Patriots linebacker Tully Banta-Cain addresses the media during his press conference on Friday, October 8, 2010.
Q: Can you weigh in a little bit on the Randy Moss trade? What's your opinion and your initial reaction to the news?
TB: Obviously, it was a surprise to most of us. But he moved on and we've got to move on. We understand the business. It's a business...We had to go our separate ways.
Q: Did you get to see any of his press conference?
TB: No, I didn't get to check it out. How did it go?
Q: It went well. He expressed his affection for the guys here and there was no bashing on the way out the door.
TB: Right. He's a quality guy.
Q: No one is going to wear his jersey number out to practice today like he did with Kevin Faulk's number?
TB: Not that I know of. Not that I know of. His presence will be missed thought.
Q: Wes Welker said yesterday that he was a little bit disappointed when he found out that Randy had asked for a trade. Does that change your opinion of Randy?
TB: No, I think he has his reasons. Everybody is entitled to their reasons. He did what he felt like he had to do. I'm just a player. I do my job. It says on the front of the door to come in here and do your job. That's all I really can do. I can't speak on anybody's situation.
Q: Do you feel more pressure on the defense now with him gone?
TB: We always feel pressure as a defense to go out there and stop teams from scoring points. Obviously, Randy was a huge weapon for us, so hopefully the guys feeling the pressure are the guys having to step up behind Randy and fill those shoes, so to speak. We've just got to go out and keep doing our job. We're confident in the guys we have.
Q: Is this good timing for the bye week so you can forget about this for a week and go home? What are you going to do?
TB: I'm just going to be chilling. California is too far, really, to get on a plane for six hours for two days off. To answer your question, it's good that it did happen now as opposed to leading into the Baltimore game because it has already kind of caused somewhat of a distraction. But we'll get to watch him play this Monday night against, I believe, the Jets. We'll be rooting for him.
Q: Could that be his parting gift to you guys?
TB: Yeah, that would be nice if he could help get us back in first [place]. Like I said, we'll be rooting for him.
Q: The Patriots haven't lost a game following the bye week since 2002. Does that speak to what you guys are able to do with two weeks to prepare for an opponent with this coaching staff and the focus you guys have?
TB: I guess you could say that. Every year is different. I don't know the stats about bye week wins, but the coaches do a good job of getting us prepared and making sure we're not only focusing on the team we're playing, but what we're doing as a team ourselves and making sure that we're correcting mistakes that we've made in the previous weeks. It's a good week to reflect on what we've got and really get some extra preparation in.
Q: What goes into the self-scouting process that I assume traditionally takes place during the bye week?
TB: You get a chance to watch a little more film on previous games. You get to look at some of the plays that might have hurt you in previous weeks, even in the preseason. Some of the stuff that coaches might not have been able to coach up as much – they have a little extra time to focus on certain things like that. That would be the biggest thing. And then also, as far as reps, it gives guys a chance to maybe get a little more work in practice and get some other guys some looks to see how they can help us in the future.
Q: Do you guys still have a bad taste in your mouths after losing to them last year?
TB: Yeah, I mean, this is an important game for us because, obviously, like you said last year, that was the end of our season – Baltimore. We're geared up for it. They're playing well this season, so it's not going to be an easy win. We've got to make sure we're not too high off last week's win. We've still got to get back to playing fundamental football and really making sure that we play our A game against Baltimore.
Q: You said this is a good week to reflect on what you have. What do you have defensively at this point?
TB: I think we've got a good mix of talent in all departments: D-line, linebackers and secondary. Obviously, we're still early in the year, so it just gives us a chance to see what we've done, what we've been doing well and what we haven't been doing well, and really try to brush up on the things that we haven't been doing so well, so that they don't become a problem for us in future games.
Q: Any chance you can tell us some of the things you haven't been doing that well?
TB: No, I can't disclose that information; it's classified. But there are things that we haven't been doing so well, so we'll definitely try to get those things corrected.