HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK (on if New England has settled into a groove) * *
"There are always things that we can work on and do better. We'll find out this week. It certainly is a big challenge for us coming out to Indianapolis and playing an undefeated team. I'm sure there will be a lot of energy and excitement in the stadium Sunday night. It'll be a huge challenge for us. I think whatever we've done to this point is not really at the same level of what we're going to face Sunday night. We'll find out."
HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK (on WR-Randy Moss)
"Randy has had a real good year for us. He's made some big plays, deep plays, red area plays, third down plays, run after the catch, blocked well. He's done a good job. He's certainly attracted a lot of coverage from our opponents, as well. He continues to work hard and is an impressive player for us."
HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK (on if he had any concerns about QB-Tom Brady coming into the season)
"Tom's really been back since day one. He did everything in the offseason program that all of our players did. In the spring practices and mini-camps and all of that, he did everything everybody else did, and in training camp, he did the same thing. He went out there and practiced, played in the preseason games. He really hasn't missed anything all year. He's been with us from day one and hasn't had any limitations."
HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK (on if he looks back at previous games in the series)
"Certainly, we know it is a big game, but I think defensively things have changed a little bit in Indianapolis with (Defensive Coordinator) Larry Coyer coming in there. Schematically, they are a little bit different. Certainly, I think there is some relevance in some of the other games, particularly on offense, but defensively it's a little bit of a different look. I think we have to take that into consideration. We look at some of those games from an educational standpoint on how things matched up, on how our players matched up against their players, even though the schemes may be a little bit different. We all know each game takes on its own personality and its own set of adjustments and its own unique plays. It's part of the preparation, but we know it will be different this time."
HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK (on if he ever got any secrets from QB-Peyton Manning when the two talked at the Pro Bowls)
"I had a great opportunity to spend some time with him in the Pro Bowl after the 2006 season. We talked about a lot of things. He has great insight and certainly a great passion for the game and a lot of intelligence and understanding for this game. It's great to talk football with him. He understands and has a perspective on things that I have a lot of respect for. It was very interesting to talk about. We exchanged some thoughts. I don't know if it was anything that was monumental, but it's certainly interesting and good to get a perspective from somebody that you don't usually get an opportunity to spend time with and talk to. That was a very special weekend, from that standpoint, for me."
HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK (on if when he talked to QB-Peyton Manning he kept quiet about some things)
"I think as well as we know each other, I don't know that there's a whole lot of secrets out there anyway. When you play a competitive football game, you put your best out there on the field; whatever your strategy is, you put your best coverage, your best pattern, your best game out there. Certainly, in the games that we've played against the Colts through the years, they've all been very important, and we've always done our best to try to do what we can to be successful. I know they have, as well. I think that's really where the real truth is and that's really what counts, what you do when you have to have it, when it's a critical situation in a critical game. You can say whatever you want in January, February or the day before the game, but when you really get into those situations you can't bluff anymore. You have to get out there and play your cards and do what you want to do in that situation. That's where you see what teams and players and strategies, that's what they are really all about."
HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK (on if he thinks he shares a common background with QB-Peyton Manning in that both were raised in football families)
"Sure. I think we both have a passion for it, and it's been in our blood and our family since the day either one of us was born into those families. There is a lot of history there. We've had a lot of history against each other and certainly a lot of history against other common opponents and coordinators and players and things like that. It was particularly interesting, even though it was the Pro Bowl, to game plan for the game. To work with him, in terms of plays and matchups and that kind of thing. It was kind of our offense because we were coaching it, but he was quarterbacking it, so he had some interesting insights into the overall game planning, not that it was a big game plan thing, but just how to look at plays or look at defenders or utilize our personnel and the receivers that we had, Chad Johnson, guys like that. It was kind of a unique situation for all of us. We were putting some different pieces together than what we normally had to work with."
HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK (on TE-Dallas Clark)
"He's a terrific player, very hard to defend. He pretty much can do everything that you would ask a tight end to do. He's a great vertical receiver. He can get open on the short and intermediate routes. He's a good possession player on third down and in the red area. He's good after the catch. He does a good job blocking, both on the line of scrimmage at his normal tight end position and when he's flexed out, which those are both hard blocks to do, whether they're against bigger people in line or against some of the more athletic corners or outside linebackers and safeties that he has to block out in space and hold those blocks for two, three seconds until (RB-Joseph) Addai can get out there and run off of them. I think he's got a real good combination of skills. He's a smart guy, very competitive. (He) came back from the injury he had against us (broken leg in 2003) in his first year. It seems like every game he makes big plays to help them win, in some way, whether it's blocking, catching, third down, red area, as part of a decoy route that frees somebody else up, whatever it is. He's been a very productive player for them in a lot of different ways. He is very hard to defend."
HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK (on if it is different preparing for QB-Peyton Manning than any other quarterback)
"I think every quarterback we prepare for is a challenge. Quarterbacks have different skill sets. Some guys do things better than others. That's not a knock on anybody, it's just that we're all different, and we all have different strengths and weaknesses. Every team we prepare for, every quarterback we prepare for, we try to prepare in a way that gives us the best opportunity against that particular individual, that quarterback, that receiver, that running back, that pass rusher, whoever it is. Peyton's outstanding and what I just said about Dallas Clark, presents a lot of different problems, and he can beat you in a lot of different ways. He is very hard to defend. He is a good decision maker, he's very accurate, he does an excellent job of managing the game and running his team. Is that hard? Absolutely, it's very hard, but we have challenges every week. I don't want to slight any other quarterback because we have trouble with them, too."
QB-TOM BRADY (on the hype surrounding the game and possible implications on the playoffs, and if that enters his mind at all)
"Certainly, I think they are, we always know Indianapolis is going to be there at the end. With them being 8-0 right now, it makes it tough if we get behind them with a loss here. There are obviously a lot of things that can happen, and the playoffs are long ways away, but anytime you play the teams that you know are going to be playoff contenders … You know, that was our problem last year, why we didn't get into the playoffs. We finished 11-5, but we didn't beat any of the playoff teams. So, we have to gout there and have a great week of practice and preparation for an undefeated team. They present a lot of challenges, they always do. We have to play our best game this week."
QB-TOM BRADY (on at what point did he know he was back with his knee injury from 2008 or if it's still an ongoing process)
"Well, physically, I've felt great for a long time. The rehab process is what it is; it's pretty straightforward at this point. Pretty much January of this year I was out throwing the ball and running around. I participated fully in all the minicamps and passing camps, and I've done every practice this season. So the health of my knee is great, and I feel great physically. I'm actually pretty luck in that sense, to feel as good as I do this late in the season."
QB-TOM BRADY (on if there was some trepidation going into the first game of the season)
"I didn't feel that at all. I felt very positive about where I was at physically. I think the rehab work had been done. I played in all the preseason games, I had gone through all the training camp. So physically I felt great. It was just matter of getting out there. You're never prepared for the speed of what you face when the regular-season comes, so I think that was, you know, we won that first week—I don't think we played our best, but fortunately we got out of there with a win—and I think we've made steady improvements since then."
QB-TOM BRADY (on if he talked with Peyton Manning or anyone else about coming back from a knee injury)
"Well, there are plenty of guys on our team that have been through it; Ben Watson was one, I talked to Rodney Harrison, he had an ACL surgery. Peyton and I talked initially. We both had infections, so we were kind of exchanging our notes there with the kind of infection we had and for the treatments there were. We were both very fortunate it wasn't any worse than it was diagnosed."
QB-TOM BRADY (on what Head Coach Bill Belichick is really like)
"He's got a great sense of humor. He's very witty. He's one of the smartest people I've ever been around. Had he not been a football coach, he'd be in some other profession, really at the top of the profession, because of his level of commitment to the team and his level of intelligence. The great part for the players is we show up to work and he gives us exactly what we need to do to win each week. He boils it down, usually to three or four different things, and 'These are the things we need to do this week.' And it's not too complicated for anybody to figure those things out, but he just has a great sense of what the team needs, and he has a great sense of how to motivate the players."
QB-TOM BRADY (on if he can give an example of Belichick's humor)
"He's got a great memory, so there is nothing that he really hasn't seen at this point in his coaching career. He has a lot of stories for us, which a lot of them are very comical, probably no specific examples, but he reflects a lot on the past. He enjoys telling those stories, and he's a great storyteller."
QB-TOM BRADY (on DE-Dwight Freeney and if there is less time to throw the ball with him)
"It's been that way every time we've played them. He's the best pass rusher in the league. He's been that since the time he came into the league. And Robert Mathis, he's a great pass rusher, too, and they complement each other. They almost look at times very similar, their styles that they use. They are responsible for 16 sacks and 29 hits on the quarterback and four forced fumbles. Every game it seems like they're in there in the backfield. Dwight has sacked the quarterback in nine straight games. Anytime you're the quarterback, you know you don't have the time that you normally have to throw, you just have to make those decisions a lot faster than you normally make them. As a quarterback, you'd love to have as much time as possible, but with these guys, you hardly have any time."
QB-TOM BRADY (on if he sees anyone eclipsing his TD record, throwing for possibly 55 TDs at some point)
"Certainly at some point it will happen. It is just a matter of when. Peyton is as capable as breaking it as anybody, the way he throws the football and the precision that he has. Touchdowns for a quarterback, I think the reason why I enjoy the record, it just means we got in the end zone a lot. That's what is most important, I think. Some quarterback in some passing offense is going to come (along) and continue to break passing records as the offenses develop and you become more efficient, like New Orleans is this year. It's just a matter of time."
QB-TOM BRADY (on knowing what goes into the QB position, does he takes pride in his TD record and the record season the team had in 2007)
"Yeah, it doesn't happen very often. Peyton had a great season in 2004. Numbers-wise, he's never been able to duplicate those, but that doesn't mean that he's not a better quarterback. There are a lot of factors that go into yards, touchdowns, sacks, the team's you're playing and the defenses you're facing and the weather conditions and the scores of the games dictating the style of the game…We had a really unique season in 2007, one that we are all proud of. I wish we had taken care of business in the Super Bowl, but it was a lot of hard work that was put into that season, and I think that was reflected in a lot of the records that we set, even though I would take that win in the Super Bowl over any of them."
QB-TOM BRADY (on if his season in 2007 was better or Manning's in 2004)
"Well, Peyton doesn't have too many bad seasons; in fact, I don't think he ever has a bad season. He doesn't ever play any bad games. So if I'm just in that conversation, I'm okay with it."