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Tom Brady Press Conf. Transcript - 8/5/2003

Brady: It is going to be important for us to get off to a good start and play the kind of football we need to play over the course of 16 games

**Q: It's just a preseason game but how important is it for you guys to come out and be crisp and be sharp and execute what you guys are trying to accomplish?

Well I think that one point that our Coach has been stressing all year is how these preseason games foreshadow what happens over the course of the season. I say that because last year this game we went up to 43 yards….48 yards on 24 carries. That's two yards a carry. There were a lot of things that happened that game that happened throughout the course of our season. It is going to be important for us to get off to a good start and play the kind of football we need to play over the course of 16 games that are going to allow us to really compete.

**Q: Is it refreshing to see a different label on a helmet?

TB:** Yeah a little bit. You can never get enough work out here at practice. There is one thing…a lot of the practice we are putting in, well you see a lot of guys sticking around after practice, getting out here for pre-practice, and trying to work out the kinks. The kinks that we found that maybe we are not so good at yet, that we need to work on in order to really play as consistently as we want to play.

**Q: Several weeks from now you are going to see the Giants, does that negate anything really shown here against this team or can you learn something from them?

TB:** You definitely learn stuff, and you learn what you are in for. These guys are a very capable team. They showed last year; if it weren't for that snap, they were one game away from the Super Bowl. They are extremely physical on offense and they are bringing up the same defense. They are going to be ready to play and it is going to be the type of game where we need to go out and see what we are made of and see how we are going to fight and see how we are going to compete. It is really going to set the tone for not only the preseason, but the preseason really sets the tone for the whole season.

**Q: So far what are the strengths you have seen on the offense?

TB:** I think we are running the ball pretty consistently. All the backs are running it well. The offensive line has been very solid and they are doing a great job. They are extremely underrated. Those guys have all come out to practice everyday and they work. Damien Woody. Mike Compton sets the tone everyday. Matt Light is a different player this year. Brenden Stai, we added him. Russ Hochstein was in there doing a great job. When Joe Andruzzi gets back, [Adrian] Klemm's been doing a great job. Everyone is taking their role. Everyone is working hard because we realize that 9-7 is not good enough. We have to be better than that and we have to be more consistent on offense. From that everyone has to look at themselves and really pick their role and do it well.

**Q: That offensive line that you just mentioned, that has to boost your confidence knowing that the guys in front of you are there to protect you and that they are doing a good job?

TB:** Yeah, that's no question. But not only are they there to protect me, but they are there to protect the running backs. And when our running backs do well, that's a quarterback's best friend. From the quarterback position, if you are able to run the ball, it sets up all the XXX(29-30)XXX pass. You are never on third and longs. You are staying on the field. They have to defend everything. If we want to be successful, we have to run it and throw it. I think it all starts with those guys up front. And so far I think they have all done just a great job.

**Q: You alluded to it before when you mentioned last year in the first exhibition game you didn't run it so well, that there was problems running it. Are we going to see, granted you are a passing weapon and you get to the receivers, but especially in preseason are we going to see you running it extra than you would?

TB:** No matter what plays we call, we are going to be trying to do it the best we can. In the preseason, you can afford to keep trying things out because the games really don't count. If we start off running slow, we'll stick with it. We are going to try to establish our mentality and that is to be a pretty balanced team, so it is not going to get really out of whack one way or another, whether it be running or throwing it.

**Q: Will you try to throw the ball down field more often this season, because last year the passing game was extremely effective but never went for more than 50 yards in one play? Will you continue to try to chip away at the short yardage or do you think you will throw long this time?

TB:** I think that whenever you can stretch the field vertically and get those guys running, catching those go-routes, and making big plays and scoring quick touchdowns, it takes a lot of pressure off. Those twelve play drives when you convert every third down…It is something that I think, if you guys have been out here everyday and you've been watching, we are trying to really establish that type of game. Then it opens up the stuff underneath and then it opens up the intermediate stuff. It is almost like everything feeds off one another. That's going to be important for us to do. And when we do take those shots, we've got to hit them because it is not just to throw them deep. You want to throw them deep and then save them.

**Q: Christian [Fauria] said that a lot of the first teamers don't get a lot of reps in the first game, so you really have to hit your spots. Is it that much more scrutinized for this first game, because you are not going to be in there for two quarters?

TB:** Probably, and I think that a lot of times you go out there in the first quarter and you get a feel for the game. You don't do as well. It would be nice to go out there and put together some plays and make it look crisp and make it look like we know what we're doing out there. I am pretty confident that we are going to be able to do that because we have been having good, solid practices and I think the guys are that much more experienced at what we are trying to do offensively.

**Q: How's Kevin Faulk? He finished last season so upbeat, how's he looking at this training camp to you? The guy has had to come over a lot and he has always been pigeon holed as the third down kind of back.

TB:** Yeah, he really had a great year last year and because of that Coach is putting him in a lot of different positions to do a lot of different things for this team. So Kevin is going to have a big role for us, just like he did last year. He was probably one of our biggest weapons last year. He and Troy Brown and Antowain [Smith], they are really our go-to guys and I think Kevin is going to be that good again.

**Q: Has Kevin been more confident this year? Or is he still Kevin?

TB:** Kevin is always pretty confident. It takes a lot to get Kevin off his game. He catches everything you throw him. He has quick feet, great eyes, [and is a ] very smart player. Just the type of guy that you really don't need to tell him exactly what to do, he can figure it out himself.

**Q: What do you think of Dedric Ward this year? He's a veteran guy who has been around the block a couple of years. Seems like he has had a good camp so far?

TB:** It has really been surprising for me knowing how long it took for me to learn that offense, so Dedric comes in and just knows it. He runs out and executes it like he has been doing it as long as we have. Everything you throw to him he catches, and he seems to get open a bunch. I think he has done a great job. Hopefully he contributes quite a bit.

**Q: This game with the Giants presents a great tight end match up with the two top guys from last year's draft. Do you think Daniel Graham can be this year's Jeremy Shockey?

TB:** I think Daniel is going to set his own bar. Daniel is going to try to be the best Daniel he can be. Jeremy, I think, is probably a different player. And Daniel has some great strengths to him and I think for Daniel it is just going to be about running the plays he runs and running them well and catching the ball and being in the right place and being consistent and being reliable and being all those things that we need him to be. It is hard to make comparisons, but Daniel can be a heck of a player and it is up to him of how much commitment he wants and how much sacrifice he wants to make. The bar is obviously raised this year because there are a lot of expectations for him.

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