Q: [Bill] Parcells use to say that you are what you are…
JM: You know what, I have always felt the same way.
Q: I have a hard time picturing you guys as a .500 team, I suppose you do too?
JM: We are what we are. I will go along with Bill. I have always felt that way. You are what you are. We're 2-2.
Q: Why are you that way?
JM: There are a lot of reasons. You can't ever pin it on any one particular thing, but we have had different reasons for winning and different reasons for losing. One of the things that has hurt us, as you guys know, is that we have thrown nine interceptions. Four of them, not all Peyton's [Manning] fault, I mean, wait a minute I didn't mean the four, I mean of the nine not all of them are Peyton's fault, but we have thrown nine interceptions, that leads the league. We have also thrown four for touchdowns to the opposing team, which is highly unusual. That is 28 points in the last three games. That is another reason. Another reason is that we have a very young, inexperienced defense that is playing hard, getting better, but still young and inexperienced.
Q: And they only have one interception?
JM: We only have one interception, right. When we say turnover, we don't fumble the ball and we haven't since I have been here, but I can't speak before that. We have thrown interceptions, but we have not taken the ball away from people the last few years either defensively. If you are going to turn the ball over you better take it away some. The interceptions have hurt us and again when I say that I am not putting it all on Peyton's shoulders because they haven't all been his fault, there have been different reasons, but you do that and then all of a sudden…we have been a little inconsistent on defense because of our inexperience and it adds up to 2-2. That is all I can say and there are other reasons. Don't say those are the only reasons. There are other reasons, but I am hitting some high points here for you.
Q: From the outside looking in it is more understandable why you might be struggling defensively, I think it kind of comes as a shock to those of us who see you regularly, that you are having as many problems with turnovers offensively as you are?
Q: Are they bad reads, bad throws?
JM: No, no, different reasons, different reasons. Tips, good play by the defense, miscommunication, receiver fell down, there are different reasons for it. Tipped balls, dropped balls, it goes through our guys' hands and they get it. It has been different reasons for them. Our offense the last two games has had tough days, played two good defensive teams in New England and Oakland. We are not going to score 40 points every game. That is all I can tell you. All I know is that is we are going to keep working and fighting and get through this.
Q: You have built your reputation as a great defensive coach, yet you have not held anybody to less than 23 points, is it just a case as you said of youth and inexperience?
JM: This year?
JM: Well when you say 23 points that hasn't all been the defense. When you see points allowed 28 of those were on returns for touchdowns on interceptions so don't lay all of those 100 and whatever points we have given up on the defense. We have got a bunch of young guys and new guys that are learning and playing hard. They are just going to have to go through a growth process and we are getting better. We played our best game defensively last week against Oakland. That was the best we have played in four games. The most consistently we've played in four games, but we still are making some mistakes and we need to quit making those mistakes and we need to keep getting better.
Q: How much game film have you watched of Tom Brady and what are your impressions of him?
JM: I have watched a lot of film of Tom Brady.
Q: All three games that he has played in the NFL?
JM: Oh yeah, yeah, I have watched everything.
Q: What are your impressions?
JM: Extremely impressed. He is playing very well. Tremendous poise, tremendous toughness. I mean he has gotten clobbered a few times, gotten the ball away and completed the pass. Great poise, I mean that is the thing that you are most impressed with. Really good under pressure, I mean I am talking about pressure of a game. What he did last week bringing them back there at the end of the game and then in overtime. He has made some great throws, some great decisions, he doesn't let the rush bother him. I just think he is playing extremely well. I can't say enough about him.
Q: When you think about a quarterback with great poise, Peyton had poise as a rookie, but he was a top choice in the league, you are talking about a sixth round pick?
JM: They come from all different rounds and draft picks and all of that kind of stuff. Not every first rounder turns out to be a great one, we have a great one and not every sixth rounder turns out one way or the other, but Bill [Belichick] has great confidence in him and obviously he showed something here in the last couple of years prior to his starting assignment against us and he has proven that he can do it. He has done it and he has done it in all situations. I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. I think he is an outstanding player. He has played extremely well.
Q: This has become suddenly a critical game for you guys, losing two in a row and already losing one to New England, this is a game you really can't afford to lose?
JM: I think all of them are important. I look at each game as very important in this business. You only get to play 16 and every one is important and that is kind of how we approach it, one at a time. They all count the same. That is our approach this week.
Q: You talked about your young and inexperienced defense, the Patriots added another weapon this week in Terry Glenn that you didn't see last time. How is that going to change your defensive scheme?
JM: Well it doesn't change anything other than the fact that we know that we have to face another outstanding receiver in Glenn. He is as talented a receiver as there is in the National Football League. He has added a lot to their ability to score points. He had a great game last week against San Diego, his first game back. He has got that kind of talent. He is obviously a guy that makes them better.
Q: As we have watched this match up over the years, it is amazing how difficult these games have been on both sides, it is such an incredible match up, no matter the records of the teams, why is that?
JM: I think that is just the National Football League. I think you see that throughout the league, not necessarily just in our division, but in every division throughout the NFL and I think it is becoming more that way all of the time.
Q: You see all of these teams, what is it about the Jets that gives Miami so much trouble?
JM: I don't know. I don't know. I can't speak for that because I am on the outside looking in on that one. You would get a better opinion from Jets coaches or Miami coaches, not from me.
Q: But you have seen the two of them and obviously knowing so much about them than we do…
JM: I don't worry about Miami and the Jets, I have to worry about the Colts.
Q: The last couple of years I think most people around the league would agree that the Colts are a better team than the Patriots, yet obviously given the match up you have had a tough time with them?
JM: Yes we have.
Q: What is it about them?
JM: I think they are a good team and I think they are really playing good right now. They have always had good defensive personnel, they are a well-coached team and they play hard. I don't know why. They are good. Maybe they have been better than people have taken them for. You know how it is in this business it is tough every week. I don't care what your record is. It is such a fine line between say 6-10 and 10-6. A lot of things can cause those wins or losses. You have to gear it up every week and it is going to be a battle. You know that, I don't care who it is or what their record is.
Q: Attitude-wise how are your guys this week? Are they angry because they have lost a couple or are they more quietly determined or are they shaken, how would you describe them?
JM: Maybe a combination of a lot of things. I think they are a little subdued today. They are down. They are upset. They don't like losing, none of us do. It is a natural reaction after losing a couple in a row, that's how we are. We have good people on this team and they will fight back and work hard and come out fighting Sunday. That is all you can do.
Q: Do you know the good part, you are at home and you never have to come back into this stadium again?
JM: That is not necessarily true. Oh that is right we don't have to come back into that stadium.
Q: That is a thing I think you would joyous about?
JM: When I was with the Saints we had pretty good success up there. Who knows, nothing surprises me anymore in this business.
Q: How much of the offensive problems do you credit maybe to the opposing defenses figuring out your scheme with James and Manning and Harrison?
JM: I don't know if that is it. Every team you play, defensively, they are going to work hard and the coaches are going to work hard and the players are going to challenge the players over there so they are going to try to take away things you do, but we have got other weapons. We still have to use our good players and they have to play well for us to be good on offense. That is all.