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Mike Vrabel Press Conference Quotes

*(on whether his career has exceeded his expectations)
*"Yes, I would say so. I don't know how many guys come into the NFL thinking they are going to play 11 years, first of all. To win three Super Bowls, go to a Pro Bowl, I would say that it has probably exceeded any expectation at the time I was a third-round draft pick of the Steelers in 1997."

*(on when it hit him that he was here at the Super Bowl)
*"It kind of happens fast. You go from the plane to the bus, and as soon as you get here, it hits you. The signs are up, the security is up, everybody has to have a badge. It does come on you pretty quickly. I think you just take it in stride and try to enjoy it. Just slow down and take a look around and see what is really going on and what is happening around you and just try to have a good time."

*(on how important it is to enjoy this week)
*"I think you have to go out there and you have to have fun. When you're not having fun, and you're tight and tense out there playing football, I think your performance reflects that. When you're playing your best, you're loose and relaxed and letting the game come to you."

*(on how hard it is to believe it has been three years since the last time they were here)
*"Time has certainly gone by quickly. The Indianapolis game last year was certainly not the way we wanted to end last season. We talked about being in that position again this year and trying to make sure that result didn't happen. That was a big goal for us, and now we're moving on to a new opponent in even a bigger game."

*(on whether last year's loss to Indianapolis serves as motivation)
*"I don't really think we're motivated by that. I think it's an awareness to see how close you were and how much work you put in and how much you had to endure after that loss."

*(on LB Tedy Bruschi)
*"Every day I come to work with Tedy, I'm inspired. Same with Junior (Seau) and guys like that. Football is important to them, guys on this team are important to them, they put a lot into it, and they get a lot out. I'll always remember being on the field and starting next to Tedy that game after he came back from a stroke. I'll remember the reaction from the fans and the reaction from the players. It was special, and I'll always remember it."

*(on whether Bruschi will be in the Hall of Fame)
*"I don't vote, but if I did, I would certainly vote for him. What he has meant to this franchise over the course of 12 years, and hopefully more after this season, he always seems to be front and center of what we're doing. His play only goes so far. It's his demeanor, the way he carries himself. Everybody says he represents the Patriots, and I agree with Rodney (Harrison) who is always pointing to the guy on the helmet; that's Tedy. He brings a lot of those qualities—the hard work, the determination, the drive. He stays very humble, and I've learned a lot from him."

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