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Tom Brady Press Conf. Transcript - 7/31/2003

**Q: On Christian Fauria...

TB:**
He made a catch with Lawyer [Milloy] guarding him. There was no room and he kept it right on his fingertips. He's had an awesome camp.

**Q: You have a nice alternative between he and Daniel Graham by the time September comes, whichever way it goes. Can you talk a little bit about the competition? And then how Daniel Graham can be used as a weapon?

TB:** Anytime that you can have multiple tight ends who have multiple different... I mean, these guys can run blocks, they can pass protect, they can run routes, they catch the ball, they're smart. You line up in those two tight end formations and it's tough to defend because they don't know whether to play the run or to play the pass. So if they keep the regular defense on the field and you have guys that can all run routes, you can really exploit them in the passing game.

**Q: And just on Daniel. Is he kind of a sky's the limit type of player?

TB:** I think that jump from your first year to your second year is so unbelievable. I know that I went through it. Once you finally figure out what to do, you can go out and let your physical ability... not that I have any of that... but Daniel does. He can let his physical ability take over. He can run routes, and he can run them at 100 percent, he can run them at full speed. He makes the catches. He's a big, powerful guy. You just have to get the ball in his hands and hopefully he'll be able to make a lot of plays. He made some plays late in the year for us. I remember that Buffalo game in particular. He was just starting to come around and I think he's started to pick up from where he left off.

**Q: He has a nickname that has resurfaced?

TB:** The Graham-bo. I don't know how he got that. He is just a big, powerful guy. I think he likes it. You see a big smile come on his face whenever anyone calls him that.

**Q: You've talked about the jump between [Year] one and [Year] two. Now you are looking at the jump between two and three. Now that you are familiar with the league and you've gotten everything to happen the way it has, what do you expect from yourself in terms of growth from your two to three.

TB:** I think this year I am much more comfortable in my role. I think each year you gain more credibility with your teammates and hopefully you gain more respect. The success of a quarterback comes from a successful team. I can't do anything on the football team without those guys. The more comfortable I am with them, the more we can accomplish. The more experience a quarterback gets, knowing his players, knowing his coach, knowing the situations, the more it carries over into the team performance. The team feeds off that. I am much more comfortable this year than even I was last year at this time.

**Q: With all the heightened expectations for you the year after the Super Bowl, is there any relief for it to be the year after the year after the Super Bowl?

TB:** I think being around all the guys and being around all the coaches, our attitude last year... it was a good attitude. We came and we worked, but I think a lot of the times when you have the success, you can say, 'We can get it tomorrow. We know how to do it. We have already proved we can do it. We're the Super Bowl Champs.' Now you're coming off a year where you are 9-7, you don't make the playoffs, it's like 'Well let's get it figured out today. Let's work on problems we are having today so that they don't roll over tomorrow.' So we can turn this one day into a good day tomorrow and not let these problems reoccur day after day. You can fight that, but it's got to be a mindset. It's good to be a competition thing and I think it's back with this team. And it's fun because I think that they are competitive practices. I think everyone's getting a lot out of them.

**Q: Do you take any precautions to save the arm, lighten up on the reps more in practice?

TB:** I think for the quarterbacks we have thrown twelve straight days, so I think every time you can get a little break it can help your arm a little bit. Going every day, every once in a while it's nice to be off a little bit.

**Q: Did that happen yesterday?

TB:** Yeah, yesterday afternoon I didn't throw. I think a lot of it was more of a running practice, focused on running. It was a good opportunity to take some time off. It's really going to start heating up now with the games coming. We play next Thursday and then the following Saturday, and we have some two-a-days in there. It's really going to be full-court practice from here on out. I know one thing that I have learned, talking about Years two to three, it's such a long season. If you don't pace yourself early, you can get really worn out. I think over the course of the last four or five games, games 12 through 16, you really get worn down. It's about learning how to... It's not really a sprint. It's a marathon.

**Q: Can you actually feel the difference in your arm strength the day after you take a half-day off?

TB:** Maybe not so much now but hopefully later. Receivers don't go out and sprint everyday. After awhile, you take that one afternoon off and you can really run well or throw well that next day. So I think it really does help.

**Q: Anyone else now getting reps now catching your eye?

TB:** Troy Brown amazes me everyday. He is the best player on our team. And Dedric Ward is playing awesome. David Givens has made a huge improvement. He's really a different player out there. Freddy Baxter is playing great. Antowain [Smith] is playing good. Kevin is playing awesome. Larry Centers is going to add something and hopefully David Patten, is one of the hardest working guys we've got. I just hope we stay healthy and then stay motivated and stay competitive. I think it's going to be a great year.

**Q: About Chris Akins...

TB:** One thing about this sport is that it is physical toughness and mental toughness and obviously Chris has both. For his wife to be doing what she is doing and him to be focused everyday, and never use it as an excuse, I think everyone looks at that and has a tremendous amount of respect for him. I could never imagine something like that. For him to put that out of his mind for whatever time he is here, I'm sure it weighs on him when he's not there. He's an awesome player. He's big and he's fast. He's physical. He's very competitive.

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