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Tom Brady on D&C, 12/2

12.02.09 at 3:37 pm ET
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Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning. A transcript follows. To hear the interview, check out the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Did it every occur to you that the game could possibly go as badly as it did?

I don’t think any of us really expected us to get beaten by 21 points. We all felt very confident in the game, very confident in the team we were playing, very confident in the week of preparation that we had. It goes like that sometimes. We’ll find a way to move on from it, to figure out the problems. We’re getting together as a team today to start on Miami. It’s a real short week for us. We’ve got to move forward and put this one behind us. As challenging as it may be at times because you’re frustrated by the loss, you’ve got to take from it the good things that happened and learn from the bad things.

How did the Saints take away [Wes] Welker and [Randy] Moss?

They had a good scheme, They were certainly very focused on those two. And they were focused on Kevin Faulk, too. They had a good plan, and I don’t think we executed very well. We had opportunities to score there on fourth-and-4 and make it a one-score game, and we didn’t do it. It’s not like it was all bad in terms of our execution. We’re just inconsistent enough where we’re not able to match a team that can score some points. It’s very frustrating, but that’s playing football, too. Football’s a frustrating game. You get frustrated, and you’ve got to have  some mental toughness to move forward and fight on.

When you say they had a good scheme, does that mean that they took you by surprise?

Teams play us very differently than they play other teams. Like Buffalo. Buffalo’s played very differently than the New England Patriots are. Every teams comes up with different ways to try to slow us down and take away the things that we do best. I think that this team had a good plan. A lot of the attention was focused on Randy and Wes, which means other players have to make plays. Sam Aiken made some plays. We ran the ball decently at times. We just didn’t get the ball in the end zone. I think that’s what it really came down to.

The two picks I’m sure bothered you. The first one, did you think Randy was going to keep going on the slant?

I was thinking one thing, he was thinking another. It’s stuff that doesn’t come up very often in practice, stuff like that. I made the throw, and he’s thinking something else. I’ve got to do a better job. For a quarterback a lot of times it’s risk-reward. We sit there on Saturday mornings and go through plays in practice from other quarterbacks. Belichick always says let’s not throw it in there for a 2-yard gain. What are we really gaining here. That’s one of those plays where even if we completed it, it’s a 2- or 3-yard pass rather than … what ended up happening. That’s something you’ve got to eliminate. That was obviously not the highlight of the night. I left those for the Saints — those were their highlights.

Did it every occur to you that the game could possibly go as badly as it did?

I don’t think any of us really expected us to get beaten by 21 points. We all felt very confident in the game, very confident in the team we were playing, very confident in the week of preparation that we had. It goes like that sometimes. We’ll find a way to move on from it, to figure out the problems. We’re getting together as a team today to start on Miami. It’s a real short week for us. We’ve got to move forward and put this one behind us. As challenging as it may be at times because you’re frustrated by the loss, you’ve got to take from it the good things that happened and learn from the bad things.

How did the Saints take away [Wes] Welker and [Randy] Moss?

They had a good scheme, They were certainly very focused on those two. And they were focused on Kevin Faulk, too. They had a good plan, and I don’t think we executed very well. We had opportunities to score there on fourth-and-4 and make it a one-score game, and we didn’t do it. It’s not like it was all bad in terms of our execution. We’re just inconsistent enough where we’re not able to match a team that can score some points. It’s very frustrating, but that’s playing football, too. Football’s a frustrating game. You get frustrated, and you’ve got to have  some mental toughness to move forward and fight on.

When you say they had a good scheme, does that mean that they took you by surprise?

Teams play us very differently than they play other teams. Like Buffalo. Buffalo’s played very differently than the New England Patriots are. Every teams comes up with different ways to try to slow us down and take away the things that we do best. I think that this team had a good plan. A lot of the attention was focused on Randy and Wes, which means other players have to make plays. Sam Aiken made some plays. We ran the ball decently at times. We just didn’t get the ball in the end zone. I think that’s what it really came down to.

The two picks I’m sure bothered you. The first one, did you think Randy was going to keep going on the slant?

I was thinking one thing, he was thinking another. It’s stuff that doesn’t come up very often in practice, stuff like that. I made the throw, and he’s thinking something else. I’ve got to do a better job. For a quarterback a lot of times it’s risk-reward. We sit there on Saturday mornings and go through plays in practice from other quarterbacks. Belichick always says let’s not throw it in there for a 2-yard gain. What are we really gaining here. That’s one of those plays where even if we completed it, it’s a 2- or 3-yard pass rather than … what ended up happening. That’s something you’ve got to eliminate. That was obviously not the highlight of the night. I left those for the Saints — those were their highlights.

Can you tell us what happened on the Sharper interception?

I got flushed around a little bit. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even see him. I was trying to throw the ball away. I didn’t even see him hovering back there. As soon as I let it go, I saw him running toward the ball. That was a bummer.

There were a couple of uneven moments that appeared to be confusion. What do you attribute that to?

Those are the things we as a team have been … struggling with over the course of the season. Mistakes that are really self-inflicted and have nothing to do with what the defense is doing or how they’re trying to stop us. They made some plays on third down — two to Welker, one to Aiken — where they covered us and made the tackle before the firt down. That was good coverage, they made a good play. The other ones, those were mistakes that we make that’s just strictly what we’re doing, and some of that’s before the snap. We’ve got to do a better job before the snap of everybody being on the same page with what we’re doing. It’s something that will obviously be a point of emphasis this week, and things that we definitely do have to get corrected. Because we haven’t got together as a team [since Monday], today will be a tough day for everybody. But that’s the way it is when you lose. We’ve won seven times and we’ve lost four. Those four losses, they all hurt, and they hurt until you get back to work and start focusing on the next week.

Should you have run something else on that play [to Moss on fourth down]?

[Mike McKenzie] made a nice play on the ball. It was his first week of playing, and it was pretty impressive to go out there and play the way that he did. He’s been a good player for a long time. He sat on the play and really jumped on the route and knocked the ball away. That was big play for them, obviously. I give him credit on that one.

Do you have a theory as to how the [Saints'] replacement cornerbacks did so well?

They played well as a team. I really think that’s what it was. It’s not one or two guys in or out. This is a team game, and as a team they payed really well. They rushed the covered, they mixed the scheme up. We didn’t go out and play very well. When you don’t play well against a good team, that’s what happens. We’ve been on the other end of that plenty of times. We’ve got to do a better job of playing big in these types of situations. When the going gets tough, we’ve got to dig deep and play better. We still have a lot of football to play — a month of practice, a month of games. We’ve got to find a way to improve a lot of these things. We still lead the division. This week is a huge game for us. Hopefully we’ll go out there and play a lot better than we did last week. I’m expecting us to come out with the same confidence that we always come out with. I expect us to go out there and play really well.

A lot of people said this would be a statement game for the Saints. Does any of that make a difference in the locker room? Does that give them any kind of edge?

I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m sure they’re excited to play us. We’re excited to play them, too. That definitely goes both ways. We don’t expect that teams will roll over because the New England Patriots are taking the field, either. We never approach it like that. We put the work in, we put the preparation in. We go out there with confidence. We just didn’t play very well. That’s what it comes down to. We’ve played two undefeated teams in the last three weeks, and we didn’t play our best in either one of those games. That’s why you come out with a loss. I would like see us play good for 60 minutes like we did a few other times this year, and then see what the outcome is. Obviously, the outcome is very one-sided when one team plays probably the best game of the year the Saints played. I’ve watched every game — they were hitting everything. They were hitting their blitzes, they were hitting their schemes, they made the plays on fourth-and-4 with the guy making the play, being in the right spot. You’ve got to give them credit and say they certainly deserved it and they earned it and we didn’t. That’s part of the competition. We’ve got to find ways to get our energy back, get the enthusiasm back, have a good week of practice, try to go back and play a lot better.

You have said on a number of occasions, the desire is to play to the end of the football game. If that philosophy applied in 2007 when you guys were up by 30 points, why did it not apply on Monday night when you were down by 21 with 5-1/2 to play.

I think coach decided he had seen enough. He wanted to get some other guys in there, some other guys some experience. He said, “Brian [Hoyer], go in there.”

Did it surprise you?

I think the way it was going, I don’t think he felt like we had much of a chance.

Did you have to be convinced?

He’s the coach. I’d love to play every snap. But that’s not the way it goes. We had plenty of opportunities to go out there and play a lot better, and we didn’t.

Did you get a chance to watch and appreciate what Drew Brees was doing out there?

They have a good offense. They have some good playmakers. Sometimes you have those nights where everything really goes your way and it looks good. We’ve seen every one of their games this year. They played pretty flawless as an offense. that’s a good feeling when you play that way. And it’s tough to stop when a team is playing that way. When you don’t make many mistakes as an offense, it’s hard for defenses to keep up with you. That’s the way they played. They’re 11-0, they have a damn good team. I wouldn’t say I’m happy for them. They did what they needed to do.

You spent a considerable portion of that last 5-1/2 minutes on the sideline talking to the head coach. Can you give us any sense of what the tone and tenor of that conversation was about.

He was just very frustrated. Frustrated by the way the team performed. It’s happened that way on a couple of occasions. We’ve got to establish why that’s taking place and try to make the corrections. Everyone does soul-searching, everyone is searching for the right answers and searching for the right approach to the game. It’s tough to win games, and it’s tough to beat good teams, especially when you’re not playing good. We’ve got to play good. When we play these best teams like the Colts and Saints, we can’t play with mistakes. Even when we play Miami, we can’t make mistakes. They’re dangerous and they play well at home. … This is a huge point in our season. We’ve got to go out there and play much better that we played last week, and try to play well for 60 minutes, like I think we’re really capable of.

On the heels of what’s happening to Tiger Woods … can you address the discipline required to say no to all the stuff offered to rich, handsome, superstar athletes?

We were sitting around the table at breakfast yesterday morning, laughing about that, just the things people come up with and the requests people get. One of the players was telling about his grandpa asking for a new car. This rookie, and he was like, “Grandpa, my financial manager talks about that pie, and that’s a big portion of the pie you’re asking for.” As a rookie, he’s not making a whole lot of dough. We’re all kind of in it. There’s different requests for all of us to do certain things and be in certain places.

There’s also offers. What’s one that you’ve turned down?

I don’t want to name any names, but there’s opportunities that you have that either fit with who you are, and fit with long-term goals that you have, and there’s ones that don’t. When I do something with, say, Smartwater, I really like the product. I think they do a great job of marketing it, and I think it’s a great company, and it’s something that I believe in, and you go for it. There’s stuff like that. Then there’s other ones — I don’t really ever see myself doing a Burger King ad.

Does it take a special disciplined guy to say no to all the women and hangers-on?

You meet different people over the years. It’s pretty easy to sort through it. I think when I was younger, I was much more … you want to be nice to people. I look at everyone and I trust everybody. Not always the best thing. I always think everyone has the best intentions. In the end, they don’t at times. You make your mistakes, you learn from them. At this point in my life, I have my group of friends that I really enjoy spending time with. Obviously, marriage has helped a lot also, where my priorities are what they are. I don’t have that big social element to my life any more. It’s more just my family and my work. It’s probably a lot easier now than it used to be to keep the hangers-on away from really what’s going on.

Do you feel sorry for Tiger Woods, or do you look at this situation and say, “What a dope.”

Anyone involved in a car accident … No one really knows what happened. Tiger has always shown great discipline and I always give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s a great athlete, he’s always done the right thing. He does a lot in the community. He’s a hell of a golfer. hopefully, it just is what it was. I hope he’s not seriously hurt.

How often do you see teammates who don’t cut up the [financial] pie the right way?

Everyone’s got to find their way. The guys who really last are the ones who make the good decisions. That’s a character trait to me. If you’re a bad decision-maker off the field, it’s hard for me to think you’re going to be a good decision-maker on the field. Every once in a while, I’m sure it happens. But someone whose life off the field is really out of control, it’s kind of the way it goes on the field, and in practice and meeting. You see the guys who are really disciplined and smart, those are the guys that last. … For me, my life, every decision is pretty much based on my football career — my sleeping, my eating habits, my nutrition, my fitness routine, my vacation schedule. … It’s part of your life. It’s part of the commitment you make. There’s a lot of benefit to that in our life when you’re able to be that disciplined person. You find an organization where you find a bunch of other players like that and you win. That’s where it’s really rewarding.

If you’ve bought paint recently, are you going to buy pink paint or blue paint?

My dad asked me the same thing. I haven’t told him [the gender of wife Gisele Bundchen's baby]. I’m really the only one that knows at this point. My wife doesn’t know.

She doesn’t know?

She doesn’t know. It’s a pretty good feeling knowing something that nobody else knows. Especially her. She’s a very intelligent woman. I wanted to find out, and she didn’t. So she said, “Go ahead.” So, it will be a surprise for her.

Do you enjoy playing on Monday nights?

It’s fun to play on Monday night, there’s no doubt about it. It’s a great experience for the players. You obviously get so much more coverage for your team. But when you lose, it’s the worst. Because now it’s Wednesday morning, and you still feel like it’s really a Tuesday morning, which is [normally] your day off, but you’ve got to go in and put a full day of work in. The week after is the tough part. Especially on the road, where you get back at 7 in the morning. … So, it’s jsut about getting back your body clock right. Getting back focused and getting back ready to work hard. This is where mental toughness, this is where you really see what you’re made of as a team, just because veryone’s tired. It’s late in the year. But we’ve got so much to play for. There’s so much to gain. Everything we’ve worked for to this point — the mini-camps, the training camps. For me, I have the opportunity where last year I had no opportunity. We’re 7-4 with a lot of football left. It’s not like there’s never any hope for this team. We’ve just got to play better against good teams, and play better all around, certainly. Play better in those critical situations. That’s what we’re going to work on, and that’s what the emphasis is going to be. We’ll see if, as a team, we can figure it out.

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