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Tom Brady Locker Room Interview - 10/23/2002

Brady on Bye Week: I think it was nice for everyone to get away and get their mind off football a little bit, and get ready to go down the stretch.

Q: How was your bye week?

TB: It was nice. I think it was nice for everyone to get a chance to get away and get their mind off football a little bit, and get ready to go down the stretch. We've got to start playing better to get into a position to make the playoffs and stuff like that, so it starts this week.

Q: Did you try not to think about football?

TB: I think that's the goal, but realistically I don't think that's very possible. We spent so much time down here, and when you're not here, you're thinking about being here. For everyone to get home or to take a little vacation, just to ease your mind a little bit, just because you put so much pressure on yourself, being in the right place, always doing the right thing, preparing, and getting some rest. It's nice to be able to take your mind off football a little bit.

**Q: Do you focus on what you did right against Denver last year?T: It's a pretty different team this year, you take the good things, like you always do, and you try to learn from the bad things, and you try not to repeat those bad things. That's the process of becoming a good player, and becoming a good team. I think that first game at Invesco field, that's always etched in my mind, but I think I'm ready to move on from that, and get to those things we did in the first half [against Denver].

Q: Are you satisfied that everything is going to be able to move ahead here?

TB: I don't think it's like the stars magically align, and all of a sudden things are back to good again. I think we have to work hard to get those things back into place. The mistakes we've had, they're correctable, but we're the ones that have to correct them, it's not like someone's going to correct them for us. Last week we had a couple days of practice where there was a lot of intensity and there was a lot of good situations coach put us in, and now we're back at it this week, back to our normal schedule, getting our gameplan in and trying to get ready to play well. That's something we haven't done in a bunch of weeks, and I don't think there's a good taste from anybody at this point. We want to get out there and play, and it's been a while since we've won a game.

Q: Talk about your opponent.

TB: We played them last year and they beat us, so, they've been playing well this year. Defensively, they have a lot of speed, and they make a lot of plays, so we're going to need to play our best game of football this week if we want to win because they present a lot of problems for a lot of people.

Q: (On what's been successful in the past)

TB: I think the point is, I think it's important to be efficient at whatever you do, because there's times you have to throw it a bunch of times. There's times when you have to run it a bunch of times, and we were successful throwing it and we've been successful running it, and if we want to be a team that puts a lot of pressure on the defense, we have to do both. That's important for Antowain [Smith] to start early, start fast, and get a bunch of runs in. It's important for me to hit a bunch of those guys and get those guys going. We have playmakers at both positions, so we're trying to get the ball to our playmakers.

Q: What were you most struck by in the days off that you can improve on?

TB: I think there's a number of things, just taking care of the ball better. We've thrown a lot of interceptions and that's something that we never try to do. Ultimately, I'm the one that's holding the football, and I've got to make . . .coach puts you in the position . . .it's almost like he trusts you with the team, 'here's the ball, take good care of it.' Sometimes you get into situations where you want the play to work so bad that you do things that really aren't possible. And that's throwing the ball into really tight spots, or taking chances with it, and you got to get back to being more discipline, and playing smarter out there.

Q: (On the standings and how critical this game could be down the road)

TB: Yeah, in a sense, they're all really important, and the only game we can really control is this week's [game]. If you win this week, you're in a better position for next week, and if you lose this week, you're in a worse position. One thing that this team should do, and being an older team and an experienced team, and a team that just came off a championship, you should know that you have to take care of this week, and take care of your business with each opponent, and to look past that point, you'll get beat. We've learned that lesson.

Q: Have you looked at the film to figure out the mystery of what's gone wrong?

TB: I think it's obvious stuff like penalties and turnovers, those are the most critical things. You look at the stats up and down, and every week the team with the turnover ratio wins like 99% of the games. That's something that we've got to put a lot of emphasis on, that's a problem that you can correct, but it's a problem that we've got to take more pride in, a lot of those are taking care of the little things, whether it be a better read, a better route, or a better block, and all that stuff plays into it. I think it's nice for a quarterback, for me, knowing that I've got a bunch of guys that a re ready to help, and I know that they know that I'm ready to help them, and that's what it's going to come down to, 11 guys on offense doing the right thing. That's the only way things look good, when everyone's on the same page.

Q: Tom, are you asked to do too much with the offense?

TB: To play quarterback? Don't think that's too much to ask. I think there are a bunch of guys who are asked to play quarterback, and they play it well.

Q: Have you noticed anything different about the coaching staff intensity wise in the last few weeks?

TB: We lost three games in a row, so there's definitely a little difference in attitude around here, as there should be. Some people get a little more up tight, and that's fine, you should be more up tight, you should be a little more ticked off. If you weren't, then maybe winning's not that important to you. So, it's important to coach Belichick, it's important to coach Weis, it's important to me, it's important to a bunch of leaders on the team. For us to get this thing turned around in the right direction, it's got to be important to everybody. And the guys it's not important to, those guys get weeded out, and I don't think we have any of those guys. So we're just confident that if we keep pressing on, we're going to start doing the things that it takes to win football games.

Q: (On consistency)

TB: Lack of consistency, I think, is a lack of discipline and awareness, and knowing the situation, so, and each week it's been different. I think there's been times where we've moved the ball well, we've put points on the board, there's been times where we haven't really moved the ball, there's times where we've gotten down to the red zone and we've scored, but we've only gotten down there one or two times. I think it's a very wide range of things, it all starts with being more discipline and taking care of your job, and having the trust that everyone else is going to take care of their job because, as I said before, receivers can't be worried about the quarterback getting the ball to them, they just have to assume that that's going to happen. I can't assume that they're going to catch it, I just have to assume that they are going to catch it, I mean I just have to assume that they're going to catch it when I throw it. I think that's the trust you have in certain people, and that's the trust you have with teammates. Everyone's got to worry about themselves, and not really worry about someone else's job.

Q: Are you guys working outside today, or inside?

TB: I don't know, how is it out there, a little snowy? We play pretty good in both, maybe a little bit of both.

Q: You're a bay area guy, are the Giants going to come back and win the series?

TB: Yeah, I hope so. I was watching last night and Livan Hernandez got beat up pretty good. It'd be nice to see those guys win a championship.

Q: How critical is this game having lost three straight?

TB: You only play 16 games, and in a lot of sports, baseball, basketball, they play 82, so, one game's probably not as important, but when you play 16 games, each one, especially as the season goes along, becomes more important. You know, it's the seventh game of the year for us, and we're at a point where it's a critical point in the season, our team is looking for an identity, and we are going to come out and fight, and as you fight you build momentum down the stretch, you can really gain from an experience like this, but if you go in the tank, then you've got no shot. So, I think this team's looking to win and build momentum, and the only way you can do that is by winning this week, you can't worry about a three game win streak if you don't win the first game. This is as tough as it gets for us, this is as tough as it's been around here for a long time, and we're going to see what kind of character that we've got. **

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