New England Patriots defensive lineman Ty Warren addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on January 9, 2008.
Q: Did signing your contract extension this year relax you or help you out?
TW: I don't know about "relax." I concentrate on football. That's just another aspect of this business.
Q: Personally, how do you think this season stacked up against the last one?
TW: I think numbers-wise, some might say it didn't add up to last season's stats, if you want to look at stats. But as far as the player, I'm still the same player as I was last year. I feel like I improved in my pass-rush a lot more. Even though the sacks weren't there, the hits on the quarterbacks was a lot more than it was last year, if you want to look at that. Last year I had 117 tackles. I think this year I had 83. I think with the combination of [Mike] Vrabel, myself and Vince [Wilfork] to the left, I think I didn't see as much action as I saw last year. Maybe that contributed to the amount of tackles, but I'm not justifying anything. I think there's no difference in the player here. I'm still the same old Ty.
Q: Can you talk about the challenges the defense will face going up against that size of a team, especially that size of a backfield?
TW: Well, it's going to be a physical game. We all know that. We know what Jacksonville brings to the table. [They're] number two in the league in rushing and number one in the AFC. That combination of backs they have, I think they have no weakness, really. They block well on blitz pick up, they run well, they both can be elusive, they both are home-run backs -- If you let them get through the line, they can go the distance. The offensive line, they play physically, too, and [David] Garrard, their quarterback, he's really the head of that whole operation, I think, but with help from the running backs.
Q: Richard Seymour said yesterday he thought he was getting closer and closer to 100 percent. What difference does that make?
TW: At this point of the season, I don't think anybody is 100 percent or will ever get to 100 percent. I don't know how he feels particularly. I think however he feels, he expressed that yesterday, but at this point in the season you're trying to grind through and trying to enhance however you're feeling at that particular time.
Q: What can a healthy Seymour offer?
TW: Seymour is an impactful player, regardless. I'm not in his body, so I really can't tell you how he feels when he's out there on the field, but I know point-blank period, he can be an impactful player in this one.
Q: Ellis Hobbs was talking yesterday about how there are times when a team isn't as tough or physical as they could be. Did you sense that at all, particularly in the Giants game, where you maybe needed to crank it up?
TW: Just speaking from the front, I don't think [there] was ever a time in the season where we weren't physical. I think at times during the season we might have been out of place somewhere in the front seven and that might have led to guys getting yards and things like that. As far as being physical, I think that is our game and because of the type of defense we run, I think teams tend to try to block our techniques because we're really not going anywhere. They'll try to get you out of place, out of your comfort zone, which is jacking the guy up and two-gapping, which sounds pretty bland, but if we can get a guy to move to the side a couple steps or if we can get him to shoot a gap or anything like that, then you get guys out of place and then you get big plays.
Q: It seems like the bigger backs, like Willis McGahee and Brandon Jacobs, those are the guys that have found a little bit of a weakness there. Is it harder to get those guys on the ground than someone who likes to shimmy and shake?
TW: No, it's not a problem to get those guys to the ground. You might call it a weakness, but I think it's probably just a flaw on that particular play, where the play wasn't executed the way it needs to be executed. I think if everybody is where they need to be [and] everybody is playing the technique they need to play then we're in good shape. If not, then we're not.
Q: How do you respond when opponents start trash-talking to you at this time of year?
TW: Well, the game, as you know [and] too many people have said, is played between the white lines. As far as myself, I'm not going to sit up here and do a lot of [trash talking] with a guy halfway across the country. The only thing I have control over is going out there and playing the best I can and just being accountable from that standpoint. Everything else will take care of itself.
Q: I meant on the field. We've seen a lot of that - The Giants were talking.
TW: Oh, on the field? Yeah, I mean, emotions are flying high. You don't have to recap over the whole Giants game, but that was a game that they were looking to win. Their pride was on the line. They weren't looking to lie down. They were looking to come into that game and play the best game they could. Some people express their emotions in different ways, and that was the case in the Giants game, I think, with some of those guys. Not all of them.
Q: Playing with guys like Vince Wilfork and Richard Seymour up front, how much do you guys push each other and feed off each other?
TW: Everybody's pushed in the circle where we all compete as defensive linemen, from Richard to me to Vince to Jarvis [Green] - whoever's out there, so you always look to go out there and put on your best performance… It's always a competitive deal, but at the same time it's always fun, and it's important to be having fun when you're out there playing.
Q: You talked about flaws. Do you find those are getting smaller? Are you guys reducing those throughout the season?
TW: I think that's the benefit of the bye week: you get to look back on all the plays that might have hurt you or the plays that might have not been run particularly well during the course of the season and you get to correct those things, because in the playoffs teams will try to capitalize on those things and try to dissect any little thing that you've done wrong over the course of the season and try to use that against you or build plays to do that same thing, maybe in a different look. So that's the benefit of the bye week and things like that, that we were able to work on those things and give ourselves a better chance to possibly win this week.