Q: Anything specific that you worked on to try to improve in the offseason?
TB: I was trying to work on my throwing mechanics, to make them more efficient, try to get the ball out quicker, try to throw it harder. There's always stuff like that.
Q: What is the biggest factor in making the right decision? You seem to make the right decision time and time again correct under pressure?
TB: I think a lot of it comes down to how well you're prepared. When you take the snap, you throw out all the scenarios a defense could throw at you. I know ultimately it's about making the quickest decision and the best decision. You have a play, where it's 'Z' read, you know on 'Z' read with cover 2 you throw one place, cover 4 throw another, cover 1 you throw another. You can get a certain defensive front then you check to another play. Ultimately it's about recognizing it and knowing the clock is running down and communicating to the guys and going out and executing it. You might be able to throw the ball great, but if you're never throwing it to the right guy then it doesn't matter. Like I said, you can work on all you're throwing mechanics but at the same time it's your decision making, recognition of coverage's and ultimately being able to make the play. Some of the best in the world - John Elway, Steve Young, Joe Montana - guys who can really do that on a consistent basis.
Q: How about Tiger Woods? What is it about his mental approach to his particular sport that you say, ' I like that, I want to try to emulate that?'
TB: I think ultimately a guy like that, he always seems to rise to the occasion. He plays his best in the most critical moments. Whether he plays his best or not, he is always going to be a factor. He has tremendous confidence in himself and whenever he is near the lead, he can ultimately pull it out. He's fun to watch. There are other guys that are fun to watch. Barry Bonds, every time he steps to the plate, you figure something big is going to happen.
Q: You can watch those players and say, 'I can bring some of what they have in their game, to my game.' Do you actually ever try to do that? In watching how other people in different sports approach the mental aspect?
TB: I think a lot of times in football, it's a different satisfaction. As much as you would like to do the right thing yourself, which you need to do, you also rely on so many other people. Golf, it's a one-man game and he's responsible for himself. Baseball, it's one-on-one, pitcher against the batter. Football, your entirely dependent upon the guys you're with. Ultimately, the pride and the enjoyment come from succeeding as a group, which is very different than those other sports. Then it's about how you can try to get everyone else doing the right thing so they can rise to that level too. We've got guys that are really capable of that. When you really push Deion Branch, he responds. When you push Corey [Dillon], he responds. When you push the linemen because they are so well coached, they respond. I think when you look back at the end of the year like we did last year, you look back and you say, 'man that was so much fun because we continued to meet every challenge that we faced.' This team is totally different. It has a different identity. Different players. It's the time of the year where we can develop.
Q: Are you and Tiger Woods friends? Do you know him well?
TB: Never met him.
Q: I thought maybe he's a big fan of yours.
TB: Never met Tiger.
Q: Do you have an idea on where the team is right now at this point in training camp?
TB: I think every year you start at kind of a different phase. As a group, we are into a lot of our different play calls, a lot of our scheme passes against our defense. I think as a team we have been very inconsistent and I think the quarterback position has been very inconsistent. That starts with me. I'm missing some open receivers down the field. I would like to think I could hit more of those. [I] end up with a few sleepless nights in there. I think we are just trying to improve.
Q: Even this early in the year, you get frustrated?
TB: The thing is, I get frustrated pretty easily sometimes. I just think I have such high expectations for, not only myself, but also the offense. When your going into your sixth year, there is a lot of pressure on my teammates and on myself to go out there and execute like I'm playing in my sixth year and [it's] not like I'm making the same mistakes I did three years ago. It's frustrating because you always want it perfect. But, at the same time, you realize that it's rarely perfect in football because there are just so many moving parts. I'm glad we have a bunch of weeks left until the opener. We have another eight days until our first preseason game. We made some improvement, but at the same time, we are still not even close to where we need to be.
Q: You have new offensive pieces this year. Are you excited about the potential this offense has?
TB: Corey [Dillon] obviously did a great job last year. We [would] like for that to continue but like I said that really depends on how well the offensive line plays and how well the play action pass game is. It's all kind of interdependent. The tight end position has been very strong. When you add a guy like Ben [Watson], [Daniel] Graham has been a three-year starter and Christian Fauria is one of the most consistent players on our team and Ben needs to find a role for himself. The addition of David Terrell, Tim Dwight, and P.K. Sam, they will figure into finding a role for themselves as well. Our team is made up of guys who find roles and they do those the best they can.
Q: What has it been like having David Terrell around?
TB: It's been fun. His locker is right next to mine and that's right where I like it. We get a chance to communicate every day. He's a big physical target. He made some really nice plays in camp. He's improved. I would love to see what he's capable of.
Q: [David Terrell] said the chemistry never went away. Do you find the same thing?
TB: We've thrown a lot of balls to each other over the years. You're right. We picked up where we left off. It's good to have him back.
Q: You don't lose sleep over training camp interceptions. That's an exaggeration, right?
TB: No. I do think that I become very frustrated. I always think the more pressure you put on yourself in practice, that's the way it goes on the field. If you can't execute in a two-minute drill in practice, what makes you think you can execute in the game? If you execute 10 out of 10 in practice then your confidence level is pretty good when you're going in the game that you're going to get it done. For us, if we claim ourselves to be a really good two-minute team, then we have to go out and perform better. Like I said, I become very frustrated often.
Q: Was the sickest you have ever been after the Washington game?
TB: Miami. Every time that game comes on, it's the same feeling. I hate that game. That team is always so tough with us. They were that night. I think we learned a lot that night. As tough as that game was, and then the next week going to the Jets and overcoming that, it was a [great] ride home after the Jets game. You live with that taste the whole week. Your up by eleven with four minutes left. That was the first time we played 56 minutes good minutes of football. Then four minutes of the crappiest football you can play and that's the outcome. You let down your guard once and a 2-14 team beats you. That's how fast it can turn.
Q: Some people say you have to forget about those things and move on. It doesn't sound like and doesn't seem as if you let those things go entirely. You might not let it affect your performance the next week, but you said it yourself, you turn on the tape and everything comes back to you. You don't let go of that?
TB: No. No way. You remember that feeling after the game. You're sick to your stomach because it's like you had everything you wanted and you goofed it all up. Then, you have to live with that all week. It's a lot of pressure you put on yourself, and a lot of pressure I put on myself. A lot of pressure I put on other players [too.] Coach Belichick puts a ton of pressure on himself to get the team ready to play. Then you lose a game like that where you feel like you did everything you could for 56 minutes and it's not good enough because you take certain things for granted at the end of the game. Then, you think you never know what that game could have cost you. Fortunately for us, we overcame it.
Q: But you don't like pressure where it wears you out?
TB: I don't think anybody always wants to feel pressure. Before every game, your stomach just turns over. Oh my God, I hate that feeling. But it's every game. And as soon as the first play of the game happens, it's gone. But 30 minutes before the game, you sit there before the game and say 'God I hate this feeling.' Other weeks when your watching Monday Night Football, you're like, 'I know what they're feeling.' It feels [really] good sitting on my couch watching.
Q: You fell asleep before the first Super Bowl?
TB: That was a long way before the game. I was feeling pretty relaxed then.
Q: It seems like four-fifths of the offensive line seems to be set in stone. What's your perspective on the right tackle battle? It seems like [Brandon] Gorin and [Tom] Ashworth have had equal opportunities there. What's your perspective on that?
TB: I think they're two pretty good players. They have some good experience. They work very hard. I'm comfortable with both those guys. They both are great players and have great attitudes. We are strong at the right tackle position. I think the whole line has to want to continue to improve. [Dan] Koppen has to step it up. He's now a third year player. He has to play his best year. That goes for the right tackle, that goes for left tackle, too. That goes for the quarterback, too. All those guys are good players, hopefully they will improve.