Q:** When you were a little bit younger, maybe back at Cal or even before that, did you look up to or admire Tom Brady as a guy who had to really prove himself and was kind of in the situation you were in?
AR: I'd say it was a little different situation. I don't think he went junior college. He only started I believe one year in college. He was a backup starting his career in the league and he made the most of his opportunities. I definitely looked up to his story. I think he was picked late, like 199 I believe. It gives the guys who kind of got passed over some confidence that they can get it done.
Q: What's your relationship with him been like the last couple years?
AR: We're friends; friendly when we see each other.
Q: When you entered the league you were behind Brett Favre for three years. This year it's a similar situation with Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. What type of advice would you give to somebody in his position?
AR: There's no better quarterback coach than the guy in front of you. For me it was Brett, for him it's Tom. That's the training right there, it's invaluable. Quarterbacks usually don't have the opportunity to gain when you can watch a guy like that who has been consistently at the top of their game for a long time. Pay attention to what he's doing, listen to what he's doing, how he goes about his business and try to pick up as many things as you can from him and try to incorporate the stuff you like into your own game.
Q: When you look at the Patriots defense and how much it changes from week-to-week, do you say, 'They're probably going to do this, and then bank on one thing when you put your game plan together or do you have to prepare for everything?
AR: The league is about adjustments. You have to be able to make adjustments within a game and at halftime. When you get out there you have to be able to react and trust the things you worked on in practice and [have] done throughout the year. We're going to run our offense and be ready for anything they do and just adjust accordingly once we get out there to some of the stuff they're doing. They're going to have a great plan coming in, they always do. [We're] going to have to try to execute better than they can stop us.
Q:** It sounds almost like if you do that that you're letting their defense dictate to you. If you go out and do your stuff and then react to what they do adjusting-wise, is that incorrect of me to assume that?
AR: I don't really understand the question, but I'd say that we're going to have a plan, they're going to have a plan. We're going to both try to execute our plan the best we can.
Q: If you go in not guessing or trying to figure out what they're going to do defensively and then read it and adjust, you're letting them dictate. Is that correct?
AR: I mean, I don't understand the question. We're going to have a plan. We'll adjust, they'll adjust.
Q: With Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis, what have you seen from the two of those guys?
AR: They're a talented duo there. They both have different skill sets that they use to their advantage. I played against Browner in college and he was a dominant player and then for whatever reason he went up to Canada and came back. He's been a dominant player since he's been back. He's a lockdown defender, uses his size and length really well. Darrelle has been one of the best corners probably since he got into the league. With the years under his belt, it just gives the experience. There's nothing that probably surprises him. He's done a great job of being patient and reading routes. He's got great ball skills. Everything he does is exceptional.
Q: How pumped are you for this game with another team that is considered in the upper echelon in the NFL?
AR: We don't get up and down more for any other matchup. This is an uncommon opponent, this AFC team. This time of year, you want to win all your games, especially the ones at home when you're in a position to control your own fate here. We can keep on a roll and hopefully get a home playoff game. That's what we're thinking about.
Q: Was Brady's moxie and his attitude and swagger something that you really tried to emulate?
AR: I studied him in 2007, a lot in the offseason in '06 when I was a backup going through quarterback school in March and April. I was a fan in high school. I don't think he's that much older than me. I don't want to date him too much but always been one of my favorite guys to watch on film. If we have a common opponent I always enjoy putting on film when he played them to see what he did against them.
Check out photos from access to players and coaches during Week 13 as the Patriots prepare to play the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field this upcoming Sunday.
Q:** I asked Tom about the importance of touchdown to interception ratio and lack of turnovers. If you look at career numbers, you and Tom are atop the list of touchdown to interception ratio. Is that a statistic you take satisfaction in?
AR: Yeah, I think so. It's just not turn the football over, whether it's fumbles or interceptions. It's trying to give your team an opportunity to stay in the game. Even if you're not playing your best game, if you're not turning it over, your team is probably going to be in the mix. [If] you're being efficient and accurate and not turning the ball over, you're probably going to win a lot of games.
Q: How often do you make decisions now that you might not have made earlier in your career in '08, '09 and 2010 to put the ball in harm's way? Are you a much smarter quarterback?
AR: Every year you gain a little experience and the reactions come a little quicker and the thoughts come to your brain quicker so you're able to make a little better decision. It's hard to speculate on those things. Those were growing years, '08-'10, really trying to perfect the things I was doing with our offense. Our offense has definitely changed over the past seven years, but I like the responsibility that I have and I know my role.
Q: Your numbers are all good, but what is it about playing at home that you're even better there this year?
AR: I'm not sure exactly. We're 5-0 at home, we've scored a lot of points, our defense has done a great job creating a lot of turnovers. We've gotten up on teams pretty consistently the last four times we've played at home. Get a roll early and defense giving you some short fields just gives you a lot of confidence as a quarterback. We've been able to hit some big plays over the last four home games. That's kind of why the numbers look the way they do.
Q: What about Tom Brady makes him one of your favorite players to watch on film?
AR: He's got great pocket presence, he's very accurate. He's really good with his eye control. He does a lot of things at the line of scrimmage. I just enjoy putting on the film if we've get a common opponent.