Q: **Can you start off by talking about how important it was for you to be here today as part of the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards?
TB:This is part of what each of us players, the responsibility that we have to give back to the community and certainly to celebrate the people who have volunteered so much of their time over the last year to what Myra Kraft really started here. The volunteerism and the 26 winners today should really be honored and it's really special to be out here and celebrate with them.
Q:What is your reaction to the signing of another quarterback in Tim Tebow?
TB:I think that any time, I don't really make decisions and transactions – whether we cut players or sign players or trade players. My reaction is very much like everyone else on the team. [I'm] just trying to focus on what I need to do and what I need to do to be a better player and certainly any time a new teammate comes in, you welcome them, try to do whatever you can to help them fit in and understand what we need to do. It's been a fun couple days.
Q:What were your impressions of Tim Tebow before he got here and does that match up with the first two days?
TB:I never was around him much. Anyone who has played in the NFL has a high level of talent to make it this far; to play this long over the course of an entire life to get to this point you obviously have to be talented. I have a lot of respect for everyone that plays and certainly what I've seen him do in the past.
Q:Do you worry about any of this being a distraction?
TB:I don't worry about much these days. I've been around long enough to see all different kinds of things happen – like I said, trades, people being cut, guys joining the team, all the media attention with what happened in 2007, post-Super Bowls, tough losses. It comes with the territory. I think everyone is prepared to deal with some level of different things that happen on a daily basis and to be mentally tough enough to push through and still be able to do your job at a high level is most important. That's really what you owe the team is to show up every day and do your job the best you can.
Q:Would you say that everyone in the quarterbacking group brings something a little different?
TB:Honestly every player on the team brings something a little bit different. That's all in hopes of us winning games. We have to all be able to go out there and contribute in some way. Coach always says, 'Your role is what you make of it.' My role is to try to go out there and be a great quarterback: consistent, dependable, someone that the team can rely on. That's my approach every day that I walk through the door.
Q:There are a lot of new faces on offense, especially among the wide receivers. How are they adapting to this offense?
TB:We've had a lot of turnover this year, especially at that position. Really there hasn't been anyone that we've thrown to in any game action. That's going to be really important as the process develops. The only thing we can really work on is what we're doing now. Guys have really tried to do exactly what we ask them to do, whether they've been out there or not through the meetings, the walkthroughs. It's really been a fun group that's been open to learning and open to understanding how we do things, because how we do things is quite a bit different than how other teams do things, on the field and of the field. To try to come in and fit in and do their job, I give those guys a lot of credit for really stepping up to the challenge.
Q:How do you develop the chemistry that is so important to a quarterback and a wide receiver?
TB:It takes a lot of time. You just try to stay after it every day, as much time as you can communicating about certain looks, coverages, defensive personnel and alignments, route adjustments. It's really a matter of how you, the effort you put into it. Guys have been working pretty hard. We've been here the whole offseason to try to get up to speed. Like I said, the guys that have been here, everyone has made a bunch of improvements. Hopefully we continue to make improvements as mini-camp ends and the beginning of training camp starts.
Q:Bill Belichick talked this morning that OTAs and mini-camp are a time to lay a foundation. Do you think that you guys have done a good job of that so far?
TB:He talks about, you think it's just an OTA in the spring time and it's not that important and all those things that probably could enter your mind. The truth is, this lays the foundation for the start of training camp and if you have a good training camp, it usually means a good start to the season. A good start to the season leads to good position entering the second half of the season. Everything ends up having some significance to it. You're not just out here running plays and going through different things that aren't going to mean anything. We're out here trying to get a lot of things accomplished. I think we have done that, but there's still a lot of work to be done. It's really never ending, especially when you play for Coach Belichick. Especially in practices when the offense goes against the defense, because if the offense makes a play then the defense sucked and if the defense makes a play then the offense sucked so someone is really going to get yelled at on every play. There's always lowlights when we come in on the next day. Even if it was a great offensive play, he's going to yell at someone on the defense. We've become a bit used to that now and that's part of the learning process and also learning how to play for the Patriots and understand the criticism that you're getting and hopefully use it constructively so you can improve as a player.
Q:How inquisitive has Tim Tebow been with you since he's been here? Has he been trying to pick your brain just to get the basics down?
TB:Yeah, there's definitely been communication and there's been that with Tim [Tebow] and with Ryan [Mallett]. We constantly talk. I've been lucky to play with so many good quarterbacks over the course of my career and I've learned from every one of them, starting with Drew [Bledose] and Damon Huard and John Friesez and Michael Bishop and Jim Miller and Vinny [Testaverde] and [Doug] Flutie and [Matt] Cassel and [Brian] Hoyer, it's really been... We've always have a really strong group and a very close group. I'm excited to have Tim.
Q:Ed Reed said he thought his hip injury was caused by the kick slide you did in the AFC Championship Game. Do you have any reaction to that?
Q:He said you apologized right after, is that true?
TB:Yeah, there was nothing intentional about it. It was unfortunate that it happened.
Q:How do you feel physically?
TB:I feel great, I feel better than ever. I've had a great offseason to this point; it needs to continue. At this point, I have a pretty good understanding of how I need to prepare myself and I spend a lot of time, every decision in my life is based around how to be a better football player. I think I have a decent idea how to do that and we'll ultimately see how it pays off this year. It's been fun to be out there every day at practice and that's how you improve, is to be out on the practice field, especially with a bunch of new players. We'll see how it turns out when we put the pads on.
Q:You got pretty excited about something Danny Amendola did. How do you explain what went into the reaction that was pretty animated?
TB:We talk about a lot of things so when you can take something from the film room or a correction the previous day and actually apply it on the field in maybe a little bit of a different look on a little bit of different play but it's similar to what you talked about and he can pick it up, it's fun. That's how you make improvements. That's how you can exceed expectations, is to continue to do the right thing over and over. We talked about something and the first time he didn't quite get it and the second time he got it a little more but not quite and finally we nailed it. Hopefully once you get that feeling of nailing it, you can understand it. I've developed some great chemistry with receivers over the years that body language is really important: when to sit, when to move, when to give me your eyes, when to give me your hands, all those little cues that you're using to try to anticipate things as players are very important. That's why some guys really pick things up and why you develop a chemistry with certain players. Like Aaron [Hernandez] and Rob [Gronkowski], they got it so quickly and they were very talented players. Danny has come in and he's been fun to play with. He's come in and worked so hard. He's diving out there for catches. He's really done everything that we've asked him to do. It's been a lot of fun.
Q:Do you have to change or alter anything as you get older?
TB:You try to be a little more efficient with your time and things that you probably have tried in the past, you don't do much anymore. You try to do the things that you feel work and the things that help you improve. I feel like I've thought a lot of things about this past season and things that I can do better and things that I can do better as a teammate and as a leader and certainly things that I can do better on the field, my physical preparation. I think I've been successful to this point but ultimately you get paid to go out and play on Sunday and hopefully it pays off when it counts the most.
Q:How would you react to having to come off the field?
TB:I have no idea.
Q:You'd be OK with it?
TB:That's a very hypothetical question. Maybe we'll deal with it if it happens.
Q:Would you put Danny Amendola in that group of guys who have picked up the offense and had a seamless transition, like Rob Gronkowksi and Aaron Hernandez?
TB:We'll see. Like I said, we haven't really had any meaningful action. Running around in shorts and our game jerseys without pads, it's football but it's not really football. You really learn the most about players when it's the hardest. Training camp is a good time to develop some of that chemistry and mental toughness as a team. The more of those guys we have, the better we're going to be. To be mentally and physically tough is the most important part of football.
Q:Is it more trial and error at this point, when you're trying to find things that work and find things that don't?
TB:We're trying to lay a foundation so when we start training camp we have a pretty good idea of what we're good at. We don't waste a lot of time doing the things that we're probably not going to do. Through all these offseason workouts and coaching sessions and now the OTAs and the minicamp, we're trying to hone in on the things that we do well and that's a lot of different combinations of players and techniques and plays. We're seeing a lot of new things on defense. It's about how you can make adjustments because that's what happens on game week. You play on Sunday, you talk about it on Monday and then you move on to the next week and it's a whole different team, another game plan and you have to try to adapt so you can go out and be successful the following week.