New England Patriots running back Sammy Morris addresses the media during his conference call on Monday, December 15, 2008.
Q:How rewarding is this season for you, what you're doing right now after what you went through last year after getting on a role then having that freak injury? How rewarding is what you've been able to do the last few weeks?
SM:I think it's always tough going into football, obviously knowing injuries are part of the game, but it always is rewarding when all the work that you put in the offseason, during the season, in practice and going through all the different things - it really is rewarding to see some production out of all the effort you put in.
Q:Most of your 100-yard rushing efforts have come the last couple of seasons here in New England. Is there anything specific that you can pinpoint for that or is it just a matter of getting the opportunities to carry the ball?
SM:I think it's a lot of factors. Getting a chance to carry the ball more and obviously you factor in the offensive schemes. Then you have to factor in the passing threats we have with Randy [Moss], Wes [Welker] and Jabar [Gaffney]. It's really a collection of things and basically I'm just happy to be here.
Q:Do you see you, LaMont [Jordan] and Kevin [Faulk] as a three-headed monster to opposing defenses right now?
SM:From my standpoint I see that there are a lot of different things that we can do from a running back standpoint and I think all the things we bring to the table help our offense out. In the grand scheme of things I think it helps our defense and special teams out.
Q:You guys are averaging 4.5 yards per rush as a team, there have been a lot of different backs that have had success in there, what does that say about the offensive line and the job that they've done blocking for you guys?
SM:I'm always quick to give the offensive line credit. Those guys, they're big guys and they're pretty agile. They're able to get on their blocks and sustain them and it gets us into that second level of defenders. Once we get there I've always said the onus in on the backs after that.
Q:Where you guys doing any scoreboard watching yesterday did you know that both the Jets and Dolphins had won before you took the field?
SM:No, I didn't per se. I didn't see anything and I didn't see any updates during the game. Me personally, I didn't.
Q:Your club lost a very difficult overtime game against the Jets after the Jets won the coin toss to start the overtime. Do you have a problem with that rule or do you think it's fair? It seems like you battled awfully hard to lose in a hurry?
SM:I don't think I have a problem with the rule. It is what it is and from my standpoint we shouldn't have got behind that far and had to go to overtime. I think the rule – it is what it is and I don't see it changing anytime soon.
Q:Do you think it might be more fair to give each team at least one possession?
SM:I think it may be easy, in theory, to say that but if both teams score then what do you do? I think there's a host of different ways that it could be approached after that.
Q:Do you think the idea of one back and one 1,000 yard rusher is in some ways overrated? You guys are going to top 2,000 yards and you probably won't have anybody who comes within 200 yards of 1,000 yards.
SM:Personally speaking I'm really focused on winning and so however that plays out is most important to me. I'd much rather have 600 yards rushing, 700 yards rushing in a season and win then me have 1,500 [yards] and be 4-12.
Q:Can you describe how Ellis Hobbs' 95-yard kickoff return unfolded from your vantage point on the kick return team?
SM:The first thing that I noticed, being the off returner, I saw Heath Evans. I forget who the player was but he came back and knocked somebody off their feet and that put me up on the safety and I was able to shield him from coming inside of me. Then Ellis ran right behind me, right off my block and again it's kind of like [being] a running back, the onus is on him.
Q:How exhilarating a feeling is that for you as a blocker in that situation, knowing that you helped spring the guy and you're watching him race down the field?
SM:It's a great feeling. I was actually talking to Dave Thomas about it after the game because it's good when you can see the play unfolding. You've got your block and you don't know where the returner is but you can just hear the crowd and by the sound the crowd was making you know that a big play was coming. It's a great feeling, especially at that point in the game where they were making moves to kind of gain the advantage and we were able to take that right back.
Q:Is that play a bigger thrill than rushing for 100 yards in a game?
SM:I don't know. I think they obviously all feel good. Winning is the biggest factor. I think the win is a better feeling than the 100 yards or the kickoff return.
Q:Do you guys ever feel bad for the amount of punishment that Ellis has taken on returns this year?
SM:Yeah, I mean he understand that it's the NFL and - especially on the kickoff return where you've got guys running at you full speed and you're running at other guys full speed. There are a lot of big collisions on the kickoff and kickoff return team. This was actually my first time being back out there as an off returner. I try to approach each return and try not to let my guy make the tackle.
Q:When you look back at what you guys did yesterday as the running attack, the 277 yards, it seems like a lot of times after games you say 'oh we watched the film and there are things we could have done better.' Is there anything you could have done better yesterday?
SM:I'm sure there is. I haven't seen the film.
Q:I don't believe you.
SM:I will have at least two other things that we could have done better on Wednesday.
Q:You guys sent three offensive linemen to the Pro Bowl last year and part of that was obviously team recognition for the record. Do you think those guys might be having a better year than they did last year, at least from a run blocking standpoint?
SM:I don't know. I guess they could be. Now being out for a lot of the season last year, not getting a chance to see the film… I broke down but I know those guys are playing well right now and we're going to continue to ride their success to help us as a team.
Q:When you're away from your family for a good stretch, 10 days or so and you get back early in the morning what's today like for you, what's tomorrow like, what will you do and how important is it for you to just recover from being away?
SM:It's pretty tough. A lot of the guys were joking with me because I had this bag of kids stuff that I bought while I was in California and some stuff for my wife but it's all in good fun. It's tough to be away that long. Today I'm pretty much - as you can tell from my voice I'm still a wreck. My throats killing me, my body hurts but again it's part of the game. I'm kind of lounging around the house right now and I'm getting ready to go pick up my kids in a second.
Q:Do you take tomorrow off? I know Tuesday is a day off but how do you get yourself recovered so when you get back in there on Wednesday you're ready to go?
SM:I'll lift weights tomorrow. I usually do it on Mondays but when you get in at four o'clock I just don't have the energy for that today. I'll lift tomorrow and then I'll get in the cold tub, the steam room and try to revive my body as much as I can.
Q:When you look at the next few weeks and talk about December football it seems to come down to the running game quite a bit. How well positioned do you feel like you guys are, in that respect, to control the clock and do what you can to get this team into the playoffs?
SM:Honestly, as a team I think we feel most confident in that we've been able to run the ball effectively as well as thrown it. I think that kind of sets up a potent attack as an offense and obviously it helps out our whole team.