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Drew Bledsoe Press Conf.

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



            **Q:  How is your thumb?**  

D: It's a moot point at this juncture. I'm going to practice this week. I'm going to play this week. I don't foresee it having an impact from this point on.

Q: What is your reaction to Eric Bjornson being released?

D: I heard about it this morning at our team meeting. It came as a bit of a surprise. I've never made it a practice to comment on personnel moves, but all I'll say is that it was a bit of a surprise. Eric is a guy that is a good receiving tight end. I'm sorry to see him go.

Q: Why have there been so many players released this season?

D: When you're losing football games, then changes are made. It is the facts of life in this business. When you don't win then everybody's job is on the line. If it wasn't apparent before, then I think it has become very apparent here in recent weeks that there's a feeling the team can in someway be improved through a personnel move that move is going to be made. I think everyone has to understand that they are competing for a job all the time.

Q: Is last week's loss to Cleveland the lowest the team has been?

D: They all hurt, I'll put it that way. To go play Cleveland, to play a team that we felt like we should beat, and then to turn the ball over four times and lose the football game. Yeah, it hurts. It's just a poor performance on our part. But to say that that one hurt more than the other ones, I don' think that's the case.

Q: What is the secret to avoiding unforced turnovers?

D: Simply probably concentration I guess would be the one word the I would use there. The quarterback-center exchange should never be a problem, it's something that you start practicing in Pop Warner football. So that should never be a problem. As far as handling a pitch, well you just catch the ball. One thing that happens from time to time to guys is that they try to run before they have the ball. It's obviously something you can't do.

Q: After the game you said that effort is not a problem with the team. After watching the tape, do you still feel that way?

D: I'll put it this way, you watch the tape and I don't think that there is a remarkable lack of effort, but you also fail to see exceptional effort I guess would be the way that I would put it. There are places where guys have an opportunity to give an extra effort or something and sometimes that is lacking. That among other things. We have to address those problems and move forward, otherwise obviously it has become obvious that there will be changes. There are things that I need to work on in particular, and I'm going to address those first and foremost.

Q: Do you feel that the team is still as good as it once was?

D: We're 2-8, and when you're 2-8 teams look at you as a game they should win. That's unfortunate. That's not where we wanted to be. We want to be a team that is respected throughout the league and is a tough team to play right now. Obviously, we're not viewed at that way.

Q: Is playing Cincinnati an opportunity to build momentum?

D: Our focus right now to be quite honest with you, I want to say this the right way, but right now we're not so much focused on Cincinnati as we are on ourselves. Cincinnati, their defense in particular, they do a lot of things, they bring a lot of blitzes, they have a lot of different schemes, but right now our focus is on correcting the things within our team that we need to correct. Obviously, we're going to work on Cincinnati this week, but the main focus is getting ourselves straightened out.

Q: What has happened to this team since winning two straight games in October?

D: I think the overriding theme, and this can have a snowball effect really, is that we're not coming up with any kind of big plays. What happens there if you come out early and make a couple big plays then that can breathe some enthusiasm and get you going. When you start off slow, like we did, especially this last week where we go three and out the first couple of series, then it becomes a challenge to maintain that attitude. The thing that really has hampered us all year is that when we've had opportunities to make plays, whether it is late in games, whether it is early in games, we haven't gotten that done. When you do that, it can be contagious, but we just haven't made that first play or the first couple of plays to get us going.

Q: After watching the tape, can you put a percentage on where you were in that game?

D: You know, Kevin (Mannix), I'm just not going to do that. The only thing that I'll say is that from this point on, it (thumb injury) is something that I'm not consider as a factor in the game or in my play. It's just something, I'm moving on like it is not even there. Let's just put it that way.

Q: Is there a broken bone in your thumb?

D: I'm just not even going to address that.

Q: During training camp, you were very optimistic about the potential of the team. Are you shocked or just very disappointed at where this team is right now?

D: Both. There's no way I could envision us at this point being 2-8. That just wasn't in the realm of possibility, so yeah, it is shocking and extremely disappointing.

Q: Is there a feeling in the locker room that there could be a lot of personnel changes in the offseason?

D: Look at the evidence. I mean there are guys coming and going on a regular basis here within this team. The evidence is there that if there is something that our staff or organization can be addressed through a personnel move, then they're going to do it. They are not worried about anybody's feelings or what anybody has done in the past, they're just trying to win games this year.

Q: Coach Belichick said that he is not doing a good enough job coaching. Can you think of anything he can do better to help the team win?

D: Well, I'll continue to say, as I have in the past that, I think there is a general confidence on our team in our coaching staff. That we are trying to address the problems we have. We have been well-prepared mentally, game plan wise and scheme wise going into these games. We as played haven't gotten it done on the field and that's been very disappointing.

Q: You've been a successful quarterback in your career. Are you preparing for this downturn lasting a couple years?

D: No. I'm looking forward to winning this week, then I'm looking forward to winning the week after that. But right now, I'm focused on trying to get one win. The one thing that I try to avoid and always try to avoid is looking ahead and looking back. I'm trying to focus on what I have directly in front of me and proceed that way, and I'll continue to do that.

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