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Replay: Best of Radio Thu Apr 18 - 02:00 PM | Tue Apr 23 - 11:55 AM

Mike Vrabel Post Game Press Conf Transcript

Vrabel: We’ve been smart about it. I’ve been able to stay out of harm and not set it back at all.



            **MV:**  I think first and foremost we put a lot into this game.  We knew how important it was and what time in the season we were at where you could start to go one way or another.   We knew it was important with the schedule that we had coming up that we needed to win this football game.  

**Q: Is that your little guy?

MV:** Yeah, it is. I promise he could come in after the game. I didn't know it was going to be like this. He would remember if I didn't.

**Q: How great is it to be back on the field?

MV:** We've been smart about it. I've been able to stay out of harm and not set it back at all. Playing on third down and nickel. Last week didn't get a lot of snaps, which is probably good for the arm. And this week, I thought I could progress a little more and situations called for a lot more nickel. They run a lot of 11-personnel, and we were able to get out there. We worked all week on being able to just confuse whatever quarterback was in the game, figuring if they split the reps in practice, they maybe they wouldn't be as sharp as they normally are.

**Q: A lot of people didn't know that you have been playing with a broken arm. When you go out there, are you thinking about that? Are you cautious of it? Or what?

MV:** Once you get out there, you just forget about everything that's going on there and just remember that you are playing football and that guys on your team are playing hurt. I think that's the team I took from it. Being injured is watching how many guys that are playing through some pain. Just try to use that as motivation to get back as soon as possible.

**Q: Why so many sacks today? Did you have more freedom to line up different places?

MV:** Well, we worked on it a lot. When you work on stuff and you pay attention to details, it was going to come down to a lot of one-on-one games. You've got to beat your man, or beat the back, sometimes if you get put on a back, you've got win. If they let you go, if they let you free, you got to win. You've got to play. That's what happened on the one. And the "tuck rule" got us on another one.

**Q: In that late series, the timing perfectly, they had an offsides on that and you came right across on that and then right after that you had the sack?

MV:** Yeah, they were going with the silent count and the double head bob and as the game progresses you can get a little key on it and kind of time it up a little bit. They knew we were bringing pressure and you can't just sit in there and let guys run by you. So they are just trying to get off on the ball too.

**Q: [inaudible]

MV:** You're not playing too much run at that point. I think you can live with a draw play every now and then if you are trying to get pressure on a quarterback.

**Q: Were you actively looking to strip the ball?

MV:** We work on that so much. From the first day of training camp, we are working on ball disruption. There are so many opportunities out there, whether the way the guys holds the ball or whether the way a guy is carrying it, we knew that they had give up some fumbles. I think all of the good rushers, sometimes you see those guys who don't get sacks, they don't get hits on the quarterback, they get strips and those are sacks. You've got to look for the ball. The name of this game is scoring and you score with the ball, so I think we make a conscious effort of getting the ball out.

**Q: Half-way point is a point where people like to assess. Can you talk about not only that you have a 6-2 record but the adversity this team had to overcome to get to that pretty good record?

MV:** This is why I came back is to be a part of this team and be a part of what we are doing. Watching those guys, the effort they put out in the weeks that I was out is frustrating. You want to be a part of that and you want to be a part of guys playing hard, winning football.

**Q: What kind of foundation does this record give you?

MV:** Well, it doesn't give us really anything. We have to prepare for Denver and then maybe we can sit back and reflect a little bit during the bye week, but really you can't get caught up in what you did. I think you are going to start to back up if you did that and worry about what was going on last week.

**Q: You said you forget about the injury when you are out there?

MV:** I guess sometimes you can. You get it hit and you know it's there, but I think when you are trying to play you just try to do everything that you can do subconsciously. You try to do the things that you did before. I'm a guy that's got to use his hands a lot, that's probably the plus that I have. But you just have to trust it and get back to doing that.

**Q: Being and Akron native and an Ohio State grad is this game playing the Browns…

MV:** Yeah, Hopefully a lot of people back home were watching the game. I'm sure they covered it. People in Columbus and Akron, Cleveland area; that would be good.

**Q: Were you a Browns fan?

MV:** I was. Growing up, I was a Dog-pounder. I was a Browns fan.

**Q: Were they trying to get you on the back?

MV:** Not on the back specifically. We're over there for different reasons. Jamel White is a good back. You like to try to get some hands on him when he is going out, so he's not just getting a free run on the linebacker or free run into the secondary jumping off with some space. So I think initially that's what our game plan was. Also, if they did slide the line, then you would be on a back. It worked out the one time where I got the fumble that they did slide it and ended up on him.

**Q: Do you still wear something on your arm?

MV:** Yeah, I'm still wearing something.

**Q: You mentioned the "tuck rule," but as a Patriot you guys could never argue with it…

MV:** No, right now, we'll take any tuck rule that we can get. I think that's our play, we get that a couple times a year.

**Q: When you get a couple sacks, do you get on a roll?

MV:** I think this is a game of confidence and momentum, just like any sport. Yeah, sure. It plays up. You get a couple, then Willie [McGinest] and [Richard] Seymour or [Dan] Klecko want to come after the quarterback too. They don't want one guy getting everything. So it does. It's a good situation. Things kind of snowball. One week, it's the line. One week, it's the secondary. It just happened to be a day for me to take advantage.

**Q: I know it's only the midpoint, but it certainly didn't help you being out, but did it make your legs fresher at this point?

MV:** I don't know if you can ever simulate game-conditioning, especially on that field. You might as well go play on a beach and see how your legs feel. I think when you are limited to just a nickel package or whatever you are probably going to have a little bit. When you are out there playing every down, like [Roman Phifer], he doesn't get tired. I would like to ask him what he's doing. He doesn't have the luxury to get tired. Him and Tedy [Bruschi], they just play

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