Patriots quarterback Tom Brady addresses the media during his locker room interview at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, October 13, 2010.
Q: Did you feel that chemistry yesterday at practice?
TB: Yeah, he looks the way he's always looked to me. He's an excellent player. I was trying to get [Matt] Hasselbeck to throw him the ball more, but maybe that was better for us that he didn't.
Q: Is versatility a strong suit for Deion Branch and the rest of the offensive specialists?
TB: Aaron [Hernandez] has been a great addition to this offense. With what Julian [Edelman] has done, he has been able to do some different things that he wasn't able to do last year. And then Wes [Welker], and Brandon Tate, who hadn't played for us last year... So, I think it's important for all the guys to be able to do different things in the offense and provide different threats so that they can't just say, 'OK, well this guy is only going to catch these types of passes.' I think one thing that's great about our offense is that if they're open, they're going to get the ball. I think they all know that. You line them up in different spots, and if they can get open, you throw it to them. If you can't, you throw it to the next guy. I know one of those guys is going to be open. It's my job to find them.
Q: How do you think defenses are going to react to your offense now?
TB: I don't know. I don't know. Go ask the guy in Baltimore and come back and tell me what he says. So, I don't know. I really have no idea how they're going to see us or what they think they're going to try to take away, but every defense has its strengths and weaknesses. If you blitz - yeah, you'll get to the quarterback faster, but if you miss a tackle, it's a big play. You can only rush three, but you have eight guys in coverage and play zone and you have a lot of time to throw. When you do one, you give up the other. It's just a matter of, that's the beautiful thing about football. It's trying to figure out what they're going to do when they're going to do it, so you can take advantage.
Q: Was there any benefit to seeing Baltimore play Denver with the similarities in the system in Denver?
TB: Um, it got out of hand pretty fast. I don't think there's a whole lot you take from that game. Denver has a very different offense than we have. Josh [McDaniel] has his style. He may call some things the same way, but there are not so many things that they are doing that are similar to what we are doing. Maybe Josh should be doing a little bit of what we're doing...I'm just kidding. Don't tell him I said that. I love Josh, for the record.
Q: Why do you think there was so much Randy Moss bashing in the wake of his departure?
TB: I don't know. Honestly, I didn't follow any of it. I know what I said. I know I wouldn't bash him. I don't think any of our teammates were bashing him. Were you guys bashing him? I wasn't.
Q: Was he a negative influence in the room?
TB: No. Not at all.
Q: Did you see his message to you on Monday night?
TB: I didn't. I was long asleep by then.
Q: Because he said, 'Tom, I know you're watching.'
TB: That's what they said on the radio yesterday, but I didn't hear it. He and I get along great, and we always have since the day he got here. He's never made fun of my hair, when everyone else seems to want to make fun of my hair, but he never has.
Q: Did something stop working to cause him to get trade?
TB: I've moved on. We all have. I really don't want to talk about it anymore.
Q: Was Deion Branch one of the guys that was really frustrating when he left?
TB: Sure. Yeah, he was a really dynamic player for us in our offense and had really played big in so many big games. We had spent a lot of time together trying to get to know each other. Right when we were starting to get all warmed up and lathered up, he got sent to Seattle. So, that's just kind of the way it's gone. I think there are certain guys that came in that year that did a great job - Reche [Caldwell] did [a great job]. Jabar [Gaffney] came in that year. Like I said, it's good to have him back, and I think hopefully, we can do some of those same things he was doing for us before.
Q: How much has the system evolved since Deion Branch was here last?
TB: Quite a bit. I said, 'Do you remember a lot?' [He said] 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, I got it. I know it.' And I said, 'OK, what's this?' [He said], 'I don't know that one.' I said, 'That was one of the ones you should have known, because I haven't even gotten to the stuff you don't know yet.' There's a lot of recall. I'm sure once he hears it, he'll obviously pick it up. He's a real smart guy, a real smart player. I don't think it's going to take him too long - hopefully before Sunday.
Q: Are you most comfortable spreading the ball around?
TB: Yeah, you throw it to the guy that's open. That's what I've always tried to do. You're right, I mean, a guy like Wes [Welker] gets open a lot, so he gets the ball a lot. I don't think it's really a concerted effort to make sure everyone has a catch coming out of the game. I don't think you look at it like you need to get every eligible skill guy four catches. The guys that get open are going to get the ball; guys that where the coverage dictates are going to get the ball.
Q: Do you like the fact that you have a lot of weapons, a lot of different options to go to?
TB: Sure, I don't ever feel like I'm out there hamstrung by the guys that are out on the field, and I haven't felt that for a long time. I think the thing that's great is that they can do some different things. Wes [Welker] can do quite a few things as a route runner, so can Deion [Branch], so can Brandon [Tate], so can Aaron [Hernandez], so can [Rob] Gronkowski, so can Julian [Edelman]. In certain offenses, it's like, 'OK, this guy does this. This guy does this.' And I hear Coach Belichick say those things when he's trying to coach our defense. That's not the kind of offense we want to be.
Q: What's the biggest challenge of using that offense against a defense like Baltimore?
TB: They create a lot of issues with their different packages and their blitz packages and where they line up. They do try to cause some confusion. We may move around a lot, but they move around a lot and sometimes you want to settle yourself down to see what they're doing. Sometimes you're snapping the ball not quite sure if you have everything picked up, but you have to do the best you can do against a defense like this. I think that's why they're one of the best defenses in the league. They've been that way for a long time.
Q: Does it look different without Ed Reed in there?
TB: Yeah, I'm happy about that. I like those PUP [Physically Unable to Perform] rules for six weeks or something like that.