TB: It was a physical game, so yeah, I think everyone is a little sore from that game. But we had a couple days to get started on these guys. This will be a good opportunity for us to go down and try to execute well and try to win another game on the road.
Q: Bill Belichick says you guys do not pay any attention to records, whether it is the 49ers or the Jaguars. Are you able to shut out the fact that the Jaguars could just being playing out the string? Have you seen any indications of that?
TB: No, they play hard, I’ll tell you that. There’s nobody on that team that’s not playing and giving everything they’ve got, so they rush hard. They try to be real physical. They do some things well. I think that coach talked about focusing on what we need to do and getting a lot better as a team and our execution needs to be better. That’s what it’s got to be this week in practice and carrying all the way through the game.
Q: Knowing how much you put into each week, how long does it take you to get over a loss like last week?
TB: I don’t think you ever get over any loss you’ve had. I probably remember every single one. Part of being mentally tough is to move forward and learn from your mistakes, understand what you need to do better. That’s what the last two days have been about as well as getting ready for Jacksonville and the different things they do to try to screw up offenses. They’ve been very competitive in a bunch of games this year. I know they haven’t won them all. They went down to the wire with a great team like Houston at Houston, so they're as capable as everybody.
Q: Do you give yourself a window to get over a loss like that? Do you kind of let yourself sit in it Sunday night and force yourself out of it when you wake up Monday morning?
TB: No, nothing like a routine or anything like that. I think there’s just part of the process, whether you win or lose you come in and you watch the tape and you talk to you coach and then you move forward. When you lose, it sucks. There’s no question about it. It’s not fun for anybody. It makes for a long week. It makes for long seasons when you lose. But part of the mental toughness that we need to have is to be able to move on and understand why we lost the game and why we win games and what we need to do better the next week.
TB: How do I maintain confidence? I have confidence in everybody. If you're on this roster, everyone has confidence in you. If you're out there playing on the field, it means the coach has a lot of confidence in you. I love every guy that I play with. Those guys give everything they’ve got to run hard, to protect, to do what we ask them to do and Stevan’s done a great job this year.
Q: As a leader of this team, how do you like the mental toughness of this particular team?
TB: Well, we’ll see. This is when it matters most. There are important games like this that you see how tough you are to putt things behind you and to move forward. We had a pretty good streak there going of wins and it feels pretty good when you're on those winning streaks, and then when you lose, it feel like you haven’t won a game in three years. There’s evaluation and self evaluation and the coach gives you evaluation and you try to use it in practice this week to be better and to be as prepared as you can possibly be so you don’t go out and lose again.
Q: How much do you pay attention to playoff scenarios?
TB: Not really. We’re just trying to go out and win. I think that’s the most important thing for us to do: win a game. Whatever happens down the road, happens. In order to accomplish our goal, you have to win every week. We’re trying to win every week. That's what we’re trying to do. We were trying to win last week. We’re trying to win this week. That's the only thing that we’re really playing for.
Q: Rob Gronkowksi returned to practice for the first time last week. Do you take notice of that kind of thing and is there a level of excitement knowing he is getting close to playing?
TB: I mean, yeah. It’s fun to get guys back that have been injured, no question. It’s nice to be at full strength and hopefully we can get there at some point before the season ends. We’ve been battling [injuries] at offensive line, tight end position, receiver position, but that’s part of football and I think everyone deals with that. The best teams are the best teams that deal with it better than anyone else. No one is going to go through a season unscathed. It’s a real physical game. So the guys that are filling in those spots have to do a great job and that’s where the depth of your team and the mental toughness of your team really come in to see what you're made of, even when you don’t have everyone out there.
Q: Do you miss the uniqueness and the personality of
TB: He’s a great teammate. He’s a lot of fun to be around and his attitude and his enthusiasm every day is great for our team. Hopefully he gets back out there soon.
Q: What have you seen form
TB: Well, yeah, he's had a good season. He's been running very good routes; I’ve just got to do a good job of finding him and giving him chances to catch the ball. I think that’s my responsibility. I have a lot of confidence in Brandon and Deion [Branch] and Wes [Welker] to do their job and do what they need to get open, catch the ball, make the right decision on the routes. Brandon had a lot of opportunity the other night and really took advantage, which was great to see.
Q: During your time here, have there been losses that have actually been beneficial to the team from a broader season perspective?
TB: I don’t think losing is the key to that. I think learning from your mistakes, whether you win or lose, is important and progressing over the course of the season through practices and games and realizing what you do well and what you don’t do well. The final score, I don’t think really does the trick. I think it’s more of your ability to continue to accelerate through the course of a season and not level off or regress. We played some good teams over the course of the season. That will continue this week and then the next week. We’ll see where we’re at.
Q: Along that line, how good is this team at correcting mistakes from week to week? Have there been repeat mistakes or have you seen this team be able to progress and improve?
TB: That’s probably a better question for our opponents. I like to think that we get better, but that’s for everyone else to really judge. Like I said, we strung together a bunch of good wins in a row and then had a pretty tough loss. We’ve just got to try to keep getting better and keep winning. That’s what we’re trying to do every week. You come in here every week with goals. This is what we need to do better this week. Certain areas maybe you go backwards a little bit, but then you put more emphasis on it and then hopefully it becomes a strength.
Q: What do you remember about
TB: Yeah, God what was that? He was speaking in German and no one knew what the hell he was talking about. Yeah, I don’t know what he was saying. I don’t know if it was insulting at some point. Maybe it was. Maybe we’ve got a tape of that. I’ve got to refresh myself. It’s been a long time.
Q: Was that indicative of his sense of humor?
TB: Yeah, he's got a great sense of humor. He's a great player. He's been durable, he's tough, he’s athletic, he's strong – one of the strongest guys I’ve ever seen. He's got a great attitude. It’s always about the team. He's a great player.
Q: A few years ago you guys were upset pretty badly by Cleveland. Is that an example of a game that was maybe a wakeup call or extra motivation for you guys? What do you remember about that game and how it affected the team?
TB: God, I'm not sure. I don’t remember what I was thinking at that time. I think the important part for us is to lose from our mistakes. Like I said, whether it’s a win or loss, obviously we don’t do everything right every week. I know when we win, sometimes we feel like we do a lot of things really well, and we do. And the other night we do some things really well and we do plenty of things that are the reasons why we lost. I think it comes back to, a lot of times, limiting turnovers. We had four turnovers. You lose the turnover battle and a lot of times, you lose the game. We’ve got to try to protect the ball this week. Certainly, that’s a big point of emphasis and hopefully we can do a better job.
Q: Is there something you can take from being belt to come back from such a large deficit, even if you didn’t end up winning?
TB: Well, the execution was better at that time. I think that’s what we talked about. It wasn’t all bad. I think there were times when the execution is good and that’s why you score points. You’ve got to be able to string plays together without shooting yourself in the foot. We’ve got to do a better job of stringing those plays together and that’s what we’re going to try to do this week.