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Tom Brady on D&C: ‘Our offense has to at some point start pulling its weight’

10.07.13 at 9:52 am ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance with Dennis & Callahan on Monday to talk about Sunday’s 13-6 loss to the Bengals.

“It was just a day where we never really found any rhythm,” Brady said. “It seemed like every series we had a play that kind of knocked us backwards and got us off track. We just couldn’t string together enough good plays to get us in the end zone. I said after the game there’s very few games in the NFL where you can score six points and win.

“We just had one of those days where nothing really seemed to go right. We had plenty of opportunity out there. We just never took advantage of it. Pretty disappointing to lose the game. Hopefully we can learn from it and move forward this week and have our best game. That’s what I’m hoping for.”

The offense has struggled almost the entire season, but Sunday was a new low. The offense failed to do anything well.

“It was pretty poor all the way around,” Brady said. “There was not a lot of production. There was not a lot of production in the pass game, in the run game. We only had 250 yards offense, 1-of-12 on third down. If you can’t stay on the field because you’re not converting third downs, then you never really get a chance to balance the game out running the ball. We had some efficient runs, [but] because we sucked on third down we just really could never get them into a situation where they started playing defensively. They were able to really do whatever they wanted with us, and we played totally on their terms all day because of our lack of ability to convert on third down.”

The offensive line received a large share of the criticism, but Brady said the blame should be spread around.

“When you play as an offense and they’re able to dictate the tempo of the game on defense by getting off the field on third down, by really spinning their calls, mixing in their coverages, mixing in their blitzes, and we never do enough to get them out of their comfort zone, then they’re able to tee off on the quarterback,” Brady said. “I thought our offensive line hung in there. As a quarterback, as a skill group, we didn’t do enough to help the offensive line out to stop them from being able to really dictate their pass rush, dictate their blitzes whenever they wanted to. We had plenty of opportunities on third down to convert. We had some first- and second-down opportunities with a chance to gain more words than we did. Because we didn’t do that, they play their style and tempo.

“It was just an all-around poor performance by our offense. Our defense continued to bail us out and really be the strength of our team. But our offense has to at some point start pulling its weight.”

The Patriots, who have totaled just 95 points through five games, failed to score a touchdown for the first time since 2009, and Brady’s streak of 52 consecutive games with a touchdown pass came to an end.

“We’re not executing at the level we need to execute at,” Brady said. “We scored six points. We really haven’t played well, up to our capabilities all season long. At some point we’re going to have to start doing that on a more consistent basis. We’re working hard at it in practice and we’re going to try to correct it. It’s not like it gets any easier for us. We’ve played some pretty good defenses, and this week we play the Saints. They’ve got a pretty good defense, too, they’re undefeated.

“We’ve got to start making the plays that NFL players make. If we don’t, we’re going to continue to struggle and not score points and put too much pressure on our defense. We’ve got to start being able to get the ball in the end zone, take advantage of our opportunities.”

Added Brady: “The positive is we’re 4-1 after all the crap that we’ve been through this year. We’re still in a pretty good position within our division and within the conference. We have our whole season ahead of us. We need to develop some strengths that we can really build on going forward. It’s only going to get tougher from here.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

On if he thinks Rob Gronkowski will return for Sunday’s game: “I have no idea. I kind of wait and see like everyone else. It’s not my decision. The guys that I’m out there with I have plenty of confidence in. Whatever role anyone plays is really up to them and the way they feel. We haven’t had him all year, we haven’t had him all spring. So we’ve had plenty of practices without him. But our overall execution needs to be a lot better regardless of who’s out there.”

On the rainstorm that arrived late in Sunday’s game: “It’s just tough conditions. Both teams are playing in it. It’s a situation where we’re throwing the ball on every play. It was just a crappy way to end the game. There was a chance of that rain coming. I wish it didn’t come down to a drive like that. We had plenty of more opportunities before the weather really played a factor.”

On if he considered wearing a glove on his throwing hand in those conditions: “They way that rain was coming down, I don’t give a crap what you’re wearing on your hands. It wouldn’t have mattered. That was as much rain as I’ve ever had in a football game. Typically that will cater to some defensive football. We got in a situation where we had to pass, and the execution becomes a little more difficult. We didn’t do what we needed to do. We try to practice in those conditions and get good in those conditions. [On the interception in the final seconds], they were playing a pretty soft zone, and I just didn’t get the ball where I needed to get it to.”

Read More: Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady,
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