Q: Can you shed any light on where you've been the last two days?
TB: I just had to take care of something, so it's good to be back with the team. I missed everybody, so just getting caught up on everything. It's a big week for us, going to Carolina and just kind of cramming a lot of things in today so I can be ready for practice, but I feel good.
Q: Can you tell us what happened before Thursday's game that led to the late change in starters?
TB: Yeah, I was just ready to go, had everything on. I was just trying to get something out of my shoe and the scissors slipped; just a silly accident.
Q: Did it happen to your right thumb and how is it?
TB: Yeah. Good, yeah it took a few days. I wanted to go and Coach [Bill Belichick] said it's probably best, for what I was going to go out and do, if we just take it easy. So that's what I ended up doing. I wish I could have played. I've been missing playing and I want to get out there with my teammates. I feel like that's what my job is and responsibility is to go out there and be with my team, so it was tough not to be out there.
Q: What has the reality been like of getting yourself ready for the regular season but then not being able to play the first four games?
TB: Yeah, I think it's just putting in effort, as much effort as you can each day to try to be prepared. I try to treat it no different because I always try to do the best that I can to prepare and be ready to go. That's the kind of mode that I've got to get into and that's what I've been trying to do. We try to do that in the spring and try to do that during training camp and deal with the situation as it comes. That's just where the focus has been. We've had a lot of good practices and it's been a lot of work. Hopefully, we can get out there and play on Friday night but it's a good week and preparation. I've obviously got work to do and that's where my focus is.
Q: If Thursday was a regular season or playoff game would you have braved it with the thumb?
TB: Yeah, I think so. Yeah. There's only one time I've ever missed for injury, and I wanted to go back and play that year, too. I think that's just, I've always felt like the team is counting on me to be out there, and I'm going to do everything I can to be out there playing. I wanted to go the other night, but I think Coach [Bill Belichick] made a great decision.
Q: Do you want to be out there Friday night?
TB: Yeah, absolutely. I'd like to be out there every time I get a chance to play, so you only get so many opportunities a year. I'm getting so many opportunities left in my life, so I'd like to take advantage of any opportunity, any and all of them if possible. When you see your teammates out there in their uniforms and ready to go, you want to be out there with them.
Q: Have you been told you're going to play on Friday?
TB: On Friday? I'm always prepared to go, so whenever my number is called I'll be ready.
Q: When the accident happened with the scissors on Thursday, did you feel like you dodged a bullet?
TB: Yeah, I let out probably a pretty loud word I wouldn't repeat in front of my kids. I couldn't believe it; I just went and got checked out. It was just a silly accident.
Q: After being ready to play last week and then having an accident like that happen, is there a thought of, 'What next can come out of the blue and happen to me'?
TB: I don't think about that stuff too much, I'm a pretty positive person. I just focused on how I was trying to do everything I could to get ready to play, and then finally as the QBs [quarterbacks] ran out for warmups it was like, 'Alright we're not playing.' I was just, like I said, bummed that I couldn't be out there with my teammates and taking the practice field, I love practicing, so to have the chance to go out there, you like, as a guy who's been here for a long time, to show your leadership through example and be out there whenever you can be out there because that's what the team is counting on. It was a crappy way to not be out there because it was, like I said, a silly mistake. I'm glad it wasn't the regular season and I learned from it, so hopefully won't be operating any more scissors for a while.
Q: Do you need game reps before you suit up against the Cleveland Browns?
TB: I don't think any of them hurt, so I think just do the best you can do. We're preparing a lot of guys to get ready to play. I fit into that, but so do a lot of other guys. I'm just taking the advice of Coach [Bill Belichick], and whatever he wants to do, I'm going to do everything I can to be ready to go when I am called upon. That's what my responsibility is so that's what I'm preparing to do.
Q: What do you think the difference is between practice reps and game reps in the preseason?
TB: Well, I think you're getting hit so just the space awareness, guys around you and ball security and things like that. For whatever, the last 30 practices, quarterbacks aren't touched. Just standing there in the pocket, holding the ball knowing that they're coming to get the ball and knock it out of your hands, hitting the ground, those types of things and so forth are important. You just have to feel things out and the game is really the only place to get it because it's regular speed. You don't know what's coming. We prepare, but we don't obviously get to walk through the looks that we're going to get. When you get out there you just have to make good decisions and go play quarterback the way that I've always tried to do.
Q: What have you thought of Jimmy Garoppolo's performances through two preseason starts now and how much has he leaned on you for advice?
TB: We're in every meeting together and there's always a good back-and-forth in our room. I think that's really encouraged by Josh [McDaniels] to speak up and say what you think. If you see someone maybe doing something a little bit different, we're always trying to be on the same page. I'm glad we've been winning, that's been fun to watch. We can always do better at our position and we're going to try to, we're going to need to. It's a tough schedule we've got but we're going to do the best we can do.
Q: Is there interest in the locker room on how the team is going to do getting on the road against a good team this week and not having practiced against another team leading up to it?
TB: Yeah, and we have that opportunity this week, so that's what you've got to use it for. Every week you get different opportunities, a Monday night game, a Sunday night game or a road game, a road night game. I think all these things are different opportunities to prepare for. For the guys that have been around and have had a chance to experience those things, you just kind of fall back into the routines that you have. But you're right; this team is a phenomenal team that we're playing. They were in the Super Bowl last year. They have one of the best defenses with some of the best defensive players in the league, so it's a big test and I'm glad it comes this week. This has been probably the most game planning that we've done, probably the most opportunities to watch film on another team and really prepare as if it's a regular season week. It's a good matchup.
Q: Have you approached this preseason any differently knowing that you have the four-game suspension looming at the start of the regular season?
TB: I try to approach it the same way. I think that has been successful for me. I don't try to change a whole bunch of things up, I try to work hard every day and I try to do what I need to do on the practice field to prepare myself. That's just kind of what the routine is, so we'll deal with those four weeks when they come. In the meantime, I'm just trying to prepare this week like I would have last year and the year before, and try to just prepare the best I can so I can be the best quarterback that I can for this team.
Q: Have you finalized plans for what you're going to do for the four weeks you are suspended?
TB: No, I haven't put much thought into it. It's been busy, obviously with the practices and so forth. We've still got a couple important weeks for this training and for this phase of the season. I want to put all my effort and thoughts into this week and next week, try to go out and play in a couple good preseason games, see if I can get some of that game action and then deal with that when it comes.