FOXBOROUGH — Here are some of the comments Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made to the media today at Gillette Stadium:
On the Steelers:
“They’re a tenacious defense, they have a lot of real playmakers over there. James Harrison and what he’s done. (Troy) Polamalu. They have a lot of leaders of that defense. (James) Farrior has been there for a long time, we’ve competed against him. It’s a tough place to play at Heinz Field. We’ve got to go out there and start working on it today. Got a lot of crowd noise out there. Ready to get back on the practice field, everybody is after last week.”
Is last week behind you?
“I think we took quite a beating from our coach here the last couple days – well deserved. And we need to start playing better, start playing more the way that we need in order to execute better. You go into every game thinking this is what we need to do to win. And it’s frustrating when you come out of the game and you don’t do those things. And it’s great when you come out of the game and you do do those things. So it would be great to try to get back on track this week.”
Is there a game vs. the Steelers that stands out?
“Well, we’ve have some great battles against them. The ’04 championship game was a great game. That was as meaningful as they come and it was freezing cold weather. I think I have a lot of great memories because we won the game. Earlier that year we got our butt kicked in Pittsburgh. We got beat 31-0 I think. Something like that. I had an opportunity to go back and redeem ourself. It’s been a great rivalry for us. They have a lot of great players, great coaching, been one of the most successful franchises for a long time so we have to be at our best.”
Are these always big matchups?
“We’ve been winning for a long time; they’ve been winning for a long time. You win for reasons. I think we’re extremely well coached; they’re extremely well coached. We try to be tough and physical. They’re certainly very tough and physical. They play smart. They make big plays, don’t give up big plays. Are good in the kicking game. All those things you need to be a football team the Steelers are and have been. We have to recognize their strengths, try to play to our strengths. Understand what they don’t do as well — which there are very few of those things — maybe try to capitalize on those.”
On kicker Stephen Gostkowski going to IR:
“I didn’t realize that. That’s news to me. That’s a bummer. He’s been a hell of player here, a great kicker. We’ve got a few guys put on IR this year that are really great, dependable players that have worked hard: Kevin (Faulk) and Ty Warren. So he’ll be missed.”
On Steelers safety Troy Polamalu:
He can be anywhere, that’s the thing. I don’t know if it’s necessarily where the coaches put him or where he goes. He kind of does things his own way, he goes where he thinks the ball is going to go. He’s an extremely instinctive player, extremely athletic. He really gets to the ball fast. He flies all over the field. If I could be a defensive player, I would want to play like him. But I can’t because I’m slow.”
On whether another team’s scheme compares to Dick LeBeau’s:
“No. They are very unique in their style. And he’s been this way for a long time. He’s an incredible coach. Those guys are so disciplined in what they do. He was a great player as well. It’s really unique for that to happen. He gets those guys lined up, they all play hard. And it seems like no matter who they bring in, those guys play at an extremely high level. I mean Joey Porter and Jason Gildon. Then it transitions to Harrison and Lamarr Woodley and they just keep recycling guys and all those guys end up being incredible players, some of the best guys in the league. So not only are they great players, but they’re getting great coaching.”
On the effectiveness of the no-huddle offense:
“It’s been something we’ve been decent at. We certainly haven’t been great at it. We’re still working. We have a lot of different guys out there trying to do that right thing and we’re all trying to communicate and be on the same page. I always love being in no huddle because you really get a good tempo going as an offense. You can really start getting a feel for the defense, the speed of what we’re they’re doing. Ultimately it comes down to execution. I’d like to execute better in huddle, no huddle. Whatever we do we have to execute better.”
On Rob Gronkowski’s rough game:
“I mean, Rob is a tremendous player, what he’s done as a rookie. He and Aaron at that position, they’ve added so much to what we’re doing as an offense. And everybody has games like that. We all do. I’ve thrown four interceptions before and you feel like the weight of the world..’God I lost the game all by myself.’ And he certainly didn’t do that. There were a lot of plays that I could have done a better job of, all of us need to do a better job of. Football is very important to Rob. It’s not that he’s not working hard. It’s just sometimes things happen out there. You don’t have 10 minutes to make a decision out there. These things happen quick. When it doesn’t go well, you keep hearing about it over and over. Sometimes you can get down on yourself a little bit, but you also have to understand it’s just part of playing competitive sports. You’d like to do it right every time but no one in the history of sports has done it right every time, you just have to do it better and more consistently and we’re all trying to do that.”