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Tom Brady Post-Game Press Conference 09-22-2002

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BRADY: I feel good up here. What's up, guys?

Q: I can't imagine that you got hit that many times in Michigan, did you? When was the last time you threw this many passes?

BRADY: Yeah, I know. 50 or so, I know that.

Q: Over 400.

BRADY: You know, I think we knew going into the game we were going to throw quite a bit. You know, Coach had kind of approached us early in the week. Jacksonville had thrown for a lot of yards, Cleveland had thrown for a lot of yards. They really tried to involve some kind of mix so we found some guys that got opened and we made some plays. And those guys, I mean after they catch the ball, guys on our team are more dangerous. So I have to try to get it through to them and make some plays for us.

Q: (On Daniel Graham)

BRADY: Graham, you know, he was awesome. And David coming out of a break and the ball is behind him. I think the more impressive thing, after he catches it, you know, that burst he has got to get to the end zone. So it is pretty remarkable, I think, the change in David's attitude and, you know, he just sucks it up every week. And from where he was last week to this point, you know, he is just playing some great football. So add him to Troy, a ton of catches today, you know, those tight ends we have got, and Donald, Daniel and Cam, and it is a pretty good group of guys.

Q: Lawyer called this a humbling experience, a game we could learn a lot from as a team. Can you comment on that theory?

BRADY: Yes. This is, as we always say, it is just a team game because, you know, the offense goes out and plays well and the defense doesn't play so well and the score is 41-38 and you win. You know, ultimately that is the most important thing. If it is ten to seven and the offense isn't worth a darn and the defense plays well and you still win, I think the most important thing is to go out and win. And we all realize that. I know the offense realizes it and I think the defense realizes it. You know, we have got to work on something and the defense knows that there are going to be days when they have to pick us up. So we are three and 0 and that's the reality. And we have got to take a long trip now to San Diego. But there was a lot to be learned from today.

Q: Was it good for you guys to take the team's best shot to find out a little bit more about yourself than winning easier like you did the first couple of weeks?

BRADY: This is pro ball. You have got a guy like Priest Holmes who is, if not the best running back in the league, either one or two. And Trent Green, I mean, he had made a lot of great throws today. They got a pretty underrated offensive line. So I think going into the game I knew they were going to score some points. They have a lot of weapons. And I think on a hot day, we keep dropping back, when we keep dropping back we get an advantage that we can force those D linemen to get a little bit tired. And then it looked like our subgroupings are out there quite a bit in regular downs, which doesn't happen very much, and it allows for other time to run the ball. So Lawyer, I am sure Lawyer's assessment is right on.

Q: Tom, you took quite a lot of hits today after the throw, a couple of seconds here and there you took a little bit of a pounding. How would you characterize it as compared to the games that you played up to this point?

BRADY: You know, I feel good, I feel good. I think any time you drop back and throw it that many times, you are going to take hits. And they were blitzing a little bit too. So any times you get guys running, you know, you are trying to, sometimes you are going to take, I know the touchdown pass to Troy, they were taking a safety blitz and I knew it was coming. You know, you are going to take a hit and you just hope Troy makes a great catch like he did.

Q: How frustrated were you in the first half and how much fun did you have in the second?

BRADY: Coming into half time I think we were definitely a little bit frustrated. You want to go out and kind of set a tone. You come, you are playing home, you know, I think we are going out expecting to kind of start off pretty fast. And then I think there were some penalties that hurt us and a few turnovers, I know I through a pick. We are really on the same page. And then after the second half rolled around, you know, I think we were down 10-9 in the half and then they come down right away on that long kickoff return and three plays later in the end zone. I think it was important for us to go down and establish the drive and then we went for a two-point conversion and tied it up. It was fun out there. I think it is not that fun for Antowain (Smith), but it shows you what he can do too. I mean he is just a workhorse and you get a guy like Antowain in there and he is one of the guys that you look at in the huddle and you can't get -- I mean I light up. We call run plays and it is like, Antowain, you know, here it is, we are running, you know, the leader, you know, it is time for you to make a great run. And sure enough, when you see him bug out for 40 or whatever he did, I mean I are pretty excited.

Q: Kevin Faulk got in the act as well, a touchdown pass to him.

BRADY: Yes. Kevin is a very dangerous receiver. He has got great hands. He is able to do a lot of different things and he is also stepping up there. I know that first game at Pittsburgh, he stepped up and was picking up the blitz. It is nice to be able to get J.R. (Redmond) in there and sub him in. I mean all those guys can make plays. There is a lot of depth, even when Troy was out late in the game, who you going to put in, Deion (Branch) and Donald (Hayes), those are pretty awesome alternatives.

Q: Troy had a knack with your predecessor, when things got rough you would find Troy and you would get together and things would happen. It happens with you now. What, is he easy to throw to or what?

BRADY: Yes. Troy has got just a -- he is just a great, you know, he has got great vision out there for a receiver. And there is not a lot of times where you as a quarterback, you know, as a quarterback, you drop back and you look at these zones, right. You know in certain coverage's these zones are going to be open. But Troy is smart enough to know the coverage, know the zone, know when he could hook in, know when he can hook out. He can read what the quarterback reads. You are always on the same page with him. When he rights in, he never breaks out when he should break in. He never breaks in when he should break out. And it makes that that much easier. He sets the field up so well in the inside of the field. Not a lot of guys can play in the inside of the field because there is so much happening. Troy has got great vision for a receiver to be able to make those plays like he did.

Q: He is getting as hot as you are completing the pass. I mean the team came back after a lot of rough stuff, you are finding him all the time, the whole thing started to happen for the whole offense.

BRADY: Yes. Troy makes this offense go. I mean Troy is like when in doubt, get it to Troy. There is no mystery about that. We have been doing that since I got here. You know, last year it was last year it was go to Troy, you know, first read is Troy, second read is Troy, third read is Troy, and fourth read you find someone else. And also if they do double Troy, you know, we will just go to David or go to Deion or throw it to Cam (Cleeland) or Christian (Fauria) or Daniel Graham. Everyone gets into that and I think it is fun for everyone that is part of the offense. They know if they are in the play, if they are going out on a route they might get the ball. Where I think a lot of times on a lot of teams, one or two guys know they are going to get it. In our team everybody knows they are going to get it.

Q: Is it confidence that you feel flipping the coin in the overtime thinking that you got this thing?

BRADY: Yes. You always do. We feel that. We certainly do feel that. I was hoping we won that. We had been off the field for a while too. The hard part for a defense, they had been on the field for -- after we scored that touchdown, KC went down and scored and we go off for those three plays and basically do nothing. And then our defense has got to go right back on the field, they have got all this momentum and then they go down and score again. If we didn't get that flip, who knows what would have happened. So I think we called tails and it was heads and we took it, I felt pretty good.

Q: How does the communication go on a day like today with Charlie (Weis) back and forth, all those pass plays?

BRADY: Pretty good.

Q: On the side lines, I mean you guys, the defense was on the field, is it more so than usual, can you tell us a little bit more about it?

BRADY: Charlie and I, we talk so much. I mean he knows exactly what is going through my mind. He knows the plays I like. I know the plays he likes. He throws one pass this week that, you know, he loved the play. And we must have run it three times in practice and didn't hit it one time. He still loved it and, sure enough, the first time he called it in a game it didn't work. And finally he came back to it on that last drive in the overtime where I hit Christian (Fauria). I guess one for five, you know, hey, that one for five makes the play that wins the game, that is good enough.

Q: Tom, the day after the Super Bowl, Belichick said defense was what won championships. Has he changed his mind there, I mean the way the game plans have been very offensive, or have you guys caught up to the defense?

BRADY: No. There is no question the defense, the defense has been the strength of this team and that is the strength of this great team. If you are playing, you know, a championship football game, if the defense, I mean you don't deserve to win when you give up a lot of points. I mean we don't deserve to win when you give up 38, but they don't deserve to win when they give up 41. And the point is if you are going to -- the offense is going to have off days, but the defense, you know, you hope the defense is always very consistent. Now, there are other days when this is going to happen. This is professional football. They have pro players, Tony Gonzalez is probably the best tight end in the league. They are going to score points and you just hope that you come up and score more. That was the reality today. It is not about giving up a certain amount of yards rushing or passing. It is about winning games. And you know, we made the plays when we needed to make them. And I am confident that, hey, if we win or lose, flipping the coin, you have confidence the defense would have went out and played and won the game for us. It is about picking each other up. There is no defense that has to play as well, you know, they know they have got to play better. They don't ever expect to go out and pick up 38 points.

Q: Was that play in overtime one that you --

BRADY: You want me to give up all this info? That was a called play.

Q: Tom, as a quarterback is it fun getting into these shootouts every once in a while?

BRADY: Yes, it is. It is. I mean it is fun to stand back there and look at these guys and pick them out. And knowing that I am going to, you know, try to find a guy who is in single coverage, when I throw it to that guy he is going to make a play. So it is fun to be out there throwing it around. I mean it is nice weather out there and, you know, the ball feels good in your hand. You just want to go out there and let those guys run around and make plays for us. They did a great job with that today.

Q: Tom, you talk about the bottom line being three and 0.

BRADY: Last year we didn't start off very well. Coach made a point that we are going to start well this year, and you can't start better than three and 0. You know, the only thing better than three and 0 is four and 0. So that is the goal next week to go and play along the road. The second road trip, it is going to be warm. You know, we played this team, we had to beat them in overtime last year. It will be a challenge for us.

Q: Kansas City went after you today more than the other two teams in the first two games. Do you expect to see more of that if you are going to stay in this spread or do you think you have heard enough times that teams will be after you?

BRADY: I think there is a couple -- there is two to three different approaches you can go with. Well, there is maybe four or five different approaches you can go with when you play an empty backfield. They can rush. We watched tapes this week with the same defense, they rushed two, drop nine. You can rush three and drop eight. You can rush four and drop seven. You can rush six and drop five. Now, all of them have their advantages and all of them have their disadvantages. And I think it is important for us to know what they are doing so if they are bringing six and we only have five blocking, I have got to throw it quick. Or I can get another guy into my protection, throw the ball down the field. So whatever it is, I think there are different times, you know, Kansas City brought six. Other times they brought four, other times they brought three. It is just about all of us being on the same page and identifying how many they are rushing. If I am pressured, you know, these defenses are confusing. They will try to make it seem like they are bringing six when they are bringing four, or they will make it seem like they are bringing six and bring five. It is kind of like a chess game out there sometimes. And you know what happens is if they find that, you know, bringing five works one play, chances are they are going to bring the same thing back the next play until you can prove that you can stop it. You know, I think early today they didn't really blitz us off to start and we didn't particularly execute very well. Most teams, once they know they have got to stop the run, all those guys in the front will start some more run blitzes. So you have just got to be effective in identifying what they are bringing.

Q: Do you think you hurt them a couple times, you think you could have done a better job --

BRADY: Yes. You know, I think it is more so, you know, a lot of these are tough losses. And as much as you think it would change to the offense, you know, I have been doing the same thing for eight or nine years and that is what they know and that is their mentality and that is what they are going to do. It might change up a little bit, the percentage might change a little bit, but you are not going to do for a team that doesn't pressure, you know, doesn't pressure 60 or 70 percent of the time. This guy, Gary Robinson, he was one of those that was a little in between, you know, sometimes he would pressure. Other times, you know, by game plan, you know, I think he involved both. So you know it is up to those defenses, what they want to do. If they want to leave us single coverage, we might put up 41. If they want to zone coverage, we still might do that. So I think it is about us executing, us being on the same page as offense and the lines protecting, you know, them picking up their most dangerous rushers and just seeing who is coming and going with the open guy. Thanks, guys.

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