Coming off a surprising 37-16 rout of the Jets Sunday night in which he threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns, Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning. With the victory, the Pats stand alone in first place in the AFC East and have swept the Jets.
"We've played them five times now in the last 14 months, basically, 14 1/2 months. So, we know them pretty much better than any team that we play," Brady said. "And it's been some very meaningful games. It's like, before you even get the scouting report last week, I'm like, 'OK, I know what we're doing.' This is the Jets, this is what they are, these are their strengths, these are the things that we can't play into. They're very good. They make you earn every yard, I'll tell you that. They don't give you anything.
"We found some ways to make some very good plays in the passing game and the run game. And we kept them off-balance with our tempo there in the second half. We got some defensive turnovers, which was huge for us. When Rob [Ninkovich] intercepted that pass and jogged into the end zone, that was icing on the cake. That was pretty sweet."
Asked if the Patriots -- who were on a rare two-game losing streak -- felt disrespected going into the game, Brady said the team tries to avoid the emotional swings.
"Everyone kind of rides the wave, both good and bad. And you have to," Brady said. "But I'd say this: The players in our locker room don't do that. And it happens every week in the NFL. You look up at the scoreboard during the game -- or for us, because we played on Sunday night, we saw a lot of those games. And it's like: 'God, how did they lose?' Or, 'Wow, they beat so-and-so.' One team one week looks great, and then they play another team. Other than the Packers this year and the 49ers, you really don't know what you're getting every week.
"It's only the ninth week of the year -- ninth game for us, 10th game for some others -- but there's still a lot of football left to be played. Every team is still going to make improvements. And some teams are just going to continue to ride out the season and they can start thinking about next year. We want to be one of those teams that really starts building and getting better every week. I thought last night was a good step in the second half of the year. But obviously, the week starts again today. We've got to move on to the next game and start getting prepared for a team that we haven't played in a few years [the Chiefs]."
Following are more interview highlights.
On setting the NFL record for most wins by a coach-quarterback combination with Bill Belichick: "Believe me, I appreciate every day showing up to work and having him as our head coach. There’s no coach I’d ever want to play for. He gets us prepared every week. As a player, when you go in and you show up and he says these are the things we need to do and and just do your job. There’s so many things I learned from him over the years about mental toughness. And his ability to stay really even-keeled through the wins and the losses. I remember the year that we went undefeated, you would never have thought we were undefeated. You would have thought we were 0-16 the way that he coached us.
"The last two weeks have been rough, but you know what? He never lost faith in us or confidence in what we’re doing. He just said, “Look, we’ve just got to do better.” He doesn’t ride those highs and lows. He comes in every week with a goal in mind. I think all the guys who played for him really appreciate that, appreciate his consistency, and appreciate the way that he listens to the team as well. Ultimately, he’s the one that makes the decisions, but at the same time, he takes a lot of input from a lot of people, too. Everyone feels like they’re a part of it. It’s very special for it to be like that."
On the offensive line: "We had great protection. We've had great protection all year. The strength of our offense is our offensive line. The way those guys battle, with [Matt] Light and Logan [Mankins], and Danny Connolly stepped in for [Dan Koppen] when he got hurt, and Brian Waters has played phenomenal, and Sea-Bass [Sebastian Vollmer] and Nate Solder. Those guys, they put a lot in every week.
"And their coach, they've got a great coach, Dante Scarnecchia, that works those guys every day. They work their tail off. And it really shows up every week, because we rely on those guys for so many things. And the communication between myself and them on a down-by-down basis, and their ability to perform with the entire gamut of the playbook, whether it's run, play-action, screens, draws, traps, flip screens -- we really ask those guys to do everything. They've done a great job all year."
On lineman Brian Waters: "I think the way that Brian has stepped in to that role, he's just a true professional. You see why the guy's been around for -- I think this is his 12th year or 11th year -- and played really at a high level. He studies his playbook constantly and goes over his blocking sheets. Every time you see him in from of his locker or in the cafeteria, he's studying, he's preparing. You want to try to show the young guys, "Look guys, just look at him. Look what he's doing." Some guys get it and some guys don't.
"Brian's a great example for all the young players of what it takes to be a professional. He was undrafted out of a very small college, North Texas, and has really made the most of every opportunity that he's every gotten. But it's because he's been prepared for it. It's really a credit to him."
On trying to keep track of all the new players the Patriots bring in: "It happens every year. I remember last year toward the end of the season we had some injuries and we were bringing some guys in. I saw a guy get a sack. It was Eric Moore. I looked over and I was like, 'Who’s that?' It happens, because on defense, too, you’re not paying attention to those guys. Because pretty much the only time I see those guys during the day is our 8 o’clock squad meeting and then at practice. If they sign a guy or someone’s hurt, I don’t pay attention to that. When there’s a new player that’s in there, you’ll see them at practice, but there’s no names on the backs of the jerseys at practice. You see them out there for the game, you hear their name called and you’re going, “Who the hell was that?” That’s just part of the NFL. Every team deals with injuries. We had a lot of guys that stepped in last night and filled some pretty important roles. That was good to see."
For a transcript of the conversation, check the It Is What It Is blog. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.
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