Q: You and Peyton Manning have had a ton of classic showdowns. Are you disappointed to not to be facing him this week?
TB: It's still a team that has a lot of good players on it, so we'll prepare this week like we prepare every week, no matter who is out there. Obviously, he is one of the greatest players to ever play, so hopefully he'll be here to say hi. He's a friend of mine.
Q: Do you guys still talk?
Q: Do you miss him? Does the league miss a guy like that?
TB: I don't know.
Q: Can you talk about their defense and what you've seen so far?
TB: I think they've got some players that can really play. I've played Dwight Freeney a bunch. I wish he was out this week, but he's in there again. He's a phenomenal player. If I could be a defensive end, I'd be like him, and Robert Mathis on the other side. Both those players can really wreak havoc and strip sacks. Coach [Belichick] said it this morning, Freeney's got like 99 career sacks and 43 forced fumbles. So, almost half the time that he sacks you, he strips the ball from you. He's a great player. They've got Jerraud Powers; I really like the way he plays. I think they have some very good defensive players. When you're having a season like they're having, obviously no one wants to be in that situation. But I'll tell you this: they play hard. They have a lot of pride. They've been in a lot of close games. They haven't won them, but they're in them. We have to go out there and we have to try to play really well, play more consistent, kind of like we did last week. We played more consistent than we had the previous week. We've got to go out there and play very consistent this week, too.
Q: We're about to hit December. Are you a believer that this is when the really good teams start to show?
TB: I think we've had quite a few games to see the kind of team that we are, the place where we're at [and] the things we need to improve on. You kind of have 11 games now of evidence and you really start becoming the team that you are. 8-3, has everything been perfect? No. But we have to go out there this week and try and get to 9-3. Any week in the NFL is a tough week. This team, obviously, with the threats they have offensively, the threats they have defensively, they can change the game with one play. We have to go out there and try to get a win.
Q: Are you a believer in building momentum down the stretch at the end of the season? Traditionally you guys have done well in December.
TB: I think Coach Belichick has always stressed that the best teams get better this time of year. I think that's the kind of team you want to be; you want to be a good finisher. If you play poorly down the stretch, you're not going to give yourself much of a chance to accomplish any of the goals that you set at the beginning of the year. You can put yourself in a decent position and we're in a decent position, but Coach always says, "Eight wins doesn't get you anything in this league." We've got to try to get our ninth.
Q: Given the array of talent they have on both sides of the ball, even without Peyton Manning, does it astonish you that they're still winless?
TB: It's hard. I think sometimes we take for granted winning here because we've done that, but it's hard to win an NFL game. Every team has talent. Every team can only spend to the cap; you can't spend over it. And the draft and the way that's built…so, it's hard to win games. It really is. You never want to see a team have that kind of season, because you know how miserable you are when we lose two in a row. At the same time, our job is to go out there and perform as well as we can against them this week and that's what we plan to do. We're trying to go out there and we don't take anything for granted. The record when the ball is kicked off - it doesn't matter what their record is; it doesn't matter what our record is. The team that's going to win is the team that plays the best that day. I think that's the approach that we took last week and the approach that we need to take this week and the approach that we're going to take.
Q: Are they playing with nothing to lose and they can really do whatever they want or are they at a tipping point where maybe a touchdown or two will get them down on themselves?
TB: I'm not sure. I'm not sure of their attitude. I know that we have to go out there and we have to play well and try to block Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis and the inside guys; they have some young, athletic linebackers, some guys in the secondary who can make [plays] - Antoine Bethea. I've played a lot of free safeties and he's one of the better ones that we play. You can't go in there and go 'Oh, we're the Patriots. [They're] the Colts. Yeah, we're going to win this game and move on.' That's not the way we approach it and that's not the way it works. Not in the NFL.
Q: They changed their defensive coordinator yesterday. Do you expect to see something different or something completely new from them?
TB: We'll prepare, obviously, for all the things they've done this year and then see how the game goes and try to adjust. If there're different things, there're different things. I'm sure there will be a few different things; it's a different style of coordinator. I don't think it's going to radically different. I think we'll prepare for what they've done all season.
Q: Why do you think it's so hard for people to understand how hard it is to win a game? People assume this is an easy win. Why don't people get it?
TB: Because you guys don't play. Because you don't have to drop back and try to find the open guy with two guys breathing down your throat. You don't have to cover Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark and tackle those guys. They're damn good football players and they've proven that year after year against us. I've got a ton of respect for the Colts and the way they play. Like someone said earlier, we've had some great games against them. We go out expecting to get their best. Their best has been very, very close at times this year. They played Pittsburgh very well. When you see them play a team like Pittsburgh well - actually play them better than we played them, you understand that they can certainly beat us if we don't go out and play well and if we allow them to do the things that they want to do.