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Mark Brunell Media Session, Wild Card Week

On his feelings on a stat-filled game versus gutting out a win:

"We have to win, that's the most important."

On whether he expects another high-scoring game in the playoffs:

"I think two very good defenses are going at it again and in the playoff atmosphere, the home team certainly has an advantage. The fans are going to be going crazy. They're a better football team than the last time we played them, so I expect to see their best. I believe they finished the best defense in the NFL, so once again we've got a big challenge ahead of us. But, having been able to score those points last time perhaps gives us some confidence going into their place. Two different teams, I think probably the biggest difference between us now as opposed to last time is that we're smarter with the football, and I think we gave it away three times, two interceptions and I fumbled one also. So we need to be smart with the ball, realizing that in a playoff game, if you turn it over, the other team will take advantage of it."

On his first playoff appearance since 1999:

"It has been a long time, and I think it's sweeter for this team, this organization, since it has six years since the Redskins have been in. This is big, it's big for this football team considering where we came from last year, and how long it has been since we've been in. For many reasons, this is big for us to be in the game."

On his successful statistics this season:

"A lot of that, I'm real fortunate this year. We've had a very good running game, receivers have done a great job, particularly Santana, Chris Cooley. The offensive line has done a great job of protection, particularly the last half of the season. I think the last six or seven games we're averaging one, two, maybe three sacks, so that's real good. Those numbers come because you've got ten guys around you doing their job. It's a reflection of the whole offense, not just one position putting up some good numbers."

On whether his play has changed since last year after all of the criticism:

"We've come a long way in a year, but for me personally, yes. More importantly, it's changed for the whole team. We all struggled last year. Being the quarterback, you get the spotlight on you a little bit more, but this offense has come a long ways and we put ourselves in the position where we're in the playoffs, won ten games which is very difficult to do in this league. It's tough to get into the postseason, so it's very gratifying for this whole team, for our offense and our defense, to be in the position we're at."

On the magnitude of the team's goals after winning five straight:

"I don't know if we recalibrate, because we've been in the same situation for five weeks. Our goals don't change. Our backs are still against the wall. They have not been playoff games of course, but these last five games, if we lose one, we're done. Any of those last five games, if they're a loss, we're on the plane right now or sitting on our couch doing something else. But we've had the pressure on us, and the pressure continues to be on us, and I think that will help us going into this game.

On thinking about if the team could be a Super Bowl team:

"Absolutely, we're all 0-0. We've got an opportunity just like everybody else. We're playing our best football right now, we're doing some good things, we're being smart with the football, our defense has been phenomenal so we know what it takes to win, and hopefully we can continue that. But we feel good going in and we are one game at a time. Our thoughts are on Tampa and Tampa alone. We do not look past this week; for us to do that would certainly be foolish. If we win, we get to go on but if we don't, we're done, so we realize what's at stake."

On coming to the Redskins and playing for Coach Gibbs:

"I had never met Joe Gibbs before last year, before we had met that first time for dinner, but his reputation as a very good football coach obviously, three Super Bowls, and then as a person--I mean, everybody knows about Joe Gibbs. For me, even back then, for them to consider me being their quarterback, I considered it a privilege and considered it an opportunity."

On how much of Coach Gibbs's character has rubbed off on the team:

"I think we're all in this thing together, and everything starts at the top with Coach. He gets up and talks to us about how important character is, not only as a football player but as a person. He's a great example, a great role model for all of us and we're real fortunate to have him. Character is important, it's critical, but it goes beyond just the X's and O's, beyond what we do for a living, it's who we are and we've got a lot of character on this team. I'm real fortunate to be around these guys, probably the best group of guys I've ever been around. A lot of different personalities, I think Clinton at the top of the list, but the core guys, the guys who have been around, and even the young guys, just great guys and it's been a privilege to be on a team with them as well."

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