(On how his time at Northeastern and Harvard prepared him to be the coach he is today)
"Well it was a great experience at both places. You know Barry Gallop, who is the assistant AD at Boston College, was nice enough to give me a job. I was unemployed after going to Ohio University; we went a glamorous 0-11, and I didn't have a job, I had four children, my wife was pregnant, and Barry was good enough to give me a job. I loved coaching every minute there. I was the offensive coordinator and Barry was excellent to work for. We had one winning season in the Yankee conference, the first one I think they ever had there in '96 I want to say. And then I used to drive by Harvard every single day on my way to work going to Northeastern, and so I cut my commute down by about ten minutes. Ted Murphy's done a fantastic job there as you guys know, and what an excellent coach (he is) and program he has there. I really enjoyed that experience there as well."
(On whether all the New England connections on his staff comes from his time in the area)
"Yeah, you know Jimmy Turner I worked with at Northeastern University; he's coaching our line. Lou Anarumo is coaching our secondary; I worked with him at Harvard. I used to work the Holy Cross camp with Kevin Coyle 100 years ago, and we've got quite a few guys from that region, no doubt about it."
(On the jobs that Mike Sherman and Kevin Coyle have done as his coordinators)
"Well when I was fortunate enough to get this job, I knew it was going to be important to hire, number one, excellent coaches, but number two, people I could have total trust and faith in and guys that were loyal. That's the first and foremost thing. I'm delighted having both of them as coordinators, and obviously they have double digit years of experience in the National Football League. Mike's been a proven, winning head coach in the National Football League; he was a head coach for six seasons and had five winning seasons, so he knows how to build a winner and he's a great resource to have. Kevin Coyle's a dedicated professional and made a nice contribution in 11 years in Cincinnati. He's an unselfish guy and a real pro. So to have both those guys on the staff, I feel very fortunate."
(On the working relationship with his former English professor Mike Sherman)
"It's going well, it's going well. He loves football. Mike's one of the hardest working guys I've been around; he might be the hardest I've ever seen. He takes everything seriously, takes everything to heart, and wants to do a great job for the organization, for the players. He's a heck of a coach, and it's been a good relationship."
(On whether Mike Sherman was brought in because they were looking at drafting Ryan Tannehill, and how having Sherman on the staff has helped Tannehill's transition)
"Well the first part of the question really had nothing to do with it. As you guys know, the draft is very hard to predict, and at that time in mid-January when we hired Mike, I barely knew who Ryan Tannehill was between you me and the four walls. So, that had nothing to do with it. Again, I hired him for his leadership, his professionalism, and his expertise as an offensive coach. But, that being said, the second part of the question, I think it's helped quite a bit. He knows how the kid thinks; he knows how the kid acts. Sometimes, well not sometimes, I believe that the coordinator and the quarterback have to be on the same page and have to kind of view the game the same way if you will. I think that part of the relationship has been helpful, no question."
(On whether that close relationship helped when Tannehill had to drive the team down the field last week for the winning score)
"Yeah you know luckily we had an extra practice day in there because we were coming off the Thursday night game. As you guys know we didn't execute very well in Buffalo on two situations. We had opportunities, as poorly as we played offensively up there, we had two opportunities late in the game to win the game. So, in coaching, you're always looking to fix something or improve something, and we devoted a lot of time to the two minute offense last week. I'm not saying that the relationship hurt that thing, but I think it was more about the execution and the guys believing that they could do it more than anything else."
(On his message to the team when the opponent is coming to town knowing that they can clinch the division with a win)
"Believe it or not, this is the honest to God truth, I didn't know that. I'm not surprised as I'm looking at what they've done the last five weeks. We're just looking to improve and play better. We thought we did some things here this week that we haven't done here yet; this is our 11th week here together. And going into our 12th game, we've got to show a lot of improvement to beat this football team, there's no doubt about it. So we're not worried necessarily about that. We're worried about how well they're executing in all three phases of the game, but as far as the standings right now, that's not really a focus of ours."
(On how different the Patriots look without Rob Gronkowski in the lineup)
"Well they looked pretty good the other night when I saw them. I didn't watch a whole lot on Thanksgiving night, but I've watched it since and they played very, very well. Obviously the guy is a heck of a football player and what he has done in his short career is extremely impressive, but they have good players, and as you guys know, when injuries occur, teams have to adjust and move on. They moved on quite well against the Jets."
(On his initial impressions of the AFC East)
"As you guys know I grew up in the area up there, so I'm familiar having watched a lot of games growing up over the years watching the AFC East. In those days you couldn't get any game on television like you can these days, so if you watched the NFL, that's what you saw if you were in Springfield, Massachusetts. I think it's a good competitive division. Obviously there are good rivalries that we have with all three teams, and I think that three of us are a work in progress at this stage, and one team is playing very, very well."
(On what he sees from the Patriots that puts them ahead of the other AFC East teams)
"Plus 24 is what I see. They take the ball away, I think Chicago has one more takeaway than them, but I believe if I'm not mistaken they're second in the league in takeaways. And then they lead the league with only eight giveaways. That's a great place to start if you want to talk about winning football games in the National Football League. It's a great credit to their players and coaches; these guys do a fantastic job. We're minus 10, that's not very good. They're plus 24, that's outstanding. That's a tremendous place to build you're program around. So I would say that's the one thing that jumps out at me."
(On whether he feels teams can have a knack for creating turnovers or whether they are caused by opponent's mistakes)
"I think it's a little of both Mike. I think there's a yes and yes to that. We devote practice time to taking the ball away, stripping the ball, putting your eyes on the football when you tackle, clubbing the ball, punching the ball, and yet we only have 11 takeaways so far. So our practice time and our production don't match up. But my guess is New England devotes time to it and they're good at it. And sometimes you do have to take advantage of an opportunity if an opponent does make a mistake. Certainly you're going to have a chance to get some takeaways there too, but I would guess as thorough and as detailed as those guys are, I'm sure they work on it, and they do it well."
(On how important it was to him to inherit a guy like Reggie Bush and build around him)
"Well this is a player's game, no question about it. I mean the coach is important, but none of us would be employed if it wasn't for the players. So the more good players you have on your roster, the better chance you have at winning. As you know there's a lot of parity in this league, there are a lot of good players in this league and a lot of good coaches, but we're certainly fortunate when you have a guy like Reggie Bush."
(On what the experience of Hard Knocks meant to the team and the organization)
"You know I think when I decided to do it I said you know I don't know that Hard Knocks is going to win us a game, and I certainly don't think it's going to lose us a game. We're 5-6 right now and I don't think Hard Knocks has really impacted our season one way or the other. The only thing I would tell you is that NFL Films and HBO Sports are true professionals. They're first class people, they treated our player's great, and they were excellent to work with. Beyond that I don't know that it's had any impact on our season."
(On how much notoriety Jim Turner got from the show)
"Well you guys, if you go back to my May press conference in regards to Hard Knocks I said that I'd probably be looking for an offensive line coach after the season, because if one guy was going to go to Hollywood, it's (Jim) Turner. I'm not very smart, but I knew that much. He was going to be a rock start after that."
(On the contributions his offensive line has had this season)
"It's a group that we like. We've got some young guys in there; obviously we've got a rookie right tackle that we think is coming along and developing. (Mike) Pouncey is in his second year, and then our left side, Jake's (Long) in his fifth year and Richie's (Incognito) been around a little while. And then you know we have John Jerry at the right guard. I think they've done some nice things. We haven't been as consistent as we would like to be, and we've got to get our run game (going). We started the first three or four weeks of the season and I thought we were going to be a very good running team, and a very good defend the run team, but we kind of went through a stretch there where we didn't run the ball very well at all. That's not a good formula for us."
(On how he feels about Incognito embracing his notoriety)
"Well if you look, I think the proof is in the pudding. I think he has one unnecessary roughness call in 11 games, and when it happened I took him out of the game immediately. It was not a smart play on his part, but aside from that, I watch the film every week and he's probably got 700 something plays on tape, and he plays the game hard and he's played the game the right way. I would imagine that if he was playing dirty and all that other stuff that he would get called for unnecessary roughness and all that other stuff. He's had one, it should have been called, it was called, and it was dealt with."
(On the reason why Ryan Durand was cut)
"Unfortunately at this stage he didn't have a very long stay, but as you know things change (often). Your roster is such a fluid thing, and he seems a real quality guy. He was only here a brief time but he did everything we asked him to do, and as you guys know sometimes you make moves for a variety of reasons, but I was very impressed with him when he was here."