PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY PRESS CONFERENCE
Q: Is it good to have a guy like Brandon LaFell back and do you anticipate having him back sooner rather than later?
TB:I think those are for Coach [Bill Belichick] to decide. You know, he's definitely working hard, so it's a great thing. He's been a great contributor to our team since he got here. It'll be fun when he's back out there, hopefully soon.
Q: Does this matchup seem a little bit different than the ones against Rex Ryan where everyone was pumped up?
TB:Yeah, it's a great rivalry. I think it's always, you know I remember the first game in 2000 was a Monday night game that I went down there in the old Jets stadium and it was a great atmosphere for football. We've had a lot of great games against them, some real meaningful games. You know, they're very similar to us in a lot of ways. They're a big, tough, physical team. You play in these elements – I think there are a lot of characteristics that make them tough to beat. They play hard. They're obviously off to a great start this year. They've got a phenomenal defense. I think they're in the top five in almost every category. It's a big challenge for us. They've got a great secondary, great defensive line. I feel like Demario Davis and David Harris and Calvin Pace have been like the three linebackers forever there. They never come off the field. They've been dominant players in the league for a long time. There's a lot of experience, a lot of high draft picks on that defense, and they're playing as well as any defense in the league.
Q: Is there anything comparable to Michigan vs. Ohio State or a high school rivalry to this game for you?
TB:It's a great rival for us. Like I said, they're very tough to beat. You know, we've had a lot of close games with them over the years, a lot of situational football has come in to play, a lot of two minute drives and stopping them at the end, overtime games. Not too many games have ever really gotten out of hand. Like I said, they're very well coached. Coach [Todd] Bowles has them playing really well. They're very aggressive defensively. Coach [Belichick] talked about how good they are on offense this year with their run game and how well their receivers are playing. It's a lot to prepare for. We play them at home, so we've got to be ready to go, got to have a good week of practice.
Q: How has Darrelle Revis allowed them to become even more aggressive than they were under Rex Ryan?
TB:They put a lot of pressure on that secondary to cover guys, and I think those guys match the challenge. I mean I think they've tried to bring in those guys all offseason – [Buster] Skrine and [Antonio] Cromartie and Revis. They had some guys last year. Marcus Williams was a good player. [Darrin] Walls is a good player. [Calvin] Pryor is a good player. They brought in [Marcus] Gilchrist. So they have guys in the secondary that play hard and that can compete. When they rush four or five guys, all those guys are one-on-one on defense and like I said they've got like the top rated pass defense in the league, so it tells you how well they're covering guys. They lead the league in turnovers, so they're getting the ball off offenses, whether that's knocking the ball out on fumbles or intercepting balls. Revis is having a big year with those two stats. It's a lot of playmakers, and you've just got to be conscious of where you're throwing the ball. You can't just throw it up for grabs and see if they'll catch it because they've got guys with great ball skills.
Q: Did you learn anything from playing against Revis in practice last year?
TB:Yeah, there was a lot of competition in practice last year with him and he makes it tough. As I said yesterday, his instincts are incredible out there. He's one of those guys who sees everything on the field. He sees the formations and routes and splits and anything pre-snap that can help him get an idea of whether the ball is coming his way or if it's going the other or if it's a run or pass or deep throw or short throw. He's a very dependable, consistent player. He's been an incredible playmaker since he's been in the league. He covers the top guys every week. I got a firsthand look at that last year every day in practice, and it was great to have him play a part here, but he moved on, so now he's our competition again.
Q: Were you disappointed that he didn't return?
TB:That's kind of NFL football and free agency and stuff like that. A lot of players have switched teams over the years. We've had a lot of guys come to our team from that team and vice versa. Like I said, I've got a lot of respect for that team and the way they play football and how well they're coached and how well they're playing this year.
Q: Do you take it personal when teams try to blitz you?
TB:I think every team has different strategies at this point. They're always going to try to figure out a way to put pressure on the quarterback and every team tries to devise different schemes on how to do that. I don't think many teams want to go into the game and say, "Let's give this guy a lot of time to figure out and sort things out." You always want to try to get pressure on the QB to make him throw the ball before he really wants to throw it. Probably through the first five games this year, each of the teams that we've played has tried different things. This team will have their own game plan, but I think they're also a team that kind of does what they do. They want to be aggressive. They don't want to be dictated to. They want to see if you can block them. They've got a lot of good rushers. Like I said, they've got a lot of first round picks in there on the defensive line, a lot of big powerful guys that try to get to the quarterback. They're really well coached. Pepper [Johnson] coaches that defensive line. That's what they're going to do. They're going to try to get home and force us into making errant throws and throw it to Cromartie and Revis and Gilchrist like a lot of quarterbacks have done this year.