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Patriots Playbook Thu Oct 21 | 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM

Tom Brady Locker Room Interview - 10/09/2002

Q: Well this has the potential to be a shootout here, what do you think about that?

TB: Well, I think on offense we're going to have to play well this week. Obviously, that wasn't our best performance, so we got to go out there and play well. We've got to put some things together, both running and passing, and get back on track. The reality is we're 3-2, and we got to get to 4-2.

Q: Can you talk about the disadvantages of having a shootout?

TB: I don't know from a quarterback's standpoint, with a shootout you're scoring a lot of points, so I let the defense worry about number 4 (Brett Favre), he's pretty awesome, so they're going to have to play well, and I expect them to play well. I think they're ready to get back to the level that they really want to be at.

Q: There's been a lot of talk about balance on offense; do you think you still have a ways to go?

TB: I think you talk about balance, but I think the more important thing is to, no matter what you do, do it well. If that means if you run it 70 percent of the time and then you throw it 30 percent, but you're doing both well, I don't think anyone complains, as long as you're scoring points. We're going to figure out what we do best, and I think each week is different, I think each week a different team presents different looks for us. We're going to need to throw well when we throw it and we're going to need to run well when we run it. As long as we do that, I think we'll score points, like we did to start the year.

Q: How much does it help to be at home?

TB: It helps quite a bit. You get the home crowd, and with the momentum swings you can turn them around pretty quickly. It's going to be nice for us to be back home, we're doing pretty well here, and it took two pretty tough weeks on the road for us, it's a welcome sight, believe me. Plus, it's getting back to just a normal week with the off day on Tuesday, back in on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, like it normally is.

Q: As a fellow quarterback, what do you admire about Brett Favre?

TB: Wow, he's got a cannon, he makes a lot of throws, makes a lot of great plays, he's done it consistently for quite a few years, he obviously has a lot of fun playing, he plays with a lot of heart, he's tough, plays in the cold, plays hurt, and the list goes on. He's one of the best to ever play the position.

Q: If Troy Brown is not able to go this week, do you guys think you'll be able to pick things up?

TB: You would certainly hope so, and I would certainly hope so. I think, as I've said, without Troy in there, Troy's a great player and you can't really make up for not having a guy like that, but at the same time, you expect the other 10 guys out there to pick up the slack. We really didn't do that the last two weeks. We lost not because Troy hasn't been there, we've been committing penalties, and throwing interceptions, and fumbling the ball, and it's been a collective thing, so when Troy does get back, hopefully it's this week, whether he's here or not here, we're going to show up on Sunday and be ready to play. We're going to show up on Sunday with him or without him.

Q: How about your offensive line, is that a concern for you?

TB: I don't think it's really a concern for me, I think they want to get back some stability. Any time those guys can play together for an extended period of time it can only help. I think if one guy's playing center one week, and then the left guard and right guard, and those are guys are playing with different guys next to them, not only does it effect them, it effects everybody. There's a lot to be said about cohesiveness on the line. They' re doing a good job, and just like everyone, they've got to pick their game up by much more.

Q: Tom, Green Bay is injured, does that change your approach?

TB: It really doesn't, we do the same thing whether they're in there or not, I think any time you lose starters you lose a little bit of depth, but I think the guys that they are putting in there are definitely going to be capable of doing whatever they need to do to stop us. They're professional football players, so no matter who they sub in they should be very capable.

Q: Any thoughts on seeing Mr. (Terry) Glenn in a different uniform?

TB: He was around here last year and played some big games for us, so I'm sure he's still got a lot of friends on the team, and I'm sure he's going to be fired up and ready to play, and I'm sure those guys on defense are going to be ready to shut him down hopefully.

Q: Do you think the crowd will have a thing or two to say to him?

TB: I don't know, that's up to those guys. I'm sure there will be some cheers and some boos, just like there always is.

Q: What do you have to do personally in this game?

TB: I think we just got to play better. The quarterback kind of goes along with everyone else, of course you've got the ball at the start of every play. When things aren't going well, the quarterback should be the guy to rally everyone. For me, it's just continuing to improve, and I think one thing that's important is no more interceptions; we just can't keep turning the ball over. When you turn the ball over, it doesn't bode well for our offense or our team, so that's going to be a point of emphasis. Not only this week, but for the rest of the year. The reason why teams are successful is because they don't commit penalties and they don't turn the ball over, that's something we've done, and that's why we lose. We've got to get back to the things that have helped us win games.

Q: Evaluate yourself through five weeks.

TB: There's been some good throws, there's been some bad throws. We've won some games, we've lost some games. It's a long season, I'm just going to continue to try to make good decisions with the ball, and win games. The evaluation I think is 3-2, and that's where it starts and where it ends.

Q: Were you able to figure out the flaws in the interceptions in the past couple of weeks?

TB: Just making throws where I shouldn't make them, I think that's what it comes down to, I don't think it's a technique thing, it's just a thing where you try not to throw picks. They picked two off the last game and they picked two off the game before that, and that's something that no quarterback likes to do.

Q: Do you want to see a return to five wideouts, do you feel more comfortable with that?

TB: The more receivers for me the better, that's what I always tell Charlie [Weis]. I think it's important to get Antowain [Smith] involved because Antowain is a workhorse, and Kevin [Faulk] is playing real well. To get all those guys involved it's going to put that much pressure on those guys to stop us. There's no question we can throw the ball, and we've been doing it well, and we can protect it well. It's obviously a different mix than it was last year, and each week you got to build on what you've done. The last two weeks, there has not been too much to build on, we can build on the second half of the last game where we threw it pretty well, but I think this week it's going to be important to start a lot faster than we did last week. Anytime you get in a 16-0 hole, it's tough to overcome, so that's something we've got to avoid.

Q: Is playing a team coming off a Monday night game overrated?

TB: I don't know man! I'd say, it was a short week, but once you get into Wednesday it all feels the same, whether it's consciously or subconsciously, I'm not sure, I don't know what the stats would say. That's for you guys to look up, that's your homework.

Q: Tom, do you feel more pressure coming into this week after two losses in a row?

TB: There's always pressure, there was pressure last week. There's going to be pressure this week and there's going to be pressure next week. I think there's always pressure, to be more this week, I think there's always a lot, and it comes from different places. When you win, expectations are higher, when you lose, people want to see you win. When you throw touchdowns people want to see more, when you throw interceptions they don't want to see any. I think there's always pressure, and there's pressure on everyone. When you play with 53 other guys, there's pressure on all of us. Not only from you guys or from the fans but from our coaches, and this is our job, we're trying to go out there and win, and lead this team to where we want to be.

Q: Not having Troy [Brown] for two games, has that been accented even more now?

TB: I think Deion's [Branch] filled in pretty well, and Deion's, I saw he got named rookie of the month or something, and that's pretty awesome for a guy that's been here ten minutes. He's played well, the fact of the matter is everybody misses guys, when you don't have a guy like Troy, who's been there for ten years, you can't replace ten years of experience and 101 catches last year, coming off a great game against Kansas City. But you've got to do whatever you have to do to fill in, and everyone has to pick up their game that much more to replace him. Obviously we haven't done that, when you lose two games and you score 14 points in one and 13 points in the other, it's not good enough, and we've got to find ways, so when Troy's not in there, who knows who's going to be there next week, it's just one of those things where, people get injured, and it's football and it's a contact sport, and you've got to find ways to overcome that. That's why there are 53 guys on the team, not 11.

Q: Did you find yourself instinctively looking to where he would be?

TB: I don't think so. I don't think that's really been the thought process. I think it's just been more that, the plays called and I go to my read, whoever it is, whether it's Troy or Deion [Branch]. I think you'll maybe think about that earlier in the week than later in the week, because when you're out there, and the clock's ticking down, you're not consciously looking for Troy.

Q: So when you prepare for the game you're not going to have those security blankets?

TB: Yea, you realize that, and it's not like he's practiced all week, and then not been at the game, he hadn't practiced and he hadn't been at the game, so with the practice that we've done, other guys have had to step in and fill the void.

Q: With this small losing streak, do guys start looking at it more individually?

TB: I think that the psychology of winning is that, you know, you sit there and you don't think you can lose, and when you win, all those problems are kind of overshadowed. You kind of just move on to the next play, 'okay lets move on to the good plays.' When you lose you evaluate, 'what could I have done better here, that was a good read, but that wasn't the best read. That was a good throw but that wasn't the best throw I could have made.' So I think each guy, if we lose two in a row, they say, 'gosh, what am I doing wrong here,' and I think then you break down each play. Antowain [Smith] might say, 'if there's nothing there I got to gain four, I missed that hole, I gained seven, but I could have gained 50.' And I'm saying, 'hey that was a good pass, but if it was a little more in front of him, he might have broken out and gained a bunch of yards.' I think it's that attention to detail, and it's the guys that can use that and put it to good use. That's why they're good players, and that's why Antowain's a good player, because he can evaluate himself and then get better.

Q: Since the San Diego game, are you getting any different looks, or are you chalking it up as just running into two very good defenses?

TB: I don't think so. San Diego, that was a couple of weeks ago, and I think we moved the ball pretty well actually, we didn't score a lot of points, and that's why we lost. I don't think it was from lack of them fooling us by any means. They didn't fool us for four quarters; we just kind of screwed it up ourselves. Then you look at last week and we didn't do well in the first half, and we didn't block well, we didn't run well, we didn't throw well, we didn't catch well, we didn't do anything. Then you go out in the second half and you throw for a bunch of yards, and then you sit there and say, 'gosh, why didn't we do that in the first half,' that's what I always say, but the reality is, that's not what happened. We've just got to not stop ourselves, we can't commit turnovers, and I can't throw picks, we can't fumble the ball, and then we just got to take advantage of plays when we do have them.

Q: How much harder is it to execute when you're trailing late in the game?

TB: I think when you're down 16 points there's no margin for error. The clock is running and you only play four quarters. When you're up 16-0, you have your whole play book to call from, the whole game plan, and when you're down 16-0, it gets cut in about a quarter. I think that's what handcuffs an offensive coordinator, he can't run certain plays because it's not a ball control situation, it's a "we've got to score fast" type of situation. When you get in those situations, the chances of you being successful are very slim.

Q: Tom, is there an advantage psychologically to getting back home?

TB: Yea, I definitely think so, we enjoy playing at home, we enjoy being in our own surroundings and the familiarity, it'll be nice to get back home. There's obviously a home field advantage that goes into play with the crowd, and there's quite a bit of momentum swings when you've got your own crowd yelling.

Q: Do you think being on the road had an affect on the last couple of weeks?

TB: Every team plays eight home games and eight away games, and I think you evaluate at the end of the year after all 16 have been played. You play two in a row, that means you've got two home ones in a row, so you've got to take advantage of those home ones, and then try to win some on the road.

Q: Do you get a chance to look at what an electrifying team you guys are playing against in Brett Favre?

TB: Normally we watch a little bit when we start our meeting in the morning, coach will come in and say, 'this is what you got to do to win, this is what we've got to stop,' and he throws some Brett Favre tape up there, I'm glad I'm not playing defense. He's a great player and he has been for a while.

Q: What does he do well?

TB: He really throws it well, I don't think you can pull out the teaching tapes and watch his technique, because he certainly has his own style, but he has a lot of gun slinger in him, throws the ball hard, throws it very accurately, tough, moves well, buys time in the pocket, finds the open guys, can throw it 80 yards, there are a lot of guys that wish they had his talent.

Q: When you were growing up watching quarterbacks, do you take parts of their game and make them part of yours, or do you just think about yourself?

TB: I think you have your idols, the guys you really looked up to, and a lot of times you admire the things they can do because you really can't do them that well. If you're a great golfer, you might admire other great golfers, probably not, you'd admire people that can play football well. Those things don't seem that hard when you can do them, I think for quarterbacks, I watch Brett Favre, and you always admire a guy who can throw it around like that and move like that, he's got all the tools. I loved watching Steve Young, and he could run, and I can't run, so go figure.

Q: There offense is not all Brett Favre, can you talk about what you see on tape that makes them such an explosive receiving core, including Terry Glenn?

TB: I haven't seen a whole lot, Lawyer [Milloy] could probably speak more to that, or one of those guys, knowing what Terry can do, he's a heck of a player. He's got good speed, and quickness, great hands, cuts well, gets in and out of breaks, makes great catches, I don't know too much about Donald Driver so. But they are a good offense, and coach said something to us last night, the opposing offense has not been on the field for something like more than 55 or 60 plays, which means Green Bays offense is on the field quite a bit, which means they're converting on third downs, controlling the clock and keeping the other teams offense off the field.

Q: Does that put more emphasis on you guys to run the ball to control the game?

TB: Coach comes in with a game plan, and he puts it in front of you, and I think a lot of times the situation of the game dictates. I think about boxing and the guys says, 'I had a game plan going in, and then I got hit and it all changed,' and that's kind of what happens, you have a game plan that you think is going to work, and then if it works then you stick to it, if it doesn't work then you've got to adjust. Whether you adjust in the first quarter, or at half time or the third quarter, I think a lot of times the situation dictates that. We always go in thinking we're going to run it well or throw it well. I don't think we really go in thinking we're going to throw it 70% of the time, I know we're not charting that stuff, I think a lot of times the situation of the game dictates that.

Q: How about their defense?

TB: We've been trying to get caught up, it's not really a defense that we've ever played against with the personnel, what are they the NFC north now? So, I think we got a good head start on getting ready for at least there secondary with [Darren] Sharper, [Mike] McKenzie, and Tyrone Williams, and Matt Bowen, and I played against Na'il Diggs in college, they're a good unit. Like I said, they haven't been on the field a whole lot, some teams have done some good things against them, they've also stacked up against the run and play the pass pretty well.

Q: Is the emphasis that you have to get out of here 4-2 before the bye week?

TB: Yea, it's important, I think everyone's realizing that you have to do everything you can do to beat the Packers. No one's worried about next Monday, everyone's focused on beating these guys, and it's critical, not only are we 3-2, but to get to 4-2 would be important for us. It would be big.

Q: Have you not worked up a rapport with Donald Hayes not quite up to the level of the other guys?

TB: Well, I think it's tough anytime . . . you know Donald [Hayes] got in here this summer, the same time that Deion [Branch] did, except Deion plays a different position then Donald. A lot of times in the coverages that we're getting, it has dictated throwing to certain guys. So I always like to throw to those guys as much as I can, to get their confidence going, and Donald is a very confident player, and he's a very capable player as well, as we've seen on a bunch of plays this year. It's going to be important for us to get him involved.

Q: Was it tough for you to adjust to him because he is a different type of receiver than you had last year?

TB: I don't think it's so much his style, I think it's just the overall package, there's different routes he's good at than those other guys. Troy [Brown] and Deion [Branch] are very similar, they're both about the same size, Troy's little bigger, both physical, they both have the same quickness, they're both pretty much good at the same routes. David [Patten] is good at different routes than those guys. Donald's probably different with those routes as well. I think the more I throw to him the better it's going to get. The more I can throw the better, so hopefully I can find 81 a little bit more.

Q: Terry's [Glenn] an emotional player, what do you expect from him on Sunday?

TB: I'm sure he's going to be ready to go, I'm sure he's going to want to play the best game he's ever played. I know that would be my approach, if I were on a team for a bunch of years, and I'm not there anymore, the first time I go back and play them, I would want to beat them up pretty good.

Q: You want them to feel like they made a mistake letting you go.

TB: Yea, I only know what goes through my head; I don't really know what goes through his head, or anyone else's head for that matter. I don't talk to him a whole lot, so, he was a great player, and for one reason or another, he's not here anymore, he's trying to make another team better, and it's obvious he's doing it, he had something like he had eight catches last game.

Q: Do you know if Troy's going to be able to got his week or is it the same thing as last time?

TB: I think he would be better to answer that than I would. I don't know, what did coach say? Probably the same thing I'm going to say, we'll let you know Sunday.

Q: If he came close last time, just from seeing him out there, do you notice that he's getting better?

TB: I don't know.

Q: Do you just prepare now as if he's not going to be there, and if he is, then that's a bonus?

TB: That's how you prepare, you prepare it like the guys who are going to be out there, and tat the guys who you are practicing with are going to be playing, and if he is there, it's a bonus. It's definitely the way you do it.

Q: When a guy like Troy is out, how big of a difference is it?

TB: You'd expect that the guys that are in there, they try to play as well as Troy can play, and playing in football for a long time, you realize that week to week, there's different injuries and different guys have to fill in, and you can't replace Troy Brown. But at the same time, that doesn't mean you're going to show up on Sunday and expect to win. You see yourself short if you go, 'well, if this guys not here, we lost, but this guys wasn't here, so that discounts the fact that you lost the game.' I don't think anyone cares whether you're 3-2 with Troy Brown or without Troy Brown, they just care if you win, and that's the important thing. You're there with guys and you've got to win the game.

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