Tom Brady on D&C: ‘It’s the whole team that’s clutch’
|10.14.13 at 9:52 am ET|
Tom Brady made his weekly appearance with Dennis & Callahan on Monday, following Sunday’s dramatic 30-27 victory over the Saints.
The Patriots squandered two late opportunities but were given a final chance with 1:13 remaining following two stops by the New England defense.
“If the defense made the stop — which was pretty remarkable that they did, on two different occasions — I knew we were going to have some time,” Brady said. “I said after the game, our margin of error was going to be a lot more slim, and we were going to need a touchdown and not a field goal. But that’s what it took. We kind of sputtered there on our own 20, and then threw the pick on the next series, and then really had no margin of error. And we played our best football at the end.
“That’s what it takes. You go into these games and you never know how it’s going to play out. You go with your game plan and you have an idea, these are the matchups. Then you get in the game and you do what you’ve got to do to try to win. Our guys really fought through it yesterday, offensively and defensively. It was a great win. It was awesome.”
Kenbrell Thompkins caught the game-winning 17-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone with five seconds remaining.
“We called a play and we had all four guys going to the end zone,” Brady recalled. “I kind of looked right and then looked left and saw him just kind of sneaking back there. And I just tried to put it up there where KT could have a chance, and he caught it right in the back corner. That was pretty cool.
“You talk about those things all the time, and situational football and last plays of the game. A lot of times we practice those plays, the last play of the game from the 17-yard line. I’d say that was probably the first one we completed that I can remember, including practice. It happened at the right time.”
Most of the credit for Sunday’s comeback has been going to Brady, but he’s quick to share the credit.
“Obviously the situations that not just me but all of our guys face, it’s not certainly one player on the team in football that can hit the home run that can win the game, you know what I mean? That’s not how football is played,” Brady said, “On that last drive I threw to a lot of different guys who made a lot of key catches. I would say that catch to Julian [Edelman] on the first play of that series was as big a play as we’ve had all season. Because without that play, you’re really in the hole.
“That’s a really clutch play by Julian to make that. That’s a really clutch play by Austin [Collie] to make that fourth-down play. And a clutch play by KT to make that catch. It’s the whole team that’s clutch. It’s not one player. Our defense stopping them situationally twice, with one first down basically ends the game, and our defense limits them to, I don’t know, three or four yards on one possession, and then three or four yards on the other possession. It’s always about our team and what our team’s capable of doing.
“I was happy to see — the best part for me was just looking in that huddle and realizing that every guy was ready to do what it took to win. That’s pretty clutch to me. We’ll use that going forward, and that’s going to give us some really good motivation over the course of the year that no matter what the situation is, we’re going to be able to try to figure a way out.”
Added Brady: “No one gave up yesterday at any point. What the receivers have done, really making it a receiver-oriented offense without [Rob] Gronkowski, it’s all fallen on their shoulders. If they make the plays, we win. If they don’t, then we lost like we did last week. But we’re going to keep feeding those guys, see if they can come up with the plays. They give me no reason not to believe in them.”
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 Gronkowski’s delayed return to action: “Just watching him in practice, yeah, he’s doing great, and he’s rehab’s coming along well. Whenever he’s ready, he’s ready. I don’t make those decisions. Of course, every player wants guys to play. But if someone says he can’t play, then he can’t play. That’s what I said earlier last week — if he’s out there, he’s out there. If he’s not, we’ve still got to find a way to win.
“I love Gronk, and I love what he brings to our team. And I know how badly he wants to be out there on the field. He’s a tough guy. If there’s one thing you know about Rob Gronkowski, it’s how tough he is, and how mentally tough he is. Whenever he’s ready, if that’s next week or five weeks from now or whenever that may be, that’s certainly going to help our team. But all those other medical decisions are left to other people.”
More on Gronkowski: “He’s not being cleared to play. I don’t know what you can do. He wants to be cleared to play. Believe me, he wants to go out there and be able play football. Games like that yesterday, where you see the excitement of the game and what the team’s all about, to be out there with all your friends — it’s killing him not to be out there with us. We all know that. Rob’s a great teammate. Rob’s all about the team, he always has been. He’s just got to keep rehabbing and doing what he’s asked to do. Then when he’s ready to play, he’s ready to play.”
On newly signed receiver Austin Collie, who had two receptions on the final drive: “That was pretty cool for him to be able to do, to come in and play the way he needed to play. We’re counting on him. That’s why he’s here. He’s a veteran player who’s played in a lot of big games, who’s been really productive when he played for the Colts. He’s getting his opportunity here and he’s making the most of it. He has the confidence for the coach to put him in the game at the biggest point. And he really made two huge plays.”
On if he stayed up to watch the Red Sox‘ comeback: “I missed it. I saw it this morning. I was pretty tired after the game. I woke up and I wanted to see how they did. It was pretty amazing that they came back to win that game.”