… but at the end of the day, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said, “It’s about execution.”
After a string of transactions –- the Patriots waived Kevin O’Connell Sept. 1, then the Lions picked him up the same day later, trading him the five days later to the Jets –- essentially turned the Patriots one-time second-stringer quarterback into an informant for the AFC East rival Jets, which could have an impact on this weekend’s matchup as New York’s defensive guru Rex Ryan game plans for the Patriots.
Brady acknowledged the insider intelligence that O’Connell could offer (O’Connell once call Brady’s quarterbacking skills “artwork at its best”) but said he and the Patriots would adjust accordingly.
“You’ve got to change some things, because I’m sure Kevin has told them some things that can help them,” Brady said. “But at the end of the day it comes down to how well you can execute. Having some inside information – you’ve still got to throw the ball, complete it and block. I think that’s more important than anything.”
Speaking with the media two days after leading the Patriots to a 25-24 come-from-behind win (the 29th comeback win of Brady’s career), Brady touched on a few things, praising Ryan as a coach, and sort of brushing off the comments by Jets defensive lineman Kris Jenkins that “We’re going to be playing this game like it’s the Super Bowl.”
“We’re going to need to match that level of intensity,” Brady said. “We obviously are very confident as a team. Talk is cheap. You’ve got to go out there and do it on the field.”
He touched on a few more things.
• THE CHALLENGES OF A REX RYAN DEFENSE
“The players that they have on the field can all rush and they can all cover. And I think that’s the challenging part. You really don’t know who’s rushing at times. You don’t know who’s covering. All of them can do (both). Sometimes they don’t have any d-linemen on the field. They have all, basically, linebackers and secondary guys. You’ve got to really be aware of what we’re doing in our protection. Don’t get rid of the ball quick. That’s what we’ve got to do.”
• THE FEELING OF BEING IN BACK IN THE RHYTHM OF THE SEASON
“It feels like the regular season now. There’s some soreness and some tired faces in there this morning. That’s the way the season goes, and it goes fast.”
• THE RIVALRY WITH THE JETS
It’s been a great rivalry since I got here. We played there on a Monday night in 2000 and we were up on them pretty good. They came back and got us at the end. But it’s always a fun time down there. We’ve had a lot of meaningful games against them. It’s a fun opponent. There’s a great history between the teams the coaches and the players and so forth. They’re a great team. They’ve really proven it over the course of the preseason and this last game against Houston. Houston was supposed to have this really high-powered offense, and just went out there and didn’t even have 200 yards of offense. We’ve got our work cut out for us.
Brady threw 53 times Monday night, the most he’s thrown since he went 34-for54 with 380 yards in a 31-28 win over Philadelphia in November of 2007. On the final two-drives, he completed 11 of 13 passes for 112 yards and two scores, but assessing the entire game while at the same time sizing up the matchup with the Jets, Brady said, “We’re going to need to play certainly better than we did the other night.”