FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Top storylines and soundbites around the Patriots:
1. O'Brien to interview with Penn State today. Offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien's interview with Penn State is scheduled for today, a source tells ESPN's Adam Schefter. This bit of information updates the ESPN.com news story from earlier in the week (link here).
2. Defense gets jittery early. Captain Vince Wilfork detailed some of the reasons he thinks the defense has started games off slowly and he started with this -- the unit isn't settled down when the game begins. "I think the more we play the more confidence guys get," he said. "Once the game starts to settle down, once they start to see the game unfold and as you start to believe what they’re seeing and prepared for [it gets better]. I think if we start off that way we’ll start to see a lot of these games start off faster. It’s a good week to start this week."
3. Past not needed for motivation. Linebacker Jerod Mayo, when asked if he team's past two playoff losses can be used as motivation, said he didn't think that was necessary. "To be honest with you, this isn’t the same team as the previous years," he said. "I think this team is mentally tough. A playoff game in itself is motivation. We’re pretty motivated."
4. Wilfork likes makeup of team. Wilfork has a good feeling about the team the Patriots have assembled. He was answering a question about the progression of second-year defensive lineman Kyle Love when he veered off into a big-picture thought. "If you have a bunch of guys that love the game and have the passion for the game, you can fight with them, you can go to battle with those guys any day, against any team, so I love having this team," he said. "This team shows me a lot each week. This team never gets too down and never gets too high, so the character of this team is amazing. We haven’t had a team like this in awhile. Hopefully we can finish this thing off where we want to be. Like I said, we have to get through one game first. But with this team, like I said, I love my chances with this team."