Q: Can we get Julian Edelman out of the way? As your neighbor in the locker room there, he's a young player and you as a leader on the team. Is there anything you can say to young players to try and guide them when they're away from Gillette Stadium and keep them out of trouble?
TB: We kind of let Coach Belichick handle that. He's our friend. We're trying to get ready to win a football game, that's whats on our mind.
Q: But you are a leader on that team, do you shepherd the younger guys at all? You've been there, you've been out to the clubs - nothing good ever happens after 1 A.M. with a beer in your hand.
TB: Your dad used to say that? Probably good advice from your dad.
Q: Is there any leadership you can provide with the younger guys, not in particular with Julian?
TB: It's not much for me to talk about. Honestly, it's not my situation. It's someone else's. I got plenty of other things I've got to worry over the course of this week. My priorities are to be the best quarterback I can be for this team. So just like everyone that's their role on this team, to do their job and do as well as they can. We have a very tough opponent who is playing very well coming in. All of our focus and attention needs to be on them. They're enough to handle as is. We got off to a good start last couple of days as a team and we got to keep it rolling throughout the whole week, so I think that's where our focus is.
Q: Can you draw anything from the Super Bowl game or is that too far in the past?
TB: That's a distant memory. There's not much you can take from that. This is an entirely different team that we have and that they have - strengths and weaknesses. There are so many players on our team that were obviously not a part of that game or any game against the Giants. We're familiar with them, we play them in the preseason mostly every year and we've played them in the preseason this year and that probably gives us a little more of an understanding of what they do then the game a few years ago or eight years ago or something like that.
Q: Is Super Bowl XLII gone from your existence or do you have one recollection that stands out?
TB: This week it is. I don't think it always is. It's not always - there are other times when you think about it, but this week, I'm not thinking about that game. I've had a lot of opportunities to think about that game, but this isn't the week for that.
Q: How unique are the Giants in the sense that they can get pressure from up front and drop a lot of guys into coverage because they can get so much pressure up front?
TB: Yeah they get pressure probably better than anybody in the league. They lead the league in sacks. Damn, every guy on that defensive line can rush the quarterback. JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul] has eight sacks and Osi [Umenyiora] got six and [Justin] Tuck hasn't been in there a lot, but he's still getting them. They got a whole group of pass rushers. The only time you rush the passer, obviously you commit more people to coverage and they do a good job of that. They're very good against the pass. We have to go out there and be balanced and execute certainly better than we did last week.
Q: Over the last eight years or so, you guys have very rarely lost back-to-back games, why is that?
TB: We've had a good team here for that time. Good teams usually don't lose back-to-back games. Hopefully we don't do it this week.
Q: What makes you guys so good at bouncing back?
TB: I don't know. I am not sure.
Q: Is there a different feel or a different attitude around here in the week following a loss?
TB: Well, we are all pretty much in a bad mood. There's a mourning process that goes on with our team - the coaches, the players. We hate losing. It's not something we'll ever get used to. It sucks, the whole week sucks actually. So you just got to try and go out there and erase that memory with a good win - Good days of practice and once you get into the preparation of the week you end up really moving on which we've done that.
Q: Bill O'Brien said yesterday that Taylor Price is a guy that the team needs to get on the field more often and get him more reps. How have you seen him grow, evolve, and come into his own as a wide receiver in practice?
TB: He's like any young player and veteran player. We're all trying to be consistent with what we're doing and whatever role our coach gives us, we're trying to do it the best you can. That goes for the receiver position, running back position - there are young guys at that position as well that could obviously help the team. Any time you're on the active roster, you have an opportunity to help the team. That's what you're trying to go out there and do every day at practice. It's about gaining the trust of your teammates and coaches so that you're able to go out there and do it with confidence in the game.
Q: Justin Tuck is one of a bunch of guys on the Giants defense that has been dealing with injuries. How have you been seeing them compensate for those injuries?
TB: Well, they have a whole group of defensive lineman that rush so if Tuck's not in there - he was only in there for about half the other game last week. They put other guys in there that get after the quarterback too, so I think they can rush Tuck and Osi [Umenyiora] and JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul] and [Dave] Tollefson. They've got a whole group and they've had that for quite a while now, so when you play them you got to understand that you're not going to have all day to throw. You're not going to drop back and stand in the pocket. You've got to find someone and get them the ball.
Q: When you face a team that plays a lot of press coverage and makes it difficult for your receivers to gain separation right on the line, how important does Rob Gronkowski become with his physical abilities?
TB: Football is always about playing physical. It's a physical sport and if you're a finesse team you don't usually last very long and that's what we're trying to be. We're trying to be a physical team that's tough - whether you're on the line scrimmage and they're pressing you, that you get off the line of scrimmage or whether you're running the ball the ball out at the end of the game or you're in a third and one situation or a goal line situation. All those things really relate to the toughness of an offense and that's stuff we're trying to build on.
Q: Has Rob Gronkowski emerged as a bit of deep threat for you with his ability to go up against different types of coverages?
TB: I think he's a threat short, medium, or long [threat] because he's got good speed, and he's also very rangy. Even if it's tough coverage he'll give you a place to throw the ball because of his length and his ability to catch the ball away from his body.
Q: Regardless of the target, how badly do you want to see this offense get the ball deep more frequently?
TB: At times we've done a pretty good job of that. There's times when you come out of the game like, 'Man we should've taken more shots at down the field.' It's usually easier to say that after the game than before the game. You're always going into the game with plays and you're always going into the game going, 'OK well we got to throw it short, medium, deep or wherever they aren't covered. That's where we're going to throw.' You really don't go into too many games thinking, 'Well, we're not going to throw it deep today. We're going to have to take our shots and if they're back there then we're going to have to check it down.' If they don't give you the opportunity then you got to be more methodical with your drives and sometimes that's very good for an offense as well. We have to do whatever they're not covering. Whatever they're covering we got to do something different.
Q: How similar is the Giants defensive scheme to what you remember of the last time you played them in a game that actually counted, not the preseason games?
TB: It's pretty different. It's a different coordinator. [Steve] Spagnulo was the coordinator back then and just from the regular season, obviously what they did then, that was their scheme and their style. We are more familiar with their [current] style because we played them during the preseason. Perry Fewell is coordinator and we've played against him a bunch of times as well. It's a whole unique set of players that they have and if you have [Justin] Tuck, [Osi] Umenyiora, and JPP [Jason Pierre-Paul] you're going to have a lot of flexibility with what you're doing.
Q: Over the course of a year and going up against your guys in every practice, every week - do you notice certain things about your defense and in particular how tough it is on you day in and day out?
TB: Yeah more in training camp [does] that probably come up. In the regular season, you're not running New England Patriots defense focused plays. Last week, it was plays we're going to run against the Steelers, maybe against our defense. It usually doesn't work very well because you know your game plan for a team that plays a certain style of defense and you have a different one. That's what we do.
Q: You talk about the term finesse team being almost a dirty word. When you throw the ball as much as you guys do, is it tough to be a tough and physical team?
TB: Sure, you definitely can be. It comes down to those situational plays that I talked about like third and one, you're not throwing it. First and goal on the one, you're not throwing it. Four minutes left in the game and you got a lead, you're not throwing it. You might, but the team really knows you're running it. Like against the Jets, where we ran it 9-of-11 or 10-of-11 times right at the end of the game to end it. That's what it means to be tough [and] physical. I would say that they Steelers threw it 50 times last week and they're a pretty physical team. That's what we try to be as well. Even though you're efficient in both phases - running and passing, you're still trying to do it with an element of toughness to your team.
Q: It's really a dirty word isn't it?
TB: Finesse in football? Yes, football isn't a finesse sport. You don't go very far as a finesse team.
Q: How do you keep off the field distractions from impacting performance on the field?
TB: You don't talk about it or answer questions when people ask. You just move on.