Tom Brady on D&C, 9/21
|09.21.09 at 11:08 am ET|
Did the Jets’ trash-talk actually help them challenge themselves to raise their game?
I think whatever is said during the week really … the game is decided by what happens when the ball is kicked off. You could talk or not talk. Ultimately it comes down to how well you execute the plays that are called, which obviously we didn’t do a very god job yesterday. They could have not talked and beat us, they could have talked twice as much and beat us they way we performed. We’re as frustrated as anybody the way the game went. We’ve got to find ways to perform better as a team. The veteran leaders have to do a better job of leading. Ultimately, we just have to play better. I think that’s what it comes down to.
Were you uncomfortable for most of your 47 attempts yesterday?
I wouldn’t say that. There were no sacks. Anytime you throw the ball 47 times, they’re going to hurry you from time to time. It’s not like you’re going to stand back there for 47 attempts untouched. I think the offensive line performed well. Those guys really stepped up in the face of ‘ you’re right, tough communication out there, and a team that does challenge you with their blitz looks. But we didn’t make the plays we were doing. There were a lot of yards that we left on the field. There were almost 200 yards offense in the first half. We controlled the first half we just didn’t get the ball in the end zone when we had the opportunities. At halftime it’s 9-3 or whatever it was. If we get the ball in the end zone it’s a significantly different game. That’s a couple of weeks in a row that we’re unable to get the ball in the end zone. That’s an issue that we’re dealing with and something we’ve got to correct.
Did the presence of [former Patriots backup quarterback] Kevin O’Connell help the Jets? Did it make your job any tougher?
I’m not sure what he could have helped with yesterday. He probably gave them a good look during the week, kind of explained how we do things based on the scout team that he was running. He was year for two years, a year-and-a-half, so he has pretty good insight, but I don’t think it came down to yesterday what Kevin told them or didn’t tell them. I think it came down to the way we executed, and as an offense the failure to get the ball in the end zone. We had opportunities that were there that we didn’t take advantage of. That’s the frustrating part when you’re flying back last night realizing the plays that were out there, and had we made some of those plays the outcome would be different. We’ve got to dig deep and kind of figure out which way we’re going to go. Fortunately, it’s early in the year and the problems are correctable, but there’s nobody that’s going to help us. We’ve got to do it ourselves.
Does that kind of rub you the wrong way that a teammate of yours for the last couple of years is going and spilling all the state secrets and might get released later today?
Honestly, not really. They don’t know what play is called. We have a bunch of different protections and we have a bunch of different blitz-beaters. Unless you know what play is called at that time, you’re not going to know how we’re adjusting to the blitz. We do that in a multitude of ways. He can go in there and say, “OK, on this play this is what they do,” but that’s always in hindsight, that’s him looking at the play … we could line up in different formation and then it’s different. And most teams do it the exact same way. It’s not hard to study film and figure out how you pick up the blitz. I don’t think that’s something that’s like a big mystery. As an offense we try to play very sound fundamental football. If they bring more than you can block, then you’ve got to throw the ball quicker to your outlet receiver. He can go tell them that, but that’s pretty much what you learn in football from the age of 9 going to the age we’re at now.
How about naming [O’Connell] captain? Did you think that was a little over the line, Tom?
I really enjoyed my time with Kevin. Kevin is a great guy, and he’s a great person. That’s their decision. The Jets, they’re a good team. They’ve played well two weeks in a row. They’re leading the division right now and we’re sitting there at 1-1, and the reality is that we haven’t played very well the last couple of weeks. So, I’m more concerned about our problems and finding solutions to our problems than anything else going on. We play Atlanta this week, but we’ve got to figure out how to start getting the ball in the end zone, most importantly. I think that’s what we need to focus on this week.
Do you miss [Wes Welker] more when they are coming at you, when they are blitzing so often, bringing so many guys?
Wes is one of the best players on our team, he’s one of the best players in the league. He’s really an integral part of our offense. He presents a lot of matchup problems for the defense. At the same time, I think Julian [Edelman] for his first game he did a great job. He’s going to be a really solid player for us. When guys go down other guys have to step in and fill the role. We still have to find ways to score the points, whether Wes is there or Wes is not there. At some point Randy [Moss] won’t be there, and at some point Kevin [Faulk] won’t be there, and Joey [Galloway] won’t be there. We’ve still got to be able to do the things that we need to do to control the pace of the game, to throw the ball more efficiently no matter who’s out there, and to run the ball. I think we all are looking at ourselves this morning, everybody on the team, and figuring out the things that we need to do better ‘ as an individual, to collectively improve as a team. That’s got to to be the main focus of our practice this week. The veteran leadership has to fins ways to rally the rest of the guys to buy into it.
Were guys [on offense], more than usual, unsure of exactly where they were supposed to be lined up yesterday?
Our plan was to challenge [the Jets] to find where we were lining up, and we were adjusting some things throughout the course of the game. There were times where we didn’t communicate like we should have from a quarterback standpoint and receiver standpoint and getting on the same page. That’s something we’ve got to learn from. We’re all learning each other, and we’re learning how to adjust things on the field. We didn’t do a very good job of it yesterday, which is really evidenced by, obviously, the score and our lack of scoring points that we needed to. That’s something that we’ve got to look at and adjust to and try to find a solution to it this week. It’s only going to get tougher, you know. As these games go, the good teams get better and the bad teams get worse. Our goal is to be one of the good teams that competes late in the year. Early in the year we haven’t done a very good job of executing what we needed to do. We need to, starting today, learn to go in there and get the corrections and move forward with a better awareness of what we need to do to improve as a team.
[What caused] the four delay-of-game penalties?
I’ve got to do a better job of being aware of the clock. I think that’s what I take out of it. We were moving around, and you never want to take delay-of-game penalties. That’s self-inflicted. That’s the control of the quarterback. That’s something that definitely hurts, and I’ve got to do a better job with it.
Can you tell us what happened on that [interception]? Was it one of the deals where every now and again you’ve got to throw it up for Randy and let him go get it?
I ran over to him before the play and we made a route adjustment. I wanted to try to get the ball down the field. We haven’t done that as much last week or this week. I wanted to take a shot on them. Randy ran a little out route and then took it up the field. I tried to put it up there to him and just overthrew him by a little bit, and [Darrelle] Revis made a great catch. He made a good play on that one. I hate throwing interceptions, that’s what I lose sleep over the most. He made a good play, we tried to take a shot down the field and it didn’t turn out for us. It’s just another thing where we’ve got to correct it. We can’t make those throws. It’s not Randy’s fault for the guy intercepting the ball. I threw it out there and the guy made a good play on it.
Is that inaccuracy ‘ which we rarely see from you ‘ a result of the rust from having been off a year, the result of the pressure [the Jets] brought to bear, or, as Boomer Esiason speculated this morning, maybe your shoulder isn’t 100 percent and that might be contributing to the inaccuracy that we’re seeing here?
No, I don’t think it has anything to do with my shoulder or the rust, I just think it has to do with poor technique. Sometimes, my technique hasn’t been what I’ve hoped it to be the past two weeks, and I’ve got to improve on that. I’m going to do everything I can to work on it. I always feel being an accurate passer is really like a good golf swing. If you do it right, it’s going to go where you want it. I’ve got to be more accurate throwing the football. The team counts on me to do that, when they’re open I’ve got to hit them. We had plenty of guys open yesterday, like Julian there, and those are ones you can’t miss. When games are decided like it was by a touchdown or less, you look back on those throws as ones that if we complete it, obviously it’s a different outcome.
Do you feel much more able to complete the ball and put it where you want to when you’re in the pocket as opposed to having to move and throw?
We’re kind of a pocket-passing team, and that’s what we work on. Yeah, I do feel more comfortable in the pocket. When we do move out of the pocket, which is not a whole lot during the game, there are still opportunities to be accurate, and we work on those plays. There were a couple of times yesterday when I was out of the pocket and didn’t put the ball where I needed to. Like I said, guys, it didn’t go well yesterday. We can look at it 20 different ways, and the outcome’s the same. The reality is that it comes back to execution. Our execution as a team is not where it needs to be. I reflect on myself and the things I need to do better so we can improve those things. We’re going to go in there to work today and try to improve those things as best we can in a short period of time and hopefully it’s better this week. There’s nobody that gives up on the team or gives up on what we’re doing or loses confidence in what we’re doing. We believe that we have a good football team. We just need to go out there and perform better. Two weeks ago we were the greatest team in the history of the NFL and we’re going to go 16-0 again. Last week it’s like, “Yeah, there’s things they don’t do well.” This week, it’s now, “They’re terrible and they can’t do anything.” We don’t want to ride the roller coaster. We really want to just focus on what we need to do and go out there and perform better. If we do that, we’re confident we’ll win the games. But if we don’t, we’re not going to win the games. Nobody can do that except for us.
Is Joey Galloway up to speed, or is it too early for a new guy in this offense to be completely on the same page as you?
It’s only his second game as a Patriot. He didn’t get any action last week against the Bills. This week he did a good job, made some nice catches, ran some nice routes. We’re still finding ways to work together. We’re not going to have the same chemistry that we have when I’m with someone for two years. I’ve been with him for two games. We’ve made some improvements this last week, there’s no doubt about it, and we’ve got to continue to make improvements this week. There’s only one way to do it and that’s just to go out there and work at it. Because it’s not going to get any better doing nothing. I don’t think anything gets better doing nothing. The Jets, you’ve got to give them the credit that they deserve. They played a good, solid game, they didn’t give up any big plays. They ran their blitzes the way they wanted to run them. They made the plays that were there, and we didn’t. And that’s the outcome. We’ll see them again, there’s still 14 games of football left, a lot of practices to improve. We have a very, very well-coached team and a team that’s willing to work hard. I think that’s what I’m encouraged about that. I’m encouraged that we’re going to show up and get back to work.
It had to be annoying to hear those [air-raid sirens] while you’re on the field trying to run your offense.
To tell you the truth, I didn’t even hear the sirens. I don’t even know …
What might Tom Brady have said to the rookie quarterback [Mark Sanchez] in a private moment?
I did see him yesterday, I met him for the first time. He’s a good player. For his second game of a career, he did a great job. They were down there in the first half and they didn’t move it very well in the first half, and he really regrouped and led those guys in the second half. He made a nice touchdown throw, made a couple of good third-down throws. He’s a good player, he’s got a very promising future as a quarterback. They obviously seem to like him and they believe in him. I told him “Good game,” he played well, he made some really clutch throws. That’s what you need to do when your team is losing in the second half. That’s something we didn’t do yesterday. We’ve got to do a better job if we want the outcome to be different.
What do you say to one of your wide receivers who just dropped a catchable pass?
Honestly, I never mind the physical mistakes, guys who drop the ball or who don’t do something physically right. I have a problem when we don’t do something mentally right, when we don’t give ourselves a chance to do the right thing because we’re not on the same page. I think those are the things that are more frustrating than anything, when the ball’s snapped and the receiver doesn’t know what you’re thinking and you really don’t know what the receiver’s thinking. Those are the ones that are frustrating. That came up plenty of times yesterday, and those are the things that we’re correcting. Dropped balls, they happen. Interceptions happen. Holding penalties happen. A lineman jumping shouldn’t happen. A delay-of-game penalty should never happen. Motion penalties, too many men on the field, making the wrong protection call, those things should never happen. The physical things, those do happen. When they do happen, you encourage [the players], I’m always one to encourage them. You don’t lose confidence in that. You usually try to go back to them and let them make the play and get them back in the rhythm.