Q: **What are your thoughts over the last couple of weeks, with an increase in penalties and some struggles in the coverage units that may have cropped up?
MS: I think that the penalties are disappointing. But at the same time, you don't want to be less aggressive. Guys are playing hard, playing aggressive, trying to make plays and penalties are going to happen. But there are some we can avoid and some that come down to technique. Hopefully we can get some of that cleaned up. You never fault a guy for playing hard and playing aggressive and penalties are part of the game. As far as coverage is concerned, I think to the man, I think everybody can just do their job a little bit better. It's not one specific guy. All 11 guys out there can do their job a little bit better. We just have to focus on getting more hats to the football, have to focus on defeating one-on-one blocks. When guys are getting double teamed, there are going to be guys getting freed up and they have to make plays when they can. Again, it's not a lack of effort; it's not a lack of preparation. It's just something we have to go out and execute a little bit better.
Q:You probably noticed a new teammate out at practice [LaQuan Williams]. Just from preparing against him when you were playing Baltimore, what do you remember?
MS: He plays very hard. He has a high motor. He can run really well. I remember a couple years ago, he made a big play against us in the AFC Championship Game. He has a lot of experience and those guys in Baltimore are well coached and they play the game the right way. He was around some great players in [Brendon] Ayanbadejo and Corey Graham so I'm sure he learned some things from those guys. It will definitely be a boost for us. We're happy to have him. He was eager to work hard today and asked a lot of questions and tried to get caught up to speed.
Q:Refresh my memory on the AFC Championship Game and the play he made. Was it in the kicking game?
MS: He forced a fumble against us on a kickoff. We were returning a kickoff and he forced a fumble. That was a big play for them in a big game.
Q:Has the play come up since he got here today?
MS: I think [Special Teams Coordinator] Scott [O'Brien] may have mentioned it a time or two.
Q:Sometimes in training camp, lighthearted stuff can bring players together. Do you find that there's a fine line between team building and when it goes too far?
MS: There's definitely a fine line. Case-by-case, every individual is different. With one guy you may be able to push certain buttons and with another guy, maybe you can't push those same buttons. You have to be sensitive and in-tune to who it is that you're dealing with, what teammate it is and obviously your relationship with every guy is different. I may have some fun with Julian [Edelman] because him and I live together but another guy that I don't know as well, you treat him in a different way. It's case-by-case and you just have to be smart and in-tune to who you're dealing with.
Q:Is there an increased responsibility as a captain to make sure that things don't go over the line with anybody?
MS: I think that's part of our responsibility for sure. I don't care if you've been in this league 20 years or you've been in this league three weeks. We respect everybody here and that's important to us. We respect everybody here because we're all here for the same reason, trying to accomplish the same goal. We're all on the same team. Respect is a huge thing for us. I think we have a locker room with a lot of respect. I'm not saying that we don't have our fun, because there's a time and a place for that but we always do it within the boundaries of respect.
Q:Obviously you can't comment on another locker room because you're not in that locker room, but when you read things happening in other places, do you as players in this locker room learn from that and make sure it doesn't happen here?
MS: I think in a general sense, when things happen on other teams, whatever it may be, there are lessons to be learned there. I think sometimes it's better to learn from someone else's experience than making that mistake yourself. As you said, I cannot comment on what's going on down there, [I] don't know anything about that locker room. All we can do is focus on the guys here and continue the tradition of respect and brotherhood that we've had around here since I've been here and before I got here and just worry about us. That's all we can do.
Q:You have four games on the road. How important is that for a football team coming back off the bye?
MS: It's going to be huge for us to play well and play together on the road. We have to bring our own energy and we have to play great complementary football. It's so easy to go into an opponent's stadium and let their crowd get into the game and the momentum swings just like that. I think the biggest for us is just focus on us and to the man, continue to try to do our job better. Take this week to do some self-scouting and look at what we can improve on the second part of the season and hopefully continue to put good football games together as a team moving forward.