Here’s the complete transcript of Tom Brady and Deion Branch’s joint press conference following New England’s win over the Chargers on Sunday.
Why use [Nate] Solder when you have Vince?
Brady: “The more you can do around here, Vince [Wilfork] intercepting balls like defensive backs and made a huge play for us. Situationally we did some good things. Ultimately we made enough plays, against a damn good team.”
On if it was fun throwing to Deion again:
Brady: “I’ve thrown a lot of passes to him over the years, and there’s nobody that I enjoy playing with more than this guy. It’s always been that way. He’s my locker mate, and one of my great friends. He’s just everything you look for in a receiver.”
On how Branch was able to get open at the end of the half and how the Chargers couldn’t have known he was going to the sideline:
Branch: “I’m glad they didn’t know. I’m glad it worked out that way. I mean those situations we work on a lot in practice. Coach puts us through much harder situations than that. We sort of knew what was what. Me and Tom kind of got into it on the field [he and Tom laughs] over the play, I was supposed to go to the right according to certain situations. But it worked out just right. I’m looking for the ball every time so, he’s throwing it to me – you have to see this guy’s eyes – once he’s in the pocket his eyes are so big when he’s getting ready to throw the ball. I guess he’s so excited when guys are so open [laughs].” Brady: “[laughs] Always, and he’s always open so…” Branch: “I think my eyes light up too like his, but it was two great plays – and we took advantage of what they gave us.”
On Rob Gronkowski’s play this year:
Brady: “He’s a very dependable player for us. I think he learned a lot from the veteran that we had in the room last year with him last year – Alge Crumpler and I think he’s come back this year and really eliminated a lot of plays that he learned from last year, and he’s been a very dependable player from the start of training camp all the way through this game. The tight end position has been a very important position for us. We rely on Aaron [Hernandez] and Dan [ , along with Rob to make the plays when they’re called upon and they certainly did that. I think we were able to spread the ball around, Deion, Wes [Welker] had his catches, Aaron [Hernandez], Chad [Ochocinco] made plays, obviously Deion made a bunch of plays, we ran the ball pretty good, so it was a good team win. We took advantage of some of the opportunities that we got, had a big 99 yard drive that was good for us. You know, on to the next one.”
On how important it was making the 99 yard drive following the 4th and goal stop to reward the defense, along with scoring following the turnover after they didn’t make the 4th and 4.
Branch: “I can’t even remember, honestly I can’t.” Brady: “I think we stress complimentary football, and situational football like the end of half situation that we got. And look – if the defense makes a huge stop like that – we’ve got to do something with it. If they get us the ball, we’ve got to do something with it. And honesty there was times today that I thought we could have done a better job of that, and we need to do a better job of that, so we’re going stay after it. Two wins doesn’t get you anything in this league. Look, we’re going into a very tough environment to play in Buffalo. They’re 2-0, they’re riding high, they’re scoring a lot of points, they’ve got a very good defense, so gotta gear up and get ready for it.
On if this is the best he’s seen Tom play this well
Branch: “The sky’s the limit. I mean the things that we do in practice is pretty much what’s going on in the game. Coach puts us through a lot of different situations in practice, Tom puts us up for the challenge in practice, and we execute during practice pretty good, so the expectations is what’s going on the football field during the game. We had a couple of series we wish we could get back, that we didn’t execute everything that we wanted to do properly but you take it with a grain of salt and hopefully next time we get the ball we drive down, try to correct those mistake.”
On the effectiveness of the no huddle and the hurry up offense:
Brady: “Like I said last week, whatever we need to do to get the ball in the endzone, that’s the goal. And there’s times where it’s effective, there’s times today where it wasn’t effective. I mean we’re trying to be efficient no matter what we’re doing. So it’s always something that we talk about, things that we need to execute better, whether it’s no-huddle, two minute, four minute offense, backed up going in red area, you know it’s situational football. No huddle offense is part of our offense, hopefully we continue to be efficient with that.”
[Brady exits the press conference]
On the fact a year ago he was thrown into this, and how things are different being here for camp, etc.
Branch: “I think that training camp – coming in last season which is like I said, I stress so much about it – is only game planning. So we get a playbook on Wednesday and we focus on the things Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. That was a lot of the things I missed last year during training camp that Tom was doing on the football field that they would tell me on the sidelines that I didn’t have the opportunity to go over during the game. But this year I had the whole training camp where we had the 15 days of training camp and everything so the things I missed last year, I was able to catch up on them this year. I’m a lot more comfortable in the huddle once I’m hearing certain things and coaches are just throwing guys all around on the football field. One play I may be the ‘X’, another play I may be the ‘Z’, another play I may be the ‘F’, so I couldn’t do that last year. Maybe one or two positions here and there, but overall we have the luxury to spread guys around and put guys where they need to put them.”
On Ochocinco getting more involved:
Branch: “I’m excited. I’m just excited to see what we’ll look like with this entire offense once we’ve put everything together. We look good now, but it’s still not where we want to be. I know it may sound crazy, but I’m telling you the truth.
On if he thinks Chad’s confidence is coming together:
Branch: “Oh yeah. I mean you’ll have to talk to Chad about that. But I mean looking at this guy, he’s doing a lot of good things in practice for us, he’s doing everything the coaches asked him.”
On they symmetry he and Tom seems to have:
Branch: “Let’s just say this is good luck, maybe it’s because we sit beside eachother in the locker room. That’s the key. I thank the equipment guys for putting me right next to him [laughs]. But I just think overall, the work we put in in practice, that’s what’s really going on. I mean all the meetings and everything, I sit in with this guy all day Wednesday, all day Thursday, all day Friday, and we talk about a lot of different things. I think the open line of communication is always good for us, and that’s what you see. It’s not so much what we’re doing on game day, it’s all about the work we put in on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.”
On the 99 yard drive when they opened in the shotgun if that show’s the confidence you guys have:
Branch: “It’s good. We have a lot of confidence in our front line, those guys they’re fighting their behinds off each and every day to prove to the coach that we can do whatever we want. If we want to run the ball we can do that, if we want to throw, we can do that. But for us to be backed up like you said and to take that chance, that’s just how much belief the coaches really have in the front line to get the job done to protect the quarterback. You know our job is just to get open and to make plays, those guys have the hard job. Those guys you should really talk to. They protect this guy each and every day, and kudos to them man.”
On how well Tom spreads around the ball:
Branch: “I mean it’s hard to just go into a game and say, ‘we have so many guys’ and that’s the plus that I think Belichick and his staff do a great job of going out and finding the guys that fit this offense. It’s not all about one guy, it’s not about me, it’s not about Wes [Welker], it’s not about Chad [Ochocinco], I mean you’ve got [Rob] Gronkowski, Aaron [Hernandez], you’ve got the runningbacks coming out of the backfield [Danny] Woodhead, and there’s a couple of other guys that we haven’t even gotten to, Julien Edelman, the [Matthew] Slater guy’s making plays all over the place and Tom has the confidence in all the guys to go out and get the job done. He sees it done in practice and he expects the same thing in a game.
If he feels reinvigorated here:
Branch: “Why do you say that? [Laughs] No, I don’t like to talk about the past. I’m the same guy. The opportunty wasn’t there in Seattle, but hey, that’s behind me. I’m very thankful they gave me the opportunity to come back here and play with this team and play with the team that I started with and that’s just it.”
On Tom’s play in the first two games:
Branch: “You just missed him. I wish you could have got him before he left. No, overall the coaches sit down with Tom, they go over a bunch of things before the game plan. It’s all about taking advantage of whatever the defense gives us. We may go into a game and run the ball 45 times, if that’s what it takes to get the ‘W’ that’s what we’re going to do. If we have to throw the ball, then that’s what we’ve got to do too.”
On the fact that Brady’s thrown for 940 yards through two games so far:
Branch: “Wow that’s crazy. I’m glad I’m here. Thank you all.”