Patriots quarterback Tom Brady told Dennis & Callahan in a revealing interview that aired Monday morning that he is grateful for the opportunity to compete in a fifth Super Bowl, and that he understands and appreciates the responsibility that comes with it.
Brady talked about how far he's come since he arrived in New England as an unheralded sixth-round draft pick out of Michigan in 2000.
"I think I realize how fortunate I am," he said "I don’t take those things for granted. I think because it’s my life, I don’t go, 'Wow, look at what I’ve accomplished.'
"I was sitting in front of my locker the other day talking to Deion [Branch], who’s my lockermate, and we’re like, 'Can you believe this?' I don’t think, as an athlete, you can ever imagine that. You hope for the best, you work hard for it, and if you get the opportunity, a lot of things need to come together to make it to this point. Look at the Packers, the Saints. It’s hard to get to this game. To do it five times, it’s crazy. You don’t take it for granted."
Looking back at the Super Bowl XLII loss to the Giants, Brady was asked if he went into the game convinced the heavily favored Patriots would win the game.
"Sure," he acknowledged. "I don’t think anyone thought we’d lose that game, not because we’d roll our helmets out on the field and we’re the Patriots and we’re going to win. We thought we’d go out there and play a great game. When we played them earlier that season, it came down, basically, to one third-down conversion. Kevin Faulk made, on a third-and-9, where I threw it he made a great catch and run, we ended up scoring on that drive and made an interception on the next play. It comes down to one third-down conversion.
"You look at the last game we played against these guys. We were 2-of-5 in the red area and they were 3-of-5. If we had one more third-down conversion that game, do we win the game? If they had one less, do they win the game? I think all those critical plays that you talk about, we have 60-70 offensive plays in this game. One or two plays made the difference, and one or two plays made the difference in the Super Bowl."
Looking at Sunday's game, Brady talked about the one element that might be most criticial to success.
"We’ve been in 18 games this year," he said. "Even the three losses have come down to the last drive of the game. Our loss to the Giants came down to the last drive of the game.
"When we work on the two-minute drill in practice, I think offensively or defensively, it’s going to come down to that. Whoever executes best in that last situation, I think it’s going to come down to that."
Reminded that the Giants have proven to be pretty good at last-minute, game-winning drives, Brady replied: "So are we. I hope we get the ball."
Following are more highlights from the interview:
On the downside to being as famous as he is: "I don’t think I look at things like that. I don’t think, 'Man, this sucks.' Like any human being, you have your moments. I’m probably more to myself now than I’ve ever been. I really don’t do anything these days. That part is a little bothersome for me.
"To be social is probably more challenging for me now than it’s ever been, because I’m never really in social environments. I’m in a locker room and I’m in my house. If people want to see me, like my parents, they come to my house. Probably six or seven years ago, the Friday night they’d come into town, 'Where do you guys want to go to dinner?' 'Oh, let’s go to Abe & Louie’s.' 'Great, let’s have a steak.' I don’t even do that now.
"I don’t have as much energy as I used to. I really feel like I need my energy for this team, and I need to be emotional. By the end of the week I’m kind of spent, and I need to regroup before the game because that’s how I play the game. Then, after the game, I’m exhausted. Like the AFC championship, we win the game and I have all of my best friends in town, and they’re like, 'Can we come over?' Nope, I’m putting my kid to bed and I’m going to sleep. I wish there was a part of me that felt like I could be a little more social and outgoing -- to go to a Celtics game, which I’d love to do, but to me, it ends up being a little more of an energy drain than something I can really enjoy."
On the recognition and attention he receives in public: "If people get the opportunity to come up to me and introduce themselves to me, I want them to walk away and feel, you know what? That was a nice experience. I think there’s times when I don’t have that energy to put on a face, like everything’s great. I sucked in [the AFC championship] game. I didn’t want to go out there and shake hands, 'Thanks.' I just wanted to go home and really be myself. I think the place where I can be myself is at home with my family and my friends. That’s probably where I’m most comfortable."
On if he ever loses his patience: "My stress, I try to do a better job managing my stress. At the end of the week, you really don’t want to ask me for a lot of favors on a Friday night. I feel like the last three weeks, I’ve really been a little bit worn down.
"You’ve got to find ways to regroup. If a guy cuts me off on the road, I don’t get pissed off. I probably drive slower on the road now than I ever used to. A lot of those things don’t really get me pissed off. It’s hard to get me pissed off."
On if he really thinks he "sucked" against the Ravens: "I think there were two plays I wished I had back -- the two interceptions. I thought we didn’t do a great job scoring, but the turnovers hurt you.
"There’s nothing that correlates more to winning than turnover ratio. I think coach Belichick said when you’re minus-two in turnovers, you have a 17 percent chance of winning in the playoffs. When you think about that, you pretty much escaped. Yeah, we won, but it’s not going to happen -- it’s 17 percent of the time, and I’m responsible for that. So, when you’re sitting on the sideline and watching Baltimore go down the field at the end of the game, you’re thinking, 'I blew this game for us because of those two plays.'
"Every fan, every player on this team, every fan of the Patriots, when you hold that football, you hold the hopes of every single person of winning the game with that ball. To turn it over or to play carelessly, that’s something that I’m pretty hard on myself about."
On if he still is surprised to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated: "Every time. Every time. I get the chills. … I used to tear those covers off and put them up on my wall. It’s a pretty unbelievable thing to see that and to think, man, there are kids who are tearing those out and putting them on their wall.
"I feel a big responsibility, as an athlete, to represent yourself in a certain way because you really are lucky. It doesn’t mean you have to go out of your way every single day to make people’s lives and experiences better. It just means you are blessed. When you have the opportunity to share certain things with some kids or some schools, it’s really a great thing to do because you can be a big influence."
On what Albert Haynesworth might be thinking now: "I’m not sure. I’d give anything to play in this game. It just didn’t work out for Albert. That’s all. I actually had a great relationship with Albert, and I was hoping he’d do great because that would be for the best for this team. It just didn’t work out. I feel good for Shaun Ellis, playing for the Jets for all those years, not going anywhere, then he comes to us for one year and he’s playing. I feel good for all these guys who have been around, and been on good teams, but now they’re on a team that’s in the Super Bowl."
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.
Christian joins the boys to discuss bye weeks and when the ideal time is to get one. The guys ask him about a permanent team in London and his opinion on if it would work. Then he gets into the Pats and if any team in the AFC East will step up.
Greg and Chris discuss the debacle that is the Miami Dolphins in the midst of getting beat pretty badly in London by the Jets a week removed from getting destroyed by the Bills. Where does Miami go from here?
Curran calls Greg and Chris to discuss the struggles of the Dolphins and Colts along with the state of Pats durng their bye. He gets into the defense and how they've performed, specifically the secondary and Devin McCourty.
Sam Packard is joined by his brother Nick, as he breaks down his favorite moments from Celtics Media Day. Sam then tries to compare each member of the Celtics roster to a character on The Wire, with varied results.
Sam Packard is joined by Jared Weiss of CLNSRadio.Com to talk about trading Bradley and the upcoming Celtics Media Day.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
We check in for a final time this season with Red Sox interim manager Torey Luvollo as look ahead to 2016 with him.
Joe and Rob Bradford talk with Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart who had his first career multi home run game as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 10-4 and extend their winning streak to a season high 5 games.
Joe and Dave talk with Jackie Bradley Jr. after he hit a 2 run home run and made two leaping catches as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 4-1 tonight.
DJ Bean joins Butch Stearns and Rob Bradford in studio with the pre-season ending to discuss the upcoming season's line combinations and the changes made in the offseason.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
Which producer lost weight? And which one gained weight?
All the latest stories brought to you by Kirk Minihane.
Bobby calls in from the streets to talk about gang life and gun control.
With the emergence of the young players for the Red Sox this season, they're starting to look like they can be competitive next season. The guys discuss this and talk more about whether Farrell should be the manager next season when he gets healthy.
Leaks have come out over the last few days that John Farrell will return to the Red Sox when he gets healthy, but is this the right decision? Glenn, Lou and Christian discuss whether or not his job should be safe.
It looked like Ben Roethlisberger was on his cell phone during last night's Thursday Night Football game against the Ravens. Should this be a big issue? Do Patriots fans have reason to be upset that the NFL isn't making this a big deal?
One of our favorite segments every week is when we get the chance to talk to the playmaker, Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin.
A player that was suspended for PED use is really the top candidate for baseball's comeback player of the year? How is that possible? We discuss it.
We wrap up the week with some of the best sound bites that you may have missed.
Chris Villani and John Tomase discuss Tom Brady's suspension getting overturned by Judge Richard Berman and discuss in hindsight how obvious this should have been.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss the Thursday federal court decision to overturn Tom Brady's DeflateGate punishment.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola discuss Jackie Bradley Jr, Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, and who should play where. Also, the current outfield in context with Sox history.
Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable take a look back at the 2015 season for the Boston Red Sox and their affiliates, including who the guys think should be classified as the team's Top 10 prospects. Also, a check in with play-by-play voices this year in Pawtucket, Portland, Salem, and Greenville as well as Ken's one-on-one interview with Offensive Player of the Year Sam Travis.
Jerry is joined by former sports reporter turned professional chef Jen Royle to discuss her upcoming fight for Haymakers For Hope.
We discuss the woes of Chelsea and Liverpool and the Revs rebounding to push into the playoffs. Plus the book on YoungBen is very flattering.
We check in for a final time this season with Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo and look ahead to 2016 with him.More from this show
Dino, Gerry and Kirk look at the talented father-son duo.More from this show
It looked like Ben Roethlisberger was on his cell phone during last night's Thursday Night Football game against the Ravens. Should this be a big issue? Do Patriots fans have reason to be upset that the NFL isn't making this a big deal?More from this show
Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss the Ben Roethlisberger sidelines phone story... is it a big deal? Are Patriots fans over-reacting? What would happen if this were the Patriots with a phone on the sidelines? Should we be the 'bigger men' and just move on? We discuss.More from this show