HEAD COACH JOHN FOX
On how the Patriots have reinvented themselves with a balanced run/pass offense
"I think, first of all, it's a great franchise. This is their third appearance in a row in the [AFC] Championship game. [Head Coach] Bill Belichick and his staff have done a tremendous job – have for some time now – [and it is] no different this year. They've had a lot of things happen to their football team, just like we have had a lot of things happen to our football team, and I think that they've done a tremendous job kind of reinventing as far as the run game. They've lost pass-catching tight ends and have incorporated some guys that are doing a really, really good job in the run game. They roll the whole stable of backs throughout the season. They've kind of settled in on [RB] LeGarrette Blount who's a really physical downhill runner we're familiar with from his days in Tampa Bay. Bill has adjusted – that's why he's going to be in the Hall of Fame."
On what stands out about New England's pass defense
"I think they've improved. They're young, they're athletic. Again, they've adjusted on that side of the ball as well even from the last time we played them. [LB Brandon] Spikes went on [Injured Reserve] and [they] brought in [LB Jamie] Collins, who's a guy we liked in the draft. He's very, very athletic – good size. I think in the secondary they've done a tremendous job, and because they were youthful and all those snaps make you better, they've definitely improved."
On how the team has bonded through all the adversity faced this season with his health and player injuries
"I think it started with the kind of people you have in the football department – players, coaches, everybody involved. I think both these teams have been through quite a bit from the onset of this season until now. In our case, it is 'next man up.' I know people are getting tired of hearing about it, but that mindset [is important]. And you keep 53 guys that you don't necessarily want to get to seeing the depth situations, you do but you keep them with the idea they are one play away from being a starter, and I think on both teams you see guys step in and do a very great job. In my case, I was away for a month, and [Defensive Coordinator] Jack Del Rio, the rest of the staff our players … There's not too many times when your head coach goes away, and they worked through it and didn't miss a beat. That's what you hope with a team that they can stay pretty even keeled – not experience all the ups and downs – and keep their focus and keep grinding."
On S Rahim Moore and his possible playoff return
"He's really day-to-day. He's designated to have the opportunity to return. When he clears our medical people, he'll begin practicing, and we're in a day-to-day mode with that."
On if DE Derek Wolfe was placed on Injured Reserve due to uncertainty or lack of time to get him game ready
"I think kind of all of the above. It was a decision we made that we felt was best for the football team. None of those decisions will ever be easy, but it takes a while to get oiled up in this thing, even when you've been away, even if you're healthy. We just felt we were past that point for this season."