players I've played against--the Zach Thomases, the Ray Lewises--they play
their instincts. I can't tell you how many times against Zach Thomas I've had
third-and-five, third-and-seven, and he's going, 'Watch the screen, watch the
screen,' and I call time because we got a screen called. But he's just playing
his instincts or tendencies. We played Oakland a few years ago, and after the
game [linebacker] Greg Biekert said they had our signals. Well, in the first
half, I think we had 375 yards of offense, and in the second half we had
some turnovers and Rich Gannon got on fire, so Biekert looks like a hero. I
said, 'What'd you do, save the stolen signals for the second half?' When you
win, you say what you want; when you lose. . . ."
"At the Pro
Bowl, Belichick and I had a beer at the pool one day. We talked for a few hours
and somebody said, 'All they're doing is telling a bunch of lies to each
other.' There's some truth to that. But when we were stretching for practice
one morning, we were kind of waiting to see who was going to break the ice
first, and he came up to me and said, 'Now, that third-and-two in the
championship game when you ran the ball, were y'all going to go for it on
fourth down?' And I said, 'Look, on the sideline Tony [Dungy] basically said,
'Don't make me have to decide.' So after that, it was like, 'You asked one, now
I have a couple for you.' "
question to him? I went back to my rookie year, 1998, against the Jets. We went
3-13, and he's coaching under Parcells and they go 12-4. We beat them at home,
my biggest win at the time. We stunk. We had a fourth-and-14 where they were
going to blitz like crazy. Our left guard false-starts, but the ball is snapped
and you see [the blitz], so we come back and go max protection, thinking they
would blitz, and he drops eight [defenders into coverage]. I'm doing what my
coach told me--you know, dump it down to your back. So I throw a four-yard pass
to Marshall Faulk on fourth-and-19. He gets the first down, and we go on to
beat them. I asked Belichick if he remembered that play. Oh, he remembered.
'Damned Mo Lewis missed the tackle.' Unbelievable. We ended up going to dinner.
I had an enjoyable week just talking football with the guy."
"If I could
play one game for any coach besides Tony Dungy in football history, I'd
probably pick Bill Walsh. God rest his soul. So many coaches were influenced by
him. It'd be interesting to be in meetings with him. He said, 'If you're not
going to coach it right, get off my staff. If you're not going to run it right,
get off my team.' I'd say Walsh and, just for fun, Hank Stram. He had the most
priceless NFL Films clip of all time, from the Super Bowl, when he said, 'The
ol' coach called that one! The ol' coach called that one!' "
"I called Tom
Brady before the Super Bowl. I said, 'Give me a tip on what to do about the
postgame party.' You know, win or lose, there's a party. The Colts had a party,
and they give you nine tickets. I mean, how do you pick nine people? You don't
even get past your family and your in-laws. Brady said, 'Call the hotel and get
a room, and have a party win or lose. With your people.' And he always had a
great one. [Colts owner Jim] Irsay had the ballrooms, so we called the hotel
restaurant, and I said, Let's blow it out, win or lose. We go back to the hotel
and I stop by Irsay's party, and then I go to our deal and we had about 100
people there--friends, family, Kenny Chesney sang, we had a band. Went to bed
sincere voice mail I got after the Super Bowl was from Dan Marino. He did the
coin toss that day, and he said it was an honor to be on the field with me.
I'll remember that for a long time."
win, you don't want to quit; you want to win another one. So you have that same
hunger, for sure. At least I do. I know I do."