When Tom Brady is not shredding opposing secondaries one of the things he loves most is golf. Brady's ability to drive it down the fairway is almost as impressive as his exploits on the football field.
But during his regular Wednesday press briefing with the media, Brady was critical of his ability to hit the driver – at least in a football sense.
Brady's success driving the ball downfield this season was one of the highlights of his 10-plus minute press conference, which also included his uncanny knack for executing quarterback sneaks, why Rob Gronkowski is so adept at getting down the seam and the play of undrafted rookie center David Andrews.
But it was Brady's golf analogy that topped the list. The quarterback was asked about the work he's done on improving his mechanics in the offseason and whether or not that has contributed to his ability to hit the deep ball.
"We've talked about that a lot over the last couple of years, trying to make plays more vertically. I think we do a good job horizontally. The best offenses really can challenge you in a lot of ways. Certainly getting the ball down the field is a great way to score. It's great to have those 12 and 13 play drives but it's great to score in one or two plays also.
"I've really tried to work on the mechanics. A lot of them are pretty much the same, whether it's a5-yard pass or a 50-yard pass the mechanics of the throw are very similar. It's like hitting a wedge or a driver – it's the same swing, one is just a little nuance to it that's a little different. I haven't hit the driver as well as I've probably hit the wedges but if I can hit the driver a little better it would make things a little easier on the team."
Nobody has had more success running the quarterback sneak and Brady was asked why he's so good at it.
"That's a lot of great blocking, that's a lot of trust in the guys that are out front trying to bore a hole in there with me. We've done a good job of that over the years. It's been a good weapon for us. Hopefully we can keep making it work. Whenever the coach calls my number I think I just have to go out there and try to execute it. There are some little nuances to it. I try not to get landed on … I've taken some good hits in there too."
He was then asked if he's ever surprised to see the openings that defenses leave over the middle despite his success in that area.
"Sometimes yes. It depends on how they're going to defend us. However they choose to defend we have to have adjustments off of that. We can do a lot of things on offense. It's trying to take advantage to whatever they're going to give you."
His attention then turned to finding his big tight end down the seam, a play that has no doubt has contributed to his deep ball success.
"Gronk is such a big target. He's got a great catch radius. He has great speed. He gives great body language when he runs and I can really tell when he starts to accelerate and when he thinks he can run by a guy that is on him. Even the throw I made to him the other night, it wasn't a great throw but because he was by him so far he was able to adjust and makes it tough on the defender. He's just a big target running down the field. He makes it easy on me."
With Bryan Stork ready to return, Brady was asked about the success of his replacement, the undrafted rookie Andrews. Brady looked back at the start of his career, which included him serving as the team's fourth quarterback.
"He's done exceptionally well. When I was a rookie I was the fourth quarterback on the roster and I got to eat nachos before the game and I just had to bring my playbook to the meeting and that was about all I had to do right that year. For him to come in there and play every snap as an undrafted free agent and he came in and Wendy [Ryan Wendell] was there and [Bryan] Stork was there and he's fighting to make the team. Then he gets the opportunity and takes advantage the way he did and that was very impressive. He's great kid and a lot of fun to be with. I can't say enough good things about him."