Friday, August 19, 2011
Brady breaks down big victory
By Mike Reiss
TAMPA -- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady played for the first time this preseason and it looked like he didn't miss a beat from his 2010 MVP campaign.
"It was fun. It’s been a while since we’ve had a chance to be out there," he said after leading a fast-paced offense to a 21-0 lead after the first quarter. "I think a lot of guys were antsy to get out there. [I’m] glad we put some points on the board. Obviously there are a lot of thing we can do better too, but we’ll use it as a great tool for us to get better, and hopefully come out and play better next week."
Brady finished 11 of 19 for 118 yards and two touchdowns, working for the first time with receiver Chad Ochocinco. Brady went to Ochocinco early, his first attempt an incompletion as it appeared Ochocinco stopped running his route, which he paid for by taking a big hit from linebacker Mason Foster.
Brady went back to Ochocinco four plays later along the left sideline, but the pass was dropped.
The first completion capped off the team's first scoring drive, Ochocinco on the receiving end of an 8-yard touchdown pass on a play-action out of a three-tight end set.
"It’s just [that] he’s really finding a role for himself," Brady said of the veteran receiver. "He’s been practicing hard. He’s very competitive. It’s good group we have out there, so we just go to continue to build."
Brady was protected by an offensive line that had first-round pick Nate Solder at left tackle. The unit opened up big yardage in the running game as well, the offense churning out 76 yards on nine carries in the first half (8.4 avg.).
"They always do a great job, so they take a lot of pride in that," Brady said of the big guys up front. "It’s a group that’s been together for a while now. I thought we ran the ball really well [and] stayed out of negative plays for the most part. When you ever can stay on track like that, you put a bunch of good plays together."
As for what he learned about the offense in the first half, Brady shared his thoughts.
"I mean, we expect to go out there and score," he responded. "We were good in the red area. One drive we got penalized and didn’t make much out of that drive, and the last one we didn’t drive [in the two-minute situation], so while there was some good, there was plenty of bad. I’m sure I’m going to see the film tomorrow and be disappointed with some of the things that I wish I could have done better. We just got to build on it and understand those things we did wrong and try to make it right."