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Drew Bledsoe Press Conf.

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



            **Q:  Do you think you'll have an advantage if it snows on Sunday?**  

D: Yeah. I hope so, we're undefeated in snow games. We'll see. Is it supposed to snow? Does anyone know?

Q: No, it is supposed to be sunny and about 35 degrees.

D: Well, that's cool too.

Q: What effect will the situation involving Ty Law have on the team?

D: We're going to work through it. Every season there are distractions that you deal with and this is no different. The way that you deal with it is you go in and work up for football and you go out and play as well as you can, you prepare as well as you can then you play as well as you can. This week we're faced with an opportunity to end our season on a high note playing against a team that is trying to get themselves into the playoffs. To go out and win this game will send us into the off-season with very positive feelings going into next year and will be a great motivator for us for the off-season.

Q: On a professional level, do you care what your teammates do off the field as long as they show up for meetings and practice?

D: Listen, I care. These guys are my teammates and when something happens, my first concern is for my teammates and for their particular situation and that is the way it will always be. It is a profession and there are guys that you count on. These guys are friends of mine and my first concern is for them.

Q: Were you surprised when Coach Belichick told the team that Ty Law was suspended?

D: Like I say, Bill (Belichick) is going to handle matters within the team and he's shown that he'll handle matters decisively and that's what it is. You guys know exactly as much as we know about the situation.

Q: Is the situation hard to go through?

D: Like I say, it is a distraction and it is a difficult thing to have to go through and it is an unfortunate situation, but you deal with it and you move on. That's what it is.

Q: Do you feel like the personnel will change a lot in the off-season?

D: Well, let's face it, the team has changed a lot since early in the season. I would imagine that there would be some changes in the off-season. Exactly how many and who that will be, obviously is a different situation. If we're 12-4 and going to the playoffs where you want to maintain the guys you have when things don't go as well as you'd like them to then there are more changes when you win. Exactly what those will be and how many guys will come and go, I have no idea.

Q: How much of a surprise is it for you for the season to go as it has?

D: It is been shocking. Really to be honest with you, it has been very difficult to deal with. As I've stated before you come in with high expectations. I had high expectations, both personal and team wise for this year. I'll be honest with you, it has been really, really hard to deal with. I've done a lot of soul searching and I've had a lot of conversations with teammates that I've played with a long time about what's going on, what's wrong, why can't we get it straightened out. It's been a very, very tough season. As I alluded to earlier, in spite of all that, if we can go beat the Dolphins and we go into the off-season with two wins against two division opponents the last two games, in spite of everything, if we can win Sunday it makes for a much happier Christmas and a much happier than it would be if we lose.

Q: Can you see with any degree of certainty in your mind that you definitely want to be here next year?

D: As I've said before and will continue to say, I anticipate being a Patriot for a long time to come and I hope that that is the case. I have confidence in our organization from the standpoint of having the right people in the right places from the top down, starting with the owner including the head coach. I feel that we are a team that will do what is necessary to get moving in the right direction and I want to be a part of that when it turns back around.

Q: How has coaching staff done this year?

D: I have to say that with all of the adversity that we have been through and all of the things that we've had to deal with I think overall they've done an excellent job. I think Bill (Belichick) has done an excellent job of maintaining the team's focus in spite of some very tough circumstances. I think Charlie (Weis) has done a very admirable job of adapting to different personnel and some limitations that we've had through the course of the year, giving us a plan going into the week, honestly just about every one of our games I've gone in with the feeling that we've got a plan that really gives us an advantage this week. I feel that is the case this week, I feel like it was the case for the very first game of the season going against Tampa, I feel like had a plan that was very advantageous for us. But I think overall, and of course this league, this team is judged by your production so from that standpoint, we're all a failure this year. Looking at it from the inside and dealing with these guys on a daily basis, I think Bill and his staff have done a very good with this team in spite of the results.

Q: Will you offer or if asked will you offer ways you think this team can become more competitive to Coach Belichick or to Mr. Kraft?

D: If asked, yes I will express those opinions. I will be candid with them in my analysis of different things. Ultimately they're going to make the tough decisions, but I will be honest with them in my perspective of how things go.

Q: You must be sick of things swirling around the team.

D: Yeah. It's hard to have to deal with this stuff, but ultimately I don't think we're any different from any other team, really. You look around the league and this year for the most part, the off the field stuff has been minimal. Every team has to go through adversity whether it is on the field, off the field, whether it is to deal with distractions or the media circus that surrounds a winning team and all those expectations or whether it is the outside divisiveness that becomes a part of when you're losing. Whether it is those things simply or whether it is something specific. All teams have to go through it, and successful teams deal with it and deal with it as well as they can.

Q: Suspending Ty Law not only effects your game, but it also effects a few teams playoffs chances. Is there a sense of obligation to the league to keep Law with the team?

D: You can ask Bill (Belichick) about that, but ultimately he is going to handle the discipline on this team as the head coach and doing what is right in his mind for the team and that's where the decision is made. It really doesn't have any bearing on the rest of the league.

Q: What has been the hardest part of the season?

D: The most emotionally trying part of it has been, and particularly in the early part of the season is being so close so many times. Where one play could have changed so many games for us. That part has been the most frustrating and emotionally difficult throughout the season for us to deal with. Being that close to being in a different situation and having it not work out.

Q: Is there any consolation in a five-win season to play a factor in the playoff picture this weekend?

D: Most definitely. We haven't played a game with playoff implications for a month now. My rookie year, it was an identical situation, we came in here the last game of the season and knew we weren't going anywhere, but we came in and knocked off the Dolphins in overtime and finished the season on a high note. It really did. It gave us some momentum into the next year. It gave us some motivation for the off-season. It was an entirely positive end to a tough season then. Very, very similar situation this year.

Q: Do you remember anything from that game?

D: Yeah, I remember the very last play of the game, in overtime I threw a touchdown pass to Michael Timpson and I think it was Marco Coleman tackled me on the play and I said something to him about, 'Have a nice off-season.' It was kind of funny. I didn't see the end of the play, but he was laying on top of me, I heard the crowd go crazy. I knew that we had completed the pass and knew that their season was over with ours. It was a good feeling, and if we can accomplish that this week, it would be a step for us in the right direction.

Q: What did Marco Coleman say to that?

D: He saw me later that off-season, he wasn't very appreciative.

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