FOXBOROUGH — Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has not been satisfied with the way his offense has operated in the tight confines of the red zone the last few weeks, converting just one touchdown in eight opportunities. However, Brady was comfortable with a claustrophobic cluster around his locker today.
He did the same thing for his weekly interview prior to the Falcons game and the Patriots won. He was hoping for the same good luck this week against the Baltimore Ravens or bracing for the rush he’s going to get from the Baltimore defense.
The Patriots will need to be good in tight confines this week. Baltimore is one of the best red zone defenses in the league, tied for first, allowing just two touchdowns in eight opportunities.
Brady admitted that the Patriots have to do a better job of concluding drives in the end zone. He said the biggest challenge has been execution.
“There are guys that are open and there are plays to be made, we’re just not making them,” said Brady. “We all have to do a better job of focusing on the techniques down there, and how we’re trying to execute, and ultimately go out there and make the plays.”
One thing that would help Brady and the Patriots in the red zone would be the services of Wes Welker, who was present for the media portion of practice today. Having Welker on the field on Sunday against the ravenous Ravens defense would be a big boost.
“Any time you have Wes out there, it helps,” said Brady. “He’s led the league in receptions over the course of the last two years. Any time you substitute anybody in for him, it’s tough; there’s only one Wes Welker, so hopefully he’s out there this week. He’s a guy that adds a lot to this offense. I know he’s working hard to get back.”
While Brady wants Welker back he joked that he was hoping that Ravens safety and Bill Belichick favorite Ed Reed would take the week off. Brady expressed great admiration for Reed, the preeminent safety of his generation.
“He’s tough back there on quarterbacks,” said Brady. “It feels like he leads the league in interceptions every year, which is tough to do when every team goes into the game thinking that we’re not throwing Ed Reed interceptions.
“He just makes some spectacular plays. He’s fun to watch from a quarterback’s standpoint because you really appreciate what he’s able to do. It’s a great defense, and he’s one of the leaders, obviously, with Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs. They’ve really got some playmakers over there. But Ed’s as good as anybody.”
Brady did not directly address his demonstrative body language and behavior from the Atlanta game, when TV cameras caught him agitated and upset on the bench after the Patriots had to settle for a field goal at the end of the second quarter.
He said the team is working to improve its execution.
“We’ve had a lot of moving parts, everybody is trying to learn each other and understand each other,'” said Brady. “Sometimes it shows up in a game, sometimes it doesn’t show up so well. It’s a long season for us. Being 2-1, I wish we were 3-0 — we haven’t played well enough to be 3-0 — I think really what we’re focusing on this week is playing this team that can do everything and do everything very well. So, we’ve got to go out there and have a great week.”