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Tue., Apr. 21, 2015 11:55 AM to 2:00 PM EDT
Tue., Apr. 21, 2015 2:00 PM to 11:59 PM EDT
Wed., Apr. 22, 2015 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM EDT
Brian Waters Press Conference Transcript
Q: You've been a part of some pretty good offensive lines in your time. What can you tell us about Dante Scarnecchia?
BW: He's definitely not shy. He loves to work. He's very animated about being on the details. As an offensive lineman, he's definitely not going to give you a break, but you respect it because you understand he's not doing it just to hear his own voice; he's doing it because he really believes in the things that he's teaching and the techniques that he's teaching and that they work. It's evident by the play of not only this line this year, but over the course of the years that the Patriots have always had very good offensive lines over the years. It definitely works.
Q: Is he the toughest line coach you've played for?
BW: I wouldn't call him the toughest, but he does demand. I don't think I've been around too many offensive line coaches that demand as much as he does.
Q: How quickly did it take you to catch on here?
BW: It took me a little while. I had been somewhere for a long period of time. Most of the guys here, they let me be very comfortable. They helped me get acclimated to the situations, the playbook, the environment. It was an easy transition, but it took me a little while to just get used to the routine and also learn the playbook at the same time.
Q: Do you think you benefitted from getting thrown in there immediately?
BW: Yeah, definitely, definitely. Not having to have a whole bunch of things to think about, just being able to just go out and play football right away and not having the whole playbook thrown at me day one was definitely a plus.
Q: In the first game against Denver, was it just a case of being patient and knowing your offense was going to get back in the game again?
BW: I don't know about that. They did some things early on that we weren't as prepared for as we thought we were. It took us a minute to just understand exactly what they were trying to do for that day. Then we caught up to what they were trying to accomplish and then we went from there. That's one of the great things about here, is our adjustments to the fact that you never really know what a team is going to do until you actually get out there. Once we got out there and got a feel for what their game plan was, I think we caught up to it and eventually ended up producing more.
Q: What did they do that surprised you early on?
BW: I don't know if it was more surprise; it was just trying to get accustomed to what they were trying to do. They definitely have a lot of football players that can play multiple positions. They're a very fast football team. At the time, they had some injury situations in the secondary, so we had to know who was going to play where. Again, we just had to get caught up to what they were going to try to do and how they were going to play the different personnel. We were able to catch up with it early on.
Q: Are you surprised at all to be seeing them again?
BW: No, not really. I mean, it's evident that that conference was pretty wide open. All those guys have played well. All those guys in that conference have played well. Every last one of those teams had beaten a lot of big name teams over the course of the season. No, it didn't surprise me at all. The formula with which they played over the last - I don't know when they really started playing their best, but if you say over the last 10, 12 games - they've been pretty productive working the formula which they work with.
Q: As an AFC West guy, do you have any hate for the Broncos?
BW: Not as much as I used to. Being where I was before, that just kind of came along with the job. You kind of got accustomed to the fact that there were going to be certain rivalry weeks that things were going to be more emphasized.
Q: Has your opinion of the Broncos changed after that win against the Steelers?
BW: No. They're a tough football team. If you watch them and really play close attention to them, they play the type of football that has always been very productive in the NFL. They run the ball well, they move the ball in the run game, they get after the quarterback and they also stop the run. They're a very fast defense. They have some really good specialists, with a kicker who is able to kick the ball far and make lots of long field goals. They have a really good returner back there in [Eddie] Royal. They play the football game the way a lot of teams have played historically that have been productive.
Q: Can you talk about Nate Solder and his development?
BW: He's as good as any young player I've ever played with. He has an immense amount of talent. He does a great job of working hard and getting on the details. He never is comfortable. He's always trying week by week to get better and he's always asking questions. He's a good, young football player who has plenty of room to grow and can turn into a really great one eventually.
Q: What were your impressions of Tom Brady from the outside and what has changed now that you're around him?
BW: I don't think anything has changed from the outside. I think everybody knows he's a great football player. The fact is that he didn't get there by accident. He worked very hard. I'm sure he had a chip on his shoulder because of how he started. But he was a big-time quarterback in college and through the course of his career he's worked hard. You don't get to where he's gotten without putting in the time. I just happen to now be able to see it on a day-to-day basis.
Q: So nothing surprised you about being here?
BW: No, not at all. I mean, there's a reason why he's as good as he is.
Q: Tom Brady was drafted in the sixth round and Tim Tebow has his doubters. Is that something that real competitors like Tebow and Brady can use as motivation? Do you see similarities in the two of them?
BW: I think it's hard to play in this league without having some kind of motivation. Everybody is motivated by different things. In his position, with all the hype coming out of college and everything, I'm sure he had his own things he had to kind of get up to - all the different reputations and different expectations from outside sources that he had to try to live up to. It was probably more on himself, the expectations that he has personally as a football player. No, I think he's no different from any other football player in that everybody had something that drives them. I'm sure he's going to be highly motivated as well as the rest of that team to try to continue to prove themselves as a good football team.
Q: With Logan Mankins and Sebastian Vollmer back, how much do you think it helps you as an offensive line unit to go through what you went through the last two games?
BW: No matter who is out there come Sunday, I'm prepared that we're going to have a group that is going to be ready to play. That's something that we've learned through the course of this season. Everybody that has been asked to step up and play, they've played and been prepared. Whatever happens, whoever is out there, it's going to be a case where I know those five guys, six guys, however many we play, are going to be prepared and ready to go.
Q: Do you think that experience has helped, over the whole course of the season?
BW: Like I said, I think it's helped our group as a unit, that we've seen guys come from out of nowhere and been able to be productive. I think that as a unit we're very comfortable with the fact that no matter who plays, we're going to be prepared and ready to go.
Q: Is there anything that stands out to you about Bill Belichick, all season long from training camp to now?
BW: Well, I wasn't here in training camp but from day one, I can tell that he's all about the details. He's all about everybody doing their own job and staying in their lane. Everybody has their own responsibilities. That's something that you learn early on and that's something that he still makes sure that we understand today.
Q: What do you expect from the atmosphere on Saturday night?
BW: I expect it to be electric. It's the playoffs. It's a great opportunity for everybody, whoever is touching that field from both sides. I think the energy will be high. I expect it to be as electric as it's been. It was electric out there, so I expect it to be even better here.
Q: What does it mean for you on a personal level to be playing football in January?
BW: It's definitely something that you're proud to be a part of. It really only becomes special if you take full advantage of it and you're able to accomplish even more. I've been at this round before, so I'd like to go a little bit further. But it's going to be a tough task and we're going to have to make sure that we're putting everything into it as far as preparation and being ready to go on Saturday night.
Q: As an offensive line, do you take it on yourselves to set a physical tone early?
BW: Well, that's the goal every week. That's the goal every week. No matter whether it's pass, run, no matter what the situation is, we want to be as physical, we want to execute, we want to be as aggressive as possible and we want to get it from the start until the finish.
Q: Has preparing for the playoffs been different in New England than what you experienced in Kansas City?
BW: I wouldn't say any different from the fact that everybody knows how it's do or die in the playoffs. I think it's different from the fact that the whole organization has a great sense of what it takes to get it done. That's something that here you feel very comfortable in that the plan is a plan that has been executed before and you just have to fall in line and follow suit.
Q: Their edge guys get a lot of attention. What about their interior guys?
BW: Their interior guys work as hard as anybody you'll see in the NFL. They've got a three- or four-man rotation that they work with. Those guys have been around. You've got [Brodrick] Bunkley and [Marcus] Thomas who has been there for awhile. Those guys, they work really hard; [Ryan] McBean is a different type of athlete. Sometimes they add [Robert] Ayers in there, who is a really good edge guy, but he really adds some difficulties for the interior guys because of his athletic abilities. They try to throw different guys at you in different situations, so you have to be prepared understanding that each guy is going to give you something different to work with.