New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady national media during his conference call on January 16, 2008.
Q:Talk about the confidence you guys have playing playoff games at home when you've never lost.
TOM BRADY: Well, I don't think any of that matters. I think that the team that plays best on Sundays is the team that's going to win. I don't think it's got anything to do with home or road. The team that executes the best will win.
Q:Five or six years ago, you were the darlings of the NFL, underdogs that sort of thing and now that you've won that appears to have changed completely and a lot of people have you as enemy No. 1, what does the team think about that?
TOM BRADY: That's really beyond our control. Just have to focus on your job and being as well prepared as possible and doing well each week. I know we are all happy to be part of this organization and to have the opportunity to play in another AFC Championship Game. I know I'm excited about that.
Q:As you get closer to the ultimate goal, has your team's one-game-at-a time or one-week at a time approach been harder to maintain as the season has gone on?
TOM BRADY: I don't think so. I think that's really worked how Coach Belichick really stresses the importance of preparation each week and to not look -- you can't win a game two weeks from now. You can only prepare for the team that you play.
And you know, we had so many tight games this year, I really think the preparation we put in has been so critical to what we've accomplished. It's extremely challenging this week when you play a team as dangerous as the Chargers are that has talent at every position. And they are one year removed from being 14-2; it's really the same team back. This is the best team in the second half of the season, averaging 30 points a game, they have given up 13 points a game, 48 turnovers and five turnovers in the post-season and over 40 sacks this year, and guys like Gates and Tomlinson and Philip Rivers are All-Pro Bowlers and they can rush the passer and bombard you with interceptions. It's really a dynamic group of pass rushers and linebackers on the offensive line, and it will be extremely tough for us this week.
Q:Have you had any time to reflect on what an incredible season it has been so far, or have you purposely not done that?
TOM BRADY: No, I think we really are at the same point we were last season and I wasn't very happy with the way last year ended.
So we are no better than we were last year at this time. This is the most important game of the year, and we have to put as much as we can into it.
Q:Can you talk about the karma, you guys started it with the Super Bowl wins, and of course, the Red Sox and now the Celtics; do you guys go to each other's games? And just kind of talk about the positive karma and energy for all the sports that are in New England right now.
TOM BRADY: Well, I'm sure the fans are really excited. You're right, it been a great season, and with Red Sox winning and the way the Celtics have played and our regular season has been, I'm sure, fun for our fans.
Like I said, it all means nothing if we lose this week. So we have to try to -- we have to find a way to win this week and give our fans reasons to be happy and cheerful and excited about our team again, so we don't look too far forward.
Q:When you first went to the Championship Game and obviously the Super Bowl as a starter, can you think back that how far and how excited you were and now to be there a couple of times?
TOM BRADY: Well, I think I've learned from the playoff experiences I've had, and going into my eighth season, I feel like I'm more prepared now than I've been.
You know, I'm excited about this game. I've had five opportunities to play in this game and very fortunate to be able to be a part of that. I've seen a lot and I've -- I've seen a lot and as a team, I think we've been through a lot. So hopefully we can draw back on those experiences and hopefully use them.
Q:Any advice you give him?
TOM BRADY: Who?
TOM BRADY: Philip doesn't need my advice. He's an excellent quarterback, he's led his team this far.
Q:Can you talk about the impact Randy Moss has had this year and are you concerned he may not be back next year.
TOM BRADY: I just try to concern myself with the game each week. I know what he's been able to accomplish, and you know, he's the best receiver in the league, so that speaks for itself. And it makes it easy as a quarterback when you just throw the ball up in the air and he goes up and catches it. I know he's excited about this week, and I think as a team, whether it be Randy or Wes or Vrabel or these other guys, we have to be ready to play our best.
Q:How does playing in a 15-degree game compare with 40-degree temperature in January?
TOM BRADY: Well, once again, it's really out of our control. Just have to be more mentally tough to overcome cold weather. And you're not going to win the game because it's cold or hot or rainy. And our opponent this weekend is the San Diego Chargers and not the weather or the wind or the rain or the snow. It's the team that we are lining up across against. That's going to be the toughest opponent we face all season.
Q:Randy Moss, does it trouble you the allegations that he's facing right now?
TOM BRADY: I'm sorry?
Q:Your relationship with Randy, what you've been able to establish this year, does it trouble you the allegations that he's facing right now?
TOM BRADY: That's the furthest thing from my mind. I could really care less about that.
Q:Can you talk about working with Josh McDaniels, how do you look at him as a head coaching prospect? Just talk about your relationship with him, and do you think he could make a good head coach in the future?
TOM BRADY: I'm sure he has goals and he's worked extremely hard to get to the position that he's in now, and I think we're lucky to have him. He's done a great job as a leader and as a communicator and as a coach and obviously as a coordinator. So he's a great coach.
Q:Can you talk about what Antonio Cromartie has done this year, the interceptions, and the one in the Colts game, what have you seen on him on tape, and do you have to look for him on basically every play?
TOM BRADY: Well, he's a dynamic player for them and he's had 11 interceptions and makes plays every game and they matches him up to the best receivers. From playing him last year, he's improved so much from the first year to the second year and he's got a lot of talent and is big and physical and tough and smart and has every attribute you look for in a top-flight corner. We are going to have to be careful around him, because if you throw it up there, he'll make the play.
Q:Laurence Maroney has been hot late in the season and post-season, and he wasn't always that way heading late into the season. Was the plan to sort of hold back on using him so that he would be big for you in the post-season and let you take over as you run the offense?
TOM BRADY: No. I think every week is something different, and really whatever we feel like we need to do, that's what we do, and that helps Coach Belichick. As a quarterback, I just try to run the plays that are called.
Q:How much say do you have over the offense of game planning each week?
TOM BRADY: I have none. I just kind of do what they tell me to do.
Q:Have the Patriots played this season with a chip on their shoulder?
TOM BRADY: No. I think we just try to play as hard as we can each week, and we have high expectations, that Coach Belichick sets for us since training camp, and we go out there and try to be the best we can be. There's plenty of motivation to do your job, because if you don't do your job well, you get fired. I think that's great motivation for you.