Quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning as part of WEEI’s Patriots Monday. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Brady said despite the fact that his stellar play of late has catapulted him into discussion for league MVP, he has plenty of room for improvement leading up to next Monday night’s AFC East showdown vs. the Jets. “I could play better, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “And I really think this would be a great week for it.”
Brady said the Patriots don’t have much margin for error against their co-division leader. “It’s going to be a hell of a test,” he said. “They’re one of the best teams in the league, and they’ve got some great players that are playing well. They’ve shown they can win close games. They’ve blown teams out. It’s going to be a hell of a game. I’m excited for it.”
Brady lauded his team’s resiliency and mental toughness, traits that were not as evident last year. “Whatever coach [Bill] Belichick asks of us, guys are willing to do,” he said. “That’s really been something that’s really been talked about all offseason, all during training camp. I’m really proud to be a part of a team that’s really showed up when it matters most.”
However, Brady responded to a question about his motivational sideline speeches by saying there’s still a need for some players to be reminded about the importance of every game.
“There’s always an effort to bring energy out there,” Brady said. “I love being out there at practice. I’m always pretty much on edge. I’ve been around a little while. Look, we’re 9-2. We haven’t accomplished anything. I’ve been a part of a team that won 16 games in the regular season. And I’ve been to five AFC championship games. These games that we’re playing, yeah, they’re important. But a lot of the guys on our team have played in a hell of a lot bigger games than regular-season games. So, to me, what we’ve accomplished really is nothing to this point.
“There’s always a part of me that knows, ‘Man, you can lose. You can have a really bad game and lose.’ I’m not trying to have any of those games. And I’m trying to express to my teammates — who maybe it’s their first year or second year, they haven’t been a part of it — ‘Man, listen, we haven’t done anything. Literally nothing. Zero. Nine wins? Nine wins is nothing.’
“Coach always says — and I said this last week — ‘Football season starts after Thanksgiving.’ It’s after Thanksgiving. Now we’re going to see what kind of football team we have. We’re going to see what other good football teams are, and what it takes to be a good football team. It’s not easy this time of year. There’s a lot of guys b-anged up. Depth for each team now has really become an issue. Mental toughness has really become an issue. The weather’s getting colder. The games are getting bigger. This is really when you find out kind of what the heart of each team is.”