Commentary

Pats ready for a little noise

Seattle stadium may start off loud, but Tom Brady's goal is to silence it

Updated: October 11, 2012, 9:35 AM ET
By By Field Yates | ESPNBoston.com

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Despite its reputation as one of the noisiest and most difficult places for opposing quarterbacks to play, Tom Brady says he's excited to travel to CenturyLink Field in Seattle for a Week 6 matchup with the Seahawks.

"I think anytime you go on the road, you expect it to be loud," the Patriots quarterback told reporters during a Wednesday news conference. "We practice with that. I know this is a very -- [the stadium] gets some attention around the league for how loud it is. I'm actually excited to get out there and play in a place I've never played."

Seattle is one of just two cities that Brady has not played in during his 12-plus seasons in the NFL (San Francisco being the other), and the quarterback admits he's excited to take the field at a new venue.

"Yeah, I think I've always looked forward to doing that," Brady said. "There probably aren't many that I haven't played in at this point. But this will be fun. It's always nice when you take 53 guys on the road and you say, 'This is all we've got and this is all we need and this is what we have to do.' "

[+] EnlargeTom Brady
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty ImagesTom Brady says he's eager to play at CenturyLink Field in Seattle for the first time, even if he has to scream to be heard.

Among the goals for Brady and his offense will be to quiet the crowd, and, as he states, turn the fans against their own team.

"I think that's an exciting part for road teams, is to see if you can get them booing their own players," he said.

It won't be easy to do, as Seattle boasts one of the top defenses in the league, and, according to head coach Bill Belichick, the loudest stadium.

"We've played in a lot of loud stadiums before, but none louder than Seattle," Belichick said. "I think they're as loud as anybody. We'll have to do a good job with our communication and just our mental alertness."

Belichick says his team will "crank up" the noise at practice this week in an effort to simulate the game conditions, but ultimately it will come down to execution on Sunday.

"We can crank up the noise here as loud as you want to crank it up, [but] in the end, Sunday we're going to have to go out there and we know we're going to have to deal with it," he said. "And it's not just offense, it's your punt protection ... on the field goals, it's all those plays."

Receiver Deion Branch, who played four-plus seasons with the Seahawks, knows what the Patriots will be facing.

"I think everyone knows the atmosphere of that stadium," Branch said. "Everybody across the league [knows] it's by far the loudest stadium, and it can get louder and things go bad for the offensive side of the ball."

In order to neutralize the impact of the crowd noise, Branch says, the Patriots must stay focused on what the team can control.

"I think the biggest thing for us is to make sure we go in and stay focused and try to stay on track, and we can try to control that portion of the game," Branch continued. "We just have to go out there and do our job, and we can kind of silence them a little. Just a little."

Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, who played his final college season at the University of Wisconsin (whose Camp Randall Stadium seats north of 80,000 people), describes the atmosphere in Seattle as unique.

"There is nothing like it," Wilson said. "I played in a lot of stadiums in college, in front of 100,000 people, and here I'm not sure exactly what it is -- probably 65, 66,000 -- but it's ferocious in that stadium, just how loud it is, and the energy that the 12th Man fans bring in CenturyLink. Just that energy, that passion that our fans bring, it really heightens our ability to play at an even higher level."

The veteran Brady says there's nothing better than taking an opposing crowd out of the game with a strong performance, as his team was able to do in Buffalo during Week 4.

"That's the fun part about being on the road. There's nothing better than being on the road, like in Buffalo a few weeks ago, there were more of our fans there at the end than their fans," he continued. "We've done that in Pittsburgh, we've done that in some very loud environments."

Last Sunday at Gillette, during the Patriots' Week 5 victory over the Denver Broncos, Brady and his offense spent the majority of the game running an up-tempo, fast-paced attack. But in Seattle, in front of a spirited crowd and ambient noise, will that approach work?

Brady says the offense can play at a number of different tempos, and will focus on what it believes to be the most effective strategy to attack the opposition.

"I think we have several different tempos that we try to play at. Sometimes you go no-huddle; sometimes we have to slow it down," he said. "It's all really a matter of how the game is going and how we feel is the best way to attack the other team.

"Every week you go in and you have different modes of playing and plays and schemes, and usually by halftime you narrow those down and you have 30, 35 plays left in the game and those are the ones you have to hone in on," Brady said. "Whatever is working, that's what we're going to try to do."

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, who compared the Patriots' offense to the University of Oregon's (which Carroll faced annually during his tenure as the head coach at USC), says that practicing fast is the goal of his defense's preparation this week. He also mentioned getting lined up fast and displaying sound technique as integral to slowing down the Patriots' up-tempo pace.

"It's the problem of getting everyone where they have to go and doing the things you have to do. That's the challenge to it," he said. "If we line up, and get our assignments right, and play well techniquewise, we'll have a chance to show you what we're all about. If not, then we'll look like the other teams they're playing and they'll have their way."

SPONSORED HEADLINES

EDITORS' PICKS

MORE NFL HEADLINES