Tamba Hali was able to get to Tom Brady for a strip sack in the second half of Monday’s 41-14 loss to the Chiefs. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
FOXBORO — Is Tom Brady‘s game slipping?
Suddenly, after a 2-2 start, the quality of play from the Patriots quarterback is up for serious discussion and debate. On Wednesday, Brady was asked how he views himself in light of a start that has him completing less than 60 percent of his pass attempts after four games.
“I can definitely do a better job, so I think that’s what I’m trying to focus on,” Brady said. “We’re 2-2. It’s not really where we necessarily want to be, but it’s where we’re at. We’ve got a lot of football ahead. We’re going to try to do a lot better job; all of us are. I don’t think we should feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve always found a way to kind of grind our way through tough times.
“Losing on the road on a Monday night is always tough, but obviously we’re not doing good enough, so we’ve got to work harder. We’ve got to understand what we need to do better individually so it helps each other collectively. I’m going to try to do the best I can do.”
Brady was then asked straight up: There are a lot of people that are doubting you. Do you feel like you’re past your prime?
“I’m trying to do the best job I can do,” Brady said. “I’ll try to go out there and play better and play as best as I possibly can each week. Some weeks it looks better than others, some weeks it doesn’t, but you’ve got to believe in your process and what you’re doing. It’s served me well. I’m going to try to keep working hard on the things I’m not doing a good job of, and hopefully that helps our team score more points.”
With all the speculation about whether Brady is happy with his supporting cast, the quarterback was asked if he felt he has the protection and tools to succeed.
“We’ll see,” Brady said. “We’ll see here in a couple months where we’re at, but we’ve got a lot of football to play. We’re trying to find the things that we do well, and we’re trying to find the things that we don’t do well. Like I said, we’re 2-2. It’s not a great record. It could be worse, could be better. We could all probably play better. We probably could’ve played worse, too. We’ve just got to try to find ways to do a better job.”
Here are some other key takeaways from Brady on Wednesday in Foxboro:
Q: What don’t you feel you’re doing well?
TB: Well, we’re not scoring enough points.
Q: And you?
TB: Well, it’s not an individual sport. It’s a team sport. This isn’t like hitting home runs or playing golf and not making par. We’re all trying to do a better job. I think that’s the important thing is to understand the problems that we’re having, and you try to fix them. Like I said, I’ve been a part of a lot of teams that have found a way to grind through tough times and not really ride the emotions of one week or one loss or one win. It’s a long season, and we obviously didn’t play very well the other night, but we’re looking forward to getting out there again and trying to play better this week.
Q: On Monday, were you frustrated or deflated or angry? On the camera shots, you looked frustrated, but how did you feel when you walked off the field?
TB: Well, we didn’t score a lot of points, so we’ve got to obviously score more points. We all feel better around here when we win. It feels like months when we lose. The weeks are long, but that’s football. Like I said, you’ve got to have mental toughness in this game. It’s a very competitive sport. The other teams are all very good. It’s very highly competitive. There are no easy wins, certainly on the road on Monday night in tough atmospheres. If you don’t play well, it’s tough to win those games. We’ve got a great opportunity this week. It’s a good football team, they’re 3-0, and we’ve got to go out there and try to play our best.
Q: Do you guys think you have the intestinal fortitude to fight through what you’re dealing with right now?
TB: Well, we’ll see. I think that’s what we’re going to see. It’s been 36 hours since we lost the game. It’s a tough loss, but we’ve had tough losses before, and we’ve tried to find ways to rebound, and we’ve tried to find ways to correct our errors, and we’ve just got to go out there and try to play better than we’ve been playing.
Q: How hard is it to have to try to suppress your feelings after a tough loss and talk to the media when things aren’t going well?
TB: It’s all part of our job. You don’t win every game. We’ve dealt with them in the past. Like I said, it’s important not to ride the wave of emotion of, ‘Yeah, we’re really great,’ and, ‘Yeah, we’re terrible this week,’ and then we’re great the next week and we’re terrible the next week. It doesn’t serve any purpose other than to understand the things that you need to correct. Like I said, obviously we’re not doing a great job on offense for a number of reasons, and everybody is really individually looking at themselves and looking at what they can do better. I can’t do anybody’s job; they can’t do mine. We trust each other that we’re all going to try and work hard to be the best we can be, and hopefully that goes out and leads to more wins and leads to more points and all that. Playing against a team like this that really challenges us ‘¦ They’ve got one of the best defenses in the league. Coach [Belichick] said today that they’ve got six number one draft picks in the secondary alone, so we’ve got our work cut out for us this week. This is a team that gave us all we could handle last year, and it’s a great opportunity for us to go out on a Sunday night game and try to play a lot better than we played last week.
Q: I know you try not to ride the emotions week to week, but do you have a sense of urgency about this game?
TB: Every game is important, and they all count the same in the end, so I think there’s urgency every week to do our best. There’s urgency in the spring camps, there’s urgency in training camp to try to get things right because the clock is ticking, and every week that goes by is less opportunity for us to make the improvements. When we don’t have a game the way that we want to play it, you’ve got to work as hard as you can to get it right. Even when you do win, you’ve got to work as hard as you can to get it right the next week because that’s what it takes this time of year.
Q: Do you trust what’s around you and do you trust what you’re seeing? It seemed like you were rushing at times when there wasn’t a lot of pressure.
TB: I’m not sure what you’re saying.
Q: Do you trust what’s around you in terms of players?
TB: Yeah, absolutely, I trust all the guys in the locker room. Our guys on our team work really hard. We try to do things the right way. We try to work hard to earn each other’s trust, and that’s why we go out and practice. It’s not always perfect, and when it’s not, we communicate through it and we try to understand the things that we need to do better so that we can all help each other. We didn’t play well. We’ve got to move on; we’ve got to look forward. We’ve got to, like Coach [Belichick] always says, ignore the noise and just stay focused on what we need to do, stay focused on what our process is to try to make the improvement and not be so high and so low and so high for our parents and for our friends and for the fans. We’ve got an important job to do this week and the clock is ticking.
Q: Are your teammates seeing what you’re seeing?
TB: I don’t know. They could probably answer that, I’m sure, if you wanted to ask them.
Q: But you would know if they’re seeing what you’re seeing. You’re having conversations with them about it.
TB: It’s probably on a play-by-play basis. Sometimes we all see it the same way, sometimes we don’t see it the same way, and probably when we see it the same way it’s a more productive play than when we don’t see it the same way. Like I said, we’re still trying to correct a lot of mistakes. We’re trying to improve in all areas ‘ red area, third down, running game, pass game, throwing the ball, catching the ball, protecting, running with it. There are a lot of areas that we’re trying to make improvements on. The only thing I can focus on is what I need to do better, and I’m going to go out there and try to do it this week.