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Drew Bledsoe Press Conf.

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



            **Q:  Marcellus Wiley is the Bills conference call.**  

D: Oh is he?

Q: What are your feelings about him?

D: I feel that he is a good player. He came in and allowed them to let Bruce Smith move on. That's probably the best compliment you can give a guy. They felt comfortable enough with him to let second-leading sacker of all-time go.

Q: Any thoughts on Manny Ramirez?

D: Gotta be careful with your money. You never know how fast 100 million dollars can disappear.

Q: Feel any better about this Sunday afternoon?

D: Yeah. A little time lets you heal, but it is in degrees. It is still not a fun situation to be involved with, but you move on and go out and try to end it next week.

Q: What has the toll of the season been on you?

D: It has been extremely draining. There's no doubt about that. To come in with the expectations and then to lose so many close games early. To come back each week and battle again and still end up losing 10 games through 14 games. It has been very, very difficult emotionally and mentally. We've got two left, really with those two games left, everybody on our team is going to be watched very closely and analyzed. Guys are going to be evaluated based on how they respond to this situation. I think if you see anybody throwing in the towel or giving less than great effort, it is going to have an impact as to what the future holds for them with this organization and if they're not here, then it will have implications as to what their opportunities are elsewhere. This is a very difficult situation, but I think everybody on the team has to take it very seriously because there is an evaluation process that goes on as to who is continuing to give their best effort and who is going the other way.

Q: How do you feel about your defense?

D: To be honest with you, I've had enough of my own problems, and offensively we've had enough of our own problems. That's where my focus is. That will always be the case. There are a ton of guys on our defense that I really believe in and there are a bunch of guys that I have confidence in. From that standpoint, I have faith in those guys, but like I say, the entire focus for me, is offensively and producing more. We just didn't score enough points in very many games this year. Those are games that I feel comfortable saying we should have won.

Q: Are you going to play the rest of the games?

D: Yes, that is the plan. You guys all know my philosophy dealing with being banged up or what have you. To take that a step further, if you were ever to get into an analysis, analyzing process of which games you play and which games you don't, then all of a sudden you open yourself up to a lot of things. If you start to weigh different factors as far as whether you should play or shouldn't play, other than simply going out on the field then you set yourself up for other problems in the future. So, my philosophy will continue to be the same, if I'm able to play and play effectively then I will.

Q: Is it weird going into this game and it not meaning anything?

D: To either team, yeah it is really, well, obviously not the situation either team really envisioned. You look at this game on the schedule and it would have been one of those games where you're playing with the weather and the hostile fans and all that stuff with something on the line for both teams, being one of those games where there could be some attention focused on that game, but instead it will probably be one of the forgotten games this week.

Q: Do you look at these two games as build for next year?

D: Like I say, one of the reasons to be motivated for these last two games, for myself and for a lot of guys on this team is to go up to them and both try and build toward next season, but also to try to find out what you have going into next season. Find out some of the guys that haven't seen field, find out what have and what they can possibly contribute for you next year. Obviously on the part of our organization, there will be a lot of analysis going on in the last two weeks and see how guys respond to this situation. So that is part of it. Go out and see who goes with you.

Q: Can you convince me that you want to be a Patriot for the remainder of your career?

D: I can't convince you unless you want to be convinced. The way I look at it is, if you look at our organization from the top down there are a lot of people focused on the right things. You have smart people in the right positions. It all starts with the ownership. We have one of the most influential owners in the league and an owner that is very committed to winning football games and that's where it starts. That being said, I do feel like this is a team that will succeed and I want to part of that. I've been through a couple of the years on the downside and when this organization starts to come back up, which I know it will, I want to be a part of that.

Q: Are you frustrated with the short passing game?

D: In the past, ever since I've been here there have always been opportunities in games to work the ball farther down the field. Make some big plays and in doing so, the intermediate passing game for a long time has always been kind of a staple of our offense. This year, early on it was because of inexperience and the new guys on the offensive line and we felt like we needed to throw the ball a little more quickly and doing that we started to kind of get that solidified and now we have some injuries so we've had to reshuffle it again. So, from that standpoint, we've been trying to do what we feel gives us the best chance to succeed and that is to emphasize our short-passing game. Kind of use the quick passes, quick screens and flat routes in place of our running game in some instances. Is it frustrating? Yeah, it is frustrating to not be able to have multiple opportunities to throw the ball downfield and make the big plays. Obviously going into next year that has got to be a focus for us because it is very apparent we haven't scored enough points this year. One thing you have to do in order to score points in the league is you have to have the big play. We haven't done that enough this year.

Q: How draining have all of the off-field things been? For example, the new offensive scheme, new coaching staff, thumb injury and contract talks.

D: There are a lot of different things that have gone on. I think that there is a saving grace for me to be able to go home at night and have those three little boys and my wife to go home to. They come and tackle me and everything is all right there. Outside of that, just simply dealing with the football part of it, the only thing, and the most trying thing has been just simply not winning games. That's what you do, and the rest of the stuff is secondary.

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