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George Seifert Pre-Game Press Conference

Panthers Head Coach George Seifert speaks to New England media about the upcoming game against the Pats on Sunday.To read a transcript, click below.



Q: What about this rather surprising Patriots team has impressed you?

GS: As far as what impresses me, I think it's that all areas seem to be playing so well together. They're playing so well as a team. You see the effort level of the organization and it's just a heck of a team effort.

Q: That was not expected by most of us foresighted pundits at the start of the year. I wouldn't think they were your pick for AFC East champs.

GS: In that I don't really know the division that well, I really hadn't given that that much thought, so I don't know how I would have predicted it. I probably wouldn't have because I didn't have enough information.

Q: How do you look at a game like this where you guys are playing for pride to try to avoid the stigma of a 15-loss year and they're playing to try to wrap up a division title. How do you assess that?

GS: Well, I think obviously you basically expressed it. We're interested in … We didn't play well last week. We were uninspired and at least in most of the games that we've played, we've made ballgames out of them and there's been some suspense to it. I think we'd like to end the season on a positive note, but at the same time we know we're up against an awfully good opponent.

Q: What about the Patriots gets your attention the most?

GS: It's what I expressed before. How well they're playing as a total team. This is one of those things where it's got to be fun to coach this group because you sense it's truly a team effort. It's not as though there's a star or two that's allowing all this to happen. The entire team's involved. That's a pretty positive statement about the coaching as well.

Q: Truly this can't be the most fun year of your distinguished career.

GS: No, absolutely not. It's been a very difficult year for everybody involved. Not just myself, but certainly the ownership and fans and the players and coaches. It's an unfortunate situation, but you're right, it's been no fun.

Q: I've seen you at Super Bowls when no one would ever question the job you have done and clearly you have not forgotten how to coach after all your years in this business. How do you assess why this team is where it is?

GS: We'd be here too long if I got into all the details of it. There's a variety of reasons. We haven't particularly gotten it done. The one reason that we've been able to maintain our sanity through the entire process is that we've got a good group of players to work with from the standpoint of how they've handled themselves in the locker room and off the field and so forth. The practices have been good and they've worked hard in some very difficult situations.

Q: Why did you decide to get back into coaching? Do you wish you hadn't?

GS: No. Obviously I'm not enjoying this particular part of it. There are parts of it that you do enjoy, but as far as the outcome, no. I have no regrets from that standpoint. I stand by my decision. I missed the camaraderie with the coaches and players and the structure of the lifestyle, basically.

Q: You've talked about how the Patriots have played as a team, but individually – guys like Troy Brown and Tom Brady – can you assess them a little bit?

GS: I think that the unique part of it, as I've already expressed a couple of times, is that players who may not have been expected to do as well as they've done come to the front, but that often happens when the whole team just kind of for whatever reasons, the personality of the players are put together and then the coaching of those players has allowed this to be one big effort.

Q: Does it remind you of any team that you've had?

GS: I can't really say that. No.

Q: Is Bill [Belichick] any different tactically from when he was in Cleveland? Do you notice anything significant?

GS: I really don't. I have to admit that I don't … I'm at that age right now where I can't specifically remember that much about the Cleveland teams.

Q: What do you think this game will come down to on Sunday?

GS: I think we're a club that's very good at controlling the ball and running the ball and we're at some point going to have to get off some blocks and get to he ball carrier to prevent the game from being taken away from us from that standpoint. They've been quite stingy on defense. We've been inconsistent offensively. We're going to have to be more consistent certainly with our offensive play.

Q: Has Troy Brown arrived at the stage where he's no longer going to sneak up on people? He's been "underrated" all these years. It seems the secret's out now.

GS: I think that players and coaches as they watch these films and so forth, regardless of who you're preparing for, you look at the best that a player can do and you prepare for that. Even if a team is not doing well, you ask what the club is capable of doing on their best day and prepare for that.

Q: Has it surprised you how well Tom Brady has played?

GS: He did well against us in our preseason game. He looked pretty efficient in that game. So the fact that he's maintained that level, we saw it firsthand. I can't say I'm surprised, because we saw it firsthand.

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