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New England Patriots Quotes - August 20, 2003

T. Johnson: With the size that [Washington] is, he’s going to take up two guys primarily.

(On what the arrival of Ted Washington means for the defense)
With the size that he is, he's going to take up two guys primarily. That will allow us to play a little more freely. Not all the time, but you've got to account for him with more than one guy. That leaves somebody free and that's a little more fun for us inside guys.

(On the upcoming game in Philadelphia)
We're going into their place. They're opening a new stadium and we've got them again early in the season. It's an important game for a lot of reasons. If we go out there and play like we're capable of playing, that will help us when we play them in the regular season.

(On whether he's growing more comfortable in New England)
I am. When you don't know what's going on, it breeds hesitation. At this level, it you hesitate, you've lost. Right now, I'm comfortable with the system and the way that I'm being utilized. I'm settling into a role that I think is going to be a productive role. Hopefully, the best is yet to come.

(On Ted Washington)
He's like an immovable object. It's like hitting a brick wall. I know that the times I've played against him, it was like the best you could hope for was a stalemate and hope that the running back could cut off of him or something. He's big, he's smart, definitely strong, and a welcome addition to this team. He's a really smart guy. Really smart. He dissects plays pretty well. He just knows where things are going. I noticed when he was at Buffalo that he had a pretty good grasp of what we were running. He's a smart guy and he's going to be a heck of an addition.

(On what it feels like to play against Washington)
Try running into that steel beam for a couple of hours. That's about the equivalent of it.

(On the progress of the team through camp)
The second game wasn't exactly as pretty as we wanted it to be, but we got the 'W'. We still have a lot of room for improvement. By no means are we a championship-caliber team right now. But, I think we're on the right track and we just have to continue to improve.

(On the competition between himself and Daniel Pope)
He is a heck of a punter and a heck of a guy. He has been around and he has done it in the league before. I think he brought out the best of me and I think I did the same with him. I'm not paid to make decisions. It was their decision and I need to keep doing what I am doing.

(On whether he was worried at all during camp that his job was in jeopardy)
I never really thought about it. I have been doing this for a while now, so it is one of those things where you have to do it and get yourself ready for whatever happens.

(On whether Pope's presence in camp provided him with more motivation to succeed)
Most certainly. I have had times in my career where I didn't have any competition and not to say that you get relaxed, but you have nothing to compare it to. You go out there and do things every day and you don't have anything to measure it to. Dan hits a good ball, he is a little younger than I am, he warms up fast. He did a lot of things that I had to stay in my own frame of mind and not get to giddy about it. I had to just focus on my job.

(On how the acquisition of Ted Washington will help free the linebackers)
I know he helped us out tremendously when I was in Chicago. I hope he comes and does the same thing for our linebackers here.

(On how Washington's injury hurt the Bears defense last season)
He is a leader. He was one of the older guys on the defense. He was a veteran. He was pretty much one of the guys we looked up to as far as encouragement and knowing what we needed to do. He has been to the playoffs. He has been there and done it as far as football. I think we are looking for him to come in and play the role here.

(On whether Washington made his job easier)
He did in Chicago. He made it easier for the linebackers because you had to worry about him and put a double team on him. Even if he was double-teamed, he still was a productive player. Hopefully he comes in here and wants to work like everyone else and get his job done just like the last guy on the roster to the first guy on the roster.

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