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O'Brien: Brady better than he thought

INDIANAPOLIS -- Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien and quarterback Tom Brady sometimes don't always see things the same way. Their sideline spat in Washington on Dec. 11 is one example of that.

Here's another: O'Brien thought Brady was too hard on himself after the AFC Championship game when he told a national television audience that he "sucked."

"I don't necessarily agree with Tom on that," O'Brien said Thursday. "I thought he made a lot of important plays in that game. There are always plays we all want back -- coaches, players -- but I thought he made some really important plays to help us win the game. And our defense played a great game."

As for what is ahead, and the challenge of beating the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, O'Brien relayed that their defensive scheme creates issues for his attack.

"I would say it’s more of a spin-the-dial [approach]; there is some man, some zone, some man-pressure, zone pressure, split-safety coverage, some post-safety zone coverage," he said. "It’s a spin-the-dial mentality and that’s really what’s been pretty effective against us in the past. It’s hard to lock in and say, ‘This is what they’re going to do.'"

O'Brien drew large media crowds over the last three days and offered plenty of insight on the team's offense each day. One nugget he passed along was related to the screen pass and how the Patriots didn't use it much this year.

"It’s probably something we could’ve used more," he conceded. "I think it’s been a staple of the Patriots offense for a lot of years. We changed things up a little bit. We went to the tight ends more. We did some different things. Probably, with hindsight being 20-20, we could’ve used it a little more."