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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Tue Apr 23 - 02:00 PM | Wed Apr 24 - 11:55 AM

Drew Bledsoe Press Conf.

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



            **Q: Can you just say jammed thumb about four or five times?**  

D: Jammed thumb, jammed thumb.

Q: What does that mean?

D: It means that it is jammed.

Q: Is there a more technical explanantion?

D: Probably, the bottom line is that you guys can speculate all you want on who won Florida but the bottom line is you don't know and the reason that you don' t know is because we don't know. Now that doesn't mean that I am going to run out and tell you immediately when the decision is made whether or not I am going to play, but the bottom line right now is that I simply don't know if I am going to be able to play and play effectively and if I can then I will play.

Q: Coach said that you probably won't be able to do much today?

D: Yes I don't foresee trying to do much today. An extra day of practice at this point I think the tradeoff is probably better to stay in the back and get some mental repetitions and let the thing rest for a day, but like I said when we get to the game we will make the decision.

Q: Is the swelling still there, has it gone down at all?

D: It has gone down a little bit I have been icing and kept the pressure on it and have been getting treatment ad nauseum and I am doing everything I can to try and get it ready to play this week.

Q: So do you hold the bottle with the left hand and the baby…

D: Yes I kind of cradle the baby here in this arm and then hold the baby with the left hand.

Q: So are you going to even dress today, are you going to wear pads?

D: I don't know I am going to talk to Bill and we will figure out what is going to happen. I imagine I will be over pedaling the bike and doing all of that fun stuff which I would rather not be doing. The important thing for me today is to be right behind everything as it is happening and go through my reads and progressions as I am watching and as I said try to get as many mental repetitions as I can during the week.

Q: Is it just worrying about throwing the ball or is it also taking the snaps form center?

D: It is a combination of both, but there again all of that stuff will just factor into the decision as we lead up to the game.

Q: Does this remind you at all of what happened in 1998?

D: Yes it is very similar in that it is not a situation where we are trying to make the decision based on pain or aggravating an injury. Probably 50-60 percent of the players in the NFL play with a jammed finger or a jammed thumb throughout the season each week. So it is not a factor of playing with pain or aggravating an injury it is just simply a matter of can I throw the ball effectively and that's the way it was a couple of years ago with my finger. I played with it as long as I felt like I could be effective and throw the ball effectively and when it became apparent that I couldn't do that well enough then I went and sat out.

Q: Bill (Belichick) was saying that the decision-making process as to who will replace you if it comes to that is the same as with any other player, but there are a lot more factors I would imagine that go into plugging in a quarterback?

D: As quarterback, our job is so complicated and diverse that there are a lot of things that you consider in evaluating a quarterback, but the bottom line decision as to who plays if it is not me is simply who gives us the best chance to win. That is as simple as can be and I am sure, I didn't hear it, but I am sure that is what Bill said, that he is going to play the guy that gives us the best chance to win. It sounds cliché but it is cliché because it is the truth you play the guy that gives you the best chance to win.

Q: John (Friesz) has played in relative anonymity here in his year and a half, what have you come to know about him as a teammate and what do you know about his strengths as a player?

D: He is a very smart football player. He studies hard and prepares very well each week. He has got a good strong arm and can throw the ball accurately and really was very close in this last game to coming out of it as the hero. There were a couple of throws that he made that could have resulted in touchdowns and if those plays had turned out then there wouldn't be any second guessing what was going on. If John gets the call this week then I am sure that he will play very well for our team and give us a chance to win the game.

Q: Given the fact that it is a complex situation is there a point where you have to say, 'Hey Bill (Belichick) I have to help whichever quarterback that gets the call prepare'?

D: I am going to do that regardless. If during the course of the week, as I said I am not going to be practicing extensively for sure today and in that vain I will be approaching the game by trying to help prepare the other guy to get ready. That is the role of the other quarterbacks. When I am out there playing John and Mike (Bishop) and Tom (Brady) do as good a job as they can to give me the information leading up to the game and during the game and if I am relegated to that role then I will do as good a job as I can to help them from that standpoint.

Q: How much of it is the center snap right now, is that still aggravating it?

D: Yes I haven't tried it but there are ways to address that problem if it gets to that, but that's part of it. Taking the snap the ball comes up and hits that thumb, but there are things that you can do.

Q: Can you do all shotgun is that easier?

D: With (Damien) Woody snapping? No, to go all shotgun, you can use the shotgun more in that kind of a situation, but to do that exclusively for a game I don't know if that makes much sense.


D: Yes we will see I am not very ambidextrous.

Q: You don't have to worry at least this time about pins sticking out of your finger, do you ever think back to that year and either regret playing with those or does it play into your thinking at all as to how you feel about playing with an injured hand now?

D: No it doesn't factor in. I don't look back on that situation with regret at all. I think that it is really very simple in my mind and it is the same thing that I have been saying all along, if I can play I play and not because that is my job or it's my responsibility but because I want to play. I love playing the game and that's what I do and if there is a way I can go out and do that in an effective enough manner to help the team than that is what I do and it is really that simple, it really is. I look back on that situation and there is not any point during that time when I look back and say, 'Man I should have come out of the game' that is just not the way I think.

Q: Is there any more frustrating injury for a quarterback then a finger, after all most of you works right now?

D: Yes it is frustrating and it is frustrating from the standpoint that the rest of my body is healthy. It is also frustrating from the standpoint that in pretty much every other position in football a jammed thumb is really not that big of a deal, you tape it up and you go play.

Q: What do you make of all the (Michael) Bishop stuff I mean at this point now that you are hurt and there is a chance he could play you know the fans are in favor of him, what do you make of all of that?

D: The bottom line is, as I said before that the coaching staff is factoring in only one thing and that's who gives us the best chance to win and I foresee that on being John Friesz at this point. I don't now what Bill has decided, I don't know what it is going to be, but that's what it was last week and so that is probably the way it is going to be. The team has great confidence in John, the team has great confidence in Mike and if Tom were to have to play they would have great confidence in him that any one of the four us can go in and play well enough to win a game and that's where it stands.

Q: Did you listen to the election last night and what are your thoughts and did you watch?

D: Yes I got a chance to catch little updates at 2:30 in the morning and then at 4:30 in the morning when Henry woke up to have a snack. So I was able to pick it up, but it was riveting, it was hard to go to sleep. I was sitting there watching and the races were so close and it was very, very intriguing to sit and watch. Do we know who one yet?

Q: No, but which is quicker your return to the lineup or a winner in Florida?

D: We'll see they are saying this thing could take weeks, the election I mean.

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