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Transcript: Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski Press Conferences 12/29

New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady and Tight End Rob Gronkowski address the media during their press conferences at Gillette Stadium on Friday, December 29, 2017.


Q: How are you feeling?

TB: Good, good. It's been a good week. I'm excited for this game, so I think it's going to be different challenges. Obviously, the Jets are a good defense. They played us well last time. They got off to a good start against us last time. We've got to start faster than we started last week. Hopefully, we can do that.

Q: James Harrison had the picture of you and him together on Instagram. What was it like for you to see him in the locker room after all those years across from him?

TB: I know, I told him I liked him much better in our colored jerseys. I told him that. He is excited to be here and hopefully he can help us win. I know it's late in the year but guys who have played in these big games and those situations; it always helps having good players out there. Hopefully, he can go out and do a great job for us.

Q: Do you sense a level of excitement from him being here?

TB: You know, it's interesting. When we're out there it's like we're two separate teams; offense and defense. We're so focused on what we do, so I'll probably see more of him on Sunday just like you guys will, but I know how good of a player he is. I played against him for a long time. Like I said, hopefully he does a great job.

Q: How do you go about staying warm out on the field during cold weather games?

TB: Yeah, I think the key is us practicing out there and we've been out there every day this week. I think we've used our bubble one time all year for a real practice, so I think just getting used to the climate and understanding the challenges it presents in this stadium. I mean, it's cold for everybody, so it's cold for the fans, cold for the players, coaches, for you guys, the refs, announcers. I think whoever deals with it best is going to win. Hopefully, us being out there and using all of this is a positive experience, even though you're out there for a couple hours. It gets pretty cold, but you've just got to do the best you can do.

Q: Will you use gloves this week?

TB: It depends. Early in my career I tried using a glove on my throwing hand a little bit. It didn't go too well. I think it's better without. But still, it's tricky. Doing anything when its negative wind chill is pretty hard to do, but it's challenging for everybody. It's challenging for the defense, challenging for the offense. We'll just have to go out and play well and focus on what you need to do. It makes you concentrate more. We're going to have to concentrate because we're playing for a lot.

Q: Your left shoulder was listed on the injury report. Is that something new or an aggravation from earlier in the season?

TB: That's a tricky question. I'll pass, but I'll be out there Sunday.

Q: We don't typically see interceptions from you in five straight games. Is there something in particular that has led to that?

TB: I'm always trying to keep those down. I think, you're right, there's been more in the last couple of games than there should be. I think it's just making smart decisions. Whenever they get their hands on it, it's not a good thing for the offense. Putting it in places where only we can touch it or we can catch it is important, especially understanding the situations in the games. We've been able to overcome a few of those but, obviously, like at Miami, we didn't overcome them and ball possession is going to be extremely important in this game. We always try to do no turnovers. That's a good goal for us. That's what we should have every week. I can certainly do a better job than I've done protecting it and its going to be really important.

Q: Are you harder on yourself with that than Coach Belichick is on you?

TB: Turnovers have a great correlation towards winning or losing. So, when you give the ball up, obviously, it limits your opportunity to score and it increases their opportunity. It's all risk-reward for a quarterback. I mean, I'm never trying to throw them. Sometimes you try to make a throw and they make a good play. Sometimes you try to make a throw, they don't make much of a play and they still come up with the ball because I made a really bad decision. If they make a great play then they make a great play. But you try to eliminate the ones where you just really hand them possession of the ball. We just have to do a great job of it this game and moving forward. We can't do anything about the past. We're just going to have to look forward and do a better job of this game, and next game and as far as we go.


Q: You were out with an illness yesterday. How are feeling?

RG: Yeah, just a quick bug. Back to normal. Feeling fine.

Q: How do you adjust to the cold weather? Do you make any changes to how you dress?

RG: For sure. Definitely it's mentally and physically taxing, for sure, on the body. I would say it's more mental going out in these cold weather games, going out just even a cold weather practice. You've got to focus on the Jets still. [You've] got to prepare and be ready for them. At the same time just do what you've got to do, be mentally ready, physically, for the weather and the Jets.

Q: You're pretty close to making it through a full season relatively healthy. How does it feel to be out there for pretty much every game after what you went through last year with the back surgery?

RG: It feels good but I mean I haven't even thought about that. We've got a big game this Sunday and the Jets are where all my focus is at and it's another big one. They want to go out with a win just to go out with a win. I mean why wouldn't you want to? We've got a big game ahead of us to have that number one spot which you want to play for.

Q: You really took advantage of their young safeties in the first matchup. Have you seen enough progress from those guys over the last 10 or so weeks or do you feel like that's a matchup you can again exploit?

RG: They're competitors. They play hard. They're young and they bring it so you've go to be ready. If you're lining up versus a competitor every single time every week you've got to be ready to play. They're safeties and linebackers, they compete. They play hard. They work hard and they come hard. So we've got to be ready at all times.

Q: You have a number of incentives in your contract. How will that factor into your approach to Sunday's game?

RG: [I'm] just approaching the game like any other week - preparing hard. Just doing everything the same. Just getting ready for Sunday.

Q: Unlike the Bills and Dolphins games recently, you haven't seen the Jets since Week 6. Does the approach change a little bit approaching it like a completely different team or is there still some familiarity?

RG: No, there's definitely some familiarity, for sure. I mean it's the same players, same type of scheme so you've got to prepare like any other time we prepare. They're a good team. We've got to be ready. 

Q: How much stock do you put in getting the number one seed and home field advantage?

RG: It's huge. It's motivating. You don't play sports to not be number one. It's crucial. It's a big stock to get home field advantage and that's why we've got to put all our attention versus the Jets so we can go out there, we can compete, we can play and do our best to get the win.

Q: What are your thoughts on James Harrison as a teammate?

RG: It's great. I mean he's on the defensive side of the ball so it's not really that much to do with the offensive side. It's great to have a caliber player like that on our team.

Q: What do you recall about past matchups with him?

RG: I mean I haven't been - I've got the Jets this week. I just took out Bill's [Belichick] playbook. I've got the Jets, man.

Q: Did you see that back and forth the other day?

RG: Yeah. You failed. He got you good. 

Q: Should we do that?

RG: I can't. I've got the Jets, man. 

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