Here is a sampling of quotes from Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, director of player personnel Nick Caserio and linebackers coach Matt Patricia leading up to their Week 13 game against the Jets. All quotes are from transcripts provided by the Patriots.
Belichick on the Jets playing well in late-game situations recently: "The common thread is that (Mark) Sanchez has made plays. He's used different receivers. He's used his tight ends and backs. And of course, (Santonio) Holmes, Braylon Edwards, those guys have come through for him, too. (Jerricho) Cotchery had a huge catch in the Cleveland game. He's used all of his receivers and defensively, when they've got to get the ball back, they're going to be more aggressive. They're going to get up close to the line of scrimmage and put more pressure on the offense. I don't think that's any secret."
Belichick on acquiring Danny Woodhead: 'I'd say that, of course, we were aware of him from his time out of college and when he initially was with the Jets. We certainly got a good look at him in preseason when we were starting to break down the Jets games and then at the beginning of the season when he wasn't on their 53-man roster. He was right at the top of our short list, and after we traded Laurence (Maroney) then we had an opportunity or a spot and a little bit of a need at that position … Danny has done a really good job of learning the offense and the kicking game. He has contributed for us in those phases of the game and he's been an important member of our team all year."
Belichick when asked about recent events involving former assistant Josh McDaniels in Denver: "I'm really focused on the Jets."
Caserio on PK Shayne Graham and the team's kickoff-coverage units: "We're happy with Shayne, what he's done to this point. Really, special teams, it's never one particular player, one particular spot. It's a collective effort, and I don't think that's more evident than, especially, on coverage units. And those are big plays in the game. Those can change the complexion of the game … We'll deal with the elements. We'll try to cover the kicks the best we can because they're a big factor in the game, this week especially with a guy like Brad Smith. He's capable of taking it the distance on every play."
Patricia on inside linebackers covering tight ends (a follow-up to the Patriots' prior struggles against Jets TE Dustin Keller): "That's a good football question, I'll take those. The hard thing for an inside linebacker is that anytime you're in a situation where the run game can be at you and be on you very fast and very quick, and where you have a situation with a very dangerous receiver who can get down the field and get open. … So, I think that's the hardest situation for an inside linebacker. That's one of the reasons it is such a difficult position, because you are in the direct line of the run game, but also critically and crucially involved in the passing game."