Q: How is practice going this week and can you really tell what practice means in terms of playing on Sunday night?
TB: It will ultimately come down to those three hours Sunday night. You're right, we've done both. We've had great weeks and bad games and bad weeks and great games. We've had great weeks and great games and vice versa. You'd always feel better going into the game after you've had a great week of preparation. I think the team's done a good job understanding who we're playing against, how they play, why they win. We're playing a great football team. It's going to take our best three hours of the season against our biggest challenge all season. Hopefully we're up for it.
Q: I understand you're a fan of team magician John Logan. Can you tell us what you like about him and how he helps the team?
TB: I saw him in there a couple weeks ago and he did some amazing things. I think everyone is blown away by a little magic. It was pretty cool.
Q: President Trump gave you a shout out last night in Washington. He said you called him. Can you tell us a little bit about the call and your wishes for the new president?
TB: I don't have much to say.
Q: Did you call President Trump?
TB: Did I call him? Let's talk about football.
Q: You've got two ownership groups that are well known in the league with the Rooney family and the Steelers and the Kraft family and the Patriots. How has the Kraft family touched you as a player?
TB: I think everybody knows how I feel about Mr. [Robert] Kraft. He's been a great influence on my life. He provides such great leadership for our team. I think he's fought through a lot of adversity in his life to get to this point. I have nothing but love and respect for him.
Q: What intimidates you anymore on the field?
TB: I don't know if intimidate is the word. I think you always go into the game understanding what gets you beat and cautious of the things they do well. I don't think it's necessarily intimidation. I think what helps you win and lose is really good performance and execution and so forth.
Q: Is nervousness the right word? Do you still get nervous?
TB: No, I think you just get anxious for games, because there is a big build-up to them and you prepare pretty hard. So, you finally get out there and play, because you feel like you've built up the whole week on the practice field and you've talked about a lot of situations and you've just got to see how they play out. I think it's just more anxiousness.
Q: The Steelers have had a good defense since you entered the league. Can you put your finger on why you've had so much success against the Steelers in your career?
TB: I don't know, we've just played a lot of good games against them, and they've played some good games against us, too. It's a tough defense. They've got a lot of good players on their side of the ball, at all levels of the defense.
Q: You see a number of elite quarterbacks and as their careers go, you see the offense kind of evolve away from them being at the center of it. How much do you appreciate the fact that even at 39 years old, the Patriots' offense still goes through you?
TB: We try to find out what the other team is having a hard time stopping. Some weeks it's more passing, some weeks it's more rushing and some weeks it's more the receivers and some weeks it's more the tight ends or the running backs. It's all a little bit different. Over the course of the whole season, you've got to use different game plans and so forth, different execution, things that you talk about. I don't think the fundamentals of football change necessarily; the blocking, the tackling, the throwing, the catching, all of those things that we work on through training camp. But the schemes change, and you try to put your team in the best position to win. As a quarterback, you're always trying to direct the blocking assignments and trying to just set protections and get us in a good place. I think that's what we've always tried to do here, and that has evolved over time. But, you know, you'd like to go out there and if we have 70 plays, you'd like to run 70 good plays. That's what the goal is for me every week.
Q: How engaged do you have to be at this stage of your career in terms of talking to guys who may not have been on this stage before? Has that changed as you've gotten older?
TB: I think a lot of guys know how to get ready to go, and coach does a good job of preparing them. I think part of the veteran responsibility is to let some of those guys know anything that you might know as a player, or feel as a player going into a big game like this. So, you try to convey those messages over the course of the week of practice, and basically all the time. Wherever you are you try to let other guys know some of your experiences and how to deal with them. But a lot of people ask questions, and some people take the information and retain it and others don't. So, you just try to do the best you can do.
Q: You mentioned your anxiousness. Is it fun preparing for a game like this? Or is it just more nerve-wracking because you want to get to the outcome?
TB: No, it's the whole process. You just can't skip through all of those things and get right to the game. You've got to go through the whole thing and you've got to go through the whole week; the film study and all the practices, all the meetings, walkthroughs. It's a lot to prepare for, especially against a great defense. [They are] a team that's won eight or nine straight and are playing as well as they've played all season, scoring points. We've got to limit them on offense after they played great last week. It's a tough test, so we're going to need to be our best.