October 9, 2002
Q - The Patriots change from a 3-4 to a 4-3, what kind of problems will that pose for you and the offensive line?
A - Well, we just have to be on top of our game. We have to be on top of what they are doing and recognize personnel and that sort of thing. They do a lot of different things and if they seem to do a lot of different things you try and simplify what you are doing as much as possible. Weíve got a good plan and we feel confident that we can handle the personnel changes that they do make and we just need to be on top of things.
Q - At what point do you think it is okay to start taking shots downfield?
A - Well you have to mix it in and we have been mixing it in. Certainly protection is a big part of the passing game and for the most part I think the guys have done a good job but you canít just become one-dimensional and throw it quick all of the time, you have to be able to take deep drops and try and throw the ball downfield; especially in third down situations - if you are in third and long. So it is part of our game plan every week but it is not something that you want to just become one-dimensional with.
Q - Does a Belichick defense make things any different for a quarterback?
A - It is different because I doubt we will see a team that changes up things as much as they do and blitzes as much as they do and gives you as many different looks as they do all year. It is definitely going to be a big challenge for us, especially on the road, but like I said I feel really good about our game plan and what we have done so far this week has been sound and weíll be ready to go on Sunday.
Q - When you look at their injury report and see all of those defensive guys listed as questionable, do you have to just assume that they will all play?
A - Weíre preparing as if most of the guys who are questionable are going to play, I think you have to. Certainly they have some key players out but their defense has been playing pretty well so regardless of who is in there, it is going to be a big challenge for us.
Q - Is there any major differences between having Wayne (Lucier) and Chris (Bober) at center?
A - Not really. Wayne and Chris are very similar in their snapping techniques and how fast they get the ball up. I have been really pleased with how Wayne and I have really kind of come together; it has been a smooth operation between the two of us. If he canít go, Chris is obviously someone that I feel very comfortable with and I have obviously taken a lot of snaps with him over the past couple of years, so if he has to go, he has to go.
Q - At this point do you think Wayne will be out there Sunday?
A - I donít know. I donít have any idea about his injury or what happened.
Q - Fassel said he asked everyone on the team to study the game for two extra hours this week - do you think that will have an effect?
A - I think it has been very well received. His focus this week is on not so much the hitting in practice but concentrating on the game plan and what we want to do. Especially offensively this week - like we talked about - there are so many different things that they do, the mental part of it is just as important this week, as it is every week but even more so a little bit this week just because of everything that they do. I think everyone has received it real well. We have looked real crisp in practice and sharp. He wants everyone to be fresh and ready and I think that everyone is spending that extra time that he needs them to.
Q - Do you actually bring home more work or do more work here?
A - Yea, I know guys have taken tapes home. That is probably the biggest thing - watching extra film at home, spending extra time in the playbook, which for an offense, I feel is as important as anything. You have to know your playbook inside and out. I think from an offensive standpoint that is the biggest thing for us this week. I think it is just a matter of, we have time over lunch where we can spend extra time but I think a lot of guys are trying to use more time up at home.
Q - What did you do?
A - Extra tape. I took some extra tape home, I spend a fair amount of time at home anyways doing things so itís an extra few minutes here and there.
Q - Do you have a sense that now is the time when you want to get on one of those runs?
A - Yeah. We would always like to get on a run, regardless of what time of year it is but we have been inconsistent so far; weíre 2-2, we could easily be 3-1, we could easily be 1-3, so I think the main focus needs to be on constant improvement but along the way you need to win ball games and certainly we would like to get rolling the sooner the better. But it is going to be tough this week but I think we are constantly improving and hopefully we go and get a win this Sunday. I donít like to look too far ahead; I want to have a good practice today, I want to have a good practice tomorrow and then Sunday I want to play well. That is my approach and I think that is a healthy approach to take.
Q - How comfortable do you feel to lead that winning streak charge?
A - I feel very comfortable with it. I think that my approach to the game and to the season is better than it has ever been. I think that you cannot underestimate the importance of just continuing to get better, that is where I want our focus to be and I think the wins will take care of themselves. From my standpoint I just want to keep doing what I am doing, I want this offense to keep improving, I want the comfort level and the familiarity level with everything to keep getting better and I think it is.