As if Mike didn't give you enough to read this morning (and I know he did) we have much, much more for you this morning. Several coaches and players were available to the media on Thursday, and we have all the transcripts.
Highlights of those are below.
"Mental toughness is what I think it is. It is a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in, that is persistent and will battle through the good and the bad, the physical side of the game but also the mental side of the game, the resiliency and just the ability to see things through until the end and believing that you are going to win."
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell on the improved communication and play of the defense.
"We know what we want to do and how we want to do it. That's been one of the keys. ... It was just a combination of, some of our young players started to grow up. We did have a number of young players on the field at the same time. Chase Blackburn has been a tremendous welcome coming back to our squad and being able to communicate with our guys and get on the same page with our guys. I think it's just the work throughout the whole season, guys are listening to each other, talking to each other, and never stop communicating with each other, and believing in each other."
"Obviously there is a lot to lose. Either you win and you continue playing or you lose and you go home. Obviously they are a very good football team, 15-1 is an unbelievable record and they are a very good football team and I think we had an ‘us against the world' mentality throughout the ups and downs of this season when people told us that we couldn't do this, we couldn't win the division. I think that our team really rallied together and I think that we became a stronger team because of it because it took all of us to look each other in the eye and have that accountability, that we believe in one another and in order for us to do it we have to go out there and play that way and I think that's the way we have been winning games."
"I am very confident, I feel good about our opportunity. Wake up every morning feeling so good about this game. They are a good football team, you can't take anything away from them. They are 15-1 and to go 15-1 in a league like this is special because guys are coming for you every week. I just like our opportunity that we have and we've got to go out and take advantage of it. They are going to go out and lay it down for us and we've got to take it."
"You never allow yourself to think that, regardless of how bad things are at the moment. I've seen it too many times, where it seems like a team that's been counted out finds a way to right the ship. It happened to us in '07. It happened to Green Bay last year. There's so much parity in this league that once a team figures it out and gets hot, it's hard to stop. Hopefully that's where we're at right now. We've been here before. We know how this feeling feels. I think we're poised to get on a run, but it's going to be a tough ride."