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Tom Brady on D&C, 12/28

12.28.09 at 10:45 am ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning. Following is a transcript. To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

What’s going on this morning?

It feels good to win like that. It’s been a long time since we had a real convincing win, and I thought we played well in all three areas of the game. I think that gives everyone really a lot of confidence of what we’re capable of here in these meaningful games. It was a great performance all the way around.

What are you thoughts about what happened with the Colts yesterday?

I watched a little bit of it yesterday, and I think every team has a different philosophy. It’s hard to argue with them. They’ve made so many great decisions all season. When playoff time comes around, everyone starts with a fresh slate. It’s a new season. Every team kind of starts at the same position  — some teams have a bye, obviously — but position doesn’t matter as much. It’s just: Who’s going to win that particular day? Who’s going to play the best football on that particular weekend? They made their decision, and it’s hard to argue with those guys. They’ve got a great coach. I just saw bits and pieces of the game. I hate seeing the Jets win, unfortunately. I think that was bittersweet.

We go back to the exact same situation for you guys in ’07. With a 14-0 record, you’re up 28-0 at halftime against the Dolphins at home. You don’t sit. You played the entire second half in that game.

It’s just a decision coach [Bill] Belichick made. I’m glad we played. I love to play every week. That’s the best part of the season for us is playing. It’s not like it’s, “Damn, I can’t wait to get to that Wednesday practice.” Playing on Sundays and having a chance to do that is something we really enjoyed, going for that mark. I’m sure for the [Colts] players, they would have wanted the same, but their coach had a different ideas.

You gave a little tight end love early on.

I hit Ben in the flat there on a little naked. That was maybe the first naked we’ve called in about seven years. I was crossing my fingers in the huddle, going “God, if this doesn’t work we’re never going to call one again.” I guess all my lobbying over the course of the season has finally paid off. And actually, we ran the naked later in the game and hit Randy [Moss] on the touchdown. And then [Chris Baker] made a really nice catch on that seam ball down there from about the 25-yard line. Had a guy kind of right on his inside, he made a great adjustment to the ball and made a  great catch.

We’ve got to spread the ball around to these guys. It’s not always about throwing to Wes [Welker] and Randy, although they’re a huge part of the offense, but getting Ben {Watson] involed and getting Bakes involved. The way we ran the ball yesterday can set up a lot of things, because you’re not going to get a lot of that really exotic coverage — double-Wes, double-Randy — when they’ve got a to commit guys to the running game, when we’re running it like we were.

I think everything really complemented each other yesterday. That’s really what we took out of it. That was a big game for us, and it was a big game for them. I said that after the game: It’s not like they weren’t playing for anything. They were fighting for the playoffs, and we were fighting for a division title. It was just a great win for us, really at the right time.

You haven’t been sacked in four weeks. … That was pretty impressive by the offensive line yesterday.

It was great. They’ve been playing great all season. Yesterday, against a team that has some real size up front, physically. Not a a lot of teams run the ball against those guys. They don’t have a lot of sacks, because they’re really a big defensive front, they’re not really a speed front like, let’s say the Colts. They’re kind of a big, power, stop-the-run, and we did a good job running the ball.

The sacks — four weeks in a row, no sacks. It’s pretty remarkable in the NFL, considering the opponents that we face and the amount of times that we’ve been throwing the ball. The last few weeks we haven’t thrown it as much, but we’ve really done a great job protecting me back there. It feels a hell of a lot better waking up on Monday when you haven’t been hit, then the couple of times this year they do get you.

What’s the philosophy going into Sunday’s game against Houston? Does it matter to you?

I’m sure [Belichick] will have his own ideas. Down in Foxboro, it’s not like it’s a democracy down there anyway. We don’t sit around and take votes to see what we’re going to do. It’s a one-man show. He makes the decisions. There’s a lot at stake for us. There’s only the first and second seed figured out. The 3, the 4, the 5 and the 6, no one really knows with those. So, you don’t really play for position when you really don’t know who your opponent is going to be, not does it really matter who the opponent is going to be. We’re going to have to beat a good team.

Do you talk about it at all? Do you try not to talk about things like this?

We had a good week this week. We really had probably our best week in a long time. I think it was for a lot of reasons. It would be great to see if we could carry that over again, if we can put together another good week. You don’t want to make it seem like one week we’re this team that looks like we did yesterday and the next week we look like the team that played against the Bills. We’ve got to have a good week of practice. I said after the game it was probably our best week of practice all season. And it was probably one of our best games all season. If we can go out and put together another great week of practice, that’s only going to help us with what’s ahead. We’re not playing the playoff game this week, we’re playing the Texans, who are definitely a playoff-caliber team. Whether they make it or not, it’s going to be a great test for us. I’d like to see us go down and put together the same type of effort.

What I’m hearing from you is, you want to score four touchdowns again in the first half and then maybe take a break.

Whether it’s a break mentally or physically — obviously, if there’s guys that are banged up, guys are coming back from injuries, you’re not going to put guys out there that really aren’t capable of playing, that you probably would do if it were a playoff game. I think it’s great for us players to go prepare and be ready to go, go play a team that probably presents some different challenges. We’ve played 15 games this year. It’s pretty unbelievable how fast the season’s gone for us. But 15 games, you can get hurt at any point. The reality is you can be hurt the first play of a playoff game. That’s just the way it is. Hopefully, you have enough depth to overcome one injury or two injuries. It’s just a matter of us doing that. Who knows what coach is going to do? I think we’re all preparing to play the whole game. And I think that’s what I would prefer to do.

You know what Boston sports fans are like. It’s different. Moss has been booed, cheered … What don’t we know about Randy? Why did you guys rally so hard for him during the week when he took hits?

We’re around him on a daily basis. He doesn’t, obviously, let a lot of people in. His teammates know him very well, but he doesn’t stand up in front of a podium like a lot of guys do and talk for 20 minutes a week like I do. So people probably have a little more insight into the way I think than the way Randy thinks, just the way that he approaches it. That’s what works for him.
He’s a great worker. He comes to practice every day. He practices hard. He’s obviously committed to the team. He was selected a captain by his teammates. There’s a lot of attention focused on him, good and bad.

We all don’t have our best days. I think part of it is the spirit of the competition. Not every day is your best, whether it’s me or Randy or Laurence [Maroney] or Wes. It goes for everybody. Part of it is, fortunately for us as NFL players, we get to come out and play again the following Sunday. He did it against Buffalo and played great. He had another great game this week. He’s a very mentally tough guy. He’s really responded well to this whole season. It kind of mimics our team. Three weeks ago, who knows if we could beat anybody? Now, all of a sudden, we’re talking about, should we rest, and man, we’ve got all the answers figured out, and who’s our playoff opponent?

It’s just important not to ride the wave emotionally, to show up for work every day trying to get better, and not really listening to, obviously, what the media says or what your parents have to say or what your wife says. Nobody really knows anything anyway. You as the player and the guys within the walls at Foxboro know what’s going on. They know what plays were called and know where the mistakes were made. It’s all up to us, individually, our responsibility is to get those things right.

You don’t listen to your wife?

Not on this stuff.

Does Moss look more like Yukon Cornelius from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” or Kimbo Slice?

He’s got the longest beard. It’s unbelievable. It almost grows over his lip now. He looks like Yukon Jack. It’s pretty funny. He gets a little snot dripping into his moustache. I just have to look there and stare at it when he’s talking to me.

What else can we say about Wes Welker? He missed two games, and he’s got 122 catches. The record is 143. He’s having an unbelievable year.

If he played those other two games, it’s hard not to think he’d have broken that record. It was the quietest 13 catches yesterday. After the game, I was like, “I’m sorry — I’ve got to get you the ball more.” He’s like, “Man, I had 13 catches.” I was like, “What?” Every time you throw it to him, he’s open. Some of the hits he took yesterday …

Some of the hits were from Anthony Smith. You think anyone remembers him from the Pittsburgh guarantee game?

We remember him. We remember him.

Welker’s the Energizer Bunny — he gets hit and jumps up every time.

Mentally, he’s just so tough. He never lets anything get to him. He never wants to show the opponent they gave him a good hit. After that hit he took last year from Ryan Clark in the Steelers game, he wanted to go back out there. He probably couldn’t spell his own name, but he still wanted to go back out there and play. It’s kind of mind over matter for him. When you’re his size and his weight, you have to have that mentality. He does. Thank God he does. It’s what makes him such a great player.

On the first TD to Moss, the double-pump, was that a move to fake out the safety or were you going to throw it the first time?

I was going to throw it the first time. The safety kind of moved right in front of him. I let him run by him and gave it to him then, right behind the safety. It worked out good.

You can’t really do that if you don’t have great protection. To be able to pump like that, it’s a great asset for the quarterback, when you can take that second look like we did. Thank God for the way that whole group played yesterday. That was really so critical to what we did. They really make the team go. When they play good, we play good. You can’t do anything when the offensive line doesn’t play well. They played probably their best game also.

The TD pass to Chris Baker was on the first play of the second quarter, after you had a few minutes to talk about the play call. Presumably, that was something you worked on during the week?

We did. I came over and we talked about what we were doing. They said, “What do you think about that play?” We said, “We like it.” We went out and executed well. It was a huge play. Those turnovers like that, it’s critical, when you get the turnover and in a sudden change situation, to score quickly, the momentum swing is so huge. If they stop you and force you to kick a field goal, it’s kind of a wash. It’s so important for us to be able to put the ball in the end zone.

There was a variety of play-calling — you threw to eight receivers. Was that a conscious effort or a product of how you ran?

I think that’s the way we run the football. When you get these exotic pass coverages, which we’ve gotten to stop Wes and Randy, it means they’re not committing enough guys to the run. The way we ran yesterday, they had to call their plays. If they’re calling to stuff the run, then you throw it. If they’re back there in pass coverage, you hand it off. That’s the way you have to play offensively. You can’t be a one-dimensional game every time you play, or else you won’t be successful. The way we played yesterday is the way we need to play coming down the stretch. We need to be able to do both.

It was a really important game for us in that sense — where we feel really good about the way we played, the way we practiced. If we can string another one of these weeks together, that’s going to be so important for us coming down the stretch.

Sammy Morris allowed creativity, as did Fred Taylor — will we see them a lot more?

Yeah, they’re very different than Laurence. Laurence is a cutback runner, a bounce-it-out runner. He can really stretch a defense. He’s got that explosive speed. Then you put Sammy and Fred in the game, who are very downhill, push-the-pile-type runners, like that run Sammy had. He ran into the back of the guard, knocked the guard over the guy he was blocking, then explodes through the hole, stiff-arms a guy. That’s the kind of runner Sammy is. And then Fred, hand it off to him in that four-minute situation, and no matter how many guys they have in there, it’s four yards, four yards, four yards. It’s pretty impressive, with the ability, obviously, to break away, too, when you get him in those first-down and second-down situations.
We’ve got a really good group. We’re going to need to do that here. We had uncharacteristically warm weather yesterday, which I’m sure Jacksonville was very happy about, but I can’t imagine that in a couple weeks it will be the same. We need to be able to pound that football

Obviously, Maroney can’t keep fumbling like he did on Sunday. What’s your take on him going forward?

Everyone has a lot of confidence in Laurence. He’s had a lot of big plays and big runs for us. I think he thought he was over the end line, and his forward progress was stopped, and they stripped it out. He’s a good runner for us. He’s been a good runner for us for a long time. He’ll straighten it out. I’m not concerned about that.

The Renaissance Alliance Power and Clout Quarterback Question of the Week: What is the single most important thing you need to do to get this team to the Super Bowl?

There are a lot of single mosts, I guess. I’ve got to complete passes. When guys are open, I have to hit them. That’s my job. That’s why they have me here, to do that. As a team, what’s our most important thing? There are so many phases of the game, it’s hard to single out any one thing.
I loved the way we played yesterday. We’re going to have to keep playing that way. That’s what it’s going to take. If we play that way, we’d love to play anybody if we play that way. That’s really what I expect us to do, too — I expect us to go out there and play great for the rest of the year.

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