Patriots tight end Alge Crumpler addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, January 11, 2011.
Q: Because of the urgency of a playoff game, can you talk about how tough it is to keep it even keeled and not let the urgency get to you?
AC: I think it's okay to be urgent. It's a big game. Everybody's pretty excited about the opportunity that we have, but I think for the most part, you just have to be mentally tough. You have to be prepared for anything that happens throughout the ball game. It is a playoff game. As you've seen, [from] other teams that [were playing] last week in the playoffs, anything can happen.
Q: How would you translate that advice to the rookies?
AC: Just enjoy the moment. Prepare as good as you can and go out there and play. Because, ultimately, regardless of what's said throughout the week and as we know, there's been a lot said, you've got to play the game.
Q: You're kind of new to the Jets-Patriots rivalry. Are you a little surprised at what goes on around here?
AC: No, all I can focus on is playing. That's the main thing. I didn't have a choice to come up here today. I'd just rather play.
Q: What was your personal reaction to what you heard?
AC: 'Here we go.' I thought we would get a few days before some of the banter started, but it is what it is. Like I said the last time we played, that team takes after their coach. We take after ours. It all boils down to what you do on the field.
Q: What do you think of Tom Brady's preparation?
AC: I think Tom does a great job, not only in his personal preparation, but in his delivery to what he wants to get across to, not only the coaches, but to us as players. He has a real good, keen sense of what's going on throughout the ball game and he gets his point across, whether it's quietly or animated or whatever way you want to do it, he's going to get his point across. And that really translates to us as players in terms of trying to be perfect in our execution on the field.
Q: What kind of confidence do you have that he watched film of that Jets game even though he didn't catch a lot of it?
AC: He said he was watching Lombardi. I believe him. He hasn't steered me wrong. I'm sure he's watched every ounce of film going back to a lot of different games, as we all have. I think the best part about this team and our preparation is even when we didn't have to be here, [we are]. A lot of guys were in here on Monday, sitting down and breaking down the film and going over things that we have to do to get ready to prepare for this ball game because, ultimately, this is it. It's a one-game season right now.
Q: How surprised were you that another NFL coach would needle Tom Brady of all people?
AC: I don't care. I think he was focused on Peyton Manning and the Colts and they did their job. I don't really care.
Q: Is it easy to get your point across to the rest of your tight end group now about the details they have to pay attention to now?
AC: I mean I certainly hope so. I hope the experiences I've had don't fall on deaf ears regardless of if my tight ends [were] anybody on the team. It's going to take a collective effort from not only my group, but everybody being on the same page and doing what Coach Belichick asks us to do. It starts today: preparing and playing the game.
Q: Now that the playoffs are here, do you feel like this is why you came to New England?
AC: I mean, it's a part of it. I think we've handled the regular season exceptionally well. We've faced a lot of different challenges. I'm sure you can go back and find many a story. It's gone well. Now, we've still got goals that we want to accomplish and it starts this Sunday at 4:30 against the Jets.
Q: How about for yourself though?
AC: I've taken myself out of it. I'm here to do whatever this team asks me to do and that's to come in here and help this team win. So, I'm not really focused on anything personal in my regards, period.
Q: When you got here, what struck you about Tom and his role on the team both on and off the field, since you've had so many years of experience in the NFL?
AC: Tom's an ultimate competitor. I've always talked about that. He's so humble, and off the field, he's really dedicated to doing a lot of the things he has to do to help this team win. I'm really amazed at how quickly he can turn the page from one team to the next after we've won a ball game. I'm really looking forward for him to have an opportunity for him to turn the page after this game.
Q: Have you ever experienced a coach that has the ability to break down film like Bill Belichick does? After your 45-3 win, Deion Branch was saying that it didn't seem like you had won by that much and there were a lot of mistakes.
AC: Well, in our building, it is all about accountability and Bill's going to hold us very accountable. I could tell that early on throughout OTAs. I could tell that with our first preseason game loss. It wasn't a very pleasant experience after losing a preseason game, so I knew what to get ready for in the regular season.
Q: Regarding the young group that you are the leader of, these tight ends have had a remarkable season. How much do you want to balance them not knowing any better so that they don't press versus what you've experienced throughout your career in terms of that level of intensity?
AC: I don't know. I don't think I have to say much. I think we just have to come in and prepare. I want those guys to enjoy the moment, as I am. We are all in this together. We all have different chapters in our books that we are writing, but for my young guys, they play well and I think they can continue to play well.
Q: How much do you enjoy playing for Belichick? Is it what you thought it would be?
AC: I certainly wish I had an opportunity to play here [earlier], so I have enjoyed my experience with Coach Belichick.
Q: In what ways? What are some of the things that have impressed you most from him?
AC: Football historian. Accountability. He gets the best out of the players that he's coaching. He really believes in the players that he's coaching, whether anybody outside of this building does or not. He tends to get the best out of his players and I respect that the most.
Q: The media schedule says that you are supposed to be outside tomorrow...
AC: I'm pretty sure we'll be outside.
Q: With 20 inches of snow tomorrow?
AC: I haven't checked the schedule, but I'm pretty sure we'll be outside. Our bubble is just for naming rights, it's not for us to practice in.
Q: What was the difference between the two games against the Jets this season? The first game you scored 14 points and the second game you scored 45. Was it just execution?
AC: I think we always prepare well. What it boils down to is still what you do on Sunday. We did turn the ball over a few times the first time we played them and then we got on a nice little hot streak of not turning the football over. It's still going to boil down to protecting the football, being the more physical team and scoring points in the red area whenever we get the opportunity.
Q: What are the challenges in playing a team for the third time?
AC: I don't know. We'll see.
Q: What's it been like watching Deion Branch work his way so seamlessly back into the offense?
AC: It seemed like it was a natural transition for Deion from the first day he came in. I think we were playing Baltimore that week and in the second half he just went on a tear, catching balls, getting us down the field, getting ready for overtime and making plays. We kind of joke about some of the articles written about he and Tom [being able to] just look at each other and know what the play is. We kind of joke back and forth about some of those things. In terms of Deion's professionalism and the way he interacts with guys in our locker room, it's been a seamless transition.
Q: Is any of that real, the stuff about them just being able to look at each other and know what the other one is thinking?
AC: Sure it is. Who am I to say it's not?
Q: Have you ever seen it?
AC: Yeah. I've seen it.
Q: The Jets have a couple of decorated veterans that are trying to get a championship just like you are. Do you have a relationship with them?
AC: No, I don't. But, I've got a relationship with 52 other guys in that locker room. So, that's all.