Mike Vrabel Q&A, 11/14

Posted on November 14, 2007 
Filed Under Uncategorized

Linebacker Mike Vrabel was one of the more popular players in the New England locker room this morning at Gillette. He spent his time with the media talking about a variety of topics, including what’s impressed him the most about Buffalo running back Marshawn Lynch, what sort of atmosphere he’s expecting Sunday night at Ralph Wilson Stadium and how he sees this weekend’s Michigan-Ohio State game:

On preparing for the possibility of facing Buffalo with or without Marshawn Lynch…
I think any time you go into a game you have to expect … you have to look at the focal point of that team, whether they’re injured or not, that most likely, they’ll be out there. He has been a great back for them all year. A lot of carries, second only to Parker, I think. He’s proven he can carry the load through the first half of the season, and I fully expect him to be out there.

On the Buffalo offense…
They’ve gotten back to throwing the ball deep downfield to [Lee] Evans. Lynch has done a great job running the football and gaining a lot of yards. Not just three yards, but 12 and 15 yards at a pop. He’s not just grinding things out. He can hit big runs. He’s got great vision. As a team, they’re very good on special teams. That’s always been a huge key for them — they’re always going to win the battle on special teams. It’ll be a great challenge for us to get everybody out there and try to win their side of the ball.

What would you like to improve on after the break?
I think just try to continue to get better and to look at the things that we haven’t done so well. Early in the year we struggled in the red zone giving up touchdowns. If teams scored, they scored in the red zone. I think we won the Indianapolis game by doing that, by making them kick field goals. I think that was a big key to us winning. Looking forward, we would like to continue to try and do that.

On the expected atmosphere in Buffalo…
I think they’re cranked up. In that Dallas game, they made a big deal about the fact that they hadn’t been on a Monday Night game in 10 or 11 or 12 years, whatever it was. I think the fans really rallied behind that and had fun with it.

On his reaction to the game being switched to a night game…
Hey, it’s going to be cold and wet and snowy there, whether it’s at one or four or eight o’clock.

On Lynch gaining “tough” yards…
Yeah, he runs hard. He runs hard and he’s quick, you can see why he was a first-round pick. He’s a good back. He’s helped their team win more than his share of games.

On embracing the role of the No. 1 team in the NFL…
We try to put ourselves in position every week to go out there and give ourselves the best chance to win. We’ve done that, and we have to continue to do that, and not get caught up in what our record is or how our opponents are going to face us. They will play hard against us. This is a division game. We understand what Buffalo brings to the table. Their defense is good, and has always caused us problems. They have guys who cause turnovers and get after the quarterback.

Any easier the second time around against a team?
I think they’ve gotten better, and I certainly think they’ve gotten better since they played us. I think we’re going to see a different football team than the one we saw here earlier in the season. Even though it was 7-3 early in the second quarter and 17-7 at halftime, we made a few plays … they are a better football team than what we saw here.

On their quarterback situation…
We saw two snaps from J.P. the last game. He runs around and he’s active. When you’re rushing him, you have to be just as athletic — or try to be just as athletic as he is, because he can make plays with his feet by running the football.

On Michigan vs. Ohio State this weekend…
I’m always pulling for the Buckeyes, and I have to think their going to rebound after that performance they put out there last week.

Comments

Leave a Reply