Q: How did it go out there today to see some new faces?
DB: Well it was good to come out here and see some new faces. Offensively we weren't as sharp as we would like to have been. But I think this is going to be good for us. I think it's going to be good, first of all to play and practice against this level of competition, their guys are coming off of a year where they were in the Super Bowl, so you couldn't ask for a better landmark to gauge where you stand right now. But we need to come out and be sharp and be competitive, we'll put the pads on tomorrow and take the tempo up a little bit and we're looking forward to it.
Q: It must have been tough for you guys to go back out after losing [Quarterbacks] Coach [Dick] Rehbein.
DB: It's a very difficult situation to deal with, to come out when you're used to having that guy there all the time and then to come out to the practice field for the first time with him not there, it's hard and it's different. But I think that the best way to pay him his respect and to honor him is to respect the game that he loved so much and come out and play at a high level and do things the way he would like to have seen them done. That's what I'm trying to do: I'm trying to go forward in a manner that would make him proud and hopefully the rest of the team will do that as well.
Q: Do you feel that the intensity went up a bit today?
DB: It did. When you get against some unfamiliar faces and when you get into a competitive situation with some new guys, the tempo of practice goes up a bit and that can do nothing but help us.
Q: Was it a mental break?
DB: Well, it was nice to see a different look and to play against some different guys and that does help.
Q: What's your agenda and the team's agenda for the exhibition game on Friday?
DB: I don't know that yet. You'll have to talk to Bill [Belichick] about that. But the thing that we have to do offensively in particular is that we have to come out at the start and demonstrating that we can move the ball. We've got a lot of new faces and we've had some guys banged up that are coming back hopefully soon. But we've got to go out as an offense and start demonstrating that we can play at a higher level and put more points on the board than we did last year.
Q: Do you start that today?
DB: Yeah. Like I said, you get into a competitive situation and you start to develop some confidence in your guys and start moving onward and upward. You can do that in practice but this is another step in that ladder as far as developing the confidence and the continuity you have offensively.
Q: What did you all do after learning of Coach Rehbein's death?
DB: We had a team meeting immediately afterwards. We had a little private service, just the team, and a few people said some words. It's a healing process that you go through. We're dealing with it, but at the same time that we're dealing with that, as I said earlier, the best way for us to pay respect to Dick's memory is to come out and perform at a high level in the game that he loved and dedicated his life to.
Q: Has it been a tough camp?
DB: Well, there have been a lot of things that have been different this camp, but there always are issues that you have to deal with. One of the determining factors in a successful football team is how you deal with adverse situations and we've had a lot of things to deal with this camp, I think for the most part, we've been able to respond and come out and get our work done and start making progress, but as I said, there are setbacks and one of the things that determines your success ultimately is how well you deal with some of the adversity.
Q: Did Dick ever talk to you about his heart problem?
DB: We knew. He told us last year a little bit about his situation. It was a private conversation that I'm not at liberty to share. But we did know that he had had a history of heart trouble. But it still was just a very unexpected blow and something that still really hasn't sunk in totally.
Q: What impressed you the most about him as a human being?
DB: Dick was the kind of guy that in a business that can be at times very impersonal, with so many guys coming and going and such a high pressured stress level, he was the kind of guy that when you came in, he would ask about your family, he would tell you stories about his family, and it was very evident that with him, his family came first and he was, above all else, a great father and a great husband and he made it a pleasure, in some very stressful times to come to work because you knew he was a guy who really cared about you personally as well as professionally.
Q: Technically, do you think he was a very good quarterbacks coach?
DB: Yes he was, he was a very good quarterback coach. He was a real technician. He stayed on us, didn't let us slip fundamentally and was a very good idea guy. I know that he was very instrumental in helping Charlie [Weis] comprise his game plans. He was a guy who had a lot of experience. He was very well respected. You look at his record, the fact that he was with two teams for eight years apiece, that says a lot in this profession. Because at the rate coaches move around, to stay with one team for an extended period is one of the great accomplishments that you can have.
Q: Given this team's declining records the last few years, what made you comfortable about this team's future to make a long-term commitment to this team in the offseason?
DB: I think that our organization, from the top down, has very good people, one of the best owners in football in Robert Kraft, our head coach is a guy that I have complete confidence in, and I really feel like this team is a team that's on its way up now and after being through the hard times, I feel that there's nothing more gratifying than being part of something and bringing it from the bottom up and watching the transition, watching the success. You saw it with the Giants last year, where they came off of a few down years and then all of a sudden they're in the Super Bowl. And it's very gratifying to be a part of that when it happens.
Q: Now you're one of the most tenured guys on the team, you and Troy [Brown].
DB: Yeah, it really is strange. It seems like yesterday I was the young guy just kind of trying to find his way around and now all of a sudden, I'm the guy that's got tenure on the team. It happened very, very fast.
Q: Have steps been taken to improve the offensive personnel on this team?
DB: Oh, no question. We've brought in a number of receivers. We brought in some offensive linemen. We upgraded our running back situation. We've got great competition across the board in camp this year. At a number of positions, we've got very high level of competition. I think that can only make you better.
Q: Is there a comfort level being with Charlie Weis as your offensive coordinator two years in a row?
DB: Charlie's a guy that I was comfortable with right away, but I think as an entire offense, we're starting to get a better grasp and a better feel for how he wants to attack and with another year in the system and our additions in personnel, I look forward to us being much more competitive next year.
Q: Was last year the toughest year for you?
DB: Well, whenever you lose, it's always hard. Was it the hardest? I don't know. But it was very, very difficult to go through that when you're not winning in this league after the amount of effort and the amount of heart that you put into these games and you don't win, that's a very tough situation to deal with. But that's done nothing but drive me to get back on top and start winning some ballgames.