bodden, Logan Mankins, Derrick Burgess, Pierre Woods, Junior Seau, Gary Guyton, Stephen Gostkowski and Chris Hanson.
|01.10.10 at 6:45 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Both Vince Wilfork and Adalius Thomas agreed on one thing following the Ravens 33-14 shellacking of the Patriots: New England played its worst game of the season at a time when the team needed to play its best.
“It’s probably the worst game we’ve played all season, period.” said Thomas.
The linebacker was admittedly very disappointed after being eliminated from the playoffs in the first round. No. 96 finished the game with solo tackles, a season high for him.
Wilfork, meanwhile, was pancaked the first play of the game, a block that resulted in a huge hole for Ravens running back Ray Rice, who exploited the gap and sprinted 83 yards for a touchdown. The 325-pound defensive lineman missed the last three games of the regular season due to a foot injury, did not offer excuses for his performance.
Afterwards, he said he “felt fine” and ”was healthy.” His concern was with the Patriots’ team performance.
“The way we played today is probably the worst we played all year”, said Wilfork. “We didn’t even come to play, we didn’t even play like it was a playoff game, more like a preseason game.”
|01.10.10 at 6:42 pm ET|
|01.10.10 at 6:17 pm ET|
FOXBORO – The key to the Ravens’ defensive dismantling of the Patriots on Sunday was getting to Tom Brady. The Ravens acknowledged as much after their 33-14 win at Gillette Stadium, forcing Brady to throw three interceptions while sacking him three more times.
“Anytime you can get to a guy like Tom Brady, a quarterback that doesn’t want to move, and you can make him move, you’ve got a chance,” said defensive end Trevor Pryce. “We had a lot of pressure and he had to get rid of the ball quickly. It doesn’t always mean you tackle him, but it means you get close enough to rattle him and make him make a decision very quickly.”
Ray Lewis came out and was exactly what everyone in a Patriots uniformed feared – the spark of a defense that was motivated all day long. Their reward – a Saturday night date with Peyton Manning and the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“We really came out and had fun and jumped around,” Lewis said. “That was my message all week, ‘have fun with these moments.’ We understood that Brady was their key just like next week, Peyton is going to be their key. If you can get to Brady and really rattle him early, you have a great chance.”
Brady’s three interceptions led to 13 Ravens points in New England’s season-ending loss in the opening round of the AFC playoffs.
Pryce could also see a difference without Wes Welker in the game, replaced by Julian Edelman.
“When you lose a guy like Welker, that has something to do with it,” Pryce said. “They have a guy just like him. It almost seemed at times like we had more people on the field than they did. We were coming from all angles.”
But Pryce’s comments weren’t limited to on Brady alone. He felt the Ravens had the jump on the Pats from the get-go.
“I think we were more ready to play emotionally than they were,” Pryce said. “It has nothing to do with game plan or anything. They have coaches and we have coaches, but psychologically, we were ready to play. After that first run, you could tell it was going to happen. It’s hard to overcome that. That’s a psyche killer.”
That first run, of course, was the 83-yard TD gallop by Ray Rice through the line of scrimmage on the first play of the game.
|01.10.10 at 5:47 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork said the booing at Gillette Stadium on Sunday made it feel like they were playing a road game.
“It felt like we were playing an away game — that’s what it felt like,” Wilfork said of the booing which started in the first quarter of Sunday’s playoff loss to he Ravens. “I’m telling you — for some much this team has done in the past … I don’t understand it. They pay their money. They want to see a good show. They want to see blowouts all the time. They want to have the big plays. But it [doesn’t] happen like that all the time.
“So, that was tough. But hey, they have their right to their opinion. That’s how they feel, and they let us know. We didn’t help by playing any better than we did … so, take it for whatever it’s worth.”
Wilfork, in the final year of a six-year contract he signed as a rookie, also touched on his contract status. He said he wants to stay in New England, but would certainly balk at a one-year franchise tag, preferring a long-term deal instead.
“I could have been easily sitting down and wanting my money and trying to prove a point, but that’s not me,” Wilfork said. “I said I’m loyal to my word. I’m sticking by my word. I want to be a Patriot. But that’s not up to me.”