The New England Patriots were the first team to arrive in Indianapolis for Super Bowl 46. Here are some of their comments upon arrival.
QB Tom Brady on being in Indianapolis β “It’s great to be in Indy. We drove by Lucas Oil Stadium on the way in, and you see Dwight Freeney’s picture up there, and to come to Indianapolis and not play him is definitely a relief for me. He’s terrorized me for a long time. Regardless of where you play, the Super Bowl is an incredible experience. I’ve been very fortunate in my career that it’s my fifth time. You try to communicate to the younger players how special it is to be here because you do really never know when you’re going to come back. That’s what makes for a fun week.”
Brady on the evolution of head coach Bill Belichick β “I think those jokes that he tells the team I’ve probably heard 20 times. He’s very consistent as a coach. I think he expects and demands that we’re always at our best, and I’d say that he coaches me the same way that he coached me the day that I got here. On our team there really is no separate treatment for different players. The rookies are expected to perform and act the same as the veteran guys. It’s great as a player on our team, because on our team you really don’t have to hold the other players accountable because the head coach does it.
“He’s very tough β he says to us from time to time β he understands that it’s a demanding place to play and that it’s really not meant for everybody. He appreciates all of the players’ willingness to commit to a goal that is really greater than the individual. I think that’s why we’re sitting here today because we have a great group of players who have worked very hard and who have committed themselves to each other to reach this point.”
WR Wes Welker on the happy attitude his head coach has recently displayed β “We wonder about that all of the time. I don’t know if it’s a lady in his life or what the deal is, but he definitely smiles a little more than he used to. But trust me – he is just as hard on us as what he’s been since day one, at least with me. He is on all of the time. He works very hard and tries to put us in the best position to win.”
G Logan Mankins on addition of Brian Waters to the offensive line β “Brian’s been great. I don’t think there’s anything bad you can say about Brian. He’s been a true professional. He’s a great teammate. He’s done everything we’ve asked of him. He’s played very well and we were very lucky to get him on our team.”
Belichick on the decision to acquire Welker in a trade with Miami β “He was a frustrating player to coach against because we really couldn’t handle him. He caught passes, he returned kicks; we doubled him, we played him in different combinations, he was always the guy we were trying to game plan for and still couldn’t stop. When we had an opportunity to trade for him, we did that. We felt like he would be a good addition to our team and he has been.
“We have just as much trouble covering him in practice and Tom (Brady) has just as much confidence throwing to him as the quarterbacks in Miami did when we were trying to defend him. We don’t defend him any better in practice probably than we did trying to defend him when he was at the Dolphins. He’s returned punts for us, blocked well, caught the ball well, and made a lot of clutch plays in all three areas of the field β short, intermediate and deep β third-down conversions and all that. He’s been a great player for us. He is so dependable.”