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Tom Brady on D&C: ‘It’s just a bad night to have a bad night’

Tom Brady [1] joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning, following Sunday’s 28-13 loss to the Ravens that ended the Patriots’ season one game short of the Super Bowl [2].

“We just didn’t make many critical plays, the ones that really could have gotten us over the hump. It was just poor execution on our part. It was just a rough night,” Brady said. “There’s other games where we haven’t executed as well, but your margin of error is different when you’re playing the best teams. Baltimore’s always a tough game for us. Even when we play our best, it’s a tough game. They play very well. We just couldn’t get enough going and string together enough good plays to score touchdowns when we needed to.”

Added Brady: “We’re capable of playing so well, but we just weren’t able to do it yesterday. It’s just a bad night to have a bad night.”

One of the key moments in the game came when the Patriots let precious seconds tick off the clock at the end of the first half, eventually calling a timeout with four seconds left before kicking a field goal. Brady acknowledged that he wished he would have called a timeout earlier, after the previous play ended with him sliding down after a short gain.

“We talk about sometimes saving the last timeout for the field goal. With one timeout left, I think that was the thought,” he said. “It’s just, sometimes when you’re in the heat of the moment you don’t realize how much clock has ticked off as you run that previous play. By the time I looked up, there were not as many seconds left as you thought, because my mind’s focused on the play. Of course, looking back on it, I wish as soon as I slid I’d have called a timeout. Then maybe we have another opportunity to get the ball in the end zone.”

On another key play late in the game, the Patriots turned over the ball on downs in the fourth quarter deep in Baltimore territory. On fourth down, Brady scrambled and appeared to have an opportunity to run for the first down, but he instead threw a pass to the end zone that fell incomplete.

“I would have done anything other than what I did, if that would have helped us get the first down,” he said. “I looked to Aaron [Hernandez] and they did a pretty good job, defended that. I kind of got flushed to the left and was looking for Wes [Welker], and he was tangled up with the guy. I wish I would have tried to run for it, maybe got it that way.”

Another key play was a dropped pass by Welker on third down in the third quarter that would have given the Pats [3] a first down deep in Baltimore territory. The play came shortly after Welker was hit hard after making a catch but stayed in the game, and Brady said he didn’t think about any lingering effects.

“It happens a lot. Big hits are a part of the game,” Brady said. “They’re a very physical team. They put a few big hits on us last night. Wes is the toughest player I’ve ever played with and been around. It’s just, you don’t think about those things sometimes. You’re reading the defense or making protection calls, then you see a guy that’s open and you try to throw it to him.”

Brady said it’s not in Welker’s mindset to ask out of the game after taking a hard hit.

“That’s the way he’s always been,” Brady said. “Wes knows only one way to play the game, and it’s with everything he’s got. There’s more toughness in that 185 pounds than in most teams in the NFL. He made a great play and a great catch. He’s a very good player.”

Just like last offseason, the Patriots face a decision about Welker and how much they can afford to offer him to keep him in New England.

“I think those business parts of the game, those usually take care of themselves. Certainly I’m not involved in any of those,” Brady said. “Everyone knows how I feel about Wes; our whole team feels that way about Wes. He’s one of the best players I’ve played with and played against. He’s just a phenomenal player. He’s been the heart and soul of what our team’s all about. He’s been so selfless. The way that he carries himself and commits himself to help our team win, it’s second to none. But like I said, those aren’t my decisions.”

Added Brady: “To me, it’s still too early to think about the offseason. This is going to be tough to get over for quite a while.”

Brady was voted to the Pro Bowl [4], but he said he isn’t sure if he’ll head to Hawaii for Sunday’s game.

“We have an actual physical today, so we’re going to see how I really feel,” he said, adding: “I would love to play, but I’m not sure with a few of the things that have kind of come up if I’ll be capable. But I’ll check with the doctor and see what he thinks.”

To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page [5]. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots [6].