Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning, following Sunday's 28-0 victory over the Dolphins that clinched the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs and a first-round bye.
"We've definitely made some improvements over the course of the year, which we always hope to do," Brady said. "We were at one point 2-3, not feeling very good about where we were at. To finish 12-4 is pretty good considering where we started. And the four games we lost were all real competitive games. If we can just keep getting better and continue to improve, we're as competitive as any team left. I think that gives us a lot of confidence here heading into the playoffs."
Added Brady: "We're in a decent position. We're playing hard, we're playing tough. We won some close games, we lost some close games. I just hope that still our best football's ahead of us. I really do. We've been waiting for our guys to get healthy. Hopefully we can be as healthy as we can be here in two weeks. I'd love to see what that looks like, when we can finally get everyone out there at one time and put our best out on the field for 60 minutes."
The Texans' loss to the Colts in an early game opened the door for the Patriots to grab the No. 2 seed, but Brady said even if that had not happened, the Pats were prepared to play a more complete game than last Sunday's unimpressive 23-16 victory over the Jaguars.
"I think most of the guys knew [the Texans lost]," Brady said. "I think some guys were following it a little bit as the game went on. But coach [Bill] Belichick made a great point to all of us. He said, 'Look, there's nobody that can help our position other than us. Why don't we focus our attention on going out and winning the game, and whatever happens, happens.' Had the Colts not won yesterday and Houston won, I think we'd have approached the game the same way and tried to go out there and execute really well. I think that's what's most important. I think that was the gratifying part, that guys were really mentally into it. It was a cold night, it was a windy night, but the guys really hung in there."
Tight end Rob Gronkowski made his return Sunday after missing five games with a broken left forearm.
"He's one of the best in the game right now," Brady said. "When he's out there it makes a big difference. He had two pretty important catches yesterday. Those explosive plays in the passing game and his ability to stretch the defense down the field is very important.
"Aaron [Hernandez] did a great job yesterday. He's obviously feeling a lot better from the bumps and bruises that he's accumulated over the course of the year. And Daniel Fells and Hooman [Michael Hoomanawanui] have really stepped in and played a very critical role in us doing some things yesterday also. It was great to have everybody contribute."
Added Brady about Gronkowski: "He's always just a mismatch. He's got really great speed. He tracks the ball really well in the area. He's got a great hands. And he's very tough. He's very quick out of his breaks. He does everything well. When he's out there, it's just a tough mismatch for the defense. He's got a really unique skill set. That's why he's been so productive since the day he got here. So, it was great to see."
We check in for our weekly update from Bill Belichick and get his take on the Pats win over the Texans on the road, the benching of Stevan Ridley, and Antonio Smith's thinly veiled Spygate comments after the Texans lost.
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Tom Brady joined the show fresh off the teams 9th win of the season in Houston. He dismissed Antonio Smith's spying allegations and told the guys he has already moved on.
Eagle checks in to give Grande and Max a perspective on the Brooklyn Nets after they acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett via trade earlier this summer. He breaks down what he thinks the future holds for the Nets after completing this blockbuster deal.
Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell take some time and look back at the history between the Celtics and the Lakers, specifically the legendary rivalry between Magic and Bird. Legendary broadcaster, Ian Eagle, checks in to give the Brooklyn perspective as KG and Paul Pierce settle into their new home. Sean and Max also reveal the behind the scenes details surrounding Max’s famous “I got the ball” moment.
In the first hour of this edition of the Celtics Summer Cooler, Grande and Max analyze the trade that sent Fab Melo out of Boston. Also in this hour, Max sets the story straight about his history with Larry Bird.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier talk with Jon Lester about contract negotiations, losing a teammate like Jacoby Ellsbury, the World Series run, and looking ahead to 2014.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier are back witht he Hot Stove Show. They talk about Jacoby Ellsbury signing with the New York Yankees, the Red Sox signings of AJ Pierzynski and Edward Mujica, and wrap it up with Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester, who talks about the World Series run, losing a teammate like Ellsbury and looking towards 2014.
The Red Sox new catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, joined the show to discuss his reputation as the most hated man in baseball. He also said that he turned down multi-year deals to come and win in Boston.
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Lucic joins Danny Picard to talk some hockey after the team’s overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Danny asks Lucic about David Krejci’s game winner yesterday and hockey outsiders that are trying to change the game.
Shawn Thornton joined the show fresh off his big night at MSG and talked about his recent goal scoring prowess. Shawn said that no matter who his line mates are he is always going to be a fourth liner.
Kirk Minihane answered any and all questions from the listeners and John and Gerry.
The New York Post's Joel Sherman joined the show with his thoughts on jacoby Ellsbury's signing with the Yankees. He said that if it were up to him he would have given the money to Robinson Cano over Ellsbury.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. They discussed how Ron Burgundy has officially jumped the shark and played sound of him on Dan Patrick.
Peter King joins Mut and Merloni to go across the NFL and address the latest news. He discusses Kubiak's firing, Tomlin's fine, and Dennard's possible suspension.
Brick makes his weekly appearance on Mut and Merloni and discusses the Bruins loss to Montreal and the hit on Johnny Boychuck.
Michael Fabiano, fantasy expert and Yankees fan, gives his opinion on the Cano signing, discusses Julian Edelman's rising fantasy value, and actually suggests starting Ryan Fitzpatrick
We check in with Herm Edwards on the Pats, Stevan Ridley, and a great many things around the NFL.
We stir up a pot of crap when we debate the world cup and the popularity of soccer... pro callers, con-callers, plus Jack Edwards!
We tackle four topics at 4PM.
Ryder talks with WEEI.com's Chris Price about the Patriots upcoming game with the Cleveland Browns, and Stevan Ridley's status on the team.
Alex joins the show and gives his thoughts on the Jacoby Ellsbury deal, and what prospects the Red Sox have to fill the hole left in the lineup, or trade pieces to get a player who can fill the void.
John talks to Rob and gets his thoughts on the Yankees signing Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox signing AJ Pierzynski, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia signing with Miami.
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Kirk Minihane answered any and all questions from the listeners and John and Gerry.More from this show