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Lions QB Joey Harrington - 11/26/2002

On how much he watched the Thanksgiving game growing up: "I watched it every year. There was nothing else on. What else is competing on a Thursday at 9:30 a.m. out on the West Coast? You could wake up and watch the game which is what we really looked forward to on Thanksgiving morning."

On playing in first Thanksgiving game: "I am thrilled. I was a little hesitant at first when I found out I was going to play on Thanksgiving since it has always been such a big family holiday for me. Now that I am involved in it and part of the organization I am happy and love it."

On being a part of everybody's holiday now: "It will be a little different. I am excited about it. I am going to be on everyone's television set that is watching football on Thursday. There is nobody watching football that is not going to be watching us. That is a great thing to know. We will be on stage Thursday."

On concerns of the Patriots cornerbacks blitzing and coverage: "No – I am not concerned because every team does that. They have corners that will press, bail and that will play soft. You are not going to see anything from one team that you are not going to see from somebody else. Now, one team may do something more often. One team may press more or bail more but you are going to see every look from every team in this league because everybody is so talented. I don't get hung up on that stuff."

On planning for special defensive opponents such as Ty Law: "I don't worry about it. I work within the game plan. We designed our offense to exploit what we think is the best way to go after the Patriots. As long as I run the game plan I think we will be alright."

On how to prepare in such a short week: "A lot of rehab, very quickly – morning and evening. It is a tough grind to be honest. My body is telling me I should be resting today. On the other hand it was nice to get out, run around, and get loose. By the middle of practice I felt pretty good again. It was very helpful to be out there today."On the mental preparation:"It is tough. It is like cramming for a final exam, but I have done that plenty of times and have come out all right. I've got my degree at home so I will be alright."On what to expect different on Thursday:* There is nothing different. It is a game. You go out and line up against the other team. Each team has a shot of winning and you go out and play hard. There is nothing different to expect."On the fanfare of the game: " let the outside people worry about that stuff. That is more for the fans, the organization, and building up on TV. It doesn't change the fact that I have a short week to prepare against the defending Super Bowl champions. I can't worry about that stuff. It is nice to know that we are going to be on stage. Since I have less time to prepare I need to be specially focused this week."On what his favorite part of Thanksgiving is: "Ilike to be with my family. Some of my best memories are growing up and sitting around the table. We had such a huge family. Grandpa would always sit at the head of the table and start talking about how wonderful our family is. You never really got a chance to appreciate it until you went away. Once I went to college, I understood what he was talking about. It is going to be nice getting a chance to go back this weekend because this is going to be the first year that we will have Thanksgiving without Grandpa, so it will be nice to see my family again."On what he is thankful for this year: "I m thankful I get a chance to go home and see my family. I'm thankful for the support they have given me. I am a long way from home and I still feel that they are very attached and supportive. I am lucky because a lot of people don't have that support group and rock to come back to."On Lions fan support in Portland, Oregon: "I hve told some people they have a chance for a sister city. There is not much to hold onto back there with no real allegiance to a team. So the Lions have some fans back in Portland."*

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