I think that with Coach (Bill) Belichick there, he mixes things up. They always keep you on your toes and they dont give you the same coverage back to back. They are always making the quarterback think which is a lot of film study for me; understanding what they are going to bring on first and second down and also third down. I just have to be ready for a lot of changeups and adjust on the go.
(On beating the New York Jets although the offense didnt play well)
Ted (Ginn) helped us out tremendously. In the third quarter we didnt get a lot of opportunities on offense, but when Ted was in there I definitely felt confident in him running some routes and getting him the ball. I think overall it was a team effort. Defense picked us up on offense and obviously the special teams picked us up. To win on the road in a division game was big for us.
(On if the Patriots defense has a different look this season)
To be honest, I havent studied last years film, but I will tonight. I looked at this year lost. They are crafty; they have some veterans back there and you just have to be aware of where they are going to be. (Brandon) Meriweather is back there. He is one of those guys that is a ball hawk and wants to read the quarterbacks eyes. You have to be aware of them and they are going to take some chances and they are going to play solid. They are going to understand the scheme and run it right so you will have to be able to adjust.
(On if Meriweather is becoming a leader in the secondary)
Yes. He is making the calls on the defense and gets everybody aligned. It seems like he is smart and crafty player.
(On if he has found out a receiver that he looks to bail him out in certain situations)
Its tough to say. As a quarterback there are different points where you say you can pick on this guy. The way we spread the ball on offense our tight ends are starting to catch the ball and our running backs are getting the ball and obviously our receivers are out there running routes. For me right now it is more of understanding our scheme and how to attack it on defense and whoever is open will get the ball.
(On if he has a relationship with Tom Brady since they both went to Michigan)
Yes. I got the opportunity to speak with him when I was a freshman. I think it was right before our Notre Dame and he had some words to just go out and play to your ability and yourself. That is really all I have. I have never met him in person and really havent gotten a chance to talk to him much. We had the same quarterback coach and learned from the same guy. That is about all the physics we have together.
(On going 4-0 in the division)
(It) definitely will be a big game for us obviously. It is a division game and to go on road back to back. It was tough this past week, but we know it is going to be even tougher going up to New England. To get another win in the division and also on the road is going to be a big factor for us and getting to .500 again and trying to get started on the right start will help us out tremendously.
(On if one of the things he can do to stop sacks is to not hold onto the ball so long)
Yes. I evaluated that and studied when I could have gotten rid of the ball. There are sometimes when all there is, is to take a sack to avoid a turnover. There are some situations that were like that; to avoid the turnover. I study that I could have gotten the ball away on a couple of sacks. Sometimes it is a cover sack. The offensive line is doing a good job and nobody is open and sometimes you take a sack or throw the ball away. Sometimes as a young quarterback you have to learn that and I will.
(On fine line between making a play and throwing the ball away)
It is definitely a split second. The first thing is that you have to make sure you are taking care of the ball and not turning the ball over. The second thing that goes through your mind is there time to get rid of the ball or if I have to take a sack here? There are numerous equations that go on out there, but for me can I avoid the sack and get the ball away? Thats what I need to learn right now.
(On taking more chances on offense)
We are definitely going to take more chances out there. I think in our game plan we have some plays that are developed to go down the field and some that are immediate. Whenever the defense presents itself and we have that play, we need to connect. Im sure you are relating to (Brian) Hartline and I missed the one down the seam early in the game. I just have to track his speed and adjust to him. I think studying the film and understand what defenses presents themselves; I do have the timing and understanding where the ball needs to go.
(On biggest thing to do when playing a Bill Belichick defense)
It is just all of the changeups that he gives you. He doesnt set in stone; this is going to be the coverage of the week that he gives the quarterback. You get a different coverage every down and thats what I see on film. Its never two coverages that are back to back and are the same, so I have to be aware of what they are going to give me; identify the safety and corner play and know where to go with the ball.