PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY
Q: Yesterday there was some chirping between you and Mike Vrabel, but today seemed more civil. What was that like for you?
TB: Really? I wouldn't describe it as civil, but he's been a good friend for a long time. Obviously, he's done a great job leading this team, and [I'm] proud of him, everything he's accomplished. We all support him even though he's coaching for another team. It was just really good work between these two teams who – you know, they took care of us pretty good last year – and we knew it was going to be competitive, so it's been a good couple of days.
Q: There's been a lot of turnover and injury at wide receiver, leading to you throwing to Gunner Olszewski and Braxton Berrios today. Can you talk about those guys and the progress they've made?
TB: Yeah, I think those guys are working hard. I think training camp's an interesting time with a lot of bodies and there's a lot of guys in and out. Some years, you might have three guys set, or four guys set, and I think this year we haven't really had that. It's good work for the quarterback, just to make a read and then make a throw, and whether we come up with it or not, at least we're going to the right place and making a good, decisive play. So, there's still a lot to be gained with guys moving in and out, and that's just the way it's been here.
Q: Is it a situation you feel like needs to be settled before the start of the season?
TB: I don't think that's really in my control. I think for the guys that are out there, they're trying to get the work they need to do, and I think it was good, competitive work. You're going against Malcolm [Butler], Logan [Ryan], Adoreé [Jackson] – those are three really good corners. They've got two very good safeties, a good group of linebackers, a good scheme. Whoever's in there, try to get to work, so that's what we – it was a good couple days.
Q: You had a teaching moment with Braxton Berrios after he missed on a route. Did that help him make a couple plays after that?
TB: Yeah, I think that's the learning curve for a lot of players and being on the same page. Really, I think so much is him expecting the ball to be a certain place and me expecting him to be a certain place. I think the chemistry between a quarterback and receiver, a quarterback and a tight end, is so important because it's all anticipation. If you're waiting for things to happen in the NFL, you're too late. You've got to just anticipate and expect them to be a certain way, and that's the way they turn out. I have, obviously, a lot of experience, so I know where guys should be, so I'm trying to tell them, "If you want the ball, this is where you've got to be," which is hopefully good learning for those guys, and it's good teaching for me. I always say the quarterback can't do anything without the receivers, and the receiver can't do anything without the quarterback, which makes it a really great relationship. That's why we work hard at it, that's why you spend the time with those guys and you put all of the work in.
Q: What made Mike Vrabel a great player, and do you think those things will make him a great coach?
TB: Yeah, he's extremely competitive, really a hard-nosed, tough player. Competed at everything. When he played offense, he was an incredible player for us. Obviously, when he played defense, one of the best Patriots to ever play. He dropped into coverage, he rushed, he covered. I think he's built a team that's very similar. Very hard-hitting, hard-working, just a good, tough, hard-nosed team. I mean, you see it every day in practice with these guys. They've got a really good team, it's been a good couple of days.
Q: With all of the work and the short turn-around for preseason game three, does that reduce your desire to play in the preseason?
TB: I don't know. I just expect to play, and if he [Bill Belichick] says, "You're not playing," then I'm not playing. I think there's a lot of things that factor into his decisions, but I'm not involved in any of those, so I just show up and practice. That's been my role, that's been my job, so I'm trying to show up and do a good job.
Q: There was a trophy presentation before practice. How did that go over with Coach Vrabel?
TB: I don't think it's appropriate for me to speak about that private moment, but it was a nice gesture from me to him, and hopefully he appreciates it.
Q: Any desire to ever square off with him on the sidelines?
TB: As a coach? Oh, hell no. I'm never coaching. Playing's enough for me.