Q:What have you been up to for the last hour and 10 minutes? [since the conference call was initially scheduled to begin.]
MS:Studying, watching a little tape, trying to figure out how to win.
Q:What did you see?
MS:Well, I mean, the same thing you see every time you see these guys. They're a disciplined group. They're great athletes. They're led by [Vince] Wilfork and [Brandon] Spikes and [Jerod] Mayo, [Patrick] Chung and [Devin] McCourty. They're standout players. Their D-Line looks great. I think that Chandler [Jones] kid looks good. It's always just a tough group, and then they're lead by a coach knowledgeable of defensive schemes and they're so good at preparing for games, that's a tough combination. We're going to have to be at our best.
Q:The numbers suggest that the Patriots secondary isn't quite performing up to standards this year, but what do you see from the group overall?
MS:I think they're a great group of players. I know they're always capable of having big games and I know they're going to be in the right position, so it's my job to be smart with the football. It's always a challenge, no matter what the numbers say, against these guys. I have a lot of respect for their team. It's going to be a good challenge for us.
Q:I hear that you and Marquice Cole had a fun relationship when he was your teammate in New York. What do you remember about that?
MS:'Quice. 'Quice is the man. He's just an energetic guy. Really played great for us on special teams, on defense, but he's one of the best teammates you could ever ask for, so I know they've got a great player and a guy that can fit in anywhere. [He's] one of those guys you never want to see leave your building, but sometimes that stuff happens. It's too bad, but I love him as a player and even more as a person. It will be cool to see him, but we've got to try to win and put the friendship aside for a little bit.
Q:I hear you guys used to make fun little bets each week. What are some of the unique things you guys used to wager on?
MS:I mean, anything. Just shooting empty water bottles in the trash can and just to go get the other person pizza or go get the other person food. I mean, it was anything. Something in the training room, hit so and so with this medicine ball, whatever. Hit him in the leg is a couple points, hit him in the chest is five points or whatever, hit him in the head and you get 10 points or whatever. We would just play stuff to get you through the day and to joke around. He's serious and ready to play at all times, but he knows how to have a good time.
Q:How do you think you've played this year and do you feel like the media criticism is fair based on your performances?
MS:You know, you are what your record says. That's the way you're judged. There are a ton of teams at 3-3 and we're trying to just keep playing hard and do well. But as far as my personal play, we've just got to get more wins. I think there are a few throws that I want back and stuff, but that's natural. We're working through some personnel issues here, getting guys healthy, so that's helped this last week. But you know, I'm just trying to find ways to get wins and not really worry about outside opinions.
Q:From what you've seen on tape of the Patriots defense, what seems to be the best way to attack this group?
MS:That's a good question every time we play them. It's not going to be easy to run the ball against them. It's not going to be easy to throw it. So, we're going to have to do our best to play well, take care of the football and sustain drives, but it's never easy. You name it; we have to do it well.
Q:Are you noticing a tendency in the Patriots secondary that explains why they've given up so many long passes?
MS:Different plays happen at different times for different reasons. I think some of them have been really good throws. Some have been pretty good schemes that have gotten guys open. So that kind of stuff happens to any secondary, but I think these guys are a tough group and they always play well, so it's going to be a good challenge for us.
Q:You said you are what your record shows and the Patriots are 3-3. Do you look at them as a 3-3 team or are you kind of surprised that you could pass them in the standings with a win Sunday?
MS:I mean, that's what both teams are hoping to do: to gain first place in the division, [which] obviously is at stake. We take a lot of pride in these divisional games, so hopefully we find a way to win this one and move on. We'll wind up facing them again, so it's always fun getting together with these guys and it's always competitive. It's just the way it's lined up this time.
Q:How has your chemistry been with Tim Tebow?
MS:He's been great. He's a hard worker and I think he's been fun to have around. It's been a good relationship and he's trying to help us in any way he can, so that's good. He's done a great job on special teams and doing some of the Wildcat stuff, so it's certainly a real plus for us.
Q:From an outsider's point of view, it seems like it would be hard to run a two-quarterback system. I know you guys haven't done it regularly, but when you have at times, has it been hard for you guys to establish or sustain any kind of rhythm in a situation like that?
MS:Coach [Tony] Sparano, I think, has done a good job with it. He does his best to keep us both comfortable, but at the same time, when your number is called, you've got to play well, whether you're on the field for 60-plus plays or just a couple. We both have to play well when we're in there and that's what we're trying to do.
Q:There was some question over the offseason as to whether or not the organization did enough to improve from last season. Do you feel like they have put you in a position to succeed or is there more that could be done personnel-wise?
MS:I mean, personnel stuff, that's not my position to say. I think that's their opinion to put the best team they possibly can together and then it's my job to get the best out of those guys. That's where I come in and try and do that, but that's all for speculators and people on the outside to debate about.