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Chris Weinke Pre-Game Press Conference

Panthers Quarterback Chris Weinke speaks to New England media about the upcoming game against the Pats on Sunday.To read a full transcript, click below.



Q: This has to be kind of a shock for you coming from a program in college where you hardly ever lost and now you've just had a year where anything that could go wrong has gone wrong. What's it been like coping with that week in and week out?

CW: It's something obviously we didn't expect. We didn't think about having to go through something like this, but it's reality and obviously our goal every week has been trying to win a game and we haven't been able to do that. So that's tough, I think more mentally than anything else, to try to stay positive and keep trying to pull the positive things out of the games and learn from our mistakes and hopefully find a way to turn it around. But it's been tough on everyone, from the coaching staff to the players to the fans and the people involved in this organization.

Q: What positive things for yourself as a rookie quarterback have you taken from the season so far?

CW: It's been a learning process for me and it continues to be. It's never easy to come into this league as a rookie and have success right away and be able to adapt to it because it's a faster game. It's a different game. There are a lot of adjustments that you have to make, so my goal is to just try to get better every week and learn from the things that I had made mistakes on early in the year and build on that and use this experience in the future in terms of my career.

Q: Have you talked about your season with Troy Aikman? He had a very similar situation, coming in with a team that had only won one game.

CW: No I haven't. I'm sure he's busy and I'm busy, but I'm well aware of his history and what he went through and I'm obviously very well aware of what type of career he ended up having. Who knows what my future holds? My goal is to try to get better. As I become better, I think this team will become better and we'll continue to jell together and hopefully turn this thing around in the near future.

Q: Do you think that there's momentum that goes along with victory and defeat that's hard to shift?

CW: Yeah, I think so. I agree in the sense that when you're winning ballgames you're going to get that break throughout the game that gets you over the hump to win the football game. When you're losing, it seems like the other team gets the break all the time. And it is a snowball effect. Winning breeds confidence and sometimes you don't have that confidence, especially in a situation like we're going through. We've been competitive in all of our games except one or two of them. So we've had a chance. But that's the one thing about the NFL, that anybody can beat anybody at any time. But when you do start winning or you do start losing, it seems to snowball and sometimes gets out of control. It's okay if you're winning, but if you're losing, it's tough.

Q: What satisfactions would you be able to take away of you were able to beat the Patriots on Sunday? Would that be some little measure of consolation as you'll be ending a season you'll mostly want to forget?

CW: Our goal every week is to try to prepare and put to use the game plan that the coaching staff has put together to try to win a game, and we haven't been able to do that. We would like to end our season on a positive note, but we're playing a good football team and we're going to hopefully have a good week of practice and be ready to play on Sunday and I think it would be nice to finish off the season with a good taste in our mouths. But again, we know the opponent we're facing. They're heading for the playoffs and obviously very confident and are playing good football. It's going to be no easy task. We're going to have to play error-free football if we plan on winning on Sunday.

Q: Have you talked to anyone who has tried to help you out?

CW: Not necessarily one person. I think as a football team we're all in this thing together and so we've spent a lot of time just interacting with each other and trying to stay positive and trying to stay together as a football team. This is new for a lot of players. A lot of these guys on this football team haven't been through something like this, especially for a rookie coming in here coming from a successful program, there's an adjustment. It's been tough, but it's also been good for me in terms of gaining the experience that I need in my rookie year to hopefully be successful in the future.

Q: Do you feel like you've improved throughout the season?

CW: No question. The things you learn throughout the course of a year are amazing and although the numbers may not show it, as an individual, you're the only one who can really judge if you're making progress or not. And I think that I have. I've gained some huge experience. It's easier to be thrown into the fire and learn from your mistakes than it is to sit on the sidelines and just watch. I think that ultimately, that's going to help me in the long run.

Q: How does the 16-game schedule compare to college?

CW: Well, [laughs] obviously it's a longer season and then you add the four preseason games and it's like two college seasons put together into one. But for us, as rookies I think you get into that routine where you play the game on Sunday and you start preparing for your next opponent on Monday, so the season – as tough as it has been –- has gone by pretty fast.

Q: Physically, how has it been on you?

CW: Actually, physically I feel good. It hasn't worn me down as much as maybe I anticipated. In that aspect, it hasn't been that bad.

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