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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Fri Apr 09 - 12:00 AM | Sun Apr 11 - 11:59 PM

Tom Brady Post-Game Press Conference

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Q: It appeared pretty impressive. Would you have believed it if somebody told you that you were going to beat this team by 17 points?

TB: That was what we're capable of doing. On offense especially, we had a lot of big plays. We were using everybody. Everybody was involved. Charles Johnson had a great game. I had been waiting for him to break out. He's a great player and he maybe doesn't get as much recognition as he should. He's a weapon out there for us. The fullbacks, Marc Edwards played a great game. Antowain [Smith]'s playing great football. And that's what you need to do in this stretch of the season. Everyone talks about winning late in the year, winning down the stretch, and this was a good start.

Q: That was a sign that things are coming along pretty well when you drove down at the end of the half and capped it off with a touchdown.

TB: When we're able to run the ball and play action pass, we're tough to stop. That's our game. Getting the ball to Troy [Brown], who had another great game, using David Patten, he's quite a threat. He had those two pass interference calls that were just as big as any other plays in the game. We're starting to really come into our own. The offensive line played a great game, probably their best of the year. There was hardly any pressure on me the whole game. It was just a great overall game by everybody. This is the stuff you've got to build on and the stuff we've got to continue to do if we want to be in the race.

Q: You were able to use the Saints' defense's aggressiveness against itself. Is that something you had planned on all week long?

TB: Well, that's a situational type of call and that's Charlie [Weis] trying to anticipate what they're going to do. That's what you try to do as an offense. When you're able to do that, their defensive coordinator's going to be a little more hesitant to call that same blitz that next time after getting beat for a 41-yard touchdown. Some games you go out and the calls are prefect and we execute them the way they should be executed, and that's the result. Other days it's not like that and you have to fight through it and still try to win. But the Saints came in and they're an aggressive team and they played hard. We just played a very solid game all around today.

Q: Can your performance get much better than this?

TB: It can always get better. I lost two balls today, just careless, missed a few plays early in the game that I've got to get. Believe me, there's a long way to go still. It was a good game and it's a good win for us, because everybody played good. That's what's fun for me, to see Charles Johnson score a touchdown. It's fun to see Antowain pound it up in there on third and two when there's nothing there on the goal line and score. To see Mike Compton spike the ball, that's fun, that's what we play for.

Q: That drive at the end of the first half, you go from almost losing the ball to taking it right down the field. How big of a momentum swing is that?

TB: That was huge. As soon as the guy hit me, the ball came out and I saw one of the Saints guys come in and dive for it and I saw [Jermaine] Wiggins fly in there and grab it and that was huge. On the next play, a running play, we gained about 12 and then gave it to Antowain and got a first down and then we were back into our two-minute drill. A few good plays there and then Charles came up with the big catch, getting hit as he caught it. That gave us a huge boost going into halftime.

Q: Didn't it seem like Troy Brown was always open in the first half?

TB: You're always looking for Troy. Troy's always in spots to catch the ball. There were a few times when they covered Troy on both of those deep balls to David, Troy might be the first read, but then you single cover David and you just lay it up to him and watch him run and try to make a play on it and then we pound it in from there. But if you cover Troy with two guys, then that leaves someone else open. So what they try to do is mix it up. Sometimes they're going to cover him with double coverage and sometimes they're going to single cover and that's when you've got to find him, because as a quarterback, that's what you're looking for.

Q: Can you pay much attention to the quarterback controversy?

TB: Well, I think about 30 questions at the press conference on Wednesday were about that same subject, so I think I do hear that quite a bit. But at the same time, that's part of it and you learn to deal with it and you… When I use the word distraction, in that I mean just taking focus away from preparing for the game. If you're worried about someone else, in my case Drew… any team is lucky to have him as a player. It's one of those situations where I just have go out and worry about preparing myself and trying to be the best player I can be on Sunday. If you go out there and you play bad, it gives everyone more of an excuse to… It's worse the next week and then you play bad and it's worse the next week. I've learned that lesson, I've learned that lesson.

Q: Did your situation at Michigan with Drew Henson and Brian Griese in any way help to prepare you for this?

TB: Oh yeah, that made it. My dad and I were talking and he said it was the school of hard knocks. I went through it when I was 19 years old and I was always concerned about how this guy was playing or how this receiver ran this route and it wasn't ran how it should have been ran. There's always that person, that person, that person. The last person I was evaluating was myself, and I was the one that wasn't playing. Those other guys were playing and I was saying, 'That was a bad route.' Now it's to the point where you worry about yourself. You prepare yourself and that's the concern, that's the focus. I always say that it's too hard trying to prepare for everyone else. It's my responsibility to have myself ready to play.

Q: With that running game, you could really see things loosening up a bit.

TB: Of course. The defensive coordinators, they want to stop the run, because when you stop the run then you force them to throw and they pin your ears back and come at you. When you're running… We had that play there where we ran that direct snap to Kevin [Faulk] and that was another good play. We gained about eight on third and four. That really keeps the defense off of us, they have to stay focused and they can't just pin their ears back and rush because we take advantage of that.

Q: You guys put yourself in good position for the rest of the season. You must feel like you're the masters of your own fate now.

TB: Yeah, definitely. We're 6-5 and we've got to go the Jets and we know what kind of a game that's going to be. They're as tough a team as there is right now. We're right where we want to be and we're in the thick of it. Now it's just a matter of how we're playing and how we're performing and I like our chances.

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