Q: We have asked you a number of times how your life is changing from week to week. How has it changed this week after the events of the fourth quarter?
TB: A lot fewer phone calls. No one wants to talk to you when you lose. Not a whole lot. It's just about really going back to business whether you win or lose. The preparation doesn't change and the attitude doesn't change. The one thing from week to week that you realize, the one thing I've really learned you know since I've left college, is that from week to week, every team, the talent levels are so similar. You've really got to go out and play good every week or else you have no chance to win. That's reflected in the way we've been playing. So when we play good it turns out that we win and when we don't execute well, it turns out that we lose.
Q: You have played against some good defenses, how do you view the one you will face this week?
TB: This is a pretty good defense. Fortunately I have had a lot of time to look at them, more so than on other weeks maybe, just because I've been bored sitting around the house and I wound up coming to watch film. You know they've had an extra week to prepare so it is really our job to catch up as much as we can and close that ground. So I mean they've got a lot of veteran guys, a lot of active guys on that defense, guys that have been good players. You know, coach had mentioned this morning that they're first in the league against first down passing. They are giving up like four yards a pass or something like that. Stuff like that, that's just, that's because I think they have some good corners and their scheme really forces you to nickel and dime them so to speak. So it's going to be a good week, a good challenge for us and there is no let-up from week to week. You talk about good defenses, you are going to get a good defense every week.
Q: Is there anybody that you called this week, just to make yourself feel better?
TB: Probably not. My family is always calling. I'm always getting a lot of support from them. My sisters are always calling and they always want to know how I'm doing. So I am kind of always even-keeled.
Q: How did they like that ESPN piece?
TB: They thought it was pretty good. I still haven't seen it, so I've just been hearing bits and pieces. I heard it was pretty funny. A couple guys on the team came up and said, 'God, is that true? Were you really?' I said, 'Guys, man that was a joke.'
Q: Were they defensive players?
TB: I don't want to reveal any names.
Q: What was different in that fourth quarter? What was going through your mind?
TB: I would just say that…I mean that's a good question. There's not a lot of difference. It's just a matter of not…there was a situation that came up on that second interception where I overthrew David [Patten]. Something like that hadn't come up in practice before that, the technique we were going to use, you know, versus a certain coverage. It's just by their luck I guess and them being in the right position to make the play. They made plays. You know, that's what it comes down to. We didn't make the plays and they made plays.
Q: Do you just chalk that up to a learning experience?
TB: I think I have learned from it. You know I think that whether you complete the pass or you don't complete the pass, you are always learning something from it. I said after the game, I knew going into the week that if you ever made a throw against those two DBs that wasn't' right on the money, they were going to capitalize just because they have great ball skills. That's what we call it, they catch the ball like receivers. They sure did. They weren't going to drop any of them, I know that.
Q: I know you have to move on each week, but how much of that bad taste is still left in your mouth?
TB: I would say the bad parts of it are gone. You know the good parts, you know the motivational stuff, stuff that gets you going, it really refocuses you when you lose. You don't look past anything on film when you lose because you are thinking I could have done this perfect. And when you win, coach kind of skips over some of the bad plays and goes, 'Oh well, not a big deal on that one.' But when you lose, you really critically evaluate every part of the game, from your ball handling technique in the running game to your pass sets, your location of throws. So it really refocuses you. It sends a message to me that I've got to be that much more perfect every play and on a week to week basis if we are where we want to get to.
Q: Are you hard on yourself?
TB: Yeah, very. Just because I think I set high expectations for myself. I don't know where I got that from, but it is kind of a blessing and a curse because you are really never self-satisfied with a whole lot. I want to make every throw. I want to complete every pass. You know that is not really the case, but especially when you lose it hurts that much more.
Q: Because of the way that game ended, do you think you will be less inclined to take chances?
TB: You really forget about it. If it's a problem with forcing balls into spots, then you've really got to rethink your judgements. But that wasn't the case this last game. The first interception, the guy was open. I just threw it behind him. The second one, the third one, you know just a little bit of miscommunication. And the fourth one was a long play, so it is not a matter of forcing the ball. I don't think I've been doing that and I don't think I try to do that because there's one good thing about our offense and our offensive scheme is that there's always options.
Q: How would you have performed last year if you had had to take over this team? How would you have faired?
TB: I don't know. I think I would have done fine. I mean I wouldn't have gone out there and, I don't think I would have lit it up or anything, but at the same time, who knows. I could have gone out there and performed well, I thought.
Q: How much better are you because you have been behind Bledsoe for a year the way Michael Vick is being brought along slowly?
TB: Every day at practice and every day at meetings, you are better. He might be good now, but he is going to be that much better next year. It depends on how much I think he wants to be good and how much he want to progress because all learning curves are different and you don't know how much up-side someone has if they are not motivated to do that.
Q: Were you there when Joe Montana threw the pass to Dwight Clark?
Q: Can you elaborate on that?
TB: My parents had season tickets. We had four tickets to those 49er games and we used to go and I just remember being in the stands. I was on the opposite end of the stadium when they caught the pass and everyone jumped up and I didn't know what the heck happened. I think I was whining to my dad that everyone was too loud. That's what he tells me, I don't know if he's lying or not. It was a great day.
Q: Are you eager to see the game plan and see what is in it week to week?
TB: Yeah. The quarterbacks, Charlie [Weis] has always been open, especially with the passing of our quarterbacks' coach. He filtered a lot of our ideas last year to Charlie. You know we'd give him six or seven ideas and about one would get to Charlie. This year, Charlie's right there so he knows them all. So anything that we like, Charlie's really good about hearing them and listening. He likes to hear our input to because we're the ones out there that are throwing the ball and being comfortable with the reads. When we go on the field Sunday, I am comfortable with everything and Charlie makes sure that we are comfortable with everything because he doesn't want to be calling a play that even though he may feel comfortable with it, we're not comfortable with it as quarterbacks