Brady on D&C 11/9
|11.09.09 at 10:20 am ET|
Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to talk about the Patriots’ win over the Dolphins and look ahead to Sunday’s showdown against the Colts. The transcript follows. To hear the interview, click here.
Did you enjoy or feel as good about yesterday’s win as the previous five?
That’s a real good win for us. They have a good team in all phases. It’s a very challenging defense ’cause they can rush the passer so well. Their special teams ‘ we saw what they did against the Jets the week before. And then offensively they have such a unique style. There’s no other team you face throughout the season like the Dolphins. They were 3-0 in the division when we played them. It’s really a big win for us, to get to 6-2 and to ‘ does that make them 3-5? So that gives us about a 2-1/2-game lead on ’em.
Was their something unsatisfactory about the game from your perspective?
I thought we could have played better in certain areas. I think offensively there were plenty of draws that got stopped based on our execution. We left plenty of points out there ‘ the turnover we had, we had an interception, we had some missed opportunities in the red area, we had a chance to run out the clock at the end of the game and didn’t do that. Maybe the 10-year veteran in me thinks, “God, I wish we would have done a little bit better.” At the same time, I felt great last night, and getting the win ‘ these games are hard to win. They’re very hard to win. To come out of a game like that, it’s a physical game. I think I was just emotionally a little bit tired after the game. I think that was a very, very good win for us.
What is your reaction when you start off a game [with an interception]? Does it help you focus more? Does the anger help or hurt you as a player?
I would say it probably sharpens you up a little bit. Some guys, like Kurt Warner sometimes ‘ he threw five picks last week and then threw five touchdowns yesterday. So, [for] some guys interceptions aren’t that big a deal. I talked to Phil Simms after the game ‘ I told you guys that last week after the London game ‘ and he was saying, “Those interceptions happen, and you’ve got to keep trying to fit the ball into those tight spaces.” And the guy made a great play. He’s a young rookie, he was their first-round pick this year, Vontae Davis. He made a great play on the ball. Anyone who can intercept a ball like that covering Randy Moss, he’s obviously got a lot of physical talent.
I don’t know if it sharpened [Moss’] focus, but it seemed to make him more determined to show this rookie something.
He’s such a competitor out there. It’s interesting, in practice, he’s just such a competitor. Between he and Wes [Welker], the chemistry those two have together and what they’re able to do, I feel like we’re always going to have somebody open in the route. If they really focus on Randy, that’s when Wes gets the ball. If they really focus on Wes, that’s when Randy gets the ball. They both understand that. The way the running game was yesterday, I thought we ran the ball very effectively. So, there were a lot of positives to take out of yesterday. There’s just a few little things that end up holding us back from all of us feeling great about a win like that yesterday. It’s obvious we played a very good team. And when you play a very good team you’ve got to play your very best in order to be completely satisfied at the end of the day.
How important is it to maintain a poker face? When you see Moss lined up on single coverage for a two-point conversion, is it tough not to look wide-eyed?
Yeah, and I think as a quarterback, what I always try to do, you typical have, at least in our offense, every offense has five eligible receivers on every play. We don’t send five receivers out on every route. When you do, you’re not going to have time to drop back and evaluate five different guys. You can’t do that. A lot of the time, I’ll see the coverage, and based on the coverage, you’ll already eliminate two of them from your progression. Then you see a first guy. If he’s open, you throw it. If not, you haven’t thrown it to the first guy, you have to throw it to the second. Then if you have to throw it to the second, you have to throw it to the third guy. You never want to let the defense know which two guys you’re eliminating, and obviously you can’t let them know where your first read is. As a quarterback, the guy you want to throw the ball to, you’ve got to keep them from seeing your eyes or your read.
There was no mistaking your emotions after the Ben Watson holding call. Who were you pissed at?
I think I was pretty pissed at the Watson call. It’s interesting ‘ they made this big rule a few years ago about illegal contact with the defensive backs. It was basically the Patriot rule after we beat the Colts. They complained about us being too physical. They implemented the rule.
Now, I think , they’ve gone back to the way it was before. They’re letting us play. I think it’s just frustrating, as an offensive player, when we’re being contacted downfield and we just, I wouldn’t say contact. Ben’s not even trying to make contact with the guy. The guy’s running into him. And they call the flag on us. I think it’s just a natural part of the game.
I think I was just frustrated by the fact that we were 1st-and-20, and we didn’t get the ball in after being down inside of the 10.
CBS was too busy showing Joey Porter‘s face at the time to know what the frustration was for. Did you know Porter played?
Yeah, we did. We did. I think it’s been a motivator for our team throughout the course of the week and into the game when you hear that kind of stuff. I think the guys took it to heart and the coaches took it to heart.
He’s been a great player for a long time. It’s always great when you come out of the game and you understand that you kept one of their best players from being an impact on the game. We felt good about that. We see them again in four weeks, so I’m sure he’ll be juiced up for that. Hopefully we can go out and perform the same way.
What happened with the clock management at the end of the first half?
We were going to spike it. Then I looked up at the clock and saw we only had 12 seconds left. And I said, rather than spike it, it’s only third down, I was going to try to give Randy a shot in the end zone.
By the time we snapped the ball, there was probably less than five seconds. Then throwing the ball to Randy, we got it down to one.
They were telling me to spike it on the sideline. I was just realizing that we could maybe I can get one more play off and take a shot at throwing a touchdown on third down. I was only going to throw it to Randy anyway.
When I looked up and saw one second on the clock, I realized I wasn’t doing that again.
Junior Seau was working the clock.
I’m glad he was.
You and Peyton Manning are forever linked. What does he do better than you, or that you think is just unbelievable?
I think every time you play him, and hopefully when a team plays against us, they know what they’re going to get. It’s not like Peyton is going to go out there and lose the game for the Colts. That’s not the way it is. When you plan, you’ve got to realize, he’s probably going to go for 300 yards. He’s probably not going to throw any interceptions.
Schematically, they’re going to be in the best play possible on every play. He’s not going to run the ball into a loaded-up front. If you give him a one-on-one matchup with his best player, that’s where he’s going to throw the ball. Everything you ask a quarterback to do, he does.
He’s been sacked seven times all season. They do a good job, the Colts do, of their running, their play-action pass. Then when Peyton feels the pressure, he throws the ball away, which us slow guys typically do. We don’t like holding the ball too long. We realize that we’re holding it, we’re not making any yards.
He’s a great competitor. He’s always doing the right thing, saying the right thing. I’ve always had a great appreciation for him and his style of play.
Is he a friend?
Definitely. Definitely. We have a lot in common. Obviously, our professions are the same. Our ages are about the same. We’ve spent a lot of time together at different places, different events. We have a lot that we like to talk about. We’re kind of football junkies. Whenever we get together, it’s all football.
He’s just a great player. He’s done it consistently for a long time. He’s never missed a game, which is pretty unbelievable. In order to beat these guys , you’ve got to play a great game. Every time we’ve beaten them, we’ve had to play great.
All of their cornerbacks are injured and Bob Sanders is out, so you’re in luck.
I like it. We’ll take it. We’re missing about half our offense. It’s like the walking wounded out there. We’re going to bring the guys we’ve got healthy, they’re going to bring the guys they’ve got healthy, and it’s probably going to be a typical Colts-Patriots game.
How was it without Dan Koppen playing center yesterday?
I’ve taken so many snaps from Koppen over the years. There’s such great communication between us. He’s one of my best friends on the team. And Dan Connolly stepped in yesterday and did really well. It’s really tough to do.
He was on the practice squad two years ago, and on the roster last year. He’s really developed into a very dependable, consistent player for us. He’s got athletic ability. When you put him in at fullback, you obviously think he can do things athletically for you. And he’s strong as can be. He’s great to have on the team.
Do you know Koppen’s butt like the back of your hand?
There’s only one other butt on this planet I like. Koppen’s and my wife’s.
Which Patriot did his job the best against the Dolphins? Stephen Gostkowski?
When you’re looking down there and we come off the field and score a touchdown, they run our kicking team out there and you look down and see Ted Ginn down there, believe me, that’s as dangerous a play as any play Miami’s offense could run. When he kicks the ball out of the back of the end zone, that’s just a big relief for us.
We sat in film all week and watched clip after clip of Ted Ginn return kickoffs for touchdowns, make big plays, against smart, good teams. We’re all in that together. If he runs it back for a touchdown, the offense is going to be pretty pissed, the defense is going to be pissed. So it’s nice when Steve is able to eliminate one phase of the game for them. Covering kicks is probably the biggest momentum play in football. It’s right after you score a touchdown or at the beginning of the half. You don’t ever want to see the other team return it to the 50-yard line, because then you’re battling field position all day. It protects you for the whole half.
He’s done a great job. He’s got a strong leg. He’s a very mellow guy. He’s always very consistent in his personality. He’s had some great years for us. He replaced a legend in Adam [Vinatieri], and he’s kind of created his own legacy.
How important is the connection, physically and mentally, to center?
Koppen and I have been together a long time. Our communication, whether it’s identifying who the mic is, redirecting our protection, whether it’s calling with the different snap counts we use, we’re 100 percent on. I think we’ve had one bad snap in our entire time playing together.
Against Denver ‘ they actually called it a fumble ‘ we played against Denver in that win on Monday night in the last second, when we took the safety that Lonnie snapped at the goal post, but he snapped the ball and I recovered it but they gave the ball to Denver. I was pissed.
You’ve gotta have that anticipation of the snap, especially in the shotgun, for the center to have that nice soft toss back at you because we’ve got a lot of quick throws in our offense.
We’re always on the same page, Koppen and I. I’m not sure his status for the coming week, but if he’s not in there, the other guy’s got to step up, and he’s got to play the same way Koppen’s played.