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Drew Bledsoe Press Conference

New England Patriots Quarterback Drew Bledsoe

12:00 pm July 27, 2001

Q: Do you know where [Andy] Katzenmoyer is?

DB:I have no idea, no idea.

Q: How is it going so far?

DB:You know, for our first two practices I thought we did some good things. The tempo has been good, people are upbeat, flying around. We've obviously got a long way to go but I thought that the first two practices from an attitude and tempo standpoint were pretty good.

Q: Coach claims that everybody is in better shape and stronger, is there any way to tell that from a couple practices?

DB:Well, it looks like it. That's what the testing and that kind of stuff is designed to determine--if guys are in better shape. But I know that the attendance and the attitude during our off-season program was very good. Now we've just got to take that and translate it into some wins on the field.

Q: Terry Glenn, he looks like he is ready to go?

DB:Yeah, Terry's out and he looks good and he's flying around catching the ball. The other guys that we signed are also looking very good. I had a chance to work with Bert Emanuel for three days before everybody got in and he looks good. David Patten looks good. CJ [Charles Johnson], he's got some stuff for us. Torrance [Small] is a big target. And then we've got Troy Brown who is just Troy Brown, he looks solid. Behind them we've got Tony Simmons and Shockmain Davis. So we've got a ton of guys at the receiver spot and there is some great competition there.

Q: Your offensive guard Joe Panos is retiring. Did you see that coming?

DB:No, I had no idea that was coming. I don't think, from what I understand, I don't think Joe knew it was coming. He came in, he did the conditioning test and so on, and then decided to hang it up. My only comment there was, hey if he's going to make that decision, guard is not a position where you can come in and fake it. So if he wasn't ready to go then he made the right decision and I respect that, I think everybody does. You can't come in and play this game if your heart is not in it and if you are not ready to go. So that seems to be probably what was the case with him.

Q: Drew, coming back from 5-11, it seems like a lot of changes need to be made if you are going to improve substantially from 5-11. Do you agree with that? Have those changes been made? How are you going to be more successful this year?

DB:Well, when you are not successful, when you have a 5-11 season, then it is obvious that things have to change because the status quo is obviously not going to get it done. We made a ton of changes in the off-season. There are a whole bunch of new faces here, you know I am still trying to learn the names of half of these people who are out here. You know, there has been a big change there and so far, like I say, the attitude has been very, very good. The guys that we have signed seem to bring not only some talent but also some attitude and some leadership qualities to the team. So those things are good. Now we have to take those and it's got to translate into wins on the field. But I think it has become very obvious that this down hill slide that we've been on for the last three or four years is not acceptable. And it has been addressed not just with words but with actions, making some changes and trying to get us better.

Q: How do you feel you are throwing the ball?

DB:I feel like I am throwing it OK. Obviously there were a couple of not great throws today, but my arm feels good. I feel fresh. You know, I am not 18 anymore, but overall I feel pretty good. I am excited about the guys that I have an opportunity to throw the ball to. So I look for good things from us.

Q: Some quarterbacks when they get older, Brett Favre, lessen the reps in practice to take strain off the elbow or the arm. Is that something you've considered?

DB:Well it is something that we keep tabs on. I am pretty honest with them, if my arm gets tired then I tell them and we take the reps down a little bit. But I also tend to be a guy that likes to take as many reps as I can in practice because I enjoy it. I enjoy dropping back and throwing the ball. You know, if my arm gets tired then that will be addressed but I don't see that being a problem. I am pretty good about taking care of myself and making sure I get ice on it and so on. So it's really not a problem. If it gets to be too much and my arm starts to get tired then we may address that but I don't see it being a problem.

Q: What about the guys behind you? How excited are you to have Robert Edwards back and Antowain Smith and other guys?

DB:Well first of all we've got to get those guys on the field and see what they can do. Robert, everybody knows he has made a miraculous comeback to be where he is. Now we have to get him out there and see how it goes when we gets the pads on. Antowain is a guy who has had good games against us in the past and I look forward to seeing what he can do when we get him on the field.

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