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Tom Brady Press Conference Transcript 12/16

Q: Do you ever remember having this many injuries to overcome in a season?

TB: There have been quite a bit this year, so it's hard to compare year to year. We've lost a lot of guys, you're right, guys who play critical roles. So it's been a disappointing for those guys. I know it's disappointing for all of us, but we're still playing football. So the guys who are out there have got to keep fighting and keep practicing hard because we've still got a lot of football ahead.

Q: Bill Belichick was up here on the podium earlier cracking jokes with the media. Have you noticed a change in his demeanor at all this season?

TB: With us, I think he's pretty similar to the way he always has been. He's a very disciplined coach, and he gets us prepared every week. It may be different for you guys. For us, he's a great coach. He coaches us hard.

Q: Do you have any thoughts as to why he's different with us this year?

TB: I'm not sure.

Q: James White has been getting more targets from you lately. Is that an indication of the trust you have for him now as a player?

TB: Yeah, I think he's earned everybody's trust, not just mine. He's done a great job for our team when he's been in there. He's very dependable, consistent. He made a great play the other night on that catch to give him the chance to go up over the top of a safety. He runs it good. He's smart, he's tough. When he's been available, whenever he's been called upon he's answered the bell. So that's a really important position for us. It always has been over the years. Because we're such a passing oriented offense, I think that role as a sub back is so critical. And it's not just catching, but it's also blitz pickup. It's really gaining the confidence of everybody that you know what to do, you know how to do it. And then you never know when your number is going to get called because Gronk [Rob Gronkowski] gets throws, Julian [Edelman] gets throws, Danny [Amendola] gets throws. Then all of the sudden man, the sub back is there and he makes a play, so it's such a critical role in the red area, on third down. James really came through for us, so it's been great to see.

Q: What kind of a challenge has it been having so many guys in and out of the running back role this season?

TB: You just get out there and you work with those guys and you see what they can do and what they're capable of and then how, you know, Josh [McDaniels] always finds a way to incorporate them into the offense. Then I get a decent idea of how Josh wants to incorporate them, and then you just go on the practice field and you work at those things. It's a lot of ball handling issues and obviously all the handoffs and making sure those are all secure and then obviously building up the trust in the passing game – that you can go to a guy and he's going to be dependable to catch it and do something with it. You've just got to kind of see how the role evolves based on that particular player, and then whatever they can do, you just try to do as much as you can working on the practice field.

Q: Do you rely more on McDaniels working with them, or do you work with them more?

TB: It's always a combination of both. It doesn't make sense for me to just go out there and practice a bunch of things that Josh isn't going to call. Part of it is finding out what Josh likes and what he's going to call, and then there are plenty of things to always practice. You've just got to understand kind of all the different facets of that running back's particular responsibilities and so forth. And then whatever their skillset is, that's what you want to try and use when they're out on the field.

Q: How do you feel about people criticizing your relationship with Donald Trump?

TB: I don't think about it much. It's a tough week, so I've got a lot of football stuff to think about and hopefully we can go out and beat the Titans. That would be the most important thing for me.

Q: Do you regret talking about it since it kind of opened the door to the discussion?

TB: Like I said, I'm just here to play football.

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