Patriots Players


Jahlani Tavai, LB

(On how he would describe the first preseason game from the defensive standpoint and being somewhat of a signal caller for the defense)

“It was a lot of fun. A lot of the guys had a lot of those jitters the first game, especially the younger guys, myself included. But it was fun to just go out there, run around again and just make plays.”


(On the fires in Maui, Hawaii)

“I’m not sure if everybody saw, but there’s a big fire out there in Maui. I’ve had a lot of family and friends who lost their homes in the fires and a lot of like – I don’t know. It’s a big tragedy right now. A lot of people lost their lives and I’m just trying to bring awareness to it. There’s a lot of GoFundMe’s, I’m trying to get a lot of donations: clothes, diapers, whatever we can get our hands on, to send out there. So, as much as I can do, I’m going to do. But, yeah, it’s tough being out here and you’re so far away from the island. You can’t do much but just pray. So, right now it was nice to be out there to play football because it got my mind off of that and allowed me and the other guys to just go out there and have fun, you know? Not think about what’s going on out in the world, but just be free and play football.”


(On playing with his brother Justus and what he’s telling him)

“Shoot, it was exciting to see him run around today. I know he had a nice play out there in the third or fourth quarter. But I’m literally just telling him to have fun, you know? It’s football. It’s what we’ve played our whole lives. I know it’s at a higher caliber, but it’s 11-on-11. You’re either going to have a one-on-one or a double team regardless. But, if you have that one-on-one, there’s no reason for anybody to even think about trying to block you. So, he’s just going to have to look at the tape, go over it, see what his mistakes are and just build on what he started today. So, today’s literally his foundation, and he can go from wherever after that.”


(On whether he feels five padded practices were enough to feel prepared for today)

“Like I said, it’s football. We’ve been doing this our whole lives. It doesn’t matter if we have padded practices or not. We have to go into every practice as if it’s a game situation. So, even if we don’t have pads, we have to put in the details. We have to know what’s going on. Everything is situational, you know? So, it’s on us as professionals to go into every practice as if it is a true game. So, we have to stay low pad levels, striking, everything. So, that’s what practice is for.”


Jalen Mills, DB

(On setting a precedent and leading by example for the younger players)

“This whole offseason, starting from April until the start of camp, even up to now, to this game, we’ve been talking about building a foundation. I think me as a veteran guy – granted it is a preseason game, but to a lot of the veteran guys, the lights are bright still, they don’t know that it’s not a full stadium – but you can be a little anxious. I think just me with my presence, being here multiple times and then going out and showing them that we practice hard enough, and those same plays that we make at practice you can make in the game. Just go out there and trust yourself. I think that was the message that I was trying to send, is just go out there, be yourself and make plays.”


(On his position in the secondary in the post-Devin McCourty era)

“Honestly, it’s wherever Coach sees fit. I can play in the slot. I can play strong safety; I can play free safety. I can blitz off the edge. I can do a lot of different things, so I think it’s just about trusting Coach to put me in the right position to help this defense, make plays and help the team win games.”


(On Christian Gonzalez’s debut)

“We talked about that first tackle that he had on the sideline. He told me it woke him up a little bit, but he said he needed that. But I think Gonzo, he had a pretty good outing. I really didn’t get to see too much of him because they were running the ball a lot, of course. But, with Gonzo, he’s the same thing: put him in that bucket with those young guys. This whole rookie class coming in, working hard each and every day, asking questions and striving to get better.”


(On the read for his interception)

“I was actually in man-to-man with the tight end. He was in the backfield, though. It was a longer down and distance, so I kind of showed a two-high look. I think it was Myles Bryant who was next to me. Once the tight end kind of chipped and released through, I knew that I could take him from depth, but I just kept eyes on the quarterback. He just so happened to look to his right and my left, and I was able to get underneath the route and intercept the ball.”


Christian Gonzalez, CB

(On his first taste of the NFL)

“It was good, had a lot of fun to go out there with my teammates and just try to get better each day. And there is so much more that I can learn. Ready to get in tomorrow, watch the film, and get back to work.”


(On what stood out about the game)

“Everything really. Just the atmosphere, the speed, getting out there and just playing with the vets and seeing it how they see it. Teaching me ways to go throughout the game and things like that.”


(On if the game seemed too fast or if he was too comfortable)

“I don’t really think I was too comfortable or the game was too fast. I feel like it was a good learning experience for me. Like I said earlier, just ready to get in tomorrow and watch the film and see what the coaches think about it and how we can learn and grow for next week.”


(On his impressions of Malik Cunningham)

“Yeah it was real fun to see him come out there and just ball. It was fun to watch that. Super nice guy, always talking, real high energy. To see him be able to go out and do that was a lot of fun on the sideline for us to see that, I am happy for him.”


(On the forced fumble)

“Yeah it was just a route, covered it, and went in and was trying to attack the ball. That’s something we preach on and things we want to do, and kind of went along with it.”


Tyquan Thornton, WR

(On his high-point reception)

“They were playing Cover-2 so I just went up, good pass from [Bailey] Zappe, went up and high-pointed the ball. That’s something that I have been emphasizing, just making contested catches and coming down with big plays.”


(On how his 27-yard reception felt)

“Yes, it definitely felt good. Been emphasizing making good catches so it feels really good to see that play come alive.”


(On working with Bailey Zappe tonight)

“I feel like it was a good experience. Like I said before, it felt good just getting out there with the whole unit. Going out at full speed, competing at a high level, getting better.”


(On his progress through training camp)

“I feel like we all have been getting good quality reps. We have all been getting better, working at a high level, working on small fundamentals.”


Keion White, DL

(On his first preseason game.)

“It was a good experience. Definitely have a lot that I need to learn and take from the game. Obviously I reserve all the rights to comment on it until I watch the film and assess it for myself.”


(On some of the goals he had coming into the game.)

“Just play physical. I can fix all the rest of the stuff, technique and everything obviously needs to be corrected. Just play a physical and dominant style of the game was my main focus today.”


(On if he accomplished his goals)

“I tried my best. I tried my best to do what I set out to do every day.”


(On what was going through his head on the fumble)

You see ball, get ball. Kind of just make a good football play, ball on the ground and I went to dive for it.”


(On what he hopes to grow upon as he looks ahead to Green Bay)

“Just being able to play faster. There were a lot of times where I was just trying to dissect a little too much. I just needed to play fast, put my hand down and go.”

Malik Cunningham, QB

(On if he knew that he would get playing time in the fourth quarter)

“Yes sir. We had talked about it during the week, Coach told me, so I knew I had to be ready at some point.”


(On how it felt to play quarterback in the game)

“It feels good. I mean tough player, I’m a team player, so whatever the coaches need me to do, I’m going to do it for the team. That’s what happened, Coach told me to go to quarterback, and we had no touchdowns, so I told the o-line, the whole group, that we were going to go down and score and that’s what we did.”


(On what it meant for him to bring an offensive spark to the game tonight)

“It felt good, I mean at times they were bringing a lot of pressure. They had a good defense, had a good scheme, so I just feel like my running ability gave us a little more options on offense to open it up so they didn’t know if we were going to pass or run. That was pretty fun.”


(On if it is difficult to be playing both positions)

“Is it difficult? No, I feel like I’m a very clever, smart kid and the coaches have been doing a good job with me, explaining, breaking it down, helping me learn. The quarterbacks, the receivers, all those guys have been nothing but help to me, so I appreciate them.”


Andrew Stueber, OL

(On what type of jolt Malik Cunningham gave the team)

“He’s a young kid. He’s a fast kid. He’s a great player. We all work so hard during practice every day. So, we’re always ready, always next man up. Everyone’s working hard and working together in practice. So, he was ready and went out there and did what he practiced. It was good to see.”


(On Malik’s Cunningham’s touchdown)

“We all got excited out there. You saw him give the ball to Jake [Andrews] and he spiked the ball. We’re all excited to see another man succeed and do well. It was a great offensive unit out there and a team effort for the final push of the drive. It was great to see him score.”


(On the Texans defensive line)

“They have some great players on that side. I tried to work on my technique and what I’ve been taught here. We have a great system, great program, and coaches and if you do what they tell you, with good fundamentals and great effort, you’ll get the job done.”


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