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Patriots Locker Room Quotes - 1/16/2008

New England Patriots linebackers Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel discuss the upcoming Patriots - Chargers AFC Championship game.


Q: What do you think about the Chargers injury situation?

TB: I can only go by what I see on film and what I see on film is that no matter who is in there, they are good. No matter what running back it is, no matter what offensive lineman is, they are scoring points and moving the ball as I look at them offensively. I just see a good team, no matter who is in there.

Q: What impressed you the most in their game against the Colts?

TB: I think their grit. I think that's a way they've learned how to be. They just keep fighting and fighting. That is proven with the win streak they have over the last half of the season since Thanksgiving. We've said it in this locker room all along since the beginning of the season since September, October, it's important, But when you get to November, December and January when you're playing your best football that's what's most important, now they are playing their best.

Q: Beside LaDainian Tomlinson, what makes the Chargers so effective at moving the football?

TB: The one constant they have is offensive line play, how they're playing well together. They've got a couple guys, two or three or maybe four guys that really do a great job of getting a hat on a hat and really clamping on and guys can't shed them. They do a great job of opening holes or providing pass protection no matter who the quarterback is where they can get the ball off.

Q: Does the loss in the AFC Championship last year still linger in your mind?

TB: It gives you experience. I know what it's like to win it, I know what it's like to lose it, you know both sides of the spectrum. In terms of motivation, my motivation comes from right now. It doesn't need anything to motivate me that happened three or four months ago. It's about trying to be successful right now in the game we have coming up. Thinking about last year -- I haven't really done it. It's just about me wanting to win the AFC again and this is our opportunity.

Q: How good is this group of linebackers?

TB: Since the time a few months ago, the one difference we have is not having Rosie (Rosevelt Colvin) and we miss Rosie in what he can do -- the spice that he provides in this locker room. Besides that, we're still out there. We're having to step up a little bit more because we're one man down. We're still out there playing hard and doing things to help the team win.

Q: How difficult is it to contain LaDainian Tomlinson?

TB: You sort of have to be everywhere in the run game. They'll keep it front side and also cut it backside. He's a runner that will find the hole. Just when you think he's running the ball, there's a play fake and he can get it on a screen pass. You have to expect him in running game and the passing game. He's a very dangerous player. He was the MVP last year and that we well-deserved. He's a guy you have to focus on every down.


Q: What do you see on film that sticks out about the Chargers?

MV: I see a confident football team. I see a physical football team. Philip's [Rivers] making plays. The receivers are becoming a huge part of their offense. You always knew they had [Antonio] Gates and he was going to catch everything that was thrown his way. Those big receivers are making plays so that just gives them two more options.

Q: Does seeing them so many times over the past year give them an edge?

MV: I think they are playing so much better than they were last year or at the beginning of the season that the only thing you can take [from] our game earlier this year is the guy you're going against or the personality of his style. They are running the same plays; they are just running them better. We can take and see how they run and how they like to block. The whole team is just playing a lot better.

Q: Do you expect to see LaDainian Tomlinson's best game?

MV: He's had a lot of great games in his career. We would expect that every time we play him we're going to get his best effort.

Q: What are some changes you're going to have to make this week after last week?

MV: We're going to have the start the game a little better. We have to get off the field on third down. Other than that, we have to continue in the same manner which we play a very complementary game. We've just got to get our offense the ball. It's like they are so good that if you get them the ball enough, they are going to score. We just couldn't get off the field last week; you know nine-, 10-, 11-, 12-play drives. We're going to try to limit that like we do every week.

Q: Do you expect San Diego to change their offense if Bill Volek plays?

MV: They are pretty confident in their playmakers. The thing you look at if Rivers is in there or Volek, they rely on their playmakers. You know [Darren] Sproles and Tomlinson and Gates and right on down the line. No matter what quarterback is in there, they are going to rely on those guys, which anybody should, because they are good with the football.

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