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Drew Bledsoe Press Conf.

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



            **Q:  Denver has historically been good against the run. Does that make the passing game more important?**  

D: I think that that is true overall for us right now. Execution in the passing game hasn't been good enough. My execution in the passing game hasn't been good enough. We've got to make strides in that not only this week, but through the rest of the season. Obviously, this week is the focus, the situation we're in right now, more true than ever that we simply focus on who we're playing this week try and win this game and then we'll move on from there.

Q: Would winning a game provide the team with confidence?

D: Obviously we need to win in the worst way around here. That should be very apparent to everybody. We need a win terribly. What the consequences of a win would be for us, what it would do for us, will remain to be seen, but the bottom line is that we need a win and we need it now.

Q: Does attitude have anything to do with it? Do you have to stay positive?

D: Sure, sure. You have to keep focusing on the next play. You have to have a belief that the next play is going to be the one that will put you over the top. That's not always an easy thing to do, but that's where you have to focus. As far as the attitude on the team, I think that when you look at the way that we played, and the teams that we played, I think that the attitude and the effort has been good. I haven't seen anybody giving less than at least a good effort. That's been consistent. We have to maintain that part of it and then we have to execute better.

Q: Many quarterbacks are criticized for forcing passes, now people are asking if you're being too conservative.

D: I think that in certain instances through the first four weeks I may have been a bit too conservative. It is one of the challenges of playing quarterback, knowing when to take the chances and when not to. We've been in very close games and I think that it is and will continue to be important to prevent the turnovers, but at the same time, there are times when you have to take a chance downfield. Through the first four games, teams have been conscious of trying to prevent the big plays against us. We haven't shown with a great degree of consistency that we can march the ball steadily down the field. Taking six or seven yards a pop and just moving it down and putting it in the end zone. I think the one thing that teams are focusing on against us is that they want to eliminate our opportunities to make the big plays and score points in that way. That being said, and if teams are going to continue to play us that way, then we're obviously going to have to march the ball down field and make the plays consistently. Will there be opportunities to make big plays? Yeah, there are opportunities to make big plays in each game, and we obviously haven't hit enough of those. I think that teams for the most part have come in with the attitude against us to make them consistently pick up 5 or 6 yards, and convert the third downs all the way down the field and that has been an effective philosophy against us to this point.

Q: How is your hand?

D: It is fine. It's fine.

Q: Do you feel the added pressure of carrying this team?

D: I think that to a certain extent that has been true for seven and a half, eight years. If I play well then we have a chance and can beat just about anybody. If I play average, we still might have a chance, but it becomes very difficult. If I play poorly, then we're not going to beat anybody. It is a team game, but my part of that tends to have a greater impact than that of other players. That is no truer now, I would think, than it has been in the past.

Q: Given the start of the team, does that lead to a "nothing to lose" attitude?

D: If you were to take the season and look at it as a whole season or as 12 games, then that might be a true statement. But that's not the way we're approaching it. We're approaching it as what is the best way to go win this particular game. When you look at it in that way, you do the right thing on the plays. You don't come out with desperation, trying to force the ball down the field when it is not there and those kinds of things. You come out and approach it with discipline and try to execute as well as you can to win this particular game.

Q: Denver's defense has been gambling a lot this year and has been giving up a lot of yards.

D: Yeah, they have a different game for us when we approach them as a defense. In the first four games, we faced defenses that aren't particularly complex they just kind of play their stuff and play it very well. Denver is different. They present a multitude of looks, a multitude of coverages. They try and confuse you defensively. When that happens there are opportunities to make plays against them. You don't always know exactly where that play is going to come and when it is going to come, but there are opportunities against them when they change up the coverages and mix in all the different blitzes and different looks and alignments that they bring.

Q: In the past teams double-covered Ben Coates, now that he is gone, does that make things more difficult?

D: I think people are and teams are very conscious of Terry Glenn on the outside and that's been true for a while. We've still been able to shake him loose for some catches this year. He's been a big part of our offense. The one thing that we haven't been able to do with Terry or with anybody really is get the opportunity to work the ball down the field. That is something that we're trying to address. We'd like to have some more plays down the field. We're going to continue to try to create ways to do that. Until we get them we're just going to have to be consistent in executing what we're doing.

Q: Why are some teams good at going down the field?

D: Part of that is you have to force teams to devote extra people to your running game. When you force people to devote an extra safety to your running game, then you have more of an opportunity to work down the field and that kind of goes back to what I was saying earlier, we have to first prove that we can execute and march the ball down the field in a methodical manner. And force a defensive team to get an extra safety up there involved in the running game, involved in the short passing game, and then you opportunities to work down the field. But until we show that consistency in our execution teams will continue to play two-deep safeties and try to prevent the big plays.

Q: Is Denver the toughest place to play?

D: I don't know if it is the toughest, but it is a difficult place to play. You have the altitude to deal with. Which the times that we've played out there, I don't feel has had as much an impact as was predicted. It is a very loud place to play. Denver over the years has been very tough to beat at home, so it is one of the tougher places to play in the NFL. That is what we're faced with we've got that adversity to deal with and we've got to go get a win no matter where it is.

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