Tom Brady: Only numbers that truly matter are wins, losses
|06.09.14 at 4:03 pm ET|
As far as Tom Brady is concerned, there’s only one stat that matters: wins.
In the wake of a recent column from last week that suggested Brady was not the quarterback he once was because of some statistical slippage, the quarterback said Monday that when you get right down to the heart of the matter, victories are what matter most.
“I think that people pay to watch the games on TV because there’s a scoreboard,” he said. “I mean, I think that’s what it’s all about. If there were no scoreboard, then people wouldn’t tune in and watch. I think that’s what it’s all about.
“There’s only one stat that matters, and that’s because the competition in the NFL is very high, extremely high on a daily basis,” he added. “Some individuals compete against other guys and some compete against themselves, so even if you don’t have someone you’re competing against, if you’re competing against yourself, you’re always going to get better because there’s always competition. And the guys that I’ve been around that find ways to motivate themselves, those are the best players. They don’t have to wait for some Sunday in September to find out if they’re competitive. You figure that out in March. You figure that out in February, at the end of February when no one else really is working. The competition of what’s inside of you and how that’s going to really help your team and build your team to be more competitive. That’s all infectious.
“But you can’t sit here and compare one year to another year or this player to that player. I think winning games is the most important thing, certainly for this organization. When you come here, you learn that pretty quickly — whatever matters to you as an individual, it’s far distant from what the team goals are, and the team goals are one thing: to score more points than the other team.”
Brady said that philosophy hasn’t changed since he first showed up as a rookie in the spring of 2000, and he hopes to be able to carry it forward for as long as possible.
“I think for me, I’ve become more clearly focused for what I need to do to help us. Hopefully, I’m answering those questions a long time from now, too. You guys can just reprint the stories you’re running right now,” he said. “I want to do this for this team for as long as I possibly can. I love playing football for this team and this organization. My goal is to continue to play at a high level, and there’s nothing that really gets in the way of that.
“I’ve tried to be pretty consistent for a long period of time. That’s really a great motivation for me — to be the same caliber player that I’ve always been for this team, and for the team to really be able to depend on me.”
Here are some other highlights from Brady’s Monday Q&A at Gillette Stadium.
Where are you guys at this point in the offseason?
“Everybody is just trying to get on the same page. There are quite a few additions, and you really tray and look back on what you need to do better than what we did last seasons. All the aspects of your game that can really improve. Ultimately, our performance in critical moments. I would say we’re far from midseason form. We just got started, and we’re going to have a lot of work here. We have two, good, solid weeks left, and we have quite a bit of training camp. We have a long way to go — a lot of practices. And the guys are working hard. There’s a lot of great effort.”
What changes as far as what you have to do?
“What I’ve learned over the years is that you have to pay the price in advance. You just can’t expect things to get any better without putting the time in — extra effort. I try and be really consistent and dependable for our guys. I think that’s what the quarterback position needs to be. You can’t go out there and screw up a bunch of plays and make a bunch of wrong calls — before you even get to the line of scrimmage, the play wouldn’t work, so. I think I try and keep everything coordinated and get the guys to understand what I’m looking for out of them so we can all anticipate what we’re trying to do. Football is a very anticipatory sport — the more reactive you are, the harder it’s going to be for you. So we’re going to try and dictate the things we want to do on offense — whether that’s plays or tempo or routes or route combinations, and it’s all of us being on the same page in order to efficiently and effectively do that on a consistent basis.”
On what stability means — especially working with the same coach for such a long time?
“I’ve been lucky enough to have been in the same offensive system my whole career and coached by the same coach. There’s nobody that I’d rather play for in Mr. [Robert] Kraft and there’s nobody I’d rather play for than coach [Bill] Belichick, because I think we have the greatest chance to win every year. That’s a really important part of playing the game — that’s why we’re out here working hard. That’s why we pay the price — to go out here and win games. It’s not really for individual recognition. It’s for team success. I think when you are part of this program, whatever individual achievements or goals you may have for yourself, those always come in second to what the team is doing. Because there are two things that matter: wins and losses. And we have to get back to winning, like we’re capable, and we feel like putting in a good offseason gets us off to a great start. By no means is there anything guaranteed, but we do know that if you work hard and put yourself in a good position through this part of the year, you’ll be ready to start training camp. That’s really what’s on the horizon for us.”
Do you feel like you have to re-establish a winning culture here because there are so many new guys?
“I think it starts with Mr. Kraft and coach Belichick. What they demand from us and the expectations they have for us are pretty high. I don’t think there’s any time we come out of a meeting and think ‘We’re great. We have everything figured out.’ It is really the time of year when you’re going to make a lot of mistakes and you’re going to give great effort and you’re going to fail. But you have to gain trust in each other and become more consistent and dependable, so that when you’re out there on the field, you can trust the guys that you’re playing with. It’s a team sport. I think that’s the ultimate. When you play this for a while, you reflect on all the great teams you had it comes down to a lot of guys who are willing to pay the price for each other. I think really that’s what you’re trying to establish at this time of the year — what kind of team are you willing to be. Who’s willing to put it all on the line when there’s no glory in it. There’s no glory in an OTA practice. There’s no glory in the weight room or on the conditioning field. But it will show up at some point. It’s a long season, and at some point, the mental toughness and the discipline of the team always shows up. Those are the types of things that we’re trying to work on.”