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Rob Johnson Pre-Game Press Conference

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Q: Was it difficult to gain momentum or a feeling of comfort about being the starting quarterback when you were in and out of the line-up over the past three years?

RJ: Yeah it was tough but I thought I played well in those three years when I got my chance, but yeah it was tough to get a flow going and being in and out. But you just have to deal with it.

Q: Do you know a difference now that you're starting every week?

RJ: It's been nice, staying healthy being in there every week and guys counting on you every week being in there.

Q: How has the coaching change been, it seems as though you guys are in transition?

RJ: Oh yeah definitely, we have a lot of new faces. I was here three years ago it's totally different (now). There are probably 10 guys that are still here from back then. We're fighting through a tough season right now and we've just got to stay positive.

Q: How are you different from past couple of years. Is it the offense or your own personal philosophy changed any. Are you still running as much or less reluctant to?

RJ: No, I'm still running a lot, more out of necessity than want. It just seems that in the past I've had some injures that were unavoidable. I've still been taking a lot of hits this year, so I've got to watch that so I can stay in for the rest of the year.

Q: How do you watch that? How do you avoid getting hit?

RJ: I don't know what it is, Drew can attest to this. It's tough, we're real young up front. Last game we had four first-year starters in there, three of them rookies. It's tough, you just got to battle through it, keep playing and try to stay positive and hope that some of the guys that have been hurt come back.

Q: Did you see the film of the Patriots defense last week in Atlanta?

RJ: Yeah, they blitzed a lot more and they got a lot more aggressive. It was kind of like the Belichick defenses we've been use to seeing with the Jets, more blitzing with the safeties. Very good defenses.

Q: Actually, it was a little out of character for them in the last couple of weeks?

RJ: Yeah, I watched the Denver game and they didn't blitz as much and then you watch (the Atlanta) game and they are blitzing a bunch.

Q: How is it that your to leading receivers are a running back (Larry Centers) and a tight end (Jay Riemersma).

RJ: (The opposing defenses) have been playing a lot of double zone and getting pressure on us, so we haven't had a lot of time to throw down field. Both of our wide outs are very good and we have to find a way to get them the ball. It's been tough right now.

Q:

RJ: I'm still pretty young for a quarterback, 28. Definitely young as far as starts.
So I feel like when I've been given a chance and gotten in there I've played really well and I think I can do that on a consistent basis. Right now we are a young team and sometimes you don't have that opportunity.

Q: You may be 1-6, but when you play a division opponent things seem to be different than playing say a NFC team. The Bills have always played well against the Patriots and also against Miami?

RJ: Yeah, it's just one of those things where everyone knows each other and you know the personnel and you get match ups that are favorable and I think the last three games we've played New England it's been in overtime. The thing is they've really been good against our offense. We haven't really done much offensively against them in those games. So hopefully we can change that this week.

Q: Considering the injuries and the slow start, is the general public understanding now that the quarterback controversy is over with? Are you getting accepted and do they realize that it is your show now and that with all the injuries that you can't do it all yourself? Are you getting a fair shake up there?

RJ: I think so. I think a lot of it's died down, but it will never die down. I mean you guys know how popular of a guy Doug is. It will never die down, but winning games helps and we are not doing that right now.

Q: Did you see the situation in Atlanta about the family section booing?

RJ: Yeah it's pretty bad. Yeah, I mean Chandler is playing some of his best football he's played.

Q: It seems that in the Northeast the quarterback is more of a focus than any place in the NFL. Did you notice that when you were in Jacksonville, or no?

RJ: Not really. It was a new team down there and they were just happy to have a team.

Q: How is your relationship with your new coach?

RJ: Very good, very good. He's trying to get to know everyone and we're trying to get to know him. I think it's been good. But winning takes care of a lot of things and right now we are not winning, so it's been tough on everyone.

Q: Before the San Diego game you and Flutie shook hands. Was anything said other than just, 'Good Luck?'

RJ: We were both captains so we were out there. Yeah we shook hands. No, not much was said. Just, 'Good Luck.'

Q: That was certainly the most exciting game of your season, wasn't it?

RJ: Yeah it was a pretty exciting game.

Q: Can you talk a little bit about Antowain Smith? He seems to fit be fitting in with the Patriots after maybe struggling for a few years with you guys?

RJ: He never really struggled here, he just never really got his chance. Him and the offensive coordinator, I wouldn't say they didn't get along, just Antowain wasn't his guy. So he never really had an opportunity. Every time he got in there, he did well. He's a big back that needs a lot of carries and we'd stop playing him and then get him four or five carries and that really doesn't work. He's a very smart player. He's a very good player and I am sure he is going to be at his best against us.

Q: Who was the coordinator then?

RJ: Joe Pendry.

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