Patriots quarterback Tom Brady addresses the media at the Brit Oval Cricket Grounds in Kennington, London.
Q: Have you been here before?
TB: Yeah. I was here about four years ago as a tourist and had a great time, so it's nice to be back.
Q: When you came four years ago, were you recognized?
TB: The Americans, they recognized me. But the English people, they're not too familiar with [American] football. So hopefully over the last few years ,with the NFL being here, have created some interest and some excitement. I know all the players are really looking forward to the game. It's a pretty unique experience for all of us and it'd be great to go out there and make it a memorable trip by playing our best game on Sunday.
Q: Are you going to do some sightseeing?
TB: Probably not, not a lot on this trip. This is for one reason and I think the guys really understand that, too. We got in late last night and got a little rest this morning. There's a little bit of free time for us, so we're kind of in a cool part of town with the shopping area, so maybe we'll find our way out a little bit.
Q: Football practice is on a cricket field.
TB: Yeah, it looks a lot longer, doesn't it? I said, "Maybe they measured it in meters or something." It's pretty cool though. From what I understand, this is a very historic stadium and I think England won the Ashes [cricket series] this year against Australia. I heard that in the way over. So, that's pretty cool.
Q: Before we get into Sunday's game, can you talk about the showdown with the Colts a couple weeks after the bye?
TB: Yeah, [the Colts game] is always the same time of year, too. We play a lot of big games and that's always a big one. [But this week's game] is a big one for us. This is kind of the reason why I think we've always been successful as a team is that we've always focused on the opponent we're facing this week. Tampa does some things very well. It's a competitive team, a very competitive group and this will be a competitive game.
Q: Wes [Welker] had a funny line out there, referring to your attire on the flight. Everyone else is in warm up gear and you're wearing a suit. He said, "What is this, the London Stock Exchange?"
TB: Wes said that? I don't take fashion advice from Wes.
So if you see Wes, believe me, he should have no concerns about what I'm wearing. But, I figured I should approach it as a usual trip.
Q: Is wearing a suit on road trips a superstition?
TB: Yeah, I think I've always done it. I think it looks great for the team to look nice and professional. Hopefully I try to set the tone for the other guys, but none of them took my cue.
Q: Have you gained your confidence back since the knee injury?
TB: Yeah, it's been a progression over a year now. There has been a lot of rehab and time in the training room. I've been able to get back out on the field and participate with my teammates. I've been really fortunate this year to not have any real setbacks with my knee or any other part of my body. It feels great, especially for this point in the season-going on our seventh game. Hopefully it stays that way.
Q: Do you think the team can build on its performance from last week?
TB: I hope so. I would see no reason why we can't perform better every week. We have more practice; we have more preparation. The new players have been in our system longer. We had a tough training camp. We've had some tough regular season games over the course of the first six weeks. I like where our team is at. We keep practicing hard, we keep making improvements and I think that's where you gain your confidence.
Q: After scoring 59 points last week, how do you guard against a letdown?
TB: Every week is different for us. Whatever we did last week, you take the good from it. You understand the things we did well and the reasons why you went out there and executed better than we certainly had in the previous games. You get a different game plan. It's a different opponent, obviously a different venue for us. So hopefully we go out there and play really well. We had a good week of practice thus far. We started on Tuesday, which is a little rare for us. We'll have our fourth practice today and hopefully make it a good one.
Q: Now that you're over here, does this feel like a different game?
TB: Yeah. Yeah, it sure does. The sightseeing bus on the way over here, we had Mark Briggs, who is our head of security, he's from England and he was pointing out everything on our way over and everyone was very interested. It's a great experience for all of us, there's no doubt. To play in Wembley [Stadium] will be a lot of fun for us. You hear wonderful things about the stadium. It'll be a nice couple days. Hopefully we get our rest and get adjusted to the time and then go out there and play our best.
Q: Is there a balance between trying to maintain normalcy and trying to take in the experience?
TB: Yeah, which we've done. This week was a relatively normal week up until we got on the plane. Now it's about getting back focus. You make the trip, now you have to get focus back on the game, on the opponent, what we're trying to do, how we're trying execute. I think that's the important thing, not to lose focus of everything we've done because there are plenty of distractions. If you get distracted, you get behind.
Q: Can you be as focused and driven as you were since before the injury? You're now a married man and accomplished everything in the sport. What is it that drives you?
TB: Well... what drives me? I don't think we have enough time at this press conference to get into all that.
I really love playing the game. I love competing at this level. Believe me when you're a kid in America and you grew up in the era I grew up in, watching the great football of the San Francisco 49ers of the 80s. I always loved playing the game. I started in college and really enjoyed that experience. I got drafted by the Patriots almost ten years ago and to me, it's the best organization in the NFL. Believe me, every time I take the field, it's an honor for me. It's a privilege to play for this team. Hopefully I always do it with the same type of competitiveness and the same type of leadership. It's not something I take very lightly at all. There's only a couple really important things in my life and this is right at the top of the list. Football is not something you can go at 70 or 80 percent. You're either in it all the way or you're not going to last very long. I learned that lesson early and I'd love to keep playing quarterback for the Patriots for as long as I can.
Q: What is it like to think of yourself as a global icon?
TB: I don't think of it like that too often. I'm very much who I've always been. There are certain circumstances in your life... opportunities that happen in your life that you take advantage of, and obviously with the success of our team, the quarterback gets a lot of the attention, a lot of the focus. That's just part of it. You don't have success as a quarterback without a great team, great coaches and great leadership from our owner, Mr. Kraft. Believe me, there's a lot of people that I'm very proud to be associated with and this team, we're all privileged to play for this team.
Q: Have you found yourself following Matt Cassel's progress this year?
TB: Yeah, all the time, all the time. Matt's my buddy. Matt and I are like brothers, so we still text each other quite. He's really a great guy and I'm always wishing for the best for him.
Q: Do you see yourself playing for London or Paris one day?
TB: That'd be some hell of some road trips. That would be challenging-hey, whatever the league needs to do, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.