New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi addresses the media during his press conference at the Patriots Super Bowl XLII headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 30, 2008.
(on Giant's running backs and alternating between Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw)
"I mean Bradshaw, obviously, is a quicker back and obviously isn't as powerful, as Jacobs. So, it sort of alters your style a little bit and you've got to recognize which backs in there because maybe there is a little bit more of a threat of a cutback with Bradshaw. And with Jacobs in there you really have to worry about your tackling techniques and making sure you can tackle him and bring him down. So there is a difference."
*(on the speculation of him retiring after the season) *
"Like I said after the post game last year, I'm 34 years old. I'm in my 12th year. After every season I sort of reassess things. I look at people who put it off to this off season already like coaches Tony Dungy and Mike Holmgren. What they do is they sit back. They sort of reassess and make decisions with their families. That's what I'll do."
(on what he will do after he retires)
"I've thought about it. Whatever it is that I want to do, I still want to be in the game. I think that playing it for as long as I have now, I do have some expertise on it, so either coaching it or talking about it or do something in the front office, something about still being in the game."
*(on being an older player) *
"You don't really compensate. You still go out there just try to perform the best that you can. As you get older, experience absolutely comes into factor. Yes, I was maybe faster or quicker when I was younger. I'm not 24 anymore. I mean that was 10 years ago, but did I know as much then? So is it an advantage or disadvantage? You've got incredible ability but you don't have experience. You have experience, but you don't have quickness as you did maybe when you were younger. You go with the positive instead of the negative."
*(on the journey from waking up from the stroke) *
"I realize how lucky I am. I don't think anyone has ever said the words before, 'I played professional football again after having a stroke.' It's just something you wouldn't even comprehend. To accomplish that and to receive all those medals and stuff, and hear survival stories and to hear people say I have been an inspiration to them, it's really humbling. It's an honor and it's something I take very seriously. There are a lot of titles you can say after my name, but the thing I am most proud of is the description.
*(on if there were times he didn't think he would make it back from the stroke) *
"Absolutely. There were times when I was coming back and people told me I shouldn't. People told me that 'you're crazy. What are you doing? Why is he attempting this come back? You're a husband. You've got three children.' They didn't think it was possible but I knew it would take me making my first tackle. I knew it would take me getting up after having a couple 300 pounders on top of me. Those are points that I had to experience all over again. That's what I have to do to so them. Not show people but help make people realize just because you had a stroke it doesn't mean you couldn't get back to where you were."
*(on why was it important to him to come back) *
"Well, the first thing that helped me realize that I wanted to do this, was when my doctor said it was okay. And, I wouldn't have tries to attempt this comeback if they said 'Tedy we don't think it's possible.' The most important l thing is my wife. I mean my wife told me 'you're my husband. You're the father of my children. I don't want you to put yourself in danger.' And I think that is what every loving wife would do, so that's why we sought out constant countless medical opinions. And I told her if there was one guy, one doctor that told me I don't think you should do this 'Tedy you're putting your family at risk,' I would have done it. But I got unanimous clearance, and I don't think people realize that. What they say was someone who had a stroke was trying to play professional football and they couldn't comprehend that. So it's my job to help them see that."
*(on if he was worried that his comeback attempt would put others in danger) *
"Not at all. I think every situation is different. And could something have happened to me that would have prevented me from coming back? Yep, if my eyesight hadn't have comeback, I would have be able to comeback. But, I am
lucky that happened. There are different levels of recovery and with those you have to make adjustments in your life. I was one of the lucky ones."
*(on how much a perfect season means to him) *
"This entire year there are so many different levels of accomplishment for me. From what we could possibly achieve, to coming back after Detroit, to being here in Arizona, the list goes on and on. Most definitely this is the most special Super Bowl for me. I have been filled with emotion from all I have been through to where we are as a team, to right now and how I have contributed. It's the most special."
*(on what a perfect season would mean) *
"That's a question I will answer after the game because those are big ifs, because although we are 18-0, we still have the biggest one in front of us."
*(on how long it took for things to come back after the stroke) *
"It was all a gradual process, from learning to write my name again, to walk properly, to wait for my left hip to activate, to getting back my eyesight. I think my eye sight might have been the last thing to come back. It took two or three months to return. Past all of that what took the longest was my mental and emotional state. I was a 31-year-old professional football player and I just got back from the Pro Bowl and two days later I had a stroke. That was a lot of highs and lows for me. It was the ultimate high to the ultimate low and emotionally and mentally that was the toughest for me to recover from."
*(on if he was scared he wouldn't be able to come back) *
"Yeah, you've always got to acknowledge that possibility just like on the football field you don't think of what is guaranteed you have to perform correctly to get the victory. Victories aren't always guaranteed, just like my recovery wasn't."