“Honestly, I haven’t turned it on. I hate the Jets, so I refuse to support that show,” Brady said. “I’m sure it’s great TV. I’m glad people are liking it. But that’s just something that I have no interest in watching. I’d love to say a lot of mean things, but I’d rather not do that, either.”
As for the Patriots, it sounded an awful lot like Brady’s affirming the thoughts of just about everyone who’s been watching — that this offense is making serious progress.
“Anytime we’re winning, I like that,” he said about the preseason wins over the Saints and Falcons. “That’s what it all comes down to. We went down there a few days early to practice against them a couple times, and I think we felt pretty good about the practices, too. Each of those competitive situations we’ve been in — whether it was practices against the Saints or the game, practices against the Falcons or the game — we hung in there pretty good.
“So there’s a lot to be taken from that. I think the guys are certainly playing with a lot of confidence. As you can see it’s a different team than what you saw at the end of last year. It needed to be, I don’t think we were playing the type of football we needed to play, and I think [we’re] getting back to some of the things that really, when it boils down to it, are the key characteristics of a winning football team.”
One thing that was particularly interesting to me was Brady’s assessment of how the young guys are being brought along.
“What we’ve done this camp is tear down a lot of stuff we’ve done over the years to our basic offense,” Brady said. “Whatever number of core plays we have, that’s kind of what we’ve being doing. We’ve tried to become really good at that before branching off into other things. And the thing with Randy [Moss] and Wes [Welker] is they’ve branched off into everything at this point. The other guys, they don’t even know the other two playbooks that we have. They know the one that we have, and they’re doing that well.
“Like I said, we’re all confident they’re able to do those things well, but I can recall things with Randy and Wes that these guys have probably never heard of, so it’s hard to compare that. Once we get into the season, I think what we do as an offense is see what the other team is doing, and what they do well, and those things — the strengths, we try to stay away from those, and the weaknesses, we try to exploit them. And that doesn’t necessarily fit to the core plays you have, so you gotta find a way to make adjustments to get your guys open.”
Follow the jump for a few more things from the quarterback.
On the running game helping the passing game: “I think they play off one another. Anytime Randy Moss and Wes Welker are on the field — I remember we used to watch, playing against the Colts with Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, this was four or five years ago, every time they handed off I took a deep breath and said, ‘Thank God they’re not throwing it 50 yards down the field.’ At the same time, when you run the ball, you really control the game. If a team can’t stop you running the ball, it makes really whatever you do offensively seem to work, whether it’s play-action, inside run, outside run. In the red zone, those confined spaces, to be able to run the ball is a huge benefit to the offense, because it’s hard to throw in those situations. We had a couple third-down situations in this last game where we handed it off — once on third-and-7, once on third-and-2 — and picked up both those first downs. You sit there all week trying to devise pass plays to run against their schemes and get guys up. But the easiest one is to turn around and give it to Sammy [Morris] or Fred (Taylor) or Benny (Green-Ellis) or Laurence (Maroney) and watch them do it. That’s the best offensive football.”
On last year’s offense being predictable: “I don’t think that’s the case. I think if there’s one thing we never are, it’s predictable. We have a very challenging offense in terms of where we line players up, the plays we run, the amount of plays that we have, the complexity of the offense. By no means do we have an easy offense for people just to come in and learn. That’s why I think it takes a certain kind of offensive player to play in our system, because it’s a very challenging system. I think what we didn’t do (last season), whatever we were running, we weren’t running it very well. I’ve said it before, the best defense I ever played against was the Miami Dolphins about 8, 9, 10 years ago, and they played pretty much the same defense every game. And it didn’t matter what you did, they rushed the passer, they covered you, they covered you short, they covered you deep. They had one or two change-ups that complemented what they were doing. And I had my worst games against them. Our passing game was terrible against them, and we knew going into the game, exactly what they’d play. That to me is the mark of a really good team, is when they do know what you’re gonna do, but you do it so well, they’re really not able to stop you anyway.”
On when he knew, during his first camp, that he made the team: “I called my agent a couple of weeks into training camp. We had John Friesz and Michael Bishop and Drew (Bledsoe) obviously on the roster. This was two weeks into camp. I said (to agent) Steve (Dubin), ‘I think I want to buy Ty Law’s condo.’ He said, ‘What are you talking about? The final cuts are in three weeks, you don’t even have any money.’ I said, ‘Don’t even worry about that.’ I forgot how much it was. I probably had $20,000 to my name. Ty brought me over there. I was a little rookie sucker he wanted to sell his house to. I did end up doing it before the final cutdown. (Dubin) said, ‘Are you sure you’re going to be around.’ I said, ‘Don’t worry, of course I’m going to make the team,’ without much hesitation. When I think back to that, we kept four quarterbacks that year. I don’t think that was the smartest real estate move I’ve ever made.”
On whether Bill Belichick would ever invite HBO to camp: “That would be tough. It may have to be his final season of coaching. If you ever hear that he’s allowed that to happen, I wouldn’t think there’d be another year after that. He hasn’t told me. Believe me, I have no inside information on that. But I think Coach Belichick has worked pretty hard over the years to run his practices the right way, his meetings the right way, and I don’t think he really wants to give that information away.”