|Tom Brady stands up for Tiquan Underwood and Bill O’Brien||12.11.11 at 6:41 pm ET|
LANDOVER, Md. — If you thought Tom Brady was not going to stand up on the podium and take full responsibility for his critical red zone interception in the fourth quarter – a pick that nearly let Rex Grossman and the Redskins tie the game and led to a heated confrontation with offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien – you haven’t been paying close attention to Brady for the last decade.
“I threw a bad interception, so he wasn’t happy about it,” Brady said of the argument. “There was probably a long line of coaches and players who were pretty pissed at me after that, but Billy got to me first. He let me have it. I deserved it.”
It was the first of five questions in his postgame press conference about “The Argument”.
With 6:37 remaining in the game and the Patriots leading, 34-27, the Patriot offense was at the 4-yard line on third-and-4 when Brady attempted to throw the ball to wide receiver Tiquan Underwood at the back of the end zone. Instead, Redskin cornerback Josh Wilson stepped in front of Underwood to make the interception.
“I made a terrible play,” Brady continued, “so, he just let me know I made a terrible play. It’s football, man. It’s a game of emotion. It’s athletics. I was looking there adn then I was trying to throw to Tiquan in the back [of the end zone] and was trying to get it over Gronk and there were two other guys on him, and I put too much air on it. I have the DB a chance to make a play, so not the ideal time to throw an interception with a seven-point lead.”
What ensued was a sign of a highly competitive and frustrated quarterback and an angry offensive coordinator.
The two had to be physically separated by several coaches and head coach Bill Belichick.
“I think this was a real competitive game and we have a lot of competitive players on this team,” is all Belichick would say in describing what he saw transpire.
Rob Gronkowski – whom Brady looked to at first before seeing he was double-teamed and throwing to Underwood – was on the sidelines but said he didn’t know the two got into a verbal tussle.
“I didn’t see it. I’ve got to go watch the tape,” Gronkowski said with a good-natured laugh.
Brady and O’Brien spent the next five minutes calming down while talking to each other side-by-side on the Patriots bench while the Redskins drove down the field.
The Redskins almost tied the game with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game following the interception, but Jerod Mayo intercepted Grossman at the New England 5-yard line to end the game.
Although the Patriots win Sunday did not seem satisfying for Brady, he admitted that winning ugly and making mistakes is simply part of the game.
“There’s nothing perfect in football – unless you’re the Packers,” Brady said.
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