Tom Brady postgame Q&A, 9/23

Posted on September 23, 2007 
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Here’s the complete transcript of Tom Brady’s Q&A with the media this afternoon after today’s Patriots-Bills game.

Q: Your first two touchdown drives were set up with good returns from Wes Welker. How important is it for you guys to get that field position there?
TB: I think we got off to a bit of a slow start offensively, kind of like we did in practice this week. We picked it up there in the second half. But you’re right – Wes set up some great field position and I think the key to the game offensively [was] the offensive line, and the way they performed today was exceptional. It’s kind of what they’ve been doing all year, but they were doing such a good job run-blocking, we had a lot of holes in the run game and they did a great job of pass-protection. That allowed us to hold onto the ball a little bit longer. I don’t know if we had any sacks – maybe one – but I held on to the ball. They did a great job.

Q: On that 45-yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss, Coach Belichick thought it might have been incomplete. Did you think it might be too long?
TB: Nope. I haven’t overthrown him yet.

Q: Can you describe that play?
TB: They were playing a lot of cover-2, and they weren’t in cover-2 on that particular play. I just tried to lay it up there for him and he usually comes down with it.

Q: You mentioned the slow start. Was that because of things the Bills were throwing at you or is it just a matter of having to get into a rhythm?
TB: I think it’s a good defense, and I think they did some things. They’re a very fast, physical defense and they have some play-makers over there with Aaron Schobel. I think they played very hard. I think we just capitalized when we had the opportunities – when we got the ball in the red zone on the fumble, missed the fourth down and six, so there’s things that we definitely need to improve on and I’m glad we won, but we have a big week this week.

Q: You made that look easy out there — To throw that ball the distance you threw it, in-stride, on the outside shoulder — How hard is it to make that kind of play?
TB: I just throw it up as high as I can and try to put it out there where only he can get it. Like I said, I think his length allows him to even when the DB is on his hip; just he can extend and make the play. It was a great catch. It was a great call by [offensive coordinator] Josh [McDaniels]. My job is easy. You just have to throw it up there.

Q: You had a slow start this week. Do you think it has to do with an emotional letdown after last week, which was so charged up? How hard is it to maintain that type of energy each week?
TB: [When] you play on Sunday night, you get home at 2:00 in the morning and believe it or not, those things affect you. They carry over for days. You go to bed at 3:00 in the morning and then you’re starting on Monday at the same time as normal. Wednesday afternoon it still kind of feels like late Tuesday night and it just…We have a bunch of old guys on this team and it takes a little longer to recover.

Q: The quarterback is not as young as he used to be.
TB: Yeah, he’s definitely not as young as he used to be. I don’t bounce back quite as fast. You want to have all of that energy all of the time, but some days you just wake up at 6:00 a.m. and say, “Ugh, it’s going to be a long day today.” You have to fight through it, because you can’t lose days. You can’t lose days of preparation. This team knows that and I think Coach recognized it and really came down on us pretty hard – probably harder than he ever has. The team really responded on Friday, Saturday we were focused and today we came out and we made enough plays.

Q: How encouraging does it become that a fumble at the 1-yard line can almost become a momentum builder, given the defensive stop and Wes Welker’s return?
TB: Sure, and it was great that the defense was able to hold them and keep them back there. The fumble was a bad play and you’d rather punch it in there and kick it off to them, but fumbling the ball there on the one and then gaining that field position definitely set us up.

Q: Not that you’d ever fumble on purpose, but did you sense that something was needed at that moment to snap you out of it, because it wasn’t right, and they found the moments to do it?
TB: Like I said, you’d rather have the good plays be the momentum builders than a play like that. I think the defense has given us momentum all year. The punt return that Ellis [Hobbs] gave us in the Jets game, the interception return Adalius [Thomas] gave us last week and then some of those stops and punt returns this week were huge for the offense and setting us up in field position, which is what we’re going to continue to need. I [take] pride [in] that 99-yard drive that we had out there in the fourth quarter. That was pretty good. I hope to continue that.

Q: Were you surprised at the lateral that Wes Walker threw?
TB: I don’t know what they were doing, those two. Maybe Wes learned that in Miami. I’ve never seen it around here. I’m sure Coach is going to [yell at] us for that. It’s just another one of those things that makes tapes. It turned out this time. I don’t know how well it turns out most of the time.

Q: Your first three touchdown throws inside the 10 yard line were to three different people. Are you consciously trying to spread the ball around?
TB: I think this particular time it was just that the coverage really dictated that it go to certain people. We got down there on the first drive and we were inside the five or six yard line and we didn’t get it in. We kicked the field goal and we came back with a good approach the next few times and really pounded the ball in there when we could and then took our shots when we got man-to-man coverage. I thought it was a nice play by Ben [Watson] reading the zone. The second one to Randy was an all-out blitz and the guy had no help in the middle of the field. Randy ran a great route. The third one, Jabar [Gaffney] found a hole. [They] ended up doubling or tripling Randy and Gaff kind of pulled ahead of there and made a catch. I think that’s all set up by great offensive line play, to tell you the truth. For us to hold the ball and sort through that kind of stuff, and with the blitz pick-up like they did, they performed extremely well. And that was a [darn] good defensive line we faced, too, Schobel and [Ryan] Denney and the big guys inside, too, who are excellent. The way they protected and the way they run-blocked for us today – a lot of us do a lot of things offensively.

Q: Don’t you love to throw when Randy is covered and know that the play is still going to be made?
TB: He’s a mismatch every time he’s out there when it’s one-on-one, so if they’re doubling him then you try to find other guys to go to. And if they single him, you have an opportunity even when he’s covered to put the ball in a position [where] only he can make the play because of his height and his length. That’s what happened today. He had pretty good coverage on him. He just made an outstanding catch.

Q: Do you find yourself making throws maybe you wouldn’t have in the past because of who you have out there?
TB: Like I said, we’ve had different styles throughout the years and that style has worked extremely well. This offense is going to just continue to morph into the players that we have. I thought there was a drive there where it was run, run, run, play-action and I hit Wes on that lateral play, but that was fun because we were pounding it in there and finally they had a cover-2 defense, we play-action fake and all three linebackers step up and Wes is wide open. That’s tough on the defense, and the more that we can run it effectively in a play-action pass and then when they give us man coverage you try to throw the ball to your mismatches, that’s a pretty good way to go.

Q: What is it with 38 points?
TB: 38? I don’t know. Coach didn’t want to kick a field goal to get to 41 at the end, so…I don’t know. It’s a good number. I think it’s going to be a tough one this week playing on the road on Monday night, so we have a big challenge. I’m glad we have an extra day to prepare.

Q: You gave credit to your offensive line. Going up against the pass-rush and the success Schobel has had, to not hear his name called for the first three quarters must have made you feel good.
TB: Sure, and Matt [Light] did a great job over there on my left side. At the same time, I think we’re trying to scheme things up so he’s not coming off the edge all day, and you always try to keep those pass-rushes accountable for those pass-rushers, because they can ruin a game. That’s where the best guy usually is, right over on the offense’s left side. They did a good job with him. He’s a great player, a Pro Bowl player, but our offensive line is shutting it down this year.

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