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Tom Brady on D&C: ‘You don’t have long to grieve in the NFL’

11.20.13 at 8:26 am ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday for his weekly chat, and the main topic of discussion was the controversial ending to Monday night’s game, when pass interference was called and then waived off, giving the Panthers a 24-20 victory.

“As athletes, we have the biggest influence on the game,” Brady said. “You hate for it to come down to a decision that’s out of your hands. It was really one play in the game. And we shouldn’t have really even been in that situation. The most frustrating part is just that we had plenty of opportunities to win that we didn’t take advantage of. So, you hate to come out of the game and blame something that’s out of your control, whether you agree with it or don’t agree with it.

“I’m sure everyone has their own feelings on it. My own personal feeling is yeah, there’s frustration. I was certainly frustrated at the moment it happened. But also going to the locker room and understanding that we really blew the chances that we had, that’s more the overriding factor for me.”

Brady insisted Bill Belichick did not directly tell the players to avoid discussing the controversy.

“He didn’t say anything,” Brady recalled. “He just said, ‘We played hard, hold your head high, we’ve got our whole season ahead of us, let’s not make any excuses and move on.”

The veteran quarterback acknowledged he’s never seen a short throw called an uncatchable ball as it was Monday.

“No, I haven’t. I’m sure there’s a first time for everything,” Brady said. “We get our fair share of calls, and we don’t [get others]. Referees never want to be in that position, either, where they have to make a judgment call like that. They wish it would not come down to that, either, I’m sure, because they don’t want to play that kind of role in the game. They did, that was that situation. They made a call, and then they overturned the call. I guess being in the NFL for as long as I’ve been in, you see kind of everything. It so happened, and we’re going to have to move on.

“You don’t have long to grieve in the NFL. You feel crappy for the flight home, and then you start evaluating what we need to do better. And certainly we’re on to Denver at this point.”

Next up for the Patriots is a Sunday night matchup with the 9-1 Broncos and Wes Welker, who suffered a concussion in Denver’s last game. Brady said he expects his former teammate to be ready to play.

“Yes, I do. I’ve been around him long enough to know what he’s all about,” Brady said. “He loves playing football, and there’s a chance for him to play, and especially coming back here, he’s definitely going to be out there, I’ve got no question about that. ‘€¦ It would take an awful lot for him to miss this game.”

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 the team’s improved offense and whether he feels the most comfortable with this offense this season: “We’re executing better. I would say we’re kind of doing more of the things that we’re capable of doing at this point. I always feel comfortable out there, whether our execution ends up being that way and executing at a high level against a good team. We’ve been up and down this year, we’ve been inconsistent. The thing that I look at is, everything that’s happened the past 10 weeks, none of it matters at this point. Our whole season’s ahead of us. What we do these next six weeks, that will determine what happens going forward.

“We’ve got no excuses, we’ve got nobody to blame but ourselves for our losses. We’re capable of beating everybody that we play. We just have to go out and do it. We have to go out and execute at a high level. If we do that, we’re going to be just fine. I’d rather have it be in our hands than anybody else. And it’s certainly in our hands at this point. We’ve got as big a game as we’ve played all season this weekend. We’re putting everything we can into it, and see if we can beat a good team. We’re obviously confident that we can go out and play our best game.”

On the third-and-1 incomplete pass in the fourth quarter that forced the Patriots to kick a field goal: “We had talked about that particular play. They were a pretty aggressive defense. They just didn’t end up playing aggressive at that particular point. We thought they were really going to bite up on the play-action, and we’d have either [Rob Gronkowski] or James Develin open for a walk-in touchdown. They played the situation pretty soft. Just one of those things that that was a big point in the game. They defensively made a good play. Certainly if we have to do it over again, because it didn’t work you always second-guess those ones. But I like what we were trying to do. We talked about it for two days about what we want to do in that situation. It just didn’t work out for us at that time.”

On Peyton Manning’s season: “He’s playing great. He’s got some great statistics. He obviously has great command. I’ve played against him a lot. He’s always had great statistics and wins. He’s a great player. That’s why he’s one of the best players to ever play the game. Our defense has its work cut out for us. They’ve got a lot of good players, they’re different threats. Peyton has always had a great ability to check to the right play and get his team doing the right thing. These are the games we look forward to. You play the best, you want to see where you match up. We have our chance this weekend.”

On how close he is with Manning: “He’s not certainly a close friend, not like a lot of guys I’ve been around for a lot of years together. But as a professional relationship, he’s probably one of my better friends in the NFL, because we’ve been basically in the same era. We’ve been in a lot of situations where we spend time with one another. Yeah, I do [think they'll remain friends after football]. We have a lot in common. we talk football pretty much nonstop when we’re together. He loves playing football, I love playing football, and we love talking football.”

Read More: Peyton Manning, Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady, Wes Welker
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