Locker room notes from 9/1

Posted on September 1, 2008 
Filed Under Uncategorized

Hey all … things just wrapped up down here at Gillette Stadium. There’s a bunch of stuff to pass along, including transcripts from Bill Belichick and Tom Brady that’ll be posted in their entireity later this afternoon. In the New England locker room, there were plenty of people talking, including Wes Welker, Jarvis Green, Adalius Thomas, Matthew Slater, Rodney Harrison, Ellis Hobbs III and Tedy Bruschi. (No Deltha O’Neal, unfortunately.) We couldn’t get to all of them, but here are a few of our favorites on a wide variety of topics.

Adalius Thomas on Deltha O’Neal
I knew him through the league. We were at the Pro Bowl and everything together. Great guy. I just found out a little while ago. We’ll welcome him with open arms.

You say great guy. What kind of guy is he?
I mean, we’ve never shot marbles or anything like that, but as far as I hear, he’s a good guy. They bring in guys with good character here, and I look forward to getting to know him.

On the difference between the preseason and the regular season…
You prepare the same way in terms of studying tape, but the game plan may be different, and then you study your opponent a little bit more because it’s short. You have a little bit longer to study for those. Preseason games come faster — some are only four days apart. You drop it and move on real fast. The game will be faster, the difference between preseason and season. Other than that, these guys have been doing a good job.

Jarvis Green
On some sleepless nights because of Hurricane Gustav…
Two nights ago, I went to bed around 4, just watching the storm. It kind of turned far west, but just waking up, I got up at about 5 this morning just to see what’s going on. It’s not so bad now — it’s a Category 2 now. It got a little weak. Once it hits land, it’s going to slow down a lot, so that’s a good thing.

Have you heard back from anyone down there?
I’ve been calling everybody. The phones are down right now. I’ve been texting everybody. I have a friend back home in my house right now, and he says there are strong winds, but says everything is OK.

How is it preparing for the season opener with the personal issues at home?
It’s not a problem — I’ve been growing up with hurricanes my whole life. … It’s going to happen. They’re going to come through every year. We have a game to play, and we have a family down there that will get everything situated, and I have to concentrate on Kansas City.

Matthew Slater
What are you expecting on Sunday in terms of the pace of the game?
Me, being a rookie not having experienced that game situation, I’m expecting anything. I have to be prepared for anything that might come my way: the speed of the game, different situations that might come up. I have to be prepared for anything that might come up, and just realizing I have to stay focused, no matter of the emotions that I feel or situations that may occur. Just realizing I have to stay focused and realizing there’s a job to be done. My teammates and my coaches are relying on me — not only me, but everyone else on this team — to get their job done. Do your job, and that’s all I have to worry about, is doing my job an trying to push all that other stuff aside and focus on doing my job.

Having been raised in the culture of football, do you feel like you have a bit of an edge over some rookies?
If you had asked me that a few years ago, I would have said yes. But coming here and experiencing it firsthand, it’s a whole different ballgame, and I really have a newfound respect and appreciation for what my Dad was able to do, because you really don’t understand what this is all about until you’re in here. Now that I’m in it, I’ll definitely say no, there’s no type of edge or advantage that I have from my Dad and his experience. What he did was what he did, and what I have to do is what I have to do. He continues to support me, and that’s been a help mentally for me, but like I said, I’m just out here like everything other man on this team, and I have to earn my keep.

Tedy Bruschi on his first Opening Day experience…
What was recognizable to me was the intensity of the veterans, how building up to this point, you can kind of sense the buildup, but the intensity level just goes up, the speed level goes up among all the veterans. Also, in the stands, ‘Man, these aren’t the same people who were here for us in the preseason games we had.’ That was a big difference for me.

On wearing the green dot on the helmet and how the defensive communication system is a work in progress…
There are a few glitches. I have to get used to hearing it that way, because it really does sound like a walkie-talkie. When someone is signaling, there it is. It’s cut-and-dried. You can see what that is. I was telling the guys maybe we need to work out a signal — I touch my head if I don’t get the communication. ‘Can you give it to me again?’ I think that’s something we’ll continue to work with and see if it can benefit us.

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