Q: What does this honor mean to you to be chosen to represent the 1996 and the 2001 teams at Sunday's game?
TL: It feels good. It's great to be a part of this team and great tradition that's been going on for so long. It's not to take anything away from the '85 team but '96 was the year that Patriot Nation and the fans got to experience an actual AFC Championship home game. It ended a little bit short of what we wanted to do but it was still a great accomplishment at the time and to host another AFC Championship game was big.
Q: Everybody remembers the 2001 season. What are some things that stick out about the 1996 season?
TL: I think the '96 season we were one of those teams that nobody thought we would get to the dance, you know get to the show. We were a decent football team but we just kind of caught fire at the end and next thing you know we're in the playoffs and it's a whole new season. We had a great coach in Bill Parcells and everything just seemed to be clicking at the right time. I couldn't even put it into words because for a minute there I'm just happy to be winning because my rookie year we didn't get the opportunity to play in the playoffs so to go from a non-playoff team to representing the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl was pretty big. Like I said, we hosted the AFC Championship Game and were winning playoff games and the home crowd gets to see that and they hadn't seen that in a long time.
Q: The majority of this team has never played on an AFC Championship team. What words of inspiration would you give to those guys?
TL: It's just another football game and although the magnitude is a lot different, there's a lot on the line it's still playing football. And to remember what got you there. You wouldn't be there unless you did something right so just keep that in mind. I think a lot of times players get so caught up in the hype that they forget this is what we do, we play football. You just try to put your best effort and best foot forward. Things will happen how they are supposed to happen.
Q: Rodney Harrison had some critical comments about the Patriots secondary earlier this season. What's your take on what you think of them and where you think they are now heading into Sunday's game?
TL: Well, if it's any indication of the last few games I think they played lights out, especially the defense as a whole. Yes, they struggled throughout the season but had a lot of injuries and a lot of things that just weren't going their way and when you have a quarterback like Tom Brady and you can get that many points, it helps you out a lot but they've stepped it up in a big way, especially last week, so hopefully they can carry that over and gain that confidence from these last few performances and play that well on Sunday night because Tom and that offense are clicking. All the defense has to do is step up, be productive and they'll win the football game.
Q: How much confidence do you need to be a good cornerback?
TL: I think cornerback is somewhat like quarterback, it's a mental game. I would say 60-70 percent of it is confidence. Off course you have to have the athleticism to go out there and play cornerback but its so mental, especially if you're playing on a defense that's going to put you in a lot of one-on-one situations with some of the best athletes out there so confidence is key. If you lose confidence as a cornerback, it's hard to come back from. I think you do lose confidence as a corner, it's hard to get back out there.
Q: How driven do you think Tom Brady is knowing that 2004 was the last time he was able to hoist the Lombardi Trophy?
TL: I think every year is different but Tom's be driven from day one. He thrives on championships and the fact that he's on the big stage. I don't thing his confidence ever wandered by any means. He is going to go out there and compete as he always does. He hasn't won in awhile but the team hasn't won. When he plays well the team plays well but when he doesn't play well it seems that he's getting all flack for that too but he always needs a supporting cast. If they support him like they're suppose to they will be hoisting that trophy again. I think too much is put on the actual quarterback. We've done things around there as a team and if the team steps up I know Tom will step up especially in a situation like this.
Q: From a defensive perspective what are your thoughts on the up-tempo, no huddle offense and the stress it puts on a defense?
TL: That puts a lot of stress on the defense because its hard to make your adjustments especially if you're trying to find matchups. The Patriots they're so good that all the receivers know how to play multiple positions so whatever side of field that they're on they can go out there and play the game. As a defender, if I'm covering Wes Welker and I'm looking for his number and if I'm not matched up against [Rob] Gronkowski now I set to see where these guys are at all times and you'll be running across the field, everyone's crossing bumping each other off so it can make it pretty difficult and what that does is it makes a defense stay left and right. That makes them play a base defense but at the same time the Patriots can go out there and do their whole playbook because they're so use to it. You kind of limit what the defense can do as far as their blitzes and their coverage packages.
Q: What are your thoughts on rise of this organization considering you played a key role on the team in the 1990's and 2000's.
TL: It's incredible and I think its unprecedented run since Mr. Kraft bought the team and hired the coach that he hired in Coach [Bill] Belichick. It's going to be hard to duplicate something like that. You got to give credit to the front office. It's absolutely incredible and I don't see something like this happening for a long, long time.