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Patriots Post Practice: Defensive Player Quotes

Patriots defensive players responded to questions on looking forward to the upcoming Buffalo Bills game, Bruschi's return to practice and the injury bug after Wednesday's practice at Gillette Stadium.


Q: Do you have any doubt that Tedy Bruschi will be able to play at the same level that he did before?

MV: I think that Tedy's kept himself in great shape. Just listening to what he's had to say about it, it's not something that he decided on Sunday after the game. This is something that I'm sure has been thought about and has been planned. He'll be ready to go.

Q: What does he mean to this defense? Can you even quantify it?

MV: He's obviously made his fair share of plays here. He's made game-changing and game-winning plays. I think that when you look at it like that, you're getting another guy out there that has the ability to make those types of plays and help us.


Q: Can Tedy Bruschi's presence alone re-energize this team and defense?

RC: I think Tedy is a very unique player, just like everyone has their own personality. He brings energy just as much as everyone else does. Nobody can be him just like nobody can be me or nobody can be Larry Izzo. Hopefully if he does make a decision to come back and play and is comfortable, he plays at a high level. Time will tell and hopefully he can helps us as much as he can. Tedy can't play all 11 positions. We have to have 10 other guys out there doing their job. If you have nine guys doing the right thing and two doing the wrong thing, a good offense will expose that. We are going to try to work a little bit harder and try to do things a little bit better and hopefully we will increase the win total every week.

Q: With the lack of takeaways, does it make it even better to get a playmaker like Tedy back?

RC: Any defense needs turnovers. If Tedy can provide that or whoever can provide that, I think we will take it. I don't think we should bank the whole season on one guy. He is a great player, but that is a lot of pressure to put on someone. I think as a defensive unit we need to perform better. If Tedy does make a decision to go out there and he does have an opportunity to go out and play and he plays at a high level then that is great. Like he and Bill [Belichick] said, he is going to be evaluated just like everybody else. I have to get better doing my job. I can't worry about what Tedy is doing because if I sit there and see what Tedy is doing and they run right past me then it doesn't make any difference at all.

Q: There has been some talk about individual breakdowns on defense. Can you talk about how if everyone does their job the team defense will get better?

RC: If you play run defense and if you have one guy in the wrong gap playing in the gap that the guy next to him is responsible for, then a good offense and a good running back will find that gap and crease you. If you are playing a fast defense and you have one guy playing one coverage or half the defense playing one coverage and the other half playing another and if you have bad reads by players, etc. then the quarterback may scramble and may find somebody who is open. Everyone has to do their job. Everyone has to continue to play the run. Everyone has to continue to play the pass. We have to do it a little bit better than we have done.


Q: With Tedy's energy level, is it possible that he'll be easier to handle in practice than he was before?

WM: He'll be all right. Tedy is Tedy. He's going to bring his energy and his excitement and his playmaking ability. That's not going to change. We expect that from him and that's when he brings to the table.

Q: Have you ever put yourself in the position of a guy like Tedy Bruschi or Rodney Harrison and think about how volatile things are and how quickly it can all change?

WM: We play a violent sport and if you're a football player, then any time you step on the field you're at risk. Anything can happen, and you just have to keep that in perspective. But, we can't go out there every week and say, 'Man, this could happen or that could happen.' We just go out every week and play the game, but when you see something happen, it's in the back of your mind.

Q: Does this bye week come at a perfect time for you guys?

RS: Any time a bye week comes, it is always a good time. The National Football League is a tough league and any time we get a bye, we definitely appreciate it. It gives us time to get our mind off football and relax a little.

Q: What is it like for you to look across the room and see Tedy Bruschi?

RS: It is always exciting. I think that guy brings a lot to the table. Ever since I have been a rookie, I have admired the way he has approached the game on and off the field … the way he practices. I think there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that a lot of people don't see the type of work that he puts in. For me, it is exciting to see him.

Q: How does Tedy's return specifically affect you guys up front?

RS: It still remains to be seen what the situation is going to be. I'm still unsure what is going to happen or when he is going to be activated. There is a lot still to go on that any of us are to certain about at this point.

Q: Can Tedy's presence alone re-energize the defense?

RS: I think it comes down to making plays. It doesn't matter who you have in the huddle. What really matters is what you do out on the football field. You can bring Lawrence Taylor and Reggie White and put them on the field, but if they don't contribute and make plays then it really doesn't matter.

Q: Do you think the bye week will allow you to get in the lineup against Buffalo?

RS: I expect to be there.

Q: What are some of the adjustments that have to be done with the defense before the Buffalo game?

RS: As a defense, mentally we don't get too high after a win and we don't get too low after losses. From a mental standpoint, we have to understand where we are. I think we have to play as a defense more consistently, cut down on the big plays, do a better job against the running game and put it all together. I still think there is a lot of football left to be played. At this point right now, I don't think anyone can say who is going to be in the playoffs and who is not. There is a lot of football left to be played.

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