New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady addresses the media during his press conference at the team headquarters for Super Bowl XLII in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 31, 2008.
(on Josh McDaniels, regarding Randy Moss's first impression of McDaniels and his age)
"I've known Josh for six years. He was a defensive coach when he first got here, working with the secondary. I think it was '04 that he became the quarterbacks coach, when Charlie (Weis) was the (offensive) coordinator. Josh and I have had a great relationship. I'm extremely comfortable with him and we've developed a great friendship. We rely heavily on each other throughout the weeks and especially on game day. I can see why Randy would come in and see Josh, off the plane…Josh is a young man, especially in coaching years, but certainly not in experience or aptitude. He's a great coach. I think he really serves as a leader for our offense. It's obvious by what we've accomplished this year, as a team, that he's doing a really wonderful job."
*(on T Logan Mankins) *
"I think what you see is what you get with Logan. He's a hard-working, blue-collar type. He's from
Fresno. He wears the same pair of jeans into work every single day. He's a very smart player and he's very tough, and I think those are some great qualities for an offensive lineman. He never makes excuses. He really lets his play do the talking. I said last week whenever he and (DT Richard) Seymour go up against each other, whenever there's a fight in practice, you know Logan's involved. It's usually he and Seymour. He really sets the tone for that group. He's become a Pro Bowl player and it's obvious he gets a lot of respect from the other players in the league and the other coaches. I'm glad the fans recognize him now, as well, because he's done a great job since he came in. The expectations have been high for him, too, as a number one draft choice, but he's really lived up to that draft position."
*(on his journey to this point and overcoming adversity) *
"I've always said I've been very fortunate to learn lessons about competition and self-confidence at an early age. I think (with) a lot of athletes, you're always the best athlete through high school and college. Then you come to the professional level and you realize, you look around and go, 'Man, all these other guys are good too.' You begin to think, 'Can I make it,' or 'Am I good enough,' or 'How do I find the work ethic to compete with these guys?' I don't think that was ever really the case for me, and I'm lucky that that wasn't the case, that I always felt I needed to work extremely hard to get whatever opportunity there may have been. I always used to look at the other players in college and think 'Man, they got it easy. This guy gets every rep in practice. (Look at) all the chances and opportunities he gets, and I only get two reps.' (But) then I'd begin to look at it very thankfully, (like) 'I get two reps now and I'm going to do the best with the two I've got.' And then those two reps, when you do well, becomes three, then becomes four, and then by the end of my career it was, 'I'm getting every rep.' That's the opportunity you're looking for as an athlete.
*(more on his journey to this position) *
When I came to the Patriots I was the fourth-string quarterback. I was eating nachos before the games, watching us in 2000, just hoping that one day I would get the opportunity. I've had great coaches, great teammates, and when I did get that opportunity I just tried to do very much the same approach that I took when I wasn't getting any (reps). That was, you try to focus on every play, and take the coaching and the criticism, and try to do the best you can with the leadership aspects of playing quarterback. I think the motivating factor in that was winning. There's no better feeling. When you play in this system, the wins, you don't get to celebrate those very long. I told a story yesterday, (about when) we played Buffalo, at Buffalo, coming off our bye, and we beat them pretty good. Coach Belichick comes in our locker room and was like, 'Good win, good way to play, good performance, but now we're moving on to next week.' We celebrated for about five seconds. But when you lose, he's on you until Wednesday morning when you show up again. I think those things continue to motivate you, when your coach has expectations like Coach Belichick does. As a team, when we were 10-0 at one point this season, you're doing everything you can to get to 11-0, and that's a great motivator. That's just continued the entire season, and now we're here at this point hoping to make it a truly incredible season for all of us."
*(on the influence of his father) *
"I think everybody's father is their strongest supporter, and my father's been no different in my life. He's been there every step of the way. He's probably logged more airline travel than just about anybody I know. He's come to every college game and made sure every time I came out of the locker room he was there to hug me, or support me or pat me on the back. That's pretty much continued throughout my professional career. I've always been lucky to have a father that I look up to and admire as a role model, and somebody that is a great example of what a parent should be."
*(on whether he has any rituals for the night before a Super Bowl) *
"I'm not a ritual guy so I'll probably just have meetings with my coaches. I wish I was more excited, but the night before the game and the day of the game I just try to visualize a little bit what I think is going to happen on each play, go over the plan and make sure (I'm) extremely confident in every play that's going to be called, and get some rest. It's a very energetic game. The times that I've played in this game it's a pretty draining game. It's emotional. You wake up in the morning and you're excited, and you've got to find a way to kind of keep that pressure and intensity inside. It builds up throughout the course of the day until kickoff. We're going to need all that energy. It's a long game, especially those five-minute commercial breaks, or whatever we do. Just try to get as much rest as we can."
*(on whether his time as a backup QB at Michigan left him feeling slighted) *
"My first two yeas I was just trying to get on the field however I could. After we won a national championship in '97 with Brian (Griese) as the quarterback, I competed with him pretty hard that year to be the starter. He beat me out in training camp, (and) we went on to be 12-0. Going into that next season, that was when Drew (Henson) had come in. Drew was an incredible player, an incredible athlete. He was from Brighton (Mich.) and was recruited heavily by Coach (Lloyd) Carr. When I went there I was recruited by Coach (Gary) Moeller. The guy who recruited me, Bill Harris, left the year that I got there to go to Stanford. The following year, the quarterbacks coach who recruited me, Kip Cartwright, left. So going into my second year, there was nobody that had really known me or really sat in my living room and said, 'Tom, we really want you at Michigan.' Not that I didn't feel wanted, because I certainly did. Coach Carr had always said, 'Tom, this is the place for you. If you want to be the starting quarterback here, quit worrying what everyone else thinks and try to compete as hard as you can.' Those were great lessons for me. Going into my fourth year, as I said, Drew had come in and he was competing extremely hard. He's a great player and I'm surprised he's not playing today. We did pretty good when I was there my last couple years. We were 10-3 and 10-2. We finished fifth in the country one year. There were a lot of teams that didn't choose me coming out, and I really think that I've improved a lot as a player as well. I've had great coaching. I've had a great system around me. Maybe some of the attributes that it takes to be a great professional quarterback aren't really the same things that are required for a college quarterback, to be a great player. I feel some of my strengths are my awareness and decision-making. I've never been a great athlete, and those tend be some of the great players in college, because when you're playing against linebackers who run 4.9 in college, you know, if you run a 4.7 in college, you're going to out-run those linebackers. In the pros, those guys run 4.5. So, if you run a 4.7 you're a slow guy again. There's a lot of ways to be a great quarterback. You can throw it, you can run it, (there's) decision-making, accuracy, arm strength, that I've tried to improve with the coaching I've had, and take that coaching so I can continue to find ways to improve my game."
*(more on whether he felt slighted) *
"No, I never think it's personal. I think Coach Carr was truly doing what he thought was best for the team. I think he was right in his perspective. Sometimes I disagreed with it, but I would never change a day in my life, especially the lessons I learned there because those have really suited me well in the profession. You've got to learn to compete and you've got to learn to compete on the practice field, because you can't just all of the sudden get to the game and say 'It's game day, now I'm going to be a better player.' You've got to try to prove that on a consistent basis. We used to, in college, run two-minute drills against our defense, and I wasn't sure if I didn't score in that two-minute drill on Thursday that I would be starting the game. Talk about pressure, I was feeling pressure on Thursday afternoon at practice to try to get our staring offense into the end zone against our defense. Then when you get into the games and you're around those situations, you're already playing, so now you're having a great time out there. I've tried to continue that into this level now, where those practices are extremely important to how well we are prepared and confident as a team going into the game."
*(on whether this is the biggest game of his life) *
"I think it's the biggest game of all of our lives—my life, the entire team, our coaches. We're going to be remembering this game for as long as we live, win or lose. We're going to have great memories of this experience or we're going to look at it truly as a missed opportunity. There's not too many teams in the history of the NFL—none, in fact—that have been 18-0 going into this game. We're playing a great football team, a team that certainly deserves to be here, the NFC champions; a team we played that gave us everything we could handle in the last week of the season. They've got great coaching and playing at every position on the field. They're a veteran team that's played very well under the pressure and under the scrutiny of the city that they play in. I can't say enough about the Giants. I hope we've done enough this last week and a half to prepare ourselves. We have two days of practice remaining and we're going to need every bit of those two days to try to improve as a football team so we can go out and play with as much confidence as we can on game day."
*(on his ankle and not being listed on the injury report for the ankle) *
"Am I cured? I don't think it's a problem going into the game. I think the right shoulder is probable. A little fatigued so (I'm) going to be going out and trying to move around the best I can and make all the throws. I don't think the ankle is truly a problem. If it was I'm sure Coach would have listed it."
*(on whether he is mobile enough, because the Giants have vowed to come after him) *
"They're always trying to come after me. Our interests are not mutually aligned. They get paid more the more they hit me. That's not a good thing for a quarterback. I'm going to do my best to avoid those guys and get the ball out. I've got to get rid of it quick because these guys are going to rush the passer. I'm not trying to take too many hits this week."