TB: It was great having him as a teammate. He brings a lot, I think, to the defense that he plays on. We’ve played him a bunch of times when he played for the [New York] Jets and then Tampa Bay [Buccaneers] and we played him here, back to the Jets. So basically [we] played against him every year in some form or fashion. He’s just a great player. I think he does a lot of things really well. It’s fun to watch him play. I think he has a very unique style but he certainly locks his guy down. I think that’s pretty impressive to do it for as many years as he has. It’s not a simple scheme for a guy like that because it puts a lot of pressure on those corners. It’s like having two offensive tackles that you don’t ever give any help to and whoever they go up against, they go up against. It’s pretty impressive to see what he’s accomplished this year, what he’s accomplished every year. He’s a great player.
Q: Did anything this offseason change your relationship with him?
Q: How much better are the Jets now than when you first played them?
TB: They’re playing really well. They were pretty good when we played them the first time. We were playing a little bit different at that time, also. They’re pretty hot right now. They’ve always had a good defense. I think it starts with having really good defensive players like [Calvin] Pace, and [Muhammad] Wilkerson, and [Sheldon] Richardson, and David Harris, [Demario] Davis is phenomenal, [Antonio] Cromartie and [Darrelle] Revis, [Buster] Skrine’s a great player, [Marcus] Gilchrist has had a great year, [Calvin] Pryor is having a great year so they’ve got a lot of guys – [Damon] Harrison, their nose tackles been great – so I think it hasn’t ever really been that this defense is kind of a walk in the park for our offense. It’s always been a big challenge but it starts with having really good players, they do. Now they’re really obviously been well coached, or really well coached this year. There are a lot of scheme things that they do that are challenging to prepare for. It’s tough. It’s tough but we’re grinding through it, trying to get everyone on the same page, and I’m sure we’ll feel pretty good about our game plan once we get to the game.
Q: Have you taken notice at all what Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are doing amidst their undefeated season?
TB: Yeah, absolutely. They’re playing great. He’s having an incredible season. They’ve got a great football team. It’s hard to get to 14-0. You have some games where you just don’t play your best and they’ve still figured out a way to win those games. I think that’s the mark of any great football team. Whether you have no losses, or one loss, or two losses – those are very hard seasons to have because injuries always play a part and they’ve won without certain guys. I think that’s also the mark of a great football team.
Q: In relation to the rest of the league how does Cam Newton get things done on the field in such an entirely different way?
TB: He has his own style and he’s just had a great season – run, pass. Like his game last week, I saw the highlights. That was awesome. It’s fun to see guys play like that. Obviously, the better players there are in the league, there’s more attention. He’s obviously one of the great young players.