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Drew Bledsoe Postgame Press Conf.

Foxboro Stadium - Foxborough, MADrew Bledsoe speaks to the press.



            **Q:  You are usually pretty stoic, at least publicly.  Is this as bad a beating as you can take?**  

D: I feel okay physically. Emotionally, I feel kind of beat up. Those are the kind of games when you have the chance to win at the end and don't, it takes a big toll on me emotionally. As a kid, you are always thinking about those kinds of games where at the end you can go out and take a last second shot in basketball, whatever. In some ways, I'm still like a little kid. I find myself thinking about those situations and when you have that opportunity and it doesn't happen for you, it's physically draining.

Q: What you get hit so much, how do you refrain from complaining to your offensive line and how do you still play well after taking such a beating?

D: Well once in a while I will say something to them. A couple of times today, I did. Ultimately a lot of these guys I've been around, some of these guys I don't know very well. The one time I would be disappointed would be when I felt I was getting less than their best effort. That's all I can say there. As far as getting hit when playing the game, that's part of the game. You're going to get hit. When you are playing a defense the caliber that we just played, they are going to get their shots. The thing you have to do in that situation, is continue to be patient and throw your passes. Hang in there and hope you'll get your opportunity to make a big play or a couple big plays and hope it will be enough to win the game. The one deep ball to Terry (Glenn). In different situations earlier in the game, we thought we set up chances to throw the ball deep to Terry because we thought we had a speed mismatch against him. Unfortunately, we didn't get that done earlier, it could have changed the complexion of the game.

Q: Is that as quick of a defense as you will see all year?

D: They are very, very quick. They have been for a number of years now. When we went down there, I think it was 1997 or '98. They are very, very quick. Their front seven is very, very tough. They are an extremely fast defense, As far as the fastest we will face all year, I don't know the answer to that. I don't know if we'll face a faster one.

Q: How frustrating was it in the first half to have great field position and to keep getting stopped by their offense?

D: Well that's frustrating. Especially when you go into a game against a team like Tampa Bay, you know that they are going to play a field position type of game. We need to hand the ball off, play a good defense and win the special teams battle for field position. When you start out the game and our special teams gives us good field position, you just know you have to capitalize on those situations. To have those two opportunities and just come out with three points, is probably the story of the game. If you look at it, those opportunities changed the complexion of the game.

Q: Do you have confidence that the offensive line will get better?

D: It will be better. You also have to take into account the kind of players we played against. Warren Sapp is one of the best to ever play in his position. That's a difficult task for anybody. That's part of the problem. The other part is you've got different guys mixing in and we've got to continue to work on the timing. The bottom line is, it's going to get better, it has to get better.

Q: Can you comment on your formation and how it effected the out come?

D: Against Tampa Bay, you could take away some of their aggressiveness with a no huddle offense, call running plays and have a quick offense. We felt that would be to our advantage. I think it was to a certain extent but the problem there is you have to convert third downs in that situation, otherwise the defense gets tired and against an offense like theirs, it is difficult to establish. If you are going to do that, you have to sustain drives, which we didn't do.

Q: Do you find yourself itchy to throw the ball when after you've been hit so much?

D: What happens in a game is at times, you want to speed up a little bit, but you have to concentrate to do that. You have to tell yourself to go up, make the read and make my throw. You continually do that and that is part of playing the position. You have to have enough discipline to continue playing your game regardless of what happened the play before. That's something that's necessary to play the position. I think for the most part, I think I've been able to do that throughout my career. It is a conscious effort to continue to read your reads and throw your passes and move on to the next play.

Q: Was the QB sneak a play you called at the line?

D: Yes, it was a call at the line. The second time it was a mistake by me, it's not a good call. We thought that at times, second and long, third situations, they left the middle wide open, left the back in there and we felt like it was a play that could be a first down conversion for us, six, seven, eight yards. Any longer than that obviously we'd be getting into some speed issues.

Q: What happened during the last play of the game?

D: What we were trying to do the last play of the game was fill a post corner to Terry (Glenn). And basically what happened was what we wanted him to do got miscommunicated so it just ended up being a bad play. It was a situation where I couldn't have thrown the ball out of bounds. What happened was the route that Terry was supposed to run was miscommunicated. We actually should have used a different name for it. We called it a 'Q-route,' which is a conversion into a comeback when they play 'off coverage.' What we actually wanted to do was a post corner. We should have just called a post corner. The one that we really had an opportunity on was the one to (Chris) Calloway. Unfortunately, I don't know if I got set up good enough to throw the ball hard enough between their coverage. In defensive secondaries, when you see a corner and a safety break, you can pretty much count on him getting there. I don't know if their secondary has any better speed than anybody else. It's their front seven that are exceptionally fast.

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