After leading the Patriots to a last-minute, 20-16 victory over the Cowboys on Sunday, quarterback Tom Brady joined the Dennis & Callahan show for his weekly conversation as part of WEEI's Patriots Monday.
While the Patriots failed to score 30 points for the first time in 14 games, the defense kept it a close game and Brady was able to engineer another winning drive. Brady said it was a good example of the type of complementary football the team likes to see.
Said Brady: "Coach [Bill] Belichick has really been stressing that, that when the offense turns it over, not to allow points. And when the defense gets a turnover, for us to get the ball in the end zone. That is complementary football, and that's a team really working together, understanding the situation, and then going out there and capitalizing. Offensively, I don't think we necessarily did that this past game. We've got plenty of things we've got to work on. But to turn it over four times and still win, that hardly ever happens. I think we're pretty fortunate there."
The Patriots now have a bye week, giving them a chance to rest up before an Oct. 30 game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
"The bye week always comes at a good time, no matter what part of the season," Brady said. "All the guys need it to kind of get those little bumps and bruises healed up and be ready for the long push when we start against Pittsburgh in a few weeks. We're always trying to improve things. I don't think we come out of a game thinking we've got everything figured out. Especially a game like yesterday where we're all pretty proud of the way we pulled it out. It was a great team win. The defense really stepped it up when we needed them to, and I think offensively we did some things when we needed to as well.
"When you play a good football team like that, you've got to win those games. We had a chance, we had an opportunity to do it and we took advantage of it."
Following are more highlights from the interview.
On the game-winning drive: "At that point you've got a pretty good feel for what you're doing. You've got a pretty good feel for your matchups, the coverages you're seeing. Obviously, it wasn't our best offensive performance yesterday. But if the score is 44-41, you've still got to go down and score points. I think the situation was we had two minutes there and we had a chance to win the game. All of our offensive guys, as I said after the game, we work on that every week. Every single week we have two-minute drives in practice, against the defense, against our scout team. And we're expected to go out there and execute. I don't think there was a guy on that offense that didn't think we could go down and score points. Ultimately, once we got into position, we were going for the win.
"Every single guy on our offense really executed at a high level. That's really what it took. Because we didn't really didn't execute at a high level all day. And that's why I think we came out of the game with not scoring as many points as we would have hoped."
On the Cowboys' three-and-out possession that set up the Patriots' winning drive: "We practice that situation as well. We call it our four-minute offense, when you're ahead and you've got to try to run the clock out. I think the first down was a run, and then they got a penalty at one point, right? That always hurts you. Then on the third-and-long, the chances of picking up a third-and-long are probably 15-20 percent anyway.
"They're banking on the fact that we can't go down and score if they kick it to us. They made it tough on us. They made it tough on us all day. There weren't a lot of easy throws out there yesterday. They really made us earn it. And that's really the hallmark of that team, especially a Rob Ryan-coached team, who's a damn good coach, damn good coordinator. He was here and helped us win some Super Bowls, so we know how kind of he has those guys playing, and they played a great game on defense."
On Chad Ochocinco, who saw limited action Sunday: "Look, he's working hard at it. We're all working hard at it. I'd say there's definitely a lot of improvement that we've made and that we're going to continue to make. I have a lot of trust and confidence in him. I don't lack for that at all. He didn't get a lot of opportunities yesterday. I think that's the reality of that game. There were a lot of other guys that were in there. Aaron [Hernandez] was in there a lot, [Rob Gronkowski] was in there a lot, obviously, Wes [Welker] and Deion [Branch] have been out there. That was just primarily the way it turned out yesterday. How it turns out when we play Pittsburgh, I have no idea. It will probably be pretty different there, too. Every single person that's on the team is expected to contribute. Like I said, I have tons of confidence in Chad."
On the possibility of acquiring a wide receiver at this point of the season: "We got Deion [Branch] last year at the trade [deadline] and he came in and did pretty well. Whatever position -- kicker's probably the easiest. You don't have to do much. There's only one formation. A lot of guys switch teams at this time of year. It's just part of the process of the league. I think the players, we just have to do our job. That's what we need to do, and we all need to do a better job of that as we go forward."
On the most clutch player he's ever played with: "Oh, God, we've had so many guys over the years. The guys I played with on those championship teams were pretty clutch. David Patten, think of all the critical touchdowns he's had in his career. Troy Brown, Wes Welker, Randy [Moss]. Kevin Faulk, without a doubt. Kevin Faulk is probably the most clutch player I've ever played with. He is a remarkable player and he's made so many big plays in big games for us. We've had so many. The offensive line, Matt Light, he's a clutch player. He plays his best in the biggest games against the best opponents. He's as tough as they come also.
On Faulk's possible return: "I think so. He's on the team. I know he's on PUP. This is the week where guys can start coming off PUP. I don't know what coach Belichick's going to do this coming week. But it's nice that he'll be out there and ready to be a part of the team. I know he's itching, every time when I see him I keep saying there's a countdown for him. I'll love seeing him out there, his 33 jersey on the practice field. I hope that comes very soon."
For a transcript of the entire conversation, check the It Is What It Is blog. To hear the interview, check the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.
Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.
Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.
Ian Thomsen of NBA.com joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss to discuss the next moves for Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics with the NBA Draft Lottery rapidly approaching. They discussed the crazy ending to Game 2 of Thunder vs Spurs and picked the player they would build their pretend new franchise around.
Kevin O'Connor of CelticsBlog joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss for a breakdown of what went wrong in the Celtics series against the Hawks. they then played Celtics free agent tinder and looked ahead to the big moves in store for the offseason.
It wouldn't be a Celtics v Hawks Game 6 preview/Game 5 breakdown without ESPN's Celtics Whisperer Chris Forsberg joining Sam Packard and Jared Weiss for some WEEI Studio magic. They discuss the Hawks' transition dominance on their mega runs and the bizarre night for Isaiah Thomas. Of course they also answered your #WEEICeltics Tweet Bag questions!
Joe and Tim are in Chicago where the Red Sox are playing the White Sox and Commissioner Manfred stops by the booth for half an inning.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts after the Red Sox beat the White Sox behind a solid outing from Clay buchholz
Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox catcher, whose two-run homer off of Dellin Betances gave the Sox the lead for good over the Yankees.
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Butch is joined by two-thirds of the Sunday Skate show in DJ and Pete. The guys discuss the problems with Bruins including leadership and grit, who should stay and who should go and if Claude is to blame.
Despite talking about hating the crossover on Kirk's podcast, Lou came in to discuss his potty mouth. Kirk reveals that Tim Benz sent a Direct Message (on Twitter) about Lou's comments on the podcast.
Reports have come out that say Joe Paterno knew about Jerry Sandusky molesting boys as far back as 1976.
It's becoming clear that fans and media are ready to circle the wagons for David Ortiz if anyone else brings up PED's.
Johnny Manziel had his arraignment today, and a Texas Judge has ordered that he cannot contact his former Girlfriend; the guys react, and talk about the obscurity on which "Johnny Football" might be teetering.
Will there be a big trade? What should the C's do with their draft picks this year? Glenn, Lou, and Christian discuss Danny's options
Glenn and Christian delve deep into Lou "Gossiping" on Kirk Minihane's "Enough About Me" Podcast; accompanied by select audio clips
We discuss Sir Charles' latest comments from TNT about taking out one of the Cavaliers. This leads to a full discussion about Barkley, the softness of the Hawks, how this used to always happen in the NBA and much more.
Discussion of David Ortiz's clutch HR vs the White Sox leads us into a total discussion of David Ortiz's legacy in Boston, and whether or not he should actually retire.
Inspired by him asking the Hawks to 'take out' one of the Cavaliers, we focus on four other dumb things that Charles Barkley has said in the media.
Mikey and Lenny talk Clay Buchholz' struggles, and visit the Ghosts of Baseball past (Well, some of them are still alive...)
Mikey and Lenny talk Sox and Sandoval
It’s all about the music – the crew touches on Prince, and the greatest bands of all time
Mike Mutnansky handicaps the 142nd running of the the Kentucky Derby with Matt Bernier of the Daily Racing Form, award-winning author Dick Jerardi courtesy of Xpressbet.com and Daily Racing Form clocker Mike Vesce.
Ben, Russ & Alex talk about the UCL semi-finals, which have resulted in an Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid final. They also talk about the unbelievable story of Leicester City winning the English Premier League.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down the return of offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia and what it means to the future of the offensive line, new safeties coach Steve Belichick and his football relationship to his dad and recap the Patriots 2016 draft and what to expect from some of the higher profile selections in their upcoming rookie season.
We check in for the national perspective on Tom Brady's reinstated suspension from MMQB/SI's Peter KingMore from this show
Is the fire out? The passion Patriots fans once held for this topic seems to have fizzled. We explore what the Patriots do from here, especially the first four games of the season.More from this show
The guys look at what's next for Tom Brady.More from this show
In the latest edition of the It Is What It Is podcast, Chris Price talks with ESPN's Field Yates about the Patriots and what they'll do at quarterback in the wake of the latest Deflategate ruling. Chris and Field also discuss how New England is going to approach this year's draft, as well as how the Pats stack up against the rest of the AFC East at this point of the offseason.More from this show