Q: This is the first time we have talked to you as a starting quarterback when there is no controversy or story other than how well the team is playing?
DF: Isn't that nice.
Q: It's a rarity. It took you 38 years to get there?
DF: It takes the fun out of it.
Q: But not for you?
DF: It really makes a comfortable situation. I said that since day one, since I have been out here. It's just been a breath of fresh air and everyone has been positive. Maybe it is the honeymoon part of it and all in that we are just getting going and hopefully turning it around from a 1-15 season to whatever. But you are going through that stage right now where everything seems real positive.
Q: The way the team is built, with LaDainian Tomlinson as your running, what a great situation for a quarterback?
DF: It's nice, it really is. We've been relying on the run game and then my job is basically don't turn the ball over, make a few plays on third down and make a big play here and there. The Dallas game was a little different where they just really came up and sold out to stop the run and we got to throw the ball thirty-something times and we actually had some fun throwing it. LT, he makes people miss. He's a great back, he really is. He's very versatile. He's a mature young kid that … boy he amazes me sometimes making people miss.
Q: It's amazing that he missed just about all of training camp?
DF: As a running back, I mean you don't need to teach them to carry the ball. You put the ball in his hands and it is an instinctive thing. So I don't think that that was a big stepping stone for him, the fact that he missed training camp, other than if he was going to be the third-down back. Then, that's a lot of learning.
Q: You know that sometimes where you are and how you are being treated has more to do with things than anything else, and Norv Turner is showing that?
DF: Norv is great. He's been around. He's seen a lot of things. He's an experienced offensive coordinator. I think the situation in Washington was a little crazy with the ownership situation and the way he was treated there. I'm thankful we have him. Especially coming into a new situation, for me, I am very dependent on him right now. He and I are still getting comfortable with each other. He's learning what I do well and I'm learning…I love his play calling and some of the things he has as changeups.
Q: It has been said during your career that they have to build an offense around you. That has pretty much been dispelled, hasn't it?
DF: I hope so, because this is Norv's offense. This is the same offense he ran with Brad Johnson at quarterback, with Trent Green, with Troy Aikman. So I am learning the way he likes to do things and sure, he'll accent the things that I do well, but it is basically his offense.
Q: We saw the end of the game last week against Cleveland and you were running around trying to save the day like you have been doing since high school?
DF: It came down to that. They were pinning their ears back and coming and I had to make some people miss a few times before I got a chance to throw the ball. We shouldn't have been in that situation and I will tell you what, the next to the last play, we had a real shot. We had a real shot. Curtis Conway was the outside guy on the jump ball and there was only one DB back there. He was waiting to see if the ball got tipped and all of the sudden it went through clean just like the one to Gerard [Phelan]. It went straight through and hit the ground. If he had just sold out for the ball he would have gotten to it, but his job there is he's the guy looking for the tip.
Q: How is it that you have been able to carry your speed and athleticism to this age?
DF: I don't know. I try not to slow down. I try to go full tilt during the offseason. I don't take time off from conditioning and running. The only difference now is that you get sorer afterwards and it lingers a little longer. Instead of being a couple of days, it might be four or five days. Steve Grogan said you know it's time to retire when you are sore after the first week and you don't get healthy again until after the season, that soreness never goes away. All of a sudden you can't get that turn around in seven days.
Q: You guys have some good wide receivers?
DF: We've got some skilled guys. Curtis Conway is a big-time receiver. Jeff Graham is just solid as a rock. Tim Dwight makes big plays every time he touches the ball. Freddie Jones is a big-time tight end, he is as good as they come. So I mean we have got the skill position guys. Defensively, I mean our defense, I would put them up against anyone in the league.
Q: The Patriots have had trouble with teams that rush for 100 yards, this is something that I am sure you will be looking at?
DF: If you are looking at it from our standpoint that is a positive, because we have been able to get a hundred-yard rusher. But I am sure Bill [Belichick] will put a scheme together to defend us and make me work as hard as I have to, to try to move the ball and do whatever they can. They're a talented football team. They play extremely well at home, or have so far. We are going to have to play our best football to win.
Q: When he was with the Jets and you were with the Bills his defenses did pretty well against you?
DF: They matched up well with us. We always seemed to struggle when we went to New York and always played well when we were playing at home. I don't know. He knows me well, but I will recognize a lot of the things he likes to do against me. So it comes down to a matter of execution. It probably won't be a situation where you're getting surprised by a lot of the things you see, it is just a matter of trying to execute against it.
Q: Is returning home to play the Patriots getting to be old hat now or do you still look forward to it?
DF: I look forward to it, it's fun. There will probably be a couple thousand people in the stands that I know, only 50 or so that I am responsible for this week. It's fun. You go out on the field warming up and everybody is pleasant and saying hi and wishing you well and all that. Then all of the sudden the game starts and they are swearing at you and throwing things. They're Patriots fans first, but it's a fun atmosphere for me.
Q: It is also the last time you will ever play in this stadium?
DF: That's true, with the new stadium going up. I don't know, that will be a little historic I guess. I didn't really think about that, a little sentimental for me. I've got a lot of memories there, not just for myself, but for my brother as well from his high school championship days and stuff like that and college days for both of us. I've been to that stadium for a lot more than just football games.
Q: And you've had some very good luck here?
DF: I've been very fortunate. I had some games where I didn't play all that great, but we still managed to win and had some games where I did play well. The one loss so far is still one that doesn't sit well with me.
Q: Doug, you will play next year probably, but have you looked ahead to playing past that?
DF: I'd love to be. I feel healthy enough and athletic enough that I could be. Talking to John Butler when I signed, I signed a six-year deal, they anticipate and I anticipate at least three years of it that they want. Then after that, I will play it year by year. So I'd like to do this and two more. Then we will start worrying about it.
Q: Ironically you are not hearing about getting Drew Brees ready, none of that goes on?
DF: Nothing is going on just yet. We lose a couple of games and I am sure that will start up. Drew is a great, great kid. I like Drew and he is talented. He is going to be a good one.
Q: How did you arrange that thing with the flakes dropping on Jay Leno?
DF: Jay has done a lot of San Diego Charger jokes and a lot of Doug Flutie jokes over the years. Actually it was some of the guys at the studio that came up with it for me and we all went along with it and Jay new something was up, but he didn't know just what.
Q: I didn't think that reaction of his could have been scripted that well?
DF: I know that he knew that we were going to do something and he was just playing along with everything and he didn't know exactly what was going to happen.
Q: Who was he calling an [expletive], you or the producer?
DF: He was calling me, but it was all in jest. We had fun.
Q: Did you tell him you've been called worse?
DF: Oh, yeah. It is similar to me calling my brother an [expletive] when he caught the touchdown pass on the last play of the game to beat me in the playoffs up in Canada. It was all in good fun and Jay and I are pretty good friends.