QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY
Friday, November 29, 2019
Q: Is there any college football game that interests you in particular this weekend?
TB: Yeah, we got one. The Wolverines have got to get one. It’s going to be tough.
Q: Will you have a chance to watch that?
TB: We have meetings and we’re leaving for the airport around that time. I never really get to watch it. So, hopefully, yeah I’ll find it on the phone or something.
Q: Do you like their chances?
TB: Man, I’ve lost a lot of money over the years betting, saying yes. So, I’m hopeful. I know hope is not a strategy, but I’m hopeful.
Q: How important are these games after Thanksgiving?
TB: Yeah, this is an important time of year for every team and the teams that are fortunate enough to really still be in it. This is the time where you’ve pretty much seen what you can do and what the other teams can do and the roles guys play and so forth. So, we’ve got to – we’re playing some really good teams, and this is the one that matters the most is the one that we’ve got ahead of us. It’s a great football team, well-coached, very good on offense, very good on defense. They don’t beat themselves, they’re explosive. It’s just a great football team. So, big challenge for us, Sunday Night Football. I’m sure they’re going to give us everything they’ve got, and hopefully we can go match it.
Q: Are you feeling alright with this flu bug going around?
TB: I’m a pretty healthy guy. So, can’t avoid it all the time, but I try to for the most part. So, keep my immune system nice and strong if possible.
Q: As you see more pressure later in your career, does the idea of self-preservation become more of a priority, in terms of throwing the ball away or living to see another play?
TB: I think self-preservation for a football player – yeah, I wouldn’t be in the self-preservation business if I was trying to be a football player. So, you’re going to get hit and you’ve just got to understand that’s part of the game. So, when they blitz you, you realize you don’t have as much time to throw, so you’ve got to throw the ball a little quicker because the more they blitz, the more one-on-ones there are. So, if they blitz a guy, everyone’s one-on-one. Sometimes blitz-zones and so forth – sometimes they blitz and they overload you, and you’ve got to throw the ball really quick. So, taking hits is part of it. I think my whole objective is to stand in there and try to get the ball to someone who can do something with it – try to get it to a receiver, or a back, tight end with some space, so they can make some yards with it in their hands.
Q: I ask because your throw-aways are up this year. With the idea of you might give up this incompletion to gain more later in the game, would you throw the ball away to just move onto the next play versus taking a loss?
TB: I don’t think I’m throwing it away for that. I’m throwing it away because I don’t want to take a sack. So, I think part of it’s just you feel like you have an opportunity on the play, and if you don’t have that, then I think negative plays actually have a big impact on the game. Turnovers and negative plays I think really keep you from winning games. So, if you can drop-back pass, because I’m not really a scrambler –
Q: Not really?
TB: I mean, I have scrambled in the past. I wouldn’t say I never scramble, I’m just not really that much of a scrambler. But, if I’m going to hold it back there, then usually good things aren’t going to happen. So, I try to throw the ball away to save plays and live for the next down.
Q: How have social media and cell phones impacted interaction in the locker room over the last 10 years, and have they made it more difficult to build team chemistry in the locker room?
TB: I think it’s just a little different. I think – you know, you’re right – it’s probably been 10 years, if I think about it, since the iPhone came out, which everyone just started looking at their phones all day, but that’s not just a football thing. I think that’s a life thing, a family thing, and you’re just connected all the time to people and people want to see kind of what’s going on in their daily life. But, we still find ways to connect, and I think there’s a lot of times where we don’t have the phones. I would say for the most part of the day, nobody has it on them, so we’re communicating about football and obviously on the field. So, I mean if we have a break, you’ll go check it. See if anything’s urgent – hopefully nothing’s urgent – but, it’s just kind of guys can do whatever they want when they have three or four minutes of time.
Q: You’re on the injury report again with the elbow. Are you having to spend extra time dealing with that?
TB: I feel pretty good. I feel pretty good, yeah.
Q: You wouldn’t tell us otherwise?
TB: Why would I ever tell you guys anything? The opponents are listening. So, no, I actually feel really good. I mean that. I mean that.
Q: Speaking of opponents, what is your connection with Deshaun Watson?
TB: Yeah, I got to know him a little bit at the Greenbrier, and I’ve heard great things about him. Wes [Welker] was down there with him and really liked him, and obviously Billy [O’Brien]. I have a great relationship with Billy, and he really likes Deshaun a lot. So, watching him play in college, he’s spectacular, and he’s off to a great start in his pro career. So, really love watching him play. He’s a great leader for their team and he’s hard to stop. He’s got a great arm, escapes. They have a lot of playmakers, so it’s a very good offense.