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Tom Brady Post-Game Press Conference 11-3-2002

To view the transcript, click below.

Q: Does this team have its swagger back?

TB: I think we need to do it for a few more games than just one in a row. This was a good one to get us back on track and that swagger that you're talking about, I think that's over the course of about two games. We played better today and you can see the result of it.

Q: Tom, with all of the focus on [Drew] Bledsoe, was it kind of nice for you to go into this game with maybe no sense of pressure at all so you could just comfortably go about your business?

TB: I don't think about that a whole lot. It's just not one of those things that … I think I'm more focused on their defense. In a sense, maybe consciously or subconsciously, it does. I don't know. I just know that when I make my reads and I make my throws on time, good things happen. And, you don't throw the ball to the other team.

Q: Obviously Antowain Smith was a big part of the game and you went to him time and time again.

TB: Yeah. He had a few nice catches today. That one on fourth-and-one was a big one. He's done a great job. He's such a strong, powerful back. He runs hard, he's tough, he's determined and I love having him back there. I love turning around and giving it to him. I told him he's my go-to guy on fourth down now after he caught that one on fourth-and-one.

Q: The third down efficiency today was key.

TB: Yeah, I think it was a lot better today. Obviously, that was one emphasis, because we weren't very good at it last week. We put a little extra work into it, and it paid off.

Q: How important was it to win after four straight losses?

TB: We had four tough ones and we played four tough teams. It's important to fight back when it's not really going your way. Today we came out and for the first drive, we really set a pretty good tempo out there. We punched it in and we got the ball and we didn't have a lot of possessions, but then again we scored a lot of points. When your backs are up against the wall, you have two options. You can just stay there and let the teams stomp on you, or you can try to fight your way out of it. Today we fought our way out of it.

Q: It's hard to say that the third play of the game could be the play of the game, but the pass to Kevin Faulk on third-and-11, that seemed to really get you guys out of the blocks flying.

TB: That was a good play for us. That's not something we've done a whole lot and Kevin got in there and they were blitzing on the other side and I think Kevin was just unaccounted for in man coverage.

Q: You seemed to throw more screens today than any other time in your career. Was that something you guys saw to exploit?

TB: I think when you're able to run it and then you drop back and you have control of the game, you can kind of do whatever you want. Over the last couple of weeks, we've been forced to be in the shotgun and try to do what Buffalo tried to do, which is pretty tough when you play good defenses, to come back from a bunch of touchdowns down. When you're ahead, you can really run the whole gamut of plays that you've got.

Q: Your defense seemed to match their intensity.

TB: Yeah, they played awesome. They wanted to set the tempo and the way they were bringing it today, no quarterback would want to be standing back there holding the ball. They make it tough and they've got great pass rushers. When they know where that quarterback's going to be, they can really tee off. I'm sure the defensive line's always licking their chops when they know you're going to be throwing it.

Q: How about overshadowing Drew yet again?

TB: That didn't even come into my mind. That's the last thought on my mind.

Q: Did you talk to him before the game?

TB: We just said hi. Just said hi, just normal.

Q: And after?

TB: Just the same. It's not exactly a conducive environment to … [laughter].

Q: Did it feel like you were in a zone today?

TB: It felt good being out there. Up here in Buffalo, you never know when kind of weather you're going to get, but it was perfect out there. We were able to fix in on some of the things that we saw. Charlie [Weis] had a great game plan. We really felt going in that with Antoine Winfield hurt, he's a great player for them, we thought we could take advantage of some of the things that we saw. Whether it be the screen play or whether it be Antowain, it's just more the style we want to play. We want to be a team where we can have a great back pounding it in there. Kevin played great. The offensive line played awesome. Those guys up front, they take a lot of heat, but they played as well today as I can remember. I hardly ever got hit.

Q: It must have felt really satisfying moving the ball up and down the field today.

TB: Yeah. It's always satisfying when you look at the score at the end of the game and your team has more points than them. That's the most important thing for me.

Q: After the last four games, what happened today to set things up?

TB: I think we just played better. For one reason or another, the last four weeks we haven't played Patriot football. We say that and we look at each other and you always talk about a sense of urgency and today we had it. Hopefully we continue to do that. As you get later in the season, there's more of that, because you realize that the standings are really starting to shake out. You know where you're at. Today, we're looking at those standings and saying, 'We're behind Buffalo, we're behind Miami. You don't want to lose this one.' We came out and we fought. I think about that drive the defense put on before the half. Even though they scored, they fought on every single play. Every play those guys laid it out there and made them earn even a half a yard. When you do that, it wears that offense down. It gives the defense a lot more momentum.

Q: Last week, you said that maybe people needed to bring it a little bit more. Do you think that had any affect?

TB: I think we just played better. I think that's what it came down to. We prepared hard. We had a Thursday practice that didn't really go the way we wanted it to go. Coach kind of looked at it and was like, 'Is this what it is for you guys? Is this what it means for you?' Everyone decided on Friday that we were going to turn up the tempo and we turned it up today.

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