PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY
Q: How important is it for you guys to offensively to start off fast against a team like the Chiefs?
TB: Yeah, it's pretty important. I think we've always talked about starting fast and I think they have a pretty good advantage in the first quarter of these games. They're getting ahead of all these teams and playing from ahead, and that's obviously where we want to play, but it's tough to do. I think fast starts, we've seen this year, when we start fast, the games have ended well and when we haven't and when you get behind, it makes it really tough. So going against a team that's 5-0, there's really no margin for error and we're going to have to do a great job of possessing the ball and try to score as many points as we can.
Q: How beneficial was the extra time this week?
TB: Good, you know, I think any time you can take advantage of it, whether it's rest or extra practice, both those are important as we kind of go through the season. We had four preseason games, five regular season games, it's a good stretch. And then have a few extra days on the weekend to kind of think about where we're at and an extra day of practice this week so trying to use it all. Like I said, it's all for one reason, to try to win a game and it's going to be a very competitive game.
Q: What are your thoughts on some of the things that Patrick Mahomes can do as a quarterback?
TB: Yeah, I've seen a lot of highlights. I haven't necessarily watched - we just haven't had common opponents thus far. But he's obviously got a great skill-set and playing really well, throwing a lot of touchdowns, really distributing the ball and extending plays, making plays on the move, outside the pocket. It's a big test for our defense anytime you play a quarterback that can do all those things. It tests your discipline in a lot of areas. We've just got to take advantage when we get opportunities to stop them and we on offense have to do our job when we get opportunities to make the plays that are there, go down and score points when we can. We've played this team a bunch and they've played really well, they're really well-coached, they've got good players, very physical, good in all areas. Well-coached, tough, hard-nosed team and it's a tough game. But we're excited for the challenge.
Q: Do you ever look at it as a challenge when you play a new quarterback?
TB: I think our defense probably does more so than me. I look it as a team that's 5-0 and they're very talented and they've been playing well all season and that's how I see it. It's not going to be - you're not going to win the game in the second quarter. This one's going to go down to the wire. They're good in all three phases, they score a lot of points, they rush the ball, they throw it well, they've got a lot of skill players, they've got a lot of play-makers on defense. So I think we're going to be tested in all areas.
Q: So it's never a doubt of you against him? He was five years old when you first got to the NFL.
TB: I know, there's too many - there's a lot of those guys now and that's just kind of the reality of being around for a long time. But you're right, it's great to see a lot of young players playing really well. That's the future of the league so it's always great to see young players come in and learn from the guys in the past just like I did when I was young. I had a lot of guys that I looked up to and I got to play against Brett Favre and some really other great players.
Q: So the matchup thing is there between you and Patrick Mahomes?
TB: I think quarterbacks are always paying attention to other quarterbacks. You're just watching how they're moving the ball. There's a lot of different ways to lead your team and move the ball down the field and score points. So if you can learn things from other players, you're always trying to and when your offense is hot and you're scoring a lot of points, I think everyone is trying to learn from what they're doing. They're just executing really well and I think that's what we need to take from it. We need to execute really well.
Q: Was last year's game against the Chiefs part of the film study as you got ready for this game?
TB: Definitely. I think there are definitely things you can learn from that game, just matchups and so forth. They have the same coaches and similar scheme so I think studying all the games we've played against them, I'm studying all their games last year, this year and I've seen a lot of film this week. You can learn something from all of those games.
Q: What were your memories from last time you played the Chiefs?
TB: Well in the end, we didn't play our best. We didn't take advantage of some great opportunities that we had, we got stopped four times in short yardage. They're a tough, hard-nosed team. There's no easy plays there. They are all over routes. They've got guys that are trying to stay with the receivers on every play. They make it tough and that's why they're winning.
Q: Did you reach out to Drew Brees after he set the passing yards record Monday night?
TB: That's personal. Yes, I did.
Q: You and him are kind of neck-in-neck in a bunch of stats. Are you guys competitive about any of that stuff?
TB: Not really. Mildly competitive guys.
Q: You guys have known each other for a long time.
TB: Yeah, we played against each other in college. We beat him my senior year which was good. He's had a great career and I think so highly of him and everything he's accomplished. He's a great player and a great leader, played on two different teams, been so productive and it's great when you see that happen. It's a very competitive league and to be around competing is really a privilege to still be able to do it. I feel that way myself and I'm sure he does too. They've had some great years and he's having another one this year.
Q: Over the last couple weeks, Chris Hogan has had some opportunities, haven't been able to get him the ball. Why do you think that is?
TB: You know I'm not sure in particular. I haven't really studied that as much. We're trying to really get everybody involved. When guys' numbers are called, you're trying to incorporate everyone. He's a great player and there's no doubt all those guys - Chris [Hogan], Phillip [Dorsett], Julian [Edelman], CP [Cordarrelle Patterson], Josh [Gordon], I mean everyone's got to make plays when their number is called. That's what we're trying to do.
Q: Do you notice Josh Gordon learning from some of the mistakes that have happened in games?
TB: Yeah, I think anytime you come in late to the season, I think there's a big learning curve, you know, you're just trying to get up to speed as fast as possible. I think fortunately, he's got other guys at his position that he can really lean on, Chris [Hogan] and Julian [Edelman] in particular. Phillip [Dorsett] kind of learned late in the season last year. They've got a good group, really well-coached group and we're just trying to work to get better every day.
Q: How many reps do you have to have as a quarterback when you're incorporating a new guy who comes in late?
TB: I think you've got to try to work at it every day and you can't just rely on things that have happened in the past and film study, you've actually got to go do it on the field. I think when you're practicing together and you're competing, even at practice, you can learn a lot from each other. It's just daily work and there's no short cuts.
Q: A lot has been made about Patrick Mahomes' arm strength this week. When Brian Hoyer was running the scout team, did you see any really impressive throws from him?
TB: Yeah, [Brian] Hoyer's got a great arm. He always has. He's launching balls and he's very accurate the way he throws it deep especially. We're working on those things all the time during practice, after practice. But I think Pat [Mahomes]'s got a great arm. It's hard to really replicate that. It's kind of you're born with something like that.
Q: What do you remember from the first big night game of your career against the Rams?
TB: Yeah, I think, was that Sunday Night Football? And we lost to go to 5-5. So that was - they were a good team. They had won the Super Bowl the year before, they had some really good players. We were competitive, I think that's what I remember. We made it close.
Q: Were you nervous at all to play in primetime for the first time?
TB: I don't remember that long ago, truthfully. Probably today there's so much attention on college guys now and they're still playing in front of big crowds in college, probably recruited a lot in high school. So I think those have probably worn off, truthfully. There's always a little nerves, a little anxiousness before every game when you play in primetime. It's always fun, you know that you're kind of the game. But I think that goes away pretty quick. One or two plays in, you're in the flow of the game.
Q: When you're facing an offense that you know is going to put up some points and you said last week that your offense left some points out there, how do you balance trying to make those plays without forcing something?
TB: I think it takes discipline and I think you're trying to really make the plays because if you don't, you're giving the ball away. You're not giving yourself a chance to score any points and they're going to take advantage of that. So especially starting fast and I think that's been a big point of emphasis. They start fast and the games where we started fast, it's gone well and the games where we haven't, it hasn't gone well. Playing well early, really being ready to go right from the start is going to be really important.
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