Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, QB Tom Brady and other players spoke to the media on Wednesday before the team's bye week for the wild-card round of the playoffs. All quotes are from transcripts provided by the Patriots.
Brady on how Danny Woodhead has replaced Kevin Faulk: "Any time you lose a dependable, consistent player like Kevin who has performed so well under pressure over the years — there was nobody really on the roster to fill that void. To get (Danny Woodhead) the next week, who has really stepped in and done a great job of running, catching, blitz pickup. … You know, he is a smart player, he has really filled that role pretty well. We are very fortunate to have a guy like Woody step in like he has done. That's certainly a great credit to him coming from the Jets and the different offense and different system and then the things we've asked him to do here."
CB Darius Butler on the Patriots' secondary: ""We just want to make plays, as many plays as we can to get the ball in the offense's hand. We know they can do some dangerous things and put up a lot of points. We want to do our job. As a secondary, linebackers are going to do their job and the defensive linemen are going to do their job. We're the youngest group back there, so we take pride in getting better each week."
PK Shayne Graham on seeing DL Kyle Love participate on kickoff coverage in the season finale: "I enjoyed watching film of it. … That's a train wreck waiting to happen right there. When you see that one going down the field, you don't want to be on the other end of that."
RB Fred Taylor on the emergence of RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis: "Before I got here, Marcus Stroud over in Buffalo, he said, 'Yeah, No. 42, oh yeah, he's a good player.' So that kind of put it on my radar. It just comes to him naturally, he does everything right. He does everything right — along the lines of the weight room, when he was doing special teams a whole lot. … He does whatever the coaches ask of him. And the opportunities have presented themselves, and he grasped them and he's taken full advantage of them."
Belichick on OLB Rob Ninkovich: "I think Rob's a good athlete. For his position, I think he's a good athlete. He's a big guy. He's got good size. He's got good playing strength. (He) runs well, moves well for a guy his size. You can see his athleticism in the kicking game and for a guy that is 250-plus pounds, whatever it is, you don't see that all the time for those guys, in terms of lateral agility and quickness."
Belichick on WR Deion Branch: "(He's a) very intelligent player, really smart, really instinctive guy. No matter what the route, no matter what the coverage is, he always seems to do the right thing, make the right adjustment, make the right decision, and I think that gives the quarterbacks a lot of confidence in him. Deion prepares well. He's got good experience, but he's also got a good skill set. He can get open and catch the ball. He can run with it after the catch. He's returned kicks in the past. He's got some running skills and certainly has got a lot of experience. As a pure receiver, he knows how to get open and he has the skills to get open."