QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY
November 15, 2019
Q: Everyone’s talking about what happened last night in the league. What are your thoughts on that? How do you guys talk about that here?
TB: You know, Coach [Bill] Belichick tries to use it as teaching moments – talks about not throwing punches, not touching the referees and staying on the sidelines.
Q: How hard is it to stay disciplined in that moment?
TB: It’s an emotional game, so – I think I got a penalty in 2002, I think I only got one penalty for an unsportsmanlike conduct and I kind of pushed someone back against Chicago. That might be my only unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Probably deserved a few more, but that was the only one that I got called for.
Q: After you got called for it, was there a lesson learned there and that’s why you’ve never done it again?
TB: Again, these things, they happen so quick. It’s an emotional game, so people play with emotion and it’s a physical sport. So, you try to do the best you can do.
Q: You mentioned the mental scar tissue earlier in the week from that Super Bowl LII loss. How tough was that loss? Does that motivate you going into this one?
TB: It’s a different team. It’s a big challenge for us to go in there and play a great football team, so there’s nothing about that game that’s going to – you know, that’s not going to impact the outcome of this one. We want to win; they want to win. It’s a big game, it’s a tough game. They play well at home and they’ve got a really good team and they’re tough to beat. They’re good in all three phases and they’ve been a championship-level team the last couple years. So, it’s going to be a great test for us.
Q: You’ve got four games coming up against all winning teams, how important is this stretch for you and the team?
TB: We’re after the bye so – not that the ones before weren’t important, but these are the ones that you’ve got to – this is when the team’s really got to start to elevate its play. We’ve learned a lot over a lot of competitive games, a lot of competitive practices, training camp, going all the way back to the spring. I’d say the die has been cast. That’s just kind of the – this is what we are, this is what we’re going to do, this is how we’re going to win and these are the things we’re going to have to do in order to achieve the results we want.
Q: Do you allow yourself to scoreboard watch to see how the Ravens and other teams are doing?
TB: They really don’t impact how we’re going to play the game. So, I’d say from that standpoint, however those teams play, they play. How we play is what we’re thinking about. Playing good football, that’s going to be good for all of us here, so that’s what we’ll try to do.
Q: How excited are you to get back on the football field? It seems like it’s been a while since you played.
TB: Yeah, it has, and we didn’t play great the last time out, so it’s another good test for us and we’re going to have to get off to a better start. You know, you do that on the road, it’s going to be tough to overcome those. Any team that gets down 17-nothing, 21-nothing, whatever, 14-nothing, on the road, it’s pretty tough. That’s the way we want to play, play from ahead, and we’re going to have to play well early to get off to a fast start.
Q: When you look at all of your past matchups against Jim Schwartz dating back to 2002, stylistically, what commonalities do you see in a Jim Schwartz defense?
TB: I think they’re well coached. I think they’re very fundamentally sound. I think he has a reason for everything that he does, just he doesn’t – “Oh, let’s just try this call.” I think there’s a method to what he’s trying to accomplish as a play caller. Very smart coach. He’s been one of the great coaches in the league for a long time, and they’re playing great this year.
Q: Knowing that eventually you’re going to get N’Keal Harry in the offense, down the line you’re going to get Isaiah Wynn, and Mohamed Sanu is still getting up to speed as well, does it feel like the offense can continue to elevate itself?
TB: Yeah, those are good players that are playing important roles. The guys that are in there are the guys that are doing a good job. Whenever you get guys back, that always helps, but at the same time, the guys that have been in there have been doing a pretty good job. So, whoever’s in there, we’ve got to go out and execute – that’s what it’s about. It’s not about anything other than us all being accountable to do our job as best we possibly can. The more we can do that collectively, the better that transfers over to everybody playing with confidence. Because it’s really a game about confidence and trust, attention to detail, and then you have all the emotional aspects.
Q: Knowing that you guys are a game plan team, and with the changes you’ve had in personnel, do you feel like offensively you guys are still looking for an identity, or that you’re still trying to find out what it is that you do well for the second half of the schedule?
TB: Yeah, I would say that, but at the same time I think that’s – that’s well said.
Q: Thank you.
TB: You’re welcome. But those things happen a lot and they change over the course of the whole season anyway. So, they may be that way Week 9, but you could “feel like you have it figured out” two weeks from now and then someone gets injured and then you’ve got to start again. So, a lot of teams I’ve been on, you just keep trying to figure it out week to week, because the matchup is a little different, we’re going to have to do some different things, we know they have some strengths and we’re going to have to understand what those are. We’ve got to adapt and our players have to adapt and the scheme has to adapt. Then we have to go out and execute. I think, you’re right, we’re a game plan team and I think that’s a real strength of ours and we’ve got to continue to make that a strength by embracing the challenges that each team really presents to us.
Q: Does identity matter? Do you want to have something that you can lean on every week and say “we can do this?”
TB: Absolutely. But again, I think those things change, too. Yeah, you’d like to rely on a lot of things – you wish, “Oh, we’ll throw for 300 every week and we’ll rush for 150 and every time we call this play it will work.” But then it’s like, how are we going to do that? And I think that’s how you have to focus on – how we’re going to do those things, how we’re going to accomplish them. We’d love to be able to count on everything, but they have a lot of good players too, so they make it pretty challenging.
Q: LeBron James said last night that “me and Tom Brady are one in the same, we’re going to play until we can’t walk no more.”
Q: Do you like that LeBron James is looking at you as a role model? Have you approached him about any TB12 stuff?
TB: We’ve been friends for a long time. Yeah, I’ve always admired him. He’s a great athlete, player. I think he loves the sport, he loves basketball, he loves the competition. I feel the same way about football.
Q: You guys do a lot with motions and moving guys around in the formation. How much does that help you before the snap decipher what the defense does when you guys send somebody in motion across and the running back out flexed or whatever?
TB: Yeah, a lot of teams are doing that now. Motions have been a part of offense for a long time, but a lot of people are using basically all five skill positions, except – actually four of the five skill positions – one guy’s on the ball, two guys are on the ball with the tight ends. Usually, you’re going to have some type of movement in plays to try to create – you know, some things that you can identify what’s going on on defense.