Transcription provided by the Patriots Media Relations team.
Q: Did you get a new ride yet?
TB: I did. I did. I just wanted to get the 2011, so I had to crash the 2010.
Q: The week you had, obviously you capped it off with a win today, but what a week.
TB: It was a fun day today, I’ll tell you that. The celebration after the game is what it’s all about. We have a lot of new faces in here, and we’ve been working pretty hard for the entire offseason. Coach said a lot of really meaningful things last night and one of them [was], ‘You know guys, this is when we start keeping score. All of the work we’ve put in, this is what it’s all about.’ So it was good to come out. We started really fast. The defense made some really big plays: two returns for touchdowns, which really sparked us. And then throwing it to Wes [Welker] and scoring a couple touchdowns was good, too. Everyone contributed; I think that was the good part about today.
Q: What does it mean for Wes Welker to score that first touchdown?
TB: It was awesome. I spent a lot of time with him this offseason and the determination that he has is pretty remarkable. [He’s an] extremely mentally tough person. I knew in February, as a matter of fact, or March, that he was going to be back out on the field opening day. It just shows what his mind is all about. He’s really overcome a lot in his career and this thing is only going to make him better.
Q: Can you tell us anything about his emotions on the sidelines after scoring?
TB: Wes is pretty cool. There are times when he gets pretty excited, but I think this was…He’s out there still feeling it out probably a little bit, so everything was a little bit tame. I’m sure he’s going to be pretty excited tonight. It was good contribution for everybody: Aaron Hernandez made a bunch of big plays on touchdown drives. Freddy [Taylor] ran the ball great. The offensive line protected awesome. It was really a good day for us out there.
Q: What does the versatility of the tight ends do for you guys?
TB: All three of those guys – Alge [Crumpler] made a big catch coming out [in] the second half there on third down that got called back from a penalty. And Gronk [Rob Gronkowski] made catches on the touchdown. Not only can they block, but they’re all able to catch the ball, too. It creates different mismatches out there. Sometimes they have tough times getting lined up with the formations. It looks like that’s what happened with the one there to Aaron late in the game. He’s open and he makes a big run after catch.
Q: We haven’t talked to you since Thursday. Can you walk us through the emotions of the day with the accident and then signing your contract later in the day?
TB: Well, it’s unfortunate what happened Thursday morning. I’m sure a lot of people have been involved in accidents, but it’s a scary thing. But fortunately I was okay. Hopefully the people in the other car are recovering quickly and well. But it was a scary thing for both of us – for both people involved. But of course, I’ve got to come down and get ready for the game and I knew that. I had to be here for my teammates. I called and said I’d be a little bit late and then went out to practice and prepared. It was good. It was good. It was a good week. It was a good week. I’m glad it’s over, but it was a good week.
Q: Were you aware of all the misinformation out there about the accident? Did you get calls from your family concerned about things that weren’t true?
TB: No, I got a lot of calls. They just hear you’re in an accident, and it’s 3:30 in the morning where my family lives when it happened, so they wake up to a bunch of text messages. I called my dad pretty quick and just said ‘Dad, I’m fine.’ It wasn’t too much other than that.
Q: Protection was pretty good today. The hardest hit you took was maybe Thursday?
TB: They played great, the offensive line. They really handled…that’s a good front, too, with [Robert] Geathers and [Antwan] Odom and the blitz packages they run. I thought we did a good job handling the blitz and I think what happened was we hit some big plays on the blitz early so it slowed them down a little bit, but it’s a great offensive line. Those two tackles are special players and Steve [Neal], Dan Connolly – the way he stepped in. And [Dan] Koppen has been a rock there for a long time. It’s as good an offensive line as we’ve ever had. We’re going to need it all year. I’ll tell you, that’s what we’re going to need.
Q: Would you say Thursday morning’s accident is the hardest hit you took all week?
TB: That was a big one, but I’ll tell you, they’re all pretty similar out here. I said that to a few people. You get jolted pretty good like that. It’s kind of what it feels like. I don’t want to experience that too often.
Q: Did Peyton Manning call you and say thank you very much for signing?
TB: No, no. Peyton, I don’t know – it looked like they were losing today. I don’t know if they ended up losing, but I mean, he’s a great player. His time will come.
Q: How happy are you about your new contract?
TB: I’m more excited about the win, to tell you the truth. That’s really what it comes down to. Contracts always take care of themselves, and I think what I was most excited about was talking about football. That’s what’s most important to me and winning games and celebrating with my teammates and watching their determination and watching the hard work that they put in like Fred Taylor and Randy [Moss]. I see those guys work every day, so when we get a victory like this, it feels pretty good for all of us.
Q: Knowing that the contract is behind, what do your teammates think?
TB: I love being here. I really do. I love playing for this organization. It’s the only organization I’ve ever known, but I know a lot of people come from different places. Randy, who is one of my best friends on the team, always tells me how different this place is than other places that he’s been. That means a lot to me because those guys, I value their opinion so much. It’s a great place. If you like winning games, it’s a great place.
Q: When you can put all of that aside and concentrate on football, is that just part of your character or is that something you have developed?
TB: It’s my job, you know? It’s my job. That’s what my teammates expect me to do. They expect me to come out and do my job.