New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday, September 16, 2009.
Q: Did you have to ice down your elbow after all those throws the other night?
TB: Yeah, it was a lot. It was a lot of throws. It was probably more routes for the receivers. That's probably more my concern [the throws]. They ran a lot and it was an emotional game. You know, we put in a good morning. We're going to need a good practice. We're behind the Jets a little bit right now in terms of preparation, and we're going to need some good days to catch up.
Q: Do you see a lot of the Ravens' defense in the Jets' defense?
TB: Yeah, definitely. Definitely, Rex Ryan has a signature mark and they run a very aggressive, attacking style. So it's an intimidating group. I think they're playing with a lot of confidence and we're going to need to play certainly better than we did the other night.
Q: Is there something special about playing in New York? Do you like all the attention?
TB: Yeah, it's a great environment. It's been a great rivalry since I got here. We played there on a Monday night in 2000, and we were up on them pretty good, and they came back and got us at the end. It's always a fun time down there. We've had a lot of meaningful games against them. It's a great opponent. There's a great history between the teams, the coaches, the players and so forth, and they're a great team. They've really proven that over the course of the preseason and over the course of this last game against Houston. Houston was supposed to have this really high-powered offense and went out there and didn't even have 200 yards of offense. So we've got our work cut out for us.
Q: When you guys have played the Ravens in the past, how had you combated all that they throw at you?
TB: Well, execution is what it comes down to. You have to be able to block them. You have to know and account for their different blitz schemes and then get open versus some tight coverage. It's a very … It's an aggressive front and it's tricky to find out who's coming. They do a great job of disguising. The players they have on the field can all rush and they can all cover. I think that's the challenging part; you really don't know who's rushing at times and you don't know who's covering. All of them can do … Sometimes they don't have any D-linemen on the field; they just have all basically linebackers and secondary guys. You've got to really be aware of what we're doing in our protection and get rid of the ball quick. I think that's what you've got to do.
Q: What did Darrelle Revis do against Andre Johnson on Sunday and has he emerged as one of the more dangerous corners in the league?
TB: He's a very good player and - going into his third year - I think he's really … He had a Pro Bowl, I think, last year. He's kind of got all the skills. He's got all the tools. He's big. He's got long arms. He's fast. He's quick. He's a very fluid athlete. He catches the ball well. He's got very good route recognition. He can play inside. He can play outside. He matches up against small guys and does well. He matches up against big guys and does well. He's a very good player, along with Kerry Rhodes, in that secondary. [Jim] Leonhard really gets everyone sorted out and he plays with a lot of anticipation out there. So it's a really good secondary, along with Lito Sheppard, who we've faced. I've thrown plenty of interceptions to him in the past.
Q: Kris Jenkins said they're treating this as their Super Bowl. How hard is it for you guys to not rise to that bait and treat this like your Super Bowl?
TB: They can treat it however they want to treat it. We're going to treat it like we treat every game and we're going to put everything we have into it. It's an important game for us, there's no doubt because it's a division game, the second one in a row, playing on the road. It's a tough place to play, but it's not the Super Bowl. It's not. That doesn't get played until February. But it's as important as they come, in terms of our division and what that means in our place in our division.
Q: Do you take an exception to what the Jets have been saying? It hasn't really been disrespectful. It's almost as if they're building up how good you guys are.
TB: They're a confident team and we can see why. I think we can see on film why they're confident. They play with a lot of excitement and energy, just by what you saw last week in that first regular season game. They're very tough, too. I think they present a lot of challenges in all three phases. I think, offensively, they've obviously made some changes and they did great last week. Defensively, they mix things up quite a bit and that's a challenge because you don't know what they're going to do. You really have no clue on what they're going to do on most of these downs and distances; other than that, they're coming. It's a blitz team so you've got to be ready and prepared for the blitz. Like I said, get rid of the ball fast and hopefully execute and throw the ball where it needs to be with good accuracy so the guys can catch it and do something with it.
Q: Do you feel like you're still a little bit rusty, even after that first game?
TB: Well, I wouldn't say we played a perfect game out there the other night. So we're always working to improve. It's early in the year and we've got to find ways to make improvements on the things we did last week.
Q: What about you, personally?
TB: It's the same. I've got to find ways to improve.
Q: Rex Ryan created a buzz in New York when he took that job and said he wasn't there to kiss Bill Belichick's Super Bowl rings. How do you react to a comment like that?
TB: I mean, he's the coach of the Jets. He's a great coach. We've played them several times and, like I said, they play with a lot of confidence. I wouldn't expect them to roll over for us or expect that we can roll our helmets out there and win the game. We're going to have to play a great game, not only offensively, but defensively, as well. They present challenges and they make you earn everything. So we're going to need to match that level of intensity. Obviously, we are very confident as a team, but talk is cheap. We've got to go out there and play and do it on the field.
Q: Where is your confidence level with Joey Galloway right now?
TB: It's early in the year and we don't have all the problems solved with our offense at this point. We're working hard to establish our own identity and there're plenty of things that I need to do - as a quarterback - better, that every receiver needs to do better, that the running backs and offensive line need to do better. And that's what we're working toward. Joey is a professional. He's worked extremely hard. I thought he played very well the other night, even though it doesn't show up on the stats sheet. We were productive at times throwing the ball and other guys had the opportunity, and Joey is going to have a big role in this offense.
Q: Is it going to be strange to see Kevin O'Connell out there again and are you afraid he's going to give them some of your secrets? You might have to really account for it.
TB: Yeah, that change happens. It will happen again with Denver when we play Josh [McDaniels]. It's happened in the past. You make the preparations and you have to change some things because I'm sure Kevin [O'Connell] has told them some things that could help them. But at the end of the day it comes down to how well you can execute. Having some inside information, you still have to throw the ball, complete it and block them. So I think that's more important than anything.
Q: You threw almost all of your 53 passes from the pocket Monday night. Was that by design and do you think that will be the same this week?
TB: It just depends. It depends. The pocket … We had a lot of drop-back passes. We've never been a big get it out of the pocket kind of offense, but we do whatever is there. We do whatever we need to do.
Q: What can you take from the last 5:32 of that game and apply to what you guys do?
TB: It's just execution. I think we had 14 plays there at the end that - not that they were perfect - but they were pretty good. You can't have turnovers like we did. You can't have penalties like we did. You can't have negative runs, which we did. You can't have miscommunications, which we did. Those last 14 plays, we didn't have much of that. Physical mistakes happen, but the mental mistakes are the ones we have to eliminate. We had some critical situations that we missed, but we're going to use those. We're going to learn from them and move on to the Jets.
Q: With what Benjamin Watson did for you the other night, how helpful is it to have a tight end involved in the passing offense? How encouraged are you by his performance Monday night?
TB: I think having a tight end like Ben [Watson] helps Randy [Moss] and Wes [Welker] and the running backs because he can draw coverage too. When they don't account for him, you throw him the ball, like we did there at the end. When you're so focused on Randy because he's on your side of the field, which Randy is often on the side of the tight end, a lot of that coverage goes to Randy, and Ben takes advantage of it. He had a very good game the other night and hopefully that's just the start of a great year for him. He's put a lot of work in. He's a guy I'm very familiar with, being in his sixth year, and he's a great person. He's a great teammate. He always knows what to do. He plays hard. He's fought through injuries so he's very mentally tough. He's a great asset to this team.
Q: Rex Ryan and his players have been pretty outspoken in expressing their confidence. As much as you guys accomplish, you don't seem to do that. Is that a matter of style or what?
TB: Well, I think we follow the lead of our head coach. I think because we feel a certain way, we don't necessarily need to tell everybody about it. I mean, we're confident. We have as much confidence as most teams in the league. We expect to go out there and play well every time we take the field. To go out there and make a bunch of predictions and 'we're going to do this' and 'we're going to do that' and 'this is how we're going to be,' it really doesn't mean much. I think we've just always felt that if we do our work and we prepare and we go out there and play to our ability, the outcome will be what we're hoping for. If we don't, it won't be, no matter what you say on a Tuesday, or Wednesday, or Thursday - it doesn't matter much. I think our execution is what's most important and that's what we choose to focus on.
Q: So you don't want to guarantee a win on Sunday?
TB: Not this time. Not this Sunday. Maybe next Sunday, [I'll] start throwing out those guarantees.
Q: Last year, you had an ACL injury and now Jerod Mayo has an MCL injury.
TB: Does he? You guys know more than me.
Q: Have you given him any advice on coming back from these knee injuries?
TB: I haven't even seen Jerod [Mayo]. We've been crossing paths, but I haven't had a chance to sit down and talk to him. Since the game ended on Monday night, I've been focused on the Jets and I know he has been, too.
Q: With the different challenges presented, if Jerod Mayo is out, does that add to your pressure you guys face? Or are you just more focused on what you have to do?
TB: Yeah, that's it. I don't play defense. I don't have to worry about the defense. There're plenty of guys to worry about the defense. I'm the quarterback and I'll worry about the offense, and my role, and my leadership, and throwing the ball more accurately, and making better decisions, and not turning the ball over, and trying to get us into the end zone.
Q: With all the hype of your return and every little thing, is it nice to be in the second week of the season, getting back into the flow?
TB: Sure. Sure. I think all of us are happy. The opener is the opener and there's a lot that goes into it. We prepared for a long time for it and I'm glad we got the win and were able to move on. It feels like the regular season now. There was some soreness and some tired faces in there this morning, but that's the way the season goes. It goes fast and I think each of these games is important and you put as much into them as you can each week, and go out there, and try to play your best.