Transcript of Tom Brady on D&C: ‘We don’t have any quitters on our team’
|11.07.11 at 8:10 am ET|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady looked for answers for the team’s two-game losing streak during his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning.
“It’s a bunch of different things,” he said. “Individually, you look at what you did on every play and you try to figure out what you could have done better, based on not only your own expectation but what the team expectations are for you on a particular play. Then cumulatively, over the course of a game, obviously the more plays you make, the better outcome for the team. That’s what we do all night — we sit around and we think about the things we wish we would have done better. Obviously, if there were a few things that we did better, then we’d have come away with a win yesterday.”
Following is a transcript of the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
From an accuracy standpoint, would you agree that you had an off day yesterday?
Obviously, I wish I would have completed more passes. There were plays out there that I wish I could have hit. Those are the ones that I think about. They made a lot of plays. It’s a good defense. We’re going to keep fighting on. I think that’s really what we’ve done to this point this season, and there’s a long way to go. But we’ve got to get back to winning. We’ve got to get back to making more good plays than bad plays.
Did they do similar things to what the Steelers did the week before? Do you worry about the blueprint theory?
Every week we go in and we have a pretty good idea of what they’re going to do. And we have a pretty good idea of what we’re going to do against them. Teams may have a blueprint for us, but we think we have a blueprint for them. That’s how we go out and play. I don’t think there’s any doubt we can make good plays. We’ve done that all season. We’re not incapable of doing that. We’re just making too many bad plays. And the bad plays are what get you beat.
Is Chad Ochocinco ever going to get it? Are you ever going to be on the same page with him?
We make improvements every week. It’s just a matter of us ultimately getting it done in the game. Every week there’s more confidence in what we’re doing with him, and with him and me. It’s just a matter of us getting out there and doing it on the field. Believe me, no one’s more frustrated than us. We talked after the game about what we need to do to get better. And we’re just going to keep doing it. We really don’t know any other way.
We’re not going to sit here and feel bad for ourselves. We’re 5-3. Is it where we want to be? No, it’s not. We’ve got to do something about it. That’s what this team’s always been about. Rather than make a bunch of excuses and point fingers, all of us individually are going to go out and try to perform a lot better and see if we can do a better job.
You said this is the week you find out what this football team is made of. Can you be more specific about that? How do you think it will go?
We’ve lost two straight and we’re going on the road against a damn good team. It doesn’t get any tougher than that — on a Sunday night stage where you’re the only team playing. We’re going to see what our team is all about. We’re going to see the level of commitment that we have. It’s been good all year. I think that’s why we’re in these games. Even the games we lost, we’re in them until the end and we’re fighting to the last whistle. That’s what it takes. We don’t have any quitters on our team. That’s not the character of this team. Nor do we have guys that aren’t mentally tough or are going to make excuses. We’re just going to go out there and try to work harder and prepare harder and ultimately try to do a better job.
When you drop back, is Ochocinco usually where he’s supposed to be?
Yeah, he is. He certainly is. There’s a lot of things that go into our offense, the timing of our offense. He and I have only played eight games together. And that was really with an abbreviated offseason. Like I said, we talk to each other after the game. It’s frustrating coming off the field and we’re not making the plays that we’re capable of making. I know that, and I’m trying to get him the ball and I’m trying to make him a part of the offense. That’s just what my role is. Really, what I think about is what I need to do better, and there’s plenty of those things. So, me getting caught up with other guys and what they need … For me, I need to throw the ball better, I need to make better decisions, I’ve got to make fewer bad plays each game.
Will the term “avoid the noise” be uttered in Foxboro this week getting ready for the Jets?
Yeah, it will be. It was last week. We do a good job of that. When you lose to good teams and you lose and they’re very close games and you don’t play well, you just go, “God, we didn’t even play well.” It’s different if you give everything you got and you play really well and you still lose, because then you go, “Man, I don’t know what we could do better.” Well, we know what we could do better. There’s a lot of things that we could do better. There’s a lot of things that I need to do better. When I’m driving home last night, that’s what I’m thinking. I’m just thinking of the plays that I need to make to help our team win.
I have an analogy here. Tell me if you think it’s accurate or fatally flawed. I’m making the analogy between the New England Patriots and Tiger Woods, the golfer. The Patriots and Tiger were very much similar. They were feared, psychologic edge before the contest even started, worked hard, better than the opponent in every singe phase of the game, and just went out there and won and dominated. And now for whatever reason, much of that has gone away. The swagger seems to be gone. The fear by the opponent doesn’t seem to be what it was. Maybe the confidence level is down, and both Tiger and the Patriots are searching to get that ingredient back. Is that a flawed or an accurate analogy?
I’m not sure. I really don’t know how other teams view us. I don’t think we’ve ever taken the approach that we have a big edge going into every game. I think our edge comes from our preparation, our ability to work hard, and our ability to perform under pressure. That’s something that needs to be developed every single year.
Rodney Harrison, those guys don’t have any effect on what we’re doing now. They were great players for this team and we had some great years. At the same time, none of that means anything for this particular team. This particular team, we’re 5-3 after eight games. Like I said, it’s not where we want to be, it’s not where we’re expected to be. But we’re the only people that can do anything about it. We’re not going to sit here and bitch and complain and make excuses and point fingers at each other. We’re going to go out there and try to do a better job and see if we can do a better job. That’s what it comes down to.
Most people picked you guys to win yesterday, and everybody said the same thing: They never lose back to back — or lose at home. Never losing back to back, I’m guessing that’s something you took pride in. Was there an explanation for it? Why were you guys so resilient after losses?
If you turn the ball over four times in a game, you’re not going to have many chances to win. It’s hard to win when you have four turnovers. We lost in Pittsburgh, obviously we didn’t play well. Then yesterday we turned the ball over four times, we had plenty of other missed opportunities in the first half where we got no points on the board. So, your margin of error is very slim going into the second half. We made plays to go up in the fourth quarter, make it competitive, and they made enough plays at the end to win.
I don’t think back to back or what we did last week had any effect on this week’s game. Just like this week’s game will have no effect on next week’s game. What’s going to have the most effect on next week’s game is how we play. We can’t turn it over, we’ve got to be better in the red area, we’ve got to be better on third down. We’ve got to [stop] making bad plays and make more good plays.
When you last faced the Jets, you handed them their second loss in a row. They’re back, they’re tied with you guys. Is it a different Jets team you’re going to see Sunday night than the one you beat up on a couple of weeks ago?
It’s the same players, and it’s the same scheme. They’re a good team. They always play us tough. They play us tough at home. But these are the ones that we’ve got to go out and we’ve got to win. We’ve got to win tough games on the road against good teams. You’re not going to be a good team in the NFL if you can’t win on the road.
Like I said, they’ve got the same players, they had the same players now for a few years, pretty much. And the same scheme every year since Rex [Ryan] has been there. It’s a tough place to play. But we’ve got to go down and try to play an error-free game, and see if we can go out there and get a big win on the road.
Were you aware of or made aware of the [Albert] Haynesworth-Pepper Johnson confrontation on the sideline in the third quarter?
No, I didn’t. I didn’t.