Courtesy of New York Jets
On Brooks Bollingerâ€¦
I think he played very well against MIA last week. I think he made passes to a lot of different receivers. I thought he really made some good plays in the opening game too as far as scrambling for first downs. I think he showed a lot of poise in there, and I think that overall, this team has improved quite a bit offensively since we seen them, which was a very short time ago. They run the ball well, they ran it well against OAK, they had over 180 yards rushing and I think Brooks did a very good job managing the team, moving the ball, both throwing it and getting some keepers down on scrambles. I believe they have confidence in his running ability when theyâ€™re designing plays like QB draws, shovel passes and those types of plays. You donâ€™t mind your QB running. I think that heâ€™s shown he can play, and play well.
On the Patriots making a Super Bowl runâ€¦
Right now weâ€™re just trying to get ready for the Jets. I donâ€™t know about a run anywhere. I hope we can run the ball. That would be a change if we could. Weâ€™re just trying to get ready for the Jets. Itâ€™s a Monday night game. Herm always does a great job in getting his team ready to go. They play with a lot of emotion, a high energy level; they certainly have the last couple weeks. I think weâ€™ve made some improvement over the last couple weeks in our play, but weâ€™re still lacking consistency in some areas. Hopefully, we can do a better job of that. Weâ€™re looking forward to playing the Jets down there at home where they usually play well. Herm does a great job of getting the team ready to go. Iâ€™m sure theyâ€™ll be at their best Monday night.
On keeping the game plan normal going into the playoffsâ€¦
Weâ€™re trying to improve our football team. I think we need to be playing our best football. Thatâ€™s what weâ€™re trying to get to. I think weâ€™ve made some improvement in the last couple weeks in different areas, but thereâ€™s still a long way to go. Thatâ€™s what weâ€™re going to keep working on.
On Tom Bradyâ€™s shoulderâ€¦
Heâ€™ll probably be probable this week. Heâ€™s slightly less than 100 percent. Weâ€™re just following the rules the League lays out for us on injury reporting.
On playoff games being significantly different from regular-season gamesâ€¦
I think there is an intensity level thatâ€™s a little higher just because of whatâ€™s at stake at the game. You know, single illumination, one mistake, one loss and thatâ€™s it, you go home. I think thereâ€™s a jump in the intensity level in a game from preseason to regular season and I think there is a jump when the post-season starts. Not to lessen the quality of the games in those other times, but just because itâ€™s potentially the last one. Itâ€™s just a one-game season at that point, there are no second chances.
On specific elements in a playoff game that you may not need in a regular-season gameâ€¦
I donâ€™t know. I think the only thing I would say is at the end of a playoff game, I think you donâ€™t want to have the feeling that you lost because you were doing something that youâ€™re not very good at. In other words, if they beat you because youâ€™ve gone with your best stuff and youâ€™ve done the things youâ€™ve been successful with all year, thatâ€™s one thing. If you try to do something youâ€™re not very good at and that ends up costly and you end up not winning, youâ€™d probably look back and say, â€œI wonder if we just went with what weâ€™ve been successful with all year if that wouldâ€™ve been good enough?â€? Thatâ€™s a tough one to walk away from. It doesnâ€™t mean that you donâ€™t want to do anything different or change up anything, but I think you want to give your players and your team a chance to be successful doing what, at least a certain percentage of what has gotten you to that point.
On their injuriesâ€¦
Well, youâ€™d like to have all your players out there every week. Realistically, hardly anybody in the League is in that situation. We have confidence in all 53 players, the ones we take to the game. We feel we can win with them. Thatâ€™s why they are there. They need to step up and perform their role and do their job whatever that happens to be. Thatâ€™s the way we look at it and we donâ€™t try to concern ourselves too much with things we canâ€™t control. If a player is out, heâ€™s out. Somebody else has to step in and perform at that level.
On Ellis Hobbsâ€¦
I think Ellis has improved a lot during the season. He came in and has a good level of talent, but some of the coverages we do are probably a little different than the way he was used to doing them. But heâ€™s worked hard; heâ€™s been very competitive and I think heâ€™s gotten better each week. He has a good level of confidence and his confidence level has probably been growing as heâ€™s been able to have success on the field. Heâ€™s a hard working kid that wants to do better. He puts a lot into it and I respect his approach to the game. I think heâ€™s an improving young player.
On the NE defense showing improvementâ€¦
To be honest with you, I think defensively weâ€™ve made some improvements at about the bye week. It just didnâ€™t always show up necessarily in the end result. Instead of having three or four things wrong on a play, sometimes it was only one or two. Sometimes those things show up and sometimes they donâ€™t. The play just goes somewhere else and it doesnâ€™t become that noticeable. When youâ€™re doing a lot of things wrong on every play, then pretty much whatever they run youâ€™re out of position. I think, overall our consistency level has improved over the last few weeks and hopefully we can continue to keep it in that direction. I donâ€™t think it was one game, or one play, or anything that specific. I just think itâ€™s been a lot of little things adding up to the bigger result of being more competitive than a couple months ago. I think itâ€™s a matter of playing better and coaching better, for that matter. I think there was some bad coaching going on there as well, starting with me. I think itâ€™s a combination of playing better and doing a better job of coaching and giving the players a chance to play better. Those things are at an improvement from what they were.
On NE having interest in Ben Grahamâ€¦
I think heâ€™s doing a great job. He pinned us on the one-yardline twice and did the same thing to OAK a couple weeks ago. Heâ€™s got a good leg and is very good at those plus-50 punts. He gets it up in the air and itâ€™s almost like a golfer hitting the ball to the green. Heâ€™s got control over the ball once it hits the ground which to me is a hard thing to do. The way it bounces, usually it kicks forward, but his balls seem to land softly or sometimes even almost back-up a little bit kind of like a golf shot would when it hits the green. His control is amazing because if that ball comes down outside the 10 yardline, the returner is going to fair catch it and you might get it on your 10, 12, 14 or wherever it is but if it comes down inside the 10, on in some cases inside the five, thereâ€™s really nothing the returner can do. He canâ€™t catch the ball at that point, thatâ€™s not a good play, and if you let it go and it doesnâ€™tâ€™ roll into the end zone, theyâ€™ve got you where they want you. The Jets have done a great job of that all year and in our game, they killed us it. They got OAK too. Itâ€™s a good weapon and itâ€™s well executed as everything that Mike (Westhoff) does in the kicking game are. Heâ€™s a good coach and it seems like theyâ€™re always one of the best special teams units that we face.
On this Monday nightâ€™s game being historic because itâ€™s the last one on ABCâ€¦
Well, I hadnâ€™t thought of it from that perspective, but thatâ€™s a very interesting question that you pose. In 1970 I was still in high school, and the early Monday night games in college and that was a big thing because weâ€™d do anything not to study in college. We needed a good excuse and Monday Night Football was that. (Howard) Cosell and (Don) Meredith and the caller they had in the game were a little more unique than they had in the more standard weekend broadcasts. It seemed like the match-ups were always good, exciting match-ups, or at least they marketed it such that it was not only competitive, but entertaining as well. That was my memory of it. To think now that chapter of the book is closing and that weâ€™re a part of thatâ€¦Itâ€™s certainly a big chapter of the growth of the National Football League. That certainly puts it into perspective of where the games are. Iâ€™m fortunate and honored to be a part of this game in the National Football League with the NE Patriots. Itâ€™s an honor and a privilege for me to coach this team and to be a part of the franchise thatâ€™s in the greatest League in professional sports and to work for an owner like Robert Kraft, who has given me the opportunity to do that. Iâ€™m very thankful for the situation that Iâ€™m in and to have an opportunity to even participate in a game like this. Itâ€™s certainly been an important step in the history of football, the popularity of the sport, and what itâ€™s received during that time frame. Certainly, Monday Night Football on ABC has had an impact on that. Itâ€™s humbling to be one game in, I donâ€™t know how many games that would be, that are a lot of games. I guess it is an honor to be that last one in that legacy of broadcasting.
On if there is a certain element to have to be successful in the playoffsâ€¦
I think that I could give you the stats of it, but I think that turnovers are right at the top of playoff football importance. For the most part, the teams that are in the playoffs are pretty evenly matched and itâ€™s only going to take a little bit to decide those games so, ball possession and field position gained when a teams loses the ball on turnovers, thatâ€™s going to be huge. There are a lot of plays that arenâ€™t listed as turnovers, so they kind of fall in that same category. Even though they may not show up in the stat sheet, like a missed FG. If you miss a 40-yard FG, thatâ€™s the same as fumbling the ball. They have the ball, you have no points and they have that field position from what it wouldâ€™ve been if he made the FG. Those kinds of plays just get magnified I think, just because of the closeness in the competitive levels of the teams and whatâ€™s at stake. Itâ€™s one play, just one thing that can determine the outcome of the game and the outcome of your season.
On Tedy Bruschiâ€¦
Itâ€™s great to have Tedy out there. Heâ€™s a good player. Heâ€™s a very enthusiastic and energetic player. Heâ€™s a great leader. He brings a lot of positives to the team and a lot of positives to the field when heâ€™s out there, whether it is on defense or the kicking team where heâ€™s played a number of plays for us. Itâ€™s great to have him back. I think that his game and play has improved steadily through the course of the season since heâ€™s started playing in the seventh game. Heâ€™s just gotten better each week. Heâ€™s always been good, but I think missing all that time in training camp and the first games of the season, youâ€™re just not as sharp or see things as quickly. It might just be a split second but I think with each game his timing, reactions and reactive quickness is improving and heâ€™s continuing to play better and better. Thatâ€™s great for our football team and Iâ€™m obviously happy for him that heâ€™s able to achieve and play at that level. Heâ€™s worked hard and I think heâ€™s deserved the success that heâ€™s having.