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Quotes from the Pats locker room, 8/31

08.31.09 at 6:02 pm ET
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Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here are some quotes from the locker room today about the retirement of linebacker Tedy Bruschi:

LB Jerod Mayo
Q: Is it safe to say that Tedy Bruschi was one of the guys that when young guys are coming into the organization, he’€™s one of the guys who takes them under his wings?
JM: He was one of the first guys who met me at the door when I got here. I’€™m sure he did the same thing to the rest of the guys when they came.

Q: What will you say to him later today when you see him?
JM: I’€™ll tell him how much I’€™m going to miss him and to stay in contact. I’€™m sure I’€™ll be around here.

Q:  Do you wish that he wouldn’€™t leave?
JM: I think Tedy knows what’€™s best for him. I’€™m not sure what he’€™s thinking in his head, but I’€™m sure he knows what’€™s best for him.

LB Gary Guyton
Q: Talking about playing for 14 years and not only playing for 14 years, but overcoming what he had to deal with. Can you imagine that, having a stroke and staying an effective player?
GG:  Yeah, I know. Overcoming all of that; that’€™s great. It’€™s truly remarkable. What he’€™s overcome, it’€™s just honorable. I mean, there’€™s definitely a respect, in my eyes, [for him].

RB Kevin Faulk
Q: You’€™re now the longest tenured guy on this team and you go back a long ways with Tedy Bruschi. Talk about the impact of his retirement and his career.

KF:  He meant a whole lot. When you talk about Tedy, you talk about leadership, inspiration. A lot of words come to your mind when you think about Tedy and that should be like a blessing for him, just for the person he is and as a football player.

Q:  Mr. Kraft, Coach Belichick and Tedy, himself, were talking about more memorable moments. Is there anything that stands out to you one or two moments whether it’€™s on the field or off the field?
KF:  I was actually watching the press conference, too, and it’€™s just like you said, he’€™s happy with himself because he doesn’€™t have just one moment. There are a lot of moments that he’€™s had here and a lot of those moments helped us to be who we are as an organization and as a football team.

G Stephen Neal
Q: Talk about what he [Tedy Bruschi] has meant to this team.

SN: I was watching the press conference, too. He’€™s a guy that listens to what Bill [Belichick] says and I sit right next to him in the meetings and we both write down, and we look at each other and try to guess what he’€™s going to say and a lot of times your dead on. You know if you stick around here for a while, you realize the things that are important to Coach and ‘€¦ put the team first, work hard, do your job. That’€™s the kind of stuff that they want to do and that’€™s the kind of stuff he has done his whole career and he’€™s done a great job. Like he said, it is a celebration today.

Q: What is it that made him [Tedy Bruschi] so great on the field?
SN: All week you work real hard to do the job and to do everything perfect and there’€™s only one day a week where you go out there and let it all loose and that’€™s on Sunday or Monday. There’€™s no sense talking about it during the week because whatever is going to happen is going to happen that day and he just goes out there with passion and energy that would just radiate throughout the team and it was a pleasure to be a Patriot with him.

Q: How much will this team miss him?
SN: We are going to miss him a lot.

NT Vince Wilfork
VW: Between Troy Brown and, himself [Tedy Bruschi], I played with the two greatest guys that have retired. There is a lot to be said. Being an inside linebacker and being able to play with a guy like that there sometimes made my job a little bit easier and sometimes made his job a little bit easier. Sometimes we had our ups and downs in a game, but at the same time we had a lot of fun and made a lot of plays together. He played the game the way it needed to be played and I respect him for that and I am glad he is going out basically on top. He has a beautiful family. I just told him congrats and that I will be calling him next offseason to play golf because he might be a scratch golfer by then. Nothing but big time respect for him as a person and, as one of his teammates, he will be missed around here.

LB Adalius Thomas
(On his reaction to the news)

AT:  He actually called me yesterday and told me about it. It kind of caught me off guard. It was Sunday, and I was just sitting at home watching TV, and I was like, ‘€˜Wow!’€™ You know, ‘€˜Congratulations.’€™

(On filling the leadership void)
AT:  I don’€™t think you can fill that void with one person. You have to use numerous people. You can’€™t replace a person like Tedy. He’€™s been here, he’€™s seen so much, been through so many things ‘€¦ there has to be more than one person.

(On what he’€™ll remember most)
AT:  The respect he had around the league, the kind of stuff he went through, coming in, doing his job, being a true professional ‘€” that’€™s what you remember him as. Hats off to him. It was great while it lasted, playing with him for two years, enjoying the ‘€œBacker-hood’€ thing we had going on. He definitely leaves the game better than when he came in.

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