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Patriots Locker Room Quotes (January 16, 2013)

New England Patriots Aaron Hernandez, Stevan Ridley, Michael Hoomanawanui, Aqib Talib, Shane Vereen and Tavon Wilson talk about Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Aaron Hernandez, Tight End

(On if the team can look at the same film from the past or if they look at different film)

“They have a good defense and we’ve played against a lot of good defenses. We just have to play our game and keep doing what we do.”

 

(On lining up against Ravens LB Ray Lewis)

“He is a great player and known for being one of the best linebackers to play the game. And yes, you are aware of him when he is on the field. But like I said, we just have to play our game and do what we have to do. We have to focus on our play and not really the other defensive players. He is a hitter and a great player. He reads offenses and catches calls. You have to know where he is on the field.”

 

(On what kind of dynamic comes with a defense that throws a lot at you)

“It makes it a little bit more difficult, but we have a great quarterback that is going to get us in the right play. When you have a quarterback and great offensive coordinators, they put us in the right situation to make plays and it is our job to make a play.”

 

(On what the team learned collectively about losing TE Rob Gronkowski the first time around)

“You can’t replace him, but we all have to step up. It is a huge loss and everyone knows that, but we still have games to win. Everyone has to step it up and we have to do as much as we can do individually to fill his void.”

 

(On Tom Brady and if he learns from the examples Brady sets)

“Yeah, it just shows how much he loves the game. When you love the game, you are going to try and be the best player you can be, if not try to be the best ever. That is his goal and what motivates him. He is a great person to follow and a great leader.”

 

 

Michael Hoomanawanui, Tight End

(On how his role has evolved since he arrived)

“Coming in here, I was trying to find a significant role. Starting off playing a little fullback, things I’ve done before, but really putting it in concrete in the game. Three plays, five plays turns into 15 plays or 20 toward the end of the season, playing significant roles, 40-plus plays. Definitely a whirlwind from the beginning of the season.”

 

(On how you prepare for such a big game)

“The intensity goes up, but when you’re in practice and in meetings, as football players we look at it as another game. Obviously there is a heightened sense of things going on, but for us it’s another football game. Obviously it’s win or go home.”

 

(On being the next man up)

“Our job as professional football players is that when one guy goes down, the next guy has to step up. Whatever that role is, if it’s one guy taking over the role or if it’s two or three guys filling the role collectively as it’s been throughout the season, we’ll do it that way.”

 

 

Stevan Ridley, Running Back

(On the numbers showing the Ravens’ defense is down this year)

“They’re a great football team. I don’t care what the numbers say. History shows what they do in the playoffs. They go on the road and they win. They have great leadership. They have one of the best players to ever play the game. We have ultimate respect for the Ravens.”

 

(On what the Patriots Way is)

“This is an organization that is built on a lot of tradition and they have been doing things the right way for a long time. If you don’t want to play football the [right] way, you’re not going to be here.”

 

 

Aqib Talib, Cornerback

(On the Ravens receivers)

“It is a big job this week to try and prevent that deep ball. They are on the same page right now with [Joe] Flacco. We have a lot of work to do this week.”

 

(On playing in an AFC Championship Game)

“It is the next big game. All of them are big now. The more you play, the bigger they get. It is the next big game.”

 

(On if the Ravens take more shots down field than other teams)

“They definitely take more shots than teams I have played against. Every game they are going to take their shots down the field.”

 

(On Ravens WR Torrey Smith)

“He does his job. His job is to stretch the field and he definitely stretches the field.”

 

(On experiencing the New England culture and success)

“It is football. When you are little and you are thinking about being in the NFL, you think about being in this situation. It is ideal for me. This is real football; you come here and you know you are going to play real football.”

 

 

Shane Vereen, Running Back

(On being inactive for last year’s championship game)

“Last year it was kind of devastating and heart breaking to not be out there with the team in a big game. This year I am able to contribute and I hope to help the team in the best way that I can.”

 

(On his thoughts regarding Tom Brady saying he was the reason the Patriots were playing in the AFC Championship game)

“It is humbling. It is also motivation; I have to go get better because we can have a better performance Sunday.”

 

(On which touchdown he was most proud of last Sunday)

“On the last one, Tom threw a perfect, perfect pass and I was only able to bring it in because of where the ball was at. It was a matchup that we were hoping to get and we were able to execute the play. Everything lined up right and Tom threw a perfect pass.”

 

(On his focus heading into this week)

“You can’t come into this week and not be focused. You have to come in with the mindset that you have to get better, work and prepare for a great team.”

 

 

Tavon Wilson, Safety

(On Devin McCourty)

“He’s been in the system for three years. He knows the system inside and out, so he can bring the rest of us along in that… I follow Devin’s footsteps all of the time. I feel like I can go to him about anything. He is a great guy to surround yourself with.”

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