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Matthew Slater Press Conference Transcript

Patriots Wide Receiver Matthew Slater addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, January 2, 2014.

Q: Will you watch any of the games this weekend?

MS: Definitely. It's always fun to be able to watch. Obviously this weekend we're going to watch with a little bit of extra interest and extra focus to see who we end up with. So, it should be a fun weekend not only for the fans but for ourselves as well.

Q: Are you able to watch as a fan?

MS: No. I haven't been able to watch a game as a football fan in a while. You always look at it with a different perspective, but especially when you're potentially going to playing one of those teams it will be a lot different.

Q: Do you focus on special teams when you watch?

MS: As much as I can. It's hard on the TV copy because they don't show the good angle for the kicking game. [We'll] definitely just be looking at their guys as best we can. It will be fun to watch it as well, to go back to your question, it will be fun still to watch. We're just waiting to see who we're going to end up with.

Q: I'm sure you watch and take some stuff in here and there and then when you come in here and practice that gets erased. Do you say, 'I remember seeing that, I can actually apply that'?

MS: There may be a few things here and there but when we come in and coach gives us the game plan, we have to stick to that as best we can. Obviously you're going to pick up more details when you watch the game film with different angles and things like that. You can take one or two things maybe from the game but you just get a general feel for the team and how they're playing and who their playmakers are and things like that.

Q: You're always the guy in the middle of the crowd in the postgame huddle. How did that come to be?

MS: I think I kind of fell into that role earlier this year. Jerod [Mayo] went out with his injury and I guess the guys started looking to me to do that. I remember when Tedy [Bruschi] was here and he did it. It's been a lot of fun for me, especially when we're winning games to be able to do it. It's a neat deal.

Q: Does it feel natural to you or do you have to summon that loud voice?

MS: I think as I've gotten older around here, I've gotten a little more comfortable being a little bit more vocal. I'm not necessarily a rah-rah type leader, but I can make exceptions from time to time.

Q: Do you feel like the team is getting what they need to get out of this bye week so far?

MS: I'm encouraged by what we've been able to do so far. We got some good work today in the elements which I thought was good. You expect to play in something like that at some point this year. I think we've gotten [a chance] to go back to the basics and focus on the fundamentals and hopefully we can get another good day [in] tomorrow and then as the weekend comes, hopefully we can take advantage of some time off and get off our feet and try to get our legs back underneath us. So, so far I think we're headed in the right direction but I still think there are some things that we can do to take advantage of this bye.

Q: With playoffs being a one-and-done situation, every special teams play can be a game-changer. Does that fire you up?

MS: No question. I think we have to be able to up our focus and our sense of urgency knowing that if we make a positive play it can really help our team and if we have a situation where we're giving up plays that can hurt our team – you look at the way we played kickoff coverage last year against Houston, that was really disappointing. You want to avoid situations like that and hopefully continue to play well, like we have been all year.

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