Q: What’s new with you?
A: For me, it’s an ordinary Wednesday. We’re getting ready for the Bengals. And we got a big week for us. This team, watching some of the NFL shows last night, some people thought the Bengals are gonna be in the Super Bowl, and I know they got a hell of a team. So that’s I’ve been doing for the last four days.
Q: Have you and the Patriots made significant progress toward a contract extension?
I’d say this: There’s always communication. I’ve been with the team for going on my 11th year. I’ve been communicating with them a lot about a lot of things. It’s pretty uncomfortable talking about a contract because I know how coach Belichick feels talking about it, and how Mr. (Robert) Kraft does and Jonathan does. I don’t want to get into it. For me, it’s the same as it’s been. I’m trying to find a way to score some touchdowns against the Bengals. I didn’t spend five minutes yesterday thinking about my contract or my future. I thought how we’re gonna beat the Bengals.
Q: Would Kraft or Belichick be unhappy if you talked about your contract?
A: The reality is I have a job to do, and my job isn’t revolving around what my future is right now. My job is to be the best leader for this team that I can be, and really to get ready to play the Bengals and play really well. I think because of that, it’s pretty selfish if I sit here and that’s all I’m worried about, myself. That’s not how I feel. I feel excited to finally get to the regular season, and really get out there and do what I really love to do, which is play football.
Q: Would you feel more comfortable Sunday if you had new deal done?
A: I think everybody on our team would. I mean, every player on our team
would, every coach would, but that’s just not the way things work.
Listen, I love the Patriots, I love the organization, what Mr. Kraft has
done for me and my family over the years, I’m always grateful. And to
play for coach Belichick, there’s no coach I’d rather play for. That’s
how I’ve felt. That’s how I’ll feel today, tomorrow, Sunday, the
following week and for as long as I’m playing. And beyond my playing
years, I’ll be grateful for what I have here.
Q: Do you feel like you’ll finish your career as a Patriot?
A: Well, I’m always hopeful and, like I said, I love being here. And the
thought of playing somewhere else isn’t a very good thought for me, and
isn’t a very good feeling. I would never want that to happen. And at the
same time, I think all of us players guard against that, because we’ve
seen so many other players, Hall of Fame players, really the guys that
are the best that have ever played at their position, have to move teams
and I understand that. Look at Coach Belichick. He was at Cleveland, he
was with the Giants, he was with the Jets. So it’s hard to say. I don’t
make all those decisions. If it’s up to me, I would be. But you’ve
gotta have a team that wants you too, and I’ve gotta be able to perform
at the level they’re expecting me to work.
Q: That L.A.-to-Boston commute doesn’t bother you?
A: No. I mean, my home’s in Boston. That’s where I live. We’re building a
house in LA, really, to be close to my son. And I’m from California too,
so that’s a place for me and my family to spend time when I’m not in
Boston. When people say, ‘Where do you live?’ I say Boston, because
that’s where I’m at, that’s where I call home.