New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said Monday morning that he hadn't yet watched game tape from Saturday's 34-10 exhibition loss to the Lions, but the mistakes he made had been eating at him since a lackluster performance in Detroit.
Brady, making his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan Show on Boston sports radio WEEI (850 AM), talked about the team's struggles Saturday, a desire to get back on the practice field, and the upcoming roster cuts.
"We got in pretty late [Sunday] morning with the hurricane, so I’m heading in [to Gillette Stadium] now and I'm going to watch the film," said Brady. "I’ve been thinking about it since the game was over, but we always do that. I think about all the things that I screwed up, that I need to do better. That’s why I’m anxious to get on the practice field and start to try to make improvements."
Here are some more highlights from Brady's call-in:
On Tedy Bruschi's ESPN Boston column saying the Patriots need to play better when Brady struggles: "I love Tedy, he’s a great friend, one of the greatest teammates we’ve ever had. Look, if the quarterback plays bad, it’s hard for any team to win. If the quarterback plays mediocre, of course you can win games, but there’s not many time a quarterback can throw 3 interceptions and you win game. The quarterback needs to play good. I certainly try to go out there and expect to perform at a very high level every single game and, when I don’t, it’s extremely frustrating to me. That’s why, for a day and a half, all I do is think about the game, whether it’s a preseason game or not, because, look, when you don’t play to the level you’re capable of, you rack your brain. Play after play, 'Why did I do that?' What am I doing? What do I have to do better?' There is an awareness created by it so you can go out and play better. I’m sure we’re all -- it’s not a regular-season loss, it doesn’t count in the standings -- but [Saturday's loss] identifies things we have to do better. And the game is certainly important, but we're glad that game didn’t count towards the regular-season standings."
On upcoming roster cutdowns: "There’s cutdown days, but you can be released at any point. It doesn’t necessarily lead to this day. It’s a tough time of the year, for guys that you played with, and it's tough on the coaches. At the same time, you build on excitement towards the regular season. In one way, it’s hard to see some guys go, but in other ways, you’re getting excited that you’re going play in meaningful games in a couple weeks."
On overconfidence after first two preseason games: "We really try to make a concerted effort not to do that. That’s probably one of the great characteristics of playing for a Bill Belichick-coached team. We don’t really listen to what anyone else says. We pretty much stick to what our coaches tell us. He wasn’t as overly enthusiastic about the Tampa game, he thought there was plenty of things we could have done better. And there will be plenty of things we could have done better this week. It’s all a part of our maturation as a team, all part of the learning process. Part of the training-camp process is how do we respond to things when they don’t go so well, how do we play on the road, how do we rebound from a tough loss? We got off to a pretty fast start last week, how do we respond when we don’t get off to a fast start? Those are all things that need to be conditioned into a team. We’re going out there and working hard in practice and wish it would show up perfect every time you take the field; Part of the high level of competition is that it doesn’t. In order to be at our best, in a couple weeks, we’ve got to play significantly better than we played last week, but also understand that, if we don’t get off to a fast start, [there are] things we need to do so we can respond and ultimately play well enough to win the game, which is the goal."
On protection problems vs. the Lions: "Look, if you’re an offensive lineman, you get beat; If you're a quarterback, you throw interceptions; If you're a receiver, you drop passes. That’s part of playing the position and part of being very good at that is overcoming [bad plays]. There are times in the game when you get beat or make a bad play, that's part of it. When the quarterback gets sacked, a lot of the time people blame the offensive line. Well, sometimes it’s the quarterback. Sometimes it's [the opponent] having tight coverage on the receiver. A lot of it is, as a team, collectively making sure we’re all on the same page, so that you don’t get sacked, you don’t throw interceptions, you don’t have plays that are negative... Those are all things we’re working on, things we need to do a better job of on a consistent basis."
On any miscommunication with Chad Ochocinco on an interception Saturday: "No, other than a terrible play by me. That was a bad play. I thought they were blitzing and I checked it. I was trying to fool them and they fooled me. They got me on that."
On Ochocinco's progress with Patriots: "He’s been a great player for a long time. I know just talking to him, he gets frustrated when things don’t go well for him, either. He’s racking his brain, thinking, 'Why do I feel that way? Why do I feel this way?' He and I, we’re always in communication. I have a lot of confidence in Chad as a competitor. In the short time I’ve been with him, he’s really fun to be around, he really loves playing the game. He’s going to be an exciting player this year, I have no doubts about that... He’s been frustrated because he doesn’t feel he’s been himself, because he’s still thinking a lot about what he needs to do, rather than react. We all do that, we’re all doing that at this time of the year. Coming off the long layoff from football [after the lockout], we’re all trying to probably over-think ourselves, instead of going out there and being instinctive and reacting. That’s one thing I’ve been thinking about a lot. I need to do a better job of going out there and letting my instincts take over, instead of sometimes you over-think things, then you play hesitant and that gets you into problems."
On if the Patriots can respond to Saturday's loss as they did last season after a discouraging loss to Cleveland: "Who knows at this point? You hate losing any time you take the field in competition. I’m sure there’s a lot to be learned, a lot to be understood by our entire team, things we have to do on a consistent basis so we can win games. We’re getting back to work [Monday], we had [Sunday] off, and I think everyone’s excited to go in there and see what the issues where, see positives we can take from the game, so we can move on and go out and player better this week."