CJ: I feel like mental toughness is just the sense of no matter what’s going on, do whatever it takes. Do whatever it takes physically, mentally, and at this instance, people talk about our rookies and our young guys stepping up, and they have a lot of mental toughness, so I’m excited about that.
Q: Does the number of close games you guys have been in this year contribute to a feeling of mental toughness?
CJ: It definitely gives you range, knowing what your team can do, and it’s just a [testament] for everyone around the league and around the sport of football just seeing teams come back like that and just seeing – it’s just great football.
Q: How much do you think the comebacks and resiliency during the regular season translates to the playoffs?
CJ: Like I said, it helps. It helps a lot, knowing the range of your team and knowing certain things that you can do. When [it’s] late in the season like this, I’ve only played in the playoffs once, this is my second time, but from what I know, late in the season like this, a lot of things happen, and knowing – if you rewind back to the Denver game where we’re down 24 points going into the half, just certain things like that, and then coming back. So, just knowing the range of your team.
Q: Do you think about the legacy that the Patriots have built here and what guys like you can do going forward?
CJ: What we’re trying to do is beat the Colts, to be honest with you. You take it one game at a time, especially in this tournament, you take it one game at a time, and actually one play at a time, and try to execute every single play. So our biggest focus is winning against the Colts and executing against the Colts.
Q: What about the history here and the championships that the team has won? Does that resonate with you at all?
CJ: No. Not at all. Like I said just before, our biggest focus is just winning on Saturday night.
Q: What did you learn from the playoffs last year?
CJ: Just being consistent. Like I said in the previous interview, mistakes can’t be limited, but have to be eliminated. Just being consistent, you have to play perfect football, and that’s what we have to do on Saturday night, play perfect football, and that’s what we’ll try to do.
Q: Is Robert Mathis is a guy you have watched over the last few years and maybe admired?
CJ: Yeah, definitely. I’ve definitely watched him on some plays like cutting up some film. He has a great get-off, I admire his get-off. He’s a good player. He’s a really good player.
Q: Have you studied some of his moves?
CJ: No I haven’t. Like I said, I’ve watched some film and I’ve seen him play here and there, but like I said, he’s a good player.
Q: How important is it to be able to contain a guy like Andrew Luck who has the ability to run?
CJ: Yeah, Andrew Luck. He’s a strong player, he’s fast as well. But as far as him being able to extend plays on the ground and throw the ball down the field, he’s very dangerous. He’s a dangerous player, and that’s our job as defensive linemen and pass-rushers, is to contain him.
Q: How hungry are you to get back to live action after having a week off?
CJ: I’m definitely excited. I’m excited to play. I’m excited to go out on Saturday night in the premier game, and I’m excited to get going. I really am.
Q: This team has been much better at home than on the road this season. Can you explain some of the reasons for that?
CJ: I have no explanation for that, but I feel like I’ve played better in front of the fans, to be honest with you. I love playing here at Gillette Stadium, and there’s no feeling like it.
Q: Do you feel like the home field advantage is overrated?
CJ: People can say that. People can say it is.
Q: How much has the idea of staying disciplined because of Andrew Luck’s ability to run the football been drilled into you and
CJ: Andrew Luck is very talented, and a player that everyone just has to do their job. Everyone has an assignment, and you have to execute that assignment, and hopefully it’s contained.
Q: What have you seen from Anthony Castonzo on tape?
CJ: He’s a good player. I played against him a little bit last year, that’s the game I actually went down with an injury, and I played against him in college. But this is the NFL now, so it’s a lot different, but he’s a good player. He’s very long and athletic, and he can move very well.
Q: Is there anything specific in your matchups against him that stands out to you, maybe even going back to Syracuse and Boston College?
CJ: No, it’s been a while.
Q: How confident are you in stopping the Colts running game in the middle of the field?
CJ: Like I said, everyone just has to do their job. Coach [Bill] Belichick, he comes up with a game plan, and we’ve just got to execute it, feed into it, buy into it, and everyone just has to be in the right places and we should be fine.
Q: How confident are you in the rookies taking on big roles in their first playoff games?
CJ: Yeah, I’ve been praising
Q: What are the biggest steps the defense has taken to gel this season?
CJ: Just the camaraderie off the field. We’ve been hanging out a lot off the field and just breaking up film together, just certain things like that. Just a brotherhood playing for the Patriots.