New England Patriots linebacker Junior Seau addresses the media during his conference call on Monday, December 8, 2008.
Q: Junior, can you talk about the task at hand for you guys going forward? Given the injury situation, what do you guys have to do? What's the mindset for you guys?
JS: Basically our mindset is to go out and honestly look at film today and take it one day at a time. We're not going to worry about injuries, it is what it is and the team that we put out on the field will be able to focus on winning that game.
Q: How do you feel today? How sore are you, or not sore how do you feel after your first game in almost a year?
JS: You definitely use different muscles surfing and packing coolers for volleyball games. There are some fast twitch muscles that are kind of sore but other than that I feel good.
Q: Can you go over the task at hand for you guys and what it's going to take, especially with the defense playing shorthanded?
JS: We're definitely going to have to pay attention to details in terms of the scheme. Really relying on the scheme in itself and believing in each other. We're really going to just have to pull together and that's what we're going to do.
Q: Did it feel like riding a bike at all, getting out there and getting back into it so quickly and playing as much as you did?
JS: Yeah it did. It was definitely a familiar sight. I felt at peace in going in, I really did. Being part of the NFL and back on Sunday it's something that I live for and that hasn't changed.
Q: Was the feel of the locker room the same for you too? The attitude and what you saw from the players, even with the younger players around you?
JS: Well it's a different team. When you say 'is it different?' - I expect it to be different. What we have to do is adjust to the team which we have, the players, the character which we are building and we go from there. For us to think we're going to have the same team, the same attitude, the same mentality that we had last year would be false.
Q: Did you go back to giving the pregame speeches or have they given that honor to somebody else?
JS: That will never change. That will never change. I definitely love to share the experience in the years which I've had and having been down that road before and sharing it with the young guys, it was definitely something that the players were looking forward to. Hopefully I didn't disappoint them.
Q: What kind of memories does playing the Oakland Raiders bring up from your old days in San Diego?
JS: Well, they don't like me [laughter]. But, being part of an organization that played them twice a year with San Diego, it was definitely a tough environment playing in the end zone with the Black Hole behind you and it's cheers that you can do without.
Q: With younger guys it's often not the physical thing that they need to catch up on – it's the mental thing. In your case having the experience playing in this system, is it more of a physical thing for you now than a mental thing as far as getting back into the swing of things?
JS: I'll tell you what. My experience and my knowledge of the game is so much faster than my 40 time. It really is and it's been that way for a good six or seven years. With me coming back I wasn't worried about the 40-yard dash or lifting weights, breaking records on the bench press. It was basically just getting the momentum and the rhythm where calls were just second nature in terms of terminology. That's basically what I did with the two days that I had to experience the game plan.
Q: Before you came back to the Patriots, as you watched them as a spectator at home were you amazed at all the injuries they've had this year and their ability to overcome them for the most part?
JS: It really is a testament to the system and the coaching staff and what they do with the schemes. Obviously being competitive in the National Football League with the injuries which occurred this season, it's pretty impressive to see that we're still in the hunt.