(On the season's turnaround)
JT: The Cleveland game obviously was a bad one. Then we came back and we had a good game in Oakland. We really fell behind big against Buffalo down here and I think that was a big turning point, when we came back in that game. We were down 23-3, I think at one point, and we came back and won that game. I think it really helped the confidence of this team and guys learned how to win a little bit again.
(On finishing the season on a winning note)
JT: You always want to finish up strong and unfortunately we don't have a chance to make the playoffs this year. We still want to finish up strong, on a winning note. As far as carrying it over, I think the attitude and the process that we are trying to go through right now and learning how to win again and putting this team together, I think it helps with all that. But come next year when we kick off the first week of the season, it is not really going to mean a whole lot but it does help in the building process.
(On being able to play linebacker like Willie McGinest)
JT: It is a different position. There are good things about it and there are some things that are a little more difficult about it. I respect everybody is this league, particularly the guys up there in New England that have done it at a high level for the past few years and have won a lot of Super Bowls. Obviously, Willie [McGinest] does a great job with it. I think Mike Vrabel does a great job and doesn't get a whole lot of credit for it. He is a guy that always ends up making plays whether it is on offense or defense. I have a lot of respect for a lot of players up there.
(On the Patriots overall)
JT: A team that is very well prepared, always. A team that knows how to win, they always find a way to win. People sometimes call them lucky and they get the bounces, but I think it is a situation where guys are putting themselves in the position to be successful and make plays. They hustle to the ball and they get fumble recoveries and whatever it is. They have the best quarterback in the game. He runs the team very well and they are obviously very well coached.
(On playing linebacker in a 3-4 defense)
JT: The hardest part is probably having to drop back into coverage and opening your hips up to be able to move like that. It is a lot different then lining up as defensive end and going forward and chasing the quarterback or chasing the ball carrier. You have to play with your pads over your knees and your knees bent and play low and still come out with power and be able to drop back and move around in zones. It is not an impossible position; it is just a little different when you have been doing one thing for so long. It is a position that I'm enjoying. I like playing it. Hopefully I can do a better job with it next year.
(On Nick Saban)
JT: He brings all the things you look for in a head coach. He is prepared, he is focused, he obviously wants to win and he has a plan. He is going to be successful and get done what he wants done with or without you. That I do like. He holds everybody accountable and he is not afraid to tell someone that they are messing up. Everyone has to be accountable and know their role and take care of their job and be focused and be intense. It has to mean something to you and it definitely does to him.
(On Tom Brady)
JT: Tom [Brady] has always played well. I don't want to say he never ceases to amaze me because I shouldn't be surprised by some of the things he does. He is that kind of player. When they came down here and played us earlier in the year they had everyone out. They had a list of guys that were out and I don't know who they had playing that was a starter really besides Tom. Corey Dillon played a snap or two before he got hurt. They were going through a lot and he held the team together and carried them and he has done that all year. If he doesn't get some MVP votes, I don't know what this league is doing.
(On the Dolphins eventually winning the AFC East)
JT: Obviously, I believe so. I believe hopefully it will be sooner than later. No disrespect to those guys. They have earned what they have gotten. They have found a way again. Coach Belichick and the whole team have found a way again to get back to the playoffs despite all the injuries. It is just a real testament to the kind of team and the kind of character and the kind of players they have. They have dealt with a lot and still ended getting there. I'm not a Patriots fan either. I know I sound like one. I tell everyone not to sleep on the Patriots in the playoffs.
(On the Patriots running game)
JT: I think it goes back to the old saying, 'stats are for fans.' The game films are for the players. You see things differently with the game film. They have an effective running game, particularly when they have Corey Dillon in the backfield. His name and the respect that he commands when you say his name is number one. He is a good back. Everyone knows the things he can do. He has been a good back for a long time. He makes you respect him and the running game. Even if he is not bowling it up for four or five yards a carry, when you break the huddle on first-and-10 or second-and-six, you are still thinking about Corey Dillon and their running game. He takes some of the pressure off Tommy and makes his job a little easier. You really don't need a great, great running game when you have a quarterback that can manage the game the way he does and an offense that plays within themselves. They have tough receivers that make plays with [David] Givens. They have all the elements to overcome any shortcoming they may have at that particular time. The running game may not be putting up four or five or six yards a carry, but it is still effective and you still have to respect it.