"Believe me, I don't like the fact, like against the Rams last year, I don't like going down there and getting embarrassed on national TV. Hopefully that won't be the case, but you are right. Our preseason record has not been very good. I think at times you would like to look better all the way around, but obviously coaches are looking for certain things that they don't necessarily even tell the players. They are looking for one little thing out of this guy, they are looking for certain things out of another guy and ultimately, we don't keep up with the preseason records. What you do like is that this game is on TV, and you do like to go down there and play well and try to put on a good performance, and it just makes you feel better about yourself. But ultimately it's about doing what you have to do to get ready for the regular season.
(on the impact that Dallas Clark has on the offense)
"It's pretty well documented, my thoughts on Dallas and how integral he is to this offense. He plays basically two positions. He plays the slot receiver and plays the tight end. He's very versatile, he plays some fullback. He's a guy that's three dimensional and puts the defense in a bind as to how they are going to play him, with a linebacker, with a safety, with a nickel defensive back. And you like having a guy on your offense that gives the defense problems. That puts them in a bind, and I think Dallas is that guy for us. He is a huge part of this offense."
"We are going to miss Tarik. He has been not only one of our best players for the past 10 years, but probably year in and year out, one of the best left tackles in the game, with (Jonathan) Ogden and Walter Jones. And all of a sudden to lose a guy like that, it does hurt because you were hoping he was going to be on your team this year. Tarik did what he felt he had to do, so you support him in that, but sure, we will definitely miss him. It's one of those situations where if you keep feeling sorry about it you never move on from it. It affects the way you play and the way the rest of your team plays. So, we have to move on and adjust and have some new players and some young guys competing for that position. The old cliché is true, where the other veteran players are around the new guys and have to help these guys with the transition. Like I said earlier in the week, with Howard Mudd as your offensive line coach, here's a guy that has been in the league 30 plus years, he's seen it all. I have always felt good about Howard putting the best five guys out there and I have never had to worry about protection as a quarterback. That's a real luxury."
(on how many blindside hits he took with Tarik at left tackle)
"I don't know. I guess I have had blindside hits that not necessarily have been due to the left tackle. It could be a back or a tight end or a different deal, could be a busted protection or what not. With Tarik, it's what I told him, what he has done for me in my career, as far as dropping back and never having to worry about the backside protection. I will always be indebted to Tarik for that. I will definitely miss him as a teammate. He will always be our friend, but you will miss him as a teammate. He was always very accountable. I think he missed five games in the nine years that he and I played together. There are big shoes to fill in that position for sure, both on the field and in the locker room, but we have no choice but to adjust and to move on."
(on trying to get to know Tony Ugoh)
"I try to get to know all the new offensive players. I had some of the young rookies over to my house for dinner at mini camp. Both (Anthony) Gonzalez and Ugoh came over and I just tried to get to know them a little bit as people. I did the same thing with (Joseph) Addai last year. There definitely is merit in getting to know these guys a little bit and trying to understand their personalities. I think on a football team, you have 10 guys to communicate with in the huddle and they are all a little bit different. You do want to try to know how to talk to each guy, what makes each of them tick and kind of know their personalities a little bit. It takes time to form those relationships, but I feel I have a good relationship with both Tony and Charlie (Johnson), who was here with us last year, and Anthony. Those are the three, main, new young guys that are going to be in the rotation. I have tried to get to know them a little bit and I think that will pay off for us."