Q: How relieved were you to find out your suspension was lifted?
TB: Well, I'll be excited to run out there Thursday night. It's obviously been a long seven months for everybody, but I think now the goal is to focus on what my job is and what I need to go out there and do to help our team win. Everything that's happened over the past seven months, obviously I have a lot of personal feelings, but I really don't care to share many of those. I really care to think about what I need to do going forward. We've got a lot of guys in this locker room who worked really hard to get to this point, and so have I, and I'm excited to be able to go out there and do it.
Q: Did you think you would win this case?
TB: Look, I hope that I would be out here all the time. I think I've always tried to do the best things that are in my control, to go out there and be a quarterback for this team. I take it very seriously. You guys know, I probably haven't missed many games in my career, except for the season where I tore my ACL. I'll be excited. [There's] still a lot of preparation to do between now and then. [We're] facing a really good team. All my energy and attention needs to be there, and that's where it's been the last couple of days.
Q: Were you stressed out at all?
TB: Like I said, I think everyone deals with things differently, and I dealt with them the best way that I know how. Certainly I had so much support from family and friends and the organization – Mr. Kraft has been unbelievable support for me, just like he would be for any player in this locker room. There are a lot of people that have supported me and we'll need that support this season.
Q: What would you like to see happen with John Jastremski and Jim McNally?
TB: I think that it's been a very tough situation for everybody, and it's put a lot of stress on everybody's families, and I feel bad that anybody's in the position that we've been put in. Hopefully we can just keep learning from life experiences. I certainly feel terrible for them that they're not able to be with us right now.
Q: Have you been in contact with either one of them?
TB: Those are very personal things. They've been obviously put through a lot, as my family has, and I think that's a challenging part. I think right now for me I've got to think about what I need to do to help this team win, and that's be the best quarterback I can be.
Q: Were you able to recharge at all this offseason as you would in past years?
TB: It's just different. I think I've dealt with different situations in my life. You've got to always figure out a way to overcome different obstacles you face, and part of it is being mentally tough, and part of it is compartmentalizing things and dealing with things when they're really kind of at the forefront. And then when they're not you've got to put them someplace else and think about what your job is. I think that's a lot of what I've learned over the years playing this position, and certainly any time you're someone that's in the public eye like I am, you deal with different things. I think everybody in their life deals with different stresses, whatever they may be – financial, or family stress, or work stress – and you just do the best you can do.
Q: Are you surprised the NFL is going to appeal the ruling?
TB: That's their choice, and I think that's just part of this process. My part is to get ready to play football, and that's what I'm really excited to do.
Q: What's it going to be like to be there for the banner unveiling on Thursday night?
TB: It hasn't happened in a long time. I think our guys are excited, but I think mostly we've got to focus on what our job is, and that's to put that celebration behind us and move forward into a new year because it's different challenges, different teams, different schedule. Any time you're in a situation like we're in, we know that we're going to get everybody's best.
Q: How much more do you appreciate what you do for a living now that you've survived this incident?
TB: I've always appreciated it. I love football, I love the sport, and I love playing in the NFL. To get the opportunity to do it, certainly with all my teammates and my friends – I've had so much support with my family through all of this. For the last 20 years I've been playing football this time of year, and it feels good to be able to do that again.