It's good to be Tedy Bruschi

Tedy Bruschi is on top of the world. The former Wildcat just won his second Superbowl and was welcomed back to Tucson with a rousing ovation at halftime of the UA/USC basketball game. As good as his football career is, his personal life is better with his wife and two young sons.

We interviewed Tedy as part of the "Cat Tracks on the Air" radio show. Here is the transcript.

Doug Carr: You should be balanced now, a Superbowl Ring for each hand.

Tedy Bruschi: "I've got two now. I got to pick another finger to put the other one on. It's a good problem to have."

Brad Allis: There seems to be a lot of similarities between the '93 Fiesta Bowl team and your Patriots' teams. You both have great defenses and offenses that made plays when they needed them most. Do you see the similarities?

Bruschi: "That 93 Fiesta Bowl team draws more comparisons to our first team that won the championship. The way we did it this year we beat everyone. We beat everybody, we won 15 in a row. We blew people out, we won close games. I think we were the most dominant team in the league, so I think that is different from that Fiesta Bowl team."

Allis: You've had an interesting NFL career. You were drafted, but had to switch positions. You started out as a reserve, but now you are sitting on top of the world. What's it like being Tedy Bruschi?

Bruschi: "Well it's a lot of fun, but right now I'm just a daddy. I've got two young sons. Little Tedy Jr. is three years old and Rex is two years old. That is what I really love, just being a husband and a father.

"In terms of my football life I have come a long way. I came from California down here and I played defensive end and defensive tackle all my life. All of the sudden I get drafted by the Patriots in the third round and they say ‘you have to move to linebacker, son.' Luckily I was able to play special teams and rush the passer early on in my career, so that established my role on the team. In the meantime I was able to learn to play linebacker and slowly, but surely through my eight years I was able to get better at linebacker."

Carr: You're whole path from college on was one of hard work. You were lightly recruited out of high school, but left as the NCAA sack leader. What gave you your drive?

Bruschi: "I've just sort of been determined my whole life. I'm going to do whatever I can to be successful. I'm not going to let anything stop me. Certainly, not any of the doubters or naysayers. There have been a lot of opinions and predictions put out on me and who I can be as a player. What I can be as a player in my mind is totally different than what other people say.

"For me it is about playing winning football. I'm not a guy who puts out goals for individual accolades. I just want to be a championship caliber player. Other guys say they want to be a Pro Bowl caliber player, I want to be considered one of the best players. But I want to be considered a championship caliber player because that is what sports is all about, winning championships."

Allis: You saw the highs and lows during your Wildcat career. You were as low as you could be in 1991, but by 1993 you were winning the Fiesta Bowl. What can you tell the guys who are here now and are struggling to turn things around?

Bruschi: "I tell those guys that they are sort of in the same situation that I was when I came to the University of Arizona. They are now part of a program that has been dwindling a little bit, sort of like when I came here in 1991. A motto we had back then was ‘bring it back.'. It was our responsibility to bring ‘it' back, the ‘it' being tough football, physical football, smart football and most importantly, winning football. They have to bring back winning football to the University of Arizona and that's the responsibility they have right now and it's a big responsibility. It's a responsibility where all of them have to look at themselves in the eye and say it's their responsibility and they are going to get it done."

Carr: I know you recently had lunch with Mike Stoops. What do you see in Stoops that tells you he's going to get this done?

Bruschi: I see endless energy. Endless energy that he is determined to do whatever he can to get this thing done. He has enthusiasm and a high energy about him. He's going to help Arizona football to become reborn. He's going to get us out of the bottom half of the Pac-10 and I feel real positive about what he's going to do with this program.

Carr: Stoops puts a great emphasis on the weight room, how important is it for these players to work hard?

Bruschi: "The work isn't just going to be done in summer camp when the players report a few weeks before the season starts. If they haven't started working by that point it is too late. If they haven't started working by now for next year, it is too late. It is important what they do now. To me it is more important what they do this summer, this summer when it is not expected of them, when they are not expected to be in the workouts. It is important to see what they do when the eyes are not on them. Are they going to take it upon themselves to say ‘I'm going to be here four days a week, five days a week and train as hard as I can.' "

Carr: You sound like the same player you were when you were an overachieving wild man here. Do you have that same drive and work ethic?

Bruschi: "Very much so. After the Superbowl it's been about 15 days and I'm starting to get the itch to start training again. I'm going to take some time to heal a little injury that I have, but before the end of February I'm going to be back in the weight room.

Carr: Speaking of the injury, was there any way you weren't going to play in the Superbowl?

Bruschi: "No, no there wasn't. It did hinder me a little bit, but whether it had been week one, week two or week three, instead of the Superbowl, I was still going to put it on the line for the organization, for the team and especially the fans."

Allis: Between you and your wife, the boys should have a lot of athletic ability. They are both very young, but have you seen any signs of their athletic ability?

Bruschi: Yeah, I'm the one who provided it. (laughs) No, Heidi was a great volleyball player and softball player at the University of Arizona, so I already have the Letters of Intent waiting for them.

Carr: As the two-time world champs, you have a huge target on your back. How important is it to get off to a fast start next year?

Bruschi: "The big thing for the start of next year is the Dolphins record (for consecutive wins). They won 17 or 18 and can we win our first three in a row? That is something we'll keep in the background. We want to win three in a row, but we do that by trying to win one in a row. We didn't win 15 in a row, we won one in a row 15 times. We're going to try and adopt the same theme next year, which is ‘one game at a time', especially with the pressure of trying to get to 18 games in a row."

Allis: There are still a handful of Arizona guys in the NFL, do you talk to any of them?

Bruschi: "If there is an Arizona Wildcat on the other side of the field, I am definitely talking to him before the game, after the game, even during the game. It's sort of like a brotherhood really. A lot of guys are out there that I am friends with. Even if the guy is a rookie I'll go over to him and introduce myself."

'Cat Tracks On the Air' airs every Monday from 5-7 p.m. on Fox Sports 1290.


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