Take a look at what the Patriots (7-1) are saying about the Seahawks (5-2-1) before the two teams meet on Sunday Night Football in Week 10 at New England.
Head Coach Bill Belichick
(On Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson…)"I mean I have all of the respect in the world for Russell Wilson. He's one of the top players in the league. He's a tremendous competitor. He does a great job of winning games, making great decisions, helping his team win. He's very tough, very accurate, good decision maker, can make plays in a lot of different ways, very good situational football player, does the right thing so many times. I have a lot of respect for him personally. I have a lot of respect for his playing performance, how consistent he is, how tough he is, how much he does to help his team win, the leadership he shows out on the field. He's a great player."
(On if Russell Wilson has looked like the same quarterback through the past four or five weeks while playing through injury…) "I mean he looks pretty good every week. The Seahawks look good every week. I mean look, everybody has some ups and downs in the league but they're good in every phase of the game. They're good on defense. They're good on offense. They're good in the kicking game. They're very explosive in the kicking game and the return game with [Tyler] Lockett. They can run the ball. They can stop the run. They can throw the ball. They can stop the pass. They can cover kicks. They can return them. They're a great team. They're well-coached. They're very good fundamentally. They don't turn the ball over. [If] you make a mistake they're all over it and they take advantage of it. We're going to have to play our best game of the year Sunday night. We know that."
(On what allows Pete Carroll's defenses to succeed year after year…)"I mean everything. Again, they're good fundamentally. They're a good situational football team. They're very smart. They make you earn every yard. If you make a mistake they capitalzie on it and they kill you. They don't give up very many points. They don't give up very many big plays. They tackle well. They hustle. Again, they're fundamentally sound. They know their defense well. They know the scheme. The guys can make adjustments to it. They rarely give up any easy plays or plays where they're severely out of position where you just get a bunch of free yards. Like I said, they make you work for everything you get. They make you drive it through the red area. They make you drive it on the goal line. You've got to execute a lot of good plays to move the ball and to score against them. They've got a lot of good players, guys that can cover, guys that can rush, guys that can stop the run, guys that can blitz. Most of the time defensively they get you somewhere along the line. You don't get it all on one play and you have to run a lot of plays and they make good plays to knock you out of there eventually and they don't give up a lot of points."
QB Tom Brady
(On this week's matchup…)"I feel like now we're obviously in the swing of things. We're 7-1; we've got a huge challenge against the Seahawks. They're obviously an incredible team, a great organization, the best defense in the league, and they've been that way for four years, so they're the biggest challenge of our season so far."
(On how many times he's watched Super Bowl XLIX between the Seahawks and Patriots and what he remembers about that fourth quarter…)"Yeah, I've watched, obviously, the coaches' film quite a few times. That was after that game had ended in early 2015, and then I watched it this week a few times just to familiarize myself with the players and schemes because we haven't played them since. I don't think I've ever watched a TV copy. I don't watch many TV copies of the games. But I just – again, there was a lot of determination by our team. We were in a tough spot against a great, great football team and we pulled it out. It took every blade of grass on that field to keep them from scoring. In 2014, they were an incredible team. Last year, they had a great year, when we played them in 2012 they had a great team, and they have a great team this year. It's a challenging team, they challenge you in a lot of areas just like they did when we played them in the Super Bowl, just like I'm sure they'll do Sunday night. Nothing is easy. There is no yard that's easy. They defend every blade of grass, and that's what good defenses do."
(On what makes Seattle 'the best defense in the league'…) "I think it's just a mix of incredible personnel and just great coaching. I know Coach [Pete] Carroll. I know he's big on fundamentals and technique. They all play well within the scheme. They do what they're asked to do. They know their responsibilities very well and they play so aggressive, they play so fast. You can see the confidence that they play for, and I think more so than anything, they just have a lot of playmakers – guys that intercept the ball; Richard Sherman and Earl [Thomas]. I mean, they're two of the best players in the secondary in the NFL. Kam [Chancellor], I mean he is an unbelievable player. Bobby Wagner and K.J. [Wright] are phenomenal players, and the defensive line – Cliff Avril, I've played against him a bunch; he's great. They've got some very good interior players. They've got a good sub-rush group; they can get after the quarterback. They rush, they cover, they get turnovers, they can strip-sack the quarterback, they can strip runners, they make great plays on interceptions, so it's just a tough team. They capitalize on every offensive mistake. Like I said, they're very well-coached and they've got some phenomenal players."
WR Danny Amendola
(On a Super Bowl XLIX rematch with Seattle…) "That game came down to 60 minutes of playing good football. There's no question that this week will be the same. We're going to have to play good football for the whole game, four quarters. They have a history of playing close to every opponent that they play, so it's going to be a tough task. We're going to have to play well, we're going to have to execute."
CB Malcolm Butler
(On this week's matchup with the Seahawks…) "They're a great team. They like to compete. They've got a great quarterback, great defense, good receivers, and we've just got to be ready to play. This is one of the best teams in the NFL and they're going to compete for the whole 60 minutes."
DE Chris Long
(On defending Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson…) "You want to be aggressive knowing that he can do pretty much whatever he wants as far as breaking the pocket, running to run, running to throw, but he's really best at sitting in there and making all the tough throws, which makes him so dangerous."
WR Chris Hogan
(On Sunday's matchup with Seattle…)"They're a good team. They've been playing everybody really well. It seems like every single game they're in it. That's something we're going to have to play 60 minutes, hard, tough football, match their toughness. Their defense, every single person is running to the football, so we've got to do a good job of running after the catch, a good job with ball security. It'll be a good game on Sunday night."
OL Joe Thuney
(On the Seahawks defense…) "They're a very physical, fast defense. They play really well together and they seem to have a lot of fun out there, so it's going to be a big challenge for us to move the ball, but we're looking forward to it."
DB Devin McCourty
(On the biggest challenges the Seahawks present…)"I think their running game. They're a team that prides themselves on running the football and then they make a lot of plays down field. I think a lot of us watched that game Monday night and just getting the ball vertical, whether it be to [Doug] Baldwin, [Jermaine] Kearse, and obviously Jimmy Graham with the two one-handed touchdowns. Obviously everyone knows they like to run the football, but the threat of getting the ball down field, and especially with Russell Wilson, he gets it down field in many different ways, whether it's just a plain drop back and letting it go, or a scramble and extend the play and then find the guys down the field. It seems like we were just talking about this a couple weeks ago playing Tyrod Taylor, and watching that game Monday night seeing both of them be so dynamic at that extending plays, whether it's to run or to throw, it's something we're familiar with but it's never easy going out there and trying to stop it and contain those guys."
(On how similar Jimmy Graham skill set is to Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett…) "It's very similar. When you combine all three of those guys, they're all very good at going vertical, getting down the field. Their size is what really makes it really tough to cover all three those guys because once they get vertical and it's any type of jump ball — you saw Monday night a ball that for a corner it's just out of your reach — they're able to go reach it, whether it be one hand, two hands. They all make tough catches, too. They're very similar as far as their threats and how they're used in the vertical passing game. We've seen it a lot, but he's still one of the better tight ends in the NFL, one of the top tight ends, so we've got to go out there and play well against and try to make everything tough. He's going to probably make some plays out there because he's a good player, but we've got to make it tough on him for 60 minutes."
(On how underrated of a receiver Doug Baldwin is…)"I don't know, when we played him two years ago we felt he was a really good receiver and made a lot of big plays and production. I still feel the same about that. I don't think you turn on a game where he's not making big plays and clutch plays for them. From scouting him and watching him he's one of their top targets. They get him the ball, he makes plays. So here, I don't think he's underrated, but I don't know the perception of him everywhere else. … What makes him tough is his versatility. He does a lot for their offense. … He's just a very good overall football player. More than just a good receiver, he's a very good football player. We've got to try to bottle him up as much as possible, even when they get him the ball quickly and he's trying to break tackles and make plays we've just got to surround him and make sure we try to contain him and not give up the big play."
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