Q: What's with the gloves?
TB: [Jokingly] Playing receiver this week, catching a lot of balls.
Q: A lot of the guys in the locker room talk about your intensity. Is that a little bit amplified coming off a game like last week?
TB: I try to be pretty consistent with my enthusiasm and excitement for being out there. Nobody likes to lose, but it happens. It's happened before. We've just got to figure out how to make some improvements and go out there and do a lot better next week.
Q: When the defense is pressuring you, does it make you anticipate throws faster and lead to more mistakes?
TB: Typically, I think the less time you have as any player out there, when decisions have to be made faster, you've got to speed up the pace of the game. Whether that's the quarterback position or any other position, you've got to make quick decisions out there. And you're right, it's very anticipatory for all of us, and that's why we practice – so we can get on the same page. Typically in the NFL, if you wait for something to happen, then it's too late. You kind of have to anticipate it, see it, and that's why the best offenses are the ones people can really understand what you're trying to do before the play even starts. We're trying to get there.
Q: ** Is the Minnesota defense pressure-oriented?
TB: Sure, and I'd say most defenses are like that, where the faster you can get to the quarterback, the better it is for every defense. So, they're going to try to rush us, and they do a good job of it. Miami did a good job of it. This team does a good job of it. They do a good job just with their front four, and they've got some good blitzes. It's a good pressure defense. It's going to force our communication, especially on the road, and force us to make quick decisions, so it's really about our execution and how well we do.
Q: Is there an element early in the year where you're trying to get on the same page with your offensive linemen?
TB: Yeah, there are a lot of things we're going to try to improve at all levels of our offense. There just hasn't been a lot of sample size, so we're trying to figure out the things we're good at, the things we're not good at, and then that's how you improve over the course of the year. You do things and if they don't work, you kind of work all offseason to see if you can be better at certain things. Like I said before, you try to add new players, you try to add new schemes. You're hopeful things are a lot better and then ultimately you go out there and you put it to the test. If it doesn't work, you change. If it works then you continue to build on it. But not everything works. You don't change everything – you change some things. But ultimately, you're trying to have the best play, you're trying to anticipate it against the right defense, and you go out there and practice it and see how it works. And then if it doesn't work, you try to make adjustments moving forward.
Q: What role do you play in the meshing of all five offensive linemen?
TB: We're all connected. Everybody on the offense is connected. In offensive football, you really need 11 guys to do the right thing on every play or else it's usually not a successful play and you certainly can't sustain it over the course of a drive. You just can't have any breakdowns. When you have them, which you're going to have them in every game and you'll have them to a degree on every play – not everybody is going to stone their guy at the line of scrimmage or run the perfect route. You've got to have some margin for error. If we break down at the line I've got to get the ball out. If we have extra time to throw, I've got to find the open guy, I've got to have my eyes in the right place to find the right guy. It's all connected on offense, and we all rely on each other for our ability to do each other's job, and the better we all do it the better we'll be as a group.
Q: Can you talk about Matt Cassel as a quarterback and his time here?
TB: He's always been one of my great friends. He's just a special guy, special friend. We're great buddies. I'm so happy for him for what he's been able to accomplish, but I hope we beat him up this week. It's just the way it goes.
Q: ** What do you feel like you have to do to get on the same page with Brandon LaFell?
TB: We're just continuing to work at it and going out in practice working on our routes and working on our communication and timing, and hopefully it pays off in the game. It's something we've been working on since we got here, and hopefully it shows up better this week than it did last week.
Q: Did you feel like your calf affected your accuracy?
TB: I don't think so. I don't think there are any excuses for the way the outcome of the game was, but hopefully we're better this week.
Q: Knowing it's a small sample size, what is the biggest thing you take out of last Sunday going into this week?
TB: Just a little bit after the game, I said we've got to be able to sustain it for 60 minutes. We played a decent half of football, and then in the second half we didn't play very well. In the third quarter, we played not well, and then that led into a fourth quarter where we were kind of playing from behind, and that's always tough to do in the NFL. We just have to sustain it for 60 minutes, be consistent throughout the course of the entire game and all just do our job better over the course of the whole game. That's what leads to victories. You can't play for 30 minutes and then have a good outcome, especially against a good team on the road. You have to play well for 60 minutes. That's what we're going to work hard doing.
Q: It seemed like Cameron Wake and the rest of Miami's defensive line was able to jump the snap count. How is the snap count process complicated on the road with a new offensive line?
TB: It's stuff that we've got to do a better job of, so he doesn't get that kind of jump. But you're right. He's a really aggressive pass rusher. He jumps the count, and he'll give up sometimes a five-yard penalty for getting off on the count, getting an edge and making plays in the pass game. We've got to do a better job of that, of mixing things up and making sure they can't tee off on our counts. That's definitely a big point of emphasis that we've got to do a better job of.
Q: What are your thoughts on Everson Griffen, who had two sacks last week?
TB: He's a great player, great pass rusher. He's another guy who really gets off on the ball and challenges those tackles. He's got power, he's got speed, he's aggressive once he gets to the quarterback. I'll have to do a better job of moving in the pocket, finding space to throw, getting our guys out on the pattern and making the right reads, making the right throws and hitting them on a consistent basis. I think that's what we have to do in our passing game.
Q: How much do running back delays and draws help keep the pressure off you?
TB: I think all of those things have to be a part of our repertoire. When it becomes just a straight drop-back game and they can tee off and don't care if they give up four yards, that's a big advantage for the defense. Having all the variety of plays, the draws, the screens, the traps, the play-action pass, the drop-back pass, the three-steps – all those things play a part into an offense. We've got to do a great job of keeping them off balance. We've got to do a great job of staying ahead on down and distance. We can't get behind. This is a team that feeds off long-yardage situations, much like Miami did last week. They've got a really great blitz package. We've got to do a great job throughout the course of the game, especially getting off to a good start on every drive and make sure we've got positive plays and we're staying ahead on down and distance.
Q: Mike Zimmer was the defensive coordinator last year when you struggled against the Bengals. What did he do that he was able to be so successful against you guys?
TB: He's a great coordinator and a great coach. Minnesota hired him because he's been so successful. He's got a great scheme. I think he obviously coaches those guys very well. He's a very disciplined coach. They haven't lost a game all year; they're 5-0. They were 0-8 on the road last year, and they've already won one game on the road, so they're off to a great start. They're doing a lot of things well. We know what we're up against. We've got to go out and play a lot better than we played last week. I've got a lot of confidence in our guys, I have a lot of confidence in what we're doing, and now we've just got to go out and do it.
Q: With regards to the snap count, do you look at what is tipping off the defense to try to correct it?
TB: That's what they're trying to do. There are some teams we've played that listen to the TV copies and try to get jumps on your snap count. I think it's just about making sure you keep things moving – that it's not always the same rhythm, not always the same count because you're right, if you just go on the same count the whole game, they're just going to tee off. They got some good jumps. We can't allow that to happen. That certainly doesn't help our offensive line out very much when a guy already with great speed can come off the edge and make those plays. We're playing in a road environment where noise and communication is always an issue, so we've got to handle it better than we handled it last week.
Q: Is the snap count something you control, or does Josh McDaniels call for that?
TB: We all talk about the different things that we want to go on and ways that we try to get them so they can't tee off. It's a group effort.
Q: How do you look at this week, trying to balance a sense of urgency with not panicking because it is so early in the season?
TB: We're a long ways from the team we're going to be. We hate losing. It's a terrible feeling. It's a terrible feeling around here. It's a quality of life issue I think we all face when we lose, and hopefully it motivates us to go out there and have a great week of practice and be prepared for this game, go out there and try to beat a very good team.