Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, during his weekly Monday morning appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show, lamented the loss of tight end Rob Gronkowski (broken forearm) but said the team will be ready to move forward without him.
"He's such a great player. It sucks that he gets hurt," Brady said. "But it's part of this game. He's got to do his best to get back as soon as possible. And we've got to go out there and win some games without him."
Brady said he's confident the team has players on the roster who can step in for Gronkowski and make sure the Patriots don't suffer too much of a letdown.
"He does a lot for us," Brady said "But there's a reason why you have other guys on the roster, too. Visanthe [Shiancoe] and Daniel Fells and Aaron Hernandez and [Michael Hoomanawanui], everyone's got to get in there and start making up for having Gronk out. That's just part of it. You've got to find ways to adjust. No one really cares, no one cares what's going on with us. We've got to still go out there and win."
Added Brady: "That's part of the football season. The Jets lose [Darrelle] Revis for the season, they lose Santonio Holmes for the season. They've got injuries. Every team has injuries. We've been dealing with them all season. We've still got to go out there and be able to do our job and execute."
The Gronkowski injury limited the enthusiasm after what was an impressive 59-24 victory over the Colts. Brady completed 24-of-35 passes for 331 yards and three touchdowns, and the Patriots also scored on defense and special teams in the rout.
"This is what team football is all about. You play to the strengths of your players," Brady said. "We got contributions on special teams, obviously on defense. We had three returns for touchdowns. I don't remember the last time we've ever had that -- if ever. That's the reason why we have 59 points at the end of the day."
The Patriots have no time off as they start to get ready for Thursday night's game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium, but Brady said the team can handle it.
"Part of it's mental toughness. And I think we have a very mentally tough team," Brady said. "I don't think playing on this short a rest is -- any of the guys are going to be bitching about our schedule or anything like that. It makes for a pretty sweet [Thanksgiving] if we can end up going down and playing the Jets certainly much better than we played them the last time."
A win over the Jets would essentially end New York's chances of winning the AFC East.
"Our goal is to go out there and really try to put them behind us. That's the goal," Brady said. "We played them once. This would be a huge game to beat them twice. We'd have a lot of tiebreaker advantages over them if we beat them. That was a big win for them yesterday. I know people say what they're going through down there. Look, It's not easy to go on the road in the NFL and win, but they did, under some pretty adverse situations. So, I have a lot of respect for that team and the way they play.
"They play hard. It's always a challenging game vs. them. It was the last time we played them. It took whatever -- 70 minutes to beat them last time. They're going to give us everything they've got. They're going to be ready to go, too. They always give us their best shot, so that's what we're expecting."
As for what he'll eat on Thanksgiving Day before the game, Brady joked: "I'm not sure what I'm going to have. I'm always worried about them poisoning our food down there. I'll probably bring some of my own."
Following are more highlights from the conversation.
On if Julian Edelman could fill in for Wes Welker in the slot because of their similarities: "I think Julian plays to some different strengths. I don't think that they're a similar player. I think they're different players with different skill sets. They're both very good in their own right. Wes is one of the best players to ever play that position, if not the best player to ever play that position, which I think he is. Julian plays a different role for us. That's why you can have them out there at the same time doing different things, both very effectively. … Julian, when he gets his opportunity, like yesterday, he's really taken advantage of it. Part of it is consistency and trying to continue to improve, and that's for all of us, especially this time of year."
On sitting for 32 (real-time) minutes in the first half when the Patriots scored consecutive touchdowns on an interception return and a punt return: "As much as I don't enjoy that, I enjoyed it, watching our guys go out there and score points for our team. At the same time, it's nice to break a sweat. It starts to get into the mid-30s or the high-30s, but then you go out there and you don't play for 30 minutes, you feel like, Oh, God, you've got to be warmed up again. That's part of football, and we've got to adjust, and we did."
On being replaced by Ryan Mallet for the game's final series: "I love playing, I love seeing Ryan get an opportunity, though, because he works his butt off in practice. He keeps getting better, and he loves to be out there playing, he's competitive. I like seeing him out there and leading the team, and seeing his composure and his poise. I really think Ryan is super-talented. I look forward to seeing him out there sometime. I like seeing him when we're up 59 to whatever it was. That was pretty sweet."
On if he has every played on a team that scored 60 points: "No. Basketball, maybe. Not football."
On Colts kicker (and former Patriot) Adam Vinatieri getting booed by fans at Gillette Stadium: "That's part of being a fan is you have the liberty to boo or cheer or do whatever you want. I'm sure when he has his Hall of Fame induction here, there will be a lot of cheers for him. He has been a great player for our team, certainly still a great player for the Colts. He helped us win three Super Bowl championships. He's one of the best kickers if not the best kicker to every play the game. For him to do it as long as he's done, as consistent as he's done it, is very impressive."
Patriots safety Duron Harmon joined the show on Monday to discuss their win over Pittsburgh in the AFCCG. Harmon was asked about his tackle on Jesse James on the half yard line, and he revealed to the guys he wasn't thinking much about it, but that the defense has wanted the chance to make a goal line stand since they did it against Cincinnati earlier in the season.
Patriots running back Dion Lewis joined the show to discuss how it feels to be headed to the Super Bowl for the first time in his career, his recovery from a serious injury in 2015, and how LeGarrette Blount fired up the sidelines by carrying half the Steelers on his back.
Glenn Ordway and Fred Smerlas talk with Cornerback Malcolm Butler in the lockerroom after the Patriots handily beat the Pittsburgh to advance to Super Bowl 51.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about Isaiah Thomas' flagrant foul against the Heat, and also discuss why it's time for the Celtics to address their biggest need.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the "Dale and Holley Show" discuss the latest news on the injury that has kept Isaiah Thomas off the court and how valuable it is for Marcus Smart to stay in control.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of 'The Dale and Holley Show' talk about last night's disappointing finish against the Rockets and they talk about their love for DeMarcus Cousins.
Rob Bradford is joined by Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello to discuss life from the moment when he learned he was the American League Cy Young Award winner until the days just before spring training. Porcello explains how things have changed for him over the past few months, while offering his thoughts on Kate Upton's controversial tweets following the Cy Young announcement, and the actual voting process.
Mut, Rob, and John are talking about some of the Hall of Fame candidates who gained or lost support within the last year. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds both gained support, while Curt Schilling lost a chunk of votes he had gotten last year.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are in after it was announced that Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. They also talk about some notable candidates who weren't elected this year like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
Guys discuss if or when the Bruins will fire Coach Julian
Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.
Ken, Rear and Ty talk all things Bruins as they come off a 4-0 shutout win in Florida and head to Carolina later today. Did that victory save Claude's job? The boys get into Don Sweeney's recent comments on Claude's job and what the future holds for the black and gold.
Hour 4. Kirk and Gerry discuss how players from bad teams can come to New England and win.
Hour 2. Albert challenges Kirk and Gerry. Headlines with Kirk covers the Women's March.
Tim Hasselbeck joins the show.
The guys open the show discussing the Patriots 36-17 win over Steelers in the AFCCG, and if that win helped answer some questions the critics had all year about the Patriots defense.
Last week, there was a lot of talk about Aaron Rodgers and his other-worldly performances down the stretch and into the playoffs. On Sunday, he was blown out by the Falcons, and sent home packing. The guys discuss the rise and fall of Aaron Rodgers' season, and also get into the Falcons offense, and how the Patriots defense might stack up.
Chris Hogan, Dion Lewis, Kyle Van Noy, and Trey Flowers are just a few of the reasons why Bill Belichick should be credited more as a great GM, in addition to his accolades as a great head coach.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick breaks down the win over the Steelers and looks ahead to the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl, who Bill admits is a team they are not yet very familiar with.
Dale, Holley and Keefe check in with Special Teams Captain Matthew Slater after the Patriots advance to Super Bowl 51.
Dale, Holley and Keefe check in with former Patriot Heath Evans, now with the NFL Network, for his complete analysis of the AFC Championship win.
Kirk Minihane brings Chad Finn back to the show to talk about the Charlotte Wilder story about the relationship between the Pats and Trump. Chad defends Charlotte for some of the story and her previous articles, Kirk still has problems with what he thinks is lazy reporting. Kirk and Chad also talk about whether a third sports station in Boston would be viable and if Curt Schilling will ever make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Kirk Minihane has a loud and very confrontational argument with media personality John Ziegler about the guilt or innocence of Jerry Sandusky. Kirk believes him to be guilty, John believes beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sandusky is innocent. Yes, it may be an old case, but you all remember it and this episode may change your mind about some of the things you previously thought with regards to Penn State, Jerry Sandusky, and Joe Paterno.
Kirk Minihane wants to sit down with both sports editors at the major newspapers in Boston. Only Boston Herald sports editor Sean Leahy took Kirk up on the invitation to join the show. What you will hear is a great conversation between two people who are very interested in the newspaper business and how that business has changed over the years and what the future holds for newspapers. Kirk and Sean talk about the ongoing and longstanding rivalry between the Herald and Globe.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap a Patriots Monday after a Patriots AFC Title game win and a Tom Brady appearance with Kirk & Gerry.
Uncle Buck, George from S**t Pats Fans Say, and Jerry Thornton talk about the Patriots history in the AFC Championship game, the big wins, the bad losses, and what it will take for the Pats to win another AFC Championship game.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis wrap up the K&C week after a Friday show with Kirk, Mut and Ben Volin in studio.
Tom Brady joins the show the morning after winning the AFC championship for the seventh time. Brady talks about the upcoming Super Bowl and his call to President Donald Trump.More from this show
Hour 1. The Patriots are going to the Super Bowl, which means Kirk and Gerry are going to Houston. Tom Brady joins the show.More from this show
Hour 2. Albert challenges Kirk and Gerry. Headlines with Kirk covers the Women's March.More from this show