Tom Brady on D&C 10/5
|10.05.09 at 2:54 pm ET|
Have you heard Harrison’s comments?
I got plenty of texts. ‘¦ [laughs after hearing Harrison’s comments played for him] Rodney’s been fined more than any player in the history of the NFL, so I can understand why he’s a little sensitive about cheap shots at the quarterback.
How is it your fault if a call is made?
It’s a tough call. I never think those guys are being malicious out there. They’re trying to make the play and it’s tough for a defensive player to pull off the quarterback, they’re trying to get to the quarterback, it’s their job, it’s what the team needs you to do. It’s a tough call for the refs. They can’t judge intent so they judge it on what happens. It really goes both ways, we’ve had some roughing-the-passer calls go against our team and we get some sometimes. I think it pretty much all evens out. Sometime you’re on the right side of it, some days you’re on the wrong side of it.
Do you think [Terrell] Suggs had a change of heart mid-play?
I think there are rules that are in place, not only for quarterbacks, but defenseless receivers, punters, kickers or defenders who aren’t looking. There are rules in place for everyone’s benefit. I know the quarterbacks are singled out, but you’re in a defenseless position in the pocket with a lot of guys around you. It goes for the receivers as well. They’re defenseless at times when they’re looking at the ball someone can come in and clean their clock. They’re trying to eliminate some of that stuff. Was it a bad hit, no way, he barely even touched me. The refs were calling it pretty tight that day. Coach Belichick told us the [referee] crew called the most penalties in 2008 and 2007 and they were on pace for second place this season.
You and Rodney are still friends?
Rodney’s like my brother, man. I love Rodney. There is nothing Rodney could ever say that would bother me. He’s one of my great friends and teammates. If I was a football player, I’d want to be Rodney Harrison. There’s nobody that played the game like Rodney. He played with all heart. We won two Super Bowls together and he was a huge part of the reason why we won. It’s fun to see him on TV. He hits as hard on TV as he did when he was playing, which is hard to believe. But he finds ways to get after everybody.
Take us through the touchdown pass to Moss.
They were blitzing us. Ed Reed got in there pretty quick and ended up making a pretty good play on me to almost deflect the ball. I threw it on his back shoulder and he [Moss] undercut the defensive back and made the play. We have to get back to more of that, we have to get back to us making those plays in the red area. There were plays out there that we need to do better on, those real critical plays. We’re still working through some things on offense and we’re going to find ways to execute better, running and throwing. When we do I’ll be more excited than anybody. Yesterday there were definitely some improvements but we have to get back to work on Wednesday because the team we’re facing is undefeated.
Do you feel like you have a lot of options as the offense gets more in sync?
We spread it around quite a bit, we need to. It’s a good secondary we played with a big front and very instinctive players. You can’t really say “This is the guy we’re going to get the ball to on this play,” because the defense is focused on Randy Moss or Wes Welker you have to find other guys to throw the ball to. But when they take their chances and single up Randy or Wes you have to get them the ball. It’s a good defense and has been for last ten years. Every time we play them it’s as tough a game as we have because they’re so well coached and so physical. The players are all instinctive playmakers. If you make a mistake against this defense, it’s a touchdown, like it was yesterday. It’s just not a team you can fall asleep on for one play. I thought offensively, the line played great. We were definitely on the same page in terms of how we wanted to block him. Having Wes back, he’s so critical to our offense, you just can’t replace him. It’s only going to get better with Wes out there because of how hard he works. We’re only in the beginning stages of what this offense can be. We just need to continue to execute.
Did you see Suggs coming on the strip sack?
I did not. I had my back turned, I didn’t see it. He’s a great player and obviously got a great jump on the snap count. He’s one of the best defensive ends in the league. He’s always pressuring the quarterback. We knew going into the game he’s their guy. He was their franchise player last year, signed a big contract in the offseason, he’s out there for a reason. It was a big play for them. We’ve had two turnovers for touchdowns, one on the interception to [Buffalo’s Aaron] Schobel and this one. That’s very uncharacteristic of our team. The offense can’t give up points because it puts our defense in a tough position. We have to find ways to correct that.
How often is Watson out in a pattern or in blocking when you drop back to pass?
That was a great catch Ben made on the sideline. He’s out in a pattern quite a bit. He’s a receiving tight end for us. He’s big and physical and so fast. He’s had a great season. That’s a good question, why isn’t he getting the ball enough? There are a lot of guys out there who aren’t getting the ball enough. Whether it’s Wes or Randy, Randy only had three or four catches yesterday. Wes didn’t have a bunch. We need to find ways to get those guys the ball.
Does Moss seek you out on the sidelines?
We’re always communicating. I love doing that with the receivers because there is a lot that comes up during the game. There are things that you talk about before the game that if they come up, here’s what you do. Obviously things change throughout the game, and you have to make adjustments. Whether it’s the call or the route or the signals. Randy is so good about that because he sees the game the way a quarterback does. He is able to adjust his preparation from the week and adjust on the field. We’re always trying to do the things we’re doing, better. That’s the most important thing for us, to have that relationship. So that when the going gets tough, I know exactly what he’s doing and how he’s going to do it.
Was the even balance between passing and rushing planned?
I think you really do what you have to do; it takes shape over the course of the game. We would love to be balanced every week. We have five starting running backs on our team. Fred [Taylor], Sammy [Morris], Benny [Green-Ellis], Kevin [Faulk] and Laurence [Maroney]. Those guys are really talented. You don’t want to come out of the game saying ‘Kevin Faulk only touched the ball twice.’ You’re not going to win many games doing that. You have to find ways to get them the ball. If it’s not in the passing game you have to hand it to them. Our offensive line is a physical group. They love to mix it up. Logan [Mankins] and Matt [Light], and [Dan] Koppen, they love to mix it up with the other defensive line. It really settles the game down. We’ve been way in control of the time of possession most of the season and that’s because we’ve been running the ball like we have been. I hope it continues, it’s a nice way to play as an offense. You run and when you get down in there, you take your shots.
How do you feel when you hear that there was a Tom Brady poster in Joe Flacco‘s room growing up?
It’s pretty cool. I don’t look at myself as that old. I was really impressed with the way he throws. He made some very accurate throws with good velocity. He’s got a bright future, and his future his now. It’s no wonder why they love him in [Baltimore].
Who, on the team, could you beat in a 40-yard dash?
I could beat Wilfork, and probably Ty Warren. I could beat the O line. I have zero shot against the skill guys. I was going to race a skill guy in a 40 with a 10-yard head start, and I think that would have been pretty fair. These are the best athletes in the world. I’ve been the slowest the guy on every team so it’s pretty cool to be on a pro team. A lot of these guys have been running track all through high school, especially Randy Moss, he’s been the fastest guy on the team forever. In fact, he could run track in the Olympics if he trained for it.
What does Junior Seau bring to the atmosphere of the locker room?
There is no like junior. His attitude is everything. What he brings in terms of enthusiasm, style and commitment is a great presence for everybody. Nobody, athlete or coach, approaches the game like he does. I think everyone is excited to have him.
Fan question: How did you feel watching Baltimore’s last drive of the game?
I was a bit nervous. I was upset that our offense didn’t do anything on that drive. We had a chance to run the game out, and I don’t like to leave it to anyone’s hands other than my own, but the defene showed what they were about on that last drive. Baltimore had a bunch of great plays on that drive, and the defense stepped up and hit the player and made him drop that last pass.