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Tom Brady Press Conf. Transcript - 8/18/2003

Brady: [On Otis Smith] Coach makes the calls and I don’t think anything surprises us around here

**Q: [On Otis Smith]

TB:** Everyone is going to miss him.

**Q: Did you get a chance to see or talk or say anything to him before he was let go, or…?

TB:** I just found out this morning. I am sure we will be getting in touch some how. I can't say enough about him. He is just a true professional in every sense of the word.

**Q: Pretty surprising, isn't it?

TB:** I think Coach makes the call and I don't think anything surprises us around here, whether it is long three hour practices or things like this. It is hard anytime someone gets released, especially a guy who has been around helping us win so many football games. I think a lot of people are going to have to step up in his absence.

**Q: How do you assess the progress of the offense, just generally at this time?

TB:** I think we have to be more consistent. I think sometimes it looks pretty good and other times it doesn't hold up very well. If we want to be good, we are going to have to be better and be precise and make precise throws. Obviously those guys holding up their end of the bargain but it starts with me. Offense really runs how the quarterback runs, when the quarterbacks making good reads and good throws, it usually looks pretty good.

**Q: So do you think you need to do a little bit more?

TB:** Yeah, I think I need to…I look at the game and there is a lot of throws I could have made. So, that's what I am going to try to do.

**Q: How are you feeling physically?

TB:** Very good. Very good. Thank God two-a-days are over, but I feel pretty good. [The] shoulder feels good. Everything feels good.

**Q: Nobody likes to see a player get released or cut, but does it make you guys appreciate the opportunity you have to come out here and play the game of football like you do everyday when you see somebody get released?

TB:** Speaking for myself, I was a sixth round pick and I think everyday I am trying to earn it. That mentality never leaves you. You try to fight through it in college and the competition. It is hard when…Otis is a guy who nothing has ever been handed to. Otis came and worked everyday. If you guys could have seen him this summer, the way he worked out, the way he conditioned himself, for a guy who is going into his twelfth or thirteenth season that type of physical shape is pretty unbelievable. It's tough when there are a lot of good players and Otis was a great one. It's obviously Coach's call and everyone, like I said, is going to have to pick up from where Otis, the type of level he was playing, everyone is going to have to try to play that level.

**Q: How important is it for you guys now to refocus, move forward, and look ahead for what the season brings, Philadelphia Thursday, and I guess just the season?

TB:** Philly presents quite a test. A team that, offensively, you have to prepare for and know exactly what they are doing, and defensively they bring so many guys blitzing. If you don't know where they are coming from, you are going to be awfully sore the next day. Offensively, they put up a lot of points. It is going to be a good test and we play them the second week of the regular season. We are going down there, playing in a new stadium, new place, no one has ever been there. It is a short week for us, we have to put some work in and get ready to go.

**Q: Otis wasn't able to get out on the practice field during camp. Obviously coaches want to see guys on the field, they don't want to see guys on the sideline. Do players take anything from that? Could it make a guy get back on the field a couple days earlier than he might have and things like that? Is there any message in that at all? Not that he was trying to send a message with Otis Smith…

TB:** I don't think he was sending a message with Otis.

**Q: No, I know…I'm not trying to say that. But do you guys take anything from that, like if I'm a little sore, maybe I should try to get back a day early? Or something like that?

TB:** I think, like I said, you don't take anything for granted around here. When Coach puts you in, he expects you to do well and you don't take those reps for granted. As you we have seen around here everyone is replaceable. It doesn't matter if you've been here for ten years; It doesn't matter if you've been here for two weeks. If the coaches don't feel that they want you around, they are going to make changes.

**Q: Is that good or bad?

TB:** Well it just keeps you on your toes. It keeps you honest. It keeps you working, hopefully. And not saying Otis didn't work. Otis was as hard working as anybody and he was one guy that wanted to be on the field. He was one of the guys that stayed here and worked after practice. If you talk to a lot of those young defensive backs in there, he's the guy that everyone listens to. Antwan Harris and Ty Warren, they are great friends. And Otis was like that with everybody.

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