JCF: Well, I guess there’s only one way to begin: Have you recovered from the Titans game yet? How are you doing?
BP: Bizarre game. I’m doing good, the team’s doing good. We talked about it at the team meeting yesterday and covered the points of emphasis as to why we didn’t win and settled that and now we’ve moved on.
JCF: I couldn’t help thinking that losing like that – after such an improbable comeback — has to be even worse than just getting blown out.
BP: Definitely, for me it did. I mean, I was full of emotions after the game. I couldn’t quite understand why we were able to come back in the fashion that we did and yet not be able to contain the win.
JCF: What was it like in the locker room immediately after the game? I mean, I would have either been throwing things, or huddled up in a corner bawling like a baby.
BP: A lot of shock and devastated attitudes. From what I saw, no one was angry to the point where they were throwing things and cussing or crying or anything. It was more just a feeling of complete shock that we were able to come back, score 29 points in the fourth quarter, and then have all of our effort taken away with a game-winning field goal.
JCF: Have you ever been part of a game like that before?
BP: No, that was definitely the first time. Not even in high school or college was I a part of any sort of turnaround like that.
JCF: My other thought — and I hate to bring this up — was after last year’s devastating loss to Tennessee, you guys went to New England the next week and got your hats handed to you by the Patriots. It seemed like there was definitely some sort of hangover. Do you think there’s any chance of something similar happening this time around?
BP: No, definitely not. The only remaining issue from that game is the minor bumps and bruises that a few guys sustained. I don’t think there’s a mental effect lingering over us.
JCF: Did you feel like there was something lingering over you last year?
BP: I can’t really recall if there was one or not, so I’m going to say no. I mean, with each week you come in and talk about it in the team meeting and after that it’s pretty much a non-issue unless it’s brought up by the media, or friends who want to know what happened or family.
JCF: Okay, so let’s look ahead. With everything that’s going on in San Diego right now, and all the uncertainty about where the game is going to be played, how are you able to focus on getting ready for the Chargers?
BP: Oh, it definitely affects you. I mean, you do everything you can to not let it affect how you plan and prepare for the game, but especially for some of the teammates who have homes there in San Diego, I can’t imagine what they have to do. You know, they have to be here focusing on the next game, yet wondering if they’re going to have a house when this is all said and done.
JCF: Who on the team has San Diego ties?
BP: I know Will Demps has a house there and I know Chester Pitts’s family has a home just north of San Diego.
JCF: All right, so let’s lighten the mood for just a minute. I noticed in one of the previous Long Snaps, someone named Suzy left us a couple comments. I’m guessing it had to be your fiancée, because she’s obviously privy to some inside information. And the first thing she wanted us to ask about was your crush in Hillary Duff. Say it aint so!
BP: Oh my God. That was her. Well, the crush is not as intense as it had been. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve matured in my ways [laughs]. I don’t know, it’s just a thing I had. You know, I thought she was just cute and adorable and it was just one of those silly little crushes that guys have.
JCF: I feel like there are about a billion follow-up questions I should ask, but I’ll move on. For now. Something else Suzy brought up: What’s the deal with Kat Von D (from LA Ink).
BP: Not a crush of mine. It’s a reality show character that she’s – I don’t want to label it too strong of an adjective — but I guess [Suzy is] enthralled with her. Her personality, or presence — I don’t know what it is she finds appealing about her — but I don’t see it.
JCF: Are you a tattoo guy, yourself?
BP: You know, I enjoy looking at the artwork. I mean, I’m amazed sometimes at what those artists can put on people’s bodies permanently. But I don’t have any tattoos and I’ve never been inclined to add anything permanently to my body for life. So that’s where I’ve left that issue with tattoos. But I’m definitely not against them.
JCF: Okay, back to football. It’s no secret, if you’re going to beat the Chargers you have to find a way to at least slow down LaDainian Tomlinson. What’s the key?
BP: It starts with our defensive line and they’ve got a show a strong presence with their run defense. I think that’s the big focal point this week is our D-line, and then the rest of our defense contributing and helping out.
JCF: We’ve talked about it before, so this isn’t really anything new, but – fairly or unfairly -- the D-line has been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism during this slump. Are those guys feeling the heat?
BP: Yeah, they are. And maybe, if they stepped it up and had a better game this week than that would take a lot of that blame and finger-pointing off of them.
JCF: The other thing I’ve heard this week: seems like a few people are starting to plant the seeds of a quarterback controversy? Is that the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard?
BP: Yeah, it is. I mean, I don’t see why they can’t understand it from our perspective and see that Sage is a great back-up. You know, Matt Schaub’s our starter and the guy we brought in and handed over the reigns to him and he’s our guy. He’s the leader of the offense and one of the leaders of the team. And I think Sage understands his role as a back-up.
JCF: Prediction time. Give us the scoop.
BP: You know, obviously if it were to be played here in Houston, we’d have a slight home-field advantage. But if it is to go as scheduled and be played in San Diego, I think it will be a lot closer ballgame. So I’m gonna go with a 27-19 score, Texans over Chargers.
JCF: Well, since the Texans’ record fell below .500 last week, that means your prognostication record did as well. So for your sake — and the sake of the team — I hope you’re right.
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