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First-timers embrace playoff experience

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Fourteen players on the New England Patriots' roster have not played in a playoff game in their careers.

The playoffs are what every NFL player wants to experience.

Here are the mindsets of running back Jonas Gray, tight end Tim Wright and linebacker Akeem Ayers, who are amped up to play in their first postseason game on Saturday against the Baltimore Ravens:

Jonas Gray: "I always look at it as every play in a playoff game is critical. So any play that you are in you need to be at your best. [Head coach] Bill [Belichick] does a good job of preparing us and the rest of the coaches do, too. Everybody who is left [in the playoffs] are good players and good teams. I'm pretty excited. I come in pretty excited every day for work, especially for days like this. I think every time you have an opportunity to do something that most veterans don't do -- a lot of these guys in the locker room have [been here before] and there are some guys here who haven't been here before -- it's that first-time excitement. It's hard to get there. Yeah, this is [what you dream of].


Tim Wright: "Man, it's the same approach. Just my preparation and getting me where I need to be mentally. It's going to be a big day for our team. Everybody needs to go out there and do their job. Same frame of mind, just attack it as a game. You don't want to change your approach too much. You don't want to do something you haven't been doing that got you to this point. It's about sticking to the script."


Akeem Ayers: "Have to focus on playing my best football, mistake-free. We aren't preparing any other way, but the intensity is picked up. I'm really excited, just watching the playoffs and never being in the playoffs and just seeing the fun that the other teams are having being in the playoffs and seeing the excitement. As a football player you want to be in the playoffs and I'm excited for my opportunity and I'm going to make the best of it.