Patriots quarterback Tom Brady joined the “Dennis & Callahan” show on Boston sports radio station WEEI on Wednesday morning, answering a number of questions relating to the offseason, Super Bowl XLVI and his upcoming Best Buddies charity event, set to take place Friday and Saturday. Click HERE to listen to the full interview on WEEI.
Here are some sound bites from the conversation.
On whether he has moved past the Super Bowl XLVI defeat.
“I think that’s the fun part about starting the OTA process, is you really starting looking forward at that point. For all of us, you suffer tough ends to the season, and you’d like to win it all, and it’s a tough end to the season. You’ve got those months in there where really what you do is think about the past and you think about what you can do better in your training. Once we start practicing, it’s a different team. So we’ve got a different group of guys, a different mix of talents, and we’ve got a team that we can put on the field. It’s been fun being back to work and seeing everybody together and getting on the field and running football plays, because it really forces you to move forward, and I think everyone has done that at this point.”
On whether he lost more sleep over an early intentional grounding penalty or an errant throw to Wes Welker late in Super Bowl XLVI.
"Any time you don’t do exactly what you hope to do, you regret 'em and you lay in bed at night and you think about every play you could’ve done a little bit better on. I could pick a lot of plays in that game that I wish I did a better job of."
Brady vacationed with Welker shortly after the season, and was asked whether the two discussed the throw on the aforementioned play at all and how situations like that work.
“We’re two people who spend a lot of time together. We know what each other are going through. A lot of times your girlfriend or your wife can’t console you because they don’t truly understand what we put in weekly to try to be at our best. They definitely see from the outside what we have to do to prepare each week, but no one’s really inside of our building down in Foxborough, and sees the kind of pressure and scrutiny that all those players are under to perform. You go through it, you talk through it and you support each other. Our team has always done a good job with that, every player, because I think we all do have a closeness about it that we’re concerned with how people are mourning a loss or mourning something else maybe that is really important in someone else’s life. My teammates are my best friends, so that’s the way it’s always been and I’m sure that’s the way it’s always going to be.”
On adjusting to new receivers, as well as new receivers adjusting to the Patriots' offense, specifically Brandon Lloyd.
“Fortunately I’m very familiar with Jabar (Gaffney) and Donte’ (Stallworth), and Brandon’s going into his 10th year. He’s really a professional as well, he knows how to prepare himself, he’s been in our offense, he has at least familiarity with the things we’re doing. It’s been fun to work (with) him, we haven’t been out there long, we’ve got a ton of practices to go, hopefully we make progress every day. Hopefully when we’re on the field, we’re communicating and talking through stuff in the film room and talking through stuff on the game field of things that I see, things that he sees and that he expects. Ultimately this game is about anticipation; if you’re not on the same page as your receivers or running backs or offensive linemen, you can never anticipate and you just react. If you react, you’re always slow. I don’t need to be any more slow than I already am. Hopefully I can figure out ways to anticipate better; that’s part of the process in the offseason. Things that you see that you need to make improvements on, because if you don’t, you fall behind. Everyone else is gaining ground; you’ve got to find ways to gain ground as well.”
On how long it takes new players to become comfortable within the Patriots' offense.
“It’s different with different players. There’s a lot of things that go into being a good player, especially on our team. Coach Belichick always tells us it’s not an easy program that he runs. Some guys come from other teams, and maybe they’re not really held as accountable on a daily basis, but Coach Belichick –- if I throw an incompletion, I’m going to hear about it. I think guys come, maybe they’ve been in the league for a while, and they’re like, ‘Why is he always yelling? Why is he so tough on us?’ He just tries to keep the pressure on us, because he feels that’s the way that he gets the most out of us. I think that you can tell relatively early the way that a guy responds to that type of coaching, you can look in his eyes in the huddle and see how confident and comfortable he is in what you’re asking him to do. Sometimes you get in the huddle and I’m looking at the guy and he’s looking at me, and he’s got this expression on his face like, ‘Oh God, what’s the play? Am I going to know where to go? Am I going to know how to do it? Am I going to be able to do what the coaches are asking me to do?’ Some guys you know right away; some guys it takes a couple of months. Obviously it can’t take forever. This is a performance-based business. If you’re not on the field performing and helping the team win, you’re not going to be around long; you can’t just think that you’re going to have two redshirt seasons and then you’re going to be the second-string behind the fourth-year senior and then you’re going to get your chance to play. You’re going to have to establish your own role for yourself. If you don’t, you’re not going to be in this business very long.”
Brady recently starred in a video campaign for Under Armour, one that garnered praise and noted improvement from his 2007 appearance on "Saturday Night Live."
“It’s not like Tom Hanks in 'Castaway.' It’s not like I’m playing some dramatic role or something; it’s pretty much being me. It was fun. It’s interesting when you work with some people for a few years and they go, ‘What if we tried this?' When I saw what they were asking me to do, I thought it could be pretty good and there were some funny parts of that day that, I was laughing pretty much the whole day until they told me to get pissed. They were like, ‘It’s much more funny when you get pissed.’”
On his Best Buddies event this weekend.
“I’m looking forward to it; it’s this weekend. It’s something that I’ve been a part of since I got to this area, 12 years ago. I’m excited, every year we’ve grown, we’ve raised more money for the Buddies and all the different programs that we run. I’m looking forward to the football game at Harvard Stadium on Friday night and the ride on Saturday. It’s always something I look forward to. I hope the weather holds off; I’m also crossing my fingers. I rode in the rain before, and I didn’t really like that nearly as much.”
Brady was asked whether he would like to see the Patriots give receiver Wes Welker a long-term contract.
“I wish there was an easy answer. I always support Wes. None of those decisions are up to me, and these things end up working themselves out at some point. I don’t know how or when or who or why, but sometimes I get emotionally involved in those types of situations and it doesn’t work that well for me so I just try to support him as a friend. We’re all in this business, and it’s a tough business, and you always hope for the best. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I love Wes; I’d love to have him here for as long as I’m playing. None of those things are really up to me.”
On Junior Seau.
“He was a very special person, and I was fortunate to play with him and get to know him. I’m sure like a lot of people, you don’t really understand why these things happen. I had a really close family friend of mine commit suicide last fall. It’s just hard on the family; it’s hard on friends. Junior was a great man, he lived with emotion, if you were his teammate, you saw his emotion every day and his love for life and his love for the game and his love for his teammates, which is probably why it surprised so many people. Obviously he was going through some things that were tough on him. I wish he could find ways to get help. Unfortunately these things happen. It was very tough for myself, for a lot of his friends, for a lot of guys who sat in the locker room with him and sat in team meeting rooms with him, because we all looked up to him so much, and we still do. Certainly he lived a very full life in the short time that he was here with us.”
On helping to facilitate an organ match through directing people to MatchingDonors.com, as was chronicled previously on our site.
“What a great story. There’s a lot of people who are doing great work out there. Matching Donors, they worked very hard to try to help Tom (Martinez, Brady’s longtime personal quarterback coach) out. I met a guy yesterday at our stadium who is involved with transplants, and he says just creating awareness for issues that people have, that are looking for donors and can’t find them, or the stigma attached to people that actually give organs, a lot of people they don’t right have the right information. That’s pretty cool to hear. We worked pretty hard to help Tom, unfortunately time ran out, but I’m glad some other people really got some help. Matching Donors, they’ve been involved in a lot of those cases over the years, and they’re a great organization.”