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Transcript of Tom Brady on D&C: Josh McDaniels brings ‘inside information’ on Broncos

01.09.12 at 10:19 am ET
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With the Patriots’ playoff opponent determined after the Broncos edged the Steelers on Sunday, Tom Brady spoke with Dennis & Callahan Monday morning about facing Tim Tebow for the second time in a month and if new offensive assistant Josh McDaniels will be able to offer any insight about the team he used to coach.

“He obviously has some inside information on that team and those players, as he coached them. I haven’t seen Josh yet, so I really don’t know,” Brady said. “I think coach [Bill] Belichick has a pretty good idea of what he’s going to want Josh to do. I talked to Josh briefly but I really haven’t had a chance to sit down with him. He’s a great coach and we’re lucky to have him. I’m excited to get back to work with him. How that plays into this week, we’ll see. We’ll try to figure that out here in the next five or six days.”

Following is a transcript of the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Are you on your way into the stadium?

Yeah, just kind of getting the day going. Once the outcome of the game was really settled for us, we moved on pretty quick. We’re excited to get ready to play Denver.

So, all of that film work you did on Pittsburgh last week has gone to waste, correct?

[Laughing] Well, we did a lot of work on everybody, all the potential opponents. Denver, we played them three weeks ago. A lot of the stuff that we’ve done and prepared for for that particular game — I’ve seen every game except the last two, so it’s not a ton of film study to get caught up on these guys.

Did you watch last night’s game live?

Yeah, I did. I saw parts of it. I don’t watch it as much as I used to because I just get too anxious. I’m checking the score every five minutes, but I’m not really going play by play. At the end of the game, I heard my friend screaming in the other room.

What do you make of the Tebow phenomenon?

He’s a good player, and I think it’s a lot for the defense to prepare for. I know in our preparations for him this last time, it’s a challenge. It’s a very different style. But they’re very effective. They have a very good team. It’s certainly not about one player on this team. I know a lot of people make it out to be one player on a lot of teams, but the reason why the Denver Broncos are in this position is because of their team as a whole. Certainly, the way that Tim played yesterday, it was just a great win all around by them.

We’ve got a big challenge. We realized going into Denver how challenging a game that would be. We were the beneficiaries of some turnovers. We’re going to hopefully get some turnovers this weekend.
Is it simply the read option, which seems like a real simple thing, that provides the problems for a defense getting ready for Denver?

I’m not sure. I’ve never faced a read option in my life. I’ve never played a snap of defense.

Yes, you did. You were a linebacker as a freshman [in high school]. You told us that.

Yeah, but I didn’t play much. I probably played five snaps all year. I’ve never really had to prepare for that. Look, I’m thinking about Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil and Brian Dawkins and Champ Bailey. They’ve got plenty of good players on defense for me to worry about. Just like last time, coach talks about doing your job. And there’s no better coaching point this week than for everyone to do their job, not only on the field but off the field, taking care of what you need to take care of so we can be at our best for the most important game of our season.

Do you have a feeling what it’s going to be like to work with Josh McDaniels again? Is it going to be weird?

I don’t know. We’ll see how it plays out. Josh is a great friend of mine. And obviously, the familiarity we have with Josh is something that’s great. We’ll see how it works this year, and going forward. It’s always great to have another great coach on our staff. He’s certainly a great coach and has been. I’ve always enjoyed my time with him, as our quarterback coach in ’04 all the way to when he left to be the head coach of the Broncos.

Do offensive coordinators have different styles and different approaches? And how would Josh and Billy [O'Brien] be similar or different from one another?

I think they both have a great understanding of our offense and what we’re trying to do. And Billy worked with Josh. They’re great friends. How their styles differ; it’s the same offense. What we’ve done since Charlie [Weis] was here is pretty much the same offense. And I’ve been lucky to be in the same system for 12 years. There’s different wrinkles that different coaches have. But Josh and Billy always worked really close together.

Are you surprised that Billy took the Penn State job, because that is a big mountain to climb on so many levels there?

Am I surprised?

Yes.

I think it’s a great opportunity for a very deserving coach. He’s worked his tail off for a long time to get an opportunity. We’re all competitive. If you’re a backup quarterback, you want to be a starting quarterback some day. And I think that probably goes the same for a lot of coaches. You want to get your opportunity to be a [head] coach.

Everybody’s very happy for Billy and his family. It’s a great tradition they have, a great school. Obviously, hopefully he doesn’t start work full-time there for another month or so. But we’ve got to go out there and play our best football this time of year. And I know Billy’s committed to that. I know the players are committed to that. This is why we work so hard, for opportunities like this.

If not for screaming at you, Penn State wouldn’t have known who he was.

[Laughing] That’s a regular occurrence if you watch the two of us. We’re always going back and forth. They got a great coach. When Charlie left, they got a great coach. When Josh left, they got a great coach. And now Billy’s leaving, and Penn State’s getting a great coach. That speaks to those guys, their work ethic and the position they put themselves into. And also coaching for a great organization, like a lot of players have gotten a lot of opportunities coming out of here.

Are you bred to hate Penn State the way you hate Ohio State?

No, it’s different. Penn State joined the Big Ten probably, what, in the ’90s, the mid-’90s, or early ’90s? It’s not quite the same rivalry. There’s only one Ohio State. Everyone from the state of Michigan hates Ohio guys, and vice versa. But Penn State, they’ve had such a good school and a good team over the years that it becomes a rivalry. I had some great games against them. And they had some great players — Courtney Brown and LaVar Arrington were their two defensive first-round picks my year. Brandon Short was a great linebacker. They’ve had a great tradition. Hopefully, Michigan can take care of them. I don’t know who I’ll be rooting for. It will be a tough year next year rooting for Billy, rooting for the Wolverines.

Maybe you read the story [on Brady] in Sports Illustrated. When you read this, you get the sense that that guy we see every week under center was born under fire at Michigan. You’ve never had anything handed to you. Do you agree what you’ve become here was because of what you went though at Michigan?

I grew up a lot there. It was a very challenging experience. I was a young man. You’re not 25, 26. I was an 18-year-old kid who was a long way from home, and really battling through some challenging situations just in terms of the competition on a daily basis and what was expected of me. And I had to grow up.

You can’t sit there and pout. I try to look at everything as a positive. Even when the coach would say, “OK, you’re going to play this first quarter and Drew [Henson] is going to play the second quarter.” Or the competition with Brian Griese. I just felt like, “Man, I’m getting reps.” Like, that’s the best thing in the world. At least they’re giving me an opportunity to show what I can do, rather than bitch about how many chances I got, or, “Man, I only got a few reps in. This guy got nine reps. So, that must mean that they like him more.” No, I mean, if I was getting one rep, I was going to try to do the best I could do with that one rep. If I did well there, it would lead to another rep.

And I think that really helped my competitive spirit in practice. I treat practice very seriously. If you can’t perform in practice — I don’t buy into the player [who says], “Oh, I just flip a switch this weekend and I’ll be ready to play on game day.” No, that’s not the way it works. You’ve got to prove it day in and day out, [with] your level of consistency in practice. As a professional and studying and all that discipline that it takes to be a professional, I was really fortunate to be able to learn at a younger age. I was under scholarship, so they couldn’t really cut me. But in the pros, when guys learn that lesson when they’re 22 or 23, they’re on the street and they don’t have a job.

All those opportunities that different guys get at different times, whether you’re a first-round pick and you finally get your chance to play, or you’re a late-round pick like Wes Welker who gets his opportunity and takes advantage, everyone has a different story to tell. I’m really fortunate to do something I love to do in a place that I love to do it for an owner that I love to do it for, and a coach as well. It’s been a great situation.

Looking back at the last Denver game, do you know why and how they were able to limit [Rob Gronkowski] to four catches, Welker to four, freeing up [Aaron Hernandez] to catch nine balls for 129 yards. What do you recall about that game, what they did defensively?

Aaron had a great game. I think the thing about our offense is I’m going to just try to find the open guy. Wes, he had four catches; this week he may have 15. And Gronk may have 15. You just never know. We’re going to try to spread it around to different guys and make them cover the whole field, make them cover everybody. Chad [Ochocinco] caught a touchdown pass, his first touchdown pass, the last game. He had some other opportunities in the game to catch passes. Deion [Branch] didn’t play last game.

It’s just a matter of who they’re trying cover and what they’re trying to defend, where the coverage is packed. Sometimes it’s packed on the inside, you’ve got to throw outside. When it’s packed on the outside, you’ve got to throw inside. When they’re covering short, you’ve got to throw it deep. All of that goes into everybody being disciplined, being in the spot that they need to be in and trying to take advantage of what we see out there. There’s no real magic formula to going out there and scoring points. It’s got to be execution and discipline and anticipation and everybody doing their job and being on the same page.

Last year you were in the same situation — you were at home, you were favored, and you fell to the Jets. I’m thinking it feels a little different this year. Do you get the sense that this team is doing the things that Belichick and you need it to do?

We’ve done it more on a consistent basis. We definitely have put ourselves in a position — I mean, 13-3 is a very respectable record. Last year we were 14-2. It was a very different team last year. The strengths of this team are different than they were last year. How it all plays out? It depends on how we play. There’s nothing that happened last week or last year or five years ago or 10 years ago that can play into this game. If we bring a good attitude, if we’re committed this week — which I know we will be — then we’re going to go out there and be ready to play our best game. Does it mean you win 50-0 because that’s what you want or that’s what you hope? No. You’ve got to go out there and you’ve got to do it on the field. That’s where all of our energy is focused, on what we need to do this week so we can put ourselves in the best position to play our best this weekend.

I’m not going back and looking at a game five years ago to say, “Wow, this happened five years ago, so ‘€¦” I think that’s the approach that we’ve taken, is to focus on very short-term goals, very short-term-focused team. I think that’s the thing coach Belichick talks about, and that really we have bought into, is that the game that we played in Denver four weeks ago will mean nothing — I mean, nothing. The determining factor in this game will be our level of execution. That’s why we need it to be at our best.

Before you take the field, do you ever have a question mark about something you would like to know about the opposition?

Sure, yeah. I mean, that’s every game. You talk about all the scenarios that can play out. Is this going to be a blitz game for them? Who are they going to double? How’s their pass rush? Are we going to be able to hold up on their pass rush. Are they going to match this corner on this guy? It starts in pregame warmups. You see who’s out there. You start getting a feel for their matchups and how they want their personnel to play. Then you get out there early in the game, and how the game usually plays out in the first quarter is how it’s going to go. You try to get to your best stuff early. I think that’s why it’s important for us to start fast this week, something that we talked about last week, that we can do a better job of. When you see how the game’s going to play out, you’ve got to be able to make adjustments. And we’ve done a good job of that this year.

I’m excited. And I’m sure there’s not a lot of guys on our team that slept great last night. We’re excited to have this opportunity and to go out there and represent our team and this region and go out there and try to play our best football.

If Josh McDaniels could provide you one piece of intel on the Broncos, what would you like that to be?

That’s a great question. He obviously has some inside information on that team and those players, as he coached them. I haven’t seen Josh yet, so I really don’t know. I think coach Belichick has a pretty good idea of what he’s going to want Josh to do. I talked to Josh briefly but I really haven’t had a chance to sit down with him. He’s a great coach and we’re lucky to have him. I’m excited to get back to work with him. How that plays into this week, we’ll see. We’ll try to figure that out here in the next five or six days.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels, Tim Tebow
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