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Transcript: Tom Brady Conference Call with Atlanta Media
Q: What has it meant to have Rob Gronkowski back out on the field?
TB: Yeah, he's a big focal point in our offense. I mean, I think when he gets going, it's great for everybody, so it's been great having him in there this year. He's worked really hard and he's a great player. I love playing with him. We've got a great rapport, and hopefully we can put together a good game plan this week.
Q: How were you able to get Gronkowski the ball on the second-quarter touchdown against the Jets when he was so tightly covered?
TB: Yeah, he's got a big catch radius, so usually you've just got to get it somewhere near him and he's got the ability to go up and catch it. You can usually find a pretty good place to throw it when he's running the field. So, he's a big target, he runs well and he's got great hands.
Q: When Gronkowski is healthy and in the lineup, does it expand the size of your playbook?
TB: Well, I think he's a great player, so the more great players you have, I think the tougher it is to stop. He's obviously a guy that's super consistent when he's been out there for us, and he's really playing that same role this year.
Q: Have you ever worked with a receiver like Brandin Cooks, where his speed can influence an opponent's defensive scheme?
TB: Yeah, Brandin's got great speed, but Brandin does a lot of things really well - not only speed, quickness and such a smart player. I've loved having the opportunity to work with him. We're still growing, I would say, and still working to find ways to get him the ball more often. I mean, he's done such a great job for us this year. It's just been really fun working with him.
Q: What is your reaction to facing the Falcons again after your comeback in Super Bowl LI?
TB: Well, I think we're both different teams. It's just sitting here at the middle of the second quarter of the season and trying to improve. I know that's what our focus has been on - trying to get better and be more consistent. It's a very different group of guys. It's different schemes and we're playing different teams and challenges. That game was a long time ago. We had plenty of time to celebrate that. I think we're just more focused on what we need to do in order to be ready to go this week.
Q: What did you learn from your Super Bowl losses and how did you cope with them?
TB: Well, I mean those games, they live with you the rest of your life - the wins and the losses. I mean, I think there's obviously 18 years for me. I mean, there's probably some games early in my career in the middle of October that I don't really remember that well, but I would say the Super Bowl ones you always remember pretty well. I mean, there was a lot on the line. You know, it's just the reality of it. I mean, as players, you hope you're in that position. You'd rather be in that game than not be in that game, win or lose. It's great to win and it sucks to lose, but that's playing sports.
Q: Did you have any conversations with Matt Ryan during this offseason? He has said that he respects you and watches your play.
TB: Yeah, Matt - I have a lot of respect for Matt. I really like Matt. Seeing everything he's accomplished is pretty amazing. He went to B.C., so I saw him when he was here. We practiced against them and always watching him - I've seen a lot of him in the last few years. He had an incredible year last year, and I can't say enough good things about him as a leader. He's got great character and he's a great player and he's obviously great for that Falcons team.
Q: Ryan mentioned that he watches your footwork. What do you think he can learn from you specifically about footwork? What would be your advice to him?
TB: Well, first, giving advice to Matt Ryan, he's the MVP of the league last year. I mean, he doesn't look like he needs advice from me. He's doing pretty great. But, I would say in general, all quarterbacks are watching other quarterbacks. You're always trying to learn and watch how other guys get rid of the ball, run the play action, ball handling. I mean, all those things are important. You can look at other players do it. You want to be more efficient. You want to keep growing as a player. You never want to get stale. I would say it's constantly evolving and changing, and I've been lucky to be in it for a long time. I mean, Matt's still kind of in the middle of his career. I just see him keep getting better and better.
Q: In preparing to play the Falcons, is there anything you and the team can gain from the Super Bowl tape?
TB: Yeah, I think there's something to be gained by looking at every bit of tape. I think seeing certain matchups and so forth, and I think the one thing you realize is how talented this Atlanta team is. I mean, they've got a lot of speed. They're very aggressive. We were down in that game a big margin, obviously, and it's because they were playing great football. They played great football all season last year. They were very close to winning some other games this year, like last week, so they very easily could be 4-1 and rolling. We're expecting their best.
Q: Grady Jarrett was an issue rushing the passer in the Super Bowl, but do you see an evolution of growth in the Falcons pass rush this year from the entire group?
TB: I think they have a lot of speed and they've got a great rush. I mean, they gave us everything we could handle in the Super Bowl. They've got a lot of guys up front that can rush the quarterback, so we've got a big challenge ahead.
Q: Because of how Super Bowl LI progressed, is that your favorite Super Bowl memory or do you have one?
TB: No, I would say everything's different. I mean, really, they're all unique. They all hold a special place in your mind, but every game is different. They're all different scenarios and situations. I mean, obviously, winning the game, it's an incredible moment in your life. Like I said, we got to celebrate it. This year I don't think we're really where we need to be. We're, certainly, 4-2 - I think there's a lot of things we wish we had done better and we're still working to improve. That's where we're at. We're focused on playing a great team. Like I said, I've got a lot of respect for this coaching staff, these players, and I know they're going to be at their best on Sunday night. Read