January 30, 2008
Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs respects guys like Pittsburgh safety Anthony Smith who guaranteed a victory over the Patriots, and Giants receiver Plaxico Burress who predicted that the Giants would beat the Patriots, 23-17, in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
“I always give my hats off to a guy like Anthony Smith or Plaxico for the confidence that they have in saying that because it speaks volumes. It speaks volumes in the confidence that you have coming into a game of this magnitude.”
Posted by Rob Lee at 1:29 PM | Permalink
December 9, 2007
Wes Welker, Wide Receiver
(On guarantees from the opposing team)
Yeah. We just went out there and executed and just did our thing out there. I don't think that it played too much, I think that we just went out there and executed our plays. We are not going to pay attention to what anyone says or does out there, we are just going to go out and execute out there and do what we do out there.
(On if a win against a team like the Steelers is more satisfying)
Yes. They are a really good football team, so anytime you can get a win against a team like that it's a good deal.
(On the Moss to Brady to Gaffney touchdown pass)
It was really impressive and I didn't realize that Tom could throw that far. He really threw the ball down there and made a nice play.
Jabar Gaffney, Wide Receiver
(On the touchdown play from Moss to Brady to Gaffney for 56 yards)
The play was called the Ravens Special. We had it in for last week but we never got to use it. I knew it was going to be a touchdown.
(On what his touchdown catch did to the game.)
I think it put it out there a little bit and got us excited and got the crowd into it and I think we just rolled from there.
(On if Tom Brady took a while to throw it)
I think that he wanted to make sure that he could throw it that far and he just threw it all the way to the end zone. When I took off everyone bit up and I knew that if it made it back to Tom, it would be a touchdown. It took like forever for the ball to come down. I looked back and it was still in Tom's hand and I was like "come on, lets throw it".
Tedy Bruschi, Linebacker
(On the win)
The theme of the week was to go back to being a smart and tough football team. We have been doing some things the past couple weeks that we wanted to fix. We talked about fixing these things with just being a smart team because that's what you have to be to beat a team like this.
(On if the Patriots were trying to make a statement with their level of play tonight)
I don't care about statements and what people say, I just care about what the scoreboard says. We came away with a victory and that was all this week was geared for. We weren't focused on who was saying what, but more on us just doing our job.
(On the dominating 2nd half of play by the Patriots)
We had a couple of key series where we went three-and-out and got the ball in the offense's hands and they were able to do things with it. On defense we put them on a few three-and-outs and that's how we got them scrambling a bit.
(On what the team did well)
TB: Red zone, red zone defense, winning on third down, things like that, things that Baltimore had success with, Philly had success with. You may win games but you're constantly trying to still learn how you can get better. Number one we wanted to do better versus the run, we wanted to do better in the red area. I think we did that tonight and have a better percentage on third down. Those are things we'll continually harp even after this game going on later in the year and into the playoffs.
(On how the defense improved)
TB: I think we made progress. I think we made progress. It feels good when you talk about things during the week and then you go out and execute them. You set a goal of, let's get better in the red area, lets get better on third down and you go out there and your supposed to perform you have one chance a week. When you go out there and you do that, it feels good.
Rodney Harrison, Safety
(On the defense's success in the red zone)
It's an area that we struggled at this entire season, the goal line. We're not very proud of it. The only thing we can try to do is get better. We're probably the worst team in the league in the red area. Nowhere else to go but up.
(On how the Patriots did their talking on the field Sunday, not through the media)
A win is a win. They have a very good team. It's just, we don't get caught up in that cat and mouse game. The games aren't won or lost through the media. They're won or lost on Sunday and that's what we focus on. When I was a young player like that, I barely opened my mouth. You have to go out there and play football and not worry about the other crap that's going on.
(On if he's surprised that another opponent had to re-learn that lesson)
That's not my problem, that's their problem. Our team is focused on the 53 guys in this locker room and what we have to do and what we stand for and what we're trying to get accomplished, and that's to win one game at a time.
(On making the goal line stop on Hines Ward on fourth down)
I've seen that play over the course of my career maybe four or five times, when the wide receiver lines up wide and comes across on motion and they hand it off to him. Once he started motioning in - Hines is a big, physical receiver who likes to run the ball, [an] ex-quarterback - I figured they were going to run that play and I was able to come and make the play, along with all the other guys blowing up things to get myself, as well as someone else free to make that tackle.
(On the play of the defense Sunday)
We played Patriot football and this is what I'm used to playing since I've been here for [the last] five years -- going out here, not taking any crap, standing up to a big, physical team like Pittsburgh and doing what we do best. That's playing sound, fundamental football very physical and that's what we proved today.
Ellis Hobbs, Cornerback
(On the Patriots doing their talking on the field Sunday)
The game should speak for itself. You shouldn't have to do the extra talking. The really great players and great teams don't have to say all that. Play speaks for itself.
(On whether he has said anything he has really regretted afterwards - referring to Anthony Smith's guarantee)
Yeah, I've said some things, but nothing to that degree. Personally, when I said the things I regretted, [they were] more about my character, how I want to be portrayed, things like that, but nothing where you have the whole east coast waiting for you to come over here so they can slap you around. Nothing to that degree.
(On if the Patriots' offense was picking on Smith with the two long touchdown passes)
I have no clue what they were doing over there. I know he was back there and didn't make the plays. I don't know if they were picking on him, if it just happened like that, but whatever the offense did, keep doing it.
(On whether God has a sense of humor when things come around on people for something they say)
My God does, me being a Christian believer and everything. "Lower yourself so that he may be exalted." There's nothing wrong with confidence, don't get me wrong. You have to have a swagger out on the field. But there's a fine line and he definitely crossed it. He was definitely knocked down when he crossed it today. It is what it is. I wish the best for him, but not tonight.
(On what he expects in terms of motivation this week for the Jets game)
I expect us to go out there and continue to play. We've played, to this point, 12 games since [the first match-up between the teams] and we've done just fine. We're not worried about what happened then, definitely not worried about what's going to happen in the future. I just want to enjoy this win and let's move onto the Jets on Wednesday.
(On teams continually giving the Patriots bulletin board material)
EH: I think, maybe it's a defense mechanism. They see it as a weakness or as an approach of 'we're going to show you that we're not scared and we got all the confidence in the world.' Which is fine if that's how they feel, whatever, but we're going to continue being the same team. That's what keeps us driving, what motivates us, knowing that when we come in here, all of us, you're going to get 53 players plus who ever else is in here of guys that are dedicated to winning the right way. Doing the job in practice, not talking about it, going out there and doing the job and letting it show on Sunday.
Logan Mankins, Offensive Lineman
(On how the team responded and was more physical than last week)
LM: Oh, I think we did great. If you look at the scores someone was more physical than the other one.
(On whether or not the team got bullied in Baltimore and how they bounced back)
LM: At certain times your guy's going to beat you. That's how it goes, they give it and we give it. It's going to go back and fourth but I think tonight we won the majority of the battles.
(On the team coming out with more energy tonight)
LM: I think so. It felt like the first series was not that great but after that it felt like the momentum picked up our way and we were playing fast and playing physical. I think we played a lot better tonight.
Vince Wilfork, Nose Tackle
(On his sack)
VW: I knew the block that was given [because] they were giving it to me all game. I basically gambled on that play. He [Ben Roethlisberger] made a check at the line and I heard the same check earlier in the game and it was [a] pass so I knew right then and there what I was going to do. [Alan] Faneca came down and it was a double team but it was a pass play and I spun out of it and I was back there before he could even fake the ball. I think I kind of surprised him because once he turned around he tried to curl up. I stole a play. Preparation, I still do preparation on the field, during game time. Like I said that was something I picked up early in the game and I carried it over. I heard it again and I knew exactly what they were doing, so a win for me.
(On the teams' physicality)
VW: Of course, I mean you have to be to physical to beat this Pittsburgh Steelers team, to do what we wanted to do. There was a lot of talk leading to this game but we knew they could play some football. We knew that they could back up what they say so we had to match it and I think tonight we matched it. The outcome was in our favor, which we kind of wanted it to be. We are very happy with that win, very happy.
(On the difference between tonight's game and Monday night)
VW: It might sound funny but I think we played with more emotion tonight. I think we really did. I could see guys running to the football, guys having fun on the field and I think [Richard] Seymour or [Mike] Vrabel, one of them turned to me and he was like 'you know the problem is we having fun' and we always play good when we're having fun. I think last week we lacked that. Today we didn't lack it today.
Richard Seymour, Defensive End
(On how the win feels)
RS: Well it's always good when you beat a good football team and we classify them, those guys that we played today as a good football team. They're well coached and they play tough smart and physical, that's the way we try to play. We can go out and get a win against a quality opponent and every team we've played so far has been a quality opponent. It was a big night for us, one step closer to the ultimate goal.
(On how they felt about stopping the run in the past couple weeks)
RS: Yeah, I thought they just ran the ball but I didn't feel like they were effective. I thought they ran the ball and we stopped them when we needed to. I think throughout the game when you need to make stops and you need to score offensively and you can do that I think ultimately it helps our football team out a lot. I think going down the stretch we are definitely going to need everybody but it was a big win today.
(On how he is feeling, and if he is at 100% yet)
RS: Not quite 100 yet, but moving in the right direction. It's just good to get a win at this point. 13-and-0, one step closer and it's a quality opponent. That's always good. This is the time of year when you want to play your best football.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 10:01 PM | Permalink
November 25, 2007
FOXBORO -- Asante Samuel became the 20th -- that's right, 20th -- New England player to score a touchdown this season when he returned an interception 40 yards for a score in the opening minutes against the Eagles.
He joins Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Benjamin Watson, Sammy Morris, Donte Stallworth, Kyle Brady, Tom Brady, Kyle Eckel, Ellis Hobbs, Mike Vrabel, Willie Andrews, Matt Cassel, Rosevelt Colvin, Heath Evans, Kevin Faulk, Jabar Gaffney, Randall Gay, Laurence Maroney, and Adalius Thomas in getting into the end zone for the Patriots.
The NFL record for most players scoring in a season is 21, shared by the 2000 Denver Broncos and the 1987 Los Angeles Rams.
-- JIM DONALDSON
Posted by Jim Donaldson at 10:06 PM | Permalink
November 19, 2007
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Ellis Hobbs can light up a room with his smile, but after last night's win -- despite a nifty pluck-and-run that led to a 35-yard fumble-return touchdown -- Hobbs wasn't much in the mood to smile.
As he dressed and talked, the cornerback was frantically looking for his diamond earrings, which are of a substantial size. When asked if he really had lost the earrings, Hobbs replied, "I'm dead serious."
Hobbs was the last player out of the locker room as he looked for the diamonds; it's believed he did not find them.
But he's not the first Boston athlete to lose a pricey earpiece -- Manny Ramirez lost a $10,000 diamond stud sliding into third base playing a rehab game with Pawtucket. Of all places, the game was in Buffalo.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 1:54 AM | Permalink
October 21, 2007
MIAMI -- Willie Andrews' 77-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was the second KO return the Pats have had this season. Ellis Hobbs had an NFL-record, 108-yard TD return against the Jets in the season opener. The last time the Pats had two KO returns for TDs in a season was in 2002, when Kevin Faulk ran two back for scores.
The last time two different Patriots returned kickoffs for TDs was in 1961, when Ron Burton and Larry Garron did it.
In 1977, Raymond Clayborn set a franchise record by returning three KOs for TDs.
Posted by Jim Donaldson at 1:44 PM | Permalink
October 17, 2007
Hey all --
You could see this one coming from a mile away, but just because the Patriots are 6-0 and decimating every team that gets on the field with them does not mean Bill Belichick has forgotten the 21-0 loss New England suffered in Miami last year.
"That was a low point for us," Belichick said this morning.
In that game, Tom Brady was 12-for-25 for 78 yards and took four sacks. The Pats had just 12 first downs and 189 yards of total offense that afternoon.
Belichick acknowledged that Miami's offense under new head coach Cam Cameron is the same offense Cameron ran as San Diego's offensive coordinator -- "only the jerseys are different," he quipped -- and with the same defensive coordinator, Dom Capers, running the show, things aren't very different there either.
As for the players on the PUP list, Belichick said, "We'll let you know when we make those moves," and said that the player's situation as well as the team's situation dictates when the player begins to practice and/or is activated.
In the locker room, Tom Brady, Ellis Hobbs, Kevin Faulk, Rosevelt Colvin and Kyle Eckel had considerable media attention today.
We're out at practice shortly, and will check in with a report after we're kicked off the field.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 11:59 AM | Permalink
October 8, 2007
Hey all --
It was a sparsely-attended locker room this afternoon, as most of the players headed home after team meetings.
But Troy Brown, who hasn't been spotted in several weeks, did walk through the room.
Ellis Hobbs was rocking Red Sox regalia -- a road jersey and a red Sox cap, though the jersey bore the number 18 and the name "Damon."
"Don't read too much into it," Hobbs said. "I went to a game my rookie year (and that was the jersey he bought). I'm all about the fashion, that's all."
Hobbs also had Sammy Morris' Texas Tech jersey hanging in front of his locker, and will have to wear it around the facility on Wednesday since Morris' Red Raiders beat Hobbs' Iowa State Cyclones last weekend.
There were also Tennessee windbreakers hanging on Richard Seymour's locker and on the back of Benjamin Watson's chair -- left there by Donte Stallworth, whose Volunteers upset Georgia.
Chad Scott was also in the room for a few minutes, and said he's feeling pretty good as he rehabs the knee injury suffered on the first day of training camp.
As tomorrow is an off day for the players, we're going to take a mental health day as well, so unless news breaks, we'll talk to you again Wednesday morning.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 3:55 PM | Permalink
October 7, 2007
Rosevelt Colvin, Linebacker
(On the Browns’ turnovers)
We made a couple of plays and got the ball away from them a few times. Any time you can get the ball to Brady and the offense, it’s a lethal weapon for us, so we try to do it as much as we can.
(On the first quarter red zone stand)
I think Asante [Samuel] tipped it and Junior came down with the ball and that was big because it was the opening drive for them and they were moving the ball well on us. It kind of turned the tables and the offense then got rolling.
(On Junior Seau’s interception run)
It was definitely something stamped into my memory for what not to do. Junior is a special kind of guy. When you practice and are with him on a daily basis you understand why he did it.
(On Junior Seau’s energy throughout the game)
Junior brings a lot of energy to this team. If you have been in the league for at least five years you have definitely seen him on film somewhere and the types of things he has done elsewhere and the energy he brings. He does a great job of brining energy and it helps everyone else get hyped up and ready to play.
Junior Seau, Linebacker
(On what he was thinking on his interception return)
That normally doesn’t happen. It’s an untapped territory for me to tell you the truth and I will handle it better next time. It is what it is and I will take the punishment. I will obviously take a lot of kick back from the players all week because I didn’t look too good on that play.
(On if he thought about lateraling the ball)
Yeah, I did but coach wouldn’t have liked that either. I didn’t want to have two mistakes in one play so I took the one negative and went from there.
(On the defense’s turnovers)
It’s the name of the game. Obviously you go out there and want to perform well and stop the run and get them into a passing situation. Whenever you make big plays like we did today, it definitely leans in our favor and our offense took care of the rest.
(On where his energy comes from)
I love this game. I just do. I have a lot of passion for it and I’m very fortunate to be 38 years old and have played 18 seasons and to be part of something special. It probably didn’t show in that interception but I am humbled by that and it definitely is a great time.
Rodney Harrison, Safety
(On being nervous playing in his first game of the season)
I wasn’t really nervous. It just felt a little different… Being back on the field trying to get used to everything and the formations. It’s one thing seeing it in practice, but when you’re out there in the game it’s a lot different. The speed is totally different.
(On the positive support from the fans Sunday)
Through a difficult time the fans have supported me just as well as my teammates and the coaches, as well as Mr. [Robert] Kraft and Scott Pioli. I’m just glad to be able to get back and get some playing time and help this team to another victory.
(On whether or not he was surprised about playing as much as he did)
No, [Coach Belichick] told me to be ready to play. I knew I was going to play and I really didn’t know how much I was going to play and when I was going to play. That was somewhat of a surprise. For the most part you just have to stay ready because at any time you’re called on to go out there and play.
(On playing more in the second half than in the first)
Coach Belichick has been coaching for 30 years, so he knows exactly what to do with guys like myself. You just sit and wait patiently and when you get your opportunity you try to take advantage of it.
(On playing special teams Sunday)
I’ve been doing that since ’94, since I first came into the league. Whether it’s guys that are backing up that play special teams or starters, we all have to play special teams. That’s part of your contribution on this team. I played some kickoffs - every kickoff, I think, seven or six of them – as well as some punt returns.
Ellis Hobbs, Cornerback
(On the defense not playing consistently throughout Sunday’s game)
We did a poor job today as far as playing the type of ball that we like to play. We started out fast, but we didn’t stay consistent throughout the whole game. We kind of had some down moments. Up and down, we can’t be like that. We have to be consistent every play, every game.
(On getting the win despite playing inconsistently)
It’s kind of a bittersweet feeling. We hold ourselves accountable to a higher level. Winning is just not enough for us. Playing well and winning is what we try to do. Pickoffs in the back end, the turnovers we had, the knockdowns, whatever. Up front, the linebackers, I think we can all agree that we have to pick it up and it’s not going to be enough to play Dallas and to beat Dallas.
(On Junior Seau’s move during his interception return)
I don’t know if he was trying to fake somebody out or what. I know we’re going to hear about that one tomorrow. It isn’t going to be just Junior, it’s going to be all of us hearing about that one. Tuck that ball away.
Benjamin Watson, Tight End
(On he and Donté Stallworth making the big plays this week, as opposed to Randy Moss and Wes Welker)
It’s great having the opportunity. That’s why you always have to be ready. You never know when your time is going to come to help out this team.
(On what the defense’s turnovers mean to the offense)
Just that we have to score. The defense played great. They got turnovers to set us up. They got a fumble recovery and scored. They played a great game. They set us up a lot with a short field. When we go out there and don’t score we feel like we’re letting them down.
(On the mindset of the offense during Sunday’s game)
We always feel like we want to score. We always feel like it’s tough to stop us unless we stop ourselves. But we tip our hats to the Browns defense because they played well, too. Coach Crennel had a good scheme for us. We want to score every time we get it, but sometimes it doesn’t turn out that way.
Adalius Thomas, Linebacker
(On the big plays made by the defense)
I think it was big, especially that they’d come off a big win and especially on the goal line and the interception on the first drive. I think that set the tone, but we left a lot of plays out there on the field and things that we must improve looking toward next week.
(On the “Humble Pie” t-shirts)
We’re going to have a nice dose of humble pie when it comes to tomorrow. I trust that if you call any of us or get any of us on the phone by 4 o’clock tomorrow, I think we’ll have enough. Ice cream will probably be out of the stores because we’ll be serving ice cream with this one.
(On Junior Seau’s second interception)
That was the play that I was on the ground on. They showed it on the big screen. When they showed it I said, ‘What are you doing?’ What was he doing? I thought he was in the end zone or something. Don’t worry, that’s going to be an extra large slice [of humble pie].
Asante Samuel, Defensive Back
(On The first red zone stop of the year)
We were in zone coverage and I had a guy going to the flat and I saw that someone had taken him, so I just zoned up and started reading the quarterback and I tipped the ball, which I should have caught and Junior Seau made a good play on the ball. So it was big because if they didn’t score on that play they would have made a field goal and that could have been big, you never know what the determination of the game could be.
(On his interception)
Adalius Thomas made a great play and I have been begging for a tipped ball all year and I finally got one and I almost dropped it, too.
Donté Stallworth, Wide Receiver
(On making his first touchdown catch after making several catches as a Patriot)
You just go out and play and wait on your opportunity. Today I got a little more opportunity because they were trying to take Randy out of the game. When that happens, they leave someone in single coverage [and] either me or Wes [are] able to make some plays. When that happens, the other guy has to stand up and make the plays.
(On the depth on the team)
We have some guys who can make plays, but you know we have to play a lot better than we did today. There are a lot of things that we could have done better out there and I am sure that we will hear about it tomorrow when we are watching the game film.
(On what happened in the second half where the offense slowed down)
I don’t know. There were times where we were just stopping ourselves. We just really weren’t efficient in the red zone and we came off the field on a lot of third downs. Those are the kind of plays we were making in the first couple of games. Third downs are very important and we just were not making the plays today to complete the third downs.
Posted by Art Martone at 6:51 PM | Permalink
September 23, 2007
On whether the script for the Patriots before the season is becoming a reality on the field
I don’t know. We just go out there and play. I think we’re doing a great job of improving every week, understanding that this a fast-paced league, and knowing that you just can’t roll it out there and expect that guys are going to respect us just because we’re the Patriots. I think we’re [beginning] fast and ending fast. But within there we’re leaving things out there on the field, like Tom [Brady] said earlier in the week. Our biggest thing is to continue to improve down the line.
On making the adjustment from JP Losman to Trent Edwards
I think we were doing pretty well. We didn’t know too much about [Edwards]. But we understood that he was a young quarterback and had the same kind of capabilities, as far as Losman goes, that he wants to get out of the pocket. What we wanted to do was keep his feet moving, keep him off balance, and don’t allow him to make the good, crisp throws.
On having a clear path to JP Losman on his first quarter sack
It was good. We disguised it the right way. Initially, the play was off. But when he came back on with the motion, you just get that feeling that all the dominoes are knocking down. My biggest thing was, ‘Make sure you get the sack first and if the ball comes out, it’s a bonus.’
On breaking up a long pass play toward the end of the game
We knew they hadn’t taken a shot all game. We figured they were going to try to get Lee Evans involved more than they really did. We knew it was coming. He did an out and up route and I was just waiting for one all day. I went up there to try to make the pick, but, stumbling, made sure I knocked the ball down and the play was over with.
Posted by Art Martone at 7:48 PM | Permalink
FOXBORO -- Notes from the first half:
-- The Pats have now scored in 29 consecutive quarters, dating back to last season. Since being shut out in Miami last Dec. 10, the Patriots have scored in 41 of 42 quarters. The last time they were held scoreless in a quarter was the first quarter of the game at Jacksonville last Dec. 24.
-- The Patriots have scored first in six straight regular-season home games.
-- The sack by Ellis Hobbs was the first of his career; the forced fumble on the sack was also a career first.
-- The strip-sack by Hobbs was the Pats' fourth of the season.
Posted by Art Martone at 2:45 PM | Permalink
Ellis Hobbs' nine-yard strip sack of J.P. Losman was the first quarterback sack of the corner/return man's career.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 1:13 PM | Permalink