Q: Having been through the postseason before, what advice do you give all the rookies going through it for the first time?
RN: It's just a one-game season. You have to lay it all out there because obviously [if] you don't win the game you go home, you clean out your locker. Just put it all into the week, the week of preparation and be as prepared as possible.
Q: How do you break down everything that you guys have done in the past? Do you even do that – break down the 17 weeks?
RN: You kind of look back on some of the things that hurt you and you work on those. You go through some of the games that could possibly – re-watch the Cincinnati game, see the things that worked for them and they'll probably try against you. Just try and work hard this week to improve on yourself and then whatever team that we find out that we do play then prepare for them next week.
Q: Is it dangerous to watch or would you like to watch the games this weekend? Talking to Tom Brady this weekend, he said he gets involved in the game when he watches.
RN: I'll definitely enjoy relaxing and watching the games and just seeing who we're going to play. For me, it's a little bit different for me because I'm a d-lineman. I'll study the tackles and what types of sets and their style of play as opposed to Tom who has to watch everybody. I just watch one guy and see what his tendencies are and certain things that could me out during the game.
Q: Are you keeping notes?
RN: No, when I watch during the week I will but at home I'll leave the notebook in the bag.
Q: Can you talk about the contributions the rookies have made this season, like Jamie Collins?
RN: Yeah, Jamie, I think Jaime's done a great job. It's not easy being a rookie and going from college to having that long [stretch]: combine, OTAs, minicamp, rookie camp, training camp. That's a long year there. For these guys here, it's been a journey for them. They've had a good year but it's not over. So, for them, they just need to really work hard at focusing in on what our job is. Right now, that's getting better and getting prepared for whoever we have to play after we find out who our opponent is going to be.
Q: How helpful has it been for the injured guys to be on the sideline?
RN: Unfortunate that those guys can't be out there with me and playing with the defense. But just having them there on the sidelines, they can give some of the younger guys some tips on what they see. [Jerod] Mayo obviously, he's definitely a leader that we miss out there. Having him at least on the sidelines, it's great for us just to see him there and be able to talk to him or ask him a question about what's going on and V [Vince Wilfork] as well; same thing with Vince with the d-linemen.
Q: What have you learned from those guys about being a leader?
RN: I just lead by example. I'm going to go out there and I'm going to do my job and I'm going to leave it all out on the field. I hope that everyone around me sees the way that I'll put in my work and I'll go out there and I'll give it my all. I think that for me vocally I'll talk to somebody if they need something, if they need to talk to me about anything, if there are any questions, I'm happy to talk with them about it but I definitely just want to be out there doing my job and doing my best to help the team win. That's what my leadership is.
Q: Do you think it's hard for those guys now that they can't do the leadership by example thing?
RN: Yeah, I think it's difficult when you can't because you're injured. Again, for them it's just getting healthy, getting back for next year and whatever they can do as far as talking to somebody or just giving them advice, that's great for them to help the younger guys.
Q: How was practice in the snow today?
RN: I had a great time. It was a fun practice. [It's] not too often that you get to go out there and run around in the snow. It was a good, productive practice and it was fun that we were able to run around make some plays in the snow.
Q: You guys played in the rain last week and the snow today.
RN: Yeah, I'd rather be in the snow than the rain – the rain when it's 34 degrees and raining, just before it freezes – I'd rather be in the snow. But we've played in it all so it just helps us for whatever we're in, we're in. so whatever game it is we're playing in, if it's snowing, if it's raining, we've experienced it all.
Q: Why do you prefer snow?
RN: Just because you're not so wet. When you're in the rain, you're like 10 pounds heavier when your shoes are full of whatever. The snow obviously has some challenges in itself with footing and being on the field and stuff like that but when it's wet, you're wet from head to toe.
Q: Any groaning from the locker room knowing the field house is down the road?
RN: No, we're pretty used to practicing in, 'What it is, it is.' That's one thing that Bill [Belichick] always preaches is, 'Football is meant to be played outside.' So whatever it is, get your stuff on and go practice.