Q: What stands out for you the most about this Patriots defense?
TT: They're a very good defense; obviously very well coached from Coach Belichick. They have a lot of playmakers, they create a lot of turnovers, they get to the quarterback a lot - just find a way to make big plays and keep teams from getting in the end zone. Might give up some yardage here and there but they always stand stout in the red area and find away to come up with some big plays.
Q: You had a pre-draft visit with Coach Belichick. What did you take out of that and how did that go down?
TT: It was just a great opportunity to get to know a great coach. All those opportunities pre-draft when I went to meet with teams and organizations I know they were trying to get a feel for me but I was also definitely trying to learn something each and every visit. Just to be around Coach Belichick and all the great coaches there in New England, I felt like it was a great opportunity to try to learn. I tried to take as much as I possibly could and learn from a great coach, one of the best to coach. It was a phenomenal opportunity for me and I'm very grateful they were even that interested in me.
Q: What were you able to learn during that meeting?
TT: I think it was just picking up a lot of different things just from how certain things, how they go about it, what different things he's looking for, just a lot of little things that you just try to pick up as a player from demeanors to attitudes to certain things from fundamentals. I think it was just a great opportunity to learn a lot and I feel like I really did.
Q: Did your impression of Coach Belichick change once you met him? How did you guys interact? There are preconceived notions about both of you.
TT: I actually had the pleasure of first meeting him when he came to Florida early on, maybe my freshman or sophomore year, something like that. Then he came down to Gainesville and worked me out with [Aaron] Hernandez and [Brandon] Spikes and [Riley] Cooper and a bunch of us worked out for him. That was a fun day and a pleasure. Then they brought me up after that. I've had the opportunity to be around him quite a bit and what an opportunity to be around a great coach.
Q: Why did you and
TT: Hernandez is a great player and he makes any quarterback he's with look a lot better. He's a phenomenal player and exciting to play with and a great guy and a great teammate and a competitor and one of those guys when you need competitive excellence and you need someone to step up and make a big play, he's always ready and willing. I'm just proud of him for what he's done as an NFL player and what he did with me at Florida. He's a guy that I definitely miss being around but I'm happy for his success.
Q: Are you excepting to see something different, something you've never seen before this week with Coach Belichick at the helm?
TT: You can see a lot of things. They can provide a lot of different looks. They're very well coached. I think a big thing for us is just being able to adjust to whatever they bring and whatever they show us. Coach [Mike] McCoy and Coach [Adam] Gase will have a good game plan but it will definitely be key to see how they come out and play us and adjust to it.
Q: How often have opposing teams used a spy against you?
TT: On and off different teams have done it for certain plays on and off. I think it's just something you have to be ready for. If they do, it opens up somebody else and that's always a good thing.
Q: What in the world happens to you in the fourth quarter?
TT: I just think that I'm just blessed to have great teammates and great coaches. In those fourth quarters they just made me look a lot better than I am. I just thank the Lord that we've had the opportunity to pull a few of these ones out.
Q: Is there a way you can learn on this and go back and study what's happening in the fourth quarter and use that to translate?
TT: I think definitely to understand what we've done, what I've done well, what I've done bad, not only from the fourth quarter but the whole game, really try to learn from all of it. That's something that I really try to do is look at my film and our film and see what I've done and how I can get better and the different things that maybe I did well or maybe I didn't do so well and how I can translate that into improving - it's something I really work hard at.
Q: With the ride that you've been on the past eight weeks, does the start of the season seem like a lifetime ago when you were down on the depth chart and they were trying to figure out what to do? Now all of the sudden it seems like a completely different scenario you're in.
TT: I guess some of it does feel like a little while ago. It definitely has been a little bit of a whirlwind but it's been a lot of fun. The most special part about it is having teammates that you respect and care about and going out there and playing for them - that's been exciting. I feel like our chemistry and our camaraderie is getting better every single week. I think that's something special.
Q: Very few professional athletes receive as much attention as early in their careers as you have in the last two years. A lot of it has been extremely positive and a lot of it has been extremely negative. How have you been able to handle all of that?
TT: I've honestly done my best to try to just stay clear of it and not pay too much attention, not listen to too much of it - that's obviously hard. It's hard to get that far away from it. Just something I learned when I was pretty young at Florida, was just not to worry about what I can't control and that's something that I can't control. I think my biggest focus is every day trying to be the best teammate, trying to honor the Lord with how I play and how I live and trying to work to be a better quarterback, better teammate, be focused, have a great attitude and that's really been my outlook on everything and not necessarily what people are saying about me. Thank the Lord that I don't have to live the rollercoaster that other people say about my life - that's the good part.
Q: Would you say your faith is stronger now because of everything you've gone through the past two years?
TT: I don't know, that's a good question, first time I've been asked that. I'm not sure. I hope so, I pray that it is because I think in whatever you're going through in your life you continue to grow as a person in your faith. For me as a Christian, trying to grow closer to the Lord and continuing to try to strengthen my faith. One way you definitely strengthen your faith is through obstacles, through adversity and there's definitely been some of that so that definitely strengthens your faith. Also something that strengths your faith is when you have praise or things go good, is how to handle it. I think for me, one of my biggest prayers is win or lose, good or bad, is that I'm the same guy, I honor the Lord either way, I treat people the exact same and I'm not changing no matter what happens - that's one of my biggest prayers.
TT: Yes, Tom Brady is definitely a guy that I have watched for a long time and respected. He's going to go down as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play. I consider it a huge honor to have the opportunity to play against him. It's something that's very exciting for me. I've watched him play for a long time. I've watched a lot of his cut-ups. I've tried to learn from him and he's someone that handles himself very well - just handles his offense extremely well. He just does so many things so well as a quarterback. He's a great guy to try to watch and learn from. He's been one of the best in the league for a long time. I think that's someone great for me to look at and try to learn from.
Q: One thing that Robert Kraft said yesterday is that he likes that you're about spirituality and he likes that the country is thinking about spirituality maybe more now than it did before. What do you think when you hear a comment like that?
TT: I respect Mr. Kraft very much and had the opportunity to meet him - that was definitely a pleasure for me. I feel if that is true, I'd take that as a huge honor. I feel if I can be a good role model, if I could make faith something cool, having a relationship with Christ something cool then I think that would be awesome. I think one of my biggest prayers, more so than scoring touchdowns or winning games is to try to be a great role model for the next generation and someone that always puts my faith first no matter what and someone that is hopefully a player, an athlete that parents can look at their kids and say, ‘You know what, that's someone who is trying to do it the right way. He doesn't always, he messes up but he always tries to give credit to the Lord, he always works as hard as he can and he's trying to do the best that he possibly can.' I think that's something that I'm definitely working on.
Q: Did you have an athletic role model and if so, who?
TT: I looked to a lot of people growing up. Obviously my dad, different coaches but as a player, as a football player I definitely looked up to Danny Wuerffel growing up because he was someone that had a whole lot of success in college but he was very humble with it and he always gave a lot of glory to the Lord and he handled himself very well. I also really looked up to Emmitt Smith - one because he was a Gator but also because he was one of the best running backs of all-time. I actually grew up a Cowboys fan so I loved watching him. Those are two people that I loved watching, I really looked up to.