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Eddie George Conf. Call Transcript

George: Well Ted [Washington] is definitely a run stopper.



**Q: What do you see when you look at the Patriots defense? What kind of challenges do they pose for you?

EG:** Number one, they are a well-coached defense. Across the board, they have a great deal of talent. They are very disciplined. They know exactly what they are doing up front, and they don't make a lot of mistakes. The last time we played them up there, they gave us some problems and a few protection issues. But other than that, they are a powerful defensive unit.

**Q: Looking back at that last game, what do you take from that last game into this one? Is that game relevant anymore?

EG:** Of course not. The only relevance now is that we moved on to the next round, and that's going to New England. Obviously, we got our first playoff game out of the way so we don't have to worry about the first game jitters. We can just go out and play and go up there with a solid game plan and give it our best shot.

**Q: How do you come down off the emotional high of that? They are not in your division anymore, but the Ravens were under your skin. You broke the losing streak against them. To win it in the fashion that you did, with you coming back out, is that a tough game to put in the rear-view mirror right away?

EG:** No, not at all. It means we have got something greater ahead. Of course we have got that little monkey off our back as far as the Ravens and what they have done, but that's not the goal. The goal wasn't to just go beat the Ravens and that's it. The goal was to win the Championship. I think that is the biggest prize of them all. That's the determining factor. That's what keeps us going. It's not saying this is an emotional win and we are on to the next game and let's be flat. We need to play with a great deal of emotion. Every game has to be that level or greater, especially going on the road to New England.

**Q: You just talked about the fact that the first game means nothing because it was so early in the season. As you take a look at the Patriots on tape, as they have grown through the season and where they are now, what do you see in their growth and their ability?

EG:** They're stronger. When we faced them, they were missing some starters and they still beat us. Now they are back to full strength. They are jelled; they are a well-jelled and cohesive unit. They know what they are doing. They believe in their schemes. It's a team that has a great deal of experience. They have a Super Bowl ring, and they have some guys who have won a Super Bowl ring on their team. So going in with a team who has won a Super Bowl ring, they understand what it is like to play in the playoffs, it is going to be a great match up for us.

**Q: As you go against the Patriots defense, how hard is it for you to prepare for their defense?

EG:** Very difficult because you don't know what to expect from their schemes week-to-week. They are not just going to line up a certain way. Or they will, but they have certain things for what we do well. We understand that. Coach [Bill] Belichick is a great coach. He is a great defensive-minded coach. He is going to have some wrinkles for us that we may not be expecting, but we are going to do our best to figure it out and try to thread guys out along with him.

**Q: As a runner who has to go through the tackles, what is having Ted Washington in there mean to them? He wasn't even playing in the first game. You have gone up against Ted in your career before.

EG:** Well Ted [Washington] is definitely a run stopper. He requires someone'

**Q: What makes you guys so tough to beat on the road in the last five or six years?

EG:** I don't know. I guess we just have that mindset of not having a home my first few years in my career. We enjoy going on the road.

**Q: How is your shoulder? Do you feel 100 percent?

EG:** It's not 100 percent, no. It's definitely not 100 percent, but it is about 60-70 percent.

**Q: To go to the Super Bowl this year, you are going to have to win three games on the road. Have you guys thought back to 1999, when you won at Jacksonville, and at Indianapolis to go to the Super Bowl, and try to figure out what it was that you did right then that you are going to have to do again this year?

EG:** Well, we've got one of them out of the way. We have to go in and just really focus, know exactly what we are doing. We can't put ourselves in position, especially this week, to give the ball up. You've got to protect the football. You've got to do everything right to have a chance to win. New England is a well-disciplined team. Their offense is outstanding. Tom Brady is playing the best football I've ever seen. They're dangerous; their offense is dangerous. And their special teams is among the best in the NFL. So we have our work cut out for us, and we need to go out there knowing every assignment, what we're doing and what they're doing, and play with a great deal of effort.

**Q: Can you see this as the toughest game of the year for you guys?

EG:** Oh by far. The Number One seed. They have home-field advantage. They've won 12 straight games since they've played us. Amongst those 12 teams, seven out of the twelve have a record of .500 or better. They are not playing a bunch of slouches. They are a very good, solid football team. They are a championship-caliber football team.

**Q: Is it an advantage that you have already played a very physical team and beat a physical team last week in Baltimore coming into New England. Does that help you?

EG:** I think it prepares us in the mindset that we have already played a tough game and we know what to expect going in to New England. It's not going to be easier. So if anything, I think the environment that we are use to, with the physical aspects of it, the speed of it we are use to. We just need to bear down on the execution part a little better.

**Q: Who is most responsible for that attitude? It seems as if you guys aren't banged up than something is wrong with the world. Yet you go in there and play as if you are not hurt. Who is most responsible for that physical tough attitude that you guys have on this team?

EG:** I think every individual. I think we feed off each other. I don't think one man is responsible. I think you look at what Steve [McNair] has done throughout his career, and even this year. And myself, we have all fought through injuries and the young guys are stepping it up. At this time of year, you can't afford to be hurt. Unless you are on crutches or in a sling or something, you need to be out on the football field trying to help this team win.

**Q: I think you guys have now won 11 or more games in four of the last five years, something like that, how proud are you in this age of parity where it seems like there are different playoff teams every year? How proud of you of the fact that it has been a sustained run here for Tennessee?

EG:** It has been great. It is good to be a part of that. I guess without winning a SuperBowl, you can call it a miniature dynasty of being successful. That's all good and well, winning those games, but you want to win the biggest one of all, and that's the Super Bowl, to put a stamp on it all.

**Q: Do you feel like it is unfair that you have been so good for so long, yet other teams have popped up and won Super Bowls and fallen down and you haven't?

EG:** It's not unfair at all. That just shows the willingness to get back. If anything, it shows the mindset of a champion. Although we haven't won the trophy, but to continually get up after time and time again not making it and finding ourselves back in the position. It is definitely the mindset and the heart of the champion. We'll continue to do that. Regardless of the outcome, I think this team has been successful. We have a lot of great guys on this team, and we all understand what it takes to win.

**Q: You talked about the Ted Washington frees up the linebackers on this defense. One of those linebackers is an old friend, Mike Vrabel. Does that add anything to playing against him or playing against the Patriots that you face a guy that you played in college?

EG:** No. Not really. Other than the fact that I know that he's tough. Mike is one of the toughest guys that I have ever played with. I loved playing Mike at Ohio State. I love his game. He is 100 percent guy, who is always around the ball. He is going to give you the extra effort to win. He understands the game and I love him to death. It is going to be a great battle between us.

**Q: Does he converse during the game? Does he talk during the game? Or does he pretty much play straight ahead?

EG:** No. He doesn't talk trash. He just does his job. He'll let you know that he beat you, but other than that Mike is a hard worker.

**Q: How much credit do you give Jeff [Fisher] for coming up with an atmosphere where year after year you guys come out with the fire where you put up 11 or more wins?

EG:** Definitely. Everything starts from the top and Jeff has done an excellent job. I think tremendous credit to Coach [Bill] Belichick, but I think Jeff is definitely deserving of Coach of the Year. He has done it year in and year out. He's been with us through tough times. When he finally got settled in, he continued to put us into a position from a mindset standpoint, a game plan standpoint and the belief standpoint to compete year in and year out in the playoffs and for the Super Bowl.

**Q: You got the jitters out in the first game, is that something that the Patriots will face you think having had a week off?

EG:** I could say that if it were a team that hadn't gone to the playoffs, but considering that those guys that played in the playoffs and won a Super Bowl. It won't affect them whatsoever. I think that if anything they'll take advantage of that week off and they will come out fresh and focused. And we have to come in and match that intensity. It makes it an even keel game

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