Patriots quarterback Tom Brady addresses the media during his locker room press conference on Wednesday, October 27, 2010.
Q: We are surprised you weren't at the Celtics game yesterday.
TB: It was a good game. I saw it. I watched most of it. We have a busy week here, so I figured I'd get my rest.
Q: What is it going to be like to see Randy Moss this week?
TB: Randy is a great player. I'm glad I don't have to defend him. I'm sure he'll want to come out and have a great game against us. It's a very talented team that we're playing. They have guys at each position that are all exceptional players - offense, defense, special teams. It's a very talented team - very similar to last week in San Diego in that they certainly have a ton of talent and could very easily be 6-0 as well. It's going to be a challenging week for all of us, especially defensively, defending all the things they have to defend over there.
Q: How much is Coach Belichick emphasizing the importance of details considering how close the games have been lately?
TB: Quite a bit. We don't get away with much. I said that the other day. He holds us to a pretty high standard and I think by the film session we watched yesterday, in regards to our game against San Diego, you wouldn't have thought we had won that game by his coaching. He's trying to make sure we know exactly what the truth is. We have to play a lot better than we played last week on offense. We're going to have to go out and have a great week of practice. This defense presents some different challenges than the defense we faced, but that doesn't stop us from what we need to do execution wise. As a group, we've got to go out and do a better job.
Q: When watching film with Coach Belichick, is he ranting and raving or is he more matter of fact?
TB: A little of both, a little of both. He's always pretty tough, so it's nothing that we wouldn't expect from him and nothing that we haven't seen from him in the past. But, if we're not playing at our best, we're going to hear about it. We've certainly got to play our best this week. This is as good a defense as probably there is with the way they rush the passer, the athleticism they have at linebacker, some real playmakers in the secondary. We've got to execute really well.
Q: How much of the inability to move the ball in San Diego was self-inflicted and how much can be attributed to their defense?
TB: Well it's probably a little of both. There are certainly some things they did that were very challenging for us. At the same time, I'd like to think we can make some of those plays, too. Some days, you have a bad day at the office. I think that's the way you put it. We did in the first half and we played better in the second half. Hopefully that carries over into this week of practice because we can't have a bad half of football against this team. We have to play 60 good minutes of football.
Q: How impressive is Brett Favre's consecutive games played streak?
TB: It's phenomenal. I mean it's unbelievable. I know how I feel after every game on Monday morning and trying to get up for a week of practice. You take a lot of pride being out there. And I've said before that a quarterback can't go out there and block or tackle or really display any toughness other than showing up every week. What he's done over the course of his career is remarkable. It's not like he hasn't gotten hit. You watch him play and he plays a style of football where he does get hit. He is as tough a player that there's ever been. He shows up every week and he plays at an extremely high level every week and he's phenomenal.
Q: Do you want to play that long?
TB: Sure. I can't catch him anymore with my consecutive games streak. I would have loved to have kept pace with him there and keep playing. Peyton [Manning] has a pretty good streak as well. I know he takes a lot of pride in that, too. That says a lot about the way you prepare yourself in the offseason as well. Hopefully I'm playing when he's playing, but I won't have that streak because of the knee injury.
Q: How much does the 23-game consecutive home win streak creep into your mind?
TB: Not at all really. I love playing at home. There are quite a few things you can do at home that you don't necessarily do on the road, but I don't think about it that much. I don't think about it that much. We've had pretty good success since I've been here, since I arrived in 2000. We just have to play good football. I think that's why those streaks continue, because you're executing well. You're not just going to win because you're playing at home; you're going to win because you're playing well.
Q: Is it safe to say that the four-game winning streak is the most important thing on your mind right now?
TB: No question, no question. To sit here at 5-1...Coach Belichick said the other day that five wins won't get you anything in this league, which is true. We have to win a lot more than five games. When you see the Vikings on the schedule and what they accomplished last year as a team and what kind of Pro Bowl players they have on their team, they're very dangerous and we're going to expect them to come out there and play very well. We have to counter that.
Q: Can you sense an air of desperation from a team like Minnesota because of the situation they are in?
TB: They're trying to win every game anyway. I don't think it's, 'We're going to put a lot into it this week.' I mean, they've been trying to win all season. I'm sure they're not off to the start that they want, but there's still a lot of football left. You can always turn things around. You start getting hot at the right time; that's what it takes. We were 5-5 at one point and won the Super Bowl. You have to think that every team is still in it. There's no team that's eliminated with a team as talented as this. They're going to be in it. I know that.
Q: Are you surprised to hear Brad Childress talk about you guys stealing signs in 2006? What's that about?
TB: I don't know. I don't know. We dealt with that three years ago. I was answering questions three years ago about that. I don't know.
Q: He says every team does it. Is that commonplace?
TB: Well you're always trying to get an advantage. When I'm out there on the field, I know I'm listening for what they're saying. I'm trying to hear different things that they're saying. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you're trying to fool them with what you're saying. Everyone has to communicate out there. To hear the different forms of communication that go [on] out there, if it helps you one play in a game, that's great. You just study it and try to see if it will pay off. I know other teams have said they watch TV copies of our games and they have all the stuff we do. I guess that's just part of being diligent.
Q: Are there still a lot of mind games that go on in that regard?
TB: Yeah, you're always trying to find an advantage. Ultimately, it's going to come down to how well you block and how well you tackle and how well you throw the ball and catch the ball and how well you defend the other team. There's not too much that's going to happen other than your preparation going into the game that's going to decide the game. You have to prepare as hard as you can and go out there and try to make it happen on Sunday.
Q: How often do you change your terminology and signs?
TB: Yeah, you change it. Then you change it again. Then you're back to the stuff you originally had. Over the course of a long period of time, you've probably gone in and out different words or signals or commands. It's just kind of a revolving set of signals.
Q: Period of time meaning games, seasons?
TB: Sure, when you play the Denver Broncos, you better change them. When you play other teams that maybe have familiarity with what you're doing, you have to change them. You have to keep mixing it up.
Q: Can Randy Moss help them with Patriots' plays and signals?
TB: Sure, he can probably tell them the plays. He knows the signals and stuff, but that's why you have to change them. Hopefully he tells them one thing, then you fake it and they're guessing and maybe they guess wrong. Who knows?
Q: How are defenses playing you differently now without Moss?
TB: I wouldn't say a whole lot different. They're pretty much true to what they've been doing. I don't think there was much that surprised us out there the last two weeks, in terms of how they wanted to play us. I just don't think we executed very well.
Q: Is it more congested underneath in the 0-20 yard range?
TB: No, I mean we threw one deep the fifth play of the game and they were back there pretty deep defending it. You're always trying to spread the field vertically and horizontally. You can't make it a 20-yard field. You have to make them defend the whole field from sideline to sideline and end zone to end zone. They're much more conscious of it when you're hitting those plays, I can tell you that. Those long balls, they feel good when they stop those. We've got to hit those plays.
Q: Why have you had difficulty getting the ball to Wes Welker?
TB: We had difficulty getting it to everybody last week. We only threw for like 100 yards. I don't think there was a whole lot of good that went on. Wes, Brandon [Tate], everybody...no one did very well.
Q: What has been your interaction with Randy Moss since the trade?
TB: We've texted a few times.
Q: Are you expecting to see any Randy Moss masks in the stands?
TB: There will be a lot of those. This will be a fun atmosphere - the throwbacks, the masks, all the different costumes. It should be a lot of fun with the 4:15 p.m. start.
Q: What would be the key component of a Tom Brady mask?
TB: What would be? Oh God, that's a good question. I don't know.
Q: What would be a harder streak to accomplish, Favre's record or Cal Ripken's baseball streak?
TB: [Cal Ripken's streak], that's incredible. How many years did he go, 20? Or was it 16? I don't know. They're both remarkable. Cal's not getting hit, but at the same time, to go out there and play every single - 2,100 games or whatever it was, that's amazing. Some things are just really fluky. If you break bones, there's not much you can do about those or to fight through those. If they're broken, they're broken. It takes a lot of good fortune, I think. It takes a lot of great training, a lot of toughness, a lot of modern medicine. He's got it all.
Q: Can you envision Matt Light and Vince Wilfork flying to your California home to try to convince you to come back and play one more year?
TB: No, they'd be flying coach JetBlue or something like that. I would love it. I would never do that though. I don't think I would. Maybe things happen when you get older, but...
Q: Any doubt Favre doesn't suit up on Sunday?
TB: Well, coach says we prepare for everybody. He's been there 700 straight games or whatever it is, so he'll be there.
Q: Looking back, do you feel the Randy Moss trade was the best situation for both teams?
TB: Well, I think it's only been two games, so there's a lot of football left, you know? Who knows at this point whether it's worked out for whatever team. Hopefully he's happy. He's an opponent this week, so it'd make me very happy to beat him, I know that.