New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on January 18, 2008.
Q:After the fake direct snap last week one of the commentators said that you deserved an Academy Award. Are you --
TB: I think I said that.
Q:Are you preparing for a life in Hollywood?
TB: No, I'm not quitting this job.
TB: And after football, God, I hope that's a long time from now. I hope I don't have to decide that. I'm still a young guy. I'm only 30 years old. So maybe down the road. I don't think I could, if Peyton goes into it, I know that I couldn't, you know, get close to that. So he's taking all those jobs.
Q:Tedy talked about how this team has endured a year of distractions, whether it was Spygate or the latest with Randy Moss or the constant scrutiny of going undefeated. What is it about this team that's allowed it to bond or come together to deal with the distractions this season?
TB: Well, I think it's pretty simple. There's a sign when we walk in the door and right at the top of the sign, it's, "What's expected of you" and No. 1 is "do your job." And every time you walk in and you see that, you understand that you've got to show up and put whatever else is going on in your life to the side and focus, and you have a responsibility to your teammates to do what you need to do. I think as a player it makes it pretty simple. If you're a quarterback, you show up and do what's expected of you and if you're the offensive tackle you do the exact same. You don't have to come in here and worry about what the guy next to you is doing or what he's going through. Although as friends and I think the camaraderie we have as teammates here, it's been a special thing to be a part of. But at the same time, you rally around each other, and it's almost like this is a safe haven for everybody, as well. We don't have to come in here and be -- we just have to be each other, and you have to be teammates and you don't have to be anybody else to anybody who may be making demands on you. So it's probably a nice place for a lot of people to come?
Q:You've grown pretty close to Randy Moss obviously this season; how have you helped him get through this past week?
TB: Well, he's a very mature and responsible man. I think he's dealt with whatever it is in the past; the fact of the matter; nobody knows anything about what happened except Randy and whoever was involved and everyone chooses to let Randy speak on it because he's the only one who has true knowledge of the situation. So it's not right for me to speak about it or other teammates or coach. We all support him. I know the kind of guy he is and I know the relationship I have with him and how important it is to me. As a teammate of his, I want him to know that I'm here to support him no matter what he's going through, because we all face challenges in our own lives and you need support from the people that care about you to work through those things.
Q:Mind-set big playoff games, there always seems to be a guy that kind of comes out of nowhere and makes a big game-turning play; are you expecting that from your team this week?
TB: Which guy would that be?
Q:I don't know, you tell me.
TB: I don't know. I don't know which guy hasn't made big plays. I think everybody who is really a part of this offense has stepped up at different times to make great plays, and I think if you're out on the field, that's truly what's expected of you whether it be Randy or Dante or Wes or Jamal. The running game I think has been a big part of it down the stretch and the consistency we've had up front has been critical to the success of our team. I wish I had somebody that they probably weren't paying attention to, but unfortunately I think most of the guys that are taking the field for us they are going to be pretty honed in on.
Q:How tough is it two days before the game now to deal with the anticipation leading up to the game and when the game does get here, honestly how tough is it for you to keep the adrenaline in check?
TB: Well, I think we've dealt with big games all season. There's a build-up to the start of the season and there's build-up to Monday night's game in Cincinnati and there's a build-up to an undefeated game against the Cowboys and a build-up against the Colts in week nine and our Monday night home against Baltimore and the game against Pittsburgh and last week. We've dealt with a lot of things on the line and at stake and you try to take the same approach that you take and just be prepared to play and know that you don't want to waste a whole lot of energy that are not related to the football game. So make sure all of the guys are in bed early tomorrow night and be ready to play on Sunday. Everyone is going to be excited. I'm probably the one that needs help on that the most with just the excitement of the game and the excitement of the season on the line, because you realize there might not be an opportunity for you to get back together as a team and play again. So you try to put everything you can into it and whether it be adrenaline or I don't think anyone is going to not be motivated for this game. I think everyone is going to be -- hopefully play our best game.
Q:How much of being a good decision-making quarterback comes from time on the job and how much comes from God-given talent?
TB: That's a great question. You know, I think decision-making is critical to any quarterback, any quarterback play. And the more that you do it, just like any situation you're in, the more times you face certain situations, hopefully you make the best decisions you can. And at quarterback, you've got to make them in two seconds and you've got to make a lot of decisions very quickly. But the more you do it, the more comfortable you understand what needs to be done and in our offense I think that's what's been great for me over the years is to be in the same offense for eight seasons and the carry over and the coaching with Josh being here for another, really, in his third season as coordinator; and with Coach Belichick, understanding the system, so that you can just become comfortable with every situation that you face whether it be in practice or in situations in games. I know we've been a pretty good situational football team in games over the years, and I know that's because we've practiced diligently at whatever it might be, a fourth down situation or a field goal at the end of either half. So there's a lot of situations that come up that need quick decision-making and the more you practice them obviously the better you'll be at them.
Q:Everyone I've ever spoken to about Junior, whether a coach or player, has always had something to say about what they have learned or how intense says; what have you been able to learn from him?
TB: Yeah, he's as great a leader as you could possibly have on a football team. Not only is he a great player, but in terms of motivation, the way he works, he's 38 years old but you would think he's 22 by the way he practices. And he gives motivational speeches -- I think he's been through a lot in the NFL. He's been in a lot of big games, been in a lot of big situations. I think he's great at kind of conveying his thoughts to the rest of the team. He always has a lot of positive things to say. So I know he's excited about this game, as he should be, especially playing against his former team.
Q:Does he give you guys a lot of motivational speeches?
TB: Always, oh, yeah, before every game. He's usually the one that talks to the team. And guys listen. He has a great way of kind of inspiring us.
Q:Which is more fun, putting up 42 points in a first half or winning on the final possession?
TB: You know, the ones that you win on the final possession are the ones that are the most fun afterward. I think the Baltimore game when we won, I look back on that game, and God, that was fun. Now when I was going through it, I wasn't thinking how tough that was in Buffalo, midway through the fourth quarter when we were up by as many points but it's a little bit different when you're in those pressurized situations and your focus is kind of laser sharp and you've got to continue to make the plays to be able to win. And if you can do that, you can pull it off, those are the ones you certainly remember at the end of the season.
Q:Wondering way back to your first Super Bowl against the Rams, it was reported that you had taken a nap in the locker room prior and now you're talking about the adrenaline and keeping it in check; what's changed over the years?
TB: I think I was naive back in the day. My first couple years, I thought it was easy. I got to the Super Bowl, hey, this is no problem, you start a few games, you're in the Super Bowl and U2 is out there playing in the field. It was a great environment. I think we all look back on that Super Bowl, any time it's your first time in those experiences and everything felt like it was so out of control, you can look back and realize how much fun it was. Now you kind of know what to avoid so you lose a little bit of that naivete as Mr. Kraft would say and you just focus on whatever you need to focus on. The adrenaline, it comes and it goes. I think for me the more prepared, the more comfortable I feel with what we're doing, I think the more relaxed I'll be. I think adrenaline is a little bit different because you get very excited when you run out in front of 75,000 people, and especially in a game like this, and those emotions just play out.
Q:Can you talk about how pressure affects you; good, or bad?
TB: Pressure, pressure in the sense of playing the position?
Q:Position and then some of the biggest games.
TB: Sure. I think the important part for a quarterback in dealing with that is you have to be able to deal with those pressurized situations in practice. When they come up in the games and we had the two-minute drill that we practiced yesterday against our own defense that I was trying to score -- I was trying to score like it was the San Diego Chargers, and we did. I think you can look back on that drive with confidence when you get there, if it happens to come up on Sunday, you say, you know what, we just did this three days ago. It's not like you have to prove it to yourself over and over again. So even though those situations have a lot of pressure to them, because you have the confidence that you can deal with it, I think that allows you to go out and play with anticipation and awareness and instinctiveness rather than dropping back and going, I wonder if I can figure this out and I don't know who is going to be open and I wonder what coverages are going to be play and are they going to blitz me. I think as long as you go through and practice it, you can play with the speed that you want. We always talk about playing fast, and I think a big part of that is the preparation that allows you to understand what you're seeing so that you can go out and execute at a very high speed, because that's what it takes.
Q:And having the different number of weapons this year that you do --
TB: Like I said, I think Coach really keeps the pressure on us as a team, and the players keep pressure on each other to perform and you keep pressure on yourself so you don't lose your job. That's a great motivator for all of us. And the more that you can practice with that type of mentality, I think you can really just hone your skills. I mean, you can't all of a sudden go out and go Wednesday, Thursday and Friday don't mean so much because we're not playing and Sunday go out and go, God, I'm nervous out here, how do I deal with this. You have to be able to put that pressure on new practice so when you actually get in that environment and it means something, that you'll have the confidence to know that you'll be able to go out there and execute.
Q:You said that the locker room is a safe haven for you and that you don't see the end of your career, you're only 30 years old; can you explain how your life has changed?
TB: I think in a lot of ways, for myself, for other athletes, you're right, as you grow older and I think for most people in your life that were once a part of your life move on to do different things and there's other people that become even more important in your life because you share experiences with them and you grow with them and they are a part of your life. So you're right. It has continued to get smaller and I think the people that I trust becomes less and less, and I think that's why when I come into this locker room and I come around this environment, whether it be coaches that I've been with for eight seasons for teammates like Kevin Faulk and Tedy who have been through a bunch of experiences with me, both on the field and off the field, I can rely on those guys for anything I may need.
Q:Do those two things pull in different directions on you to some degree knowing that at the end you'll have peace and quiet but you'll never have the competition again?
TB: Yeah, and I think you enjoy both parts of it. I think with everything in life, there's give and take and you have to understand that, you know, if there's a take, you've got to give, too. So we've got, as athletes, I always feel what better job would you ever want. I remember sitting up ten rows from the top of Candlestick Park watching down with binoculars looking down at Joe Montana and Steve Young and I was this kid with a dream and now all of a sudden I'm the one on the field. To look back on those days and how it's progressed to the point where it's at is extremely fulfilling and I think the competitive nature of this business is what continues to drive you as an athlete. I look back on those things always with great memories and I think I always try to focus on the positive because life's too short for all of us and just got to enjoy every day, and especially in whatever anyone does, you've just got to be -- just try to truly enjoy what you're doing and there's no doubt that do I that. Thank you, guys. Enjoy the game.