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Drew Bledsoe Press Conference

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             **Q:** How was it to get back out on the practice field yesterday, for both you and the team?  

DB: I think that in general guys still have a sense of what has happened and obviously there is still a lot of talk about what's going on, what's happening, what our response as a nation is going to be and those kinds of things. There's some talk amongst guys about how things have been addressed with their families and those kinds of things. But that being said, I think there is also a sense of, I don't know if relief is the right word, but it feels good to be back doing something again. And to have football as a sort of release where you have something else to focus on instead of focusing on the tragic circumstances. I think that as we approach this game this week the one thing that we have, the one thing that really is our responsibility is to go out and play in a way that shows our respect for the freedoms that we have and for the people that died and for the great life and freedom that we have. Our responsibility is to go out and play with intensity and an emotion that demonstrates that we appreciate what we have.

Q: It is still early in the week, but as you get to work are you still a little bit distracted?
DB: Obviously it is still something that you see on the news when you go home and when you eat lunch or whatever there's still stuff going on and conversations about what is happening. But when we get on the field and we get in our meetings that's a time where we really are allowed to focus on something else and get our minds on football and get our minds on the task that is directly presented to us.

Q: Are you concerned at all about playing?
DB: Well like I said I know that the NFL is taking great precautions for us and one of the ways that we can respond in our own small way is to go back and play our game, conduct our business and show that this kind of thing isn't going to deter us from going out and doing what we do, going out and competing and trying to win a football game.

Q: So you are not afraid to go to work on Sunday?
DB: No.

Q: Can or should anything be said in the locker room about after play celebrations that sometimes occur or is that something that happens?
DB: I think that there is a general sense that I get from our guys and from hearing comments around the league that it won't change our approach to the game and the intensity with which we play, but at the same time while we are out there competing against and doing everything we can to win and playing a physical, emotional style of play. There also is some camaraderie amongst us as football players and recognizing that while we are competing with each other and doing everything we can, being as physical as we can to try and win these games, there is also a sense that we are all together as Americans against a common enemy.

Q: In your experience at any level have you ever dealt with a game with similar emotional attachments?
DB: No I haven't been directly involved with one of these as a player. When I was growing up and my dad was coaching in Washington, he had a player die on the football field during practice. He had a heart failure. So I was around that as a fourth grader and saw that and the effect that it had on the team, but as far as being directly involved with a situation where there was this kind of emotion going in to a game, this kind of thing going on surrounding us, no I haven't been involved with anything like that.

Q: Do you remember what that effect was?
DB: I was young, but I know that there was...I remember there being a sense that guys had to go out and win this one for their teammate who had passed on and from that sense there was greater intensity and greater focus. I have seen and would expect to see that same type of effect with our preparation where, if it is possible to be more focused than we are generally we would go out and practice and prepare with greater intensity and emotion and attention to detail.

Q: Will there be a display of solidarity between the teams before the game?
DB: I don't know that. I don't know.

Q: How do you feel about being a spokesman during all this, you are probably trying to sort through all these things yourself?
DB: That's been something that for a long time has been kind of interesting for me to see that because I play this game my opinion carries some weight on other topics. But all I can do from that standpoint is just simply and honestly as I can express how I feel and people can take that for what it is.

Q: The fact that it is the Jets that you are playing, will it be easier to focus or do we make too much of that?
DB: Well it's a rivalry. It's a rivalry, no question it is. It's a division game and both teams are 0-1 and so there's great importance to this game simply as a football game. Set aside all of the other stuff, there's still a great importance for us as a team with respect to our season. So that part of it, that is still on our minds as well. Does that change because of the circumstances surrounding the game? Maybe in some aspects it does, but the bottom line is it's a rivalry and we are going to go out and do everything we can to win.

Q: It's only been one full workout, but what can you say about the level of your team?
DB: I think that in general there is a little more serious attitude about what we are undertaking and a little more gravity to the situation and a little more, at least for me personally there's more importance placed on how we go out and perform on the field because I think that we need to, we have a responsibility and obligation to go out and show our respect for the way that we live in America and the freedoms that we have and the freedom that we have to go out and compete. I think that our level of play needs to demonstrate that we are respectful and mindful of those freedoms.

Q: Are you past the "What if" point with Curtis Martin?
DB: Well I don't see Curtis when we are preparing for them because I am watching the defense, but there was a time in the preseason we were watching one of there games in preparation for one of our preseason games. I'll just say that I still enjoy watching Curtis play. He is an excellent football player and I am glad I had a chance to play with him for a while, but we have to move on now. Our goal is to try and stop him.

Q: You see all the Patriotism and the flags, have you thought about what running out on to the field will be like?
DB: I know it is going to be an emotional thing and I think that when we come into the stadium this week with everything that has surrounded our nation and see all the red, white and blue in the stands, that does take on a greater significance than normal.

Q: It seems that offensively you guys have been conservative lately, would you like to open it up a little?
DB: Every time we are preparing for a game we try and construct ways to get the ball down field and take our shots and try and score from farther out and do all those kinds of things. One of the things that is important for us is that we've got to also develop a level of consistency where if we take one of those shots and we don't hit it then we have to be able to come back and still convert the third down situation and then give ourselves another opportunity to do that. But yeah, we are going to take our shots when we have them.

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