Q: Are you good to go for Sunday?
TB: We'll see.
Q: You don't want to give us more than that?
TB: We'll see. Yeah, we'll see how it goes.
*Q: Is it at all related to the hit you took from Kam Chancellor? *
TB: I don't want to get into it much. It's just bumps and bruises like everybody else. It's a tough time of year. A lot of guys have been going for a long time - a lot longer than me. Everyone is dealing with something. It's part of football.
Q: How much does it affect you to miss a couple of practices during a week of preparation leading up to a game?
TB: I'm not sure because I haven't done it in a long time, so we'll just see. You work hard to do the best you can do whatever it is on a given day. If you can practice, great, but if you don't have the opportunity to do it, then that's the way it goes and you've got to do the best you can to get out there and help the team. Just trying to do the most I can to get out there and if I get my shot on Sunday, then I'll do the best I can do.
Q: How do you feel right now after just having come off the field?
TB: Like I said, everyone is dealing with just some bumps and bruises. It's just a part of football season and I'm not the only one dealing with them. There are a lot of guys dealing with a lot of stuff certainly in our locker room. It's just a part of this game.
Q: Did you feel like you had to cram at all when you were out on the field today after having missed the last two practices?
TB: I feel like I've got a lot of football kind of stored up. Not that it's not great, but I always prefer practicing. If you can't practice, then you can't practice, and like I said, do the best you can do until you get out there, and then when you get out there, do the best you can do. I wish I could give you guys more but there's not much to elaborate on.
Q: Do you feel like you're improving every day?
Q: A lot of your recent games against the Jets have been very close - what do you make of those contests as you get ready for Sunday?
TB: Yeah, there have been a lot of close games because they're a very tough, hard-nosed team. They always have been. All those games that we've played against them are tight games. They have a lot of good skill players. They've got a real good defense; they've had a good defense for a long time. They're always in the game, right there and they find a way to create turnovers. They're a real good football team. They've got a good front, good linebackers, experienced; some of the best players in the secondary that you'll see all season.
Q: What have you seen from Darrelle Revis?
TB: He's a phenomenal player, so everybody has up and down games, but he's been one of the best for a long time. I think you always have to have a lot of respect for that and what his abilities are. Playing against him and practicing against him every day when he was here, he's an incredible player and he's been that way since he came into the league in 2007. His coverage ability is different than a lot of corners because he does everything. He goes inside, outside. He's locked down a lot of people over the years. It's pretty amazing just what he's able to do. Outside of scheme help, there was never any scheme help for him. He was just, 'I got you and I'm going to take you out of the game.' He always gets everyone's best player and those guys always come out of the game with hardly any catches, so it's pretty amazing.
Q: Is there a balance there between trying to challenge Darrelle Revis rather than being afraid to as some teams have been in the past?
TB: I think you evaluate your options. There have been some balls caught deep. A.J. Green caught one. Marquis Goodwin caught one. Kenny Britt caught one. You watch the film and if we have an opportunity, if someone's back there and I see it, obviously, that's kind of a quarterback, and that's come up quite a few times this year where maybe someone's not the intended receiver and you go, 'Oh my gosh, they're running past him,' and then you just try to lay it out there. And our guys have pretty good speed, so if they're trying to sit on things, you've got to throw it by them, and if they're backing off, you've got to throw it underneath them, so that's just the cat and mouse game that you play with a lot of good players. But he's a guy that always kind of takes things away and he knows our guys and I'm sure we'll get his best this week. I'm sure of that.
Q: You're on the verge of win No. 200 and although you're not a big stats guy, does this mean more than some of the other records you've chased or broken considering it's a big team accomplishment?
TB: I haven't thought much about it, you know. I love winning games. I think that's what it comes down to. That's why we all play and I've just been a part of so many great teams and played with great coaches. None of those things, obviously, nobody could win a football game by themselves. You need a lot of help from a lot of people. It takes everybody. Everybody's got a very important job and you never know when your number is going to be called. You show up to work every day and you've got to count on the guy next to you. I've been able to count on a lot of people over the years. A lot of guys who have battled through a lot of football things, football injuries; it's a tough sport. It means I've been around for a little bit and played with a lot of great players on a lot of great teams.
Q: Tomorrow marks 10 years since the last game played on grass at Gillette Stadium. What do you remember from that last game against the Jets?
TB: Yeah, we lost that game. That was a tough, tough loss. Yeah, it was a real nasty game. The weather was bad. The field was pretty messed up from the start of the year at that point and then we had a pretty big rain that day. After that was the Chicago game and we ended up playing on turf. But I think most players prefer grass, you know. If you could play on a good grass surface, that's always, I think a little more fun for the players. But I don't know, maybe one day you guys can ask Mr. Kraft to put grass back in here for us players.
Q: Is field turf a happy medium where you can feel stable but it's not as bad as the old kind of turf?
TB: Yeah, I'm not sure what other people's experiences have been. I think it's -
Q: It sounds like you're lobbying for grass a little bit.
TB: I think everybody likes grass. I think players like to play on grass. We practice on grass every day. I think we as players go out there on grass practice fields every day, so you get used to the grass. Growing up, I played on all grass. I think it's easier to land on the grass than landing on the [turf].
Q: If you could have a grass field without the inconsistencies that come with it would that be ideal?
TB: Sure. Yeah. I think everybody would love a good grass surface to play on. That would be great. All of those European soccer teams get all the grass when they come to this stadium. That's a good point, right?
Q: How dependable has Martellus Bennett been in your eyes?
TB: He's done a great job and he's been out there every week to compete. He's a very tough guy. When you see him, he's 6-foot-7, 280 [pounds], I mean, he doesn't back down from anybody. I think it's just him showing up to work every day, ready to go, and excited about what he's got to do and whether he's been asked to block or catch. He's caught a lot of good balls, a lot of big balls. His run after catch is pretty incredible for someone that's his size. So I think that's what makes him such a dynamic player when the ball is in his hands. He's got a great run after catch, but he's got a very unique skill set, a very unique knowledge of the game. He's a very smart player, so it's been great to be out there with him.
Q: Is Martellus Bennett's catch radius at all similar to Rob Gronkowski's? Is he the kind of guy that you feel like you can throw it and just get it near him to be able to come down with it?
TB: Definitely, definitely, because he has a size advantage on basically everybody he plays against. It's hard to cover those guys because they've got that size and he's got quickness and speed, too. So it's just about making really a good throw and giving him an opportunity to make a play on the ball.
Q: What do you like about the formation of James White and Dion Lewis both in the backfield? How does that help you as a quarterback?
TB: They're both very shifty, quick, fast players and to get them both out there on the same field you hope you can get a mismatch there. They're both really good runners, great in the pass game. It's good to have different packages with different players in the game so they've got to prepare for some things, too. I've got a lot of confidence in both of those guys. What James White's done for us, what Dion [Lewis] did for us in the first 10 games last year was incredible and then James stepped in and did an unbelievable job, and now to have both of them out there making plays in both the run game and the pass game has been great. We've got to continue to find ways to incorporate everybody. There are a lot of good skill players and how to get everybody on the field in different personnel groupings so not one position is really carrying the load and those guys have done a great job of that.
Q: Is this one of the best group of offensive weapons that you've had this year?
TB: You know, it's hard to say. We've still got a lot of football left. We've been productive when we've executed at the level that we're capable of and that's what we're shooting for every week. I think we can certainly make improvements, everybody can. I'd love for us to go out there and click for 60 minutes and see what it looks like. We've had spurts of that but it'd be great to see it over the course of an entire game. I have a lot of confidence in our skill players and what they can do and getting open versus man-to-man coverage and the intelligence to find the zones when they play zone-coverage. The backfield, our guys have been running the ball well. You're right, we've got some good areas we can try and exploit every week. It's about us being comfortable running those plays against whatever weakness we think the other team has and trying to go out there and execute it.
Q: What has to happen in order for the offense to click for a full 60 minutes?
TB: I think that's every team's goal, is to see how you can do it. It's a lot of concentration. It's a lot of focus. It's a lot of good energy and enthusiasm for what we're trying to do. It's a challenging thing to do over the course of a long season. Like I said, hopefully whatever you put out is good enough to beat the team you're playing and the better teams you play, the higher the level you have to be at. We're playing a team that has a very good defense so we've got to be at a pretty high level this week.
Q: Has it been a focal point for the offense to be more balanced between the run game and the pass game this year?
TB: Yeah, I think whatever you choose to do you want to do it efficiently. I'm not so much of a 50/50 person. I think it's always good to have both. Some games the way the defense plays you, it forces you to throw it a lot. Some days it forces you to run it a lot, and whatever you do you have to be able to be efficient to move the ball. If they're going to give you soft looks and force you to run it then you've got to make a lot of yards running it. Then once they start becoming a little more aggressive you've got to take advantage of it, trying to find holes in the defense throwing the ball. There are some teams that dare us to run the ball and that's when we've got to run it and run them out of it basically. This is a team - they're good run stoppers, period, all of them in the front because they're big, physical. They're all 300-pound guys that have good athleticism, first-round picks, so they're pretty confident in their matchups, but we're still going to have to do a good job upfront. If they're forcing us to run it then we've got to still be able to make yards.