By: Ian Logue
When you’ve been on the NFL’s biggest stage four times, obviously you have enough perspective where your opinion should mean something.
Quarterback Tom Brady spoke to WEEI in his weekly radio appearance on Monday and pointed out that the younger guys need to understand that Sunday’s Super Bowl showdown against the New York Giants is just another ‘big game’. He pointed out that they’ve already played in several ‘huge’ match-ups this season, referring to a prime time match-up down in New York against the Jets, along with their recent AFC Championship game against the Ravens. So far they’ve played well enough to win, and each week they’ve risen to the occasion.
Brady admits that the more prepared he feels, the less nervous he is before a game. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
He also doesn’t believe they should be intimidated by what should be a big crowd this weekend. Considering the fact that most of the guys on the roster played in big college programs, most of them should be used to it anyway.
“There’s pressure. There’s anxiety. There’s nerves,” said Brady on Monday. “But part of being in this position, a lot of guys have played big-time college football. Aside from the rookies from the small schools, this is a big game, but we’ve been in a lot of huge games.
“I’d say playing Sunday Night Football at the Jets in the Meadowlands, that’s a pretty big game. Playing the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC championship, that’s a pretty big game. So, it’s not going to be a whole lot different than that, other than the opponent that we’re playing, in terms of our nerves. I think guys are going to settle into the game. It’s going to be a football game.
Playing in a Super Bowl is something Brady’s obviously already experienced. He’s been there, and he knows how important it is to play well. As for any potential butterflies, he admitted that those don’t usually hit him until right before they take the field. However, he admits that as long as he feels prepared, that confidence helps erase any pregame jitters he may have had.
“For me, it’s never the night before the game,” said Brady when asked if he hates the nervousness that comes along before a big game. “It’s probably right before we run out. The more prepared I am, the less I feel. I’ll certainly be very prepared this week. I feel like the Super Bowl has been, I’ve played in four of them, and I’ve felt pretty good at the start of them.”
According to Brady any pressure he and his team may feel this week shouldn’t exactly be a new experience. He says that the pressure is already on them each day in practice throughout the season, so it shouldn’t be any different than what they’ve already dealt with all year.
“I think the pressure is on us every day in practice, in the meetings, in the walkthroughs,” said Brady. “It’s a highly pressurized situation that we’re in so that when we get to those game situations, we feel like we’re kind of used to it. When coach Belichick comes out to practice, everyone kind of sharpens up, “Oh, coach is watching.” He jokes at the beginning of the year. He’ll say, “Listen guys, I’m going to be at every game. The idea of being nervous when I’m out there — I’m going to be showing up.”
They’ll all be faced with a media circus on Tuesday, and after that it will be all about bringing it all together over the rest of the week for one final time as they get set to try and bring home their fourth Lombardi trophy. Every player knows what’s at stake, and Brady wants to make sure that each player focuses on all the little things that are important heading into Sunday’s game.
“Everyone knows there’s a reason why we’re here,” said Brady. “Let’s try to understand those things. Ultimately, it’s about playing your best game. That’s about preparation, that’s about being confident in what you’re doing. Those things are important.”