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Tom Brady talks Chad Ochocinco, not playing, Albert Haynesworth and his most painful loss

08.15.11 at 8:57 am ET
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Tom Brady explained he was shocked when learning he wouldn't be playing in the Patriots preseason opener. (AP)

Tom Brady made his first of what will be weekly appearances on the Dennis & Callahan show this season Monday morning, touching on a variety of subjects, including the surprise of not playing in the preseason opener, the challenges facing Chad Ochocinco, the difficulty in dealing with last season’s playoff loss to the Jets, and how much he is looking forward to not having Shaun Ellis and Albert Haynesworth on the other side of the ball.

(To listen to the entire interview, click here.)

THE DIFFERENCES IN TRAINING CAMP THIS SEASON: I think it’s certainly been different for everybody without the two-a-days. Everything happened pretty quick. Nobody was really sure what the schedule was going to be like, and the next thing you know everybody is reporting in two days. It’s been condensed. I think a lot of the guys have been working hard when we don’t have those practices, when we have downtime, to make sure we’re studying out playbacks, to make sure we’re getting the proper treatments to make sure we’re out there for the practices. The practices are so valuable because there’s not as many of them. … There’s been a lot of energy out there at the practices, so that’s been a lot of fun.

I think we’re all starting at the same point. We have a lot of new players, we’ve got new coaches, we’re doing different things offensively, defensively. Everyone, to me, is at the same point. The teams who will have the advantage come the regular season are the ones that have the best practices, that have the best preparation. It’s not the teams that have that have this guy who has played four more years than this guy. That doesn’t mean anything. The teams that win on opening weekend are the ones that play the best football.

ON NOT PLAYING IN THE PRESEASON OPENER: Coach [Bill] Belichick, he’s the coach and he tells us what he wants to do. I used to fight things probably a lot more but now you just kind of understand why he does things and I do my best to prepare no matter what the situation is. He told us earlier in the week, ‘Guys, everybody should be ready to play.’ We were ready to play. He told us the night before the game we weren’t playing, which I think shocked probably all of us, but it’s not like we can go put ourselves in the game. We made sure we had a good week of practice so we were ready.

ON THE PROGRESSION OF OCHOCINCO: With Deion [Branch] and Wes [Welker], I’ve played with them now for so long, they know exactly what I’m thinking and why I’m thinking it. WIth Chad he’s been in a certain place for a long time and he has his … the way he has played the game has been quite a bit different from the way we play the game. I think a lot of that is just trying to get him to understand what I’m thinking so we can always be on the same page because there’s a lot of things that happen in the game that don’t happen in practice. You can do your best to simulate it, but at the end of the day you have to play together, and you have to practice together, and throw the ball and make mistakes so you can make corrections. It’s really been a crash course in that because we never have played together and a lot of it is trying to get the point where he’s really comfortable out there and I’m comfortable so we can play with a lot of confidence with one another.

He’s doing as good as you could hope. It’s like an entirely new language. What he was doing in Cincinnati is very different than the way we do it here. It’s really a crash course. We’ve been at it for just over 2 1/2 weeks. You have to basically get rid of all the information he had to learn going on his 10th year and learn something new in two weeks. It’s certainly not easy but he’s a hard worker, he wants to do it, he’s very competitive and it’s fun to be out there with him because he wants the ball, he wants to practice and he wants to be out there and do it right because he really wants us to be able to rely on him.

ON THE CONTRACTS OF LOGAN MANKINS AND MATT LIGHT: That was a big question mark at the end of the season, if you replace a couple of guys who have been two of the best offensive lineman who ever wore a Patriots uniform. But both of them come back, Logan on a long-term deal, Matt on a shorter deal. Those are great players. They are so good at what they do. They’re tough, they’re smart, they’re physical players, they know our offense, they’re great in the locker room. They’re just great guys. I’ve been lucky enough to have them protect me for a long time, and I’m lucky to have them protect me this year. I love those guys.

ON SECOND-YEAR WIDEOUT TAYLOR PRICE: Taylor has certainly taken advantage of his opportunities. He got in late in the season last year against Miami, got in the game and made some good plays against the Dolphins and had this training camp to build on that performance. He’s continuing to work at it. … The more good plays you have without bad plays, that’s what veteran players do, that’s why veteran players stick around. I think coaches tolerate from younger players mistakes more than older players, so as older players you’re always trying to make good players and I think with younger players they can make good plays but they also have to understand they have to do better as well. Taylor is working on that. He’s another guy who has really been willing to work, but he has to continue to come out here and build on that performance, as well. We’re all a long way from where we need to be.

ON LOSING IN THE PLAYOFFS LAST SEASON: The Jets, I’ll never get over that loss. That’s as painful as a loss as I think we’ve ever had here as a team. They can rush the passer. They’re a good team. They pressure the quarterback, that’s what we have to be prepared for with them. And they always try and find a way to confuse the quarterback, whether that’s by pass rush, whether that’s by coverage and often times both. We gave them a lot of credit when they won and I think we have to learn from that and understand what it takes to beat good teams under tough conditions. That’s what we have to try and accomplish this year.

ON CHANGES TO THE OFFENSE THIS SEASON: The identity is going to be different based on the players we have because the skill-set is different. What maybe was good for our third wide receiver last year, with Chad may be very different because Chad can do some very unique things as a player. You try and play to the strength of our players. You just don’t go out there and say everybody is going to run this route because to me that’s not the best way of playing offensive football.

ON THE PRESENCE OF ELLIS AND HAYNESWORTH: Both of them have really come in and embraced a new start for them. Shaun, as a lifelong Jet, somebody I have played against – we were actually in the same draft class – I’ve played against him so many times over the years. He’s been a very intimidating player to play against. It’s going to nice to see him in a Patriots jersey this year, I can tell you that. He seems like he’s really taken to this. He’s very much a professional. I’m excited to see him out there. And Albert, he and I have had a lot of conversations. He’s a veteran player, as well. He’s really looking to have a great season. He’s excited to get out there, whenever that is. It will be great when everybody is healthy and see where we’re at as a team.

Read More: Albert Haynesworth, Bill Belichick, Chad Ochocinco, Jets Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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