I thought right away when I did hit the ground, I thought I was down, but
Q: No anxious moments?TD:
I thought I was down the whole time. I hit the ground and he kind of rolled on top of me.
Q: Could you run through that first fourth down play on the first series?TD:
On the sneak? Yeah, we shifted to one of the empty back fields that we do quite a bit, and then I come back up to the line of scrimmage and I kind of saw a look I liked, so everyone knows the play, something we work on quite a bit.
Q: What were your options, though?TD:
To take a time out or take a penalty or try to go over and get the first down.
Q: If you didn't like it, you could just take a time out and punt?TD:
Q: Tom, could you talk a little bit about how it seemed like all week, especially from a national standpoint, that there was really only one quarterback in this game? Did that get on your nerves at all?TD:
I didn't really see it that way, but I think very deservedly so, he had such a magnificent year and he is such a great quarterback. He had been tearing through the playoffs. I think a lot of the talk this week was how our defense was going to match up, and obviously defense did a great job today holding them to 14 points and really getting us a bunch of turnovers. So it was a great all around effort by the defense, and I think the offense, obviously, we left a lot of points out there, but we are working on it.
Q: As a quarterback, how much do you hate to throw an interception? And I know not during the game, but after the game did you kind of feel for Peyton Manning after having a day where he gets picked off four times with a game as big as this one?TD:
That's always tough. You never like to see a quarterback throw a whole bunch of picks. Defense put a lot of heat on him. I knew going into the game that I had seen on the scout team the whole week what they were going to do defensively, and I was going, "Oh, God, I am glad I am not playing quarterback," and they make it tough, and give you a lot of looks, and you are always forced to make good decisions. Young guys like Rodney and Tyrone, you have to be so precise with your throws or you are going to go picked off.
Q: So you had a sense this was going to be a nasty day for Peyton?TD:
I think as quarterback you like to see everything clear, I think our defense did a great job of trying to disguise what they were going to do and not make them hesitate.
Q: How is it different going into your second Superbowl versus your first?TD:
I think that first year, that first Superbowl, I don't know what the heck was going on. I mean, from the first game I started right on through, it was 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 just 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, 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, then it's all for nothing.
Q: Tom, when you take the ball on that first drive and march down the field and take up half the first quarter, just like you drew it up, did it dawn on you that that was going to be the last touchdown you guys would score?TD:
Yeah, I mean, we had some opportunities there that we just didn't really take advantage of. It's kind of scary to keep kicking field goals and with how explosive that offense is, they could make a few quick passes and tie the score up. It was 15 0 at halftime and we really dominated. We didn't punt for three quarters and then all of a sudden in the fourth quarter execution wasn't as good as we would have liked, and when you don't take advantage of all those touchdowns, obviously the other team feels they got a shot if they start scoring some points, so we are going to spend a lot of work on our red zone.
It's not something that's really been a strong suit for us this year. I think at times it's been good, but today obviously wasn't our best.
Q: You talked about your offense today and (inaudible) did he tell you anything (inaudible)?TD:
That's all he has been talking about for two weeks, we got to get back to H town, that's what he calls it, Ted Johnson and Larry Izzo and Bethel, and Antowain is another one.
Q: What about what he did for you?TD:
What a great day. I love that guy, man. He runs so hard, and I hand that ball off and turn around, and he hits guys, and he just punches them. He is such a big strong tough back, and he makes those defenders pay for every tackle. I wouldn't trade him for anybody in the fold.
Q: Can you talk about the team accomplishment. You want the next win; obviously, that's the next important thing, but talk about the accomplishment of being in a position to get there.TD:
Yeah, I mean, it's only one team from each conference gets there, and we are proud to represent the AFC. Like I said, I think the goal still hadn't been achieved, and for as great as 14 in a row is, it's still one shy of where we want to be, and I am sure it's going to be a tough test. Every game has been a tough test this whole year.
Q: Will you root?TD:
For any of these teams? We played the Eagles, and obviously Carolina has had a great year, so either one of the two.
Q: (Inaudible) the pick early in the fourth quarter when you are down there in the end zone.TD:
How much were we up at that point, 14? We were up 14, I think, and it was third and fourth, thought I had Dedric on the slant, and I think the corner made a really nice play. I threw it right where I thought he was going to get it and Dedric was flying in there as hard as he could, but I think that was just a great play by the corner.
Q: You talked your first year being sort of what's this about. In the succeeding two years do you think you have proven more to everybody in the league, whether you went to the playoffs or not, just proven yourself more?TD:
Well, I think the one person only person I really care about proving myself to, two people, myself and my coach, and everybody else really doesn't matter because with me, if I prove myself to myself, I will have the confidence to go out there and get the job done and, obviously my coach, I want to prove myself to my coach, and you got to do that in practice, in the off season, and regardless what anyone else thinks or said, but I am proud to be a quarterback that's going to the Superbowl for the second time