“We’ll be quick. You all want to get to Tedy (Bruschi).”
What about the plays that Deion (Branch) made?
“I’m never shocked with anything Deion does. He’s done a great job all year, and he made three of the most critical plays in the game. So I always try to get him the football. Whenever you threw it to him, he catches it.”
On the 22-yard pass to Branch in the fourth quarter at the goal line…
“I was looking at David Givens and I swung back to Deion (Branch). He was so wide open, I wish I made a better throw to him. But Corey rushed it in on the next (play). We have got to keep building. We have to keep working. It is a new team. It’s a new year. There is no bigger challenge than having Indy come in here, trying to face the best team in the league.”
The team was fighting uphill most of the night …
“Offensively, I don’t think we really did as well as we would have liked to in the first half. You know, even the drive, the two‑minute drive, I wish we would have came away with some points there. That was critical. But it just wasn’t a very productive first half. That was easy to see, 3‑0. I am glad we came out and put 21 points out there on the second half.”
What does it mean to you to have seen Tedy Bruschi not only out there, but out there as much and does as much as he did?
“He’s going to be sore tomorrow. He is going to be tired and sore. I’m sure he’ll be the first one to tell you that. But everyone was energized with that. Tedy is one of a kind. There is no other player on the team like him.”
He didn’t give the offense much of a lift in the first half.
“Maybe we ought to put him out there at fullback or something. Maybe he’d try to do some things out there for us. But you know, I think he is a playmaker and he leads at defense. He is a great communicator. He is a great leader. He has been the heart and soul of this team for a long time so it is always great to have him back out there. But like I said, I think it was a long night for him. It is probably going to be tough for him to sleep tonight.”
When you think back, when you first heard that he had had a stroke, how long did you envision he would be out of action and how surprising was his early comeback to you?
“Yes, when I heard I was on vacation. I mean I heard it and I was with him, you know, I think I was the last person probably to see him before we took the flight. We were at the Pro Bowl together, we drove to the airport together. He got on the plane, and two days later we heard the news. So it was tough on everybody. I am sure it was tough on him more so than anybody else. But you know, as a friend, you just want what is best for him. And I think as athletes, you do what makes you happy. And I mean, like I said, I think he is a great player. He is a great leader. And you know, everyone is excited to have him back. Hopefully, we can all play up to his level because he sets a standard for how to play football in this league and he sets a tone for the New England Patriots. So if all the other young guys, all the veterans can play up to this level, we can be excited about where this team can go.”