Tom Brady Q&A, 12/26

Posted on December 26, 2007 
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Here’s the full transcript of Tom Brady’s Q&A with the media this morning at Gillette Stadium:

Q: Does it feel like the season has flown by or does it feel like a long time when you look back to training camp?
TB: Probably a little of both. Some weeks, it does fly by; other weeks really feel like it’s been a grind. I’m glad it’s a 16-game schedule as opposed to a 22-game schedule or something like that. I think everyone’s excited for this week, realizing that it’s the last regular-season game. I’m really just hoping that we go out and play our best.

Q: Is it hard not to look at the importance of this game, as far as history is concerned?
TB: I think we all realize what a win would mean, but a win’s always big. A win is always important for us and we’ve prepared pretty hard over the last four months, as every team prepares pretty hard. Being 16-0 would be a very special achievement, one that no other team has ever achieved and we’re finally at that point.

Q: As much as you obviously would like to finish 16-0, you want to play better and better football every week. Do you guys feel like you’re doing that?
TB: I think we’re constantly trying to make improvements and I think we’re trying, as a team, to find ways to be consistent and efficient out there. Some weeks are better than others. Ultimately, the goal is to win the game. You’re really judged by your wins and losses and I’d love to be playing our best football come January. This will be a great step in the process and [the Giants are] a very tough opponent, on the road. Hopefully, we can put our best out there.

Q: At the beginning of the season, could you ever anticipate a season like this, where you’re undefeated heading into the 16th game of the season?
TB: I think whatever hopes you might have… We’ve had great seasons and we’ve been 14-2. This has been a very special season. I’d hate to think that we’d go out there and not put our best out there this week so we’ve got to bring energy and excitement. It’s going to be a big test to beat these guys because they’re very good and they play well at home, too. I just hope that we’re able to finish off the season the way that we’d really hoped.

Q: You’ve been on a lot of great teams and you always hear the cliché that you’re only as good as you practice. How good of a practice team is this? Is it any different from any other team that you’ve been around and what, if anything, makes it a great practice team?
TB: I think that’s really where you get better. It’s where you find a lot of situations that you can carry over into the game of what you’re trying to do and understand as an offense, as a defense. I think, offensively, we do practice every situation. We’re very situationally aware. I hope that carries over to the way we play. Once again, I think at times it’s been better than in others. We put a lot into practice. There’s a quite of bit of emphasis, as a team, on it and Coach Belichick is pretty tough on us in practice. He always expects the best out of us. I think the pressure is always on us to go out there and achieve, even if it is practice because you can gain a lot of confidence playing well in practice.

Q: Did you and Randy Moss click right away in training camp, or did it take a while to really get it down?
TB: I think it always takes a little bit of time and we still… Things come up at this point that we try to improve on. We’re still learning from each other and we’re still trying to understand situations and read each other – for him to really know what I’m looking for and vice versa. It only leads to, hopefully, more success.

Q: At the beginning of each season, there are probably similar goals: Win the division, make the playoffs, win the Super Bowl. What’s it like when a new goal is presented to you, something like going undefeated? Is that taken as a distraction?
TB: No, I don’t think it’s like winning too many games. That’s a good distraction to have, I guess. I don’t think that distracts us. It’s always one-week seasons. We’ve [said] this all year, that we’re just focused on the team that we’re playing and this week it happens to be the Giants. If we win it we’ll be 16-0, like last week was 15-0 and the week before was 14-0. It’s very short-term goals that hopefully at the end of the season you can look back and be very proud of what you accomplished.

Q: One of the trademarks of this Giants defense has always been bringing pressure. Can you talk about them?
TB: They’re very talented. I think definitely [Michael] Strahan and Osi [Umenyiora] should take the weekend off. I’d rest them. I know that, definitely not playing those two. They’re great. They’ve got 40 sacks, I think, between Osi and Michael Strahan and [Justin] Tuck. They can rush. They have some very experienced cover guys back there. It’s a very veteran defense. I’ll be lobbying for that. Coach [Tom] Coughlin, if you’re listening, definitely rest those guys.

Q: You’re comfortable with Randy Moss obviously. Do you think that comfort level will sometimes lead you to force the ball in there or take chances with him?
TB: It all depends on whether you complete it or you don’t. There have been times when I’ve forced it and he caught it and it’s a great play. He’s always a big part of the plan. I’m always trying to find ways to get him the ball. You can always look back and say if it’s incomplete that maybe you should have made a better throw, but at the same time, you want to give him opportunities to make those plays.

Q: Have you been surprised that he’s such a good guy after all you’ve heard about him otherwise?
TB: I’m not surprised. I really try not to prejudge anybody or stereotype anybody. I just kind of deal with them as I have in my relationships with all the guys on the team. Regardless of what people say about somebody, oftentimes it’s very misleading. He’s a great guy and a great teammate and we’re all lucky to have him.

Q: What would getting two more touchdown passes mean to you? It’s a pretty significant NFL record if you get it.
TB: Yeah, we’ve got a lot of records at stake, the most important one being the 16-0. I hope we achieve that. It’d be a great feat for the team. We’d go down as the only team to be 16-0 so that’s the goal I’ve got in mind.

Q: You can have a perfect record, but do you think there can ever be a perfect team?
TB: I really feel you can have a perfect record. I don’t know if anybody’s perfect. I haven’t experienced that. We all make mistakes and we all try to learn from them and try to work hard to achieve your goals. We set very high goals around here, as every team does. I just think we’ve been fortunate this season in a lot of ways. Along with a lot of hard work, you need quite a bit of luck, too. I think we’ve been on the good side of that, in terms of injuries and the ball bouncing our way at certain times.

Q: It’s kind of strange in a sense that you’re such a team guy and around here it’s all team. Sure, you can look back on those records and say, ‘I want Randy Moss to break Jerry Rice’s record,’ with all the history and everything else, and other people want to see you break records. Is that a strange thing to come into this week?
TB: We’re in team sports so part of achieving anything in sports [is] you rely heavily on everybody else. I’m only as good as the guys I have playing around me. For every touchdown pass you throw, you need somebody to catch it, you need somebody to block for it. Nothing in this sport is achieved on your own. Like I said, being 16-0 would be the most important thing for all of us. If you take any energy away from that as a goal, then you’re really not doing yourself or your team any justice. Maybe when you look back at the end of your career you look at those things and it’s a cool thing to have, but everything I’ve experienced in the NFL and the greatest moments I’ve had is not when you throw five touchdown passes. It’s when you win championships.

Q: Your numbers have gone down in the last three to four games from where they were at the start of the season. Does that trouble you or do you think it was an inevitable downturn and can you get it back up to what it was?
TB: Yeah, we’re slumping. A negative trend, that’s never good. You just try to be as efficient as you can and we’ve been winning games so you always look at those. I’m not a big statistics guy. I evaluate each play. “What could I have done? What could I have done better?” I always feel I try to play very consistently and the team really can depend on me as a consistent player. I hope that continues.

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