- Field Yates, ESPN Insider
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady discussed the up-tempo offense during his weekly radio appearance on the "Dennis & Callahan" show on WEEI sports radio in Boston.
He said that the rapid pace in which the offense against the Broncos on Sunday was a method to keep the pressure on their defense.
"We were moving pretty quick. I think we were trying to keep the pressure on them -- to try to get them to line up and make their calls, and I thought we did a good job of that," he said. "Once again, it's trying to keep them off-balance, trying to keep our tempo really high so that it forces them to get lined up as quickly as they can in the right spot. And we got a 12-men on the field [penalty] at one point, there was some creases in the run game because of snapping the ball pretty quickly. It was good, it was a good day."
Central to the team's success in the hurry-up offense is extensive repetitions of the pace in practice, something Brady said isn't always easy to coordinate.
"I think it's hard for us to practice it offensively, because you're trying to get a certain defensive look that you're actually going to go against, but sometimes when we snap the ball, there really is no look that we've gone against because they're trying to get lined up and we're trying to snap the ball" he said. "Our guys, there's a lot of blocking on the run, where they're going toward where they're supposed to go and take up something that they see. It's tough to defend. I know our defense sees it a lot, and they have a hard time with it sometimes, getting their substitutions in and their calls, so I know it works against our defense, and we have a very smart defense. Then I know that we're doing something right."
The hurry-up pace also requires Brady to operate on his toes, diagnosing the defense in front of him prior to the snap and making the proper checks when neccessary. The quarterback said he has his eyes on all layers of the defense as he approaches the line of scrimmage to take the snap.
"It's hard to say. I get that question and they say, 'well, what do you look at?' I kind of look at everything," Brady continued. "You look at how deep the safeties are, where the corners are playing, the leverage of the corners. Obviously how they're defending the slot receiver, where the linebackers are, how they balance up the front of the formation. Do we have any advantageous looks to run the ball? It's hard to say, at this point it's like trying to say, 'when you're driving down the street, what are you looking at?' I'm looking at my front, I'm looking in the side mirrors, I'm looking at the radio, in my rearview."
Looking ahead, for the first time in his career, Brady will start a game in Seattle during Week 6. The Seahawks are known to have one of the most boisteruous home fanbases, and their home stadium is considered a difficult place for visitors to communciate offensively. Brady said his offense will still be able to run the hurry-up pace, predicated upon precise communication, in Seattle.
"The communication is different on the road. There's a little bit more of a challenge, esepcially in a place like Seattle," he added. "I've never played there, but I've heard it's pretty loud. But we've played in loud enviroments, we played in Baltimore and ran a lot of no huddle, played in Buffalo last week and ran a lot of no huddle. It's not something we can't do, we just try to figure out what we think is going to work the best, and that's what we try to do. We're never really locked into one particular mode, it's just more a matter of how do we need to attack them."
While Brady admitted that the up-tempo pace could induce more room for error because of a communication mishap, he stressed the importance of reminding his teammates that being on the same page is more critical than moving fast.
"I think I always tell the guys, if you don't know what I'm saying, you've got to let me know, because I'd rather have 11 guys on the same page than go fast and have 9 of 11 guys on the same page."