Here is the transcript of Tom Brady’s weekly appearance on WEEI, in which he addresses the Patriots’ loss in Detroit, his confidence in the offensive line, and the hard work Chad Ochocinco is putting in:
Can a loss like that have same effect as Cleveland loss last year – get the team’s attention?
Well I mean who knows at this point. You hate losing anytime you take the field in competition, I’m sure there’s a lot of be learned, a lot to be understood by our entire team of the things we need to do on a consistent basis so we can win games. WE’re getting back to work today, we had yesterday off, and I think everyones exicted to get in there and see wha the issues were and see the positives that we can take from the game so we can move on and hopefully play better this week.
Can the fan reaction to the Tampa Bay game leak into the locker room?
We really try to make a concerted effort not to do that. That’s probably one of the great characteristics of playing for a Bill Belichick-coached team – is that we don’t really listen to what anyone else says, we pretty much stick to what our coach is telling us. He wasn’t overly enthusiastic about the Tampa game, there was plenty of things we could have done better, as there will be plenty of things we could have done better this week. I think it’s all part of our maturation as a team, it’s all part of the learning process, part of the training camp process, is how do we react to things when they don’t go so well, how do we play on the road, how do we rebound from a tough loss. We got off to a pretty fast start last week, how do we respond when we don’t get off to a pretty fast start? Those are all things that have to be conditioned into a team and I think that we’re going out there and we’re working hard in practice, and you wish it would show up perfect every time you take the field and part of the high level of competition is that it doesn’t. and we’ve got to, in order to be at our best in a couple of weeks, we’ve got to play significantly better than we played last week but also understand that if we don’t get off to a fast start the things that we need to do so we can respond and ultimately play well enough to win the game, which is the goal.
On the protection problems in Detroit
Well a lot of it’s technique, and it’s not all protection – look, I mean, if you’re an offensive lineman, you get beat at times, if you’re a quarterback, you throw interceptions, if you’re a receiver you drop passes. That’s part of playing the position and part of being very good at that is overcoming those things. So there’s times in the game where you get beat or times when you make a bad play; that’s part of it. I know a lot of times when the quarterback gets sacked a lot of times you want to blame the offensive line but sometimes it’s the quarterback. Some of the time it’s them having really tight coverage on receivers. A lot of it is us as a team, collectively, making sure we’re all on the same page so you don’t get sacked, you don’t throw interceptions, you don’t have plays that are negative offensively…those are things that we’re working on, those are things we need to do a better job of on a consistent basis and hopefully they will be a lot better in a couple of weeks.
Have you watched the Lions game yet?
No, you know, we got back pretty late yesterday morning and with the hurricane…I’m heading in there now to look at it. I’ve been thinking about it since the game was over, we always do that. I think about all the things that I screwed up and I need to do better. That’s why I’m anxious to get on the practice field and start to try to make improvements.
You almost got hit hard by Ndamukong Suh – did you sense him?
I heard him, probably. He’s a very good player. One of the strengths of that team obviously is their pass rush, so that’s really what they rely on and when they do rush the passer well they play well, and when they don’t rush the passer well they don’t play well. So that’s part of their strength, and we have to understand the strengths of the teams that we play so we can not play to those strengths and play to what they don’t do well so we can be successful on a more consistent basis.
Is it true you don’t have a team-specific game plan for the preseason? Or it’s more “we’ll run our stuff”?
Yeah, that’s the majority of preseason football…Most of the time in practice, we’re practicing against each other – the Patriots offense versus the Patriots defense, so that’s part of training camp. There’s no excuse for going out and not playing well in the game because no matter what play is called, you can still do what’s best for the play – it may not be a successful play, but maybe the best thing is to throw the ball away, or take a sack as a quarterback, or throw the ball only where your offensive player can catch it. Regardless of the play or whether it’s going to be a touchdown-type play, you can make a good play. That’s what you’re evaluated on, that’s how we evaluate ourselves, more than the points on the scoreboard.
On former teammate Tedy Bruschi’s comment that the Patriots need to learn to win when Tom doesn’t play well
Well, I love Tedy, you know, he’s a great friend, and is one of the greatest teammates we’ve ever had. I don’t…look, a quarterback plays bad it’s hard for any team to win. If a quarterback plays mediocre, of course you can win games. There’s not many times a quarterback can throw three interceptions and you win the game. A quarterback needs to play good. And I certainly try to go out there and expect to perform at a very high level every single game and when I don’t it’s extremely frustrating for me. And that’s why for a day and a half all I do is think about the game, whether it’s a preseason game or not, because when you don’t play to the level you don’t think you’re capable, you rack your brain play after play of why did I do that, what am I doing, what do I have to do better, so there is an awareness created of what you have to do better. We all, I’m sure – it’s not a regular-season loss so it doesn’t count in the standings, it identifies a lot of things we need to do better and the game is certainly important, but we’re glad that game didn’t count toward the regular season standings but we’re going to go out and have a good week this week and certainly play a lot better this weekend.
What if the game did count?
You’d be identifying a whole different set of problems. You don’t make excuses for losing games, we’ve never done that around here. Look: when you lose, you get outplayed. We had a bad night…I think in some ways we all create expectations through winning, and you have one bad play in a game, ‘man, why did I make a bad play’ and ultimately we’ve got to do a better job of overcoming bad plays so we can make better plays going forward.
Was there a miscommunication with Chad Ochocinco on interception?
No. No, other than a terrible play by me. That was a bad play. I thought they were blitzing and I checked it – I was trying to fool them and they fooled me. They get me on that one.
On why Ochocinco & Deion Branch have so few receptions in the preseason
I’m not sure; I’m not sure. That’s the quarterback’s fault for not getting those guys the ball; I’ve got to do a better job of getting those guys the football. They’re very consistent playmakers for us, and I’ve got to really make sure they are getting the football. That’s the point of play quarterback, to get the ball to the guys who can do things with it. They’re great players, they’ve been great players for a long time and we’re going to find ways to get those guys the ball.
Is Ochocinco coming along?
Yeah. I mean, he is, and he’s been a great player for a long time also and I know just in talking to him he gets frustrated by when things don’t go well for him either because he’s racking his brain, ‘God, why do I feel this way, why do I feel that way.’ He and I, we’re always in communication. I have a lot of confidence in Chad as a competitor – in the short time that I’ve been with him, he’s really fun to be around, he really loves playing the game, and he’s going to be an exciting player. I’ve got no doubt about that.
Is Ochocinco putting in the time to get better?
He sure does – he puts ‘em in, he works hard at it, he’s fun to be around, he’s a guy that really loves football and I think you can tell by his attitude out there. I think that he’s been frustrated because he feels like he’s not being himself because he’s still thinking a lot about what he needs to do rather than react. And we all do that – we’re all doing that at this time of year, coming off the long layoff from football, we’re all trying to overthink on ourselves a little bit instead of going out there and being instinctive and reacting. And that’s one thing that I’ve been thinking about a lot and I need to do a better job, is just going out and letting my instincts take over instead of sometimes you overthink things and you play hesitant and that gets you in trouble.
Does the environment in the locker room change with cutdown days coming?
Well it’s always like that. There’s cutdown days but you can be released at any point. It’s a tough time of the year for guys that you played with, its tough on coaches and at the same time it builds on excitement toward the regular season, so in one way it’s hard to see some guys go, in other ways you’re getting excited you’re going to be playing in a meaningful game in a couple of weeks.
Are you confident in the offensive line?
Yeah, I have no question about it, that the offensive line, those guys, I’ve played behind those guys for a long time and nobody has more confidence in those guys than me. Matt Light, him being on my left side, and Logan and Kope, and Connolly and Seabass, those guys have been great players for us. Standing back there in the pocket holding the football I have so much confidence in those guys and what they’re able to do, the way they work together, the way they communicate, their mental toughness…they’re a bunch of tough guys and they take a lot of pride in what they do, so there’s nobody more confident than me in that group.
Will you play in the preseason finale?
I’m not sure, I said after the game I hope to go out there and play and play as much as they’ll let me. I want to get out there and start stringing some good plays together, good drives together before the games start counting, so if it’s up to me I’m playing a lot. It’s always up to coach Belichick, but I’m certainly going to put my two cents in.