Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, QB Tom Brady, DT Vince Wilfork and CB Devin McCourty spoke to the media Tuesday leading up to their divisional-round matchup with the Broncos. The following quotes are from transcripts provided by the Patriots.
Belichick on the Broncos' pass rushers: They're very good. Von Miller is outstanding, (Elvis) Dumervil is outstanding, (Robert) Ayers, they do a good job. When they put Miller and Dumervil outside, those guys are fast and explosive. They can go inside, outside, power-rush, occasionally drop into coverage, make a lot of plays from behind; they're strong at the point of attack. They're very good, very good.
Belichick on ILB Brandon Spikes: Well, he hasn't been in the lineup much. Fortunately he was able to get a few snaps last week against Buffalo and had some snaps in practice the last couple weeks on a limited basis. It's good, it's good to have him back out there, good that he played. But he hasn't played a whole lot the last two months. But he's playing more now than he did, so that's good.
Brady on the Broncos' pass rush: There were a few times where they got to us, but for the most part, we've faced some pretty good pass rushers all season, and these two are no different. (Robert) Ayers had a great game last week. They can blitz; they blitz quite a bit, and the linebackers make some sacks. D.J. Williams can get to the passer. The safeties blitz. It can really be anybody. Obviously Elvis and Von, they can play; they're very good players. I've had the opportunity to play against Elvis a number of times, and he's a phenomenal player.
Wilfork on Tim Tebow: What doesn't jump off the page? He's (Tim Tebow) just a tough, tough guy to prepare for. You can speak all day about how tough he is and how elusive he is, but it really doesn't matter until you face him. When you face him, you really figure out this dude is like a running back. He's a big dude, he's a strong guy. I knew we talked about it, but, man, I didn't realize. Just the physicalness, his stature; he's just a big guy. I've seen some big guys over the years, but he's probably one of the biggest and one of the toughest and probably one of the strongest that I've faced. Not taking any credit from anyone else, but he's a special guy. We know that, and I'm pretty sure they know that. They know what they have in their team, and we just have to do a real good job. Like I said, we can't have one guy trying to get these guys down. We have to have two, three, four guys at times getting to the ball and making sure that they're on the ground. Like I said, they can all break tackles; they can make things happen with their legs. If we can't do that, we won't be pretty happy.
McCourty on Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas: Just watching that game and then watching throughout the week this week, he's a physical guy (and) he's a big receiver, and you have to really compete against him. If he catches the ball, he's going to be a tough guy to get to the ground. I think we watched him in the first game and, what we thought, it played out. He's a physical guy. He made some pretty good catches in that game, and at different times he was tough to bring down.