Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spoke about being named the AFC offensive player of the week for the second straight week.
Brady’s been named player of the week 19 times in his career. This is the third time he’s won the honor in consecutive weeks (’07, ’10, ’11).
“I didn’t know that,” Brady said when informed of the honor. “It’s always very flattering to be chosen. There’s so many great players in the league. And really, our offense, there’s 11 guys out there. There’s never one player. It’s not the quarterback. It’s not the receivers, it’s everybody.
“Everyone’s got to be on the same page, doing their job and I think we’ve done a decent job the first couple of weeks getting off to a good start. It’s only going to get tougher from here and we’re expected to go out there and make plays when there’s an opportunity to go out there and make plays. That’s what we have to do. That’s what my job is, to put the ball in the hands of guys who can actually do something with it and those guys have been doing a great job all through training camp and it’s so early in the year I think we have to keep building on the things we keep doing well and also understand the things we haven’t done so well so we can improve upon those things because they’re all going to come up. It’s just going to get tougher and tougher as the season goes. It always does.”
Brady spoke more about his offensive support from this year’s group and how the Patriots work together to move the ball.
“It’s a collective effort,” Brady said. “The better Wes Welker does, the better it is for Chad [Ochocinco], and Deion [Branch], and Rob [Gronkowski] and Aaron [Hernandez], and the better that Rob does, the better it is for all those other guys. And the better the running game, the better it is for the play-action pass, so everything feeds off one another.
“It’s not one guy doing it. All these guys are able to find matchups and then when they get the opportunity, they’re making the catches, they’re running the right routes, they’re in the right spots. We’ve had a lot of good years here. Ultimately it comes down to winning games and that’s the best part about it, that we’re 2-0.”
Brady and the Patriots won’t be taking the Bills lightly, especially this year.
“This week is going to be a huge challenge for us,” Brady said. “We’re going up against a team that’s also 2-0, that’s scored a ton of points, that’s been pretty tough on opposing offenses. They’re at their own home stadium and we’ve got our work cut out for us, we really do.”
More from Brady courtesy of the Patriots media relations staff:
Q: What are you seeing from Buffalo that looks different from last year?
Brady: They’re playing good; they’re playing good football. They went into Kansas City and really gave it to them pretty good. [Kansas City] didn’t really do much offensively; I think [Buffalo’s] defense really put a lot of pressure on them. They’ve got a lot of good players over there. They’re really big, physical players, athletic at linebacker, good coverage in the secondary. I think playing against them last year in that second game – it wasn’t our best performance out there either. We scored points – I think we were the beneficiaries of a lot of turnovers – but we know how good of a defense [they have]. They really match receivers tight. It’s tight coverages, tight throws and they can get after the passer too. [Shawne] Merriman’s back to his old self and Kyle Williams is one of the best interior guys we face all year. There’re a bunch of different challenges. I think they’re good in all phases and Buffalo is always a tough place to play. It should be a fun weekend.
Q: How important is depth – on any team, obviously – but specifically with what you guys do offensively? How do you look at the whole breakdown of depth you have offensively?
Brady: Every player is counted on. Everybody that’s on the offensive roster that’s able to contribute has to contribute; I think everyone is counted on. There’re not a lot of guys that you have offensively, so when a guy’s not in there, other guys have to figure out ways to contribute. Who knows who it will be this week, but it could be anybody. [It] could be like last week; it could be something different. We’re trying to figure out and sort those things out. Obviously, we won’t know until Sunday until the guys are out there that are playing because at this point, we really don’t know who is playing.
Q: It looks like some teams might be faking injuries to slow offenses such as yours down. You guys are up-tempo, you have quick pace and all of a sudden a guy drops and looks like he’s dead but then he’s back in the lineup. How bothersome is that to you or is that just part of the game?
Brady: It’s not really bothersome. The hard part is somebody really may be hurt, so you hate to see injuries in football and if a guy is down, you take it pretty seriously. Whether that’s a strategy, I have no idea; Coach Belichick has never coached that for us or anything like that. If it is, you just deal with it, you play through it, play with a little mental toughness and try to go out there and execute. Everyone’s going to have different ways to try to slow down teams.
Q: Having thrown for almost 1,000 yards in the first two weeks, does this season start to feel different than other years?
TB: That we’re 2-0? I know we’ve started 2-0 before. There’re different ways to win games [and] I think we’ve had opportunities to be able to throw the ball. Last year against Buffalo we ran it pretty good in both games, so when my number is called upon I try to execute. When the running backs’ number is called upon they try to execute – the offensive line always has to execute. The receivers, they know when they’re the primary on the play; they know when they’re run blocking. Offense is about everybody really being on the same page. That’s what we’re trying to be. We’re trying to be efficient and when the ball is snapped, [we’re] trying to make yards, trying to get the ball to open receivers, trying to make the right cuts in the running game, eliminate negative plays, eliminate turnovers – all of those things that lead to production on offense. That’s what we’re trying to do.
Q: For you to be good at making pre-snap adjustments, is that all about preparation or is there something else that goes into that?
Brady: It’s preparation – it certainly is – but it’s by the entire offense. Look, I could see something, but if I can’t figure out a way to communicate that or when I do communicate that, guys don’t really understand what I’m trying to get across at the line of scrimmage or in the huddle, then it’s not worth it for me to try to do something. I can communicate something, but if they’re not studying on the other hand, then it’s not going to work out; there’s not going to be any cohesiveness within the receiver group or tight end group. I love to be able to identify the defenses that I’m going to see. I love to be able to study and prepare and take things that I see on the film and then use those when I get them in the game, and then try to get us into the right play, but those other guys are studying just as hard as I am trying to understand that, ‘OK, Tom is going to change it, this is why he’s going to change it, this is what he’s going to change it to,’ so they can anticipate those things as well. So, there’re maybe three or four things they may be looking for, as opposed to 50 things, and then they can play that much quicker.