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09/17/00 - Drew Bledsoe Postgame Press Conf.

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            **Q:  You've got to be tired of the same old script?**  

D: Yes, in the last two weeks we had the chance to win the game at the end and came up short.. It's a very emotional type of thing for me, as I said before. It's something I look forward to, coming back at the end of a game. To come up short in a game, emotionally is just tough to take.

Q: Can you talk about the red zone in the first half, why didn't you get anything going?

D: There were a couple of cases where I made some poor decisions. The fourth downs, I just have to throw the ball some place and wait for something to develop in front of me. I think on the last play, I may have been able to throw the ball to (Eric) Bjornson and he may have been able to run the ball for a first down. The bottom line is on fourth downs, I've got to get rid of the ball and get it some place. Give them the chance to make a play. When I don't get the ball out of my hands, they don't get the chance. That's the bottom line there.

Q: How damaging is 0 - 3?

D: It's hard, it's a big hole. It's a big hole to dig out of. But that's what we are presented with. We'll be back here tomorrow trying to set things straight. 0 - 3 is a considerable hole. We need everyone to come in and try and get it turned around.

Q: Did you see any improvements this week over the previous two?

D: We had some opportunities to make some plays in the red zone. We still didn't convert down there. I thought our defense showed some great resiliency. We had a tough first half and then they turned the ball over for us in the second half, to give the offense a chance to get in the ball game and win the ball game. Unfortunately we couldn't capitalize on the opportunities they gave us. I've said it before, a lot of the players have changed over the years, especially this year, but the veteran guys on this team do have a lot of character and will continue to play to the end and that's a positive to take out of this game. I think as long as I've been here they've had great character and the ability to bounce back.

Q: Did the Minnesota defense give you better looks in the fourth quarter?

D: No, it was pretty much the same. They weren't overly complicated. They blitzed a few times here and there. A decent percentage of the time, we handled it okay. The first fourth down down there, when I got sacked, I didn't get that ball out and get it to Terry (Glenn) on the back side with that safety coming. I didn't get that done.

Q: When they are controlling the ball, like in the first half, does that put more pressure on the offense?

D: What happens is it really shortens the game plan. When you have fewer possessions, you have to be more efficient, the fewer times you have the ball. You've got to put together drives and sustain drives. When you have three or four drives in a row that don't produce any points. When you have fewer opportunities, you have to capitalize on the ones you do have. In that respect, you put a bigger sense of urgency on what you are doing?

Q: Do you feel like you don't have as many offensive options on the late game drives as you did in previous years?

D: The bottom line is, we are not making the plays that count. That may sound overly simple, but that's really what it is. In those particular situations, this time particularly, we drove the ball down there pretty well. But we just weren't able to make the play when it counted. When we got down to where we were supposed to score, we just didn't make that play.

Q: Do you start to say you aren't as good as you thought you were?

D: I think we've shown that we can compete. Tampa Bay is one of everybody's pre-season picks to be a good team. Minnesota is a good team, the Jets are a good team, they are 3 – 0. We are in there with them, we've showed that we can compete but competing is not the bottom line, we've got to win these games. I think that the team recognizes that we are close, but to this point, we haven't made the plays we have to when they count. We've had opportunities in each of the three games to step up and win the game but we haven't made the plays that we have had to.

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