10 Quotes and a Cloud of Dust: Week 16

"If I had Jacksonville's receivers...whoa lookout"

The Patriots completed their home schedule by trouncing the Houston Texans. The coaches and players all agreed that it was the most complete game they've played all season. Now they face two final road games that will determine if they make the playoffs, and where they will be seeded if they do.

This week was spent enjoying the win, discussing Pro Bowl snubs, and looking ahead to the Jacksonville Jaguars. But in the back of everyone's minds was finishing the Christmas shopping and getting ready for the holiday.

This week we've compiled a very special Christmas edition of 10 Quotes and a Cloud of Dust. We've read between the lines and learned what head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady want for Christmas this year.

Here are the top 10 quotes of the week, heading into Patriots-Jaguars, on Christmas Eve:


10. "A day later, I think we're kind of at the same point that we were yesterday. It was a good win for our team."
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
Translation: "This is one of the reasons the Colts win so many games. I've asked Santa to talk to the league and move us into the AFC South. We'd like to get the Texans on our schedule more often."


9. "They blitzed, which leaves us back in coverage, and if you are able to get the ball off and get it to Kevin, which we did, I know that Koppen ran down there and didn't have anyone to block. That guy is a fat guy running down the field with no one to block. I'm sure he enjoyed that."
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on the Kevin Faulk screen pass for a touchdown against Houston
Translation: "It was a Christmas miracle, that's for sure. Koppen looked like Santa Claus running down the field, using some magic to keep the defenders away. I've asked Koppen to put on the big red suit and give us a few more of those plays for Christmas."


8. "He's tough. He works hard. He gets better out there every day. He's the kind of kid you love to coach."
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on Mike Wright coming in for Vince Wilfork last week
Translation: "I've got 53 guys on the roster. My Christmas wish is that some day they will all be the exact type of player. I'm getting there."


7. "Coach talked about in the locker room after the game that we won this game on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday."
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady
Translation: "Sometimes you show up for the game and it's already over. The key play last week against the Texans was the coin toss. I mailed a letter to the North Pole asking for a few more of those kinds of games."


6. "This game isn't all about size, it's about leverage and it's also about strength, pound for pound strength, playing strength."
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on Ellis Hobbs covering and tackling a tall receiver such as Andre Johnson
Translation: "We've put new weights on our Christmas list. And one of those stretching machines that make people taller."


5. "I don't know. I've never had a 6'4? receiver…They would have to stack Reche on top of Kelvin's shoulders. I don't think we could run very fast if we did that. I'm not used to that."
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, when asked what it would be like to have tall receivers like Jacksonville has
Translation: "I'd like Bob Kraft to spend a little money on some wider receivers this offseason. Some tall guys who can catch and run would be great. Or maybe one of those stretching machines that Coach was talking about."


4. "I'm not going to try to hypothetically guess who will or won't be okay and who will or won't play or whether we will or won't get somebody else on the roster. I have no idea."
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the team's injuries
Translation: "I'm sure when you guys sit on Santa's lap you ask him for some truth serum or a lie detector test. I ask him to change the league rules so I can talk to the media less."


3. "What is in our control is how we play this week against Jacksonville. That's really what is important…That's the goal of this team, to go out and win football games and just let everything else take care of itself."
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady
Translation: "I'm asking for one of those sweatshirts that Coach Belichick wears. And a headset. And a coupon to his hairdresser. If I'm going to talk just like him then I might as well start dressing like him."


2. "Yes, I would say I watch casually. I don't get all caught up in it."
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, when asked if he pays attention to the other NFL games on Sundays
Translation: "I like that SportsCenter show they have on cable. But I've heard of a few things that I'd love to see in my stocking. A satellite dish that lets you watch every NFL game. That would be nice. And there's something called a Slingblade or a Slingshot that lets you watch your television programming anywhere in the world. You can never get enough football I always say."


1. "How much does it matter? It matters very, very, very little. You're judged in this game on Super Bowls, not Pro Bowls. Unless you never win a Super Bowl, and then you are judged on Pro Bowls, but guys on this team, what we're concerned about is winning the championship."
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, when asked how much it matters to him personally that he make the Pro Bowl
Translation: "I've got three rings. Another one or three or more is all I want to see under my tree. Nobody on this team is asking for a Pro Bowl ring for Christmas."

***
A win on Christmas Eve and the Patriots clinch their fourth straight AFC East title, and can look forward to another playoff run. But the Jaguars are looking for a Christmas present of their own: a win over the Patriots and a playoff spot. I know what's on every Patriots fan's wish list this year. A win over Jacksonville that makes interrupting the Christmas weekend's family festivities worthwhile.


Darren is a regular contributor to Patriots Insider. You can find him in the forums under the name: DestinationSuperBowl. You can also find archives of his columns on the Insiders by searching for "Darren Kelly"

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