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Transcript: Tom Brady Press Conference 12/14

Read the full transcript from Patriots QB Tom Brady's press conference on Friday, December 14, 2018.

Q: Been a good week?

TB: Yeah, everyone's been working pretty hard. We know it's a big challenge, nothing easy about this. It's a good team, well-coached and good in all three phases and it's a tough place to play. We've had a long history with them. This is a big game for both of us so hopefully we're ready to go. It should be a great game.

Q: Looking at the Steelers blitz game, there's been some years where they're very aggressive and some in recent years where they haven't been. How are you navigating that as you prepare?

TB: Yeah, over the years, we've played them so many times in a lot of meaningful games. I think we've seen a lot of different things. There's a lot of different defenses and it's kind of like every team we've played when you think about the Bills, Jets – they've just changed coaches. These guys have rarely changed coaches but their defense has still evolved a little bit. We're pretty much prepared for everything. They can do whatever they want to do. They have a chance to put in a game plan. They're going to do whatever they think is best to stop us and vice versa. We know their players pretty well. They've got some new guys, but we know the scheme. They're very talented up front. There's some good linebackers. Obviously, they drafted a lot of guys in the secondary that are talented. It's a very good defense.

Q: Last week, Ben Roethlisberger went down with an injury and then came back in. Knowing him, is it almost like you know that he'll be playing this week?

TB: Yeah, he's as tough as they come. He's always been available for that team. I remember there was one game he didn't start because of his foot and then the guy got hurt, Ben came in as a backup and threw for like 300 or something like that, some ridiculous stat. He's just tough, been a great quarterback in the league for a long time, knows the game. He's just a great competitor and he's always got those guys going.

Q: How important is it to close out the road schedule with a victory?

TB: Going on the road is always challenging in the NFL. You're playing good teams and there's a lot of tough road environments. It's always sell-outs and if we don't play well, it really gets the crowd into it. It's a great environment too when you can go to a stadium and then play well and kind of keep the crowd quiet. It's a great feeling. It's a hard thing to do there. A lot of these games will come down to the wire and we're expecting a 60-minute game.

Q: Does the team's success on the road give you any indication to what kind of team you have? You guys are in the mix every single year and not a lot of those teams have losing records on the road.

TB: Yeah, again, it's just a different team this year. We've put a lot into it and we're trying to obviously do great in both. It just hasn't turned out that way but we're hanging in there. We're hanging in there.

Q: What makes a good road team?

TB: It's just making critical plays and it's great complementary football. Being on the road, the momentum can change very quickly. One play changes the whole game. We've seen that a lot playing at home, when you use the crowd to your advantage and everyone's kind of into it and waiting for something to happen. As soon as something good happens for us, it just snowballs quickly. You've got to keep that from happening on the road and you've got to play well offensively. You've got to do a good job of possessing the ball, third down and so forth. Defensively, big plays and those really get the crowd into it and the kicking game, just playing solid. There's no secret. It's just playing a great complementary game and we're certainly capable of it and it would be great if this is the moment that we really do it.

Q: Over the years, you really seem to hit your stride in December. How do you feel this year? Do you feel this team is in a good place?

TB: I always think you've got to go do it. To think that you're in a certain place, that's one thing. I think we always have confidence going into games. We've just got to figure out how to win them. Play to the end and just go out there and get the job done. We've got a lot of football ahead of us and December's when it matters. It matters year-round but there's so few games left, everyone's fighting for these spots that are very valuable. We put ourselves in a decent position. It hasn't been perfect, but everything's ahead of us.

Q: Did you watch football last night?

TB: I didn't. I was asleep before kickoff.

Q: You know what happened though, right?

TB: Yup.

Q: Does that give you guys a little extra push heading into the final three games of the season knowing that if you win out you can potentially get the No. 1 seed?

TB: I think we just worry about honestly what we can control and that's it. It's just us playing and whatever happens, happens. Coach [Bill Belichick] has always said it's not where we play, it's how we play. We've just got to take care of business on our end. This is a big one, this is a tough one and we're going to have to play really well.

Q: Do you enjoy watching Ben Roethlisberger play and do you try to take things from his game?

TB: Yeah, he's got such a unique style and he's just an incredible player, prolific passer, great accurate passer. They've just had incredible passing offenses. His style is very different and he's just big, stands in the pocket, has great presence. He's not really a runner but he extends a lot of plays and makes huge plays for their team. It's hard to stop so anytime you play a guy like that, we've got to be ready to execute really well on offense and score as many points as we can.

Q: It seems like when you throw to receivers, you're protecting them a bit. But in Josh Gordon's case, it seems like you're not afraid to throw him into contact because he can shed tacklers so easily. Is that something that goes through your mind when you're throwing to him?

TB: Yeah, he's very strong at the catch-point. He's got a big body, it's hard to go through him, he's got a great catch radius. So when the ball's in the air, he just attacks it. I think most of the time they're not really going for the ball. They're just trying to get him on the ground and his catch-and-run is dynamic and he's made a lot of great plays for us this year.

Q: Has anything special stood out in your off-the-field work with him as a student of the game or on the practice field?

TB: No, just really enjoy our time together. We spend so much time here. We're here until late at night, early in the morning, on the field, watching film and so forth and it's just been great. I can't say enough good things.

Q: I asked Bill Belichick about Rex Burkhead this morning and he said his confidence stands out. What have you noticed of his confidence since he's been back?

TB: Yeah, certainly Rex is a big addition when he's out there and he's a very explosive player. He makes a lot of great plays for us running the ball, catching the ball, in the backfield. Everyone has a lot of confidence in him so it's helped a lot between him and Sony [Michel] and it's helped James White. James has been so productive for us this year but having everyone available has been a big boost for our team.

Q: What is it about Pittsburgh that seems to bring out the best in you?

TB: I'm not sure. It's really a team effort. We've just played well at the right time. I think that's what you've got to do. I don't think there's anything in particular.

Q: Last week, Josh Gordon said he looks up to you, he's learning from you. How do you feel when a teammate views you in that manner?

TB: Obviously, I'm older than everyone else so I have been around for a while and a lot of the guys were young when they watched me play. I feel the same about those guys. They keep me going and I learn from them and they're – I'd say more youthful energy at times when I need it. But I feel the same. Everyone contributes different things and when I was young, I looked up to the older guys, too. Hopefully they gained a lot from me and it just always goes both ways.

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