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Drew Bledsoe Press Conference

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            **Q:  Another year, another show?**  

B: Another year, another show. Number eight.

Q: You have been around for a while now?

B: Yes time does fly by, sometimes. Sometimes it seems like it drags on forever. Training camp particularly and particularly this preseason. This was a long preseason. I think I speak for the entire team when I say that I'm excited to get going and start playing some real games.

Q: Same old question for you, another year another system. How do you feel with it?

B: I feel pretty comfortable with it. I really do. You know, we didn't have the production that we probably would have liked in the preseason. But coming out of training camp and going into this first game I feel good about our system. I feel good about where we are with it. Obviously I think that we will progress through the course of the season but I feel very comfortable going into the first game.

Q: What do you think about starting out with Tampa Bay? Obviously they are not the easiest team to start with and present some challenges defensively.

B: Well Tampa is obviously an excellent defensive football team. They've got good players across the board. Excellent team speed defensively. They don't try to present a number of problems for you scheme wise necessarily, they do do some things to disguise some coverages and they may have some stuff for us that we haven't seen from them, but in general if you watch them on tape their philosophy is to let their players play. You know they'll bring Lynch up and get him involved in the front to try and slow down your running game a little bit. But primarily they rely on the guys that they have to run and make plays for them.

Q: Can you guys get a good read on how good you are offensively because of the defense you are playing?

B: Sure, we will find out very quickly what we can do offensively. We are up against what is supposed to be if not the best, one of the best defenses in the league right out of the box. And so we'll find out where we stand. Ultimately I think for us to be successful, and this is something that we've been saying all along and that Bill [Belichick] and Charlie [Weis] have expressed to us throughout the preseason, ultimately we have to eliminate some of the kinds mistakes we have made through the preseason. The penalties, the turnovers, and those kinds of things that can really slow you down. You get a couple of penalties early in games that stop drives and you make things harder on yourselves. That's first and foremost on our mind, to play a clean football game and then deal with the challenges that Tampa Bay poses for us.

Q: What happened to you the last eight games last year personally, is that still on your mind?

B: It wasn't in my mind during that stretch last year. Last year through those last eight games I looked forward to each one the next week being better. Unfortunately I didn't have success and we didn't have success through that stretch. And what you have to do, what you have to be able to do as an athlete in general and as a quarterback especially, is forget what has happened the last play, last game, last season and move on toward the next one. I feel like that has been a strength of mine through high school, through college, and in my NFL career. To be able to move on after the last one and that applies to my attitude about last season as well. You put it behind you. You move on.

Q: Is there anything you learned through that adversity that maybe you can apply this year?

B: Well, you go back and look at it and I have looked at a number of those games and some of the bad plays in particular during the off-season. I went back and watched those. As painful as it was to do, you go back and you look at the individual plays and what happened in particular on those plays and you try and make the corrections. But it is not a general thing that I would tell you about that stretch, it was just a matter of going back and looking at things individually.

Q: So there is no extra eagerness to get this thing going?

B: Well, there's eagerness when you get to this point in any season. Especially when you've had five preseason games your really looking forward to playing in a real game and doing something meaningful regardless. I wouldn't say that there's anything extra there other than just an excitement to get going for real.

Q: Are you surprised going into Sunday's game at the decisions that have been made at running back?

B: Yeah that was a little bit of a surprise to see that we let Raymont [Harris] go. He's a guy that obviously a very hard working guy and a good professional football player. So that was a little bit of a surprise but obviously Kevin has shown great things through the course of the preseason. And JR is a second round pick, at some point he is going to have to step up and carry some of that load. Until that happens we'll see a whole bunch of Kevin Faulk.

Q: Is there a confidence established in those two guys going into the season?

B: Well there is with Kevin for sure. To be honest with you I haven't really seen enough of J.R. [Redmond] to really tell you where that stands. But I have great confidence in Kevin both as a runner, as a blocker, and as a pass receiver. I think he can give us some great flexibility in that area because he is good catching the ball out of the backfield. He is a smart guy that knows who to block and where to be, and he's a tough runner as well.

Q: You said you have no problem with Michael Bishop coming in on the goal line in the preseason and last year took responsibility as the leader of this team. Is it hard to reconcile all this in your mind?

B: No and I think that the reason that it is easy for me is because of the situation. I don' t think that there has been a question for a long time who's the quarterback on this team, I don't think that has come into question. And for that reason, if we bring Mike in for a few plays here and there and it helps our football team to score points I've got zero problem with it. And I think that you guys have been around me for eight years and I think you understand that if there's something that helps the team regardless of how it effects me, I'm all for it.

Q: On the talents of Terry Glenn: With the new landscape and players on this team, is it sort of mandatory that you guys connect and have a good year?

B: Yeah, I think that's important for us this year. Terry always has an impact on a game simply because people have to respect what he can do. But I think it's important for him this year to touch the ball often and it's important for us to create ways to get him the ball. Now we're not going to do that at the expense...just trying to throw it to him just because, but if we can find ways to get him open and get the ball in his hands it improves our chances to win the game.

Q: Do you look at this season as another 1996 Super Bowl type year following the year you had in 1995, and is this team capable of that?

B: Oh, of course we are capable of that. I really believe that and I think that everybody does on this team. Part of that is just what you said, that every team goes in thinking they have a chance at winning the championship. But also, we see evidence of that. We see evidence that we have play makers on offense. We see evidence that our defense can be just a stifling defense that can really shut people down. Special teams wise we've got some good athletes that can go out there for us and that is going to be an important part of a lot of games for us. I have confidence and I think the team has confidence that we can go and compete for a championship this year.

Q: Did you see the Red Sox game last night?

B: No, I missed the Red Sox game. I heard about it this morning and it sounded like quite a show.

Q: What is it about Charlie Weis's offense or Weis himself that makes him so much more palatable or just a guy you like working with?

B: I think Charlie and I, and I won't go into the specifics of it because I don't want to give away too much, but I think Charlie and I philosophically on offense believe some of the same things. Like I said I won't go into the specifics of exactly what those are. One of the things that benefits him is that he has worked with a number of different guys but he also is a younger guy that hasn't been around all these things. He doesn't have these ideas engrained in his head from the 70's and 60's. He's a young guy that has his own individual ideas about how to attack somebody offensively. And as I said I think he and I share a lot of the same beliefs about how to do that.

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