Q:** What did Bill Belichick say to the players at the start of the week meeting to set the tone for the Buffalo Bills?
VW: Basically, not much because for one, this is a division game. Every division game is tough. So we understand that as the players and we go over the things we need to do to hopefully win the ballgame. It's always tough against a division opponent, no matter what the guys' records are. Division games are always played tough and we understand that. Our main thing is how well we can prepare for Sunday. So we'll see how that goes. Hopefully we can get a good week of practice in and things work out for us later on down the road.
Q: OK. But did he say anything specifically about Buffalo in the initial team meeting?
VW: He told us what we need to do to be successful for any opponent, not just the Buffalo Bills. That's how we start all of our meetings – what we need to do to be at our best come Sunday and then from there we go onto a game plan. There's no magic wand he waves over us. It's basically talking about things we need to do to be successful and if we don't get it done, we're going to have problems. That's how all of our meetings start.
Q: Last year the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl with the 31st-ranked defense in the league. Is that amazing to you?
VW: We don't even pay attention to last year. Every year is different. 32 teams in the league every year change personnel, change coaches. You've got players new on this team, so we try not to dwell in the past. Just like the Super Bowls we've won – just keep the past in the past and the future in the future. So moving forward, that's all you have to do. It's a one-week game every week. This week it's the Buffalo Bills so all of our focus has to be on the Bills and the Bills only.
Q: Right now the defense is ranked high against the run. How do you think the defense is playing?
VW: As a whole I think we can play a lot better. But our goal is to get better each week. That's our goal. Buffalo has a great ground attack and their offense is very explosive. They are one of the teams in the NFL that can put up some points and put up some big plays, through the air and on the ground with the backs they have. We're going to have our hands full defensively to try to slow these guys down, but we're up for the challenge. Hopefully it will work in our favor but they definitely cause a lot of problems we have to deal with.
Q: Buffalo had a lot of long plays against the New England defense last game. Has that been a topic of discussion this week?
VW: If we don't give up big plays, the defense can be very, very good. That's one of the things we have to get better at – stop giving up big plays and stop hurting ourselves. And like I said, they're a team that can strike from anywhere on the field – in the air and on the ground. We have to do a better job of that this time around because that game was close. We got a couple turnovers in that game that basically led to points on our end. But without those turnovers, you're looking at a different ballgame so we definitely have to minimize the big plays on our defense.
Q: What do you think the reason for the Patriots defense is for giving up so many big plays?
VW: That's our focus, our focus. The times we give up big plays, we are not on the same page and our focus level is not where it needs to be. That's one of the areas we need to get better and I think going forward, we're going to have to get better in that area. If we don't, we're going to continue to have problems. But I think the guys are working hard to fix those problems. In the past few weeks, we've kind of moved in the right direction with that, so hopefully it will continue this week.
Q: What do you see from Brad Smith and the Bills running the Wildcat?
VW: Yeah, they run some. Whatever we have called and whatever our checks are, we'll check to and everybody has to be on the same page. It really hasn't been a problem ever since the first time we saw it against the Dolphins. But Buffalo, they do definitely run that and they have the personnel to actually run that so whenever we see it, we just have to react and play to it.
Q: Can you comment on your viewpoint on how tough it is to cover Wes Welker and how he keeps rolling along?
VW: Well, I don't know how tough it is to cover him because I play with him and I don't have to play against him so that's something you'd probably have to ask one of the Buffalo Bills, seeing as how they actually have to cover him so that's better for those guys.
Q: How much do you appreciate how he is able to continue play at a high level?
VW: We have a lot of playmakers and he's definitely one of them. For both he and Tom [Brady], the more they're on the same page, the better it is for all of us. But, Tom has a lot of outlets, not just him. So we try to play team football, but those two alone can ruin the game for anyone so I'm just happy to be playing with both of them.
Q: If they dropped you into a zone dog could you cover him?
VW: Absolutely [Laughs].