Patriots owner Robert Kraft was a guest on sports radio WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan” program this morning, as well as ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” show.
The WEEI interview was more specific to the Patriots (listen here), while the ESPN interview took a bit of a wider scope with Kraft talking about the importance of not being afraid to make bold decisions, among other things (listen here).
Here are some of the soundbites of note from this perspective:
Injury data and how lockout affected it (WEEI): “We’ve done an analysis that shows there are probably are an incremental amount of injuries that relate to not preparing well for the season. Thank goodness, they are not serious things; they are hamstring pulls and minor injuries that with good offseason training they probably wouldn’t have happened.”
More on the Cowboys win heading into the bye (WEEI): “This is the eighth time in franchise history, in our 52 years, that we’re 5-1. I think having this extra week off at this time is a good thing. It allows some of our guys that are banged up to get it together. We have four new people eligible to play for the team (Kevin Faulk, Ron Brace, Brandon Deaderick, Marcus Cannon) and I know everyone is excited to see Kevin Faulk come back. I think we’re positioned well … I think the best part of the last game is that we did come from behind and did what we had to do. That’s what we did for many years and I think a lot of people had questioned if that was still there. I think this last victory, in the form they did it, gave the team a great deal of confidence. It’s very important that when a team goes out on the field, no matter what happens – bad things happen, or you get behind – that they always believe they can come back. I sensed that feeling might have been a little ambivalent for a while, but after this last game and going into the bye, I think there is a great deal of confidence. That’s encouraging.”
Wes Welker and the possibility of a contract extension during the bye (WEEI): “First of all, any guy who plays on our team I can look at face to face, and his eyes are at my level, or maybe a tad lower, is pretty exciting. He’s just a special guy. He’s a phenomenon. It’s our hope that he’ll be someone who will be with us the rest of his career. You know we’re a team that’s not about trying to encourage and sign people who want the last dollar. If money is the most important thing, we’ll have trouble getting a deal done. I just want to say this, whether it’s Wes Welker or Tom Brady or Logan Mankins or any player, when we decide what our limit is on what we can afford to pay a player, it’s not like whatever we don’t pay to that player the Kraft family are putting in their pockets. It’s about trying to build a team and have certain disciplines, and knowing that you need a team of 53 players on your roster. So whatever money we don’t give to Wes Welker is going to go to other players to build a team. But he is pretty special and comes from a great family. We couldn’t have asked for a better guy. His performance, what he did last year coming back from the injury, and now doing what he is doing [with] his performance this year, is great.”
Management philosophy (ESPN): “We try to hire managers in our different businesses that we trust, have good judgment, and we also want them to be bold and be willing to do things that other people aren’t willing to do. The only way they can do that is if they feel they have the support of the people they work with. When you take risks, very often they don’t work out. But understanding why the risk was taken, and at that moment with the information available why they made the decision to do it, we support it. ... How are you ever going to sustain success year in and year out? You have to be willing to do things that the other 31 teams don’t want to do.”
How football losses affect him (ESPN): “When we lost up in Buffalo, a game that we should have won, that feeling stays with you right until you play the next game. When you win a game, it stays with you too. The lows of losing are much greater than the highs of winning.”