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Sebastian Vollmer Press Conference Transcript

New England Patriots OL Sebastian Vollmer addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Friday, January 11, 2013.

Q: This is the first week you have not been listed on the injury report. Should we take that as a sign that you are feeling good?

SV: Yeah, I guess. I feel pretty good. Whatever the injury report says, it says. But it's pretty good, I guess.

Q: So you are feeling pretty good.

SV: Yeah, definitely.

Q: You will probably get more of J.J. Watt than anybody else even though he moves around a lot. What are your thoughts about going up against one of the best defensive players in the league?

SV: Like you were saying, I think all of us are going to face him eventually. He's probably most on the right between me and Dan [Connolly] I guess. He's a really good player. I think he has proven that with what, 20.5 sacks or whatever he had in the regular season. It's going to be a challenge and I'm sure he's going to be excited to play in a playoff game, so are we. I think every team is going to bring their best and hopefully we win.

Q: Some of the experts say that the best way to handle J.J. Watt is to keep him in close so he cannot get his hands up and knock down passes. Is that a good scouting report on him?

SV: I don't know. I'm sure it depends on the play, if it's run or pass or protections or whatever it is. I'm sure you want to put somebody on him, you don't want to have him just running around and do what he does. I guess we'll see how it goes.

Q: Is there any particular style that you would like to use on J.J. Watt instead of just reacting to what he does?

SV: Block him. Just kind of be in the way I guess.

Q: You did not get to go to the NFL Combine, but you opened a lot of eyes at the University of Houston pro day. Did you think at some point the Texans might pick you?

SV: No. Well, I didn't really have any expectations thinking about what team is going to pick you. Right now obviously we're concentrating on the playoffs and we're happy in the now and we're facing the Texans now.

Q: Some have said your biggest asset is that you are smart. You are a quick study, you stepped right in right away and you contributed and now you are getting better every day. Is that how you see yourself fitting in up here?

SV: I hope so. I think that's what we practice for. You don't want to repeat mistakes, you want to better yourself as a player and become good at what you do. That's just the mentality that we have here. You practice to get better and we've been doing that since Week 1 and we're continuing to do that now.

Q: You were still learning the game at the University of Houston. Can you take us through your football journey? Has it been like what you expected?

SV: I don't know. Obviously I can't compare it to anything. Like I said, you kind of take it in stride and take it week by week and you work towards the playoffs. So I don't know, I can't compare it to anything I don't know. So I don't really know what to expect, you just kind of work for this now.

Q: Do you still apply anything from your time at the University of Houston to what you are doing now?

SV: I guess your baseline of football knowledge obviously. I've continued to get better and am hoping to do that for the rest of my career. So I think it sets a certain baseline.

Q: Can you talk about Stevan Ridley's fumble issues? How much trust do you have in a guy like that?

SV: We have all of the trust in the world. He is obviously a good football player. I don't know exactly how many yards he had, but a lot of them. He runs hard and I'm glad he's playing for us and we got him.

Q: Have you noticed if Bill Belichick has put any Vaseline, or powder on the ball to help Stevan Ridley with his ball security?

SV: Well I haven't seen it, but I'm glad I don't have to handle the ball with that [laughs]. I kind of stay away from the athletic stuff I guess.

Q: There were a string of games that presented massive tests for the offensive line, whether it was an opponent's great pass rushers or great interior players. The sack totals suggest that you guys have held up your end of the bargain. Do you feel confident going into this week because of what you guys have been able to accomplish so far this season?

SV: Yeah we had some challenges. As you were saying, this week is no different. Obviously they have good pass rushers and good run defenders. Again, I think that's what you practice for. You take the games as experience and hopefully you learn something from what you did well and from what maybe you didn't do so well. You try to carry that over and that's our goal for this week.

Q: Did Coach Belichick break out the racquetball rackets this week to simulate J.J. Watt and the guys knocking down passes?

SV: I didn't pay attention to that, but I'm sure he did. I mean it's hard to simulate a guy like that I guess, but whatever it takes.

Q: So the rackets were there this week?

SV: Like I said, I don't deal with the ball and throwing the ball. So I'm sure some were there.

Q: How would you assess the team's confidence, especially after the first game against the Texans?

SV: That wouldn't be our baseline for that. You approach the playoff season as a totally different season. You learn certain things from what they did and what we did; obviously I think we practice well and we feel good about ourselves and hopefully we put that good work in on Sunday. I think we're confident and we worked hard, but I don't think that first game had anything to do with it.

Q: What impressed you the most about J.J. Watt in your first matchup?

SV: It's hard to pinpoint one thing. Obviously just physically looking at him, he's a playmaker out there. Just stat-wise obviously he's bringing it. He can do a lot of different things— sacks, swatting the ball, stopping the run and stuff like that. So he's a well-rounded package.

Q: Do you feel like you did a good job against J.J. Watt in the first game? You did not give up any sacks.

SV: Yeah I mean I'm sure there are things we can do better. He's still an impact player and it's hard to contain a guy like that. I think all five of us have to do a good job and we will.

Q: You were originally a tight end at the University of Houston. Do you think you should be a Rob Gronkowski-type or do you think the move to tackle was beneficial?

SV: I mean look at me; I don't think you want to see me on a post pattern. I'm good in what's close and little rough out there.

Q: Coach Belichick uses war references and talked about being in a foxhole on Wednesday and today he was talking about navy seals. For someone who is not from this country, does he share that stuff behind the scenes with you and do you understand it?

SV: Yeah I don't think it's too complicated to understand certain references. But I mean I didn't grow up in a military family or anything like that, but there are certain similarities out there and some of it you can apply. But we're in a certain routine; we prepare and you can't be scared out there.

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