Q: A lot of quarterbacks this season, including you, are having extremely productive years. Is that just a trend?
TB: I think Peyton [Manning] is having a great year. A guy like Daunte Culpepper, it seems like he is having a great year. Trent Green, Brett Favre—I think there are a lot of good quarterbacks. I don't know. Some years it is more of a defensive style. I know a couple years ago the most touchdown passes in the league was 28 and this year Peyton has 41 with five games left. That is a really good question. Maybe at the end of the year it is probably a little bit better evaluation. Some quarterbacks are having some really nice years.
Q: Do you start licking your chops when you see a defense that you are facing that just gave up 58 points?
TB: Well, I think you really have to identify the film and figure out why they gave up those points. I mean, two weeks before that they gave up just a couple of points against the Jets. They sacked that quarterback five times in the first quarter. The defense has had some excellent games. I'm sure last game wasn't their best performance but it is a new week.
Q: So why did they give up all of those points?
TB: They were in bad field position most of the day. If you see the film, they got the ball on the 15-yard line, the 20-yard line and the 30-yard line, it just takes one or two big plays, which Cincinnati made some nice plays on them, especially down the field. You give up those sometimes 50- or 60-yard touchdowns and it makes it tough to keep the point total down. But, it is pretty much the same defense we faced last year. We didn't score a touchdown on them last year and we are playing there, which last time we went there we lost. So, it is going to be a challenge for us.
Q: What is the highest scoring game you were ever in?
TB: In the professionals, I would have to say it was the Kansas City game a couple of years ago. I don't know how many we scored.
Q: Do you think a team that is in transition like they are due to Coach Davis resigning is more or less of a threat?
TB: I don't think anyone in here really knows what to expect. I know I think we expect that we are going to get their best game. Coach [Belichick] told us today, 'Don't make any predictions on how you think this game is going to play out'. [We need to] just be prepared to handle whatever we need to handle, worry about ourselves and try to go out this week and get better in practice. We could get their best effort and that is really what this team is expecting. We are all expecting them to play their best game.
Q: Energy is the word thrown out a lot when there is a big coaching change. Do you expect the defensive energy to be cranked up a notch or two?
TB: Yes, and especially for a team that has a very productive defense. They play with great energy each week and it is going to be a challenge for us to go in there and match their intensity and match their level of energy. They have a group of playmakers. They make a lot of plays in the passing game. They have picked off 13 balls this year, which is second in the league. I know they have some guys who have been very productive on the defensive line. It was like when we played Kansas City a couple weeks ago and everyone said, 'Oh, this team is not very good', and it goes down right to the wire. And they were very good. They played very well. You could look at their record and say that they are not one of the better teams in the league, but at the same time, they have played some games where they really did play really well. So, that is going to be the tough part.
Q: What about all of the unknowns? Coach Belichick was talking about all the different ways they could approach the game this weekend. Is it tough to prepare for so many possibilities?
TB: I think as long as we prepare for what we are going to do [we will be fine]. We have evaluated their film and tried to get any idea of what they are going to do this week, and we have tried to put together a game plan with our best stuff. We are much more ahead this week than we were last week. Last week at this time everyone was still sore and trying to still get some sleep from the Monday night game. So, I think everyone feels good about where we are and it really starts today. We are going out to try to get a good day of practice.
Q: Is that a testament to how impressive it is that the Patriots don't have the inconsistencies that Cleveland and a lot of other teams in the league do have?
TB: I think our inconsistencies are sometimes in different forms. Sometimes we don't play the way we are all capable of playing. The losses really haven't shown that inconsistency, but there is some in those games. For one reason or another, we are winning those games when we are not playing as well as we would like, but some other teams are losing them. Maybe that is just us being on the side of some good fortune, but I think we are practicing hard and we think we prepare hard. We try to play smart and a lot of times I think that is what gets us over the hump.