|Transcript of Tom Brady on D&C||11.01.10 at 12:21 pm ET|
Following an impressive 28-18 win against the Vikings that brought the Patriots to a league best 6-1 record, Tom Brady was in good spirits during his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show.
Following is a transcript of the interview, in which Brady discusses what makes Bill Belichick such a good coach, if he misses Randy Moss, Brett Favre‘s chinstrap, Brady’s next haircut, and more. To listen, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Great job stealing signals, you guys are good at that. That’s what I heard.
I know, I know. It’s good to go out there and get a tough win at home. I said after the game, they’re a very talented team. They had 10 Pro Bowlers last year and it’s basically the same team. It was a battle, it went four quarters. We just made a few more plays than they did.
You’re the only 6-1 team in the NFL. Are you the best team?
Well, I think we’ve won in different ways. I think that’s what I’m probably happy about. We’ve been down in the fourth quarter, we’ve protected leads, we won on the road, we won on a Monday night game in Miami, which has always been tough to do. We’re such a long way from where we need to be, though. I will say that. I don’t think anybody on our team goes in there and thinks we’ve got all the answers.
There’s certainly things we need to improve on and get better at. Our offensive performance in the first half again wasn’t very good. We played much better in the second half. We’ve got plenty of football left and plenty of ways to get better as a team.
What is the benefit to your team when vanilla Bill [Belichick] lets nothing distract you from the matter at hand, preparation and execution on Sunday?
They have a heck of a team. They were in the NFC championship game last year with one play away from being in the Super Bowl. So, I wouldn’t say they don’t know how to do it or they don’t know how to win. We just do things differently.
Every coach has his own style. Our coach, we know his style. You guys know his style. How he is with the media is, to a certain degree, the way he is with the players. He’s never too up, he’s never too down. He never really lets anything get in the way of what we’re trying to accomplish. And there’s a lot to be said for that.
I like to think we have a pretty tough, smart team, and that’s what he’s been trying to build. I think a lot of guys have taken his coaching, and I think that’s been a very fun part to this season for the players. What he comes in and says is usually the way it plays out in the game. There’s no better coaching a player can have than a coach who goes in there on Wednesday and tells you the way the game’s going to go, and that’s how it happens on Sunday.
Once again, there’s so much football left. We’re not even at the halfway point. … The weeks are really starting to fly by but we just need to get back out there after another good week of practice and go try to win another one on the road.
Tom on the touchdown to [Brandon] Tate, did you see him wide open or did you just know where he was going to be and knew he was going to be open when you released the ball.
Well, just as I turned he turned so that’s why I turned quickly and just laid it up there. I looked at Wes [Welker] and Wes took off running. I didn’t have him, so then I looked over to Brandon and Brandon was standing there and I saw the cornerback start to kind of move forward on him and I rolled, and just as I started to wheel Brandon wheeled and I knew we had him. It was a hell of a play.
That you can’t coach, that’s all instincts right there from Brandon. He’s got those instincts and once he’s in the open field with the ball he’s very dangerous. His speed, his ability to change directions like he did on the safety there on about the 30-yard line was a huge play for us. That really got us going in the second half.
Do you miss [Randy] Moss at all? He certainly misses you, do you miss him?
Yeah, I certainly do. He’s a very unique player, a very good friend of mine. We’ve shared a lot of very personal conversations together about things that are happening in our life, and that doesn’t go away once he’s on another team. I’m always rooting for him, hoping he does really well. It just happened this year that he moved on. It’s just the way this league works now.
Tom, he said he misses New England. It was almost obvious he regrets talking his way out of town. Is that a common thing with guys on this team? They don’t understand what they have with Belichick and you and this system until they go somewhere else by comparison?
If you love playing football and you love competing, you love playing for the New England Patriots. I don’t know what it’s like in other places, I’ve never been to other places. I just know how much I enjoy it, and that’s because when we show up to work every day, it’s all about football. It has nothing to do with trying to say the right thing to the media. It has nothing to do with — talk is very cheap. It’s about going out and earning it. And I think that’s why the guys really appreciate being on the team. You’re going to have an opportunity. When you get your opportunity, you’d better be ready to take advantage.
I was a glowing example of that in that I was a sixth round pick and Drew [Bledsoe] had been an incredible player here and the coach makes tough decisions. I think that if your on the roster you know that at some point you’ve got to be ready to contribute. I think that’s what everyone enjoys.
Talking about the protection you had yesterday, there were a handful of plays where you had very little time, and others where you went through six progressions and had all the time in the world. Why that comparison/difference?
That’s a great defensive front we’re facing. Jared Allen, Ray Edwards and the inside guys, Kevin Williams and Pat Williams, that’s as good a front four as you face. They’re going to make their plays. I think that the important thing is that when they do make them to not make a bad play worse. Just get out of the pocket, throw the ball away, go back and try to do it better on the next down.
When we do get our opportunities we take advantage of them. Your right, the times where you do get some time you’ve got to find the open guy. The times where you don’t have time you’ve got to cut your losses and you can’t try to run around those times and strip, sack, fumble, or force the ball into coverage. We did a great job of that as a unit yesterday offensively to play pretty complementary with what each other was doing.
Matt Light seemed to be one-on-one with Jared Allen for much of the game. Did you have some concerns coming into the game that you might have to double him or do something different because of who he is even though he’s having a bad year?
I wouldn’t say he’s having a bad year I just think sometime when you’re ahead in games the stats, you make stats whatever you want them to be. When you’re losing in a game offensively for example, the quarterback is going to throw a lot more, he’s typically is going to take riskier throws, so you may have more yards, you’ll probably have more interceptions, that’s just the way it is.
If you’re behind in games a lot, like the Vikings have been this year, where teams can still run it and still throw it and you’re not going to have the opportunities. Believe me he’s still a great pass rusher. Just because he doesn’t have all the sacks in the world doesn’t mean he’s not a great pass rusher.
So you’d agree with me that Matt Light was the player of the game? John’s going with BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
I ’d take the O-line. The whole O-line. I thought they all played good. They stood up to those guys. Some real critical running situations that we had, that third-and-2 at the end of the game on the goal line was a huge play. It was just a great offensive performance by those guys, that whole group. They continued to show what they’re all about. They’re a group of tough guys that work their butts off.
And I love Benny. That was one of Benny’s best days rushing. He ran terrific.
Two questions I have about the direct snap touchdown to Danny Woodhead in the second quarter. You called a timeout just before the play, did you see something that wasn’t matching that play, or was it a different play when you came back to run it?
I really don’t want to answer that. Basically, I didn’t like what I saw. I figured we needed a touchdown there lets get the one that we really like.
Let’s talk about your acting skills. On that play you pretend the snap goes over your head and then put your hands on your helmet like something went wrong. What is the hands on the helmet thing?
No, no I don’t know why I do that. [Brian] Hoyer pointed that out to me last time we ran it. I think I just get my arms up and then lay them on my helmet. I don’t know why I do that, I don’t know why I do that. It’s probably subconscious, I’m not sure.
Why doesn’t [Brett] Favre have a normal chin strap?
Yeah he’s always worn that one. There’s some other chin straps that kind of cup your chin that are plastic. I wear one that’s leather that just kind of fits pretty snug. You can’t avoid those. You may crack the plastic on the chinstrap if he was wearing a plastic one. His was leather, maybe it was rubber with a little felt on his chin. He’s got an old school one. That’s just what he’s comfortable with. It’s never happened to him before in all the years he’s been playing. It was a good hit on him, those things happen in the game. I’m glad it wasn’t more severe, that looked pretty nasty from my view.
Can you comment on the two sneaks there before Benny’s touchdown? Where you trying to score there?
Yeah, no we weren’t trying to score.
Just eating up the clock?
Yeah, it’s a very interesting situational football play where they had basically no time outs and you could run another 1:20 off the clock. Then on third down obviously you’re trying to score. It was great that it worked like that. We did it against Buffalo in ’08, too. I wasn’t playing, Matt [Cassel] was quarterback. That was the last time we did that situation. The guys executed it great.
I know the defense gets all jacked up after a goal line stop, what about the quarterback and the offense?
Yeah, that was incredible, man. I’ll tell you this defense continues to improve, they have so many young players. The play that [Devin] McCourty made on that interception was incredible. Jerod Mayo is really stepping up as the leader of that defense. Rob Brace made that play on the goal line just knocked the crap out of that I don’t know if it was a guard or a tackle over him, into the backfield to stop [Adrian]Peterson.
I was fired up man. That’s a huge swing in the game, a huge swing. A seven point swing. They choose not to kick the field goal and then they get a fourth down later in the game and they decide to punt. That all leads into it. If we get stopped on fourth-and-goal, Coach Belichick is going to think long and hard about the next time he gets a fourth down. If they get it, then they feel confident they can get the next one, too. Sometimes you discourage them on another fourth down I think that was just incredible by our defense to come up with that stop
It must be fun to just know you’re on a team that has some balls in these situations. Belichick is never timid in these situations.
No we went for it on fourth down last week at the end of the game. So we’re just trying to make it happen and I think the has confidence that we can do it and we try to prove to him that can do it and everyday in practice we try to prove to him that we can do it. He puts us in situations in practice with as much pressure as you can put on us in practice to execute those plays.
Did the stealing signals comments from [Brad] Childress make the bulletin board/pregame speeches? Did you discuss it in the locker room?
No, we didn’t even talk about it to tell you the truth. Half the team wasn’t even there, more than half of the team, three quarters of the team wasn’t even here when all that went down. That didn’t bother us at all.
Would it be futile to nominate any other play than Woodhead’s big first down on third-and-12 in the fourth quarter for the BPNTD [best play not a touchdown]?
That was a big play. That was huge. There were three huge third-down conversions on that drive. The one to Wes, the one to Woody there. Third-and-12 at the end of the game and we pick it up, that’s pretty good. And the one on the goal line the third-and-2. Three huge plays that we made, and none of them were bigger than the one Woody had.
Do you believe in the concept of a trap game, and if so does Cleveland qualify as one this week?
Not with us, maybe other teams. I think some teams maybe feel well this should be an easy game . We’ve been around too long. Our coach has been around too long. I’ve been around too long. There’s as much pressure on our team this week as there is every week. Sometimes coach ramps it up.
This team beat the Saints two weeks ago or last week. They had a bye this week. We’ve played Eric Mangini coached teams before and Rob Ryan coached defenses, and I think they’re damn good. There is no way we overlook anything like this. Playing on the road in Cleveland, they always play pretty well at home. We’ve got our work cut out for us. I don’t believe that would ever play into one of our games.
Randy Moss said he had some knowledge about the Patriots obviously, and he was willing to help his team’s defense, but he implied no one was listening. What do you do when somebody joins your team that plays on yours now? Do you sit down and pick their brain at all?
Well, you’d love to think that you could get some information or that Randy could give them information. It’s so hard. We do so many things differently every week. For example, if Randy says, “OK this hand signal, when he puts up one finger, that guy runs a slant.” So then I just say in the huddle, “All right, guys, this is what we are going to do. Deion [Branch] I’m going to look at you, I’m going to give you one finger and run a slant-and-go.” So the corners out there, they know Randy told me one finger is a slant so I’m going to jump the slant, and then you run a slant-and-go.
We’re smart enough to know that if you do that once in a game, I think that really the defensive guys on the other side of the ball they say, “All this stuff is BS. We’re not listening to any of that stuff anymore.” There’s so little that I think that someone like Randy could help that other team out on a particular week. Watching the film, he could call the plays out, yeah this is what this play is, this is what this play is. We change our plays, we change our calls that’s just the way it is.
Flying Elvis or Pat the Patriot, who do you pick?
We’ve had so much success with the flying Elvis, I’d hate to give that one up. For two games a year the Pat the Patriot helmet is pretty sweet. I get all the old timers, Pete Brock, Steve Grogan, and [Steve Nelson], I’m sure those guys are all pretty excited, John Hannah, that we’re wearing those old helmets.
Are those brand new, separate helmets or are they just shaded the decal?
They’re brand new.
Do you get to keep them? What happens with them? Do they just put them in a closet and wait until the next time you wear them?
Yeah, the last time I wore that helmet I wore it last year, and I think I wore it in ’02 as well when we played in Detroit on Thanksgiving. Anyway, they just keep them in the back. Don Brocher, our equipment guy, has more stuff, we wear Reebok stuff now. Before that, adidas was the licensee. And before that, who was before that? Anyways, Brocher still gives out sweat suits from adidas from 10 years ago that he just hoards it all in the back.
I’ll leave you with this. The Fox graphic of you is with the summer hair buzz cut, and I thought, “Oh did he get his hair cut?”
I know. It grows fast, man. I’ll tell you, it grows fast. I need this long hair now, this weather’s getting chilly.
I thought it was Clay Matthews out there. So your barber isn’t taking this off anytime soon?
No, he’s on sabbatical right now.
Did you know it’s legal to pull a guy down by his hair?
They changed that rule. I think they changed that rule. Like [Troy] Polamalu, you can’t touch his hair.
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