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Tom Brady Locker Room Interview - 12/24/02

Q: This is an important game in more ways than one.

TB: Yeah it is. There's still a chance for us to end the season on a winning note, and we can only really control this game, and judging by the way guys came into start the preparation today it seems like it's off to a good start. Miami's tough, last time we played them they beat us up pretty good. But we're looking to get out there and play pretty well.

Q: Is it important to start this week and get something positive going?

TB: Yeah, and I think that comes from … I think you're confident when you can actually prove to yourself you can do stuff. Until we get out there and really prove that we can play consistently over an entire game then it's always going to be like that. I think the attitude's good, I think we're kind of excited to get out there and play this last game at home, and really see what we're made of. As many ups and downs that there have been, this game is really important to us.

Q: And certainly you couldn't have picked a tougher opponent to go up against.

TB: Yeah, they've played well all year. And Jason Taylor, he's a guy, 18.5 sacks, whatever it is, he's quite a talent, I'm glad I'm not playing tackle for us, but I'm playing quarterback, so I think I've got enough challenges facing that secondary, and those linebackers are pretty good too.

Q: Do you know what went wrong Sunday night, and can you go about changing it quickly?

TB: We're trying to look at that tape and move on because none of that's going to do anything to help us win this week. I think this week it's not going to be as much looking back as it will be looking forward. And we're looking forward to playing Miami, and we're trying to go out and put some plays together consistently. There's been some times over the course of the year where we have had some nice drives, some nice quarters, some nice halves, but we haven't really played as well as I think we're capable. What more of an opportunity would you want when you think all's lost, in reality this is kind of like a second chance for us to go out and really do something this week.

Q: How do you respond to the fact that people say that they do not see a sense of urgency in the players on the field?

TB: That's the way people see it. We're trying to go out there and put our best foot forward, and obviously it doesn't look like it always and it doesn't feel like always too for us. I don't think it comes from a lack of preparation or a lack of energy or emotion, I just think at certain times we've played more confident, and that's reflected in the outcomes of these games. And we've played more intimidating, and more of the style that I think coach wants us to play. When we don't play that way, obviously it doesn't look to our fans, and to people that are cheering us on that we're giving it our all, and we are, it's just things aren't coming together like we wished they would, or like coach expects of us.

Q: How can you figure out the inconsistency of this team?

TB: I wish I could figure it out. I think that's what they pay coach big bucks for, to figure it out. I think for us, the players, we need to just concentrate on playing, and let the coaches figure out the game plans and figure out the match ups and what they want to try to exploit. I know for me it's hard enough playing quarterback, so I'm going to try to play my best game and try to get out there and get the team going and try to get us a big win.

Q: (Re: what's improved this year)

TB: There's been improvement in a lot of areas, and there other areas you wish were better. I think it's such a team game, and as I said last year, there's ups and downs with the team, there's ups and downs with the quarterbacks, and it's one of those positions that rely heavily on other people. I think that's my job, to get everybody going in the right direction, and really haven't been up to my standards, and the way I'm trying to motivate and lead our team. That's the frustrating part because when you think you're the reflection of the team, and you're a coach on the field, and the team's not playing well, you take that a lot more personally.

Q: Are you confident that you can rally this group right now?

TB: Yeah. I think that we came in today, and there's not a lot to say. It's like the talk doesn't mean anything after a while, I mean what do you keep saying? You just keep talking. Obviously you can keep talking or you can go out and play well. So I think to go out and play well would make much more of a statement then it would be to sit here and tell you how good we're going to play, but all that we know is I can control the way I prepare and the way I go into the game, and that's the same with everybody. He outcome of the game, hopefully we can make enough plays to win.

Q: Last year you had so many must win games, can you draw on that experience, I know you don't like to look back.

TB: Even more so, I think it's important to draw back to earlier this year. That's really the team we are. You think about all the changes that have been made, we've been a team that has gone out and played very well, so I think you talk about them when you're trying to gain confidence, well, you look back at those games and say, 'That's why we played really well, this is what we did, and those are the things we need to do to win.'

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