10 Quotes and a Cloud of Dust: Week 1

"We've got our hands full" - D. Jauron

It's been a long 238 days since the Patriots' awful loss to the Denver Broncos in last year's playoffs. Willie McGinest, Adam Vinatieri, and David Givens are gone. Deion Branch is still a holdout. But they still have Tom Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as head coach. And they appear to have a relatively easy schedule, starting with division rival Buffalo.

The Bills on the other hand, have been looking forward to this season since late last year, when they lost five of their last six games. They have a new coach (Dick Jauron), a rebuilt offensive line, and quarterback J.P. Losman entering that magical third year in the NFL.

The Patriots were defiant all week. The wounded tigers, backed into a corner and looking to take their title back. The Bills were confident but careful. They think they're better than the double digit underdog they've been cast as, but said nothing that would stir up trouble on the opposite sideline.

Here are the top 10 quotes of the week, heading into Game 1, Patriots-Bills:

10. "I feel good about the way things are going. You just try to build on every game. Making the team is the first thing, but now it's getting yourself ready for the first regular season game, when it really counts."
- Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski

Translation: "Adam who? I'm the kicker now, folks. And I have to say, I'm pretty good."

9. "I sure don't."
- Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, on if he had an update on the Deion Branch situation

Translation: "Stop asking me about Deion Branch. I'm not answering the question. Understand? He's not here, and until he is, I don't care to talk about him."

8. "He's worked awfully hard. We've said all along that we're going to have to live with some mistakes. We hope that they are not major ones. We hope that we can limit them. We hope that he learns from them. When he makes one, it's a learning experience and we advance so that we don't see it repeated. Our game is a tough one to play for a young quarterback, and it will be tough this Sunday with the ability and the schemes that this defense brings to the table."
- Buffalo Bills Head Coach Dick Jauron, on quarterback J.P. Losman

Translation: "This couldn't be a worse scenario for my young quarterback-opening up against the Patriots. I just hope his confidence isn't shattered by the end of the game."

7. "I don't think any coach really knows where they are on opening day. You'd like to think everything is going along okay. Its kind of like the story about the guy falling off the building and he's waving to everybody on the way down thinking everything is great until you hit the pavement."
- Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick

Translation: "Tell all of the supposed 'experts' they have no idea what they're talking about. No one can accurately predict what will happen in an NFL season."

6. "What game? If I catch a little of it, I catch it. I have other things that I need to do and if I see any of it great. But I have to prioritize what I need to do first."
- Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, on if he would be watching the Steelers-Dolphins game

Translation: "I'm an NFL coach, not a fan. I watch game film, not the telecasts. Besides, I'll be at the office until after midnight anyway."

5. "It's a medical decision. You wouldn't expect me to go to the doctors and ask them what to do on third down would you?"
- Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, on whether or not Tedy Bruschi will wear a cast when he's ready to play

Translation: "I'm going to use sarcasm here to avoid answering your question. I'm going to get some laughs. And I'll get away with ignoring your question. Again."

4. "The past couple of years they have been the number one defense out there. I know they lost Willie McGinest, but I know they can replace him. They have other great players out there. It is going to be a challenge just coming and playing there."
- Buffalo running back Willis McGahee

Translation: "You won't be getting any locker room quotes from me. The Patriots don't need any more ammunition."

3. "He's taking great strides. I'm excited to see the year he could have. He could be a really dominant player. It's up to him and how hard he works. It's not like he's going to be our third or fourth option. At times he was last year. He's really a guy you're always looking for."
- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, on Ben Watson

Translation: "Ben Watson's going to have a monster year."

2. "Tough match-up, very tough match-up. He's got the size, the speed and the athleticism that obviously you want in your tight end, and because of that he's big and physical for a safety, and he's very athletic for most linebackers, and so we've got our hands full."
- Buffalo Bills Head Coach Dick Jauron, on Patriots tight end Ben Watson

Translation: "I have no idea how to stop Ben Watson. Do you?"

1. "I really don't know how it's going to turn out. I don't want to sit here and bet against us."
- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, on the passing attack

Translation: "I don't care who I'm throwing the ball to, I always feel like we're going to score a touchdown. And Deion, you better be watching. This could have been you having a 1,000+ yard season this year."

***

Tom Brady seems convinced that he can complete passes to whomever is on the field with him. Considering that seven or eight players routinely catch passes from him, who's to doubt him? Everyone thinks Ben Watson is going to have a breakout season. Bill Belichick continues to treat his team's injuries as if they were national secrets. And the Bills just want the season to start so they can finally stop talking about the "what ifs" for 2006.


Darren is a regular contributor to Patriots Insider. You can find him in the forums under the name: DestinationSuperBowl. You can also find archives of his columns on the Insiders by searching for "Darren Kelly"

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