Q: Bill Belichick is one win away from tying Tom Landry for the most career wins all time. He's been your only head coach in the NFL. What stands out to you the most about Coach Belichick?
TB: Well, he's just so consistent. I think he has such an approach and an urgency to his coaching and how he gets the whole staff prepared and the players. Everything is important - the walkthroughs, the OTAs, minicamp, training camp. I don't think you'd notice many times between an OTA day and a Super Bowl week in the way that he approaches the preparations. He gets us all ready to go. That urgency helps us get ready and keeps us focused and hopefully leads to a good practice that we can put together day after day. You try to make a lot of improvements and those improvements really show up in the game. I think he's just a great coach and, you're right, he's been my only coach so it's been a lot of fun.
Q: Did you get everything out of your system during the bye weekend. Do you feel ready to go again?
TB: Yeah, we've got eight to go so this is about the time when everyone starts to see what you're made of. Eight games are done. I think we've learned a lot of things and hopefully we can use the things we've learned and apply them. We have very competitive games starting, obviously, with this one, a tough place to play against a very tough team. None of them are going to be easy, so we're going to have to play better than we've played. That's what our goal is.
Q: The team also had an extended road trip in San Diego back in 2014. What was the experience like of being on the road for that long?
TB: They're all different experiences. I think if you win they're a lot of fun. You remember them after the year and you're like 'Man, that was great,' but if you lose they all kind of suck. I think you've really got to try to do your best to win the games. It's still a lot of football. Most of us are in a routine anyways. You kind of know how to prepare. You're in a different environment. This will be a little bit different than the last time we did that when we were in San Diego because we still have to travel again. It's just a unique thing. It probably will never happen again. Hopefully, we can take advantage of it.
Q: Why does playing in Denver seem to be such a tough challenge for this team?
TB: I think they've had good teams. Obviously, you play on the road [and] it's tough communication-wise, but when you play good teams I think the margin of error is even more slim and this team has always had a good football team. I mean, they've been good in all phases, well coached, good players, good offenses, defenses, kickers. A lot of the games have been close. There's little margin of error when you go out there. We're going to have to play good. They have a great defense. They have great players on both sides of the ball. You can't go out there and make a bunch of mistakes and expect to win.
Q: Are they any more dangerous because their backs might be against the wall due to their record?
TB: Yeah, every team, I think at this point, all these wins are important for every team. No one likes to lose, obviously. We feel that way. We've lost games and there's definitely urgency. You learn a lot from the losses and everyone wants to get the bad taste out of their mouth. Any time you lose that's how you feel. I'm sure they feel that way. We felt that way this year. It's still going to come down to how well you prepare and play this particular week. What happened last week or next week isn't going to matter much. It's really what we do this week. We're going to have to play good to beat them. Hopefully, we can go execute and make a bunch of plays and that will take care of a lot of things for us.
Q: What has been like not having Jimmy Garoppolo around and now having Brian Hoyer back in the mix?
TB: It's only been a week. It's a short period of time. We've been off a lot of that time, too. Again, I try to approach it like I always have every day whether Jimmy's not here or a receiver's not here or a lineman. You just still have to focus on doing your best. I think that's what being a professional is. We've dealt with a lot of changes. Certainly me being here and seeing a lot of guys come and go at different times. There's always transition but you also have to focus on what you need to do to help the team win and for me it's play quarterback and do the best I can do. Having someone I'm familiar with is always great because you've already got a relationship. Brian and I have always stayed friends and kept in touch. We kind of picked up where we left off.
Q: Does Brian Hoyer bring a different perspective to the room since he's been with so many different teams?
TB: Yeah. He's had different experiences, and different organizations, and coaches, and plays, and schemes and players. It's always good to get that input to know exactly how they may have done some things that they were successful at. But yeah, it's definitely helpful. We've had plenty of those conversations. It's good to have him back.
Q: How do you balance the decision on a play where you may be able to take off and run but yet you are putting yourself and your body at more of a risk?
TB: I think everybody has different skill sets and there's a lot of ways to move the ball up and down the field. Depending on what your skill set is - I know what mine is and what I'm comfortable doing. For me, to drop back and read coverages and find open guys and figure out where soft spots are, make accurate throws - that's what works best for me. A lot of times even though it may look like a big opening to run, I'm like 'Man, that's a great opening to throw. I can see everything. It's really clear.' It just doesn't quite trigger in my mind 'Hey, take off and go because there's a lot of space.' I think there's other quarterbacks who when they see a lot of space they think 'Man, this is a great opportunity to run.' It's just kind of how you've been trained and what you're confident in and so forth. When I do do that like once a season and I take off down the field things are happening a lot quicker than what I'm used to. I'm obviously not practicing those things very much, so a lot of it is just 'Hey, how are we going to protect the ball,' and get as much as you can and make sure you're able to go and make the next play. A lot of guys can run and make plays. It's a great dimension to have. I wish I could run a 4.8 but I don't.