Patriots quarterback Tom Brady addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, November 3, 2010.
Q: No disrespect to Dan Connolly, but what does it mean to have a guy like Logan Mankins back?
TB: It's great. It's great. He's such a great guy. He's a great player. He's coming in with a great attitude. I've had a chance to talk to him over the last few months. He's been a great contributor to this team and to this organization. You can never have too many great football players or too many great teammates, so it's great to have him back.
Q: How quick do you think his transition will be?
TB: I don't know. Who knows? I'm not sure. We'll have to wait and see. I hope fast.
Q: Can you describe how today went with his first day back with all the players? Did Bill Belichick address it?
TB: Everyone is excited to have him back. He's friends with all of us, so as I said, over the course of the last few months, there's been plenty of interaction with the players. Everyone kind of knew he was coming in today and was just excited to see him and greet him and welcome him back. He's excited to get out there on the field and start playing football, because that's really what he loves to do.
Q: In reality, how easy is it to separate the business part of the game from the game on the field?
TB: As you get older it's probably a little easier. When you're younger and when you're going through it the first time, I know for me, it was pretty tough early on. But then as you see different things happen and players come and go and coaches come and go, it's just kind of the way it is. I think from each individual's standpoint, you're just focusing on your job, what you need to do, how you can contribute, how you can be a leader, how you can bring energy to the team and then let everything else take care of itself. You just worry about what you have to do and if you don't, you're the one that's going to be out of a job.
Q: What are your thoughts on everything that has gone on with Randy Moss since the game?
TB: I have no idea. I have thoughts; I just don't really care to share them.
Q: You mentioned having talked with Logan over the past few months. Was that football related or personal?
TB: Probably both - obviously his well-being and his mindset. I think you just always try to express support and you understand what he's going through and the tough decisions that are made, but also maybe a different perspective from a player that's been through it. Like I said, I've been around for a while now - longer than most everybody in this locker room, so I think I just try to share a little bit of insight and maybe it can create some awareness for them.
Q: Are there any more or different emotions going up against a team led by someone who worked under Bill Belichick like Eric Mangini? Do you feel any different and do you sense that he feels any different?
TB: I think you have more familiarity, no question about that, into their attitude, their style. Rob Ryan - he's been here. I know him very well and I know his style, and Eric [Mangini] and what he's done over the years to try to stop us as an offense. Then you identify the style that they're playing with now and you kind of assess how you think they're going to play us, and that's what we're going to go out and practice. Even though we haven't played them in a while, I think we're pretty familiar with what they do. We're a little bit behind them in preparation as they had the off week and I'm sure they've been working on us. They had a big win in New Orleans. That's a very tough place to play and I'm sure they have a lot of confidence playing us at home. We've got a different challenge than we had last week and it's a very different style of defense. They've got some real strengths on this defense. We've got to find ways to avoid playing into their strengths.
Q: What are those strengths?
TB: You guys have got to figure that out. We can't go out and tell you our...we've got an idea of what we think they are going to do to stop us. They're a real good team. They've got a good scheme. They've got tough players - guys that fit the scheme really well. When they get things going, they're really tough. We've got to find ways to counter that.
Q: Back to Randy Moss - do you every have concern about him as a guy, not as a football player, or is it just him as a player? I'm sure he couldn't have imagined not being with a team a few days after that game...
TB: I don't know. Those are all things that he can answer. Honestly, he speaks for himself and he's just a great friend of mine. I know the relationship that I have with him and it goes beyond football. I guess that's all I have to say.
Q: Would you welcome him back?
TB: Would I welcome him back? You can ask Coach Belichick. I don't make the decisions around here. If I did, Lawyer Milloy would still be here and Deion [Branch] never would have left. Whatever I want doesn't happen anyway, so I just try to keep my mouth shut.
Q: It seems like almost a throwback Patriots team this year. Despite your record, you're kind of under the radar around the NFL. Is that how you like it?
TB: I mean, I'd prefer us to be playing a lot better than we're playing, I'd say that. Maybe we'd get more attention if we were playing more consistently as an offense and scoring more points and being more effective on third down and in the red area. I think we've got to find ways to play better football as a team. Our record is what it is, and I don't think that's going to do anything at the end of the day. I don't think our goal is to win six games this year and certainly we've won a lot more games than that around here. I think what we're trying to do is make improvements. I'm not in a great mood coming in here every day; I think there are plenty of things that we have to do to get to work and you try to keep the pressure on the younger players and hopefully that leads to better execution and pressure on the older players, too. We've all got to play better. It's going to be a good week for us. To get a guy like Logan back to add what he can bring to our team in terms of his toughness and dependability...we've all got to play more consistent and more dependable.