Q: How excited are you to come back and play your first home game of the season at Gillette Stadium?
TB: Very excited. It will be a great game. They're a very good team we're playing, so I think the crowd will be into it and I'm sure we'll be ready to go, too.
Q: How long did it take you to get back into things on the field?
TB: I think it just still feels like I'm getting into it. Even last week, just kind of working my way back, and then playing. Then this week has felt, Monday and Tuesday, more normal. Hopefully that continues today.
Q: Can you talk about coming home and playing your first game in Foxborough after your suspension?
TB: I look forward to playing every week, and certainly, this will be a fun game. It's always pretty fun to be out there. We've got a great crowd and hopefully we give them lots of reasons to cheer. We've always had such great support here. It's just a great place to play, so hopefully we can make enough plays and keep them loud all game.
Q: Looking back at the film, how pleased are you with how everybody got involved in the offense last game?
TB: Yeah, there were a lot of contributions from a lot of places, and I think that's what makes a good offense - not just always throwing it to one or two guys, but spreading the ball around and throwing the ball where they're not. Wherever they want to cover, you've got to figure out other places to go with it and have guys in those positions to be able to make the plays. We certainly did a good job of that last week, but it always changes. Over the course of the year, teams will evaluate you different ways and try to take away different things, and you have to be able to adjust, too. That's why things play out over a long season. You can't - after four games or five games, you don't really know where you're at yet. It takes a while to figure out what you're really good at, how other teams are going to try to defend those things, and how you're able to adapt to the changes that they're making, too. I think that's the part of the fun part of the strategy of the game. You can't come in here every week with the same plan and say, 'Alright, well let's just Xerox copy what we did last week and see if that will work again.' I think you always have to find ways to reinvent yourself over the course of a season, and the teams that can do that are usually the ones that win the most games.
Q: What do you recall from the Monday night game against the Bengals in 2014?
TB: That was a long time ago. At the end of the day we played good. That's what matters most - our ability to focus on that particular team, game and opponent. That's what we did a great job of that week, and that's what we're going to have to do this week, too.
Q: The Patriots were a dangerous team that week after what happened the week before with the loss to Kansas City. Can you see that being the case this week for the Bengals after a disappointing result for them in Dallas this past week?
TB: Yeah, I think they're very talented. They're a very talented group of players, most importantly, and they've got a good scheme that's proven to win over a lot of years. They've won their division two of the last three years, which is a very tough division to play in. It's a very tough team. They're very talented, and there are a lot of guys that were on that team in 2014 that are still there. Coach [Bill Belichick] talked a lot about their continuity, their organization. Certainly with the players they've kept and committed to, they run a great scheme. They're very disciplined, they play hard, and they're going to give us everything they've got.
*Q: What do Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett do for you as a quarterback? *
TB: Well they've been - I was saying the other day, Martellus [Bennett] has been so productive, being here for such a short time. Gronk [Rob Gronkowski], what he did last week and him kind of getting back to where he wants to be is such a big part of our offense because those guys are so dynamic. They're tough matchups, they're both 6-foot-6-plus, 270-pounds-plus. They're hard matchups for anybody because they're just very unique players. It's great because like on the touchdown to Martellus, one of them, they focused all their coverage on Gronk, and then Martellus gets the one-on-one and he gets the ball. Again, that's what makes a good offense. If they're going to double cover someone, it means other guys have single coverage. If you're playing with a guy like Gronk, it's great for you because you're not the one getting double covered, so you'll have opportunities and you have to take advantage of the opportunities when you get them.
Q: What are your thoughts on your other weapons, particularly the new ones like Martellus Bennett as you already mentioned, and Chris Hogan?
TB: Yeah, they've all been playing really well over the course of the first five weeks. The skill players have done a great job when they've gotten the opportunities. Again, it's just distributing the ball. Whether we're running it or throwing it, which part of the field we're throwing it - outside, inside, deep, short - everybody has to play a role. You play that role, like that long one to [Chris] Hogan in the game, I would say that he was the last guy that I would ever except to get the ball on that play on the deep one on the right sideline. But he's in the position and he gets open, and now he gets the opportunity. You never know when your number is going to get called, so when it does you've got to take advantage of it.
Q: Is that deep ball something you worked on a lot in the offseason and through the first four weeks?
TB: Yeah, I've always worked pretty hard on my mechanics and making sure I'm doing things the right way mechanically. I think that's translated into a lot of throws, but hopefully I can hit those ones down the field. Those are big ones. They change the whole field positon. They change - if you throw a 50-yarder, it's five first downs. It shows up on the stat sheet a little differently, but the production is great when you're able to kind of hit those homerun balls.