Here’s the complete transcript of Bill Belichick’s postgame Q&A with the media after today’s Patriots-Bills game:
BB: I thought it was a good win for our team out there today. We got off to a little bit of a slow start, but I thought that in the end all three phases came back and we made some plays. We had some good coverage plays on special teams and finally got the punt return going a little bit. Defensively after that long drive there in the first quarter, we played better after that. Offensively we kind of sputtered around a little bit there, but then we started scoring some points in that second and third quarter, even though we moved the ball earlier we weren’t able to convert and get the kind of points that we would like to get off of those drives. In the end, we made enough plays to win. That was good. I thought the players played hard, especially after we got past that first quarter, quarter-and-a-half there. We just didn’t do a good job. Buffalo ran some new schemes on us and we had a little trouble adjusting to those, but I thought the players did a good job in the end. Now we’re moving on to Cincinnati.
Q: You mentioned the punt return game. Can you maybe expound upon that a little bit? It seemed like that sparked a little bit of a turnaround.
BB: We haven’t really done anything with the punt return game all year, including preseason. We’ve worked hard the last couple of week and we usually work on it one day a week. We’ve worked on it two, and one time even three days just to put more emphasis on it and try to improve. I think it all starts with getting those guys held up on the line of scrimmage. Wes [Welker] made some good decisions, good ball handling, it was a tough ball he handled on the long one. I don’t know how far it went. It seemed like it went about 70 yards. What was it?
Q: 75 yards.
BB: 75. That guy is a great punter. It was just a combination of things. No penalties. That’s the best way to get a punt return, is to not get it called back. That was good. It was something that we’ve worked hard on and I’m glad that we can reinforce that with some positive results.
Q: It looked like your offensive line had a pretty good day, especially keeping [Aaron] Schobel out of the backfield. Can you talk about their performance a little?
BB: We tried. We certainly put enough guys over there to try to block him, but they still got us a few times and then they moved him inside and stunted him. He’s a tough guy to block. He’s really a good player. He’s quick. He’s explosive and strong for his size. He’s very instinctive and he has a great motor. He’s a hard guy to stay with. We got him a few times, but he got us too. He’s a guy you have to game plan for. He’s tough.
Q: Is it good to see your team come back after an emotional game last week to put up another win?
BB: We try to put all of the games behind us as soon as we can. By tomorrow afternoon, we need to get on to Cincinnati, correct the mistakes from this game, watch the tape and move on. It doesn’t really matter whether we win, lose, lose a tough one, win a big one, whatever. We have to get onto the next game. We only have 16. They’re too important and we can’t let one game carryover into another one. I think the guys are pretty good about trying to do that. This will be an important week for us to get off to a good start against Cincinnati, especially defensively. We know what they’re capable of doing from a production standpoint. They can score a lot of points.
Q: Does anything Randy [Moss] does surprise you or do you think you’ve seen enough of him?
BB: There’s a lot of things he can still work on. He hasn’t had that much time in the offense, but his production has been good. Tom [Brady] has been able to find him when he’s been open and Randy has been able to convert. It was a really nice play down there in the red area on the slant pattern. It was really good coverage by [Jabari] Greer. There was almost no space to get the ball in there. It was just well executed and that’s what it needs to be down there. It was good.
Q: Did you see Randy’s second touchdown catch at all from where you were?
BB: Are you talking about the one down the sideline in front of their bench?
BB: When Brady let it go, it looked to me like it was going to be an incomplete pass. It didn’t really look like there was much room for the ball to get in there and if it did, the defender would probably get it and somehow it would drop just beyond the corner, just inside the sideline right into Randy’s hands. I was a long way away from it. I didn’t really get a good look at it, but when the ball left his hand the last thing I was thinking was, ‘This is going to be a touchdown.’
Q: You’ve seen a lot of great things from Tom over the years. These past couple of weeks, has this been as good of a stretch that he’s played that you’ve seen?
BB: I think he’s played well. He’s had some other games that were pretty good games. It doesn’t really matter. We have a long way to go. We just need to keep improving each week. I’d like to see him handle the ball a little bit better and not fumble it down there on the goal line. I’m sure he’d like to have that play back. There’s always going to be plays like that that every player would like to have back, calls that every coach would like to have back. We have a long way to go and I hope that we can continue to get better.
Q: It seemed like Laurence [Maroney] ran with some more authority today and he was decisive in his cuts. Is that accurate?
BB: I think Laurence has done a good job for us. He’s done a good job for us. I thought the line blocked well. The way that Buffalo plays defense sometimes it’s a little bit of if there’s a good hole there that you can get through or there’s nothing and we saw some of both. I thought the backs ran hard, but I think they’ve been running hard.
Q: How do you feel about the balance of your offense? Do you feel at all that the efficiency of your running game has been overlooked?
BB: Well, the most important thing to me is scoring points on offense. I don’t really care how we score them. We’ve thrown the ball a lot. We’ve run it a lot. We’ve been balanced. I think in the end, you have to be able to execute the plays that are the most advantageous to you based on your personnel and what the defense is doing. As long as we’re moving the ball and scoring points, then we’re doing well offensively. If we’re not, then we’re not. It doesn’t make any difference what we’re doing. That’s the only reason that unit goes out on the field, is to score. If we just wanted to run three plays and punt, we could find a lot of guys to do that. Their job is to move it.
Q: What was your reaction when Wes Welker lateraled the ball to Randy?
BB: I don’t think that was the best play that I’ve ever seen; let’s put it that way. When the players have the ball out there, they have to make the plays and it’s their job to do what they think is best. Being aggressive and trying to make plays is good. Being careless and not taking care of the ball is bad. I’ll talk to Wes about it and see exactly what he saw. I don’t think we want to make a habit of that. In that case, it worked out for a few extra yards. It’s hard to get on him, but we’ll try. We’ll get on him anyway.
The Patriots have just announced that Randy Moss has just gone over 11,000 receiving yards, becoming the 19th player in NFL history to break the 11,000-yard barrier. (At this moment, he has 11,040.)
The following announcements have just been made….
Bills quarterback J.P. Losman has suffered a knee injury, he will not return.
Bills linebacker Paul Posluzny has suffered a broken forearm and will not return.
The Bills first-quarterback touchdown gave them a 7-3 lead–it marks the first time all year the Patriots have trailed.
Hey everyone … after out appearance on 890 ESPN across the street at Auto East, we’re in our seat (No. 203) in the Gillette Stadium press box ready to blog our way through the Patriots-Bills game. It’s a great day for football, with temps expected in the 80s. Precious few national media are here, other than USA Today and NBC Sports. There is a credential for the Toronto Sun, as well as one for the New York Jets.
The Patriots are wearing their silver jerseys today — the sixth time the team has worn them since they were introduced in 2003. New England has compiled a 4-1 record while wearing silver, with the last time coming in a Dec. 17, 2006 40-7 win over Houston.
Courtesy of the New England PR staff, here are a few things to look for today:
•Randy Moss needs 12 more receiving yards to reach 11,000 for his career and become the 19th player in NFL history to reach 11,000 receiving yards.
•In addition, Moss needs 7 receptions to reach 700 for his career and become the 26th player in NFL history to catch 700 passes.
•Junor Seau is slated to play in his 244th career game today and pass Bill Romanowski for second-highest games played by any linebacker in NFL history. (Clay Matthews owns the record with 278 career games.)
Here’s today’s injury report, released moments ago:
Limited participation in practice
G Stephen Neal (questionable, shoulder)
WR Donte Stallworth (questionable, knee)
WR Kelley Washington (questionable, hamstring)
S Eugene Wilson (questionable, ankle)
G Billy Yates (questionable, shoulder)
Full participation in practice
QB Tom Brady (probable, right shoulder)
Here’s today’s injury report, just released by the Patriots:
Limited Participation in Practice
TE Kyle Brady (team decision)
QB Tom Brady (right shoulder)
WR Randy Moss (team decision)
G Stephen Neal (shoulder)
WR Donte Stallworth (knee)
TE David Thomas (foot)
WR Kelley Washington (hamstring)
S Eugene Wilson (hamstring)
DL Mike Wright (knee)
G Billy Yates (shoulder)
Here’s the complete transcript of Bill Belichick’s Q&A with the media this morning at Gillette Stadium:
BB: We’re moving along here on Buffalo, getting into some situational stuff today and tomorrow. As I said at the beginning of the week, and it will be true all the way through to game time, each thing that they do will be a different and a new matchup for us relative to what we’ve been seeing the last few weeks. It’s just an extension of what the process started with yesterday and the situational stuff will just build off of that. That’s where we are. Plenty of new challenges.
Q: How has [Marshawn] Lynch made Buffalo different than with [Willis] McGahee?
BB: I think they’re similar. I think it’s similar. He’s only played a couple of regular season games. McGahee has had a lot of production, but I’m sure Lynch will too. Lynch does pretty much everything well. He’s fast. He’s quick. He has power. He catches the ball well. He’s an elusive guy, but he can make some tough yards. He’s pretty good.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about Kyle Brady and what you remember him from the past?
BB: Yes, from when I was with him for two years at the Jets, he’s a smart guy, he works hard, a well conditioned athlete, a big frame obviously, about as big as you can get at tight end. He’s been very dependable for us in the running game and the passing game, protection, routes. I think he’s a good player. He’s done a good job. I’m glad we have him.
Q: Were you at all surprised at how much he’s been able to do given he was limited for a significant part of training camp?
BB: Again, he hasn’t missed a lot of time in his career. He’s been pretty durable. We had some other guys that missed some time in training camp but are ready to go that are veteran players. We just take it on an individual case-by-case basis and what they can do, they can do. I’m not that surprised that a player who is an experienced player, a veteran player, can get ready to play without playing all the preseason games. I’m not saying that means that he shouldn’t play in them or that it’s good not to play in them. I’d rather that they did if they could, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.
Q: Do you emphasize special teams even more this week because of how good Buffalo is?
BB: Sure. It’s important every week, but Buffalo they’re as good as anybody in the league and they’re good at everything. They’re good in the return game. They’re good in the coverage game. They have a great punter. He can change field position. He’s also very fast, so fakes and a bad snap or something like that…we had that a couple of years ago where he dropped the snap and ran for 35 yards. I think it was the longest run of the season against us in ’03. So, absolutely. They’re good at everything. That will be a big challenge for us this week, absolutely.
Q: How impressive has Wes Welker been so far, especially his toughness?
BB: Yes, Wes is a tough kid. No doubt about it. He’s done a good job for us. We saw that playing against him twice a year at Miami. I don’t think that’s ever been a question.
Q: What have your impressions of how Jarvis [Green] has handled stepping into the starting role?
BB: Jarvis is a good player. He’s been a good player for us. His playing time has varied from time to time, but there have been plenty of games, plenty of big games, that he’s played a significant amount in, situations similar to this. He’s always been a dependable, solid player for us. He’s been very consistent. I think he’s done that this year. I think that’s just kind of what we’ve kind of come to know and expect from Jarvis and that’s what he gives us. He’s a smart guy. He’s well prepared. He works hard. He really understands what we’re trying to do and tries to do it right every time. I think he’s well respected and he’s a good player.
Q: Would you rather have a quarterback like JP Losman sit back in the pocket and throw or would you rather have him throw from on the run?
BB: Well, I’d like to have the receivers covered. That would be number one. So if they’re open, I think he’s going to hit them. If they’re not open, then I think his running ability is a threat and it’s a problem for us. You hate to have a situation defensively where you cover the pattern that they’re trying to throw and then the quarterback runs and beats you for a first down or whatever.
Q: Is it more difficult for a quarterback to throw on the run?
BB: I think that depends. Some quarterbacks throw well on the run. Some quarterbacks don’t throw as well. I think it’s a matter of mechanics. I don’t think it’s a matter of they can or they can’t. I think they just have to work on their mechanics when they throw on the run. It’s just a little bit different getting your hips and shoulders aligned properly so the ball can be accurately delivered and I think he does a good job of that. I think he throws well on the run. He hits them in the pocket too. I don’t think arm strength or accuracy or throwing mechanics are really a problem for him. I’ve seen him do all of the above. He’s had some plays that I’m sure he’d like to have back that aren’t as good. That goes with it too. I don’t really see any limitations as to whether he’s in the pocket or on the move. It looks like he can make all of the throws to me.
Q: What did you like about Rosevelt Colvin’s performance on Sunday?
BB: Well, I think Rosevelt worked hard last week on his pass defense. I was glad to see him make a couple plays and make some improvement in his pass coverage and make a play. It was a nice play he made on the ball in the first play of the game. We don’t have a lot of interceptions by linebackers around here. We haven’t had a whole lot lately. Like I’ve said, to have two in that game, that’s almost a season’s worth for us around here sometimes. Rosie had one last year in the playoff game against San Diego, but it was much more of a loose play scramble situation where [the quarterback] was trying to dump it over his head. On this one, he made a nice drop, made a nice play on the ball. We dropped a couple the first week. We caught them this week. Maybe that’s a sign that we’re heading in the right direction.
Q: Is that something he’s been working on since he got here given he’s been known specifically as kind of a pass rusher?
BB: In Chicago he played 4-3 outside linebacker, so he was in coverage most of the time there. He rushes more here than he did at Chicago. Sub is sub. He’s a defensive lineman in sub situations. He was in Chicago and he is here. He rushes a lot more here on early downs, on regular downs, than he did in Chicago where most of the time he was on his feet and most of the time he played off the line of scrimmage. He needs to work on it. Every linebacker needs to work on it. I think he was in coverage a lot more there than he was here. It wasn’t like he’d never been in coverage like when he went from Purdue to the Bears. That was a situation where, like a lot of guys in this league, they go from being defensive ends in college to outside linebacker in the NFL and that’s a big adjustment.
Q: Was that maybe the last thing to come back after that hip injury, being able to back pedal and cover guys?
BB: I don’t know. I wouldn’t say it was that dramatic. I think when you’re coming back you have to work to get everything back. Linebackers don’t do a whole lot of back pedaling, at least not in our system. They really don’t. They have to move back into coverage, but they’re usually not back pedaling. They’re usually running away from the line of scrimmage and then trying to get set up. So we don’t back pedal very well, don’t back pedal very fast. It’s more of a defensive back technique than it is a linebacker technique, at least in this system, but I’d say most systems.
Q: How would you rate the job that [James] Sanders has done and what does he bring to the position?
BB: James played a lot there last year for us. He had a lot of playing time at the position. I think that James improved significantly last season and he kind of picked up right where he left off this year in training camp and in preseason games and now in the early part of the season. I think he’s a guy who has worked really hard on his pass coverage and zone coverage, reading the quarterback, things like that, covering man-to-man situations. We’ve played him in a couple of different spots in our sub defenses and he’s adapted to those well, whether he’s covering or blitzing or playing the run from a linebacker type of position. He’s worked hard. He’s improved and he’s given us a good quality of play and also leadership. We still count on him to play in the kicking game and he does that and he does that well. I think he’s really grown into…he still has things he has to work on, but I mean a much more complete player than he was when we got him and he’s worked hard at it. He’s one of the hardest working kids on the team.
Q: Is Asante [Samuel] still trying to catch up?
BB: Well, I think that every player needs a certain amount of time to get everything ironed out and that varies from player to player. It varies from position to position and so forth. What the exact amount of time that is for any player in any situation regardless of what the reasons for it were, it’s done on a case-by-case basis. That’s where we are. That’s where a number of guys who didn’t have all of the preseason practices that other players have. In some cases, they might be a little further behind or maybe not that far behind. It just would depend from player to player.
Q: Has he been able to play a little bit more because he has four years experience?
BB: Sure. Yes, definitely. Asante knows our system well. He’s a smart kid. He understands not only what we do, but he understands football concepts and he’s a very instinctive player. He understands and recognizes things very quickly. He has a good understanding of the passing game and how to defend it from his position and all of the different combinations that teams do. He’s very good at that and [has] real good ball skills. I’m sure that’s definitely helped him. No question.
Q: Did you see improvement in him from Week 1 to Week 2?
BB: I think when you see a player that’s only been out there for a few days you see improvement from day-to-day. Of course you would see it from week-to-week.
Q: When you have a running back, how much of their running style is innate and how much can you tinker with it? Do you let the guy go or do you make adjustments?
BB: I think that’s a tough question. I think it varies from player to player. I think it varies maybe from team to team depending on what you’re asking the guy to do. Tiger Woods has been a pretty successful golfer, maybe the most successful professional athlete of all times, certainly of our time, and he’s rebuilt his golf swing twice. He probably had a pretty good reason for doing it. Maybe some people would have thought it was a mistake to tell him to change or for him to want to change because I’m sure it was pretty good the way it was the first time, or even the second time. That doesn’t mean that you can’t keep trying to strive to get better. Just because somebody is successful at something doesn’t mean they can’t improve and I think he’s a great example to all of us that you’re always working for perfection and no matter how good you are you’re probably never there. On the other hand, I don’t think Eddie George is ever going to run like Barry Sanders and I don’t think Barry Sanders would ever run like Eddie George. Everybody has their own individual style to a degree, but I think definitely as a coach you can help players be better within their style and you can improve certain fundamentals. There are some things that are inherent with certain techniques, their problems. There are other things that when they’re done correctly, they eliminate a lot of problems. It doesn’t make a difference what position it’s at, but it certainly applies for running backs. It applies to every position. I would say as a coach I would try to help any player that I could improve his performance in any way that I thought I could do it. Sometimes some players have a hard time making certain changes in their style and it ends up hurting them more than it ends up helping them. If that’s the case, then that player is probably better off to go back and do it the way he’s been doing it and live with the problems. Like Tiger Woods, he could’ve lived with that first golf swing, probably still been competitive. If he wasn’t able to make the change or the adjustment, then that probably would’ve been the best thing. If he was, then maybe he has a chance to improve it and get better. I think you just have to take it on an individual case-by-case basis. I’ve had players who were great players, outstanding players in this league, that I would never tell a younger player, ‘Watch this guy and do it this way,’ because fundamentally it’s not the way you would want to teach it. That being said, to change the player from that style of play and from the success that he had, that probably wouldn’t be the right thing to do either. I think you see that in all sports. You see it with pitchers and batters. In basketball, guys shoot, some guys have good technique and they don’t make as many as some guys who have bad technique, but it doesn’t mean that if you have bad technique and you improve it, it might make you a better player.
Q: You mentioned Barry Sanders and Eddie George. They obviously had very different builds. Eddie’s build probably wouldn’t let him run like Barry and vice versa.
BB: Exactly. That’s why I say I think there are certain fundamental things in each position that apply to everybody and then there are other things that are variable based on that person’s skill and playing style and those vary very much based on the player’s individual playing style, exactly. Whether that be quarterbacks – Doug Flutie and Vinny Testaverde. Receivers. Sure. They come in all different shapes, sizes and styles and that doesn’t mean that one particular one has to be successful and the other one doesn’t. There’s just a lot of different ways to do it and in the end, in each position, the player has to have enough strengths to be able to compensate for what his limitations are.
Q: Tom [Brady] said yesterday that during a team meeting you told the team you hope their goal isn’t to win just two games.
BB: Yes, I would hope that.
Q: Was that just to get the guys attention and allow them to maintain their edge or does than in any way have anything to do with the opponent you have coming in and what just happened and how you guys beat your previous opponent?
BB: I don’t know that it has anything to do with anything. It’s just a statement of fact. We haven’t accomplished anything. If you think that two games is going to get you anything in this league, it’s going to take a lot more than that. Let’s get back to work and see if we can beat Buffalo. They’re in the division. It’s a big game. I think that’s what we need to focus on. I don’t really feel like we’ve done anything this year. That’s the way I look at it.
Here’s the injury report, just released by the Patriots
Did Not Participate in Practice
Safety Eugene Wilson (ankle)
Guard Billy Yates (shoulder)
Limited Participation in Practice
Quarterback Tom Brady (right shoulder)
Guard Stephen Neal (shoulder)
Tight end David Thomas (foot)
Wide receiver Kelley Washington (hamstring)
Defensive lineman Mike Wright (knee)
Here’s the complete transcript of the Q&A Tom Brady had with reporters at his Gillette Stadium locker this morning:
Q: What’s your impression of this offense so far this season? Do you feel like you’re clicking on all cylinders yet?
TB: Too soon to tell. We’ve only had two weeks of evaluation and we’ve done some things but I think we still left quite a few plays out there. I know last week we had the ball on the 26-yard line, first-and-10, the 24-yard line first-and-10 and didn’t come away with any points. We had the ball on the 5-yard line on third-and-2 and only came out with three points, so I certainly think we can do better and continue to make improvements. It’s so early in the year right now. What’s really happened in the last few weeks is going to have zero impact on this week and it’s an entirely different team and scheme and it’s a very disciplined defense that we’re facing. It’s very well coached. They have a very disciplined secondary that has it’s own strengths and weaknesses so I hope we’re ready for the challenge.
Q: Do you at all feel like a pitcher right in that you have a lot of different pitches that you can go to throughout the season?
TB: Well, I think any time that, as an offense, you can run the ball efficiently and then play-action pass, hit screens and three-step drops, and then take some shots down the field and put your big guys on the field and then throw the ball, hopefully, we can continue to be creative and to mix things up. As long as the different players are all capable of making the plays when they’re in one-on-one coverage, then it’s going to be a tough offense to stop. When you start double-covering people, then we go to other people and we can use the running game a little bit more. I just think that we’ve got to continue to make improvements and take advantage of whatever they do because every defense has a strength and a weakness and hopefully we can figure out what those are and kind of match our strengths against the weakness of their defense.
Q: Randy Moss seems to have added a dimension that you hadn’t had in the past.
TB: We’ve had some good ones in the past.
Q: Yes, but he’s certainly a different type of receiver than you’re used to.
TB: He has a lot of his own type of skill set. He’s a very big guy and, in that sense, there hasn’t been anybody that’s been as big as he is. He’s got great speed and he catches the ball extremely well. I think the thing about this offense is that we always try to morph into what the guys on our team are good at. Deion [Branch] is entirely different than what Randy is and we’re not doing the same things with Randy that Deion did. I just don’t think it’d be fair to them. We’ve found ways over the years to be successful and I think this year that we’re finding new ways as well. I wish that we were all together for longer, in terms of this training camp, so we could be even that much further down the road, but we’re still learning on the fly. We’re still learning with each practice. Coach always says our long-term goals and expectations are for this practice. That’s a great way to put it because we don’t want to overlook these day-to-day type goals that we have.
Q: How well has the offensive line played so far?
TB: I think they’ve done a great job. There’s no question that they’ve faced two, very big, physical, powerful defensive lines. I think this D-line is a little bit different. They have speed and they move on every play. [Aaron] Schobel is as active as any defensive end in the league and he’s got 11 sacks on us in his seven years so he’s a very explosive player at that position. I think the line has a challenge this week in this group that’s very different from the group they’ve faced over the last few weeks. You’ve just got to be prepared for the different stunts they run and the different blitzes and the different moves that these guys have. They can rush the passer. They create a lot of negative plays in the running game with their movement and they’re able to spring guys free in the passing game, too, so we’ve got to expect those things and be able to counter them with whatever we have called.
Q: You haven’t thrown very many incompletions. Do you feel particularly sharp and would you ever be satisfied unless you completed in everything?
TB: Those guys are doing a great job of getting open and they’re doing a great job of getting open in man-to-man coverage and the offensive line has been protecting great. Really, my job is to evaluate the field and pick the guy that I think is most open and make a good throw. Hopefully, at this stage of my career, making a good throw is not much of a problem because that’s what we work on. We try to work on technique and that’s what a lot of that comes down to: the evaluation of who’s open and it comes down to making good decisions and with the experience, hopefully, you make good decisions. There are not a whole lot of things that end up surprising me. Now, I still do get surprised out there and things don’t always turn out how you anticipate them before you snap the ball. That’s just part of reacting and trying to do well when it doesn’t really go how you’d thought it would go.
Q: The comfort level with your new receivers, at least to the naked eye, has to be maybe more than you’d expected, no?
TB: The passing game, over the years, we’ve done some good things. I mean, I hate to think that we were crap for the last seven years. We led the league in passing for a few years so it’s just a matter of whether it’s a different style and I think, this year, we’re expanding the field a little bit more vertically, but everything has its strengths and weaknesses. I’m happy that we’re completing at a high percentage and a high-yards-per-attempt because that’s how you become efficient in the passing game, a high completion percentage and there haven’t been a whole lot of third downs which has been good. It’s only been two games, so like Coach said this morning, ‘I hope our goal isn’t just to win two games this season,’ which is a great point.
Q: Is it nice to be able to deal with football this week without any distractions for the first time?
TB: Well, we’ve been dealing with football for three weeks so I don’t know what everyone else has been dealing with, but we have been focused on football and playing some very tough opponents in the Jets and the Chargers. That has been our focus and I think that’s why we’ve come out ahead. I think it’s no different this week.
Q: Do you think in what happened to Coach Belichick last week that will be a season-long motivator or is that just a one-week thing?
TB: I’m sure we’ll drum up something to motivate us this week. You know, we always seem to find a way to pull something from nothing and give us a little extra motivation
Q: We’ve seen the way Randy Moss has adjusted on the field, can you tell us the way he’s adjusted off of the field?
TB: I’ve spoken a bunch about Randy and what he brings and I think he’s a veteran player who has provided leadership in his attention to detail and his awareness on the field. He’s always in here on days off, working out and he’s around the team. He loves to play football and he’s got his locker there next to mine so we get to share some pretty deep conversation as well. Everybody’s happy to have him. Certainly, the way he’s performing, we’re very lucky to have him.
Q: Randy’s seemed to have a team-first attitude; can you talk about the ways he’s tried to keep that up?
TB: He’s just like every other player around here. He comes in, he does his job, he speaks for himself and he just comes in and works hard. I don’t know what he was like before, but he’s the only Randy I know. But that’s what we all try to do. I think that’s the nice thing about being here is that you just have to worry about yourself and worry about what you do and the rest takes care of itself because you realize you have a bunch of teammates who are doing the exact same thing.
Q: You spoke about the discipline of their defense. Do you spend extra time trying to devise things to keep them guessing?
TB: Yeah, I think you’re always trying to disguise things that you’re good at. You don’t want to come in every week and put in an entirely new offense. It just becomes too complicated, but you try to figure out what you’re good at and then find ways to do that. Against a team like this, they try to do that on defense. I wouldn’t say it’s an overly complicated scheme that they do, but what they do, they do very well and the players in their zone coverages, they’re aware of the quarterback and they’re all dropping to the right depths and reading the play and they all play well off of one another. They do pressure a little bit in their pressure schemes. They have everybody accounted for so you’re not going to see guys cut free from coverage or make mental errors out there. They’re always in the right spot and if you want to move the ball, you’ve got to run a good route and make a good throw or make a good catch and protect against a [darn] good D-line. It’s the same thing running the ball. You’ve got to get out on a hat, but they create a lot of disruption with their movement which forces a lot of negative plays in the times we’ve struggled against these guys. You know we’ve barely won two of the last three times we’ve played them. I think we’ve had seven or eight negative plays per game. It’s just hard to win when 10 percent of your plays are for a loss.
Q: Randy has said that he likes playing with a quarterback who can throw the football–
TB: Like I said, I think he likes playing football and he likes being part of a team that puts football first and is most concerned about going out and trying to perform well. You know, Junior [Seau] said it best at the Kickoff Gala when he said there’s a culture around here of doing your job and the players that come into this organization, they see it and that’s the way it ends up going. It’s not like you need any speeches about it or any of that.