NEW ORLEANS (Jan. 31, 2002) -- Bill Belichick has pushed all the right buttons this year. I'm thankful that he brought me to the Patriots.
He's done such a wonderful job just being human. That's probably the biggest reason we're in this position.
This year we had a lot of negative things happen from the onset of training camp. When Drew Bledsoe got hurt, coach said that Tom Brady was going to be our starter.
He got us through the Terry Glenn saga. He took control of it and got it out of the way so we could go about our business. He didn't let it distract us.
He helped us get through [quarterbacks] coach [Dick] Rehbein passing away. That was tough on most of the players, but we got through it.
And he's helped us adjust to the injuries that we've had.
Our players and coaches have done a wonderful job of filling the void. We've stepped in and played the way we can play.
Coach Belichick has also done a great job, along with his assistants, of getting our defense ready and in position to stop any offense.
If you believe in his game plan, you believe you will win. He makes us focus on the game at hand. He won't let us look ahead. That helped us against the Raiders and the Steelers.
We had our first workout Wednesday. It was good to get back to the field and away from all of the off-the-field stuff. I didn't come down here for the parties. I came down here to prepare to win and to enjoy my family.
My kids, my mom, my step-dad and those people who I love and who have supported me get here today. I'll take some time to spend with them, to let them enjoy this because I would not be here if not for all of those people. After I take my time with them, I'll get back to preparing myself for football on Sunday.
A lot of people may be satisfied just getting here, but I'm not. There's still a game to be played. I'm humble. I'm balanced. I'm not getting caught up in all the things going on around me. If you're not careful, you can get trapped.
-- As told to Tim Polzer