Though things haven’t gone particularly well for Tom Brady and the Patriots to open the season, the New England quarterback still seems to be enjoying himself on the practice field.
Camera’s caught TB12 doing his best imitation of James White’s signature dance during the stretching period of Friday’s practice.
When Brady stepped to the microphone for his weekly press conference Friday afternoon, his dance moves were literally the first and last things that he was questioned on.
“That’s his move, so he was trying to teach me something out there,” Brady said with a big smile of White’s dance. “He’s pretty good at it so I have a long way to go.”
And how long did it take to get Brady’s execution of the dance to where it is these days?
“This was the first day we were working at it,” Brady said. “I’m going home tonight and going to be working on it. See if I can get in the end zone and do something special.”
Beyond his dance moves, here are some of the other key takeaways from Brady’s five minutes with the media Friday afternoon, including his thoughts regarding the challenge of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Dolphins.
Must-win division battle?: The Patriots will play a division foe for the first time on Sunday. It comes with the team returning home in the midst of a road losing streak. The game has been described by some as a must-win contest. While Brady didn’t use that phrase, he didn’t downplay the importance of the meeting with Miami.
“These games are important. The division games, that’s what it’s all about,” Brady said. “So, they are 3-0 and we’re looking up at them. Obviously we haven’t played the way that we all think we’re capable of playing. This is the next game so it’s going to be a great opportunity for us to go out there and see if we can put together four quarters of good football.”
Are the Patriots a good team right now?: The Patriots have lost two in a row in the month of September for the first time since 2012. At 1-2 through three games they are looking up in the AFC East at this week’s opponent, the 3-0 Dolphins. With everything that’s gone on in terms of struggles on both sides of the ball at various points in recent weeks, Brady was asked the simple question of whether the Patriots are a good team right now.
“I think we’re working at it,” Brady said. “Obviously our record doesn’t reflect many things that have been positive this year. But we’re working at it, trying to get better, trying to make improvements. That’s why we’re on the field practicing. It’s still September. There is a lot of football left. We’d love to be playing great right from the beginning but obviously we haven’t done that. We have to figure out a way to get a win.
“We are trying to win. We haven’t played the way we’re capable of playing. If you don’t play well against good teams you lose, especially on the road. You get behind 10 points or 14 points at the start of games and you are looking up hill all day. It’s tough to win like that in the NFL. We’ve done that the last two weeks. So we have to try a different style this week, try to get ahead and see if we can win playing from ahead.”
“I don’t always make great decisions out there”: Brady, like the rest of his teammates, didn’t have the best of nights in last Sunday’s loss to the Lions. He threw an ill-advised interception on a forced deep ball toward Phillip Dorsett and was called for intentional grounding on a deep ball communication breakdown with Cordarrelle Patterson. Brady was asked if he lost his composure late in the loss with those plays serving as evidence.
“I’d always love to play great,” Brady said. “I don’t always make great decisions out there. But I’m trying. You don’t get awards for trying in the NFL. So we’re trying to play a lot better than we played last week.”
Seeing receivers elsewhere: A couple of Brady’s productive receiver teammates from a year ago are in the news this week. Danny Amendola returns to Foxborough as the Dolphins leading receiver, while Brandin Cooks lit up Thursday Night Football for the Rams last night as he added to his impressive early-season production that includes 26 catches for 452 yards and a touchdown in just four games.
Asked about Amendola, Brady said he was a “great friend. I’m happy for him and his opportunity. He was a great player for us.”
As for Cooks, “I didn’t watch the game. They’re playing good. They’re a good team. I think to be undefeated you have to be good.”
A follow-up wondered if Brady was ever frustrated to see his former targets making plays elsewhere.
“No. Not really. I’m happy for those guys,” Brady said. “Usually when you leave it’s because you get good opportunities in other places. I’m usually generally frustrated about football in general just because it’s a frustrating sport. But I’m certainly happy for guys when they do well.”