Q: Can you talk about Shane Vereen’s performance tonight?
TB: Yeah, you know, there were a bunch of guys that made good plays. Shane had a great game. Really just a huge growing up moment for him, so very special. It was for everybody. There were a lot of guys that made a lot of plays. We needed it. It was a good football team with a lot of good plays, but we have another one coming in next week.
Q: What is it like for you to pass Joe Montana in most postseason wins?
TB: Well, I hope I'm around for a few more years. I know this was an important win for our team and that’s always the number one goal for me.
Q: Can you talk about mental toughness this week and guys making plays? There were a lot of changes and you lost a lot of players. How hard was it to make those changes and how important was it to see guys rise to the challenge?
TB: Yeah. I think that’s been the mark of our team. We’ve won 11 of 12. We were down 31-3 at home and battled back. I think we’re going to be in it. We have a lot of tough guys, mentally tough guys. Whatever happens, like what happened on the first play of the game, you’ve got to overcome it. We made some key plays when we needed to. Shane made them, Wes [Welker] made them, Brandon [Lloyd] made them, so it was a great effort. Offensive line was awesome, as usual.
Q: What are your thoughts on losing Rob Gronkowski for the playoffs?
TB: I don’t know anything about that. I haven’t heard anything.
Q: As a kid, did you ever think you would pass Joe Montana in the record books?
TB: I love playing and I love competing. I love being a part of this team and this organization. It’s a lot of mentally tough guys I think I’ve just been fortunate to play on some great teams over the years. I very much appreciate that and I never take that for granted. I'm always going to try to be the best teammate and leader I can possibly be.
Q: In the back of your mind, is there any disappointment that it won’t be a Brady-Manning AFC Championship game?
TB: I think the two best teams are in the finals. Baltimore certainly deserves to be here and so do we, so it's very fitting. We played them early in the year; they got us. We blew a pretty big lead there at the end. We’re going to have to play our best game this week.
Q: You seem a little subdued. Has your mind already clicked forward a little bit?
TB: I’m tired, man. There was a lot of emotional energy spent: it’s a big build up to the week and we had four days of practice and you're up and you're down, you're up and you're down. I’m tired. I'm ready to go home.
Q: Is it deflating to see Rob Gronkowski leave the field with an injury?
TB: Sure. Like I said, we had a whole plan built for him and Woody [Danny Woodhead]. We run the first series of the game and all those plans change. I think a little of it was ‘What are we going to do now? How are we going to adjust?’ But we seemed to settle in there midway through the first quarter and put together a pretty good game. Obviously it’s a bummer to lose anybody, but someone of Rob’s importance or Danny’s importance, we need guys to step in and fill the void, whether it’s this game or any game after.
Q: Did you actually change the plan you had in place, or just change the players within the plan?
TB: Well, there are adjustments – like I said, we have certain plays for certain guys and Rob and Danny are a big part of the plan. That's what Josh [McDaniels] does best: he gets guys in the best position to make plays and always comes up with a way to adapt and scheme things up and third down and red area, there’s’ no one better in the league.
Q: What was the explanation on Stevan Ridley’s forward progress call?
TB: I wasn't happy. He wasn't happy either. You know, that's part of the game. He’s a good official. All the best officials are working this weekend. I think it’s just the heat of the moment and I get excited.
Q: That's good.
TB: Yeah, it’s always good.