Tom Brady on D&C, 10/12
|10.12.09 at 10:35 am ET|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady appeared on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to recount Sunday’s ugly 20-17 overtime loss to the Broncos. Following is a transcript. You can hear the interview at the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Why isn’t Tom Brady making all the throws and all the connections that Tom has made in the past?
I’m tough on myself also. When you miss throws, you’re certainly disappointed. We don’t have the margin of error to miss throws. We missed a couple yesterday that were important plays. You’ve got to find ways to do it better. Keep going back to work, work on the mechanics, work on the timing, work on the plays and try to execute better.
Is it unfair for people to expect for you to be that good, that nearly perfect [as in 2007]?
I don’t think so. That’s where the expectation lies. If there’s an opportunity to make a play, to throw the ball and complete it, then I feel you should be 100 percent. If the defense makes a good play, they make a good play. If they don’t, then they don’t. Believe me, there’s obviously after a game a lot of soul-searching. The only thing I can focus on is what I need to do better. And there’s plenty of things I need to do better. We’ve got 11 games to play. We’ve got an opponent this week that’s always a tough test for us. Hopefully, we can go out there and play better. I’m excited to get back to practice on Wednesday and get back to work.
Is the comfort level without Josh [McDaniels] calling the plays a factor in anything that’s happening now?
Josh is a great coach, and he’s leading his team well. We were up 17-7 going into the second half yesterday. It’s not that we don’t play good football at times, we’re just not playing well enough consistently. We had a lead at the half of the Jets game, and a lead at the half of this game. We can do it. There’s no magic solution to this. The solution is for us to go out and play better. I think that’s what it is collectively. The plays were there to be called, and we’re going in to execute them, and there’s opportunities execute them, and we haven’t done that as consistently as we’re used to. That’s just the way football is. You go out there and you try to do it better the next week. That’s what we’re going to do. That’s what I’m excited to do. This is a big week for us.
What did you see on that [Wes Welker] play and what went wrong?
Wes was thinking one thing and I’m thinking another. That’s just the way it is. Wes and I need to be on the same page. I see what he was looking at, and he understands what I was looking at. That comes up over the course of a game. We should have hit the play. There’s no doubt about it. That was a great chance for us to make a critical third-down conversion there in the fourth quarter, and that’s why we lost, because we didn’t make that play ‘ and other critical third-down conversions.
You’re thinking he stops on that?
He sees the open field, and I don’t see that far down the field. That’s part of being out there together, practicing, playing, and going over those plays so you can talk about those things. We’re going to make those improvements. Wes is one of the best football players that I’ve ever played with. I’ve got to find ways to do a better job with Wes, with Randy [Moss], to get those guys the ball. We certainly had opportunities to get them the ball yesterday and we didn’t.
Did those things happen in ’07 and we just didn’t notice?
2007 was a magical year. There is only one other team that has gone undefeated, and we had a great team and this certainly is not 2007. There’s many different players and many different coaches and a different schedule and you’re dealing with different things. The goal is to win the game and to score more points than the other team, and however you can get that done that’s the way you need to do it. We had a great opportunity yesterday to be up 17 -7 on the road at halftime and really we came out in the second half and didn’t do much.
All losses burn your butt, and that’s a given. Does it chap you to lose to a big mouth like [Jets coach] Rex Ryan or your former coach Josh?
They’re both tough. It’s a lonely flight home for all of us. We all sit there and think of every play in the game that you could’ve made that you should’ve made. You know, all of them are tough, it’s a silent flight home and a silent bus ride and it’s a tough day today. And you move on. I’ve played for a long time and I think you realize you lose games and you congratulate the other team and get back to work, and you can’t let one loss become two losses because that’s when your season really starts to go. I think that the important thing for us is to identify all the things we’ve done right over the last five weeks and all the things we’ve done wrong the last five weeks and try to build toward something better and more consistent and that’s just hard work. That’s just understanding it and putting the work in and going out there and performing better. There is no magic solution.
Josh added this wild horse setup. Did you guys add any wrinkles to your game plan to throw him off?
Yeah, we did. We had plenty of wrinkles, we always do. Like I said, we’re up 17-7 going into the second half, and offensively we had some critical third downs that we didn’t make. I had a chance out there for a long completion to Randy to get the ball in the end zone and didn’t convert a third down there. I really felt as an offense we didn’t do our defense any justice. We left them out of the field too long, and that’s a good offense with a lot of good skill players. Kyle Orton had a great game, and they really stepped it up when they needed to. They won because they executed better, they made the plays and we didn’t make the plays.
Denver’s receivers are open all day and yours aren’t. There were a couple of throws you made and you had a window that was slightly better than the ball. Why are they getting separation and you’re not?
Our guys aren’t getting separation and sometimes our windows are tighter, and if there’s a chance to get a ball in there, then that’s what I got to do. Like I said, that’s a very talented group of skill position players. They’re good at every receiver position, every tight end position, they’ve got good running backs. They put a lot of pressure on the defense, and the defense hung in there at times. In the first half the defense played great, they made a big pull after the fumble and sent the game into overtime and it just wasn’t enough for us. It’s a good team, and they’re 5-0 for a reason, and we’re sitting there with a 10-point lead at halftime and thinking if we can score on the opening drive we’re going to go down and make it really tough on them, and we go three-and-out. So, that’s the difference.
What happens in Denver? Do you feel the light air or thin air or it is just a matter of the Broncos having a good team?
We’ve had a lot of competitive games against them. We always have. We were there in 2000, my first year, and it was early in the year and we got off to kind of a rough start and we beat them down there and it was a tough environment. 2001 we lost in the fourth quarter. We had a close game that we won when Lonie [Paxton] snapped the ball in the goal post and we took the safety. We lost in the playoffs on a very, very close game, and yesterday was a close game. They’re good teams. The Broncos are always tough, they’re always tough at home It’s a great environment for football. It comes down to how well you execute the plays that are called. There are plays out there that if we execute them, we do have a much better chance of winning the game. When you don’t make the plays like we didn’t make in the second half, then you’re not going to win.
I can’t recall a more efficient drive than your four-and-a-half minute, 74-yard drive at the end of the first half to put you up 17-7. ‘¦ Is there a golf analogy here where you’re talking about making three pars and two birdies then you jack three out of bounds on the 10th hole?
I think that’s pretty much what it is. At times, you know, we’re doing it well. I mean, first drive of the game, we go right down the field. Other points where we’re able to make the plays, we’re just not making them consistently enough and that’s all I can say, guys. Believe me, it’s frustrating for all of us because when you make the plays you’re going ‘OK, great, this is how it should be,’ and then when you’re not making the plays you’re saying, ‘Well, what’s the problem? Why aren’t we making those same plays consistently?’ We’re trying to figure those things out as a team, and I think like I said as we reflect, the reason is because individually we are not performing to the level of our ability and I certainly look at myself and know I’ve got to play a lot better You know, I got to go out there and get back to work and see if we can make the improvements that we need to make, and that’s where I am focused at and I know all the other guys are focused on the same thing.
In the course of a game, how many plays do you call?
I don’t look over to the side and say, “I’m not running that, I’m running this play.” That doesn’t happen. We have a lot of communication before the game with coach [Bill] Belichick and [quarterbacks coach] Billy [O'Brien]. They have their job, and that’s what they do and they call the play. If there’s things I see on the field that I like, maybe I’ll change it slightly. But we don’t ever call plays that I don’t like or wouldn’t want called.
So, when you audible, it’s because of something you see on the defense? What about in the no-huddle offense?
Yeah, and we talk about the plays we want to change and why we want to change them or if they give us a certain defense how we’re going to change them. A lot of the stuff is communicated before the game, “This is how we’re going to make these adjustments on these plays vs. these defenses.” That’s just so guys aren’t out there and you’re calling something and they’re like, “What the hell is that?” Everyone needs to be on the same page.
As the season goes on, do you assume that everyone will become more comfortable and there will be more chemistry? Or is each week a new learning process?
I wouldn’t assume anything. Every week is a new process. What happened in the Baltimore game has nothing to do with what happened in the Denver game which will have nothing to do with the Tennessee game. That’s the way it is. You have to go out and give it everything you have every day of every week. The teams that do well continue to build and get better. You find your identity, you find the things you do well and you do them. You find the things you’re not doing well and you stop doing those. That’s part of what you do as an offense. And as a defense. The things you think may work though mini-camps and through the preseason, just aren’t working. So you say, “OK, we’re moving on from those.” They’ve had four or five games and they’re not panning out the way we thought, but these things are working good and this is what we’re going to to more of. That’s what every team does. Yo have to identify what you’re good at and what you’re not so good at and improve the things you’re not good at but also build on the things you’re doing a good job at.
Does it get easier or more difficult when you see a guy breaking free for the end zone?
It gets easier. It’s certainly easier. There is no excuse for missing Randy. I should make that 100 percent of the time and I didn’t. Believe me, I wish I could do it all over again, but I can’t. Hopefully, I’ll do it better the next time. You’d love to have guys wide open all the time down the field. You’re very fortunate to have those things, and they’re very fortunate when you don’t make the play. That’s something that we have to improve on, and I have to improve on when we do have those guys open down the field. I have to hit them.
Do you ever feel like you have to get the ball to your No. 1 guy to get him in the flow of the game?
Well, I think we do. Randy and Wes are our best players. We have to get those guys the ball and I have to find ways to get them the ball. That’s what makes out offense go. Those guys, and the running game ‘ I thought the offensive line played great yesterday. They really gave me a lot of time back there to make the throws, but you’re right, I have to get them the ball.
Do you watch the game film on the trip back home?
They don’t have the video available to us until today. But, I wish I could see it. The faster you see it, the faster you can purge it from your system.
So what do you do on the flight home?
I usually get started on the next week’s opponenet. I watched all of Tennessee’s games yesterday. Some guys like to relax, but I think it’s valuable time for me on the road. But everyone’s dissapointed. It’s a [expletive] feeling. Nothing worse than that.
Is there beer flowing or is it not allowed?
It’s not allowed. Back in the day, there used to be a lot more of that. But now, guys really do take great care of themselves. On the flight home, esepecially when you lose, everyone just reflects and it’s very quiet, guys keep to themselves. There is not much to be excited about. You put a lot into the week and when you lose the game, it’s all for nothing. But when you win, it’s great. Everyone is having a great time. That’s why you appreciate the winning and why the losing is so tough.
You watched all of Tennessee’s games? They lost them all.
Yeah, they did. I’m sure they’re disappointed. They had a great year last year and a great defense. They returned a lot of guys. They’ve had some injuries this year and have played a lot of great teams, like Pittsburgh and the Colts last night. They had little TVs in the headrest [on the plane] so I watched some of that.
They don’t have any cornerbacks, did you notice that?
Yeah, one guy broke his arm, I saw. It’s tough, you lose guys and other guys are trying to fill in. It’s a lot of pressure on a team when they haven’t won. They’re going to be itching to get out there and play us. We have to have a great week of preparation and ultimately go out there next week and play better than we have.
Hypotheical question of the week: When a quarterback loses his left tackle, is that like young John losing his “binky.”
[Laughs] He’s pretty attached to that binky! I’ve been with Matt [Light] for nine years. He’s a great player and I don’t really know the prognosis and I’m hoping for the best. But, you’re right, the left tackle is hugely important. This week it’s Kyle Vanden Bosch, then it’s Dwight Freeney, and Joey Porter and Jason Taylor. That’s an important position on out offense. If Matt can’t go, other guys have to fill in. Matt’s a great player, he’s been to Pro Bowls and he’s done a great job for us.
I’m not sure how they do it. I really haven’t seen it come up much. I mean, Vollmer went in there yesterday. He’s a good, young rookie. Smart kid, tough kid. He’s out there because the coaches have a lot of confidence in him. It will be great for him to use this as a great opportunity for himself.
Fan question: Tom, how do you keep your cool on the field?
Well, you always have a lot of emotions going during the game. I think everyone’s always looking to see how I’m going to respond, so I always try to bring the excitement and energy to myself and hopefully the other guys can feel that. But why I stay poised is that I can look around the huddle and see Moss and Welker, Sammy [Morris] and Laurence [Maroney]. Those guys give me a lot of comfort. Being a confident player and confident team is about knowing that everyone around you is going to do their own job. I always have a lot of confidence that our guys will do that.
Have you ever had to calm anyone down in the huddle?
Light will punch himself in the chest, or mumble to himself when he’s trying to fire himself up or bang himself with his helmet, so that’s pretty funny.
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