Vinatieri: New vs. Old, a Unique Perspective

For Adam Vinatieri, playing the Patriots has even more meaning than the traditional Colts/Patriots rivalry. During a press conference this week, he compared his new quarterback to his former one and talks about the importance of this week's game.

On whether Sunday's game is just another game...

"It's clearly a big game, but it's one of 16. It's going to be an important game. Obviously, they're going to do everything to win this game and so are we. We need to keep it in perspective. It's not a playoff game. It's not a Super Bowl. But yet it's a game both teams want to win really bad. It gives whatever team a head start or an advantage over the other one. They're going to be playing well and so are we."

On playing the Patriots – his old team...

"Obviously it's more about two good teams playing each other than a former team for me. I know how talented they are and know what kind of organization they have. But it's one game now. I'm sure there will be a lot of emotions for both teams the way everything went down last year, but it's not about last year or later this year. It's about this game. I think the team that can keep its emotions in check and just play well on the field will be the team that has a significant advantage."

On if he is able to point anything out about the Patriots since he played there...

"I think both teams actually know each other pretty well. We've played each other enough. They know our personnel, we know their personnel. Last year, I tried to give as much knowledge as I could as far as what individual players do extremely well or if there is a weakness. There's not a lot of weaknesses in those guys, though. Obviously the more film you watch, the more prepared you are, the more if you can find any little thing that you can try to exploit, you're better off."

On if he still talks to his friends on the Patriots and has he lately...

"I haven't. I still have a couple of buddies there that I talk to every once in a while. I probably won't talk to any of them this week at all. But when we talk, it's more of a, ‘How's your family' kind of thing more than football. We obviously know what they're doing, they know what we're doing, so there's really nothing much that needs to be said at that point."

On the Patriots tape recording scandal and criticism of running up the score in games...

"I really don't concern myself with that stuff much at all. Every team tries to get an advantage and an edge in their own way. As far as running the score up, I personally think that's a little bit silly. They're job is to try to win games and our job is to try and stop them from scoring points. This isn't a junior high school atmosphere. This is professional football. I don't think any of us concern ourselves with that. We're just trying to find a way to keep them from scoring that many points."

On whether the past Patriot Super Bowl victories are in any way diminished with the tape recording scandal/feel like they have something to prove...

"I honestly don't think any of those guys are thinking about it. Nor are we. That conversation about any of that stuff doesn't even enter any of our minds or conversations at all at this point. We've moved on and I'm sure they have moved on. It's about who is going to play best on the field. I don't think that's giving anyone an advantage at this point. I think it's about their 11 guys against our 11 guys."


Peyton Manning and Tom Brady
Travis Lindquist/Getty

On the personalities of the starting quarterbacks...

"I tell you what, there are a lot of similarities between the two guys. You're very, very lucky to have either one of them on your team. Clearly, statistics speak for themselves and you can't find two guys who have better statistics. But I think what both of them bring is their leadership values and their preparation values. They both are so particular about their preparation and making sure that not only are they prepared, but the other 10 guys that are on the field with them at the same time are ready. I'm sure there are differences. But everybody talks about the similarities. I just think you're lucky to have either one of those guys on your team."

On the Colts playing a tougher schedule so far than the Patriots and how that figures in to the game...

"Clearly, they're a great team and they've been playing very, very well. We've had a few games that the margin of victory has been less that theirs. They've been putting a lot of points up. Teams have had a tough time trying to cover Randy Moss and Wes Welker, and Brady's throwing the ball very well. Their defense is making turnovers and they are scoring points on defense and their special teams. I don't think it's a matter of competition or this or that. I think all 32 teams in this league, the difference between a team that could go undefeated and another team that goes 2-14, their records are different, but I think this other team, probably if they prepared better and played better on a given day, the parity in this league is pretty close. I think any team can beat anybody at that point. I don't take any merit in the fact the teams that we've played have a better combined record than the teams that they have. I think it's the team that goes out there this weekend and plays better is going to win."

On whether the Colts feel disrespected...

"I don't think so. Obviously, they are 8-0 right now. They're putting up stats where they are on pace to break about every stat that there is. I don't think there's any disrespect in that and if so, I don't think any of our teammates care about it one way or the other. We know that they're a good team and they've been playing very well and blowing a lot of teams out. We're going to have to play our best game, and we'll have to play very well and error-free to be able to play with them."

On the advantage of being home...

"Clearly our fans are fantastic. They're loud, it's a fun atmosphere at home. At the end of the day, it's 11 guys versus 11 guys, but if we can be nice and loud and make it a little bit harder on them, great, obviously that makes a difference. But I think the team that plays the best is going to be the one that's victorious."

On the rivalry between the two franchises...

"I think there's a huge respect for both teams. They probably dislike us, and we dislike them equally as far as that's concerned because we respect them so much and they respect us, I believe. Obviously, both teams are very talented, have a lot of good players. It's gone back and forth a little bit. At one point, the Patriots had a pretty significant advantage, or record, and it's flip-flopped a little bit lately. But again, things that have happened in the past I don't think make any difference in the outcome this weekend."


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