08/12/04 Off season workouts
In New England I think there are a lot of guys who like playing football and a lot guys that are humble and a lot of guys that like working hard, like playing as a team. It is a fun team to be on, and I think for that reason. I think the success we have had, if you can't share that with other people, then it is just not very much fun. But I think when you can share it with guys you have been around and that you've been on teams with that haven't been very good, it makes it much more fun.
The areas that I think are most important for me as a quarterback are, you know, when you handle the ball every down, when you are always taking the ball from center, you always have to make good decisions, and with the interceptions last year—12 interceptions—and the fumbles, I don't think I took as good of care of the ball as I would have liked. That's going to be what I'm really trying to focus on. And I think a lot of that for the fumbles is going to be strength. Hand strength, body strength, and awareness in the pocket, making good decisions when there are people on you. And for throwing the ball, making good decisions throwing it- not trying to squeeze it into places that I can't. I think that is something that I really tried to improve on. I think it helped going to the weight room and having a good offseason of conditioning and working out. I think it all helped.
I'm glad there are four weeks left until the opening game. I think I've made some progress in the last couple weeks, but I'm still not really where I want to be, not for the first game. It is going to be such a tough schedule and if we don't get prepared, I remember last year going into the first game last season, I don't think I was where I wanted to be, and that was apparent in what happened that first game. But I think as the season went along I began to feel more comfortable.
01/23/04 Dealing With the Distractions
The biggest issue for me this week is dealing with all the other stuff that you have to deal with – the tickets, the hotels, the logistics of getting your friends and family down there and making sure that everyone is going to enjoy it. Obviously, it is the most important game we have played all year and it is against the best team that we have played all year. In that sense it is a different type of game. We have learned to play in those pressure situations. It has been pressure for the last couple of weeks realizing that if you do lose, you are out. In terms of Carolina, this is a tough challenge. They are probably the best defensive line that we have faced all year. They have very fast linebackers who make a lot of plays. They have a couple of guys in the secondary who come up with a bunch of picks. Mike Minter is a great player. Deon Grant played very steady all year. Ricky manning seems like he is picking off a ball every week. They can really make some plays. They have great coaches. We have played against Coach Fox before up here when he was with the Giants. They are very well coached. They are going to be ready to go.
01/19/04 Going Back to the Super Bowl
I think that first year, that first Super Bowl, I didn't know what the heck was going on. From the first game I started right on through, so much had changed, and to really realize and put things in perspective is hard to do because I was figuring, 'oh, yeah, this is kind of what I expected to happen,' and how after a year we go 9 and 7, and don't make the playoffs, you don't really take it for granted. You are so proud of all the guys you play with and so proud of all the coaches that put in all the work. To win 14 in a row this year, that's unbelievable. I mean, who does that? Nobody does that. And it's great will and great determination, and the preparation will lead to execution on game day by everybody. And every week we say we are finding different ways to win games, and still the goal really hasn't been achieved, so winning 14 in a row is great, but if there is not a 15th win, then it's all for nothing.
10/29/03 Playing on Monday Night is Always Special
Each week we start off the week trying to get to know our opponent a little bit. The Broncos are not a division opponent but we have played them each of the last three years so we know them a little bit. Today we went over their personal and how they might attack us on first and second downs. We are going to try to spread the ball around and get it to all our guys so they can make plays. We need to get everyone involved and make them cover us down the field. Whenever you get your schedule at the beginning of the year and you see a Monday Night Football game, that's the first thing you are looking for. It's a special night when you get to play on Monday Night Football. People sit around their televisions and watch the game and are interested in the match-ups. They are usually good games on Monday night. Every football player will tell you that it's special to play on Monday night with everyone watching.
10/16/03 Getting Ready for the Dolphins
We got a game plan in this morning, we've got to go out and practice it. Coach says it's about execution and preparation, and the preparation starts today. We really can't go out and win the game today, but we've got to get ready to play and get ready to go down and try to beat these guys.
They've got very good team speed on defense and they're a bunch of playmakers. Those guys get interceptions and sacks. Jason Taylor said he'll take a five-yard offsides penalty for a few sacks a game. They're about making big plays and they're about getting their offense the ball on short fields and really being opportunistic. We're going to have to do a good job of taking care of the ball.