Tom Brady on D&C: ‘Nothing personal out there’
|11.16.10 at 1:05 pm ET|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady joined Dennis & Callahan for his weekly interview and talked about the emotions he displays on the field, the win over the Steelers and prepping for the Colts.
Asked about his interactions with teammates, Brady said, “My emotions go up and down and so do theirs. They say the same things back to me and I just, I want them to know, and they do know that, that it’s all in the best interest of us trying to accomplish our goal each week. And it’s not, there’s nothing personal out there towards anybody. There’s plenty of times were they want to scream at me but, you know, I don’t think you’re going to have a good football team if everyone’s in a happy mood all the time. I think there are guys that are very edgy and we have plenty of those guys on our team, especially our coach.”
Asked about his foot injury, Brady said, “You get the adrenaline going, it helps a lot. There’s a lot of people dealing with stuff. The entire team is nicked up.”
More from the conversation after the jump.
Do you think you have a lot in common with your head coach Bill Belichick?
Uh, I wouldn’t say a lot in common. I would say there are certainly plenty of things in common but not a lot.
One thing is, you both seem like much better people to be around when you’re winning as opposed to losing.
I would attest to that. My wife said that when we were in bed last night. She said, ‘God, you’re so much more friendly when you win.’ I started laughing but, I mean, it’s true. You know what, we all as players put a lot into each week. And I’ll tell you, when you lose, when you flunk that test at the end of the week, knowing what you put into it is, you know, all for nothing. So, you’re right, there’s no doubt about that. I’m glad we win a lot more than we lose or else I’d be one miserable ‘ you know.
So you bring it home with you?
Oh yeah, how could you not? And when you bring it home, believe me my wife’s watching the game and she’s got questions about the game and what we’re doing, so even if I wanted to forget she’d bring it up.
Is it easier to sleep after a game like the Pittsburgh game or the Cleveland game or is it hopeless in either case because you’ve got the adrenaline going?
Yeah, I think it’s that. I’ve never really slept well after games. I don’t think many football players do. It’s just, you get so riled up from the game, there’s just so many emotions. Usually the next night, like last night, I slept much better than I thought. I was in bed at 7:45 last night, so that’s like, it’s nice to be able to do that to try and catch up on some rest you don’t get on game day.
Speaking of getting riled up, the camera had you coming to the sideline just sort of screaming at everybody and sitting on the bench and talking. We couldn’t figure out what you were saying so we had a school with a deaf studies program read your. I’m going to run by you what they said, with the caveat being 70 percent accuracy. They said you said: ‘Keep going, keep going, keep pushing, never, ever break.’ Is that accurate?
That doesn’t sound like me. I mean, I don’t remember exactly what I was saying so maybe I did say some of those things but’¦
They also said it looked like you said the word ‘suicide.’ Did you say ‘suicide’?
No, I was threatening to kill everybody.
And they also said on a number of occasions the word ‘bleeping a-holes’ happened to be mentioned.
Uh, yeah, maybe not together those words, but I know those words were said.
Now, Tom, what were we watching there? What was going on?
You know, I said after the game, it’s so emotional and I think we’re all putting a lot into it. Just what our level of concentration needs to be on a down-by-down basis, sometimes we do it better than others, and that’s including myself. A lot of the times when I get really emotional or fired up it helps me get going as well. So I guess, when I try to put a lot of pressure on everybody else, it in turn puts a lot of pressure on myself to really get going and get the team going and get the ball moving and get the ball in the end zone. So, I know there’s times when I’m out there and I’m maybe not as excited and I really, it’s not that you’re not excited to play the game, but I know that sometimes I’m really focused when I’m really into it and really intense. So, that’s just the way I want to play.
Were those comments to your teammates more encouraging or chastising?
I mean, they know me very well. My emotions go up and down and so do theirs. They say the same things back to me and I just, I want them to know, and they do know that, that it’s all in the best interest of us trying to accomplish our goal each week. And it’s not, there’s nothing personal out there towards anybody. There’s plenty of times were they want to scream at me but, you know, I don’t think you’re going to have a good football team if everyone’s in a happy mood all the time. I think there are guys that are very edgy and we have plenty of those guys on our team, especially our coach. And our offensive coaches are the same way. We’re just trying to win the game and I think that keeping your emotions in check, there’s a time for that and there’s also a time for really getting fired up before the game and fired up throughout the game and playing with certainly a high level of concentration and focus.
Most athletes and people don’t get better when they get emotional or get angry. When you get in that heightened state of emotion or anger it affects you negatively, but seems like you’re one of those guys that gets angry and gets better.
I do feel like, when I’m really into it like that, I am hyper-focused. And it’s hard to get on the other players when you’re not playing well, I always feel that. So, if I’m not playing well I tend to be a little more reserved. Which, I don’t want to be that way, I want everybody to want to keep the pressure on us and keep us focused and keep us going. You’re right, I just feel like that’s when I’m focusing my best. And it’s not that everything’s perfect out there, it never is in a football game, but to really be that much into it, I think that helps me out. I don’t know about other people.
Did anyone ever tell you that you’ve got to remain calm more like your idol Joe Montana than, like say, Dan Marino?
You know, I don’t think that’s ever been really taught or thought about. I had a pretty bad temper when I was a kid, you know, and I think that having a bad temper is one thing but being fired up and energized and emotional, that’s another thing. So, you know, we’ve got a lot of guys like that. Kevin Faulk is a very fired up type of emotional player and so is Wes [Welker]. I mean that’s how Wes plays the best. When Wes is really fired up and into it, there’s no body better than Wes. And sometimes when he’s more quiet and reserved it’s because he’s thinking about, ‘I wish I would’ve done this better and I wish I would’ve done this better,’ that’s just the type of person he is.
But I know when he’s really fired up he’s playing with his most confidence. That’s just one example and Rodney Harrison is the same way. Rodney played and Junior Seau, those were such great role models and guys that I really look up to, and Teddy [Bruschi] was the same way, so those are guys I always looked at and said okay that’s more along the lines of how I feel I need to approach it.
So, talk about success rates and failure rates – you’re career passing completion percentage is about 63-64 percent, you’re winning percent is higher than that. The old clichÃ© is ‘good baseball players only hit .300,’ meaning they fail seven out of 10 times. Could you have dealt with the 70 percent failure rate as a baseball player as opposed to a quarterback in the NFL?
No, I couldn’t have. And that’s, it’s so hard to hit a baseball consistently like those guys do. But, baseball was never going to be in the cards for me. I mean, I got drafted, I was a decent hitter and had a good arm and, you know, I loved catching and playing the leadership role in that. But, I don’t think I would’ve ever been a pro baseball player, my knees hurt too much, and my elbow hurt too much, I don’t know how those guys can keep doing it.
So, I thought football was so much more of a team sport. And when you have the teammates that I have, and the coaches that I have, playing for an organization like I do, I mean, I’m so lucky. I said it to Wes the other day, I said can you believe we get paid to do this? It’s just, we just have so much fun out there and it’s much more fun when we win. And there’s a lot of things that come along with doing it, in terms of the preparation it takes and the commitment year round that it takes to be a professional football player .To play football is pretty unbelievable, especially in a town like this.
Now, to get specific about the game Sunday night – on the first touchdown pass to [Rob] Gronkowski, do you know how small the window to fit the ball in is before you throw, during the throw, or only after the ball is off your hands and towards the receiver?
Well, you know, we run that route a lot with Rob and he’s such a big guy, he’s tall with long arms and huge hands. So, a term we use is actually the catch radius, and he has such a huge catch radius. So I know when actually a little guy can see it, and I can see him start to break open, and I throw it and just try to make a good throw and he made a great catch in traffic and there’s no one behind him, there was a guy in front of him and, you know, that’s an incredible catch.
We say that all the time, you know, you’ve got to go out and make plays. And certainly you go out there not to lose and not to turn it over, that’s important. But, ultimately it’s got to come down to guys making plays, and we were making plays the other night. I thought that was, Brandon Tate made a hell of a catch off the post, Alge Crumpler on the second play of the game, didn’t seem like a lot cause we gave him seven yards on first down, and then I threw it to Alge on second down and he did almost a one-handed catch for a first down.
Well, you know, if he drops that ball then now it’s third and three and you’ve got to convert a third down to keep the drive going. While, Alge made a hell of a catch, and then the whole drive, we just get going from there. And once you score on the first drive of the game you’re thinking man we’ve got a lot of confidence, we just went right down the field, man this is’¦aw their crowd was going crazy and the energy in the first series of the game and then, wow, we’re in the end zone and this is the way this game’s going to go tonight. And, it’s pretty telling, as opposed to a three and out and you punt the ball it’s like damn, and you can never really get started. So, a couple guys made some huge plays. Wes made huge plays, Deion [Branch] did, you know, Benny [Green-Ellis] ran the ball great.
And the front line, have you ever gotten touched less than you did Sunday night? Particularly against such a good defensive front?
Yeah, it was a great front and our guys always step up to the challenge. You know you’ve got [James] Harrison and [LaMarr] Woodley, those good guys inside and then they’re a team that loves to pressure. But our guys really stepped up to the challenge. [Matt] Light and Sebastian [Vollmer], and Logan [Mankins]‘s added so much to our offense. You know, he thought he was a bad luck charm there in Cleveland, but he’s really come in and been exceptional. So, he’s everything you want in a football player, and I certainly hope he’s here for a long time. But, you know, those guys really, they fight week in, week out.
Speaking of your offensive line, Logan in particular, he peeled the Steelers off of you time and time again, after your touchdown, I guess you were locked up with [Troy] Polamalu. Matt Light says Pittsburgh was taking shots at you after your three yard sneak for the touchdown’¦I assume you noticed all those things happening?
As a matter of fact I didn’t notice that at all. You know, I just, I’m not paying attention that much. Usually when the play’s over I’m looking to the sideline for the next play. So, I don’t know what the over-under on the fight that Logan was involved in the other night. But, you know, we’re kind of laughing at it on the bus after the game. You know, Logan’s always been one to mix it up. So, I think it’s just two teams that have a great history together, and they play hard and we play hard. And, you know, Matt and those guys are always sticking up for me so, they played a hell of a game the other night before the whistle and after the whistle as far as I’m concerned.
Have you ever considered the possibility of potentially tearing a rotator cuff by spiking the football too hard? Cause you know Bill would be [angry]
I know, I know. Yeah, that was fun. I don’t know the last time I scored, it’s been a while. I remember the Raider game in 2001 where I spiked and I fell on the ground, that was pretty funny. So, you know, it’s just, it’s pretty cool to get in the end zone. You know, those running backs and receivers score a lot so, you know, they’ve always got something planned. Deion’s always got a dance planned or something like that, so the least I can do is spike the ball.
Is that a planned thing, do you know what you’re going to do if you score?
No, I really don’t. I don’t think about it at all.
You don’t have any dances planned, anything like the Icky shuffle?
No, but you guys have to ask Deion what he did to put himself through college, that’s why he’s such a good dancer.
Oh is he a Chippendale’s guy?
We’ll take that as a yes.
But moving on, did you know before the game that you had something good planned, that this was going to be different than the Cleveland game?
Well, you know I’ll tell you, we always feel good about what we’re doing. We felt good the Wednesday, Thursday of the Cleveland game. You know, it’s just a matter of execution. So, every time we put together a plan we’re thinking this going to work, this is why we’re doing it, this is what we’re expecting to see, this is what we practiced.
It just worked out a hell of a lot better this week. You know, Cleveland, that was obviously a game that things didn’t go our way. But the next week really had no bearing on what happened that week. So, looking forward to Indianapolis, the game in Pittsburgh is going to have no bearing for what we do against Indy. We’ve got to have a great week of preparation and we have to go out there and play well, because it’s a damn good team that gives you very little margin for error, a team that’s good in all phases of the game. What we do know is we need to play our best week, because this team’s been one of the best teams in the league for as long as I’ve been in the NFL and that’s the kind of game it’s always been against the Colts.
When you’re looking at your wrist band and studying it, is it to be assumed that Billy has sent a number into the helmet’s audio system and that you’re looking up that number on your wrist band and then calling the plays, is that about right?
The longest look you had at the wrist band, the play that you spent the most time looking, was just before your three yard touchdown run. It seemed to me that if he’s calling your own number you might know that one by heart.
Those things change quite a bit, so, what happens with the wristband is sometimes the play calls get pretty long and sometimes it’s faster to say 53 rather than, you know, Z-shift to zero out, joker alert, 68 wide out, D-fast. So he says 53 and I look at 53 and I find it and I read the call. I’ve got a lot of other things to do other than memorize the wrist band.
Was your quarterback sneak the play called or did you go to the line thinking I’ve got a plan B that will be better than the play called?
No, we called that and, you know, it’s just something that here we’re on the three yard line and we tried to spread them out and take advantage of the look. So, you know, I thought it was a great job to the awareness of what was called.
Do you have a hurry up signal, a word or a phrase that gets the guys on the line of scrimmage when you think the opposing coach might be challenging something?
Yeah, we do. And we work on that quite a bit. We work on that in training camp and we kind of yell out the code word of what we’re doing. Because, those challenges, those are important plays in the game. When you get a gain for a first down, or you get a big gain, a significant gain, or a potential fumble or interception or something like that on defense, you’ve got to try to rush out there because, you know, it takes a while for the network to kind of cue up the replay for the guys in the booth and, you know, if you only have two challenges in a game, the third if you get it right, those are big plays.
I mean, like the Jets against Green Bay, they were all out of challenges on the Charles Woodson interception so they couldn’t challenge because they had already lost their challenge previously in the game. So, you can’t really lose those challenges. So if we can go fast and force them into making a decision to challenge something that maybe they wouldn’t want to challenge, then man, we win that that’s great. If we get the snap off, even better if we hand it off on first and ten and gained five. So, looking at the play it was definitely a catch anyway.
How many plays are then available to you? Is there just one play you run in that deal or are there two or three or four?
We have a couple based on what they’re doing.
Did you happen to see what Michael Vick did last night in Washington?
I did. I woke up and saw the headline. He’s pretty amazing as an athlete. I was watching the pregame and Steve Young said, ‘He’s the greatest weapon at quarterback that there could ever be.’ I totally agree with that. With the way he can move the football and his style of play, and when he throws the ball like he did last night, he’s damn near impossible to stop.
What do we need to know about the Colts defense?
The difficult thing about them is that their style of defense, there’s only one team in the league that plays it and it’s them. It’s not like playing a 3-4 defense. They’re one one of the fastest, quickest defenses in the league, two of the most dynamic pass rushers in the game. They do a lot of things well. They have some young guys on defense who are damn good players. We got our work cut out for us. This will be a huge test for us. I’m glad we’re playing them at home. We haven’t played them at home in a while and I’m sure the crowd will be rocking. We have to put or best game together for 60 minutes.