With the benefit of time Tom Brady was much more understated on Wednesday when it came to discussing the officiating in the Patriots overtime loss in Denver on Sunday night.
Brady laughed while complimenting a reporter's voice when the topic was broached during his weekly press conference, saying that he was much calmer than he was on the football field.
But the highlight of his briefing came right off the top when he was asked about his mentality on making throws that could potentially put his receivers in harm's way. Clearly this was in reference to Rob Gronkowski's knee injury, suffered when he leaped to try to make a catch on an errant throw and wound up taking a shot to the knee from Broncos safetyDarian Stewart.
As Brady admitted he often thinks about the positioning of defenders and the potential for collisions when throwing, he also offered some interesting thoughts regarding the hits themselves.
We lead off today's Presser Points with Brady's thoughts in that area:
KNEE-ED FOR CHANGE –As Brady answered the question, he made an unsolicited turn toward player safety. The quarterback expressed a desire for the league to look at receivers more closely in the future.
"I do think they should change some of those rules with defenseless receivers. I don't think there's anything different from a chop block. Everyone else has their legs protected in the NFL. Quarterbacks get their legs protected. Defensive linemen get their legs protected. Linebackers get their legs protected. I don't see why a defenseless receiver shouldn't get his legs protected either. Maybe that's something they'll look at in the offseason."
TAKING RESPONSIBILITY – The topic was first brought up in regards to Brady's thought process on passes that sometimes can lead receivers into a vicious hit. Many of those occur on short crossing routes where a pass can forced the receiver to focus on the ball without realizing an oncoming defender, often different from the one in primary coverage on the play, can deliver a knockout blow.
"You hate to see you throw the ball to a position where one of your receivers is in a vulnerable position. It gets tough. You always try to gauge how close the defender is and his ability to close on the ball. It's a real hard thing for a quarterback.
"You know when the defender is in certain positions and you never want to throw to a certain zone where a guy's just eyeing you and lining your receiver up and it's a big blow up. A lot of time it's out-breaking routes and a corner that's sitting outside and they come from the outside in and hit your receiver. You never want to do that. We talk about that all the time. Obviously, it's a contact sport, guys are going to get hit. You hate to see one of your guys take hits."
COOLER HEADS – A news reporter asked Brady if he'd figured out some of the questionable calls that went against the Patriots in Denver, a fact he lamented both on the field and after the game. Before answering, Brady smiled and commented on the reporter's voice, calling it "awesome."
"Yeah, we're just going to try to do our job. We'll let them do the officiating. Coach talks to those guys all the time, and he tries to fill us in on the conversations he has so we'll know when we're out there.
"[My reaction came] only like a three-hour difference between after the game and when I talked on the radio the next morning, so it was probably the same level of emotion that I was going through after the game. So I've calmed down a little bit. And we've moved on from that game because we're facing a great opponent this week in the Eagles, and we're going to have to be at our best."
WELCOME BACK –Finally, Brady expressed hope that Danny Amendola would be ready to return after missing the Broncos game with a knee injury. When informed Amendola had just informed reporters he was feeling better, the quarterback added his take.
"Well that would be great. We'll see how that goes throughout the week. Danny always tells me that. He always feels good. He's a tough guy. Danny is a warrior, man."