Q: What do you remember about your two games against Vontae Davis last year?
TB: He's a very good player. He was a good player last year for them and he seems like he's picked up this year where he left off. He had a great interception against the Vikings, from what I saw. He's a very competitive player. He's obviously got all the physical skills and it looks like he's really playing great for that team. So we've got our work cut out for us when we throw his way.
Q: Can you talk about your two rookie tight ends? How surprised are you about how quickly they've developed for you?
TB: They've done a very good job. Both are very young in age. I think one of them is 20 and one just turned 21, so for young players, it's pretty neat to find them playing such a great role on our offense. But really, they've been forced to. You've got three tight ends on the roster; one is Alge Crumpler who has really been a great addition for us and has been a great mentor for those rookie tight ends. They've played a big role for us this year, both in the run game and the passing game. They've really had that role since the day they walked in. With each week, I think they are gaining a little more confidence in what they're doing through the experience that they're having, and we're relying on them every week to be playmakers for us.
Q: How effective can a good tight end be, in terms of doing damage to a 3-4 defense?
TB: Well, it all depends. I think there are certain coverages that take away the tight end, [and] there are certain coverages that take away the running game, so it all depends on what the defense wants to do and what they want to focus on. If they want to take away the tight end, they can certainly do it. I don't think that's a problem. But at what expense? That's what you weigh with every play on defense.
Q: I know this isn't your side of the ball, but is there any advice you would give to a young cornerback who has to line up against a receiver like Brandon Marshall?
TB: I think Brandon Marshall going up against any corner is...he's one of the better receivers in the league, so with his size and speed and ability to catch the ball, I know he's having a great year. I saw he is probably over 20 catches in three games, or something like that, 22 catches. That's pretty impressive. He's had a good season. They've got a good group of receivers, so hopefully we find a way to limit what they are able to do. But that's been challenging for teams this year. They've got a very good offense.
Q: Tony Sparano said that when he watches you on film, it still looks like you're playing football in your backyard and just tossing it around having fun. Is football still like that for you? Does it still feel like you can just draw up a play in the dirt and go back and throw it around in the backyard?
TB: Well, I certainly love playing. I've felt that way for a long time. I've got a great group of guys that I love playing with. Believe me, I'm much easier to be around when we win than when we lose. I think I expect us to go out there and play at a very high level every week, and I think it's very frustrating when we don't. Last week we played a little bit better than we did against the Jets. We're trying to grow as an offense, too. I'm glad he thinks it looks like that; it doesn't always feel like that for us.
Q: You've had some big games against the Dolphins lately, but you've also had some frustration against them down in Miami. How would you sum up the series from your perspective?
TB: Well, they've always been a tough division opponent for us. It's a great rivalry. And there was a long time that we played down there and couldn't beat them. It took a lot of years, and I think finally in '03 or '04 we beat them on a big pass to Troy Brown. It was so exciting for all the players. It's a tough place to play. It's a tough stadium, and the Dolphins always play very well. I know that we don't have a lot of margin for error this week. We've got to play our best game of football that we've played all season in order to win. If we don't, the Dolphins are going to take advantage. They've got an offense that can score points. They've got backs that can run, receivers that can catch. They've got a defense that is big and physical up front and very fast in the secondary. These Monday night games tell you an awful lot about what kind of team you have, just because with the buildup to the game and we're playing a very good team on the road - a division opponent. It's a real big game for us in the course of the season. We're really going to find out what kind of team we are and I think we're excited about the challenge that it's going to be.
Q: Can you talk about the weapon that Randy Moss is for you in the red zone, and the comfort you guys have developed over the years with the fade, which it seems like you guys do better than anybody?
TB: Somebody told me today that Randy is the only receiver other than Jerry Rice to have over 150 touchdown catches, which is pretty remarkable. He's a great target in the red area because he's so big and he's got such great understanding of what he needs to do to get open. A guy that size, he's just a great mismatch. It's someone that I'm always looking for. When Randy is open, Randy gets the ball because he's that kind of player. I'm hoping that he's open in the end zone this weekend, I'll tell you that, but I'm sure the Dolphins are going to try to find ways to take him away, too.
Q: Going back to 2007, I know he got out of the gate real fast with you. How did you guys develop that chemistry so quickly?
TB: When we got Randy, he was a very veteran player. He had played for a long time and I had been playing for a long time, too, so it was obviously a lot of the time we spent and talked. He and I have had a great relationship on and off the field, so there's always a lot of trust between the two of us. I know that when he's out there, he's going to go out there and do exactly what we need him to do and compete for the ball and be the playmaker on offense that, really, we need him to be.
Q: What have you seen out of this Dolphins defense through three games, as you've been able to break them down on film?
TB: They've got a lot of strengths. They're very big up front. They've got very athletic linebackers. [Karlos] Dansby and [Tim] Dobbins and [Channing] Crowder if he plays, he's a really good run-stopping linebacker. The outside linebackers are good. They drop into pass coverage. They're able to run. Koa Misi, he has obviously added a lot to the defense. Cameron Wake is a very good player. And then Yeremiah Bell, I've played a lot of games against him and he always finds a way to get involved in the game and try to intercept the ball. I've thrown him a few interceptions, unfortunately. [Chris] Clemons is very fast and athletic in the secondary. He brings a lot of speed to the defense. And then Jason Allen and Vontae [Davis], Benny Sapp is in there. Sean Smith - I've played against him. I think the front complements the secondary very well. They can rush. They do a good job stopping the run. It's one of those defenses that can really make some plays. In the Vikings game, the turnovers really killed the Vikings. They won in Buffalo, which is always a tough place to play, and then lost against the Jets, but had a great opportunity there at the end. It's a very good team. It's a very good defense. Like I said, I think we need to play our best this week.
Q: I know you recently signed a new contract extension, but have you reached a point in your career where you start thinking about how many more years you can keep doing this?
TB: I'm still a young man, so as long as I'm still effective...I want to play for a long time. I'd like to think that I'm not at halftime yet.
Q: Have you and Chad Henne ever been able to sit down together? I know we asked you guys last year and you hadn't, but has there been any contact since then?
TB: I haven't see Chad around at all. I'll see him after the game on Monday night, but I really see a lot of film on him. Us quarterbacks pretty much stick together. He's really done a lot of great things for that team. He's tough. He's a great leader. He brings some enthusiasm to the team. Not to mention all of his physical skills; he's got a great arm. He's very accurate, makes good decisions. He's a very, very good quarterback.
Q: Do you think you are playing right now in the best division in the NFL?
TB: You know, it's always hard to say at this time of year. There are so many things that happen over the course of the season. It's hard to tell. I think we have a very competitive division, there's no question about that. But over the course of the year there are a lot of things that happen with injuries, and some teams, once it starts going good, it starts going really good, and vice versa. So that's a tough one to answer. It probably won't be until Christmas time that you figure out who the good teams are. There's a lot of football to be played.
Q: What are your recollections of going against Mike Nolan's defenses over the years?
TB: He's a very good coordinator. He's got a lot in his plan. He's got a lot in his package. I think there's a lot of stuff to prepare for. It's a 3-4 defense, but there're a lot of 4-3 looks. There's the nickel defense, there's dime defense, there's blitzes from all those fronts, and they really do a lot of things defensively. You've got to prepare for a lot. I think it's very challenging to prepare for his defense because of all the different things that he is able to do, not to mention the talented players that he has.
Q: As someone who had an ACL injury like Wes Welker did this year, how amazing is it that he's been able to return to the field this quickly and do what he's been able to do?
TB: Wes is as good as they come. He's a great player. He's a great leader. He's got a great work ethic. He's extremely mentally tough. People have said that quite a bit to me, and I spent a lot of time with Wes this offseason, and it certainly doesn't surprise me, because I'm able to see him every day and what his level of commitment is is pretty impressive. He's a great player for us and I'm lucky to have him on our team. There's nobody else I'd rather have.