|Tom Brady Q&A, 9/23||09.23.09 at 2:24 pm ET|
Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here’s the complete transcript of today’s Q&A between Tom Brady and the media:
Q: I assume if you had won this past week, you would have been speaking back at the podium.
TB: I sure would have. We had a miserable week, so I figure misery loves company.
Q: So what do you have to blame?
TB: Ourselves. Obviously, our team didn’t perform last week. We made a lot of corrections and we’re excited about this week. We’ve got to put a really great week in. It’s a team that we haven’t played in a long time that we’re unfamiliar with, so everyone’s excited to get back to work.
Q: How have the last couple of days been? Have you put the loss behind you quickly or did it linger a little bit?
TB: Yeah, I think losing around here is not fun for any of us. We set a pretty high standard. You’re just trying to evaluate where the problems are and what you need to do better. I think the most important thing is that everyone has to reflect on what they can do because you can’t do anybody else’s job; you can only do your job. That’s the most important thing.
Q: Can you talk about the amount of pressure from the defenses that you’ve faced in the last two games? And what can you do to rectify that?
TB: I think anytime — like I said the other day — when you throw it as much as we’ve been throwing it, they’re going to get in there. They have good pass-rushes and good guys who can rush the passer. They’re going to get in there at some point. It’s just part of our offense, part of it is getting rid of it quickly, making the right read, making the right throw and trying really to make the right play.
Q: Do you feel that’s a strategy now, to attack you? Do you feel that’s the opposing team’s strategy?
TB: If you blitz, you give up some other things. If you commit an extra guy to pressure, then there’s one less guy in coverage. Every team takes their chances; some teams do it better than others. But we’re expecting the blitz. This last game, I thought we performed. We didn’t obviously win the game, but there were no sacks. Of course, they hit me a few times, but they always do. It’s just about completing more passes and getting the ball to the guys who can do something with it.
Q: Do you think that teams will continue to pressure you more until they know that your knee is OK, to see if you’re still mobile …
TB: I’ve never been very mobile.
Q: Well, maybe less mobile in the pocket? Do you sense that they might do that?
TB: Well, they’re going to do whatever they think they need to do to win. I think however they feel they need to attack us, whatever their game plan is, that’s what they’re going to do. It’s our job to stop them and really take advantage when they do blitz. If they want to blitz, that means they’re singling some guys and we’ve got to get the ball to those guys. I think that’s how you defeat the blitz.
Q: When you talk about defending the blitz, in terms of sight adjustments, is there anything you’d like to see different and maybe throw the ball down the field more?
TB: I think we haven’t been staying on the field long enough to complete those third-down passes; those are the important ones because they keep the drive going and you’re able to control the tempo of the game. I think that’s more of a concern.
Q: I know you are after every game, but are you any more sore this week? Or would you admit it?
TB: I wouldn’t admit it. But honestly I’m not very sore, and I feel good this week, and I feel good that we’re moving on. We’re working hard to make the changes that we’ve made in the last couple of days. We’ve got to go out there and perform better against a very good team.
Q: [On his throwing mechanics]
TB: I think that’s something that I’m always working on, focusing on and trying to improve on. There are some positive things that I took out of the last game, in terms of my mechanics and driving the ball. It’s still not where I’m 100 percent comfortable where the mechanics are at, but that’s why I’m still working at it.
Q: You’ve said that midseason form doesn’t come until midseason. Do you still stand by that?
TB: Yeah, we’re all trying to understand the reasons why we haven’t performed as well as we’d like in the last two games. It’s a number of reasons. I think the only thing we can focus on — as players — is what we can do. I can certainly make better decisions with the ball, throw it more accurately. That’s where it starts for me.
Q: Any reaction to the news of a lawsuit against you and Gisele?
TB: No, I have no reaction to that one.
Q: Screen passes weren’t in evidence on Sunday. Is that something that you’d maybe like to see more of?
TB: Sometimes they work. [With] screens, it’s risk-reward. I think with something like that, when they go well, they look good. We threw a screen pass against Buffalo and Buffalo scored a touchdown. They’re all about being productive when you call them. This last game [against the Jets], we didn’t have very many opportunities. It’s something that’s an important part of the package. It’s an important part of every team’s package. You just have to do them well when you call them.
Q: In general, do screen passes help to relieve the pressure that a defensive line is throwing at you?
TB: Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. It depends on whether [they] blitz 30 times a game and you throw two screen passes, it doesn’t stop them much. If they call a blitz, they’re blitzing. Another good way to counter a good blitzing team is by screening.
Q: I don’t you don’t worry about opposing quarterbacks, but what do you think of Matt Ryan?
TB: Matt [Ryan], obviously we haven’t played him, last year [being] his rookie year. I always hear good things about him. He seems like a really neat guy. Obviously, going to [Boston College], I heard a lot about him. But he’s done a great job. He’s leading the team to wins and that’s what a quarterback’s job is.
Q: When it comes to blitzing, a lot of quarterbacks kind of lick their chops when they see that. Are you still excited to see the blitz? And do your eyes almost get big when you see it?
TB: Like I said, it gives our receivers more opportunities. Randy [Moss], and Wes [Welker], and Julian [Edelman], and Joey [Galloway], when we get blitzed, it usually means there is more man-to-man coverage. So if we’re able to complete the pass, they can break tackles and go for long gains. That’s something that — I’ve got to get them the ball in a place that they can do something with it. That’s what we’ve got to do.
Q: How is Atlanta’s defense different from the Jets’ defense? Is there a big difference between those teams going from last week to this week?
TB: Yeah, it’s a very different scheme. This team [Atlanta] kind of lines up and they come at you. It’s not like it’s a big mystery where they’re bringing their stuff from. They just line up with 11 guys who are all tough, who are all fast. And they usually rush. And they usually get there. John Abraham and [Kroy] Biermann, they are both great pass-rushers. They’ve got a very good defensive line, with athletic linebackers. We’ve got to get rid of the ball fast this week because they’re coming.
Q: How much time do you think it will take for you and Joey Galloway to get on the same page?
TB: Well, it’s our second game playing together. It depends on what the expectations are. If the expectations are that it would be like we’ve been playing together for 10 years, that’s not the reality. You have to go out and go through the process, and make the reads, and make the throws, and you’ve got to understand what I’m thinking. We’ve made a lot of improvement over the course of training camp and we’re still making improvements.
Q: [On his expectations for a playing relationship with Galloway]
TB: Well, I don’t know. Like I said, every relationship with a receiver is different. With some people, it’s very seamless. With others, you’ve got to put extra work in. Joey [Galloway] and I, we have a great relationship. He works extremely hard. He’s been in the league for a long time and he’s been in the league a long time for a reason: that’s because he’s professional and he’s added a lot to this offense.
Q: Are you OK with throwing the ball as much as you have in the first two games?
TB: I think being balanced is the most difficult way for an offense to keep a defense off-balanced. When they can just rear back—we’ve been behind in these games, the second half last week to our doing and against Buffalo we were behind the whole game—it forces you to throw the ball a little bit more and play on their terms. This team that we’re playing unfortunately, I guess, they’ve had the lead in 18 straight games, or something like that. They start fast and they play from ahead. I think they’re built with a great running game. When you’ve got to throw it, they can really rush, so we’ve got to try to stay out of that situation.
Q: It seemed like you and Chris Baker developed a really good chemistry in training camp and in the preseason. Yet, in the first two games, he has only had two catches. What do you think is critical to getting Chris into a bigger part of the offense?
TB: I think that whether it’s Chris [Baker] — whether it’s any other player — when they’re out there they have a role to do. I think this last game, we were in a lot of multiple-receiver groupings, which is the kind of offense we are. When you get your opportunity, you have to take advantage of it. Chris has shown that he can do that and it’s up to me to give him the ball.
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