As the Patriots move on from the loss to the Colts and prepare for the Jets, quarterback Tom Brady took questions at his locker Wednesday morning.
Q: An interesting week ...
TB: Playing the Jets, yeah. It's always a good week for us. It's the best way to get over a loss, come back to work. Everybody's really excited to be in here and we'll try to make some improvements this week and go out and play a lot better.
Q: This team has usually responded to adverse situations pretty well with a big win. Can you talk about that and how you hope to come out this week?
TB: It's tough. You know, you lose those games and emotionally you're pretty drained. It's disappointing for everybody, but the reality is there's a lot of games left for us. We all understand that. If you can make the improvements that we need to make and clean up some of the things that we've made mistakes on, then you can come out with a win. And we're playing a team that's already beat us this year. That presents some different challenges for us. I just hope we play better than we did the last time against them.
Q: Does it bother you to hear what some people are saying about Coach Bill Belichick? Do you take that personally?
TB: I don't take anything personally. It's nothing about our personalities. You know, when you lose, people place the blame in certain areas and we all know in here that there's not one thing to blame. We all could have done things better. It's unfair when in a group of 53 players and however many coaches we have that one person [who] gets the blame; the reality is that it's everybody. We all share in the disappointment and the frustration. We've got to get better. We've got to move forward. I think that we've lost games around here before, tough games, but we've got to be professional and go forward.
Q: Do you look back to that pass to Kevin Faulk as you've looked at that and said, "Maybe I could have put that in a better place?"
TB: I'm worried about the Jets. I think I'd talked a lot about the Colts game and I think we've all got to move forward and understand that we're playing a great opponent - one that really gave our offense a lot of problems the last time we played them - and that has a lot of good players. It's already Wednesday, that game was last Sunday and really that game can't help us at all moving forward, so it doesn't really do us a lot of good to waste energy thinking about it or talking about it. We've got to just go worry about the Jets.
Q: Obviously, you were missing Wes Welker the last time that you played them. Did you miss him?
TB: We always miss Wes, he's one of the best players on our team, one of the best in the league. Whenever he's not playing, you have to make up for it in other ways. Julian [Edelman] stepped in there the last time and did a good job against them. But there's only one Wes Welker out there.
Q: Is there any extra motivation in this game against the Jets and after the loss to the Colts? Sometimes does it really deserve extra motivation to go out there and play hard?
TB: You know, it's kind of the same for us every week. We put a lot into each week and there's not a lot left in the tank each week. What we have in our tank, we put out there on the field. It gets drained after one week and then we have to fill it back up the next week. And that's what we're doing now.
Q: How are you guys going to handle the Jets' blitzes this time around?
TB: I don't know. We're going to see how well we prepare and how much better we understand what they're doing so that we can be more prepared for it, and go out there and try to execute better. But it's a good scheme. It's been proven for a lot of years, but the Jets really seem to have adapted to it. They're playing some great football.
Q: On Sunday, after leading throughout, how disappointing was it that you didn't take advantage of some of the opportunities you had in the second half?
TB: Yeah, I think we've played well at times this year in the first half, second half. When you've playing good teams, you have to play well. When you're playing a team like the Jets, we have to play well for four quarters. There's no letting up. There was no letting up last week, but sometimes you don't make the plays when you need to make them. That's the same thing that happened against the Jets down there, we didn't make any plays in the second half. The same thing happened against Denver, we didn't make any plays in the second half. We've got to start finding a way to do a better job when we really need to and try to win some of these games.
Q: Talk a little bit about their secondary and what makes them so good and so deep.
TB: Well, it's a very talented group. Kerry Rhodes is a really good player for them. [Darrelle] Revis is a great corner, who was at the Pro Bowl last year, and Lito Sheppard, who we've faced a bunch in our careers. They have a good group. They play within that scheme very well. They change a lot of things up, so you can't really ever get a read on exactly what they're doing and it's a very competitive group. So we've got our work cut out for us.
Q: How important are Dan Koppen's pre-snap responsibilities?
TB: Very important, very important. He coordinates what the offensive line is doing, which really puts the running back in their assignment, and I understand what they're doing, so I can focus on my passing assignment or my running assignment. He's a smart guy up there and he really leads that group, so it was big to have him out there last week.
Q: How does he play off of your calls?
TB: He listens for my call and then he makes his call.
Q: There's been a lot of talk today about Jets Coach Rex Ryan. He had an emotional meeting with his players on Monday. What are your thoughts on how you would react if Bill Belichick were to cry in front of you, if you could imagine that?
TB: I can't imagine that either. I can't ever imagine Coach Belichick doing that in front of us. He coaches us pretty hard. Every coach has a different style. It's an emotional game [because] I think we all put a lot into it every week. And, physically, it's pretty demanding. Physiologically, weeks like this are pretty demanding. You try to convey a message. And our coach always conveys a message of truth: 'This is how I feel, and this is the truth and this is what we need to do.' I think we always find a way to respond to that.
Q: Having played the Jets before and having personally had a tough time, how does that prepare you or how much more capable are you of attacking their defense?
TB: Well, I'd like to think that we're a better team now than we were in the second week of the year. We've made some good improvements. But this team really challenges us. It was probably our lowest output of the season in points, yards, production, third downs, all the way across the board. We had a bunch of yards in penalties, also. They're a good team and they challenge us in a lot of ways. Playing them one time, I think that's going to help you, but we can't play much worse than we played. There's got to be some saving grace in that.
Q: Do you really do your own ironing?
TB: Of course I do, [Tom Curran]. I do my laundry, I do the dishes, I do everything.
Q: An off-topic question, but Thanksgiving Day is coming up. What kind of memories do you have playing on Thanksgiving? How special is that?
TB: We did it once in the pros, where we played on Thanksgiving Day, but for the most part, for the high schools around here, I know it's a real fun day for them. Even when I was in Michigan in college, I know they did the same thing. In California, football is over by then. It's a pretty cool tradition, and I see all the coverage and we follow it around here for most of the teams that we know. But it's a fun day for those kids.
Q: Did you see Maurice Jones-Drew the other day, stopping short of the goal line and saying 'I'm sorry I disappointed my fantasy fans.' What do you guys think of that play? And do you play fantasy?
TB: I'm not a fantasy guy. It was a great play, a very smart play. When you have players like that who are of his caliber, talent-wise, with a level of intelligence out there, it's exactly what you want to do in that situation. I don't know if they coached him to do that - Coach Belichick would coach us to do that - but to have the player understand the situation and be able to execute it, that's a pretty cool thing to see.
Q: You mentioned the fact that they're three games, but it's not only physical when you lose a game. The games that you just mentioned were a while ago, but do you think back on them and think the best team won, or do you focus on the things you could have done better?
TB: I think we always can do things better in those losses and be better in the wins also. I don't think we come out of too many games thinking, 'Wow, we can't really make any improvements on that game.' Obviously, in the games you lose, there's a different emotion that you're dealing with just because you're frustrated by the loss. But we learned a lot from the Jets when we lost, we learned a lot from Denver. We're going to learn a lot from this game, but we've got seven games left and this is the biggest one of the year. This is big for our division, it's big for the conference standings, so we've got to go out there and try to beat these guys.
Q: [On the aggressiveness of the offense]
TB: Well, we kind of just run the offense. I don't look at it like we're being overly aggressive, or not aggressive. I think we're just calling the plays I think we need to call to get our guys the ball. Sometimes it looks better than others, sometimes it looks pretty good. But we have certain guys in this locker room that are very dependable players that you always have to find a way to get the ball to.
Q: Talk about a week like this, where the teams takes a couple of days off. How does Coach Belichick address that? Is the page really completely turned to the next game?
TB: Yeah, he [curses us out] pretty good on the things we did wrong. There's no 'Welcome back.' There are no hugs in the locker room or anything like that. We [don't] forget the things we didn't do so well and we get back to work. It's a long season. Like I said, we've lost plenty of games here - more than I care to remember - and you have to show back up the next day and put just as much effort into it as you did the previous week. The reasons why you lost, you have to understand those, and the reasons you're doing well, you have to understand those and try to be more consistent in the things that you're doing well.
Q: When you look back over the years with this team, there are not many back-to-back losses. In being able to recover from an emotional disappointment like you had on Sunday, is there a strength that allows you to get past that in allowing you to move on to next week and move forward?
TB: Well, I think we've got a coach that understands how to prepare, how to prepare us. We have teammates that like to work hard. You've got to put the work in, you've got to build a foundation. With that, your level of play consistently is pretty good. You have tough losses, but you can't dwell too much on the losses. You just have to understand that it happened, there's nothing you can do about it. You've got to go on.
Q: How much of a concern at this point is red zone efficiency?
TB: Well, we have to be better in the red zone. We work at it quite a bit, probably more than any other thing that we do. It's not good when you kick field goals out there, you leave too many points on the board. The last game, we went 3-of-6, so that's not very good.
Q: Is that one of the tougher points to pinpoint what's not working?
TB: What do you mean?
Q: Of all the areas for things to go wrong, is that one of the toughest areas to kind of pinpoint what's causing the inefficiency?
TB: No, it's pretty easily identifiable, whether you missed the pass, or ... When you throw the ball, was the guy open? Did we hit the pass? Was there a protection breakdown? Was it the play? It's all different. It's not like it's the same thing over and over. It's just there are consistent errors that are leading us not to be as efficient as we'd like to be.
Q: Did you talk to Peyton Manning after the game?
TB: I didn't talk to him.
Q: Can you talk about Isaiah Stanback and going from quarterback to wide receiver?
TB: Yeah, he did a great job. He's a really excitable player. He was really excited to be out there. He was excited to contribute. He was on the practice squad for a couple of weeks, but now, being on the roster, I think he's done a great job. To learn our offense over the course of seven or eight weeks and contribute, that's pretty good. And we need a lot more of that from him, and Julian [Edelman] and some of the other younger guys as well.
Q: You talked about putting this loss behind you, but how hard is that to do, playing in a town like this where it's been all people have talked about for three days, locally and nationally?
TB: I don't turn the TV on. I don't read the paper. When you win, you watch "SportsCenter," you watch "Monday Night Football." When you lose, you don't turn any of it on, you watch the Jets and that's about all you do.
Q: How much more in sync is the offense now as opposed to Week Two?
TB: I think we've made a lot of improvements as an offense. Some different guys are in there contributing, guys like Isaiah [Stanback] who weren't in there in Week Two. And Wes [Welker] should be playing this week. We probably have a better idea of what we do well. I think we've shown some steady improvement. Not that we've got it all figured out, but I think we're closer than we've been.
Q: You've had a couple of interceptions in the end zone, going toward Randy Moss. Is that a situation of not executing, or kind of forcing the ball?
TB: Probably, forcing the ball. I hate interceptions.
Q: After you went up 24-7, it seemed ...
TB: You still want to talk about the Colts? [Laughs] We want to talk about the Jets.
Q: I was just wondering, did they change their defense down the stretch?
TB: No, really, like I said, we're really just concerned about the Jets. The Colts game, that's not going to help us along anymore. Thanks guys.