|Complete transcript of Q&A Tom Brady did with NFL Network on Tuesday||02.01.11 at 9:54 pm ET|
Here’s the compete transcript of Tom Brady’s Q&A with the NFL Network from Tuesday night, when he accepted the AP Offensive Player of the Year Award:
On what the award means to him: “I appreciate it, Fran. Obviously, we had a great regular season as a team. We just didn’t really take advantage of our opportunity in the month of January. The two teams that are there playing this week certainly have earned it, and they should be very proud. It’s going to be a great game.”
On his injured foot: “I had surgery about a week ago … actually, about 10 days ago. It’s just something that’s been lingering a little bit. Over the course of the season, a lot of players throughout the league, a lot of players on our team deal with these type of injuries. I think … part of having a little bit of mental toughness is putting those things aside and still going out and trying to perform your best, you know, each week. I have a great training staff and my friend Alex [Guerrero] that works with me weekly. So I’m in great hands and they were able to get me out on the field feeling good and I was able to go out there and help our team win the AFC East, which we’re all very proud of.”
On the difference for him over the second half of the season that allowed the Patriots’ offense to take off: “Well, it’s definitely a collective effort by the group of skill players that we have and the offensive line. I think there was … when you trade away a talent like [Randy Moss], a guy who’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer, other guys have to step in and do their job and fill the void left by a great player. BenJarvus (Green-Ellis) rushed for 1,000 yards, Danny Woodhead made up for the loss of Kevin Faulk, who was one of the best players we ever had on the team. But Danny stepped in. The group of receivers, with Deion (Branch) and Wes (Welker) and Julian Edelman and Brandon Tate, they did an incredible job of really committing themselves to the passing game — we were going to do what we needed to do. And the tight end position with two young tight ends — Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and then with Alge [Crumpler] — we had a great group of skill players. It was a lot of fun each week, trying to find different ways to utilize all those guys so that we can go into the game feeling really good, feeling really prepared with the game plan and understand if we just executed well, we were going to score some points.”
On how his leadership for a relatively young team this past season might have been different than the Super Bowl years: “It’s a privilege. I wouldn’t say it’s as much of a responsibility. To have that type of role on the team where the coach really trusts you, where the players can elect you as a captain on the team, it’s something that … it’s the greatest award you can have as a player is the respect of your teammates and the respect of your coaches. I really relish that. I think that’s something about playing quarterback that I’ve always really enjoyed. Along with myself and Jerod Mayo and Alge Crumpler and Vince Wilfork and Kevin Faulk who was a captain, I think it was a great group, and I think all those players really did rely on the veteran leadership from the captains to guide us over the course of the season. The young players really responded, and now those guys will be called upon next year by the younger guys to lead them. That’s just … that’s what happens with the turnover in the league. You lose Willie McGinest and Ty Law and Tedy Bruschi and Lawyer Milloy, and, you know, Rodney Harrison and all these great players that I’ve had a chance to play with and learn from, most importantly. And now I’m in a position where I try to convey that message to the younger players. It’s something that I take very, very seriously.”
On what he might take from the games of Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger to incorporate into his own game: “There would be a lot of things — those are two of the best quarterbacks in the league. They’re both excellent players. I had a chance to play against ben this year — we played the Packers, and Aaron unfortunately couldn’t play that day. But watching him on film quite a bit this season, he really had a remarkable season of his own, so … They are two players who are really accurate passers, especially on the run. That’s something that is extremely hard to do — to make good decisions out of the pocket. I find that is always challenging for me … when things don’t go like you practice them, what kind of decision making can you use out there. And I think both those guys, one of their strongest … some of their strongest attributes are what they’re able to do when they’re moving around and they’re buying time and allowing their guys more time to get open. Both guys really feed off that, so they’re great players, and like I said, they’ve led their teams to this game, and I’m happy for them both.”
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