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Tom Brady 8/13: 'Good to go up against really good competition'

Posted Aug 13, 2014

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, August 13, 2014.

Q: How did a day like today help you in preparation for the season?

TB: It was good. It was kind of a New England-type day. We had a bunch of these last year, and really for the most part the weather has been great all camp. It's good to get work in like this. Certainly against a playoff-caliber team it's always good. It's been a good couple days.

Q: How would you characterize the second week of joint practices?

TB: It's just good to go up against really good competition. I think that's what it's been. I think competition has been at its best, and I think it brings out the best in all of us. Those guys are competing hard, and so are we. We've made our fair share of plays. I think we've made plenty of mistakes to learn from. I think the whole goal is to come out here and get better and see where we're at, measure yourself against another opponent, then we've got a day tomorrow with a little bit of time with them, and then we're at it Friday night.

Q: How much does playing time in the preseason affect you, but also how do the reps you get in these joint practices help you?

TB: Yeah, they're great because you got a lot of really competitive work in. In a preseason game, I don't get as many reps, so certainly a lot of situational stuff we did today is so valuable because even though you know, it's great to review and great to go over and to remind yourself, so when the games actually count you feel like you're a little bit ahead. We've just got to keep it going. I think we just try to, ‘Keep stringing them together,' as coach always says.

Q: Before your final drive today, it seemed like Bill Belichick was in the huddle imploring you guys to execute. Is that accurate?

TB: I think it was poor execution on the drive before. We just couldn't get much out of it. We had another opportunity, which usually doesn't happen in the NFL. You usually don't get a second chance, but in practice you do, and we went out and did a better job.

Q: How much do you expect to play on Friday night?

TB: As much as coach lets me. He makes those decisions. I'll be ready to play for as long as he wants me to. That's very valuable playing experience for me, too. It doesn't matter how many years you've been doing it, you've got to get out there and play under game situations and get your body going at the level that it needs to be at.

Q: Is there a part of you that wants Ryan Mallett to get as many opportunities as possible?

TB: Yeah, and I think we're all going to get them here in these next three games. Whatever we do, whoever is out there has to go out there and execute because our team really counts on that. If the quarterback doesn't play well, then it will pretty much suck for everybody else, so we've got to go out there and do the best we can.

Q: How much time do you spend looking at the mistakes versus looking at the positives?

TB: I think it's always both. We always talk about, sometimes when you leave the field, it's never as bad as you think it is and it's never as good as you think it is. And a lot of times, that's how the games are, too, because little things add up in both ways. They add up if you're doing them poorly, and they add up if you're doing them well. When we do things as well, when we don't make unforced errors, when we control what the New England Patriots can control, we can be a pretty good team. We just can't do things really that are unforced errors, things that the other team doesn't have to do anything to stop us, but we stop ourselves.

Q: What do you like about your team so far in camp?

TB: Everyone has been working hard. I think the competition has been at a high level. There are a lot of guys that are competing for spots. It always brings out the best in all of us when you see that and when guys dig deep. It's been a lot of fun to see. Certainly there are a lot of positions where – every position – where guys are fighting to earn their role, and that's what training camp is all about. It's really where you build your team.

Q: Do you feel like you're making progress with your receivers?

TB: We're learning every day, whether it's a walk-through, the meeting room or the practice field, where you probably learn the most because that's where you have to go out there and prove it. That's where you develop trust and confidence in one another. If it doesn't happen in practice, it's hard to imagine that it's just magically going to happen in a game. You have to be able to do it in practice over and over and over again in order to earn the trust of your teammates and coaches so that when you go out there, you see something that happened in practice, and then you have confidence that it can happen in the game. If it's never happened in practice, when it matters the most, why are you going to try to do it in a game? So I think that's really what we're trying to develop, and we get a lot of reps in practice on a weekly basis, certainly in training camp we get a lot of reps, so that's what everyone is trying to do for each other.

Q: Are you looking forward to Friday?

TB: We always look forward to the games. You play the game, you don't work the game, so that's what we're trying to do. We're trying to go out and play and have a lot of fun. We've got a day of prep tomorrow, and then we'll go out and let it rip on Friday.

Q: It seemed like you and Brandon LaFell we're clicking today. Have you been seeing him improve and are you happy with what you're seeing?

TB: I've really enjoyed being with him. He's added a lot. He's got a real love for the game, and he does a great job out there getting open. He just keeps making more plays. It's really fun for a quarterback to see guys out there really working hard to make the improvements and then really do it, and hopefully it continues to carry over. It's been a lot of fun to be with him. And Julian [Edelman] and Danny [Amendola] – [it's the] same thing. KT [Kenbrell Thompkins] has been making a bunch of plays. All those guys who have been out there are great. The offensive line keeps building, and they're really the strength of our team. I've got a lot of confidence in our group, but we've just got to go out and keep doing it, keep making improvements and learn from our mistakes, and then go out and execute when it matters.

Q: The interior offensive line seem to be switching, with Dan Connolly in for one series and then Ryan Wendell in for the next. Does that affect you at all?

TB: No, it doesn't. I've got confidence in those guys. I love both Dan [Connolly] and Wendy [Ryan Wendell]; I love those guys. They work so hard. The center-quarterback relationship is a pretty special one. I've got my hands on their butts probably more than their wives, so it's a pretty unique trust and relationship you have.

Q: Is that off the record?

TB: It's the truth, so one way or another. That's football.

Q: Chip Kelly talked about how much Nick Foles can learn by practicing with you this week. Have you been able to exchange any words with him?

TB: I haven't seen him much. Truthfully, it's hard enough preparing for my own job, and that's all I'm really focused on – being the best for our team. I'm just really locked in on what I need to do every day in practice and what I've got to bring to my teammates, which is positive energy and enthusiasm, especially on days like this, where not all the forces are with you. But you've got to learn to be mentally tough enough to push through. It's a challenging job all the time, so it's really 100 percent effort to do what I have to do to help our team.

Q: Where is Jimmy Garappolo's confidence at right now?

TB: I think he could probably answer that whenever you guys talk to him. I'm not sure.

Q: Is it possible for Aaron Dobson to be where he wants to be physically and mentally, having missed so much time?

TB: It's challenging for everybody, but everybody is in different situations. I don't think really getting ready for an NFL season is easy by any stretch. I think it's a lot of work and effort, and you've got to pay it in advance. You can't just slap it out there and think you can last the whole year. Whatever situation guys are in, they're trying to work to be the best that they can be. Some guys who have the opportunity to be out there every day in practice, it's great for our team, but if you don't, you've got to do what you need to do to help our team win at some point. Coach handles all those things, and we as players have to be mentally tough to just go out there and do our best, regardless of who is out there, because it could be like that. We've dealt with a lot of injuries over the years, but you can't let it detract from what you're trying to do, which is ultimately win the game. And it doesn't really matter how you win; you've just got to find a way to win.

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