10 Quotes and a Cloud of Dust: Wildcard Round

Belichick: Vinatieri who?

Patriots-Jets. Belichick-Mangini. Tom Brady vs. the Jets defense. Chad Pennington vs. the Patriots defense. The playoffs. The NFL couldn't have scripted this one any better. ... Welcome to the the Wilcard Playoff version of the the best quotes from the week.

The Patriots wrapped up the season with a win on the road in Tennessee. The Jets clinched a playoff spot with a win over the Raiders. But that's all old news. It's on to the playoffs now.

Win or go home. The talk all week was about the Belichick-Mangini relationship and what it means to be in the playoffs.

Here are the top 10 quotes of the week, heading into Wild Card Weekend, Patriots-Jets:

10. "We're onto the Jets. Do you have any Jets questions? We're done with Tennessee. We're done with last year. It's the Jets."
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

Translation: "Last week is last week and last year is last year. It's playoff time. Let's not waste any breath talking about last week."


9. "I think Eric and his staff have done a great job down there this year."
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

Translation: "Eric, Eric, Eric, Eric, Eric. You happy now? I said his name. Can we move on and talk about something else? Please? Eric, Eric, Eric. I hate Eric. Eric's a jerk. Good enough? Can I stop saying his name now?"


8. "I can't tell you how much I appreciate what he has done for me and my family, and how kind he's been throughout our relationship, and the opportunity that he's given me. I care about him deeply and I respect him as a person and as a coach."
New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini on Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

Translation: "I hate his guts. And he hates me even more than I hate him. Maybe we'll fight after the game. Or at halftime. Maybe we'll be the halftime entertainment."


7. "Yeah, it's my favorite time of year."

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, when asked if he looks forward to this time of year

Translation: "[Singing] It's the most wonderful time of the year! I almost never lose in the playoffs, so, yeah, I love it."


6. "I think he is a player that can do what we are going to ask him to do or I wouldn't put him out there."

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick when asked if he would set up for a game-winning field goal differently for kicker Stephen Gostkowski than he would have for Adam Vinatieri

Translation: "Oh, I'm so scared of using my kicker! Why?!? Why did I get rid of Vinatieri? Why?!? I'm sending the kid out there to kick the game-winning field goal this week just to shut you people up."


5. "We're buzzing right along here. It seems like this week is going quick. I wish we had a little more time…We're trying to utilize all of the time that we have to be ready for this one."

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

Translation: "We're ready to play right now. We could have played this game on Tuesday. That's how prepared we are for this one. Don't tell Eric."


4. "There's a little extra urgency. There's a little extra focus. There's a little extra intensity. I don't know how to measure that, but I can feel it. I think all of us feel it."

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the playoffs

Translation: "I'd like to win the NFL's 'Pitch Your Idea for the Best NFL Super Bowl Commercial Ever' promotion. Just use what I just said. That's it. Maybe add some of that NFL Films classical music or something. I win."


3. "What makes Tom a good playoff quarterback? I think his record speaks for itself. It really does. He's a clutch player. He's smart. Tough. He makes good decisions. He's well-prepared. I think we can go on and on and talk about Tom Brady's record and success in the playoffs. It's pretty well documented."

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

Translation: "There isn't a quarterback who ever played the game that I'd rather have out there than Tom Brady. When he retires, I might retire. We can go into the Hall of Fame together. Sit around and talk about the old days together. I love Tom Brady."


2. "He's very efficient. He's smart. He reads coverages well…He's a pretty solid player in all areas."

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on Jets quarterback Chad Pennington

Translation: "He's no Tom Brady."


1. "Try to put everything off that can wait until the offseason, try to put it off until the end of the year…right now you just put everything aside in your life and try to go out and put everything you can into each week."

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on advice he can give younger players about how to handle the playoffs

Translation: "You don't empty the garbage, you don't pay the bills, you don't bathe, you hire a babysitter, and you give the pets away. You don't focus on anything but football. Period."

***

You heard Tom. Time to think about nothing but football. Patriots-Jets is an intriguing match-up on many levels. But when the ball is kicked off, nothing will matter but how the teams perform on the field.

The "tournament" begins this weekend. Will the Jets derail the Patriots' train before it even leaves the station? Or do the Patriots have what it takes to win their fourth Super Bowl in six years? Patriots-Jets. Are you ready for some Playoff Football?


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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