Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to talk about Sunday’s surprisingly close 16-9 victory over the lowly Raiders. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Although they won, the Patriots continued to struggle offensively, putting up just 16 points at home against an unimpressive Raiders team.
“It’s great that we won the game. Obviously, offensively we’re just not doing as good a job as we’re capable of doing. We left a lot of points out there yesterday and made it a close game there. We just have some issues we’re going to have to try to fix here, and we’re going to have to try to fix them fast, because it only gets tougher from here.
“We’ve got a smart team, we’ve got a tough team, we’re physical, we’ve just got to execute better. I think we’ve done a good job with not turning the ball over, which has helped. We talk about that every week. But too many penalties, too many missed opportunities to score, it’s just not what our expectations are. We’re going to go back to work and see if we can do better.”
Some people have pointed the finger at the offensive line, which is without longtime coach Dante Scarnecchia, who retired after last season.
“For us to think about a bunch of hypothetical situations, it doesn’t serve us well,” Brady said. “That’s really for you guys, all the listeners and the fans. All those things that make for great sports talk aren’t necessarily what are in the minds of our team. Whether Dante’s here or not here, whether a player’s here or not there, it doesn’t matter, because we’re faced with what we’re faced with.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in the offensive line, I’ve got a lot of confidence in coach [Dave DeGuglielmo] and what he’s doing. This goes back to us players, and us players doing a better job. I don’t think it has anything to do with the people who aren’t on the field. The people who affect the wins and losses in the game are the players, and we’ve got to go out there and throw the ball, catch the ball, run with the ball, block, tackle — all the things that it takes to win the game. I’m not going to sit here and say that it has anything to do with anything other than that, because that’s where I feel the responsibility always lies.”
Brandon LaFell, signed as a free agent in the offseason and expected to provide a much-needed boost to the receiving corps, made his first catch of the season Sunday.
“I don’t anybody’s really found their stride this year,” Brady said. “I don’t who you can point to on offense and say, wow, they’re really clicking.”
Brady, however, did acknowledge that Julian Edelman has had success.
“Yeah, he’s done a good job, so that’s one,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of other guys on offense. There’s 22 other guys on offense. So, I’m not going to sit here and say every single guy is clicking. We’ve had one individual player that’s caught some passes. Great. Does that make a good offense? I don’t think so.”
Danny Amendola also has yet to make a contribution this season, coming off a 2013 campaign when he underwhelmed after signing a big free agent contract.
“I think that there’s not one person on our team that has good individual statistics this year,” Brady said. “If we want to look at individual statistics for running back or receiver, tight end, quarterback — our offense hasn’t been producing, so no one’s going to have good statistics. That’s just the way it is. It’s not an individual problem. It’s a collective problem by our entire offense, the reason why we’re not producing more and producing better.
“We’ve all got to figure out how to do a better job of that. It’s not one person. It’s not not singling any person out to say, wow, if this person were out, or if this person were in, or — I mean, if we had 11 people on the field that were producing like Julian Edelman, we’d have a pretty good offense. We’ve got one guy.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.
On if the trade of Logan Mankins took away some of the toughness of this team: “He was [tough], but we’ve still got a lot of those guys, too. I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s just knowing our job, and everybody collectively doing their job better, so it’s better for all of us. It’s not one thing. … It’s not an easy thing to do. And that’s why the production is what it is. If it was easy, you’d just roll your helmet out there and score 30 points a game. Well, that’s not where it’s it. This team has different strengths than it has had in the past. That’s just based on the way your team is. Some years it’s offense, some years it’s defense, some years it’s special teams. Some years all of them have a little bit. … We’ve got a really great defense. Hopefully our offense, we can start doing more things so that we can become a more prolific offense, and then that will be a lot better for our team.”
On two passes to Rob Gronkowski that were off the mark: “Yeah, he was open [on the second-quarter crossing pattern]. He had some space. I just made a bad throw. The other one on the goal line was a pretty tight throw, pretty tight coverage. Charles [Woodson] got a finger on it. It just kind of disrupted the timing of the play. Yeah, I’ve got to hit the open guys. That’s what my role is. When I find someone that’s open, I’ve got to throw it and hit it.”
On the pick play on which LaFell has been penalized three times this season: “Brandon LaFell is 220 pounds, so when someone runs into him they usually take more of it than he does. We got called yesterday. Yeah, you’re trying to get in the way and make the guy … try to create some separation for your guy on offense. Every team in the league does it at some point. We’ve just been called. It sucks, because we got three really big completions and three big plays. But you’re right, there’s finesse to it. We’ve got to do a better job. All of us have to understand the concept and then try to play within the rules.”
On his block when Shane Vereen reversed direction and ran across the field: “I was trying to get out of the way. When he saw him coming back the other way, I was kind of [expletive]. … Shane’s a hell of a lot faster than I am, so I can’t sit there and coddle my way down the field. I just tried to find somebody and tried to get him down.”