The morning after he guided the Patriots to a 31-21 victory over the Broncos on Sunday, Tom Brady joined Dennis & Callahan for his weekly Patriots Monday discussion. Brady completed 23-of-31 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown, but much of the talk was about the team's running game, as the Pats rushed for 251 yards, helping them record a franchise single-game record 35 first downs.
"We're doing such a great job gaining yards in the run game, and our efficiency there when we hand it off in terms of yards per attempt and so forth, and I think it's putting a lot of pressure on the defense," Brady said. "I think we've just got to be able to continue to do it. It's all about consistency and really being able to do it when it counts. We made some huge runs at the end of the game to really run the clock out.
"Brandon [Bolden] did a good job in there, Stevan [Ridley] ran hard all day, Shane [Vereen] had a critical pass interference call against him, and [Danny Woodhead] made a couple of huge plays on third down. It's great to get contributions from everybody, I'll tell you that."
The Pats ran their hurry-up offense almost half the game and kept the Denver defense from getting in a comfort zone.
"We were moving pretty quick," Brady said. "I think we were trying to just keep the pressure on them, and to try to get them to line up and make their call. I thought we did a good job of that. Once again, it's trying to keep them off-balance, trying to keep our tempo really high so that it forces them to get lined up as quickly as they can in the right spots. We got a 12 men on the field at one point, there were some creases in the run game because of snapping the ball pretty quickly. It was good. It was a good day."
Asked if he'll be able to run the hurry-up offense as frequently on the road next Sunday against the Seahawks, Brady said it's a situation that might call for some tweaks.
"The communication is different on the road," Brady said. "There's a little bit more of a challenge, especially in a place like Seattle, where -- I've never played there, but I've heard it's pretty loud. But we've played in plenty of loud environments. We played in Baltimore and ran a lot of no-huddle. We played in Buffalo last week and ran a lot of no-huddle. It's not something that we can't do. We just try to figure out what we think is going to work the best, and that's what we try to do. We're never really locked in to one particular mode. It's just more of a matter of how we feel we need to attack them."
Following are more highlights from the conversation.
On what he's looking at when he's approaches the line before snapping the ball: "I kind of look at everything. You look at how deep the safeties are, where the corners are playing, the leverage of the corners, obviously how they're defending the slot receiver, where the linebackers are, are they balanced up to the formation, do we have any advantageous looks to run the ball. It's hard to say. It's like saying when you're driving down the street, what are you looking at? Well, I'm looking in my front, I'm looking on the side mirrors, I'm looking a the radio, I'm looking in the rear view."
On the fourth-and-5 the Patriots attempted late in Sunday's game: "We thought we had a good opportunity. We just didn't execute very well. … I liked the play we had on. I thought they just did a good job covering it. We talk about that situation, needing to convert in that situation. That was one of the ones that really kind of let us down yesterday."
On Wes Welker and the possibility that this is his last season in New England: "It really is a credit to Wes. He doesn't talk about any of that or mention any of that. He's been so focused on this season, and I never know what the future holds. This is a crazy game. I think we appreciate what we have now, because the truth is we don't know if we there is a next year. The only thing that's important to us is this year, because it's the only thing we can really make a difference on. I know we all have goals. I certainly do, and I know Wes does. And we'd all love to be here for as long as possible. It's just not always the way things work out. But we're here this year, and what we can do about it this year is to go out and give everything we can, because that's what the fans deserve, that's what everyone deserves, is for us to give our best."
On his relationship with Peyton Manning and if they call each other to talk: "We have no problems doing it if we want to. He's got a busy life, I've got a busy life. He's got his thing going, I do, too. But when we see each other, we definitely enjoy being around one another. I have a lot of respect for him. He does things the right way. He's a hell of a quarterback. He played a great game yesterday. That's only his fifth game with a new team. You can expect them to improve as well. They're going to be someone to deal with all season throughout the AFC. They're tough. They've got a very good team, and certainly Peyton playing at the level he does, they're going to be in every game they play."