Patriots-Dolphins: Player postgame comments

Postgame comments from the players in the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots game Sunday November 13, 2005. The Patriots defeated the Dolphins 23 - 16.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: (Jump to Dolphins)

Quarterback Tom Brady

(How big was this win?)

"It was huge. We haven't had a whole lot of success down here. It's always tough, the weather's hot, they've got a good defense and they've had a great defense for years. Our defense really stepped it up today and everyone's proud of what they've done. We lost some guys early and we lost some guys late but we just kept fighting."

(About Ben Watson's play today)

"He had two big catches. He had two very big catches and he's got to keep it going. These guys have got to keep making plays in order for this offense to do well. He's got to step it up and keep improving and continue to be consistent. He had two big catches today and hopefully he can continue to build on it."

(About the two play score)

"We executed pretty well on those two. Timmy ran a great route, I think one of their players got out of position and he made a great catch and run. The next play was an all out blitz, it's a tough cover on an all out blitz and I laid it up there for Ben and he made a great catch. The two point play was huge too and the defense held there at the end. It was exciting, it's always exciting with this team."

(About Heath Evans' play)

"He's doing great and he's done great since the day that he got here. I remember the first day at practice when we thought, why did somebody release him? He's got great vision and he's tough. He brings some toughness to the offense and he's a smart guy. He's picked things up very well so we thank the Dolphins very much for letting him go."

(Did the team show more toughness today?)

"It was gritty and it was tough. I think the players did a lot of soul searching this week. I think the players really dug deep and Coach Belichick challenged us and said some pretty tough things and guys figured out a way to respond. It didn't look pretty and I wish we could have made some more plays out there but it was a very good defense and they made some very good plays. I think it will be a happy plane flight home.

Fullback Heath Evans

(On if it feels good to come here and beat the Dolphins…)

"It does, you know, a division win, a big game for us. Coming off our Monday night performance, this was not a must win, but a win we really wanted to have, a division team on the road."

(On his thoughts of coming in to play the Dolphins today…)

"It was kind of funny because the last conversation I had with Coach Saban was thanking him for the opportunity that he gave me. That's really how I felt. It's a business and they were doing what they thought was best for the team and they have a great fullback there now that's doing a lot of great things for them. Luckily I landed on my feet, and we had a good game today."

Tight End Ben Watson

(On how much pressure he had to pick up the slack with TE Graham out..)

"Well, I think Christian did a good job today playing most of the snaps and I came in when I was needed. Obviously when you have a guy like Dan Graham out, its hard, everybody else has to pick their game up."

(On what happened on the first TD, where Jason Taylor lost him…)

"I don't know, it was similar to the last one. I just ran the route and turned around and the ball was in the air."

Linebacker Tedy Bruschi

"I'd be surprised if we didn't have guys that step up, but it's been happening for so long. It's not surprising to me that we had guys step up. It would be nice to have your starters healthy all year long, but it's good to know the special teams guys can step in and get the job done. We don't go by labels. I don't consider myself a staring linebacker, but just another player on the team trying to get the job done."

"We have to get back to feeding off each other and getting energy on the road, though there were a lot of New England fans here today."

"Turnovers are the number one stat we have to win. We have to make tackles and get the ball."

"This is always tough… it's a divisional game on the road that comes down to the fouth quarter or overtime. It's always tough to win here. Look at last year, they weren't having a very good season and they beat us."


Quarterback Gus Frerotte

(On having a chance late in the game to win)

"We had a chance to win right before the end. The first half we had a chance to put a lot of points on the board. We had a great throw to Wes (Welker) and (Tedy) Bruschi makes a diving play. You know what happened after that. We had opportunities early in the game. Third quarter we bogged down a little bit. [In the] fourth quarter we were moving the ball again and still had chances. They are a good team. That's the reason they are the champs. They play hard and they play tough, but it is up to us again, inevitably. We have to do the right things over and over again. We have to make plays."

(On the decisions the Dolphins offense made on the last four plays of its final drive)

"I throw the first one up for Book (Marty Booker) because teams have thrown fades on (the Patriots) and really let our guys jump up over them because they are a little smaller DB's (defensive backs), but I really thought Marty got interfered with. He had no chance to jump, the guy is holding him down and I don't know how we don't get that call. He has one arm up and he can't do anything. The second one to Chris (Chambers), a little unsure what happened there, where the ball landed or whatever. We took a couple of shots doing that. The third one, I am a hot, I have to throw it to Ronnie (Brown) and they had a good defense call on that one. The last one, it's an all out blitz and I was just trying to give Chris a chance and let him make a play."

(On how frustrating it is to lose a close ball game)

"It's frustrating. We had a chance to win. We had a chance to tie it up and go in and win. We had a chance to win earlier. We had a chance to put a lot more points on the board earlier. Those are things that, as we grow together as a team, we can build on. There was a lot of good stuff out there that we can build on. They are a good team. They have some good people over there. Our guys did a good job today."

(On the Patriots squeezing the run)

"They squeeze the run well. They played that technique where they try to keep everything in the blocks and not let our guys get outside. We had a couple of runs that squirted through there, but it just got to the point where we had to throw because they were bringing guys in the box and not letting us run."

Tight End Randy McMichael

(On if he is getting tired of knocking on the door of victory, but not winning)

"I'm tired of losing, that's all. It's a tough loss. Guys fought hard the whole game and that's all you can ask for. You just wish you could come up with a win."

(On if he thought the Dolphins were going to score at the end of the game)

Of course you think you are going to tie it up. We are not going in there thinking we are not going to win the football game. They took care of business. Same old thing, different week."

(On if he thinks about the points the Dolphins could have scored in the first half)

"No, we don't look at that. We look at what did happen."

(On the Dolphins passing game improving)

"We played hard. Everybody had the chance to make plays. We just didn't make enough at the end."

Running Back Ronnie Brown

(On the offense moving the ball but failing to score more points)

"We had opportunities to score more points in the first half and we had an opportunity at the end of the game to make those plays and continue drives and we were unable. We still had opportunities at the end of the game to win and it didn't happen for us."

(On whether the lack of points frustrated the Dolphins)

"I don't think so. When we didn't take advantage of some opportunities in the first half, if anything, I think it motivated us to play harder and put it in the end zone. We just had to score more points."

(On what it will take for the Dolphins to learn to win more close games)

"You have to learn how to close out the game. We came in and started out real well, that was one of our emphasis's the last couple of weeks to finish. Take advantage of those opportunities and keep that same intensity at the end of the game."

(On the game former teammate Heath Evans played for the Patriots)

"He made some plays out there and that's going to help him with his role with the team over there."

Wide Receiver Chris Chambers

(On whether the sun was in his eyes on the fade route on the last series of the game)

"Yeah, we both had it in our eyes a little bit. We couldn't pick up the ball. I don't even know if the ball was catchable anyway, but it's important to make a good effort on it."

(On running the fade two plays in a row)

"We thought he had a good matchup going after the same corner[back]. There was contact on both plays but we didn't get those calls all day."

(On whether losing close games is warring on the Dolphins)

"Of course, I thought we did a good job and played well today, but we left a lot of plays on the field. I myself was a little bit inconsistent today. Some of the balls that were low I should have come up with and that would have helped us."

(On whether he could have caught the pass on fourth down)

"It was real tough. There was a blitz on so I didn't have enough opportunity to get my head around quick enough to pick up the ball and scoop it before it hit the ground."

Linebacker Zach Thomas

(On leaving some big plays on the field)

"We just have to make big plays and we didn't come up with it today. There were a few big plays that we had on defense, but we just have to keep working though."

(On if the season appears to be over with the loss to the Patriots)

"I don't look at it like that. Nobody ever said it was over. The way the division is playing, it is not over. We just have to get over that hump and we are not over it yet."

(On if it is frustrating being almost close to a victory each week)

"We just have to play better. It's frustrating. [There is] really nothing else to say about it. They made the plays. Tom Brady did a great job."

(On why is it that the Patriots can overcome adversity as oppose to other teams)

"We just can't get over the hump. The offense did a great job of getting us down the field [for a touchdown] and in two plays, they score. That was frustrating. We just have to make the big play. The whole game, there were a lot of plays that got us beat. We just have to keep working."

(On the rushing performance of Heath Evans)

"I was surprised. We didn't think there running game was serious, but it all starts with me. We should not have gotten him started early. If we get them in a one-dimensional game, we can definitely come after them more, but we didn't do that. The almost had a hundred yards rushing and that is frustrating. Otherwise, we will keep working and we will get it corrected."

"I am not sure. I will have to see the film, but give Heath credit. He was definitely motivated to come back and play. He did a good job."

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