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Tom Brady on being compared with all-time great quarterbacks: ‘I don’t ever see myself on that level’ 01.27.15 at 6:00 am ET
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Tom Brady said Monday night he doesn't consider himself with some of the all-time great quarterbacks. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Tom Brady said Monday night he doesn’t consider himself with some of the all-time great quarterbacks. (Elsa/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The comparison has been made — Joe Montana and Tom Brady.

Brady will be playing in his sixth Super Bowl on Sunday, which is two more than Montana, Terry Bradshaw, Jim Kelly and Roger Staubach, and one more than John Elway. Brady’s 127 completions for 1,277 yards are both Super Bowl all-time highs, and his 20 postseason wins are also the most all-time, four ahead of Montana.

Even with those records, Brady doesn’t consider himself in that class of all-time great quarterbacks.

“€œIt’€™s very flattering any time you’€™re mentioned with great players and guys that I idolized growing up,”€ Brady said Monday night. “I don’€™t ever see myself on that level. I can be a pretty tough critic on myself.”

“I respect all the guys that have played this game before. I understand how challenging it is to play the position,” he added. “There’€™s a lot of guys that do it at a high level currently. There’€™s a lot of guys who have played it at a really high level in the past. I have a lot of respect for those guys and what they’€™ve been able to accomplish.

“Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana won four. A couple guys have won three, Troy Aikman’€™s won three, so it’€™s tough to do it every year. Everyone starts at the bottom and everyone’€™s trying to claw their way to the top, and there’€™s a lot of attrition that sets in. It’€™s a tough challenge, it’€™s a tough journey and to be one of the last two teams is a great accomplishment. Only one of the two teams is going to feel good this time next week, so I hope we’€™re that team.”

Even with playing in as many Super Bowl games as he has, Brady is talking like it is his first — very humble and very excited. The Patriots quarterback needs two touchdown passes to tie Montana for most in Super Bowl history.

“To have an opportunity to play in this game is really unbelievable,’€ Brady said. “€œI never thought I’€™d have the experience to play in one of these. To think that it’€™s my sixth time, is, I can’€™t imagine that that was ever –€” I didn’€™t think I’€™d ever play anything professionally. Certainly to make it to the Super Bowl is a pretty amazing experience to do once, and six times, it’€™s very, very special.”

Read More: 2015 NFL playoffs, Joe Montana, Super Bowl XLIX, Tom Brady
Mike Petraglia, Chris Price examine why Robert Kraft came out swinging Monday in defense of his team at 3:55 am ET
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PHOENIX — After landing in Phoenix Monday afternoon, Patriots owner Robert Kraft took to the podium to make a passionate defense of Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the organization over the charges of cheating in Deflategate. WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down why Kraft made the statement and the reaction of Belichick and Brady, who followed Kraft to the podium.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Chris Price, Mike Petraglia, New England Patriots
Tom Brady: A win in Super Bowl XLIX ‘would be the most satisfying thing at the end of the week’ 01.26.15 at 9:18 pm ET
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Tom Brady said a win this Sunday would be very satisfying. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Tom Brady said a win this Sunday would be very satisfying. (Elsa/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Although much of Tom Brady‘s 17-minute press conference with the media Monday night at the team’s hotel centered around the actual football, there were some left over questions from the events of last week.

Brady, like Bill Belichick, is moving on.

“I have moved forward and past those initial feelings,” said Brady. “It’s all part of the process, so I have let those things behind and I want to move forward because that is what the team expects of me. I think we’ve dealt with a lot of adversity this season and we have to deal with some more. We just have to keep fighting and hopefully we can go out and get a win. That would be the most satisfying thing at the end of the week.”

Earlier in the day on Dennis & Callahan, Brady said his “feelings were hurt,” but now he’s moving on and his attention as all towards the Seahawks and Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Before traveling to Arizona the Patriots had a sendoff at City Hall Plaza. Brady said seeing the support of the fans was great, and he’s happy to be out in Arizona now to prepare for the game.

“It was fun today leaving Boston to see the support we got there — I think all the guys were pretty fired up,” said Brady. “I said earlier I thought we had a couple of great days of preparation in Foxboro and just to get here to the site is great. Obviously the turnout here is great. There is nothing like it. It will be a fun week. I am excited for the challenge. It is a big challenge for us. Hopefully we can focus on all the important things, eliminate as many distractions as possible and go out there and play a great game.”

Before Belichick and Brady took to the podium, owner Robert Kraft had some pretty strong remarks towards the NFL. Although Brady didn’t here the comments, he is grateful to play for Kraft and considers him family.

“We have a very special relationship,” Brady said. “I have been fortunate to play for 15 years. It’s a privilege to play for this team. Mr. Kraft, Jonathan, they are family to me and I would love to go out and play my tail off and play the best I can to try and win a Super Bowl for them.”

Read More: 2015 NFL playoffs, Super Bowl XLIX, Tom Brady,
Appearing on Dale & Holley, Tedy Bruschi fires back at critics of Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, Patriots at 4:20 pm ET
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Speaking on his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley Show, Tedy Bruschi offered an impassioned take on both nationwide analysis of Deflategate, and critics of Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the Patriots.

When asked if Bruschi has ever known Belichick or Brady to be cheaters, responded succinctly, saying, “I’€™ll answer that question. No I don’€™t. I know I have not. I won’€™t expound on it but just give you the word ‘€˜no.’€™”

Here are Bruchi’s other comments:

Regarding some of the criticism coming from his fellow ESPN analysts

“I think it’€™s a very difficult position for me to be on set with certain people that said certain things that of course I was listening to and I heard. Every man is entitled to their opinion. I disagree with them as strongly as I possibly can because I’€™ve been in this organization for 13 years. Tom Brady, I know. Bill Belichick, I know. If vouch is the word, vouch is the word I’€™ll use. I vouch for these guys. I know their character. There isn’€™t anything more that they can do or they can say in terms of what they know what happened.”

On how Brady, Belichick and the Patriots have been viewed through recent controversy

“What is this year all been about? It’€™s been about that word transparency. NFL transparency. Ray Rice. Adrian Peterson. Everything. We want to know. We want to know what happened. We want to know the investigation, everything. After this happened there wasn’€™t one line from Bill or Tom that said, ‘€˜There’€™s an NFL investigation going on and we have to wait and out of the respect for the investigation we can’€™t comment.’€™ That’€™s an easy out. That’€™s an easy out they could have used. But they want to be as transparent as they possibly could to say, ‘€˜This is what we know. This is what we’€™ve done. I’€™m telling you this did not happen.’€™ And Bill is out there conducting his own investigation. Lord knows what he did to those balls, rubbing them, having the quarterback do whatever they did to them. They were as transparent as they possibly could be. What more do you want from them?

“There are just certain opinions about the New England Patriots out there because somebody’€™s team got beat. Marty Hurney, your team got beat. That’€™s all it us. Move on. But you want to talk about and you want to bring it up because you need some reason why as to why you were beat. But this is the reason why: you were outcoached and you were outplayed.

“I can’€™t change the way that they think or the way that they feel. SpyGate is over and done with. Bill even addressed it in his press conference on Saturday. I had to do a lot of things individually to protect our signals because I was the signal-caller. We take the bullet for that, so be it. We move on, we paid the price and continue to win games. We thought we put it all to bed by almost going 19-0 but we didn’€™t do it. So people want answers. That’€™s just the way it is. I try and stay as level-headed as I possibly can about it. It’€™s impossible to not get emotional at times. ‘€¦ When it comes down to it I just have to be as level-headed as I possibly can about it and feel very confident.

“We won, that’€™s the bottom line. And that team is still continuing to win and people want their own justification as to why. Why? You were outcoached, you were outplayed. End of story.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Patriots, Tedy Bruschi, Tom Brady
Robert Kraft at Patriots sendoff rally: Bill Belichick is the best coach in the NFL at 2:37 pm ET
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Robert Kraft said Bill Belichick is the best coach in the NFL at Monday's sendoff. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Robert Kraft said Bill Belichick is the best coach in the NFL at Monday’s sendoff. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Prior to the Patriots departing for Arizona on Monday, the team held a rally in City Hall Plaza in front of hundreds of fans.

Owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and several players addressed the crowd starting with Kraft.

“It’s now my pleasure to introduce the coach, who does his job better than anyone, the best coach in the NFL, Bill Belichick,” Kraft said before Belichick took the microphone.

The players who took the microphone offered words of encouragement for the fans, who have supported the team all year long.

“We have the greatest fans of all of football,” said Vince Wilfork. “That is one of the reasons why we play for our city and our organization. We love every bit of it, hopefully we have one more in the tank to finish it off the right way.”

Tom Brady will be playing in his sixth Super Bowl this week and told the fans they will need their support back home.

“I couldn’t be more excited,” Brady said. “It’s an unbelievable accomplishment for our team. It’s been a long ride. It started about nine months ago down in Foxboro and the win last weekend was awfully sweet. To do it in front of our crowd and the best fans in America, we’re going to represent you guys in Arizona as best we possibly can all season. Thank you guys for all your support. We’ll be needing you next Sunday night.”

Read More: 2015 NFL playoffs, Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft, Super Bowl XLIX
Tom Brady on D&C regarding Deflategate: ‘My feelings got hurt. Then I moved past it, because it’s not serving me’ at 8:00 am ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, making his weekly appearance on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show, acknowledged that his “feelings got hurt” during last week’s attacks on his integrity and again issued a staunch denial of any role in Deflategate. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Brady insisted he has never told an equipment manager or ball boy to deflate a football after it was inspected by a game official, and that includes last Sunday’s AFC championship game against the Colts, when the Patriots’ offensive footballs were found to have been deflated more than the league rules allow.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “Look, I don’t want to keep getting into this. No, I didn’t and I haven’t and I never will. That’s obviously how I feel and the kind of person that I am.

“No one knows the facts. I picked 24 balls, that’s what I picked. Whatever happened after I did it and whatever the situation was where they measured them, I have no idea [about] any of those facts. I try to stay really humble and deal with the facts that I know. When you don’t know something, all I can say is I don’t know. I know that’s not always the answer that people want to hear, but that’s the reality.”

Asked if he had any idea why the balls were at the improper PSI, Brady offered no explanation.

“It’s all speculation,” Brady said. “I’ve tried to wrap my head around it, too. I’ve done that and I’m trying to move past that, because I continue to try to rehash things. I personalized a lot of things and thought this was all about me, and my feelings got hurt. Then I moved past it, because it’s not serving me. What’s serving me is try to prepare for the game ahead. I’ll deal with whatever happens later. I’ll have my opportunity to try to figure out what happened and figure out a theory like everyone else is trying to do. But this isn’t the time for that. Honestly, I’m not interested in trying to find out right now, because we have the biggest game of our season ahead.”

Brady said he’s turned a negative situation into a positive one by ignoring the critics and focusing on those who support him.

“Everybody’s entitled to their opinion,” he said. “Everyone will say, ‘God, it’s been a tough week for you.’ It’s been a great week for me. It’s been a great week for me to really be able to recalibrate the things that are important in my life and understand the people that support me and love me and care about me. That’s been the best thing to come out about this week.

“Like I said, it’s all part of the business. You deal with ups and downs, the good and the bad. I’m excited to play in the Super Bowl for the sixth time. It’s a pretty amazing accomplishment for our team based on where we started. That’s where I’m at. I’m at a great place. We’ve had a great week of practice. We’re going to go down and try to finish strong.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Deflategate, Tom Brady,
Tom Brady: NFL will likely touch base after season on Deflategate at 1:16 am ET
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Tom Brady answered questions for over 30 minutes on Thursday. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Tom Brady answered questions for over 30 minutes on Thursday. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — It wouldn’t be an interview with Tom Brady the week after the AFC championship game without a few Deflategate questions.

Appearing on ESPN during halftime of the Pro Bowl, Brady confirmed again the NFL hasn’t reached out to him, and he believes they will following the Super Bowl.

“No, no. I believe they’re going to do after the season, so we’ll deal with it after this game,” Brady said.

The quarterback doesn’t believe this has distracted the team in any way, as even with all the attention on the team last week, the team remained focused on the task at hand, which is the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.

“I certainly hope not,” said Brady. “I think we’re a pretty mentally tough team, and I think we’ve dealt with other things in the past,” Brady said. “I think coach [Bill Belichick] has always said ‘ignore the noise’ and we have to focus on the task at hand, which is a great Seahawks team. I’m excited to play in another Super Bowl. You don’t get many of these opportunities in your life. … We finished our last practice [Sunday] here in Foxboro and we head out [Monday] to Phoenix, so it will be good to get there and get into the week. I think we feel good about where we’re at.”

The Patriots will hold a Super Bowl send-off Monday afternoon at City Hall Plaza, before departing for Arizona. The team will have their first availability in Arizona late Monday night.

“I think everybody’s locked in, ready to go for this Super Bowl,” said Brady. “It’s a great opportunity for us, you know, and our guys have worked really hard so, hopefully we can go out there and play our best on Sunday.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: 2015 NFL playoffs, Super Bowl XLIX, Tom Brady,
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