Tom Brady was up early, making his weekly appearance on WEEI with "SportsCenter" on in the background, when Patriots highlights came on the program. His preschool-aged son Jack, who has been in the postgame locker room a couple of times this season wearing a number 12 jersey, saw the Pats, and likely his famous father, come on the screen and said excitedly, "Daddy, that's you!"
Brady chuckled and explained to the hosts what Jack had seen.
Before and after his son's excitement, Brady touched on a wide range of topics:
What's different this year for the Pats compared to last year heading into the postseason:
"Well I think we’ve really bought into what our coach has been preaching all year. Last year was rough, losing (to Baltimore) the way we did, but at the same time we didn’t deserve it, we didn’t earn it and I think this team, everything we’ve set out for, we’ve earned. Look at the additions of guys like Alge (Crumpler) and Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez and the way that BenJarvus (Green-Ellis) has played this year, just the attitude of the guys…coach Belichick, he knows what he’s looking for and he certainly found it. It’s been a hell of a year, now we’re 0-0 and we have to see what we’re made of."
How this team has been able to be consistent week to week:
"Well, I think that’s just…that’s the way we’re trying to get it done. Look, we haven’t played great all season. There’s definitely games we haven’t played well, halves, quarters, but the guys in there, they’re trying to play their best. We have a lot of guys getting opportunities, look at yesterday: a kid like Taylor Price, he made three big plays, (Brian) Hoyer has a really great game, a guy like Julian (Edelman) – that’s what this team is made of, team of guys trying to give it all they’ve got."
On the Cleveland loss being a 'positive':
"I don’t think losing is a good thing. You certainly can learn things from losses, and you can learn from wins. That loss, we came out of there saying 'we can’t play like that.' That definitely came out of that, I think we can lose those lessons without losing those games."
What did he not see coming:
"I think having a guy like Danny Woodhead, that was probably the biggest surprise – not a surprise, he’s been great player since he’s been kid or he wouldn't be in this position, but I never followed him. To lose Kevin (Faulk), who's been the most consistent, durable player on our team over the course of an entire decade, one of the most clutch players I’ve ever played with, and to have someone...no one would have through that Danny could step in and play the way he has. That’s a huge boost to the offense. When we lost Kevin, you think it’s going to be a long, long year. It’s really a specialty position and he’s stepped in and done a hell of a job."
If he worries about complacency or overconfidence from his teammates:
"No, I don’t think about complacency or overconfidence. We show up on Wednesday with mental toughness, ready to get better. We’re playing the best teams in the NFL now - there’s very little margin for error. We’ve got to go out there and play, (and) every lesson we’ve learned over the course of the season we’ve got to put it to good use."
His reaction had Bill Belichick told him he wasn't going to play against Miami:
"Yeah, there would be resistance. I saw him earlier in the week and talked to him and he told me the approach he wanted to take and I said, great, no problem. Whatever approach he wants to take is what we're going to do."
On his streak of 335 pass attempts without an interception
"I honestly don’t think about it. I’m trying not to throw interceptions and there’s times I make a bad read, and when (defenders) get their hands on it – look, they could have intercepted me a couple of times. We’ve also been playing with a lead, the offensive line has been doing a great job protecting…there’s a lot that goes into it, the way the receivers run routes and protect the football, they’ve done a damn good job being in the right place and catching the football. You’re right: I’ve been fortunate and it’s a credit to the entire offense."
On the fake end-around touchdown play from Hoyer to Brandon Tate:
"I was happy – what a great throw, what a great catch and to see those guys do it…they don’t get a chance. Brandon’s made a lot of big plays for us this year, but Brian hasn’t. He’s a perfect patriot, he works his tail off, he's a student of the game…he's earned it. He’s going to be a great player in this league."
Brady also said that he hasn't been through the Back Bay intersection where he had his September car accident since that day; he's avoiding it.