Tom Brady Q&A, 1/27

Posted on January 28, 2008 
Filed Under Uncategorized

For the first time since last Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady took questions from the media this evening, answering a variety of queries from reporters after New England landed in Arizona. Here’s the full transcript of his Q&A with the media:

(on his ankle) “What did Coach say? It is feeling good. I will be ready to go. It has been a good week. I think the team has practiced hard, although I haven’t practiced. But I have watched them practice hard and I think we are pretty well caught up mentally. We need to have a great week of practice because this team really challenges you. They are good in all aspects of the game and I think defensively they put pressure on you as an offense, which we experienced just a few weeks ago. I think we need three great days of practice, which I hope to be participating in.”

(on if he expects to practice on Wednesday) “Yes, I hope. I don’t know. It is a couple days away. But I am feeling better.”

(on the Patriots offensive line deserving credit as well for his MVP award) “I think part of the experience in winning that award is that you are able to share it with the rest of your teammates. The great part about football and the reason why I have enjoyed it for as long as I have been playing is because it is truly the ultimate team sport. As the quarterback of the team, I rely so heavily on what the offensive line does and how the receivers do to get open and how well the running backs play. And there is no doubt that winning the MVP as the quarterback reflects on what the rest of the team has done. I have been part of an incredible organization for eight years and I think in being part of that organization, I have realized that the ultimate goal for us is what we can accomplish as a team and that is why we are here today. As great as it is to maybe look back one day on awards and individual accomplishments, whether it be records or Pro Bowls or anything of that nature, by far the most important thing is trying to accumulate Super Bowl rings. I got three. I have seven fingers left on these hands and I will be working my tail off everyday to accomplish that.”

(on his thoughts on being chased and pursued in New York) “I love beating New York. This will be our fourth opportunity this year to play a New York team. Yes, it was an interesting week. I am much lighter on my toes than I thought. I was glad to be back in Boston when I got back there; glad to be back in the insulated halls of our locker room and glad that I have my offensive line around to protect me now this week. Don’t any of you be chasing me around. I won’t be nearly as nice as I was last week.”

(on if he was surprised to hear that the Giants said that Matt Light is a dirty player) “Matt’s dirty. He is not very clean, I know that. I am around him quite a bit. Matt plays hard. I think we have a bunch of guys on our team that play hard and he is a big part of that offensive line and what they do. Anytime your left tackle has a Pro Bowl season, you as a quarterback should owe him an awful lot. I don’t think he is really a dirty player. Football is a very tough game. It is about hitting and it is about blocking and it is about tackling. There is a whistle that blows and sometimes that contact may kind of persist a little bit beyond the whistle. But I don’t really think that is the case with Matt. But maybe with Rodney (Harrison), but not Matt.”

(on his reaction when he stepped out of the car in New York wearing the walking boot and surrounded by photographers) “I was just trying to get into the house as fast as I could. So I was trying to just hobble along. You’re right. It kind of caught me off guard. I think that’s just part of the world we are living in these days. Those places I used to go for refuge aren’t necessarily the places you go anymore. I guess it is a good problem to have because we are winning football games. I think if we were 0-16, no one would give a crap. I’ll take it to show up here this week.”

(on when exactly he hurt his ankle) “It was during the game, during the Charger game.”

(on exactly when he sustained the injury) “I think it was in the third quarter.”

(on if it occurred on a sack) “Yes. It didn’t affect that first interception; that wasn’t the problem. I wish I could blame interceptions on that. It was early in the third quarter.”

(on his feelings on being on the brink of making history) “I think we have an incredible opportunity as a team. We have been dealing with a very difficult schedule all season; I think a difficult conference. I remember when we were 15-0 and playing the Giants. We said as a team it was the Christmas holidays and for as great as you hope these seasons go, you never quite expect for them to turn out the way they have this season. Being 18-0 I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished thus far and I think we have talked as a team that for the rest of our lives we’ll all remember this week, win or lose. We are all going to do our best to hopefully make that one of the weeks that we remember for all of the great reasons and not a week we would like to forget. The Giants are an incredibly tough opponent and we realized that when we played them the first time. We got our work cut out for us. I told everyone that whatever you may think may be important this next week it is really not that important because this week will have an impact on the rest of your life.”

(on the best advice you can give a teammate who is experiencing the Super Bowl for the first time) “I think the thing that I have learned is that a little bit what I alluded to just a second ago. You have so many people that call and are congratulating you or want tickets or trying to find ways to get down here to see you play. It can become a bit distracting. As long as you really focus on what you are here for and what is most important, then you will handle it just fine. But this really is not the year to come down to enjoy the Super Bowl parties and the festivities and the NFL Experience and everything that this city will have to offer, which I am sure will be a helluva lot of fun. It is just not for us. And there will be plenty of time to experience those other things down the road. I think the team (needs) to understand (they have) to try to keep some kind of schedule and to know that you are here for a reason. I think Coach (Bill) Belichick and his experience; he has passed that onto our team in the past and I know that is a big point of emphasis this week as well.”

(on if he has thrown the ball since the AFC Championship Game and if he is concerned with his lack of activity affecting him) “I am not concerned. I am really not. I think it was a good week in terms of the mental preparation and getting ready to play. And it is nice because I feel very energized down here to come into the hotel and to kind of start this process. It is going to be a very fast week. I am not concerned about how it is going to affect my playing and I can’t run anyway so it is not going to have much of an impact.”

(on the production of Randy Moss in the playoffs and how to unleash him this Sunday) “I think I answered that, I talked about that a little bit last week in that he is always a part of the plan and a lot of our offense is based around what the defense is giving us. If they dictate that they are going to try to take one person out of the game, they’ll do that. I thought San Diego played extremely well. I think Jacksonville did a good job. I am sure he was a big point of emphasis. I am sure the Giants will be a big point of emphasis, Randy will be a big point of emphasis for the Giants as well. I never lose track of him. I know that he works extremely hard to get open and I know that he is in the right place and he wants the ball. We have to find ways to get him the ball because he is an important part of this offense. If they choose to, as teams have done throughout the season, to put double coverage on him, then you have to find other places to throw and you have to hand the ball off. If they come out of the game and they feel like they stopped one player but the team won, I hope that, if that happens, great. But the goal is to win the game and they’re doing what they think is best to win and so are we. It is just a fine line. You don’t want to just throw it to somebody if he is covered with two or three guys. You have to find other guys to throw the ball to and we certainly have that luxury.”

(on how important it is to have a veteran team like the Patriots to handle everything this week) “I think the important thing that we have learned is that there is a game to be played at the end of the week. ‘Focus your energy and attention on that and understand the goal is to be as prepared as you can be.’ I am sure the Giants can deal with all of that. They have dealt with that all season. They play in New York. They wouldn’t be here if they weren’t able to deal with any distractions. We think we have been through very much the same thing. The game is going to be decided by who plays the best on Sunday and I am sure being the most prepared team is going to have the advantage. I hope we are the most prepared.”

(on how this ankle injury compares to the one he had after the 2001 AFC Championship Game) “That was a long time ago. I can’t remember that far back to tell you the truth. I remember we had a week to get ready for the game so that week really flew by. This won’t keep me out of this game and that ankle didn’t keep me out of last game (Super Bowl XXXVI). It would have to take a helluva lot more than an ankle.”

(on if it is the same injury) “I don’t even remember what that injury was. I think it was my left ankle.”

(on if he ever gets used to the kind of attention he receives off the field and how he keeps it from becoming a distraction) “I think you prioritize things in your life and you do things that are most important and what you think help you become the most fulfilled person. I think I love my job and there is nothing I would rather do than play quarterback for the New England Patriots. When you win football games, with that comes a lot of other attention and I think over the years it has really been a progression. You find ways to deal with your life and manage it when you leave the stadium. I think sometimes that is challenging for all of us as athletes when you leave places where you feel very protected to go out and still find ways to manage your life and live your life and enjoy it. I certainly do that. Like I said, I think none of that gets in the way of I think what is most important and that is me playing football because at the end of the day I think that is what is extremely important in my life.”

(on how much he has dropped back and thrown a football since the AFC Championship Game) “I have done just a little bit. I have jogged around and I have shuffled and dropped and I have thrown the ball a little bit. Not as much as I would had I been practicing, but enough to know that I realize that I am going to be able to play on Sunday.”

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