(on if he got any sleep last night) “I got a little sleep, but we enjoyed the victory with friends and family and teammates, so it was a good night. A good night to celebrate, but I got enough sleep to make it this morning.”
(on if he’s excited about what this team could accomplish long-term in the future) “I am. I’m excited about a number of young guys who stepped up this season. There were some questions going into the beginning of the season on a few spots, but that quickly got answered.
(on what he saw on his 38-yard completion to Mario Manningham) “Well, they were playing Cover-2. They really had our Cover-2 beat to the right side with Hakeem (Nicks) and Victor Cruz in a two-man route. The Patriots did a good job of jamming both receivers, throwing off the timing of the route. They do have a tendency, their safeties will read my eyes, so I did look to the right pretty long. I didn’t like what I was seeing, so I slid up in the pocket. I was going to see where that safety was to the left. I saw he had cheated in, I saw a little window for Mario Manningham where he would catch it or nobody and he made a great catch. A good job staying inbounds, keeping his two feet inbounds, knowing he was going to get hit on the sideline and holding onto the ball. So a big play in the game right there, obviously. When you’re backed up in that situation, when you get a 40-yard gain, that changes your play-calling. You can run the ball, you can be a little more patient. You feel like you’re getting close to field-goal range right there, which was all we needed. But, (there were) a couple of other big plays. Mario had another catch later in the drive, Hakeem Nicks on a slant, and then obviously, Ahmad (Bradshaw) on the touchdown run. Just a great drive and a great way to finish the game.”
(on Manningham’s route) “It’s basically a ‘go’ route. It’s something that we work on all the time. Down the sideline, we feel our receivers have a great ability to make those plays. Great speed on the outside. New England did a pretty good job of eliminating our big plays, not enabling us to get one-on-one coverage, keeping two safeties a lot to eliminate our playmakers from getting those opportunities. On that play, Mario was running hard, didn’t look at the coverage and dictate, ‘Hey, it’s ‘Cover-2,’ I’m not getting the ball.’ He was running down the sideline and made a big play for us.”
(on why he tried to run a similar play to a previous pass to the opposite sideline) “Two different plays, but obviously, very similar. That one I haven’t seen on film yet, but it looked like I maybe led him too far out of bounds. It could have been a big play for us, but I still had confidence in Mario and I had a feeling he would have a good day. I talked to him all week, saying if teams want to double Hakeem and Victor Cruz and if that leaves you singled up, you’re going to have to play well. So he was excited about the game, excited about his opportunities and he obviously stepped up and made a lot of catches for us.”
(on what Peyton Manning said to him after the game last night) “I got to be with Peyton a bit and he was proud of me. He was proud of the team. A quarterback like Peyton is, he knows the game well and he asks questions a lot of people won’t ask. Like the touchdown to Victor Cruz, he asked me if I saw the middle linebacker running out there, and I didn’t. He can see there and tell it how it looks. It was ‘single-high’ and he kind of jabbed to my right a little bit before running left and looking up Victor. Under center, you know they’re bringing a blitz. It is tough to see that, but luckily, he never looked back at me and I threw it right off his shoulder and Victor did a good job of concentrating and making the catch. Then he talked about the throw to Manningham. He was mad, he said everybody was talking about how great of a catch it was. He said it was a pretty good throw, also. It’s a brother looking out for me. He was proud of me and happy for me.”
(on the last time he had bragging rights on his brother) “This isn’t about bragging rights. This is a lot bigger. This is about a team, an organization being named world champions, and that was the ultimate goal. That’s the only thing that’s important, is the team finding a way to get a victory. That’s the only thing I care about and Peyton and I both know that’s what the goal is every year. It’s not about anything else.”
(on if the pass to Mario Manningham late in the fourth quarter was one of the best throws of his career) “I’m not good at ranking my throws. Obviously, it was a Super Bowl and a tight throw, but I didn’t have any questions. I felt the safety was inside. I wasn’t worried about whether it would be an interception or a dangerous throw when the ball was released. I saw a window. I felt confident about it. I didn’t think much about it. I just saw where Mario was and knew the timing. A lot of those throws are muscle memory. You don’t think about how far to throw it or what to do. You see your receiver, you step, you make the throw and hopefully you put it in a good spot where he can catch it. He made a great play.”
(on what went through his mind when Tom Brady completed 16 passes in a row) “I thought it was great by our team not getting frustrated, not getting down or not losing our momentum at that point. Honestly, when they go on a two-minute drive right before half, score a touchdown to take lead and then start the third quarter with another touchdown to extend their lead, we could have got frustrated, tried to force something to get back in the game or make a mistake, and we didn’t do that. We had a good drive going. We had to settle for a field goal, but at least you get the game back into a one-touchdown game. So, that was important. We had another drive, again, we got into field goal range. Obviously, we wanted a touchdown to take the lead, (but) we had to settle for another field goal. There wasn’t anything there, we didn’t force anything, didn’t make a mistake. Our defense was playing outstanding. They were doing a good job. Offensively, we were moving the ball, we were controlling the clock. We thought we were wearing down their defense a little bit. We thought they were getting tired. Obviously, we just needed another stop by our defense, which they gave us and gave us an opportunity to get the ball back one more time and go get the lead.”
(on if the loss to the New Orleans Saints was the low point of the season) “All season, we have kept our confidence. When you lose four games in a row, that can really test a team. I think we played a lot of those games tough. Besides the New Orleans game, all those other games were tight games. Green Bay was close. At San Francisco came down to the wire. Philadelphia came down to the wire. Those three games could have easily been flipped the other way. I think we recognized that and still understood that we were a good team – we had talent. We weren’t playing our best at that point, but we weren’t playing terrible. We just had to make a few adjustments, play a little smarter. We were a couple of plays away from winning those games against great teams and teams that were playing great football at that time. We just said we had to step it up. We have to play a little bit better, we have to keep working and keep our confidence during this time, and sure enough, that’s what we did. When we needed some wins, at Dallas was a huge win for us in the season. To come back, down 12 in the fourth quarter, go score two touchdowns, get a blocked field goal to win the game, that was an emotional win. The excitement in that locker room was fun. Everybody just got that winning feeling again and said, ‘We have to ride this momentum.’ Sure enough, we were able to win a couple of big games vs. the Jets, vs. Dallas again, just to get into the playoffs. Our defense was playing outstanding. Offensively, we were playing smarter, not turning the ball over, not making mistakes, being effective, running the ball better than we were to start the season. Everything just seemed to be coming around, and we were starting to play our best football. We kept that confidence and kept that style of play through the playoffs.”
(on when he realized New England might let them score on their final possession) “Right as I broke the huddle, I kind of had a feeling, under the circumstances, that they were going to let us score. It’s a tough situation right there as you are thinking about what to do. I think you have to score a touchdown right there. That’s the goal. That’s the ultimate goal – to score a touchdown. As a quarterback, I have great confidence in
(on what he was yelling to
(on if either of the two Super Bowl victories are more special than the other) “A championship is a championship. Each one is special. Each one has special moments during the season and, obviously, different teammates. This year, I am just happy for a number of guys getting a championship, whether it’s rookies, whether it’s offensive players. Hakeem Nicks getting his first championship, Mario Manningham, Victor Cruz. Those guys weren’t a part of that last championship, so (I’m) happy for those guys.
(on the similarities between the 2011 and the 2007 seasons) “There are some similarities. Like the 2007 season, we started off fast, then we did hit a rocky road where weren’t playing our best football. But, when we needed a win, when we needed to start playing better, we came together as a team when the playoffs started. I think we had a great confidence going into the playoffs and realized that we had kind of found our way, our style of football that was going to give us the best chance of winning. That is playing smart offensively, taking the short throws, taking the flats, moving the ball and finding good third-down situations to hold the ball, hold the time of possession, win those type of things and have a defense that gets after the quarterback, play great defense. I think both sides of the ball had great confidence in each other. We knew that we could be patient. We knew that we could not force things, not try to make mistakes, and we would help out each other. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened and gave us a chance to win the game.”
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