Q: Looking back at your plays from the first half of the season, you were in the no-huddle a lot in the beginning and then came away from it before picking it back up in the Jets game. You had some success scoring in the no-huddle. What's the most challenging aspect of running the no-huddle?
TB: I would say our overall level of execution. I think the times that we've done it well, we've strung together a bunch of plays which has really allowed us to get the ball into the scoring area. It's hard to overcome penalties in those situations and we have opportunities to complete passes and we don't hit them. There are definitely things that are good about it and there are things that haven't been so good. We're trying to do the things that we've done well and try to do those more often.
Q: Is there some part of you that is disappointed that Matt Cassel isn't going to play this week given your past relationship?
TB: Well, just for him being injured. It sucks to be injured. There's nobody that goes through a football season and doesn't get injured – you just hope it isn't really a permanent injury. He's a tough guy – he's as tough as anybody I've ever been around. I was disappointed for him that he won't be able to be out there. I obviously have plenty of things that I need to worry about with our offense. It's a very good team. Defensively they're very well coached. We've been around Romeo [Crennel] for a long time so we have a decent understanding of what he does but we haven't played these guys in awhile. They have some very good players defensively. We need really a good week so we can go out there and be very well prepared and play with confidence, play with anticipation and try to go out there and execute well.
Q: Can you explain the difficulties of communication in the style that you guys run when you're trying to give a lot of time for the defense to declare, you've got a lot of moving parts, you're trying get the personnel on the field. What are some of the difficulties you face when you're trying to do that?
TB: I think you're trying to get everybody on the same page. If I'm doing one thing and the offensive line is thinking another or the running back is thinking something different from the two of us, then that's where it gets challenging. I really think that at times we've done a pretty good job of that this year, especially on the road where the communication is much more difficult. At home it's relatively easy because even if I'm in the shotgun, they can hear pretty much everything I'm saying. Although, you guys can probably hear everything I'm saying too, with the TV cameras.
Q: Plus the fans don't make any noise.
TB: We'll they shouldn't be making any noise if we have the ball. But I really think that it's something that you always improve on as the season goes because you just do it more often. We've been through a bunch of practices now with the speakers out there and utilizing the crowd noise and trying to really communicate either verbally or non-verbally with signals so that ultimately all 11 of us who are out there on offense at one time are doing the exact same thing.
Q: The defense is trying to mess with you too and not indicate who the Mike linebacker is. Are they doing that while that process goes on?
TB: Yeah, it does. So they say, ‘Let's disguise, let's disguise,' and I go up and say, ‘Blue go,' and the ball is snapped and now they have a guy totally out of position. There's a fine line between what you're doing and if we feel that it's going to be a big disguise game, then you have a lot of quick counts. Ultimately, if they're showing what you're doing, then you take your time. That's just the cat-and-mouse that goes on all day long especially with good defenses and good secondaries. You could have one guy that's trying to disguise but if nobody else is, that makes no sense. Really it's a coordinated effort by a defense to try to disguise. Ultimately, it's about covering guys and being in the right position. You can try to disguise all you want, but if the offense is making plays then ultimately the coach is going to say ‘Screw this, go over and cover your guy.'
Q: How often do you go into a game thinking you'll be no-huddle heavy and then it turns into a slow down effort or vice versa?
TB: It all depends. It depends on what we think that we're going to get. It depends what we think of the other defense – how they'll be able to handle it. It depends on a lot of factors. I don't think we go in there and say ‘We're not going to run no-huddle this week.' I think there's times we may say ‘We may run it, we may not, we'll see how the game goes.' When you get into two-minute situations, you're definitely in no-huddle. It's just part of a carryover from that group for us. Really it's no-huddle, but you have a little bit more time when you're not really in a two-minute situation.
Q: I was just trying to see if there was a correlation between how much you guys ran it during the first four games not in the obvious two-minute situations and then how little you used it in the last four games and the scoring went down. There was sort of a direct link to when you ran no-huddle and how many points you scored.
TB: Well we tried to run it in Dallas and didn't score a lot of points and we tried to run it in Pittsburgh and didn't score a lot of points. To me, it's more about the execution and the tempo of the game. I think if we execute well, whether we huddle or whether we don't huddle, we're going to be able to score points. Sometimes when you go out there and you try no-huddle and it doesn't work, you go ‘We're not doing that anymore, let's go back to huddling.' Then you guys say, ‘You guys didn't do much no-huddle this game.' And [we're] saying, ‘Well there's a reason, because it wasn't working. If it works, you stay with it. If it doesn't work, you move on.
Q: Were you surprised last year at how well
TB: I think for any rookie to come in and play a significant role on a team is impressive. When I was a rookie, I didn't do anything – I was sitting up in the stands eating nachos before the games. For Rob to be able to contribute as a rookie and Aaron [Hernandez] did last year and Devin [McCourty] did last year. We got a lot of great contributions from our rookies. It's just a matter of the positions they get put into, some guys are really fortunate at those positions. At the tight end position last year, we had two rookies and one veteran and this year we've pretty much had Rob and Aaron the whole year. Those two guys have been a big part of this offense and they're very mature and they work hard and they love football and obviously that's why they're a big part of what we're doing.
Q: Obviously you were here with Romeo Crennel here for some time. When you're looking at the film, is it clear that it is a Romeo defense?
TB: Yeah, it's what we do on defense so there's a lot of familiarity through training camp and every day in practice. It's really a 3-4 defense, they're very fundamentally sound. You can see the things that they're coaching every single week. They line up, they're very physical, they make it hard to run it, they have some very good corners, very experienced corners, some athletic linebackers. It's a very good group and because they're very well coached they're rarely in a bad position. In order to make plays, you have to run good routes, you have to make good throws, you have to pass protect against one of the best pass rushers that we face in [Tamba] Hali. They have a very good group.
Q: When you were talking about the tight ends, you mentioned they were very mature. Were you referring to Rob Gronkowski and
TB: Yeah, I mean on the field they certainly are very mature and understanding of – they don't play like rookies. That's all I really care about anyways – how they perform on the field. I could care less what they do.
Q: You know there's a raffle, you can actually spend Christmas Eve with Rob Gronkowski?
TB: Oh really? How do you get in on that?
Q: You can stop by his locker.
TB: I don't need any more time around him.