Q: Well, Tom, not much has happened this week.
TB: Nothing at all, nothing at all.
Q: Did you hear what Drew [Bledsoe] said yesterday about keeping his nose to the grindstone and competing with you? That's probably what you would have said too.
TB: Of course. He's a competitor and that's what's made him such a great quarterback in this league for a lot of years. That's how you get to a situation where you are a starting quarterback, with that mentality, so I wouldn't expect anything else.
Q: What do you know about the Rams?
TB: We got a good jump on them on Monday and we're pretty familiar with them already. They have obviously a very good offense, so offensively we have to go out there and produce and be efficient when we have the ball. They're probably the greatest challenge we've had this year. It's going to be fun to have them and fun to play them.
Q: Is there more pressure on you now that if you play badly it's back to the bench?
TB: Well, I'm glad you guys look at it that way and not me. The way I approach it is the way I've always approached it. You go out there and you play the best you can. You never expect to go out there and play bad. You always go out there and think you're going to play well. That's the approach I've taken since the first day, that I go out there and play the best I can when I'm out there and I give it all I've got. You give it all in practice and you give it all in the game. And we've been pretty successful doing that.
Q: So you don't sense any difference this week from three weeks ago when you were the starter come hell or high water?
TB: It makes no difference to me, I'll tell you that. Whether a guy's here or not here that doesn't affect … It's too much energy ever worrying about anyone else. There's not enough time in the day to be worrying about everyone else. It's enough work trying to prepare myself.
Q: Is it similar to your time at Michigan, when you had some competition there?
TB: Yeah, from one standpoint there was a lot of competition there. The competition was … From the way I look at it, we're on the same team. We're in it together. This is about trying to get the New England Patriots to win football games. If we were sitting here at 1-8, obviously it would be a different story. But nobody would want that. Who would want that? So it's good that we won these games and that we're in this position. Now that Drew's back, we're a much better football team now. There's no doubt about that.
Q: Drew said the same thing yesterday, but he also said, 'I intend to make it hard for Brady to stay on the field.' What do you think of that?
TB: Well, that's the competitiveness. That's the competitiveness. And you'd expect a person to say that. Who doesn't want to play? If you go ask the backup running back if he wants to play, he's going to say the same thing. If you don't want that, then you're in the wrong line of work. You ought to be working at some shopping mall or something. You can't be a professional football player with an attitude that you don't want to play.
Q: Do you feel like you've established yourself as a starter in this league?
TB: I feel like I'm preparing and getting better from week to week. I think as the weeks go on, you learn more about yourself. You learn more about what you're capable of, how defenses are trying to attack you and how you're trying to attack defenses. So just the overall…
Q: So the process continues.
TB: It's a process. That's exactly right.
Q: Have you and Drew sat down and talked about competing, or is it just assumed that it will be like that?
TB: We're friends. We're friends that come to work every day in the same meeting room and prepare the same way and have a lot of support for each other and I'm confident that if I'm in the game, we're going to win. And I'm confident that if he's in the game, we're going to win. So from your standpoint [in the media], it makes a big difference. I know we're going to have a good quarterback on this team, whether it be Damon [Huard], myself or Drew, all three of us.
Q: You said after your first game that Drew would never going to let you down. He said something about that yesterday, that he knew you would never let him down. I assume you two have discussed that mutual support.
TB: Of course. And that's being a teammate. That's putting yourself above the team. That's being selfless. That's what team sports are about. You may be competing to play, but once game day comes around, you're on the same team and it's about us against them. If you have any type of division within the team … That will never be the case here. We wouldn't let that happen because we respect each other so much. The one thing that I could do to disrespect him as a player would be to go out there and say, 'Here's your job back.' Because that would do nothing for him. That's not what it's about. The only way that I can respect the position is by going out there and playing the best I can and let you guys talk about who should be playing.
Q: There was some animosity in Buffalo last year and it divided the team to a certain extent. It doesn't sound like you're concerned at all that that could happen here.
TB: No, not one bit. Not one bit.
Q: Certainly guys on the team will have their opinions. Have you guys addressed the team at all about it?
TB: I think the way the team approaches it is that they're going out there and regardless of who's behind center, they're going to play the same way. They play as hard as they can every week and they're doing their best every week to prepare themselves and I know they have confidence in the quarterback position. I don't think that's going to be a problem.
Q: Tom, is this team better equipped to handle St. Louis than when you first started several weeks ago?
TB: I think we've definitely got more confidence. I think that we know that. We've been in different types of situations. We've been ahead early, we've been behind late and come back and won. We've protected a lead. We've had a couple of games where we really should have played better and won some games. So I think that we're getting more comfortable with each other as a team and I'm glad we're playing them this Sunday night as opposed to the first time out. That would be a little bit different.
Q: Is there a number you feel you have to put on the board this week points-wise?
TB: The approach that we're taking is that every time we've got the ball, we want to score. That's no different than any other week. We want to kick field goals, score touchdowns … And with the type of offense they've had, they've been putting up a lot of points. We know that as an offense, we've got to be sharp and we've got to play a good game.
Q: What did you take away from the game last Sunday?
TB: I think just making the plays when they're there to be made. I think maybe sometimes it's maybe coming off a guy a little too quick. Sometimes I wasn't on him fast enough. That comes into decision making and just overall attack and that's what I'm trying to do as I watch the film with Charlie [Weis], my coach. He says, 'This is what you should have done on that play.' Each play, he's got a different take. On the bad plays mostly, it's 'You should have done this.' And I say, 'Well, I can tell you that today.' So just taking what he's been coaching me to do and trying to move forward with that.
Q: When Drew says that he's trying to make it hard for you to stay on the field, does the competitive nature in you try to make it hard for him to get back on the field?
TB: I think I'm going to do my best to help the team win. That's what it's about for me. I'm going to do my best today to prepare for St. Louis and I'm going to do my best tomorrow and Friday and Saturday and then on Sunday, that's when Coach makes the call.
Q: Does it seem easier to run an offense in a dome from a quarterback's standpoint?
TB: I think there are factors like the wind last Sunday. You don't take that into consideration when you're in a dome, obviously the footing [too]. Both teams are playing on the same field.
Q: But you guys are used to it.
TB: Yeah, that's true. We are. It's our home field.
Q: Do you look at it and say that if the wind blows and the temperature drops…
TB: Our offense is playing on the same field as their offense and our defense is on the same field as their defense. Whether you say, 'Well, they might not be as fast on grass,' well, we'd be faster on turf, too. So I think it evens out. I think it's about going out and playing a good game of football, and that's what it's going to take. The best team's going to win, whether it be grass or turf or ice or whatever it may be.
Q: Playing in a nationally televised game must be pretty exciting for this team.
TB: I think so, since there are no Monday night games. We play when they tell us to play. When they say 'Line up at 8:30 against the Rams,' we're going to be excited to do that. We know the challenge that we've got. Everyone's predicting them as one of the Super Bowl teams. They're a great team and they've been great for a number of years. They have a very successful offense and their defense has been playing pretty good, so it's going to be a good match-up.
Q: As an offensive player, are you in awe of Kurt Warner and what he is able to do?
TB: I think that you appreciate the fact that he's a heck of a player and when you watch him on film, you realize why they score a lot of points, because he makes a lot of good throws. And he throws to guys who can do a lot of things with the ball. They have a lot of playmakers. I think it's obvious that as a fan of the game, you watch and say, 'Wow, that's a great run,' or 'That's a great throw. That's a great play.