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Quotes: Tuesday open locker room


TE Garrett Graham** QB Ryan Mallett
OLB Whitney Mercilus
NT Ryan Pickett
QB Tom Savage

TE Garrett Graham
(on the difference between the way QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Mallett throw the ball) "It's hard to compare those two guys. They're both great at what they do. Maybe it comes from a little bit higher up, obviously because he has a high release point being so tall. Mallett does a good job at practice and obviously he's been in the offense for a while and knows how to run it. From that aspect, he seems to be doing a good job."

(on if he catches passes from QB Ryan Mallett in practice) "I do. We're always working with him in drills and after practice sometimes he'll grab us for rounds or we'll grab him if we need to work on some things. We're working with him and Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick) probably close to the same amount."

QB Ryan Mallett
(on his Tweet saying that he was staying ready) "All I'm trying to do is be ready and get better. I wasn't taking a shot at anybody. Like we said and OB (Bill O'Brien) said it, we're not going down the social media thing. Like, I'm past it. I'm not worried about it. Just going to go into Cleveland, get this bye week, rest up, get prepared for them and try to go get another win."

(on preparing himself week-to-week) "I'm always preparing. I always prepare like I'm the starter anyway. I played behind Tom Brady. Obviously I didn't play much, but I prepared every week like the starter just like I always will. I don't expect anything less of myself."

(on how he views the team right now) "We're 4-5. Our record shows that and we have to play better all the way around."

(on saying that this offense is like being given keys to a Maserati) "Just got to hit the right switches. When it's that time, you've got to know how to drive it."

(on what he's seen from the offense on the sideline) "I mean that's pretty much where I've seen it for the last four years. I don't know what different perspective you want, but we've got to play better all the way around, up front, offense, defense, special teams. It's a team sport. It's the ultimate team sport. The way we're playing shows it. We've got to play together better."

(on if he's running out of patience) "I'm a very patient guy. I've been doing it for four years. Who doesn't want to play? You play this sport for a reason. I obviously chose this sport at a young age and I wanted to play it and play at the highest level. Right now I've got to continue to do that at practice and get better every day."

(on what he's learned as a professional) "Everybody always talks like it's different the farther you go in this, and I mean, I've been doing the same work since high school. I'm here early. I'm here late. I'm just trying to be the best player I can and help my team anyway I can."

(on his grasp on the offense) "I know the offense. I know the playbook. If I need to get in there and do something, I will. I've been in the system for four years now. Not much is different and what is, I feel like I've mastered that. I have to go out and continue to play well with my team and get better."

(on where the offense is not clicking right now) "Everywhere. I mean, that's the part of the team game is we have to communicate better on the field, on the sideline and play better. There is no magic formula. You can't take a pill or do something to play better as a team. Every day working together and progressing.

(on if it's different being a backup quarterback here than in New England) "I mean, no. You're the backup. You do what your job entitles and right now that's what I'm doing."

(on how much he feels his work has prepared him for playing) "I'm always going to be prepared. I pride myself on that. I don't want to ever say if my number's called, I don't ever want to go into the locker room after the game and say I could have done something else to be prepared. I try to leave no stone unturned in my preparation and I'll continue to do that."

(on if he would be proactive in the offense) "I feel like I'm proactive anyway. I try to help the guys since I've been in the system or the same way, so I try to help in little things that I know we need to do better."

(on what he'll be doing during the bye week) "Right here. Lifting weights and watching film."

OLB Whitney Mercilus
(on how feels coming off of a career game) "I mean, just doing it at practice and doing exactly what I'm coached to do. Just reading my keys and things like that. It feels good, but it's not something that I want to hang my hat over. Just progressing on and getting better."

(on if the key to his play is consistency) "Yeah. It's something that I've always said. It's just consistency. That's it. Just doing things the same way day-in and day-out.

(on Bill O'Brien saying he was one of the standouts on defense against Philadelphia on Sunday) "He just acknowledges all the types of hard work that goes into all the preparation and all that and it shows up on gameday and things like that. It's a nice little accomplishment within the locker room and amongst my peers and stuff like that."

(on his plan during the bye week) "Just staying in the training room, staying in town, just relaxing a little bit and just watching myself; understanding things to get better, just little things like that."

NT Ryan Pickett
(on his feelings about things going into the break) "We've just got to do a good job of just getting healthy. That's one of the main things. You've got to be healthy in this league to compete. So just get our bodies healthy, take a good little break from football, spend time with the family and come back ready to roll."

(on taking a mental health day or two) "Exactly. That's going to do well. We're looking forward to it and we're looking forward to getting back and looking to Cleveland."

(on the good timing of the bye) "I know it. That's the best. It gives us time. Guys have been on their grind since camp and the whole season, so to get this break for your body at this time, at this point of the season, is great because I've been on the end where I've had a bye week after the third game and it wasn't that great. I think the timing is perfect."

(on his plans for the bye week) "No. I'm staying here to rest and get ready for this run we're about to go on."

(on the pulse of the locker room) "We know all our goals are still right there in front of us. Coach O'Brien has been talking to us and letting us know that we're still not far off. We're still not far off from being a good team. We've just got to clean up some things here and there and come together and just put some wins together."

(on using the bye week for self-evaluation) "Exactly. You get to evaluate yourself. That's the main thing. I'm going to be home, but at the same time with this technology we have all the games and all our cutups with us. I'm going to do a lot of time sitting on the couch and looking at it and evaluating how each one of us can get better individually. If we do that as a group, collectively we'll get better. That's what we're going to do."

QB Tom Savage
(on what makes the offense tough to run) "A lot of it really relies on the quarterback making the right decision and kind of putting the offense in a good spot."

(on if downfield plays are practiced) "We do it practice, but obviously not coming out with the wins, so we've just got to keep looking at it and keep improving."

(on where he'd asses his progress) "I'm just getting better every week I think. I think that's my main goal right now is just to keep improving and kind of put myself in a good situation so that whenever that time comes, whether it's next year or this year, just be ready to go. I've said it before to everyone just training like a starter, just kind of picking Fitz's (Ryan Fitzpatrick) brain a little bit and they're doing a good job of helping me out and watching extra film with me. It's good."

(on the QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Mallett taking him under his wing) "It's awesome. Mallett has a good grasp of the offense just from being around it for so many years. Fitz is a vet and he's been around the league and he's kind of got that mental toughness that young rookies need to kind of learn. He's one of the toughest guys I've been around, so it's good to get both of their features and kind of instill it in myself."

(on QB Ryan Fitzpatrick's mental toughness) "He just doesn't get rattled. It's really rare to see you know? I know he goes through a lot. The quarterback is always the guy that's going to take the blame, and that's kind of what we sign up for. The way he just goes out there and keeps throwing the ball, and he'll make a play and whether it's a good play or a bad play he'll go back out there and keep on slinging it. That's just something you want in your quarterback."

(on how far QB Ryan Mallett has come since he's arrived) "I think he's doing a really good and he's improving every week. I know he's doing whatever he can."

(on what he gets from scout team reps) "It's good though because we're trying to mix a lot of our stuff in it now and kind of use our own terminology. The best thing is we're going against the first team defense. IT's good throwing it against guys like Johnathan Joseph and going against guys like (J.J.) Watt, trying to tackle me every day. It's brutal, but it's been good. I think I'm just getting better and me and (Ryan) Mallett are both taking those reps. It's good for both of us."

(on dealing with not playing) "It's just part of the game really. You've got to be ready for when your time comes. To be honest, I did it a lot in college just being ineligible, so I'm kind of used to it. I think you just have to really take advantage of this year. This isn't just a sit back and see what happens year. This is me earning my spot every week and trying to make the most of it."

(on how big a step is it to use the team's terminology on the scout team) "It helps out a lot because when you do get your time with the older guys and stuff, you've got to be able to go out there and take command, and it helps a lot. Like I said, (Ryan) Mallett is behind me and it helps a lot. Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick) is back there sometimes and he'll watch me watch all my scout team reps with him and kind of go over some stuff because the coaches have to obviously worry about the week and preparation for the next team. Fitz really sits down and takes the time and he grinds me a little bit. It's pretty tough, but it's awesome."

(on his work in the weight room) "Like I said, this isn't a waste year. Whatever I can do to get an edge, I'm going to do it. Coach Fitz (Craig Fitzgerald) has really been on me. I lift every day, whether it's running or lifting, it helps out a lot. We'll see how it goes."

(on how he feels when QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is booed) "That's just part of the position really. He's been around the league, he's probably been used to it, he's probably been booed and we all have. I've been booed at a high school game. It's part of the position. I think he does a really good job and he's getting better. I know he's staying positive through the whole process and he'll be fine."

(on how much he thinks QB Ryan Fitzpatrick's humor helps him brush off criticism) "It definitely helps, especially being around the guy. I know a lot of the guys stay positive around him. Whether it's off the field or on the field, everyone's positive. He likes to crack jokes here and there. He does a good job."

(on QB Ryan Fitzpatrick diving head first) "I try and talk to him about not doing that, but he's a tough guy. It's funny. After every hit, his chin strap is all over his face. That's kind of the spark you need on the offense once in a while to go in there and see your quarterback go in head first. Obviously it's not the safest thing in the world, but I mean, that's his game. He goes out there and he balls out and plays as hard as he can. That's what you need in a quarterback."

(on QB Ryan Fitzpatrick having a do it whatever it takes style) "Always puts the team first and that's what you want as a quarterback."

(on if it's tough seeing QB Ryan Fitzpatrick getting criticism) "I mean, both of us we really don't try to read much into it. Obviously it's like you said, it's pretty much everywhere. He's just staying focused and I know he's staying positive and he's doing well. Like I said, I can't speak for him. You're probably going to have to ask him yourself. Just from a friend's aspect, I think he's always been a positive guy."

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