TB: I feel pretty good. It kind of feels like football season now, so I feel pretty good. I’ve felt pretty good for a long time.
Q: Could not having played the first four games of the season end up helping you towards the end of the year when it’s go-time for you?
TB: I think the more you play, the better it is. I don’t think there are as many advantages to watching. I think the more you practice and the more you play, the better you’ll be and hopefully, going into the second half, we’ll all be feeling good, everyone is taking good care of themselves and we’ll have a good chance to go out there and compete hard. There are eight games. This is when football season really starts to count and you really see what you’re made of
Q How has the process of seeing Jamie Collins go been as a teammate, leader and friend?
TB: Well because you are just a human and you have these personal relationships with a lot of players. I’ve had a lot of great relationships with all those guys. I still do, and I don’t think that ever changes, but you also understand there is always change in the NFL. It’s a challenging part of it. I think the older you get, the more you see. The more you understand, the faster you can process that. That’s what – that’s just the way it has to go. The changes take place in the offseason, they take place in training camp; you could very easily lose a player to injury. It’s always changing and evolving and it’s a challenging part about the NFL, but it’s definitely inevitable. Everyone is still going to be in touch with him. He’s our friend for life, so that doesn’t change.
Q: Does it hit you when you see a guy be uprooted at 27 years old? Just that aspect of it, aside from football.
TB: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely, yeah.
Q: Have you ever considered that it could happen to you someday, regardless of your position?
TB: Yeah, absolutely. You can’t be around this long and not realize that the world will keep spinning and the sun will come up tomorrow without you. That’s just the way it goes. I think you enjoy just the experiences that you have, but also understand that it just keeps going on. It could happen to anybody. You just have to show up to work, do the best you can do every day, and let your performance just try to speak for itself.
Q: Does this team have the mental toughness to overcome a situation like this in removing a player that has been an important part of the team for the last few years?
TB: Yeah, well we’ll see. You can sit up here and say yes or no or think of all the different hypotheticals, and I think that’s just – we’re going to have to wait and see. We as players, it’s not our choice; we don’t do anything about it. At this point, we’ve just got to do what our job is and that’s to go out there and try to make improvements this week and then get ready for next week.
Q: Despite feeling good yourself, can you look at the guys who have played all eight games so far this year and say they need break right now?
TB: Yeah, all those guys, it’s definitely – the bye week, whenever it comes, it’s always at a good time whether that’s the fourth week of the year or the eighth week of the year or the tenth week of the year. Football season is long and you go through training camp, and even all the offseason stuff, and it’s good to have time to kind of refresh your mindset, recalibrate where your team is at, study and self-evaluate the things you need to do. Your body gets a physical rest from having the Sunday off, but it’s still a long season and we still have a lot more to accomplish. This isn’t – it’s just a very short rest bit. Then you get back and ready to go, and hopefully we have a great second half.