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Tom Brady Locker Room Interview - 9/2/2003

Q: Lawyer (Milloy) is gone. What does this do to the heart and soul of this football team?

TB: It takes a big hit.

Q: How surprised were you?

TB: About as surprised as you could possibly be. I mean, I don't know. It was a big surprise.

Q: You talked to him a lot. Did he have any idea that this might be coming if they couldn't get a deal worked out?

TB: I'm sure that you guys will have a chance to talk to him at some point. He was a New England Patriot and he was what this team was all about. To see a guy like that go…

Q: Do you think that there is a chance that he may come back and play here?

TB: I don't know. I think that everyone would hope, but I don't think that is really the reality.

Q: You are as upbeat a guy is there is. It is on your face that this is a huge blow to this locker room and this team on the field.

TB: I think with a guy like that, he did everything you could ever ask of a player and of a guy that represents this team and this franchise. He showed up every day, never missed a game, never missed a practice, never complained. He was one of those guys where you look into this eyes before the game and you knew exactly what you were going to get. Not only was he a great friend, but he was a great person.

Q: It is tough enough to have this happen at any time, but four or five days before your opening game. How are you guys going to recover in time to face the Bills?

TB: Sure that is what we are going to do. Under all the circumstances, you deal with different things over the course of a season. This is as tough as anything, but at the same time we realize we still have to go out and practice. You really can't lose a day on the Bills. I think that you just take time to reflect and you realize what you have to do. I guess we all have to pick up the pieces. We have to pick up the pieces in a leadership role that he had and a lot of guys on defense have to pick the actual physical play of that position. He did it at a Pro Bowl level for eight years.

Q: If they let a guy like Lawyer go, what does this tell you about the nature of the business?

TB: It is as cut throat as cut throat can be. Everyone worries about the loyalty to the player and at the same time we see what happens. I think you realize that you have to realize what motivates you. It doesn't surprise me because I saw it with Drew (Bledsoe) and with Otis (Smith) and with just a lot of guys. It is a tough business. It is really tough because there is never job security and it is not actually based on your performance either. You can play at a Pro Bowl level and you could show up every day on time and never complain and be a captain and a leader. It is not about if it will happen, it is just when it will happen to each player. I think it just hardens you a little bit and you become more guarded in your approach. You realize why you play and I know that I play for all the guys in this locker room. I play so that I don't let any of those guys down because you know that they will always be there for you. You know that when you step on the field and put your helmet on those are the guys that are protecting you.

Q: What if he goes to a team within the division that you have to play against?

TB: I think that you deal with it like you always deal with it, but no one would want to see that. I mean an All-Pro safety like that, you never want to see another guy like that on another guy's team. I hope that we don't play him.

Q: Does this situation sap some of the joy of the game that you always exude?

TB: Being out there is what everyone loves to do. When you get out there and play that is when you have fun. That is the joy of it. That is the joy of playing and being a professional athlete. Even when we get out there today, it will be nice when people get moving around, running and yelling and get ready to play because this is an awfully tough game we have to start.

Q: Does this put even more pressure on your leadership?

TB: Sure. He left a big void because he was such an outspoken leader for a long time. We have to find ways to replace him.

Q: In terms of this game, what do you expect to see? Obviously, this game has a little more meaning because it is against a division opponent.

TB: This is the opener. We have been preparing six weeks for it. We played them twice last year and won both games and felt good about both games. I'm sure they have a bitter taste in their mouth after those two tough games. They have a little different defensive scheme this year and we are going to need to find ways keep them off balance and execute our plays.

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