TB: What's up, guys?
Q: How are you doing?
TB: Looks a lot different when the Coach stands up here, I bet.
Q: Tom, just your impressions on the game in general.
TB: Well, we jumped up to them, we jumped up on them early, and I think any time you can do that, same thing we really did to them last time and we got them in a hole, and it's tough to dig your way out of that hole. We felt that being behind by it was 17 to nothing at one point --
Q: 20 to nothing.
TB: So it was what we were trying to do. We didn't exactly play as well in the second half. But no, we're playing in such a league, that happens sometimes.
Q: The defense helped you out in the second half --
TB: Yes. The defense is playing great. They are getting turnovers, putting pressure on the QB. You watch Lawyer (Milloy), Tebucky (Jones) played well coming off the injury. Tedy Bruschi is out and everybody else steps up. So I mean it was a great defensive effort.
Q: Tom, I know you want to win games, but (Drew) Bledsoe, obviously, is a friend of yours. There is interception after interception. They started yelling "Bledsoe, Bledsoe". How does that make you feel as his friend?
TB: I mean, honestly, I think once the game starts I don't even think about it. You know, I am always trying to, you know, I am always enjoying when the other team is picking the other QB over so whether it's Drew (Bledsoe), Payton Manning, Brett Favre or any of those guys, I am always rooting for it. So it doesn't really enter into my mind very much, honestly.
Q: You're frustrated, you come out of the first half with 20 points, you end up with 27. Are you guys still working on trying to finish things off?
TB: Well, you know, we had three touchdowns called back so that hurt. You know, we are penalizing ourselves a little bit. We made a few good plays in the second half. You know, they really pressured us on the second half. So like I said, we got them by a big margin so, you know, you look at it and say, well, you really didn't play that well in the second half. Well, you know, we're up a whole bunch of points so, I guess, we had that little margin there.
Q: Tom, with so much of this game on Drew's (Bledsoe) return here, I mean how much did you want to be especially sharp and to be, you know, especially, you know, efficient in the offense and the way you run it?
TB: Well, like I said, I don't think it matters whether Drew (Bledsoe) is coming back or -- I mean that doesn't matter. I mean I am always trying to be efficient. I am always trying to make the right reads and the right throws. We needed this win. We were seven and five and you need to get to eight and five. If you lose this game, I mean, you are pretty much done. I mean you get six losses with three tough games coming up, I mean we needed this win. This win was a division opponent. You know, it was really one of those wins that we needed. And you know, it was nice to come out of it the way we did. It was really -- I mean it is a good win, not as sharp at some points but, you know, you win those games, you've got to feel good.
Q: Quarterbacks will say you are never competing against the other quarterback. But I mean if you get into an up and down kind of game, you indirectly are competing with the other quarterback. Were you at all relishing the opportunity to sling it with him?
TB: Yes. I mean you are always, you know, you're playing against their defense and at some point you are, you know, you do want to outplay the other quarterback. You always want to go out there and try to be better than they are, you know, be better, be more efficient than the other guys. That means, you know, you are doing a good job. So like I said, I don't get very concerned with number 11 on the other side of the ball. I think I am more concerned, you know, just trying to beat, you know, number 59 and 53 and those linebackers and those corners.
Q: Tom, you lose four in a row. You particularly, maybe the team in general, were you working really, were you scared that something was fundamentally wrong and was there anything that you thought then needed to be addressed that has been addressed?
TB: Yes, we -- well, God, that was a long time ago. I remember losing that last one to Denver at home and we were, you know, we were pretty deflated at that point. I think we were kind of searching for an identity. And we weren't playing the way that we needed to play to win those games because we were turning the ball over and just being careless with it, giving the other teams points and not really making the good plays. You watched us today. They have got to earn those third down stuff. They have got to earn those interceptions. They have got to earn those turnovers. They have got to stop us in the red zone. I think we are really forcing the defenses to make more plays instead of us just going out there and laying the ball on the ground. So I think that was a big point and that is something the coaches really stress. And every day we sit in here and he gets up and he is probably scared to look at all us out there. God, I don't know how he does that. But really, we had just gotten back to playing better football and, you know, even that we are still working on. It is not like we were perfect out there. Just we had those three touchdowns called back. We had some plays in there that we probably all would have liked back.
Q: Tom, could you talk a little bit about Donald Hayes coming off the missing persons' list for you today?
TB: Yes. Donald (Hayes) is such a big target, you know, you just try to throw it up and let him make a play. He made a nice play on the first one. We tried to get it there, tried to get him another one down there away from the lighthouse late in the game that we just missed. You know, we are coming along. We are coming along. The more he is in there, the better he is doing. He is playing pretty good.
**Q: Tom, in both of these games, Tom, against Buffalo, you had a 17 to nothing lead. I mean you were behind during the losing streak. I mean how hard is it for a quarterback not to try to do too much when his team is already down 17 to nothing? BB. Well, that is tough. I am watching Drew (Bledsoe) out there today just watching him. And you get down 17 to nothing, you feel like you have got to make every play work so you are trying to throw every ball into the tightest spots and you really can't -- it is not like you really feel like I will just chuck it down there, I will just dump it off. Of course, if you're playing with the league, that is what you are trying to do. You know, Antowain (Smith) to Troy (Brown), but when you are down you are trying to hit those seams up the field. Tebucky (Jones) makes a nice play on the one and Tebucky is standing there. I mean that is the -- you know, that is the tough part about playing QB is that you always want those plays to work and you always have the ball in your hands so you always have the opportunity, so you also have the opportunity to make best plays when you are in those situations.
Q: Tom, on Donald's (Hayes) one were you going for the back shoulder, was that the play or was that the read?
TB: Yes. You know, he had a pretty big cushion on that so I took off and I kind of watched him turning his head. And once you do that, you lose sight of the ball. And Donald has his eyes on it, he just makes the adjustment. That was a real good play.
Q: How important was it to get off to the start you did in terms of the big plays, striking deep right away to get things rolling?
TB: That is how Charlie (Weis) drew that first play up. You know, we go into the game thinking that we had got a shot at hitting, you know, first with Troy (Brown) and the second one was David (Patten) and then Deion (Branch) on the sidelines. Deion (Branch) made a nice play and the guys got kind of confused and he just played it up and he ran it down. He also made a nice play on that touchdown pass they called back. So to get off to a start like that and the other team is in the hole, we are at our own stadium, the crowd is pumped up, you know, it takes that running element a little bit out of their game plan. And we really, it was a good win.
Q: When you have a trick play such as your touchdown reception called back, is that the play in terms of, you know, showcase one of our, you know, something, I mean you hate to waste it in that sense more than anything else?
Q: Or were you just disappointed because you didn't get the six points?
TB: I was disappointed to not get my touchdown today. You know, as soon as I snapped, as soon as the ball came out, I saw the flag flash out of the corner of my eye and I knew. Even with that, I caught it and ran in. I figured something was going to get called back, something happened. I am not sure what they called.
Q: Two guys in motion. He was trying it Canadian football league style, huh?
TB: It didn't work, huh? We figured once the cold weather comes in we could --
Q: And didn't you show that trickery last year against Miami?
TB: We did and it worked. It worked. We didn't run it in for a touchdown; of course, we were further out.
Q: He throws a nice ball.
TB: He does. Kevin (Faulk) used to play high school quarterback for an option. Thanks a lot, guys. **