ESPN Boston analyst and former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi was on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike show this morning (listen to the interview HERE) in Indianapolis and touched on the following topics:
* Dealing with losing a Super Bowl (he was 3-2 in 5 career Super Bowls):
“Those teams that lost the Super Bowl, especially that 2007 team, you think about what we could have accomplished being 19-0. But what I think about are the guys that hadn’t won a championship that were on that team, like a Junior Seau, that veteran presence you have. You almost have that motivation that since you’ve won one, you want to win one for them. That feeling of failure that you have, because that’s all that season is remembered as now.
You get to a Super Bowl and then lose … it’s the failure that you’ll always remember. That ’07 team was probably the biggest failure in the history of the Super Bowl because of what could have been accomplished. It’s just something you live with. ... That stays with you forever. That’s going to stay with every member of that team and every member of the coaching staff.”
* The improving Patriots defense:
“Football is a sport of improvement. It’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish. Yes, they were playing badly. They were one of the worst defenses in the league early on in the season, through the mid-point of the season. But as players started to get healthy -- (Patrick) Chung comes back, (Brandon) Spikes comes back -- (they started to play better).
“Do I think they can play good enough to slow down Eli Manning? Yes I do.”
* How the Brandon Spikes interception in the AFC title game and the play before it are a metaphor for the defense as a whole:
“Those two plays typify the progression of the New England Patriots defense. The play before that, Brandon Spikes got trucked. One of the best you’ll see all year. (Vonta Leach) landed him on top of him, pushed him down on the ground, got up and stood over him. That was the play right before Spikes went out and made the interception.
“And that’s the story of the New England Patriots defense this year. You get dumped on throughout the course of the year about how bad you are, but they got up and made the plays when they’ve had to make them in the playoffs. The question is, can Spikes do it again? Can (Sterling) Moore do it again? Can (Vince) Wilfork play the same way he played in the AFC Championship Game in the Super Bowl?”