Q: Can you talk a little about the Bills? They played you pretty tough the first time, will this whole week be about trying to make adjustments?
TB: Yeah, I think…I mean even today there is just a much better understanding of what they are going to try to do against us. I mean judging from what they did against us last game, obviously it worked pretty well. But over the three or four games some things have…we've seen on film that just can help us out a little bit more in terms of just tips we are going to see from their defense.
Q: So you don't look at their record, you look at their play?
TB: Yeah, of course and you see a lot of those games have been real close. The last five times we've played them, coach gave us a little sheet of the scores the last five times we've played them, and they've all been close games. You know the game we played them here, they played us real tough. I think overall it's a very good football team and we know they're a physical team. You play them up in Buffalo this time of year, so it's going to be a tough challenge, far more than what a lot of people would predict. I think one thing that's nice that the players know is that we are not overconfident at all. We're focused and we realize what we need to do if we want to win this game.
Q: You said 'we' have a much better understanding of what they do. Do you mean in a coaching sense or in general do you have a much better understanding?
TB: I think I have a much clearer understanding of their coverages, of their blitzes, their corner play. I think the more you see them and the more you understand their different tendencies and the positions they want to be in and certain coverages. It just helps to anticipate that much more when we are out on the field.
Q: What did they do the first time? Did they press a lot? Pretty much a man-to-man focus?
TB: I thought they covered us pretty well. You know I think that we went into the game thinking we could do some things against them and we lined up on the field and they adjusted pretty well to what we were doing and what we really didn't think they could adjust to. I think they really played just a fundamentally sound, good defensive game. I think you know a lot of times we go into games trying to put pressure on certain parts of their game and they really played us well where we thought we could attack them.
Q: This is a new thing for you where you get to go into the film room and look at a team you just played a month or two ago and make adjustments off that? Do you like that part of the game? Is that something that plays into your strengths?
TB: Yeah I definitely think so. I think I can…I think each week it is something different and this week it is trying to see what they, I wouldn't assume that they would change a whole lot from what they've done just because they were successful and any team that is successful against you, why change? It's not like you could figure out what they did and then just scheme all these new plays to beat what they are doing because they're still playing pretty well. They are playing just good defense. They've got good corner play. The safeties are playing pretty good. The linebackers have been in there all year. I know they've had a few injuries on their D-line, but last time they had seven sacks. So I really think this is going to be really a test to see what this team is made of because we have been playing better football. We are certainly not at the point where we want to be, but at the same time there is definitely a sense of confidence that we know if we play our game that we're going to be in a good position here after this week.
Q: How are you holding up physically? After eleven games in the NFL, has it been tougher than you thought?
TB: Yeah, it really has. I think from week to week there's less pressure…I think mentally it's probably a little bit tougher than physically. Physically, I think that's what you can prepare for. The physical preparation of the offseason conditioning and making sure your strength is where it needs to be, but mentally it can get to be quite a grind because every week you are putting all your energy and emotion and focus in to one opponent and then you play the game and it's out the door. What you did last week means nothing for what we're doing this week. Coach always talks about refilling the tank. When he says that I take it as getting back focused, getting back energized and ready to play the next week because even though what you did the past week is important, it doesn't carry over to the next week in terms of your play on that weekend.
Q: Do you have trouble keeping weight on and stuff like that?
TB: I've been trying to keep the same lifting schedule that I did even last year. So I think I've been fine with that.
Q: Are you a little tired now? What do you do to handle these kind of monotonous days in some respects, but emotional days because of the challenge you have for the playoffs?
TB: Yeah, I mean there's no question that's the hard part of the season and you are on the downside half. So just trying to stay…you know when you get time off, you've got to take time off. You can't take half days off when coach gives you a day off it's nice to go home and just take care of some things that you haven't been taking care of. Getting your rest, making sure you are getting enough sleep because Drew [Bledsoe] had told me that seven weeks ago that, 'Hey Tom make sure you really get your rest and eat well and really take care of your body because you can wear down pretty easily,' as I have noticed. It's just it is tough to stay fresh because your body doesn't always feel fresh and your mind, certainly you are fighting to keep that fresh as well.
Q: Given all that, how much is it a strengthening effect that the team is playing well and building towards the playoffs whereas if you were 5-8 or worse you might not be feeling so well about things? Does it have a positive effect and keep you going a little bit stronger?
TB: Yeah, I mean that's the source of motivation. You know you have a goal in mind and we're still able to achieve that. Last year it was a different situation. Last year we were fighting to win games and that's a different source of motivation, but I think this one is us really making a push for what we set out [for] early in the year. You know it's nice that we are still in that position, but you also realize that you like setting goals but the short-term goals are more important. The short-term goals are winning each game week to week and really putting yourself in a better position the next week and a better position the next week. And if you start overlooking things, 'Oh well we are going to have…we're going to win all these games,' and 'We might host games' and all that talk, I mean that means nothing if you don't win this week. You know I always refer to the guys in the locker room, but there are a lot of mature guys who are preaching that to the younger guys.
Q: A week ago you said your life had changed, how are you coping with this aspect of it?
TB: Which aspect are you referring to?
Q: Dealing with the press?
TB: I think I am learning each week. You know week-to-week it's new stuff, but I think you start finding routines of ways you can get the things you need to get accomplished while still maintaining the other things. So there's a lot of stuff going on right now, needless to say. I mean it is easy to get distracted, but everybody owes it to the team and to the other teammates to stay as prepared as possible.
Q: How much of a difference does it make for you personally to have Terry [Glenn] back in the offense? What does he add to this offense and this team?
TB: I mean Terry is one of the best receivers in the league. I mean he's proved that over the course of five or six years that when he's out on the field, I mean he's really a player that the defense has to account for. I mean he is big enough where he matches up against bigger guys and he's fast enough where he can run by guys. He's quick enough where he can out quick guys. So he's really a threat out there and I mean you see last week, he was a huge help for us in the game as he was earlier in the season and hopefully that continues to happen. It just makes everybody else better. It takes pressure off myself. It takes pressure off Troy [Brown], David [Patten] and Charles [Johnson] and Antowain [Smith]. I mean it takes pressure off everybody because there's another guy that's able to make plays out there.
Q: Do you feel in-sync with him, because he hasn't been around much?
TB: Yeah, I really do. It's easy to get in-sync with him because he's so fluid. He's so smooth. It's not like…you know he came out there last week in practice and it was like he hadn't missed a day. It's pretty awesome to have that type of ability.
Q: I know you are not surprised that you are successful, but do you ever look at the stats or hear talk of your name and the Pro Bowl and think it is pretty amazing?
TB: You know I think the reason why I am there is because of all those guys that I am playing with. You know, because of how great a year Troy Brown in having, how great a year our offensive line has been playing and how good Antowain has been running. You know that's everybody, so when you look at something like that of course you say, 'Wow.' It's nice to be up there, but at the same time as a quarterback you realize that you are as good as the guys are around you. And if the guys aren't playing well around you, then it is tough to be good as a quarterback. Look at Rich Gannon, he's got a lot of good players he is playing with. And Kurt Warner. And [Jeff] Garcia. All these guys have great talent around them and that just helps to show their skills. Well that's the same way; those are the same guys I'm playing with. I mean David Patten is having a great season. I mean Antowain of course and Marc Edwards and Charles Johnson comes up with plays and Freddie Coleman. So it's really a credit to everybody.
Q: As you guys win more have you noticed a change in Coach Belichick at all? He seems looser with us?
TB: Yeah, I think…you know he's always stressing what it takes to be successful and I think for him it is rewarding to see that when guys to buy into what he's been preaching for the last year-and-a-half that it really pays off. I think in a sense…you know he's still tough, he still preaches the same things, but I don't think he needs to preach as hard because we're starting to realize, 'OK, well this is what it is going to take.' Each week he says, 'Well we've got to do this, this and this.' The weeks that we win, we do those things. The weeks we lose, we usually don't do those things. So I think in a sense, when the coaching that he's been doing really pays off on the field and especially in the win column, I mean I think he definitely appreciates that.
Q: Does that give you a sense of confidence, knowing that if you do the things he tells you to do that you'll be successful?
TB: Yeah, it certainly does because he's not wrong too often. To say he's not wrong at all, I mean he's pretty darn close. When he sits in our quarterback meetings he says, 'Well when you see this guy standing here and this guys' stance turned this way, this is what's happening,' and 100 percent of the time that's the case. That gives you confidence to know that that's going to happen when you see it on the field. Well it's the same thing when he preaches that to the whole team, in front of the whole team, that if we do this and we can eliminate this we are going to win.