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Transcript of Tom Brady on D&C

10.18.10 at 9:57 am ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show as part of WEEI’s Patriots Monday to talk about Sunday’s 23-20 overtime victory over the Ravens.

Highlights of the interview included Brady responding to comments from Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs and talking about receiver Deion Branch‘s contributions to the win.

Following is a transcript. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Did you think at all during your few days of preparation that you had with Deion that it would go this well, this quickly, almost as if he had never left the team?

“Well, I think he’s incredibly smart and works hard. As I’ve said over the course of the week, I’ve thrown thousands and thousands of footballs to him. Watching him on film over the last few years, he obviously still has all of his physical ability, the same as when he left, and he really showed it yesterday. He came up big in a big game for us. It was pretty exciting for him to be as involved as he was. I don’t think he thought he would be as involved as he was in the offense. But we found ways to get him the ball.”

In your mind, is there such a thing as stretching the field side to side, which is what you can do with this group of receivers, as opposed to end zone to end zone?

Well, I think we’re stretching vertically, too. It’s just that they choose to take away the deep ones and we throw it underneath. It ‘s certainly not that we don’t have guys going deep. And there’s not much of a difference between catching a 45-yard pass or a 48-yard pass. If they’re playing low on us, you’ve got to throw it behind them. I think our guys can stretch the field, and I thought that the thing that we did yesterday was we found some different guys at critical times, and the guys came up with the plays.

What is it that Deion does so well? What does he do, for instance, better than Randy Moss did?

They’re entirely different receivers. When you’re tall, it’s hard to, your legs ‘€” How should I say this? ‘€” Deion’s a very smooth route-runner. Obviously, his legs aren’t very long, he’s not as tall. The shorter guys are typically a bit quicker. They can come in and out of routes a little bit better, but they don’t have the long speed because they don’t have a very long stride. Whereas bigger receivers typically have longer strides, which they can get down the field more, but they’re not as quick underneath. Deion has very good speed, but he’s also a very good route-runner, a very smooth route-runner. He was really able to find ways to get open yesterday against some pretty tight coverage.

How many times typically is he breaking off his route or making some kind of adjustment, not running the route that’s called in the play that’s called in the huddle?

Sometimes we have plays that he runs a particular route with no adjustments. Sometimes he has one route vs. one coverage and another route vs. another coverage. Sometimes there’s three routes vs. a coverage. Sometimes we call two plays in the huddle where there’s one route called, and then if I change the play at the line there’s another route that he runs, with possibly an adjustment. We’re always trying to figure out based on what the defense is doing the best routes that we can run, and that can really allow our guys to get open. It takes quite a bit to play receiver in our offense with the formations that we have and then also with the all the different route adjustments.

I know the touchdown [to Branch] was a bit of improvisation. Where was he in your progression ‘€” like third? Because you were looking left to begin with, right?

Yeah, I was looking left, I was looking left, I was looking to [Rob] Gronkowski in the middle and they had two guys on him. So then I looked over to the left to Wes [Welker], and they had a guy on Wes. ‘€¦ And then [Danny] Woodhead had a guy on him, and then I saw Deion slip through. So, maybe the fourth guy.

Then he flossed, and fixed his hair and tied his shoes.

What happens in a play like that, which they do a few times, but they only rush three down there, in the red area. And they do that a lot. We played them last year in the regular season, I had two scrambles. And let’s see, we played them in ’07, I scrambled around and through it to Ben [Watson] on the first drive of the game in that coverage. ‘€¦ So, basically, they’re a team that either blitzes you or they play eight guys in the end zone. When there’s eight guys in the end zone, there’s no real timing routes at that point. It’s just, somebody at some point has to spring free and get open.

You know, for the way it turned out, things didn’t start out so well for the Patriots. They drove it down the field for 8½ minutes, and you’re sitting on the sidelines after warming up. Then, you have a three and out, and you’re sitting down again. Can you talk about that whole pregame warmup and getting ready to play, and then sitting down for what was probably 15 minutes of real time?

I think that’s part of it. It’s great to get the ball when you start the game because you can get out there and play right away, I mean, there’s no doubt about that. When they get the ball and they have a long drive, and then we get the ball and don’t do anything with it, it puts a lot of pressure on our defense. Obviously, offensively we don’t even break a sweat.

I felt like most of the game we were really ‘€” we didn’t execute very well at quite a few moments of the game. It was very sporadic and I think that happens sometimes when you play a good defense. A lot of those were self-inflicted. We’ve got to do a better job of staying on the field and making the plays better there.

Do you believe in launching points in the NFL season where a week just launches your team into great things, or is the NFL just such a week-to-week, grinding ordeal that what happened this Sunday doesn’t really have a lot of effect on what happens the next?

Yeah, there’s no doubt about that. Regardless of what we did this past week, it’s going to mean nothing when we play San Diego. But I will say this: We were struggling on the road for quite a while, we beat Miami on the road on that big Monday night game and played really well in all phases.

Then, we lost to a team in the playoffs last year 33-14 and really got our butts kicked, and with a very good defense that, OK, we played them and we’re down 10 in the fourth quarter and we come back and win.

That just tells me we can win on the road. We can win when we haven’t played our best and we’re down in the fourth quarter and guys are stepping up to make big plays and big kicks and big punts ‘€” those types of situations that are situational football, things that we need to execute to win those games.

I think we gain confidence from that. I don’t think it’s going to matter next week what we did. But I’ll tell you, if we’re down 10 in the fourth quarter next week, I don’t think there’s going to be a guy on our sideline that doubts that we can win the game.

I’ll tell you one guy who thinks it’ll be different next time and that’s Terrell Suggs, your pal. Remember what he said after the game, that you “better hope he doesn’t see us again.” And he vowed to “smash you” if he saw you again in the playoffs.

Well, he had his chance. Maybe if he gets another chance he can try to back those words up. But he had a chance yesterday. You know, we’ve played those guys a lot, and they’ve beat us one time in all the times that I’ve played them. They talk a lot for beating us once in nine years.

He was  also asked about the conversation you guys were having. Two things we need to know: What were you upset about? You made a big play, you got the pass off, and you got up angry. Suggs said you called him “sizzle.” That’s pretty creative, whether you said it or he made that up.

I think he made that up. I was pretty pissed off all day yesterday. I was mad at a bunch of different points. It’s the emotions of the game.

At the officials, at him, at one of your teammates, who? Because you completed the pass.

I know, that was a big play too. We had a penalty and then a delay of game. Then we hit a 24 yarder to Gronk. That was a big play. I don’t know what I was mad about. I think I was mad at the two previous penalties and I just got, the moment of the game kind of got to me.

It was a clean hit though, right? You weren’t upset about that?

Yeah, no it was a clean hit. It was a clean hit. They were all clean hits yesterday.

Did you call him sizzle?

No, I didn’t call him sizzle. I don’t think I did that.

At the end of the first half, the final drive, it seemed like you guys just kind of let the last 2:32 get away and not really go for it. Were you content to just go into the locker room and not use that time?

No, well I think we were trying to get a first down. Had we got the first down I think Bill wanted to run another two minutes, so that we could, I think they had two time outs. I think an important part of offensive football and playing smart and situational is to not give them the ball back with time. You throw three passes and OK now there’s 2:15 and they haven’t used any time outs.

I know if you run it down to the two minute warning and they don’t use timeouts, at least the two minute warning is gone. If you get a first down, you still have time to get down the field but it gives them less time.

Tom, what was your BPNTD ‘€” best play not a touchdown yesterday? I’d vote for that completion to Gronkowski.

Yeah.

That’s not bad. How about that end-around in the first quarter?

Yeah, that was a big one, too.

Especially with that crushing block you laid on Suggs.

I know, I know. He avoided me. That was a pretty bad block. That was a bad effort by me.

You and [Brandon] Meriweather are going to get fined the same amount for those hits.

[Laughs]

What made your block look even worse is that Branch had a great block on the play to spring him.

Oh he did? Good. There’s a reason a quarterbacks play quarterback and not offensive guard because we can’t block, and I shouldn’t be blocking. It’s better to just get out of the way.

Would you prefer the team your playing next week escape with a win, rather than coming off the field angry and looking for redemption, like the Chargers this week.

I don’t think it works like that. We’re going to have to play well next week to win. So are they. You can be as angry as you want to be, but if you don’t play well you’re going to lose. I think these teams that have traditionally not been very good teams in the NFL are starting to play a lot better. Like Detroit, like St. Louis, that are really turning things around.

I know we played St. Louis in the preseason, and they’re a pretty good football team. I thought they played really well against us in the third preseason game,  and obviously they’re still playing well.

San Diego, I know that they’ve been banged up. But they’re a good team. Last time we played out there in ’08 we got our butts kicked so we’ve got to, you know that’s a long trip for us. We’re going to have to put together a great week. This is a huge game for us.

Did you at any point in the game miss Randy Moss?

It’s hard to say. There’s things that we did with Randy that we don’t do with anybody else. And there’s things that we do with other guys that we never did with Randy. So, I guess it’s just not part of the plan. If Randy was there, the game plan may have been a little bit different.

With him not there, we really cater to the things that our guys do well. Like I said, he’s on another team now. I wish him all the luck in the world for a great season except when they play us [in two weeks]. He’s really found a different home. We’ve got to move on, too. And I think we did yesterday.

How did the light bulb go on in the heads of this young defense from the first three quarters into the fourth and overtime where they were just a stone wall?

They came up huge when they needed it. I thought they really showed what they’re all about. It’s a great group of players, they have a great attitude and I’ll tell you they work hard everyday in practice. We compete every day in practice. There’s not a day that were not out there competing against them.

I’ve said that I know, that I can see what they’re capable of and what they’re doing. They played great football. I think it’s just  like all of us, we need to find ways to be more consistent. The defense plays great at times, the offense plays great at times.

The special teams have really been the most consistent part of our team. The way they’ve played, they’re keeping us in every single game. Without them the last two weeks. with that entire core group and that includes all phases, we’d have a hard time winning the last two weeks.

I really feel like, to complement each other as a whole unit the defense is really complementing us and we are trying to complement them. Overall, we’ve all got to find ways to be more consistent and to go out there and play better.

Do you know all the guys on the defense? Do you say hi going down the hallway to the smaller names?

Yeah, yeah, of course, of course. Those guys, it’s the nice part about the younger guys they bring the different enthusiasm and a little different character to the team. We’ve got a lot of young guys, and they all, the guys on the roster really earned it.

They were very competitive through training camp with this team. Guys like [defensive end Brandon] Deaderick and [linebacker Dane Fletcher] they all work their butts off. That’s why they’re here, that’s why they’re contributing.

What’s Deaderick’s nickname? Is it like “Deadwood”?

I don’t know.

Can Woodhead keep doing this? Can you keep giving him the ball 10, 11 times a game and expect this type of production?

Yeah, you sure can. They have a hard time with him. He’s extremely quick, he’s got great hands, he’s got very good speed, he’s got great vision. I think he’s really a threat in both the run game and the pass game. You hand it off to him and he runs for 8 yards and you throw it to him and he gains 12.

That’s a great, for a back to catch the ball, that’s just a whole other dimension to the offense. We put him out there in empty sets and he’s able to run routes. He’s really been a big part of this. Kevin [Faulk's] gone down, we’ve really had needed guys to step up, and it’s pretty impressive that he’s been able to come in and do that, fill that role. You can’t replace Kevin Faulk, but Woody’s really done a great job of trying to come in there and play his role. He’s done a great job of that.

There was a great display of rhythm there on that drive to tie the game. Is one of the benefits of that type of rhythm, of that type of pace, that you’re making the defense tired?

Sure. That’s the way we can do it. We all have to contribute. The important part to me is staying on the field on third down. A lot goes into that. To be productive on first down so that you have manageable second and third downs, that’s important. I think we had way too many second-and-longs yesterday. Also, on third down when we get into those third-and-manageable situations, we’ve got to convert.

When you’re able to do that, then you do get into a rhythm. Then you really can start tiring the defense out and working those guys over. If we’re not completing balls on third downs, it makes for a long day to come off the field. Then you look and your defense is back on the field. I think we kind of hung our defense out to dry there quite a bit yesterday. They really stepped up big for us when they needed it. It was a great effort.

Why do defensive players get tired on a 15-play drive but offensive players don’t?

The offensive line, it’s very different rushing the quarterback and playing the run. We do get tired, I wouldn’t say that, there are definitely guys who do get tired. I’d say probably it’s mostly the linebackers and the defensive line that get the most tired. Defensive line are the biggest guys on the field, along with the o-line. But rushing the passer and blocking for a guy who’s rushing the passer is a little bit different.

When the defensive line slows down in those no-huddle situations, that’s when offense has a huge advantage. because if you can’t rush, you’re going to have a hard time playing defense. At times I thought we did tire them out a little bit, but I think there were still too many times where we didn’t put enough pressure on them.

The least important question of the day, the towel under the left arm during the pregame, is that something you do at the driving range hitting golf balls, too?

You would know that, wouldn’t you? That’s a good golfer trick.

What does that do for you?

It really helps you stay really tight with your ‘€” I always feel the quarterback, both elbows should always be pointed down. If you lift your left elbow up when you’re throwing, that towel’s going to fall out. It’s just a little subtle reminder during pregame of trying to use good technique out there. Ultimately, it all comes down to technique with throwing passes.

When you throw completions it’s for a reason, when you throw incompletions and you use bad technique there’s a reason for that, too. I’m always working on my technique and trying to be a more consistent player.

(Nick Traicoff contributed to this transcript.)

Read More: Deion Branch, Randy Moss, Terrell Suggs, Tom Brady
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