'I'm still making too many mistakes'

Drew Bledsoe is tops among passing yards in the league and the second-ranked passer. Here he talks about what he needs to do to improve, throwing to Eric Moulds and some of the coordinators he's worked with over the years.


Q: You have one of the top offenses in the league. What is your focus, knowing that you and the offense are probably operating as optimally as could be expected early in the season?

Drew Bledsoe: After a couple of these games, we're starting to develop the confidence that we can play with anyone in the league. But we are, and I am personally, still making too many mistakes that are going to hurt us. Particularly when we play a team like the Oakland Raiders, who are so good. We have to keep focusing on being more disciplined in what we're doing and being more precise in our execution. That's what I focus on.

Q: Personally, in what area do you think you made too many mistakes in?

Bledsoe: I made a couple of poor reads against the Bears. There were a couple of third downs where I ran to the wrong side and ended up hurting us by not converting a couple of key third downs and going the wrong place with the ball.

Q: You've worked with a lot of coordinators and coaches during your career. What kind of impact do they leave on your game and career?

Bledsoe: When you go through a long career as a quarterback and you get a chance to work with a lot of different guys, you take stuff with you from each of them. When I came into league and started working with Ray Perkins, my background was fairly limited and a lot of times I was dropping back, trying to find somebody open to chuck the ball. I went through three to four years with Ray Perkins and then Larry Keenan, Ernie Zampese for a couple of years and Charlie Weiss for a few years. I took a little bit from working with each of those guys as far as ideas in how to attack a defense and how to go through reads. All of that. If you're conscientious about what you're doing, there's always something you're going to take from each of those guys.

Q: It would be foolhardy to think you can put the numbers of points that you've been generating thus far, and score that amount every week, wouldn't it?

Bledsoe: Every year, every week, every play is different. To expect that we're going to stay on this streak, not being foolhardy, but I believe with the guys we have that we can put point up on anybody. Offensively, we're playing with a lot of confidence. We get in a situation where we're behind, we know we can go out and put points up. The thing that we got to improve, and I keep on going back to this, is that when we look at the film after a game, there are a lot of mistakes and a lot of opportunities that we missed on. Those are things we can focus on, as far as what happens from here on out. I don't know. Nobody knows.

Q: What do you think about a very, extremely sexy and hot matchup of quarterbacks, such as you vs. Rich Gannon?

Bledsoe: I've always enjoyed those kinds of matchups. When I got in the league, I had a chance to play against a bunch of guys who were my heroes growing up – guys like Jim Kelly and John Elway. It's always a little special when you're going against a guy who's as hot as the Raiders have been. It presents a little bit more of a challenge because it's a lot to ask of your defense to hold an offense like his down for an entire game. So he knows he has to go out and take advantage of the opportunities a little bit more.

But that being said, I can't control what he does. I can only control that we score every time we have the ball.

Q: How much pity do you have for the scorekeeper?

Bledsoe: Not one bit. It keeps them from being bored.

Q: Talk about Eric Moulds and his standing as one of your primary weapons.

Bledsoe: We put defenses in a tough bind because we got so many weapons for them to cover. For the majority of the game vs. the Bears, they did focus on Eric. They did roll their coverage to him, and during the times that they didn't, Eric was able to get free and make some spectacular plays for us. Eric has to understand and I think he does understand that his opportunities are not going to be – he's not going to have an opportunity to be one on one every play. His opportunities are going to come few and far between in games and when those opportunities arise, he has to be ready to make those plays, and so far he's been able to do that on a consistent level.

Q: How do you run against a team like the Raiders, when you've been struggling most of the season to run the football?

Bledsoe: That's tough. They're very good against the run. But at the same time, that doesn't mean we're not going to come out and try to counter that. We have to do that. And our guys up front – and I'll keep saying this and I hope that I'm really prophetic on this – but our offensive line through the course of the season, I think you're going to see them develop into a dominant group. If they can stay healthy and continue to work together and continue to get better through the course of the season, they're going to be become a dominant group where we can go in against a team like the Raiders and still be effective running the football.

Q: How much of an impact do you think the weekly meetings with the offense helps in building rapport?

Bledsoe: I think it helps a little bit. We sit them down, watch film together and talk through some little things here and there; how we're going to approach different things. I think that helps. It helps to develop some rapport and it allows the receivers and the backs to also have some input if they see something, which is not a role that they have in every situation very often. So that works out pretty well.

Q: Do you run those meetings?

Bledsoe: Alex Van Pelt and I run those meetings. Alex calls some plays on the film so between Alex and I, we get it done.

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