Transcript of Tom Brady on D&C: ‘I have tons of confidence in Chad’ Ochocinco
|10.17.11 at 9:35 am ET|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady joined the Dennis & Callahan show for his weekly Monday morning chat as part of WEEI’s Patriots Monday. Brady engineered a last-minute touchdown drive for a 20-16 victory over the Cowboys Sunday heading into the bye week.
“The bye week always comes at a good time, no matter what part of the season,” Brady said. “All the guys need it to kind of get those little bumps and bruises healed up and be ready for the long push when we start against Pittsburgh in a few weeks. We’re always trying to improve things. I don’t think we come out of a game thinking we’ve got everything figured out. Especially a game like yesterday where we’re all pretty proud of the way we pulled it out. It was a great team win. The defense really stepped it up when we needed them to, and I think offensively we did some things when we needed to as well.
“When you play a good football team like that, you’ve got to win those games. We had a chance, we had an opportunity to do it and we took advantage of it.”
Chad Ochocinco saw limited action Sunday, as it appears Bill Belichick has decided he can’t continue to be so patient with the wide receiver while he struggles to learn the offense. Brady, however, said he has not lost confidence in his teammate.
“Look, he’s working hard at it,” Brady said. “We’re all working hard at it. I’d say there’s definitely a lot of improvement that we’ve made and that we’re going to continue to make. I have a lot of trust and confidence in him. I don’t lack for that at all. He didn’t get a lot of opportunities yesterday. I think that’s the reality of that game. There were a lot of other guys that were in there. Aaron [Hernandez] was in there a lot, [Rob Gronkowski] was in there a lot, obviously, Wes [Welker] and Deion [Branch] have been out there. That was just primarily the way it turned out yesterday. How it turns out when we play Pittsburgh, I have no idea. It will probably be pretty different there, too. Every single person that’s on the team is expected to contribute. Like I said, I have tons of confidence in Chad.”
Following is a transcript of the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
When the offense turns it over four times and the defense allows just six points off those turnovers, is there a stated or implied thank you do the defense when you get to the locker room? And is that what you mean when you say complementary football?
No question. No question. Coach Belichick has really been stressing that, that when the offense turns it over, not to allow points. And when the defense gets a turnover, for us to get the ball in the end zone. That is complementary football, and that’s a team really working together, understanding the situation, and then going out there and capitalizing. Offensively, I don’t think we necessarily did that this past game. We’ve got plenty of things we’ve got to work on. But to turn it over four times and still win, that hardly ever happens. I think we’re pretty fortunate there.
Hypothetically, there’s a day until trade deadline. Could a team acquire a guy — say, a wide receiver — and could he learn enough to be a contributing member of the offense?
I don’t know. There’s different guys — like, we got Deion last year at the trade [deadline] and he came in and did pretty well. Whatever position — kicker’s probably the easiest. You don’t have to do much. There’s only one formation.
A lot of guys switch teams at this time of year. It’s just part of the process of the league. I think the players, we just have to do our job. That’s what we need to do, and we all need to do a better job of that as we go forward.
You’ve earned the right to have the reins taken off you when there’s 2 1/2 minutes to go. On the other side of the coin, if a coach takes the ball out of the quarterback’s hands when they need a critical first down and makes him run it, is that a lack of confidence? Does that hurt your confidence going forward?
I don’t think so. I think there’s times when we’ve had time on the clock before the two-minute drive before a half and coach Belichick says we’re going to take a knee here. So, I don’t look at it like that. The team and the coach is doing what he thinks is what he needs to do to win. Our coach doesn’t really lack confidence in any of us. When he lacks confidence, you’re usually gone. If you’re on this team, you’re expected to perform and play well. Those are the expectations he has for us.
What is the dynamic that sets apart a good quarterback in the National Football League from a great one who can succeed in the final couple of minutes in the game when you need three or six points to win the game?
I think there’s a lot of things that it takes to be a great quarterback, and it’s not necessarily what you do at the combine. I think a lot of guys have proven then over the years. You have a lot of quarterbacks who get some opportunities and never really take advantage of it. And you’ve got other quarterbacks like Tony Romo, who gets few opportunities and really takes advantage of it and becomes a damn good player.
Quarterbacks come from every school, we’re of at every size. I played with Doug Flutie, who was one of the smallest quarterbacks to ever play the position, shortest, but one of the biggest hearts you’ve ever played with. There’s so many things that go into making a good football player, period. It’s not always your 40 time. A lot of guys have to dig deep, they’re mentally tough and they take advantage of their opportunities. I think that’s what being a good football player is all about.
When you get into the final two minutes and 31 seconds, does anything change? Does the dynamic change? You hear people say the game slows down for you.
At that point you’ve got a pretty good feel for what you’re doing. You’ve got a pretty good feel for your matchups, the coverages you’re seeing. Obviously, it wasn’t our best offensive performance yesterday. But if the score is 44-41, you’ve still got to go down and score points. I think the situation was we had two minutes there and we had a chance to win the game. All of our offensive guys, as I said after the game, we work on that every week. Every single week we have two-minute drives in practice, against the defense, against our scout team. And we’re expected to go out there and execute. I don’t think there was a guy on that offense that didn’t think we could go down and score points. Ultimately, once we got into position, we were going for the win.
Every single guy on our offense really executed at a high level. That’s really what it took. Because we didn’t really didn’t execute at a high level all day. And that’s why I think we came out of the game with not scoring as many points as we would have hoped.
Were you glad that the Cowboys ran it three times when they had it with 3 1/2 minutes left, just ran it into the line and gave you the ball back?
We practice that situation as well. We call it our four-minute offense, when you’re ahead and you’ve got to try to run the clock out. I think the first down was a run, and then they got a penalty at one point, right? That always hurts you. Then on the third-and-long, the chances of picking up a third-and-long are probably 15-20 percent anyway.
They’re banking on the fact that we can’t go down and score if they kick it to us. They made it tough on us. They made it tough on us all day. There weren’t a lot of easy throws out there yesterday. They really made us earn it. And that’s really the hallmark of that team, especially a Rob Ryan-coached team, who’s a damn good coach, damn good coordinator. He was here and helped us win some Super Bowls, so we know how kind of he has those guys playing, and they played a great game on defense.
What does Rob Ryan do defensively that others don’t do to present problems?
There’s just nothing easy out there. He doesn’t give you any easy throws. He tries to take away your main routes. He tries to double-cover your main receivers. They did a lot of that. They put a lot of extra guys in coverage that teams typically don’t do. That was to target our receivers, and then they’re rushing three guys most of the time. They force you to throw the ball even with those three guys, because they’re very good pass-rushers. Anytime you can drop a lot of guys into coverage and still get pressure on the quarterback, that’s pretty good defense. And he mixed it up well enough where it wasn’t always that, where he’d pressure us but then he’d also back off and play coverage.
It just made it tough. And I think there were plays out there that we certainly could have executed. We don’t need to not execute the plays, and they do do that. There were plenty of times when we could have done a better job, we got down close in the red area and didn’t take advantage. We kicked a field goal on the opening drive. We kicked a field goal on another drive. We got in the scoring zone and turned the ball over on another drive. Those are all limiting points. When you limit points against a good team, it ends up being a close game. We made the plays at the end in order to win the game.
When you get the ball with 2 1/2 minutes left, are you thinking three or seven?
Situationally, you’re thinking about getting into field goal range. Once we got into field goal range, you’re thinking we’re scoring. You play at a tempo where you’re able to get the ball all the way down the field. You don’t play at a tempo where you’re trying to gain — I don’t remember where we got the ball, the 20-yard line, 25-yard line. So, we’ve got to get to the 35 to get into field goal range for Steve [Gostkowski]. Once we got past that, we were going down trying to score a touchdown.
Who’s the most clutch guy you’re ever played with? Who raised his game in those big moments the most?
Oh, God, we’ve had so many guys over the years. The guys I played with on those championship teams were pretty clutch. David Patten, think of all the critical touchdowns he’s had in his career. Troy Brown, Wes Welker, Randy [Moss]. Kevin Faulk, without a doubt. Kevin Faulk is probably the most clutch player I’ve ever played with. He is a remarkable player and he’s made so many big plays in big games for us.
We’ve had so many. The offensive line, Matt Light, he’s a clutch player. He plays his best in the biggest games against the best opponents. He’s as tough as they come also.
Do you think Kevin Faulk will be back?
Yeah, I think so. He’s on the team. I know he’s on PUP. This is the week where guys can start coming off PUP. I don’t know what coach Belichick’s going to do this coming week. But it’s nice that he’ll be out there and ready to be a part of the team. I know he’s itching, every time when I see him I keep saying there’s a countdown for him. I’ll love seeing him out there, his 33 jersey on the practice field. I hope that comes very soon.
I don’t know if you saw the highlights from the Lions-49ers, at the end of the game handshake-gate between [Jim] Schwartz and [Jim] Harbaugh? Are there rules for postgame decorum? Are you supposed to act a certain way when you’re shaking the other guys hand?
[Laughs] I’m not the best at shaking hands. I don’t know, it all depends on the guy, the player. I saw that. I’ve been around Jim [Harbaugh], he’s a Michigan man. He’s competitive, he’s just fiery. Who knows the point he was trying to get across. But he’s pretty excitable.
Gerry and I have pooled our money. We’re going to offer you $10 million for the house. We’re not going to go the full asking price. Take it or leave it.
[Laughs] You’ll have to talk to my wife. She’s the negotiator. I’m a pretty bad negotiator. She’s a lot tougher negotiator than I am.
What’s the difference between a no-huddle and a hurry-up offense? Or are they one and the same?
Not necessarily. Like, the Colts run a no-huddle offense pretty much the whole game. They essentially don’t huddle, they communicate at the line of scrimmage. They’re not necessarily going at a hurry-up pace. The hurry-up two-minute is really when you’re trying to — either a two-minute situation or where you’re just really trying to speed the tempo of the game. We do both within the course of a game. It makes the other team prepare for both.
Ultimately, it comes down to execution. You can go slow, fast, it doesn’t matter. But if you’re not completing passes or blocking the right guys or making the right decisions, then it really doesn’t matter what pace you’re going, you’re not going to be successful.
How’s the arm, OK? We saw you icing or heating it or whatever you did [on the sideline]. Are you holding the phone with your left arm?
[Laughs] Well, it’s just a little precautionary. Nothing to worry about.
How many days do you get to put your feet up before you go back to work, in the bye week?
We have work tomorrow — tomorrow and Wednesday. Then we’re off from Thursday to Monday. It will be good. It will be good rest for everybody. I think everyone’s looking forward to it. But it’s going to go fast. We’ll be back at it before we know it. It will be a fun start to the second half of the year for us.