Tom Brady Q&A, 11/14

Posted on November 14, 2007 
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Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here’s the complete transcript of Tom Brady’s Q&A today with the media:

Q: What makes Buffalo so scary to play?
TB: I think they’ve always played us well, pretty tough. I think the first game we played was a little bit of an indication of how their season’s gone. I think they were in it early against us and playing really well and I think we just made a couple plays that distorted it, but they’ve be in every game. They lost a couple game on some field goals and they could very easily be 7-2. They a lot of things well, a bunch of weapons at all positions. Offensively, they’re very explosive…very explosive in the kicking game. Defensively, I remember watching that Dallas game and all those turnovers that [Tony] Romo was throwing. They can make a bunch of plays and playing in that environment I’m sure… we’ve never been up there for a night game, but it looked like it was a raucous-type crowd so we’ve got a lot to prepare for.

Q: There’s a pressure to win, but what’s the pressure in being undefeated? Is there a pressure to staying undefeated?
TB: I think the pressure is to win every time out. I think the pressure is to perform better than we performed during the first nine games of the season because the challenge is each team now has that much more data on you and we’ve got to find ways to make improvements. We had a good off week and we evaluated some things that we haven’t done quite so well. We’re going to need to clean those things up, or else they’ll come up in the end to really bite you.

Q: Do you guys feel a difference having the national spotlight on you for this many weeks in a row?
TB: It’s been that way for six years. I think I’d rather be in this position that any other position, but it all comes down to how you play on Sundays. It all comes down to the way you practice and prepare and, ultimately, how you go out and execute. I think there’s pressure for each player. Some guys are trying to make the team. Some guys are trying to get out on the field. Some guys are playing for contracts. Some guys are playing for some great individual awards and we’re all playing for the same team award. There’s always pressure, but pressure to win? That’s been in the NFL since I’ve been here.

Q: Is there added pressure since you’re undefeated? It seems like it’s nonstop all over the place.
TB: I try to win every single time I take the field. Every time I try to win in backgammon. I try to win in cards. I try to win driving to the bubble, when we practice in the bubble. If that’s pressure, then that’s kind of competition and being an athlete. If you don’t want to be in that position, you might as well quit the game because if it’s too much that you’re winning and all of a sudden there’s pressure this probably isn’t the right sport for you.

Q: Are you surprised at the way the first half of this season went, heading into the second half?
TB: Sure. I think every year you have expectations for yourself and for your team and [being] 9-0 and really playing the best, offensively, we’re played since I’ve been here. It’s been exciting for this team to be in a lot of games. Really the Indy game was the first time we were really in a meaningful situation there in the fourth quarter. I’m proud of the way we responded in those situations and I know that the next seven games are going to have their own challenges, starting with this weekend in Buffalo. I hope that we can perform the way we did in the first nine games, going forward, but I know there are going to be different challenges and I think this team does, too. But as long as we prepare and expect the unexpected just because each time we’re out there it seems like we’re getting some different things. That’s really what we’ve got to be ready for.

Q: Are you guys embracing the role of basically being the bad guys, or a hated team?
TB: You know, I think as you go along as a professional athlete, you just control what you can control and you do the best you can do. Whether people like you or don’t like you really doesn’t affect your job, or shouldn’t, or the way you perform. I know we’ve got quite a few fans out there because I’m out there just as much as anybody else. We get great support and it’s just a matter of us controlling our own feelings and the way we practice and part of it’s being mentally tough. Hey, just because people don’t like you or they boo you, that’s their problem. That’s their issue they’ve got to deal with.

Q: Does the criticism at all put a chip on your shoulder, or give you guys perhaps a mental advantage each week?
TB: I don’t know. I’ve never experienced a whole lot of criticism so with this team and the success that we’ve had, I think it’s been a lot worse in other places. I guess criticism when you win isn’t as bad as criticism when you lose. I’m just glad we’re winning.

Q: Do you think what you have isn’t so much hate, but envy?
TB: I’m sure every team wants to be 9-0. Hell, I’d want to be 9-0 if I was 0-9. That’s a big part of it. If people are envious that we’re winning games then they can control that, too, and go out and play better. We’re trying to play the best we can play and we’re trying to win every time we take the field, try to win every time we take the practice field. It’s a veteran group of players that understand that and I think there’s a reason why we have been 9-0. I hope we continue to acknowledge those reasons and continue to play to those strengths that we’ve built up over nine weeks.

Q: Because you had so much success against the Bills the last time that you played them, do you expect that there are going to be drastic changes and how do you prepare for adjustments that you don’t know what’s coming?
TB: I think every team puts together a game plan that they feel is the best way to attack you. Just like they did the first game. Just like Indianapolis did. Just like Dallas did. Just like we do on our offense. We go in each week and our game plans will be very different this time against last time as well. Those things that work you try build upon and those things that don’t work you put those in the back of the playbook for another team. But they’re doing the same things and we’ve got to prepare for the things that they did well because that’s probably the stuff they want to go to as well as other things that they’ve done throughout the rest of the course of the season that have worked for them. There are some different wrinkles that they’ve shown and that we’ve got to be prepared for, but I’m sure there will be other things that we didn’t have time to prepare for that we’re going to have to adjust to on the field.

Q: What does Donte’ Stallworth do so well?
TB: What does he do well? I think he’s an exceptional run-after-the-catch-type athlete. He’s very fast and strong. He’s elusive. Guys usually don’t bring him down with one tackle. He’s got very good hands so it’s just a matter of getting him the football and getting him the football in a position that he can do things with it.

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