Tom Brady on D&C, 10/19

October 19, 2009 - 6:39 am
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, fresh off Sunday's 59-0 domination of the Titans, checked in with Dennis & Callahan for his weekly discussion. Following is a transcript. To hear the entire interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. You said a week ago you were going to correct [the team's problems] with hard work, and obviously you did. Did Tennessee's inability to deal with the elements and their injuries at quarterback also play into this for you yesterday? We executed well yesterday. The elements were challenging in a way. Coach Belichick always tell us, "The opponent's not the wind tomorrow, the opponent's not the snow. The opponent's the Titans." We went out there and played obviously our best game of the year. I think we probably had our best week of practice, too. It was nice to see it come together the way it did, and hopefully there's a few more of these to follow. Phil Simms said a couple of interesting things on the broadcast yesterday. First and foremost, he said that you watched a lot of film this week, and picked up some flaws or some technical things that helped you get over whatever hump you needed to get over. Is that true? Yeah, I think of throwing the football very similar to the way a golfer is with a golf swing, or a jump shooter is with [a jump shot], or a baseball player swings a bat. There's technical things you need to do. Sometimes you can get into some bad habits. I just tried to spend some time this week correcting those things. It was only one game, and obviously we played a lot better yesterday. We'll see how it continues to go. I'm just hoping we bring that level of energy and that discipline to our team and that mental toughness that we did yesterday. That's probably what I was most excited about. Phil Simms said that you warmed up poorly prior to the game '€” trying to find a glove, not trying to find a glove, not throwing the ball well. Is that accurate? Did you warm up poorly? It was tough earlier because it was really rainy. Once the snow comes ... the snow's obviously easier to play in than the rain, because the ball doesn't get as wet in the snow. In the rain, it was soaked before the game. There's no ref to really place the ball, the ball's not with the ball boys in pregame. Once the ball's wet, it's wet. I don't think it was too poor. I've got to talk to Phil about that. [Laughing] What did you think at halftime? Did you think you had one more series to play, maybe a couple more series? Were you involved in that decision at all? Not at all. Not at all. I have no part in that decision. The thing I felt is, we played poorly in the two games we lost this year in the second half. I wanted to go out there and play as long as I could in the second half. It's important for us to come out and start playing 60 minutes out there, and not just go out there for one good half and then go suck for the next 30 minutes. I thought as a team we played well the entire game, no matter who was in there, whether it was [Brian] Hoyer or guys subbing for Randy [Moss] or Dan Connolly subbing for [Dan] Koppen, or Patrick Chung subbing in there, those guys all played really well, too. It was good to see. We're going to need everybody, I know that. It's a long season and there's a lot of injuries and everybody's got to step in there and do the job at some point. You always point out that Belichick finds something to bitch about, scream about, scold you guys about even after a game like this. First of all, what do you think that will be? And secondly, do you have that same mentality personally? Do you think of your mistakes more than your successes? And did you make any [mistakes], because we sure didn't see any? The way I look at it, honestly, guys, it was one game and we played well. I think it's important not to ride the roller coaster of the NFL season. You've got to believe and be confident in what you're doing as an offense, as a team, as a player. You just have to keep going out there and going back to work. Kevin Faulk said last week after the Denver game, "Listen guys, congratulate the other team and let's get back to work." When you play 16 games '€” and this isn't the playoffs '€” that's what happens. You win one game, you evaluate what happened, you try to make the corrections, you learn from the mistakes and then you move forward. I think it's very similar to this game. You take the good things from it, you understand the things you did well, the reasons why we played better, the reasons why we executed better, and then you hopefully move forward into next week with a better awareness so that you can possibly go out there and play that type of game again. It's not much more than that. It's obviously fun to be a part of. Sunday is awesome, to go out there and play like that in conditions like that. Believe me, everybody was really happy after the game. But we've obviously still got a long, long road ahead.

Sometimes you'€™ll see a blowout, and then the next game will feature a close game. Can you avoid that?

We take every week as just that. It'€™s never about we'€™ve got to win the next four, or let'€™s look forward to that Nov. 22 game. Every team presents challenges. Every team has good players. Every team has good coaches. Every team has good schemes. Every team has strengths and weaknesses. Really, it takes a couple plays here and there to change the momentum of the game and ultimately the outcome of the game. So you can'€™t take any of these teams lightly.

When we played the Jets in Week 2, we were terrible and how is anyone going to beat the Jets? Now they'€™re 3-3. There'€™s a reason why you play 16 games. It'€™s over the course of a season, when you sustain injuries, you see the depth and quality of coaching, you see the mental toughness, you see the execution.

To just evaluate after one game or after two games, I don'€™t think any of us get into. We look at this as a long season, and continue to build and make improvements.

It looked like you were talking to Junior Seau, and saying, '€˜Before that, we lost at the Jets.'€™ What was that conversation?

I said, '€˜Junior, you show up for one game and we win by 60 points. Where the hell were you six weeks ago?'€™ He said, '€˜Tom, I'€™ll tell you a crazy stat. Since I came back, after the Chicago Bears game in 2006, we haven'€™t lost a regular season game with Junior on the roster.'€™ He broke his arm in the Chicago Bears game, which we won. Before that, we went on the road and we won. We went 16-0 the next year, and then we won the last four games with him last year. He'€™s 21 or 22-0 in his last 22 regular-season games. '€¦ I said, '€˜Junior '€“ we'€™ve figured out the problem.'€™

Did you think you had enough on the flea-flicker? Did you consider saving it?

Yeah, but a flea-flicker is a great play for the offense, especially in conditions like yesterday when you think ball-handling might be the issue.

Once they really bite up on the run fake, it'€™s really hard for them to turn around and catch up with Randy.

I saw him really start to turn it on. I just threw it. I knew I had enough on it. That'€™s where the wind was coming from '€“ that lighthouse end. I tried to really drive the ball into the wind. He made a great catch. The guy recovered nicely, and it was close, but Randy made a great catch. It was a great call. It'€™s different when you hit those big plays. When they'€™re there, you'€™ve got to hit them. You'€™ve got to change field position.

It'€™s nice to get those big chunks on score touchdowns. That'€™s obviously something we haven'€™t done this year.

Which touchdown was most satisfying? The flea-flicker, or the one where the guy hit you after you threw it?

That second one was pretty cool. It'€™s not really how we drew it up. It was a play where Randy was going to the post. For some reason he ran straight upfield and threw his arm up. I think the corner sat there. He kind of saw something. I drifted to the left because I was trying to throw to [Ben Watson]. Then I saw Randy break back across the back end line and threw it. The guy hit me as I was going down. It was a good football play by a lot of people '€“ by the offensive line, and Randy uncovered himself back there. That was a fun one. We haven'€™t had many like that this year.

We had a few other plays, like the screen play to Kevin for a touchdown, and the long one to Wes.

They worked out perfect.

Were the receivers lobbying you harder that usual that they were open?

They let me know. Randy'€™s always open. He goes, '€˜Tommy, I'€™m open.'€™ Or he'€™ll say, '€˜Stay with me. Stay with me.'€™ Then on the film I'€™ll see four guys on him. I'€™d rather have every guy say, '€˜Throw me the ball, I'€™m open, give me the ball,'€™ than nobody want the ball. The best receivers I know are the ones who want the ball, and they want the ball in crunch time.

Sebastian Vollmer seemed like he did his job really well. He seems ready to play a big role for this team.

When you speak to him, he'€™s really a mature young man. He'€™s still young to me. He'€™s really well coached. He'€™s a really smart, intelligent player. He'€™s big and physical and he moves very well. He'€™s got a lot of skill. You match skill with intelligence with great coaching from Dante.

That'€™s the role of that swing tackle'€”when somebody goes down you'€™ve got to be ready to step in and perform that role well. There'€™s no let up '€“ whether it'€™s Vanden Bosch, whether it'€™s Ellis, whether it'€™s Taylor or Freeney. That'€™s where the best pass rushers are.

I love having Matt in there. There'€™s nobody like Matt to me. He'€™s a great player. He'€™s been a great player for a long time. I look forward to getting Matt back. But in the meantime, Sebastian has performed really well to this point. That'€™s great to know for us and great to see.

Could you have scored 90?

Probably not.

What was the point when you guys were calling timeouts with 1:16 left and are in the no-huddle at the end of the second quarter? Is that because you'€™re using the opportunity to work on certain things?

That'€™s exactly what it is. On the 50-yard line, I think we were on, after the punt that was kind of miss-hit. It was the first time we ran a four-wide no-huddle, with all four receivers on the field.

To go out there and try to execute like that, those are really valuable situations for us. We'€™ve actually moved the ball really well in two-minute all year. We had a couple where we didn'€™t, obviously in the Jets game and the Denver game. Other than that, every time we'€™ve done that, we'€™ve done well, whether it'€™s the end of the half.

We'€™ve always moved it. We have a great source of confidence for our team, knowing that if we do need to move it, if it'€™s a three-point game or six-point game, we'€™re going to move it and get in the end zone.

Sometimes, it is said that the mentally tougher team wins out in tough conditions. Does that apply next week in London? You guys have more experience and are mentally tough. Do you have an advantage by playing in London against this winless Tampa Bay team?

I think it'€™s a tough game for both teams in that sense. We'€™ve never traveled East, obviously. That'€™s a bit of a different situation for us. The body clocks will have to get adjusted. We'€™re leaving on Thursday. We'€™re playing a team that isn'€™t having the season they want to, but they'€™ve got some good football players on their team. They have their strengths and weaknesses.

I haven'€™t done much work on them yet. That'€™s going to start when I get off the phone with you guys. But you never know with these games. They'€™re different sorts of games.

In some ways, I'€™m excited to go over there and play in London just because I know that it will probably be the only time in my career we'€™ll get a chance to do that. We'€™ll remember this one for our entire careers, all of us playing in this game. That adds a little bit of intrigue.

I'€™m excited to get back out on the field again and see if we can keep building.

I want to see us get out there, take this week, learn from it and see if we can put together another great week. That, to me, is something I'€™m really looking forward to.

Late in the game, Vince Young was probably tackled in the end zone for a safety, but it was called down on the two-yard line. Would it have been bad form for Coach Belichick to throw the challenge flag?

Coach Belichick is tough, but I don'€™t know if he'€™s that tough.

I might have gone and tried to catch the red flag if I saw him pull it out of his pocket. I would have made a diving reception like four yards out onto the field to try to hide that red flag.

Why did Brian Hoyer do Randy'€™s thing after the touchdown?

That was pretty funny. Randy got a kick out of it. I thought it was pretty funny. Randy'€™s thing, he splits the defense. Hoyer split the defense from half a yard.

Was there much talk about preserving the shutout on the sideline?

Oh, definitely. That doesn'€™t come up often. Maybe once a year. When it happens, it'€™s something to be proud of.

They hardly gave up any yards, even '€“ less than 200 yards '€“ to one of the best running backs in the league. Chris Johnson, there'€™s nobody faster. Coach said he doesn'€™t think there are 10 players in the league faster than Chris Johnson. I think he'€™s hard-pressed to think of one. He had a great game and he'€™s a good player, but that shutout, that was a great thing to see for our defense and gives them a lot of confidence as well. They'€™re going and playing against a team with some explosive receivers.

To shut those guys down, it was a great effort.

Is a bye following Week 7 just about the perfect time to have it?

That'€™s great. [Week] 7, 8 , 9, right in there, that'€™s the best. When you have them earlier in the year, it'€™s kind of a waste. I remember we had one in Week 3 or Week 2. We had one in Week 2 in 2004. That was terrible.

This comes at the right time. Everyone needs it. We'€™ve got quite a few guys banged up. That extra week there hopefully saves us a little bit. We'€™ve got to get some of these injured guys back. We'€™re kind of running thin at certain positions. You'€™ve got to find ways to have different personnel packages to move the football.

Who is the most intimidating defensive player, and why?

For me, as a quarterback, it'€™s probably Dwight Freeney. Every play with him is a game-changing play. That'€™s the guy you look for. In the secondary, it'€™s probably Ed Reed. I don'€™t know if you saw the play he made last week against Carson Palmer on the interception return for the touchdown. He had no business even being a part of that play.

With Dwight Freeney, every time you throw the ball he'€™s a factor. As a quarterback, you probably have anywhere from a second and a half to four seconds to throw the ball. With Freeney, it'€™s probably consistently like, two seconds.

There'€™s no time for decision-making. You'€™re making your decision before the ball is snapped, based on the coverage, where you'€™re going to throw.

Those are two guys who, every time you play them, you have nightmares about what they'€™re doing and what they'€™re capable of doing. You'€™re just hoping not to allow them to take over the game.

Would you be disappointed if Freeney'€™s quad started acting up on, say, Nov. 15?

That'€™d be an early Christmas gift. That'€™d be Christmas in November.