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Patriots Unfiltered Thu Oct 21 | 11:55 AM - 02:00 PM

Tom Brady Locker Room Interview - 11/06/02

Q: How do you feel about this team now that you've had a couple of days to look at what you've done?

TB: Obviously, you come off a big win like we had, there's a little bit more excitement and enthusiasm around here, so everyone's anxious to get back to work and get ready to play Chicago.

Q: Is the swagger back?

TB: I think it takes more than one game, just like you don't lose it in one game you can't get it back in one game. The reality is that we're in third place in our division, so we're trying to really make a push. We had four tough ones and this last one was important to put us back on the right foot, and we're still behind Buffalo and Miami.

Q: (RE: Chicago only having two wins)

TB: Yeah, they're still a pretty good team, and you're playing them in Champagne. They've had some tough losses this year, they started off 2-0, they were 13-3 last year, they've added a bunch of new guys that have a lot of talent, they've lost two overtime games, two games have come down to basically the last play or the last series of the game. It's not like one of those . . .they could have beaten Philly last week. I watched that tape and that defense played pretty well against Philly. It's going to be a challenge every week, as we all know, it's whoever shows up and plays well.

Q: What about the A-train?

TB: Yeah, he's one of my favorite guys ever. I loved playing with him, he is a great back, and I've always thought highly of him. He's a great competitor, a great leader, plays hard every down. Doesn't talk too much, like his teammate David Terrell.

Q: What kind of memories do you have from the stadium you're going to be playing in on Sunday?

TB: You know what, I never really had a chance to play there. My first year I was on the team, and I didn't travel, my second year we played at home, my third and fourth year we didn't play them, and my fifth year we played them at home.

Q: How much difference is this defense than what you saw last week, granted Buffalo is Buffalo, but this is a different type of defense.

TB: Yeah, it's a much better defense, a much better defense in the sense that they really keep their offense in the game a lot of the times. They've got a lot of talent, their corners, they've got a lot of guys that have played, they're obviously great at linebacker with [Rosevelt] Colvin and [Brian] Urlacher, and Bobbie Howard's good, and [Mike] Caldwell's good, I mean they've got some guys, and a lot of defensive lineman play. They put some heat on the quarterback, Mike Brown's one of the best in the league, so we've got quite a task for us.

Q: It seems like they relate to you guys, they're not getting a lot of the breaks, they're losing the close ones.

TB: Exactly, we were in the position last week where we had a bunch of tough losses and they are trying to get a win and they're hungry for a win. We've been in that, and we're still in that, we still have that frame of mind. It's a dangerous opponent, especially playing them at home, and it's a different environment for all of us. It's going to be important to have a god week of practice and really get ready to try to build on what we started last week.

Q: Do you feel like you should be picking up a sociology class going back to college like this?

TB: I hope all those college fans will be out late the night before and it won't be too rowdy. Either that or they'll tailgate early and it will be even more rowdy.

Q: Can you talk about the stretch that you guys are about to go on, you were at Buffalo, now on to Chicago and then at Oakland.

TB: We're 4-4 and I don't think you look past anyone when you're 4-4 and in third place in your division. We're definitely not at the point where . . . we're not 8-0, we're really not looking forward to anyone because we know that if you look past someone you're going to get beat, and this is too good of a team, regardless of their record, and they've got a great coach, so they're going to be ready to go. They will do everything they can to beat us, I know that.

Q: Tom, do you look at Brian Urlacher as being someone you have to be aware of all the time on the field?

TB: Yeah. He sets the tempo for that whole defense. You watch him play and he's all over the place, he runs right, left, makes tackles, big hits, big plays, he's very instinctive, plays well in the pass coverage, he's on the field every down. He's their leader on defense, so it's always important to know where he is, things are focused around him, so we've got to make sure we try to limit his production.

Q: Now that you've had a couple days to look at it, how would you rate your performance, what did you like about your performance on Sunday?

TB: We won, so it was good.

Q: What about Antowain Smith, every time he goes over 100-yards you guys are 5-0 in the last couple years, how important is he to the offense?

TB: He's great. He's one of the guys that's such a big back, and the more you give it to him it seems like the better he gets, the more he can wear down the other team, he'll probably argue about it, but he's about 235lbs. He's a big guy, and when he gets those big legs going he's tough to bring down. Anytime there's a running back, and you keep pounding the defense and keep making them tackle you, he's going to break tackles and get to the secondary and make those smaller guys, who are better in pass coverage, try to make tackles. He's a spark and a playmaker for us, and the more times it's in his hands, the better we do, and that's always part of it, getting him the ball and getting him started. Obviously, with the way he's been playing you try to get it to him as much as you can.

Q: Whatever you said or didn't say last week seems to have worked, do you have any messages his week?

TB: I don't think that was anything other than what anyone would have felt after we had lost. I think for you guys to come talk to me, I'm kind of the spokesperson, so it was a good win for us, and I think everybody looked at what happened and looked at where we're at and looked to where we want to go, and decided we want to make a change. We played with a lot of heart, you watch the tape, when guys make tackles, there's seven or eight guys there, when we score a touchdown, there's great block after great block, and Antowain's running great, and Mike's [Compton] downfield making blocks, Damien Woody's cutting London Fletcher, Troy's [Brown] down there blocking, so that's the way we're going to win games. It takes 11 guys, and if one of those 11 guys doesn't do his job then I think it'll show. I think everyone wants to get back to focus on what they do and then that really has quite an effect on all of us.

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