Tom Brady Q&A
Posted on August 20, 2007
Filed Under Uncategorized
Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here’s the complete Q&A with Tom Brady from this morning at Gillette Stadium:
Q: Does it make you feel that much closer to the regular season doing your interview here?
TB: It definitely does. I think all the players, after about a month of being here for camp, are excited to get into a little bit more of a regular season schedule. There are still two practices today and we’re going to need it. There’s a lot of improvement to make, which is obvious. But I think this team is prepared to work hard and try to go out and a have a better week this week than we had last week.
Q: What were your impressions of Friday’s game?
TB: Just like I said, I think it’s part of the process of building. With the mistakes, hopefully you learn from the mistakes. We’re learning a lot about what we’re capable of and what we’re doing. The good things you try to build on and the bad ones you try to eliminate. Hopefully this is a better week.
Q: You took a couple of good shots during that game, how are you holding up?
TB: I’m doing good. I’m doing pretty good. I just don’t have enough muscles to hurt or anything like that so I’m immune to muscle strains or aches or anything like that.
Q: What do you chalk that up to? Was it mistakes on the line? Or coverage issues?
TB: I think it’s part of the job description. You take hits. It’s just part of playing quarterback. You stand back there and hold the ball and everyone’s coming to attack you. I think it shows that there’s a lot of work that needs to be done by all of us. When it doesn’t go perfect, you come in the coach screams and yells at you, you try to go out there and take it to heart and make improvements. And we’re all going out here today trying to improve and get better.
Q: Do you prepare differently for a third preseason game than the others?
TB: I think you prepare hard for every game because every time you go out there, if you’re not prepared, you’re susceptible to getting hurt. So you try to understand what the defense is going to do and we’re putting together a good game plan. You hate to go out there and not perform well because you really build confidence from the games and you do from practice, but really from the games you can go out there and build those game performances. We’re going to put together a plan and go down there and try to attack what this defense does. It’s a very good defense so it should be a very good test for us.
Q: Is the offense behind where you’d like it to be at this stage?
TB: Are we behind? It’s hard to measure, but I’d say we need to make improvements. I wish that you could always pick up from where you left off last season, but the reality is that doesn’t happen. You come back, you have a new team and you have to develop a new identity. One thing I’ve learned over the last eight years is that it takes time. It takes working together. As long as everyone is ready to work hard and brings an attitude and an energy to get better and to improve then the team ends up being pretty good. But we’re a long way from the end of that process so I’m excited see what kind of work we put in.
Q: How was it having Vinny Testaverde out there with you this morning?
TB: It feels good. It gives my arm a little less wear and tear. He’s such a great guy. I think everybody loves having Vinny around. In the meetings he’s great. He brings a lot of experience and he’s a great guy so he’s fun to have around.
Q: Based on what he brought to the team last year, what do you think he will bring to the team this year?
TB: He adds depth. He adds quality and experience and leadership and attitude and all those things you look for in a New England Patriot. He’s a perfect fit.
Q: How do you feel about the team’s potential now compared to the beginning of camp?
TB: I’m always excited. I’m always excited about our potential, but the potential and the reality is something that’s very different. I’ve heard over the last six months the expectations for this team that we can just go out there and throw the ball on whomever we want and run it and gain 450 yards a game. But it takes a lot. It takes a lot of guys coming together, finding a role and playing with toughness and effort. We haven’t played any regular season games to see where we’re really at. We’ve got two very valuable weeks coming up in order to get ready for our opener. The potential of the team, that’s one thing, but going out there to see what we can accomplish starting Week One is what’s most important.
Q: You mentioned you’d like some time off for the baby. Have you talked to Coach Belichick about that?
TB: Yeah, we’ll see when it happens. Like I said, it’s up to Bill. Bill has a lot to say, so we’ll deal with it when it happens.
Q: Making the shift to more of a regular season schedule this week, does it feel like you’re really getting close to the Jets opener?
TB: Yeah, it does and there’s more urgency after each game because you realize you’re that much closer and you want to make improvements. There’s an urgency to it because all these other teams are gaining and gaining, making improvements just as quickly. If you kind of flatten out in certain ways and you’re not making improvements, then you’re losing ground on everybody else.
Q: You did say on the radio this morning that you’d like some time off when the baby arrives, is that the case?
TB: I hope so. Like I said, I’m sure when it happens it’s a matter of scheduling with what’s going on with the team.
Q: It won’t be a case if the schedule doesn’t break a certain way, that’s tough for the schedule though, would you say?
TB: Yeah, probably. I think that’s safe to assume.
Q: It’s only natural that you have more on your mind now than just football. There’s a lot of excitement in your own mind about being a father, how do you stay focused on what’s at hand?
TB: Sure, I think that’s something that I deal with and it’s a situation that a lot of other players deal with and other situations as well. I’m certainly not the only player that has a family or is going to be a father. There’s a lot guys who bring their kids out there every day. That’s very demanding being a parent and being an athlete as well because you have commitments to your team and certainly a lot of people make sacrifices for their family. A lot of people do. I’m dealing with a certain situation, a very joyous, happy situation and some people have dealt with death in the past and that’s incredibly difficult. A lot of it is you realize when you come here that you try to focus your attention and compartmentalize what you’re doing so you can get this team what it needs because that’s really what you sign up for when you come here. I don’t like to be too distracted by things that are going on, realizing how important all of this is in my life, but still understanding that when I’m here, I’m doing my best to the commitment to these guys and this team because that’s what they really deserve. I’d hate to come in here and have my mind on a hundred different things. That’s not going to help this team at all. And when I leave here, I deal with that and my team takes a step backward.
Q: Whenever you get a call, do you think that it could be The Call?
TB: Um, (laughs).
Q: Or do you already know when that call is coming?
TB: Oh, no. I wish I did. I told you that’s God’s decision. That’s the Good Lord that’s making that call. I think everybody’s anxious. I’ll put it that way.
Q: Is the scheduled due date before the regular season? We’d heard it was supposed to be on the day training camp started.
TB: I know. I realize that. I’d just like to keep that stuff because it just brings up a lot of things that I haven’t discussed in the past and it’s stuff that’s very private to me. I’ve talked to my family and so forth. Like I said, you all know it won’t be hard to figure out when it happens. If I always responded to, you know, every time somebody said something, I’d be talking all the time.
Q: Donté Stallworth said it’s not like a video game playing in real life. In that respect, is it tough not having all the pieces together, like not having Randy Moss out there right now?
TB: Sure, that’s a big part of it. For example, a guy like Donté, he’s really practiced with us for a week and he’s had one game of experience. He gets out there and you’re very excited about what’s going on. You’re trying to do the best you can do. He’s trying to go out there and perform well. And there’s situations that come up, like I say, it’s really a process every time you come into a new season. You’ve got to figure out what to do and then you figure out how to do it and then if it doesn’t go exactly as you’d planned it, you’ve got to figure out how to make adjustments. All of those things that come up, even with a guy like Kevin Faulk that I’ve played with for seven years now; we still make adjustments so we’re much farther along. Kevin and I don’t need to talk about everything because so many situations have come up in the past with Kevin that he’s familiar with what I’m thinking and I can really anticipate what he’s going to do based on previous experience. So you’re talking about a guy that’s been out there one week and Kevin Faulk, who’s been out there for seven years and Troy Brown that I have eight years of experience with. I think with each player, it’s a little bit different. It’s obviously different when you have a veteran receiver like Donté and Randy and Kelley [Washington] and Wes [Welker] because they know the NFL and they know coverages and they know how to set defenders up and so forth. But at the same time, you have to go out there and still, we need to be on the same page. The more that we can be on the same page, the more we look and anticipate where I’m going to throw the ball or how he’s going to come out of a break. That’s how the passing game really starts to click. That’s how teams that have been very successful in the passing game, those are the teams that it’s great to have the consistency and that’s something that we’re going to really search for and we’re going to work hard for. It makes it that much more rewarding in the end when you realize how much effort you put into it and when you look back at it at the end of the year you say, “God, we had a great year, from where we started and where we ended up.” It brings a great sense of, as I’ve felt over the last seven years, the accomplishment you feel is pretty great. So we’re starting at a stage and we’ve got to just build from it and the faster that we can get everybody out there, working together, the faster that I think we can start to make some serious improvements.