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Tom Brady Locker Room Interview 9/15/04

Q: Are you looking forward to the weather out there?

TB: I think the forecast is warm for this time of year in Arizona. We have to be ready to play in it. It is going to be hot for both teams and certainly something we are going to have to deal with and not make many excuses about it and just go out and play through it.

Q: What do you want to improve on offensively this week?

TB: Coach always talks about consistency. I think we just need to take advantage of our opportunities. If we get plays that are there to be made, we have to throw the ball and complete them. We ran the ball well last week. I think we have to continue to do that and try to score some more points. No more three and outs.

Q: What did you think of their defense in the film that you have studied so far?

TB: We have seen quite a bit of their film. It is a good defense. They have some very good team speed. The defensive players play hard. They went to St. Louis last week and if it weren't for an interception return that was called back, they had a great chance of beating them. It is a tough team and it is a team that we are really not familiar with and a scheme that we are not familiar with. I think a lot of it is putting extra time in. I'm glad we have an extra day and we are going out early. We have to go out there and try to take advantage of all the time to get to know them so we can be best prepared for Sunday.

Q: It is difficult to prepare for new players, but even more so a new coaching staff?

TB: There are really only five games of film on them. That is all you see. With the new staff, you really can't go back into evaluating what they have done in real critical situations. They have basically played one game where it has been critical and that was last week. We are studying that film. We are studying the preseason and trying to put together a game plan that will best play to our strengths and their weaknesses. If we can do that then I think we will come out of the game feeling good. You just don't know what to expect, so you are trying to prepare for everything

Q: It should be an emotional day for them as well with the Pat Tillman ceremonies. Does that factor into it?

TB: Yeah that is going to be part of it too. Pat Tillman played there and I think everyone knows what Pat has done. I think it is going to be a great day. It is another thing that isn't going to lead much into playing the game, but something that is important to the NFL and all the players by honoring a guy like that. I think once that ball is kicked off, we are going to have to forget about the heat and the ceremony.

Q: What does it mean to wear the Number 40 on your helmet for this week?

TB: I think it is really neat. You pay tribute to people who you look up to and you respect and admire. When you think about what he has done, compared to what we are doing playing football and how little in actual importance it is what we are doing.

Q: What do you think you need to improve on?

TB: There are so many things that I would like to improve on. My recognition of what the defense is doing and making better decisions with the ball, especially late in the game. I think last week we really had the opportunity at the end of the game to finish a game out the way we wanted to and we put our defense back out on the field. That is not something that we wanted to do. So taking advantage of some of those late game situations and putting points on the board and turning those three-point wins into 10-point wins, where it is not as critical at the end. I think there are some things in the last game, where there were some reads that I would like to have back and some throws that I would like to have back. I just want to continue to get better and continue to improve. Only playing one game in the regular season, there are 15 games to play. I'm glad that we have a long way to go and there is much improvement to be made. You always wish that you start off doing everything right, but that is not the case.

Q: Arizona is a team that is really trying to prove themselves and there is not a better way then to beat the defending Super Bowl champions?

TB: I think we have been in a situation where we have been playing teams that were champions the year before and you want to play so hard against them. You really want to go out and prove to everyone else that you are a top-flight team. That is their challenge. Our challenge is to go out there and play at the level we want to play at. There are times last week where we did that and there are other times when we didn't. It was so close last week at the end. We won by a field goal. It is obviously that we need to improve on a lot of things, if we want to continue to win each one of these games.

Q: Arizona hasn't had a lot of success in recent years. Does Coach basically come in and prepare you like you are playing the Super bowl champions and make this team a lot better then they really are?

TB: You can look at the film and evaluate them realistically on what we think we need to do to compete against them. I don't think when Coach comes in and tells us what they are about, I don't think he is trying to hype them up. I think he is trying to tell us what it is. This is a good team. Defensively they run around and turn the ball over. Offensively, Emmitt Smith is playing and he is doing a great job and they have some young receivers that are doing well and the offensive line is playing good. They can beat anybody and that is the way that it goes. If you do not play well then you are going to get beat. I don't think he needs to come in and feed us a bunch of crap. I think you have to tell it like it is. That is the way that it is. If we go out and play bad then we are going to lose. Hopefully we don't. Hopefully we go out and play our style of ball, that is physical, smart football. The times that we haven't done that, we have gotten beat like Cincinnati where we got embarrassed, and Jacksonville where we got embarrassed. Some other games we played better and more to our style. It all comes down to each week and how well we are going to go out and play. If we don't put the work in during the week then you don't have anything to fall back on when it is game day. You can't stand around and say let's go guys when there is nothing there in the tank. We have to go out and put the work in now and then let that carry over into game day.

Q: Can you talk about the two tight end sets with [Benjamin] Watson [Christian] Fauria and [Daniel] Graham and what that brings to the team?

TB: All three of those guys are capable players and I think it puts a lot of pressure on the defense. When you bring three tight ends on the field, you think we are going to hammer the ball down the field. The way that it is, all of those guys can go out and catch the ball too. It is tough for defenses. I'm glad that we have three capable guys. It also provides depth when we get into goal line situations and we do need to run the ball, we have big, strong guys out there who can both block and catch. They all have their role and I think they are all doing a good job of playing to their roles and to their strengths.

Q: Last week, Corey Dillon showed how he can help too.

TB: Corey was running his butt off last week. He did a great job in there finding the holes, making guys miss, running guys over. I think it was a great start for Corey. He was excited about it. I think the offensive line was excited about it. Those guys blocked great, not only in the passing game, but in the running game as well. That is something that we will need more of. One game is good, but we have to keep proving that. We need to keep getting better at it.

Q: Every game is big, but considering you have the bye week next week after only the second game of the year, is it even more important to focus and execute this week?

TB: It is weird how fast the bye week comes, but we will start thinking about that when we are done playing Arizona. This game against Arizona is a very difficult challenge. Anyone who thinks otherwise is mistaken. That is not the way that it is. We have five days to prepare and we are going to take advantage of every one of those days. Hopefully we go out and use our preparation and play well.

Q: Does it put pressure on the defense when there is not a clear-cut number one receiver, but a bunch of guys that can make plays?

TB: I think that teams that are playing focus on a guy like Randy Moss. They have a hard time just stopping him. I think we have a lot of guys that are extremely capable in that type of category where if you don't account for them they will have 10-12 catches. For the years that I have been here we have tried to spread the ball to everybody. I think that suits us well. I don't know. Some defenses may find that hard to stop and some might find that easier to stop. I think that is what we are the most comfortable doing.

Q: Have you seen a group of receivers as deep as this one since you have been here?

TB: We won two Super Bowls with a pretty good group of receivers. I think the group we have now is pretty darn good. It is a lot like the group we had last year. There are a few subtractions and a few additions. They are all very good. They are all great players with great attitudes. They are smart and tough. I think they enjoy the group of guys that they have and they all work hard.

Q: When you are on the sidelines and the defense is on the field, how much do you and Charlie [Weis] and Coach Belichick talk about adjustments during the game?

TB: Quite a bit. Throughout the game I talk with Charlie. Charlie and I are hammering it out all day. As soon as I come off the field I am looking for him and any of the coaching points he may have and the plays we might be getting to on the next series, as well as any of the problems we may be having and identifying what they are doing. Coach Belichick will come over a few times a game and he has his input, which is usually great. There are so many corrections on game day that you need to figure out.

Q: When you look at the films are you really just breaking it down?

TB: You look at the play and you look at the play you had called in the situation it is called and against the defense it was called. Going into the week, you anticipate what you think is going to happen. If those same things come up, where you practiced the play on Wednesday that actually came up on the same look on Sunday, you really have to say why didn't we execute this. It could have been a bad throw or a bad read. It could have been something totally different than you had practiced against. You evaluate the film and then you make the corrections, basically saying that if they give us this again this is what we are going to do and then you go out and try to execute it. Sometimes it is physical problems where you make a bad throw, sometimes it is mental.

Q: Are you aware that you have only lost one close game since you have been here?

TB: Not really. Even last week, we won by three, but it could have gone either way at the end. If they scored a touchdown then we lose. I think this team has done a good job playing really close games. I think we have executed under pressure in a lot of two-minute situations both offensively and defensively. I think a lot of that is that we practice critical situations which is late in the game situations where one possession determines whether you win or lose the game, whether it be a field goal at the end, a two-minute drill on defense, I think those are the types of things that this team, I mean the Patriots, have excelled at. Not this team in particular because we haven't been in those situations, except last week.

Q: Do you still think about the Washington game last year?

TB: Yeah and that was so disappointing because when you look at those last three plays, it was just ridiculous that we didn't do anything with the ball. I think that lasted through the rest of last season. That just kind of gnawed at this whole team. That was an embarrassing loss and performance late in the game. All the preparations we make are based on a game like that and we walked off the field and we were sick to our stomachs just thinking about how we could give up a game like that.

Q: A loss is a loss, but does it eat at you even more when you have a chance to win compared to the Buffalo opener last year when you were beat 31-0?

TB: They are a little different. That Washington game we did a few good things to put us in a position at the end to make some plays to win it or tie it. In the Buffalo game, we didn't do anything good. We just got hammered and I think at that point you just go back to the drawing board. In the Washington game, we are saying what are the little things we need to do to improve. Maybe that is a part of losing by three as opposed to losing by 31. Either way they all count the same. Ultimately I think you feel worse about some rather than others. We felt terrible about the Buffalo game, but we felt really bad about the Washington game.

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