New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady addresses the media during his on-field interview following a training camp practice at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, August 13, 2008.
Q: What was the cheering for at the end of practice? Did it mean no practice tomorrow?
TB: No, I wish. We have nothing tonight so everybody gets to go home and sleep in a little bit. Everybody is very excited now. Vince [Wilfork] has been our go-to-guy on that for a few years. He had to catch ball while he had two balls in his hand, which is a little more challenging. Coach threw us a bone and it doesn't happen too often.
Q: Are you excited to finally get some game action?
TB: Yeah, I am. I think the whole team is looking to improve. It will be nice to be out there and play a little bit and see if we can make some improvements from last week. Coach has been pretty tough on us and wants us to make these improvements quickly. Tampa Bay is a great test too because they are very well coached. They present different challenges as a team. We have our work cut out for us.
Q: What is your reaction to Brett Farve being traded to the New York Jets?
TB: The Jets have made a lot of moves. They are a tough team. Miami has made improvements. Buffalo has made improvements. Anytime you add a guy like Brett Farve to a team it defiantly never hurts. We are looking forward to playing Tampa Bay this week and when the Jets come up I am sure they will present plenty of their own challenges.
Q: Are you concerned at all with the number of injuries on the offensive line?
TB: No, I don't have any concerns. I know they are working hard to get back. The guys that are in now I have a lot of confidence in. They are guys who have played. Billy [Yates] has played. Wes [Britt] has played. [Nick] Kaczur has played. They are going to be fine.
Q: How has this training camp gone compared to other years?
TB: I think situational football has been important for us this camp. Coach has really been stressing that to us. Towards the end of every practice we are working on two-minute drill, four-minute drill and situational plays that we really need to be on so when they come up in a game it is not the first time they have come up. Coach has been really harping on that and I think the team has responded to it. The new guys are picking it up quickly. Some days are better than others. We are still eating that 'humble pie' around here. Coach has been on us pretty good.
Q: When you see a young quarterback like Kevin O'Connell carrying shoulder pads, do you ever think 'That was me a long time ago'?
TB: Yeah, when I was his age I was carrying three pads - Drew's [Bledsoe], [John] Friesz's and [Michael] Bishop's. He is getting off easy with one pad.
Q: When you see O'Connell, do you feel that you have come a long way?
TB: No, I think every year it is a little something different. I think each year your role changes a bit. My role continues to evolve on this team. I am going on my ninth year. There are only four of us that have been here that long [Bruschi, Faulk, Paxton]. I was a rookie one of those days being a new kid on the block and now I am the fourth oldest. It has been a great time and hopefully this year will be one of our best seasons.
Q: Did you feel any sympathy for the quarterbacks when you were watching them against the Ravens last Thursday as they kind of struggled?
TB: No, I don't feel sympathy at all. I think they know what they are doing. They work extremely hard. You just go out there as a quarterback and do the best that you can do. That is what they do and I am proud of them for that. They have to have confidence that things happen and you have to bounce back and do well on the next play. It is not like as a quarterback you have good play after good play. Sometimes things don't go right and you have to rebound and make the next play a good play. Those guys work extremely hard and I think we have a good quarterback group.
Q: When you see the new generation of quarterbacks coming in that are getting paid a lot of money does it make you feel underpaid?
TB: Ha, no. I don't ever feel underpaid - not at all.
Q: So you are happy with your arrangement here?
TB: Yeah, I love being here and I love being a part of this team. It is a great situation. I have a great head coach, great coaches, great ownership and it is a great place to be - great media. Doesn't get any better than this does it?
Q: Haircut day for the rookies is coming up here pretty soon…
TB: Yeah, I don't know how we missed it.
Q: Usually it is before the first preseason game right?
TB: Yeah, it is. Usually it is on the road so we have that day before we leave where everybody is showing up to leave and that is when it happens. We are going to get them. I am looking forward to getting [Shawn] Crable.
Q: Is it different this camp since you know Randy Moss and you know Wes Welker so you have more familiarity with the receivers?
TB: Sure, and I think in ways we are very far ahead of where we were last year. We know what we can do. It's not about getting lined up in the formation and running the play, now it's about getting into a better play if the play we called in the huddle isn't the one we like the best when we line up on the field. Those guys can adjust because they know the signals and routes. They know how we want to run. They know the techniques of the defensive backs. I feel like from day one we were way ahead of last year. I hope that shows up when we start playing the regular season.
Q: How has wide receiver Randy Moss been doing in training camp?
TB: He is great. We have a great relationship. He loves playing football. That is what he loves to do and that is what he focuses his attention on.
Q: Can you talk about what corrections the team is trying to make at this point?
TB: A lot of things need to be corrected. We have high expectations from what we accomplished last year. It is not like you want to come out and throw incomplete passes. We want to be very efficient when we run and throw no matter who is in there. It is so early in camp and we still have three preseason games. We need to get better because you look around the league and teams like the Jets and Chiefs, the first two teams we play, they are all getting better. That is who you compare yourself to.
Q: Is it tough to be compared to last year's team with all the success you had last year?
TB: We haven't played a game yet. So we will wait and see.
Q: You had a walkie talkie at practice today. Is that because of the quarterback communication system during games?
TB: Yeah, we use it quite a bit, especially in the two-minute situations and four-minute offense. Coach tries to simulate situational stuff that [offensive coordinator] Josh [McDaniels] has to look at on his call sheet and be able to call the plays. You just don't get him to run over and call the play. You have to listen through the helmet and communicate it to the team.
Q: Any particular reason for the timing of changing from red to white jerseys for the quarterbacks?
TB: No, I don't think so. The quarterbacks were just tired of the red jerseys. We asked coach [Bill] Belichick and he agreed.
Q: You got in the league the same time Chad Pennington did. What is your reaction to him joining the Miami Dolphins?
TB: He is great player. He is going into his ninth year too. He has been a starting quarterback for a long time. I know he works extremely hard and he is a great player. Those kinds of guys help your team.
Q: Can you talk about how the tight ends have done so far in camp?
TB: They have done well. Ben [Watson] was limited for a little bit coming out. Marcus [Pollard] is getting use to the offense. Dave [Thomas] has been in and out. I think the longer we go then the better it will be for all of us. The more we can get out there and practice the better. They are doing well.
Q: Wide receiver Chad Jackson has struggled a little bit so far. Is there anything he can do to help get him on the same page as the quarterback?
TB: I think any young player always has to get on the same page. He works hard and he comes out every day with things he wants to work on. Coaches are coaching him hard. Some days it clicks and some days it doesn't click and you go back and try something new. We have all been through that. We had Jeff Hostetler out here yesterday telling us that he didn't play quarterback for his first six and half years. When you hear stories like that I think it inspires a lot of people.
Q: Any surprises in camp so far?
TB: Well tonight is our first night off so that is a surprise. I don't think anybody was expecting that. It hasn't been very hot and there has been a lot of rain. Not much else.