Ben Watson on D&C, 10/16

October 16, 2009 - 9:15 am
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Patriots tight end Ben Watson appeared on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to talk about the team's game Sunday against the Titans and other topics. Following is a transcript. Click here to listen to the interview at the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. The 0-5 Titans '€” I don'€™t know if this qualifies in anybody'€™s mind as a trap game. But human nature being what it is, and you'€™re looking at an 0-5 football team coming into your house, my guess is that Bill Belichick and the coaching staff might have mentioned this to you guys at some point in the week. Fair to say? Fair to say, they are 0-5, their record is what it is, ours is what it is. It'€™s a little bit different playing an 0-5 team in college. In college you play a team that'€™s 0-5, you know you've got better athletes, you know you'€™re better than they are, you know you should kill them. The NFL is a little different, when you look at the 0-5 team and they've got Jevon Kearse, they've got [Kyle] Vanden Bosch, they've got Jovan Haye. On offense, they've got one of the best running backs in the National Football League [Chris Johnson], they've got a veteran quarterback [Kerry Collins].  It'€™s little different situation when you face a team that hasn'€™t won and you don'€™t know why they haven'€™t won, but it'€™s definitely not because of personnel. The big difference between last year'€™s team personnel-wise and this year'€™s personnel-wise is the absence of [Albert] Haynesworth. You'€™ve looked at the film this year, has his absence made all the difference in the world in your mind? His absence makes a lot of difference. Any time you lose a premier pass-rusher, a premier run-stopper, a guy that'€™s 330-350, whatever pounds he is, it's going to make a difference. They definitely have guys that have come in and, like I said, everybody else is pretty much the same. I mean, they've got those two guys coming off the edge that are great players. ... Every team in the National Football League loses players from time to time and it doesn'€™t stop a team from being good. How does this week set up? Is this one of those weeks where you are looking at films and saying '€œWow, we've got opportunities here?" I think we got some opportunities every week. The answer doesn'€™t change. I mean, yeah, I definitely think there are opportunities to do a lot of different things. One thing I think as an offense, we face some good defenses, but sometimes we end up stopping ourselves, and if we can just execute our game plan and make plays, I think there will be opportunities for everybody. It'€™s been an unusual year for Tom [Brady] that he'€™s come back and struggled with his consistency. Does it feel like there'€™s a domino effect where one mistake might lead to another? You know, it'€™s a different year, and you'€™ve heard this before, this is a different year with a few different players, but a lot of us are the same, but it'€™s just different. How so? Number 1, we'€™re not leading the league in offense like we were a few years ago, but that'€™s fine. Every year'€™s different and that has given us a different challenge this year. Obviously, we'€™ve improved in some areas over the past five games and there'€™s still some areas we need to improve in and stay consistent with. And Tom'€™s right, the only thing you can do is go out there and work on it in practice and then once it starts getting right in practice then the next step is getting it right in the game. It'€™s going to come at some point, like he said, it'€™s going to start clicking. We have all the confidence in the world in ourselves all the confidence in Tom, and at this point we'€™re doing everything we can to assure that we play well on Sundays, and now it'€™s just a matter of it happening. To what extent does a week'€™s worth of work indicate to you and your teammates how things are going to work out on Sunday? Do you play as you prepare in practice? Definitely. Practice performance is game-time reality, as coach Belichick says. You can'€™t expect to not practice well and not practice at all and go out and show up on Sunday. It just doesn'€™t work like that. That'€™s something that the coaches tell us all the time, that we've got to start fast in practice, we've got to attack practice the way we would attack a game execution-wise, and then it will happen on Sunday. If you are having poor practice after poor practice after poor practice, it won'€™t magically come together on Sunday. Are there weeks when you guys have struggled at practice and you know going into Sunday, '€œUh oh, this might turn out badly because we just didn'€™t get it done this week at practice?'€ Does this happen? It does happen. There are weeks when we have struggled in practice on one play here and one play there and then we run the play in the game and it'€™s the exact same outcome that happened in practice and it'€™s amazing, and we look at coach Belichick like he'€™s a prophet or something. It'€™s amazing how it happens. There have been some times when we had a bad week in practice and for whatever reason it just happens great for us in game, so you never know, but practice is usually a good indicator, maybe not the win or the loss but at least how you are going to perform in the game. Do you know if you are practicing inside or outside today? I don'€™t know. My guess will be we will be outside. We'€™ll be outside whatever the conditions are, unless there'€™s hail or something. Would you prefer to be in the nice, warm bubble or would you rather practice in the conditions you are going to play in on Sunday? That'€™s a tough question. I'€™d rather play the game in the bubble. [Laughs] I'€™d rather just go play the game in the bubble and practice in the bubble. But you know what, that'€™s not how it works in New England. I am from the South, but after five years being here I'€™ve gotten used to what it is up here and my mind is already prepared to practice outside. If we practice inside it will be a little bone for us. My guess is we'€™ll be outside even considering it'€™s probably going to be like this on Sunday. What'€™s the difference between the Patriots locker room without Junior Seau in it and with Junior Seau in it? Well, with Junior Seau in it, you go at 6 in the morning in the locker room and he'€™s playing his island music in there, but that'€™s always great. There'€™s definitely a lot more talking going on, joking, you can always hear him. Even practices, there'€™s a lot more tempo out there. He brings a lot more energy. Not that there wasn'€™t energy before, there'€™s always energy in that locker room but a guy like Junior is just special. I know it'€™s the other side of the ball and you'€™re not really connected to [Jerod] Mayo and [Gary] Guyton and those guys, but when Junior walks in, when Junior starts talking, when Junior'€™s on the practice field, are they trying to absorb absolutely everything he is doing and saying? I would imagine so, because even on offense we look at him and absorb what he says. He'€™s a guy that the media respects because he'€™s played so long, because he'€™s played at such a high level and because he gives respect. He'€™s not a guy who '€” when he came here, he wasn'€™t trying to run the show. He was willing to learn what to do how to fit into our system how he would fit in being a Patriot. That also gives him respect. Guys on both side of the ball look at him and try to glean whatever we can get from him, from a guy who has played so long. What'€™s the bigger accomplishment? At 40 years of age Junior Seau playing at linebacker for 19 seasons in the NFL or at 40 years of age Brett Favre playing quarterback for 19 seasons in the NFL? Which is more difficult? That'€™s a tough one. I'€™m going to have to go with Junior playing linebacker, honestly. Both of them are great players, but when you watch what the linebacker has to do and to be 40 years old playing it, I mean, that'€™s amazing. And that'€™s taking nothing away from Brett Favre, because what he'€™s doing is amazing, the throws that he is making. And the way he can still move about the pocket and run around and make plays. To see Junior, especially to come back from a couple of injuries he'€™s had and stuff, it'€™s just awesome to watch. Have they talked to you at all about an extension or about your future? Yeah, well, that'€™s one of those things that has gotten between myself and the Patriots and my agent, and I don'€™t want to discuss that over the air. But I know whatever happens in the future, I know God is in control of that, and if it's here, we love being here, and we'€™ve been here for a long time. If God wants to move me and my family somewhere else, that would be great, too. My focus now is just playing every week and doing the best that I can and in the end just seeing what God has for us. How much Rush Limbaugh discussion was there in the locker room and what was the context of that talk? Honestly, slim to none. I didn'€™t have any conversation about it. I saw it on TV, but that was pretty much the extent of it. Unless someone was asked about it by a reporter, there really was not much to talk about in the locker room. If he owned the team and you were a free agent, would you have any problem taking his money? Probably not. Based on a flag that was thrown last week against Brandon Meriweather, do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt what taunting is and what is not in this league? After seeing that one, I am not sure. I saw the replay and I saw the referee throw the flag before he taunted. So I don'€™t if they were going to throw the flag for something else and then they changed it to taunting, or that the referee was psychic and just knew he was going to do it. I don'€™t know, though. A lot of it is at the discretion of the referee.