FOXBORO, MA — Tom Brady said it best on Wednesday about last Sunday’s victory over Indianapolis.
“Last week is done,” said Brady. “We’ve got to move on.”
Now he finds himself preparing for his second game as the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots. Last Sunday the team posted an amazing 177-yards rushing against the Colts who weren’t able to shut down Antowain Smith and Kevin Faulk who combined for 142-yards including 3-touchdowns. Miami’s defense will probably not be quite as easy to rush against and Brady knows that they’ll have their hands full.
“They’ve got two big guys in the middle who take up a lot of space, which allows [Zach] Thomas to run around and make a lot of plays,” said Brady. “They’ve got seven guys up their in the front that they feel are comfortable against our seven blockers. Any time they do that, they can commit another guy to pass coverage, which just strengthens everything.”
“They do, as coaches say, ‘They do what they do.’ They line up and they play and they have a style and they attack. It looks like they have really good team speed on defense. They have very good corners. Zack Thomas is a force. That pass rush, Jason Taylor, he really makes that defense. So they put a lot of pressure on the offense. Indy did it with more of a blitzing scheme and this team does it with more just their style of play, their overall aggressiveness.”
Head coach Bill Belichick said on Wednesday that like last weekend while the playbook will be scaled back somewhat, the goal is to put together an offensive game plan that is best to attack Miami’s defense. He feels that Brady did a solid job last Sunday and that the amount of plays they ran last weekend were about the same as what they would normally have run had Drew Bledsoe started the game.
“In the preseason games which really in one respect wasn’t that long ago, when [Brady] played in the Carolina game, or the Tampa game, or the Washington game, he ran whatever plays Charlie called just like Drew [Bledsoe] and Damon [Huard] did. Last week we tried to look at Indianapolis, put together a game plan that we thought would be the best for us to try to address and attack their defense. It probably would have been about the same plays we would have called if Drew had been the quarterback.”
Meanwhile the Patriots have a little ‘inside help’ this week from former Dolphins Damon Huard, Larry Izzo, Bert Emanual, and Terrance Shaw who will likely let their head coach in on as much as they can regarding some of Miami’s game plans from last season. Belichick says that both teams know each other pretty well but does feel that having several players who played for the Dolphins last season is certainly a help.
“There is no question that Damon [Huard], Larry [Izzo], Terrance [Shaw], Bert [Emanuel] and those guys have given some insight into a little bit of what they are doing from both a personnel standpoint and from an experience standpoint,” said Belichick. “But again I think that a lot of the things we knew have been confirmed, but they have added a little bit of insight about what they were trying to do last year against us particularly in the December game which was the last regular season game. They remembered some of the game plan things that were being used in that game. There has been a little bit of insight. I wouldn’t say that it was dramatic, but it is nice to know that some of the things that you thought they were doing they actually were doing.”
“I do think that both teams know each other pretty well. I feel like we know the Dolphins and the Dolphins don’t, especially defensively, their scheme isn’t that complex. They basically play one front and two coverages and they have some adjustments off of it and all of that, but for the most part it is not a big disguise and deception type of thing. They lineup and say, ‘Hey here we are come and get us. See what you can do about it.'”
Brady played pretty conservatively last weekend and finished 13-of-23 for 168-yards passing and simply didn’t make a mistake. The former Michigan standout says that if he sees a chance to make a play then that is when he’ll fire the ball down the field. If he’s under pressure he’ll look for something short in hopes that someone like Kevin Faulk can do exactly what he did last weekend, and that was make plays.
“My style is my style,” said Brady. “If I see a chance to take a shot, I take a shot. If you don’t see a chance to take a shot, you dump it. You really take the approach.”
“You try to dictate by formation and by play what you want the defense to do, but how they react to that is something totally different. Then that is when you are reacting to what they are doing. As coach says, every play is always designed to score. So it is just a matter of whether the defense takes that away or not.”
When asked how he’s dealing with things as the starting quarterback, now in the spotlight Brady says that things really haven’t changed too much.
“There’s just probably not as much free time, doing stuff like this [talking to the media],” said Brady. “I’d normally be down eating lunch right now. So just the phone calls and they type of stuff, that is probably pretty much the biggest difference.”
“When I am here the preparation, like I said last week, is the same. Just more the off field stuff, just a little less free time, which is fine because I like being busy.”
Should Brady’s success continue he says he’s not concerned with having to deal with a quarterback controversy between he and Drew Bledsoe. He’s more concerned with the job at hand and will do whatever the coaching staff tells him.
“I never look at it like that,” said Brady. “I just look at it that I am preparing this week to play and I let everyone else talk about who should play and who should not play. That goes on at every level and like you said it has been something that I have been a part of. And the one approach that has worked for me and why I continue to approach it the way I do is that I just control my performance.”
“If that is good enough, hey that’s good enough. When they say play, I play. When they say don’t play, I don’t play. So it is just comforting for me, and I sleep better at night, knowing that I’ve done what I could do and the rest is left up to other people who are making the decisions.”