FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- During his weekly news conference Wednesday, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was asked about the importance of sustaining drives against the New Orleans Saints this Sunday, and his response reflected his overall frustration with the unit's production.
“I think we’ll try to put together any drive at this point to score points -- long, short, it doesn’t matter. We have to score touchdowns,” he said.
The usually high-scoring Patriots are in unfamiliar territory, averaging just 19 points per game, which ranks them 24th in the NFL. Last year, the offense averaged 34.8 points per game, the top mark in the NFL.
Brady said earlier this week on sports radio WEEI that “we have to start making the plays that NFL players make.” He expounded on those remarks Wednesday.
“You know it when you see it; it’s executing at a very high level on a consistent basis, especially in critical situations,” he said. “When you play good teams, good defenses, the windows are small, the throws are tight, the catches are tight, and you have to be at your best. We haven’t done a great job of that this year. We haven’t scored as many points as we’re capable, for a number of reasons.”
The return of tight end Rob Gronkowski, reportedly this Sunday, could help. But Brady isn’t riding the emotional roller-coaster on Gronkowski’s status.
“We’ve kind of talked about it a lot the last five weeks. If he’s there, he’s there. If he’s not, he’s not. We’re going to try to go win anyway,” he said.
“I’m just kind of waiting like everyone else. Whenever it is, it is. We’re 4-1. We’ve won four games without him. If he’s not there this week, we have to try to go to 5-1 anyways. So hopefully when he does get back out there, we’ll be more productive.”
Later, Brady said of Gronkowski: “He’s been a great player for us since he got here. He always looks the same to me. He’s Gronk, that’s what he is – he comes in every day, works hard, he’s got a lot of excitement and brings a lot of energy to the team. He’s a great player. So what he’s shown over the last few years, that’s what he is.”
In the end, Brady focused on the bottom line.
“I just want us to score points. Whatever it takes us to score points, that’s what matters,” he said. “You let your emotions get into it, your feelings, but realistically you have to come up with a plan. We have to figure out how to score points. I said after [Sunday's loss the Bengals], you’re not going to win many games scoring six points. If we score six points this weekend, we probably won’t win. We have to do a lot better than that.”