By: Ian Logue
Steve Burton and Scott Zolak interviewed Ron Brace after the game on WBZ. Here’s a transcript of what they talked about:
BURTON: The good news is you walk out of here healthy and now it’s on to the regular season. How much are you guys looking forward to playing for real?
“Definitely now because you know, these games are for keeps. These wins and losses are going to count towards getting to that big goal where we [were], getting back to the Super Bowl, so we’ve got to take it one step at a time and now our next goal is Tennessee.”
BURTON: Cut down day is coming up, you know, you’ve got to whittle it down to 53 by Friday. A lot of guys are on the bubble, a lot of guys are frightened – I mean, you’re secure, that’s a good thing – but how is it for your teammates, how is it for some of these guys knowing that they could be released?
“That’s part of the business. A lot of us know that coming into camp, and we just try to reiterate it to each other before this game that, ” this is the last time some of us all might be playing together,” so it was just best to go out there and give your all, put good film up and just try to do the best you can.”
Zolak: Ron you’ve been here for a while, you’ve been here with Pryor, with a guy like Jermaine Cunningham, so much expected of you, you guys add depth to that defensive line, from an end from a defensive tackle stand point, you get the start with [Brandon] Deaderick tonight, how good does it feel that you’re healthy right now, and you’re showing the team that, “I can contribute, I can be a part of what they want to do in the middle” – providing that stability up front?
“It’s great. That’s the reason they brought me in, is to be out there and be on the field and be a factor in the defense. So just being able to be out there with guys like Jermaine, it’s just beneficial to me because the more you’re out there, the more experience you get, the better you get as a player I’m grateful to God that I’m healthy this year and just taking every rep as hard as I can.”
Zolak: Who’s helped you guys the most up front? Whether it’s Pepper [Johnson], whether it’s [Matt] Patricia, it seems like from a front seven standpoint including all the linebackers, you guys assignment-wise – nobody’s out of position. Whether it’s a two gap guy, a one gap guy, you guys have all your lanes secure and nobody’s out of position, it seems like everybody’s on the same page communicating?
“Yeah basically everyone that comes in, we’re in our meetings…again, the game starts with the front seven so when we meet together, we’ve got to make sure we know who’s going to be where, we’ve got to know that you’ve got to be able to trust that next person next to us to be there in that spot. So that’s where all the meetings and all the time we spend there come into play.”
BURTON: Hey Ron, you didn’t have the best preseason, O.K. if you look at all four games, you guys didn’t play lights out. But are you still confident that you guys can go off on a run here?
“Oh, Definitely, definitely. We’ve just got to go out there, get back into practice, you know, focus on the little things. The preseason’s over, we’ve got get ready for a game now, you know?”
ZOLAK: Go back to last year, fourth preseason game, preseason’s over, that was the lockout year. You guys didn’t have the offseason, you didn’t have all the meetings. How’s this team evolved from that point last year until now. That’s the team that went to the Super Bowl last year, you guys have high expectations, where do you compare this team to last year’s team at this point.
“You can’t really compare this year’s team to last year’s team because we’re still going to try and find out what team we’re going to have when it comes to Tennessee. We’re just trying to do whatever we can just to focus on the little things, try not focus on the past because it was a different team. We’ve got different players in the backfield on both sides of the ball so we’ve got to do what we can to make sure that we cover the little things, the fundamentals so that we go out there and play smart and fast.”
ZOLAK: Has the schedule been tough? Three games in 10 days Let’s fast-forward Thanksgiving, you guys are going to be coming off a short week. playing on Sunday, getting ready to play the Jets back down here at the Meadowlands?
“We did that before, I think it was probably two years ago when we had two games…something like that. I think it’s good that we’ve got to get our bodies used to that because that’s probably something that could happen during the season. I think it’s good experience for us to do that during camp and then just give everybody that exposure.”