Brady on Cassel, Crennel
November, 16, 2011
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady doesn't need a reminder about how frustrating a season-ending injury can be. With the Chiefs coming to town on Monday night, he'll only naturally be reminded of the ACL injury that ended his 2008 campaign just minutes into the season-opener. With that in mind, Brady can relate to what former backup Matt Cassel is going through this week with his season potentially over due to a hand injury.
AP Photo/Winslow TownsonPatriots quarterback Tom Brady against the Chiefs in 2008.
Cassel, who guided the Patriots to an 11-5 mark in Brady's absence, was injured last week and will not play against his former team.
"It sucks to be injured," said Brady. "There’s nobody that goes through a football season that doesn’t get injured, you just really hope it’s not really a permanent injury. [Cassel is] a tough guy, he’s tough as anybody I’ve been around. So it’s disappointing for him that he won’t be able to be out there."
But Brady wasn't much in the mood for reflecting on an old friend -- at least not one that won't be calling the defensive plays for this week's opponent. Brady did talk at length about the challenge of going up against former Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel.
"I obviously have plenty of things that I need to worry about with our offense," said Brady. "[Kansas City is] a very good team. Defensively, they're very well coached. We’ve been around Romeo for a long time, so we have a decent understanding of what he does, but we haven’t played these guys in a while. They have some very good players, defensively, and we need a good week, so that we can go out there and be very well prepared and play with a lot of confidence, play with anticipation, and try to go out there and execute well.”
Brady was asked if he sees Crennel's trademarks on this Chiefs defense.
"It's what we do on defense," quipped Brady. "There's a lot of familiarity, through training camp and every day in practice. It's really a 3-4 defense, and they're very fundamentally sound. You can see the things that they are coaching every single week. They line up, they're very physical. They make it hard to run it. They have some very good corners, very experienced corners, athletic linebackers, so it's a very good group. And because they are very well coached, they are rarely in a bad position. In order to make plays, you have to run good routes, make good throws -- you gotta pass protect against one of the best pass-rushers that we've faced in [defensive end Tamba] Hali. They have a very good group."
Brady also spoke at length about the team's no-huddle approach, but tried to squash any correlation between the team's offensive success and staying in the no huddle.
"We tried to run it against Dallas and didn't score a lot of points and we tried to run it in Pittsburgh and didn't score a lot of points," said Brady. "To me, it's more about the execution and the tempo of the game. I think if we execute well, whether we huddle or we don't huddle, we're going to be able to score points. Sometimes when you go out there, try no-huddle and it doesn't work, you say, 'We're not doing that any more. Let's go back to huddling.' And you guys think, 'Oh, you didn't do much no-huddle this game,' and you're saying, 'There's a reason, because it wasn't working.' If it works, you stay with it; If it doesn't work, you move on."