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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered and Patriots Playbook Fri Dec 03 - 10:00 PM | Mon Dec 06 - 05:55 PM

Tom Brady Locker Room Interview 11/20/2002

Q: Do you feel like you guys kind of have your destiny in your own hands here?

TB: Yeah, I think so. Coach made the point this morning, we've played 10 games, and all those are in the books, we're 5-5 and we got pretty much a six-game schedule. The one that's most important now is obviously Minnesota, there's going to be a lot of focus on getting the win this week, and it's always tough this time of year. Hopefully we just find a way to turn the corner and start playing better ball.

Q: After three weeks on the road, what's it like to come back home?

TB: It's nice, we always enjoy playing at home, we don't have to deal with all that crowd noise, and all those fans on the other side, I'm sure you guys are well aware of last week, so it'll be nice to be home.

Q: (Re: the long passes he missed last game and his gloves)

TB: I don't think I missed them because I was not wearing gloves in the first half. I think I just didn't make a good throw. I try not to make a big deal about these gloves, and they're not [a big deal], I do whatever works that day. If I wear sleeves one day, and I'm not wearing them the next, whatever feels good that day.

Q: (Re: the Minnesota Viking beating the Packers last week)

TB: Yeah, they beat them pretty good too, we saw the film and it looked like Brett Favre had a little bit of trouble with them, I know [Greg] Biekert had a few picks. They're pretty good in the secondary, they've had some adjustments and I think they've got guys in places where they want them now. We just got to go out and play well.

Q: They run the ball so well, will you try to get up early so you can take that part of the game away from them?

TB: That's going to be important, we've done pretty well playing with a lead, we just haven't been doing that enough. I think sometimes there are plays early in the game that we've got to make, we've got to be especially sharp early in the game, and we always try to be sharp early in the game. If we want to be the team we want to be, right up there at the top of our division, we've got to find ways to get out ahead and force the other team to be in the situations that we've been in our losses. Make them have to throw it a whole bunch of times to get back into the game.

Q: (Re: On how to play well)

TB: You just play the way that we have in the games that we've won. I haven't turned it over, haven't penalized our selves, haven't given them any points, took advantage of our opportunities, and the games we've lost we don't do that. It's not much of a mystery to the reason why we win or lose these games. If we always knew how to push the right button, and find the right way to do things, I'm sure that's what we'd be doing. We're trying to find it, I think these guys in this locker room, I think we're ready to do that.

Q: Does it help having gone through last year being in this position where you guys have a blueprint about what you know you need to do to make the playoffs and then take it front that point on?

TB: I think there are things you take from each week, and you try to evaluate why you win and you lose, and I don't think we really draw back on what happened with the 2001 team. This is a different team and there are different elements to this team, and we've got to do the things that make us win games. When we lose games we know why we lose them, it's not because of the stuff last year, or we didn't do as well this year, it's because we're not doing the things that it takes this year, to win this year. We're a team that has a different mix, a different chemistry, and it's going to be important for us to do the right thing, be in the right spots and play well.

Q: This is a very winnable division.

TB: We've got four games at home, two on the road, we've got three against our three division opponents, so it is in front of us. But I don't think we're too worried about five or six games down the road, I think we're just worried about this one, because we've got to win this one, this is a big one for us.

Q: You said this year's totally different from last year. After 10 games, what do you like about this years team that can get that running going again into the playoffs?

TB: I think I liked fact that we played really well at certain times. We've shown that we can run, we've shown that we can throw it, we can play pretty good defense, a lot of experience, a lot of toughness, a lot of discipline, a lot of smart players. We've come back from some games, we fight till the end, there are a lot of good things, but sometimes it's not good enough. There's a lot of things you take from every week, and last week we fought until the very end, and we didn't always do very well on offense, and the defense picked us up, and the special teams picked us up, and we've got to find a way to pick those guys up.

Q: How much are you looking forward to getting out there this week to get right back at them?

TB: I'm always looking forward to getting back out there and getting back at them. It's going to be nice to be home this week and we've got to play well.

Q: Do you guys feel like you're getting better from week to week?

TB: I think it's always up and down, sometimes you do some things better one week, and not so good the next week. We're just trying to find our consistency, and I know there's different ways to find it, for us we just get back to working hard at it. Sometimes it's better, and sometimes it's not as good as you like, when you win it's good enough, when you lose it's not good enough.

Q: You're still in a point in your season where you control your own destiny, how do you grasp on to that?

TB: There's six games left, and we know what we have ahead of us, and we're going to give it everything we've got, that's the only thing we can do.

Q: (Re: Last year and where they are now)

TB: Not really, not at all. I don't think you can take much from that. Like I said, it's a different team, and there's a different chemistry and the game shave been different, and our opponents are different, it's a different team.

Q: Tom, what do you see about their team, what do you see on the film?

TB: They've played some pretty good games this year, obviously last week they played exceptionally well, anytime you can play the Packers and beat them the way they did. I saw them play against the Giants and they played well, they played well against the Bears, they've played some good ball. Their offense is pretty explosive, a lot of guys have been injured, so they've been in and out of the mix on defense, but we'll have to find out where those guys are playing this week and we'll have to attack them.

Q: So many times you try to make sense of match-ups in games, is that sometimes one of the more dangerous things, when it goes against all logical thinking?

TB: Yeah, definitely, no question. You look at the games that we've won or we lost, most of it's been because of the way we've played, not because of the way they played. If you expect the other team to show up and not play well, then you're just really setting yourself up. I think for us, and for this team to be good, we have to go out and play the way we're capable of playing, and that's just a good brand of football, a tough, hard-nosed, consistent, opportunistic team. That's the way we're going to win, and when we have been winning, that's the way we've played. I don't think it's as much of what the Vikings have done, or what the teams in the past have done, I think it's going to be the way the Patriots play. If we play good, hopefully we win, I'm confident we will win when we play well. If we don't play well, chances are you're going to lose, that's the way it is.

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