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Wed., Feb. 22, 2017 12:00 AM to 11:55 AM EST
Wed., Feb. 22, 2017 11:55 AM to 2:00 PM EST
Wed., Feb. 22, 2017 2:00 PM to 11:59 PM EST
Tom Brady Press Conference Transcript
(on his dissatisfaction with his performance in the AFC Championship Game, and what needs to happen for improvement in the Super Bowl)
"Well, I think it all comes down to preparation, and then obviously going out there and playing with confidence. We had a good week of practice, a couple really good days of preparation, and really trying to understand the strengths and weaknesses of this Giants defense. We played them a while ago and I think they've changed. They are certainly playing as well as anybody we played all year. So, we've got our work cut out for us. We have practice tomorrow morning. It's really nice to be here, and it's time to get to work because we're here to try to win a football game."
(on whether this Super Bowl has added meaning for him since it's been a few years for the Patriots, and given the outcome of their last Super Bowl appearance vs. the Giants)
"They're all pretty special. I say it every week, it's pretty hard to win a football game in the NFL. Every week there's a certain level of quality of competition that you face. Thirty-two teams start out the year with hopes of being in this situation. We're very fortunate to be here. We've overcome quite a few things, quite a few adversities to get us here, and we're really honored to represent the AFC. I think we've certainly earned it, and the Giants have earned it. It makes for a great game. One week from tonight kickoff will be about this time. We'll spend our time getting ready, but I know all of the players will be very anxious to get the game going."
(on the pressure the Giants' defense brings)
"We played them plenty times, and they can really get after the passer. It's the third time we've played them this year. We played them in the preseason, in the regular season, and obviously now. We play them every year in the preseason. It really starts with those guys up front. Justin Tuck and Osi (Umenyiora), I've played against those guys a bunch. JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul), (Chris) Canty, (Dave) Tollefson, it seems whoever they put in there can get after the passer. Anytime you can limit the quarterback from the time it takes to make a read to make a throw, it's much more challenging. It comes down to quick decision-making. I put a lot of trust in my offensive line. It's a great group of players who have really played together for a while. Matt Light over there at my left tackle, there's no one I love having over there more than him. Logan (Mankins), Dan Connolly have done a great job - we've had a few centers this year - Brian Waters came to our team this year and has done a remarkable job. (Nate) Solder and Sebastian (Vollmer) have done a great job at the right tackle position and have played great."
(on being in Indianapolis and practicing at the Colts facility)
"It's great to be in Indy. We drove by Lucas Oil Stadium on the way in, and you see Dwight Freeney's picture up there, to come to Indianapolis and not play him is definitely a relief for me. He's terrorized me for a long time. I'll be terrorized by some other players in some different uniforms this week. It's great to be here. Regardless of where you play, the Super Bowl is an incredible experience. I've been very fortunate in my career that it's my fifth time. You try to communicate to the younger players how special it is to be here because you do really never know when you're going to come back. That's what makes for a fun week, even dealing with you guys (the media) is fun for the players. I've never been out there (at the Colts facility). I've heard that it's a really nice facility - I'm sure it would be -we're excited to get out there and see what it's all about. Hopefully, we'll be indoors all week."
(on the possibility of joining Joe Montana as a quarterback to win four Super Bowls)
"Honestly, I haven't really given much thought to any records or anything like that. For me and for our team, it's really about this one game and the challenges that the Giants present to us. I was a 49ers fan growing up, so Joe Montana and Steve Young were my two favorite players. It was always a special time for me to go out there - my parents had season tickets - and we'd go sit down in the end zone about 10 rows from the top of the stadium in Candlestick, which is the greatest field to begin with, and watched a lot of great 49ers games. It's cool to think as NFL players that there are some kids looking down at us who are going to have some special memories of us."
(on offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien balancing his duties between the Patriots and Penn State)
"He's been very focused with us. He's really a professional. He's balancing a couple different things. We know that he's fully committed to this team and what we're trying to accomplish this week. I've been lucky to have been coached really closely by him for the last three years. He's an exceptional coach and I know Penn State is very lucky to have him." Read
(on appreciating the moment after having missed a season due to injury)
"Certainly, certainly. For all of the players you don't know if this is your last time taking the field. It's a very physical sport, and there have been a lot of players who have gone out there one day, and the next day they don't have a chance to play again. That's part of this sport, and you wish everybody the best of health when they take the field. There are a lot of things that you can't control. It was really a bummer for me when I missed that season. I've spoken to Peyton (Manning) several times, and I know how disappointed he was to miss a season. But if anybody will get back, it will be him."
(on the stability and evolution of his relationship with Bill Belichick)
"I think those jokes that he tells the team I've probably heard 20 times. He's very consistent as a coach. I think he expects and demands that we're always at our best, and I'd say that he coaches me the same way that he coached me the day that I got here. On our team, it's interesting, there really is no separate treatment for different players. The rookies are expected to perform and act the same as the veteran guys. It's great as a player on our team, because on our team you really don't have to hold the other players accountable because the head coach does it. He's very tough - he says to us from time to time - he understands that it's a demanding place to play and that it's really not meant for everybody. He appreciates all of the players' willingness to commit themselves to a goal that is really greater than the individual. I think that's why we're sitting here today because we have a great group of players who have worked very hard and who have committed themselves to each other to reach this point. Whether you win or lose, that will be decided next week."
(on his message at the Gillette Stadium send-off that hopefully there would be more fans at the celebration next week, on whether he was hoping to project a confidence as the team departed New England)
"It was a pep rally. People were pretty excited. Certainly the players were excited, the 25,000 fans who were there were pretty excited, as well. We get great support home and away, and hopefully we'll see some Patriots jerseys in the stands next Sunday night."
(on the pressure the Giants applied in the last Super Bowl meeting between the two teams)
"It's been a strength of their team for as long as I can remember. Michael Strahan, as great of a player as he was, I think we played them in 2003 and they were still harassing the quarterback. It seems like they always have guys who can rush the quarterback. Justin Tuck is as good as they come. Osi (Umenyiora) week in and week out, he's a player who can ruin a game for an offense. You look at the group they have now, and they have a ton of depth at the defensive line position. There were times this year when they weren't all out there as a group, but they're out there now and they're playing extremely hard. I think as a quarterback you understand that you can't sit there and hold the ball all day. You'd better find someone and get rid of it, because they're going to be coming. You don't want to sit back there and sort things out. Certainly I'm not going to be able to run away from them. I gotta be able to throw the ball quickly and find the open guy, and get it into the hands of someone who can do something good with it like my skill players have done all season."
(on the offensive team identity using two tight ends and how Rob Gronkowski's availability may change the team's identity for this game)
"Both those players, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, have been a huge part of our offense, what we try to do. They're pretty much out there every down, both those players. They do some things differently even though they're both considered tight ends. They'll be involved this week. Hopefully Rob can play. We'll see how he does. Nobody can really predict that. We're preparing for both. You have to prepare for every one of these situations that comes up. Both players could be healthy, and you go out there on the first play of the game and you lose both players. You always have to have contingency plans. For two young players to play the role in their offense that they have is pretty exceptional and really speaks to what those players are all about and how much they love the game, and really how much they work and prepare themselves to be great NFL players." Read