With the Patriots preparing to meet the Texans on Sunday in the AFC playoffs, quarterback Tom Brady joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning for his weekly interview and talked about his team's matchup as well as other news from around the league.
Brady said he watched all four playoff games over the weekend. Following the Seahawks' victory over Washington on Sunday, Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman -- who trash-talked Brady following their game in October -- received a smack in the face from Washington offensive lineman Trent Williams.
"I couldn't do that," Brady said. "Trent Williams is a lot bigger than I am, probably a lot more intimidating."
Brady avoided criticizing Sherman, but he said it's his preference to be classy after games.
"Everyone reacts differently," he said. "I have my own style. I just try to be respectful to the opponents, because I have a lot of respect for the opponents. It's not a bunch of B.S. Guys that are playing in the NFL are pretty good players. I just give them the respect they deserve. I've played a lot of really great players in my career -- the best cornerbacks, the best linebackers, the best defensive linemen. When you play against Dwight Freeney and Jason Taylor, and you play against those guys and you realize you're going to have to play them again, you'd better say as many nice things as you can, which is kind of what I like to do."
The Patriots manhandled the Texans in their regular-season meeting -- a 42-14 victory on Dec. 10 -- but Brady said he's not putting too much weight into that outcome.
"I don't think that game is going to have any bearing on what happens next week," Brady said. "It was a big win for our season, it was a big win at that time. But this game is going to be entirely different, and I think we've got to be able to put just as much preparation into the game as we did before. … We know these guys. I think that's the part that I enjoy, is that I've already spent a lot of time preparing for them. So, to have another week to do it, you feel like you're going to know them that much better. Now, we've still got to go out and execute against it. They have some great players on defense. That was a very good game they played the other day."
Added Brady: "They've got a very good defense. J.J. Watt's as good as there is in the NFL. They present their own challenges. I know they didn't feel like they played their best against us, which they didn't. And in a lot of ways I feel like we can play better, too. We're going to need to play better. This is going to need to be our best game."
Brady said the Patriots won't avoid talking about the last meeting, but they'll look at their mistakes from that game and try to fix them.
"We're going to go in and coach is going to talk about all the things that we need to do," Brady said. "He's going to show us the last game and say, 'These are the things we did well,' and 'These are the things we didn't do well.' … We've just got to make sure that we're doing all the things we need to do to help us go out and win the game. It usually starts with turnovers. That's where it usually starts."
Two years ago, the Patriots routed the Jets in the regular season but then were upset in the playoffs by Rex Ryan's crew.
"We haven't talked about that at all," Brady said. "I'm sure coach will talk about that this week, though. I think that's a great example. The reason we lost that game wasn't because we beat them, whatever, four weeks before. It was because we sucked in the game. We just didn't play the way we're capable. I think the important part is to play up to our level of expectation. And that's from myself, to the receivers, to the tight ends, to the running backs, to the offensive line, to go out and play the way that we're capable of playing. We have a lot of confidence when we do that."
In practices leading up to the last Patriots-Texans meeting, Bill Belichick had the team hold up tennis rackets at the defensive line to simulate what Brady would be seeing from Watt, Houston's 6-foot-5 defensive end.
"They might be taller this time," Brady said. "He might get five or six of them out there. Last time he had four, and they just tried to mirror where I was looking. It's actually very helpful. I'm always excited to see what coach Belichick is going to pull out of his hat."
Following are more highlights from the conversation.
On if the playoffs are more fun for him: "There's a level of intensity that you have that really you can't simulate. Maybe a Monday night game against a big opponent with a lot on the line, or a Sunday night game where you're kind of the only team out there. But the playoffs is just different. There's repercussions to losing games, and that's the difference. There are in the regular season, but not like this. One play can send your team home. I think that's the difference. … This is what we play for. This is what it's all about. This is why you work hard. This is what mental toughness is all about. This is what it's all about. It's more fun when you're challenged more and there's more at stake."
On tight end Rob Gronkowski: "He's working hard. Nobody wants to be out there more than him on a full-time basis. He's never really missed any games for us, so it's been really hard for him to sit on the sideline. He wants to get out there. … He's working hard to do his rehab and get back out there and be as full speed as he can possibly be. That's what we're all hoping. Whether that's the case, who knows?"
On Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who announced he will retire after the season: "I said last week, I've had the privilege to play against him, and that really is a privilege. You talk about guys that do things the right way and play the right way and play the game how it should be played and have respect for your opponents and the preparation. We've had some battles. It's amazing for one player like that, for as long as he's been at Baltimore they've had if not the best, one of the top three best defenses in the league, year in and year out, player after player, coordinator after coordinator. They're doing it again this year."
On if Drew Bledsoe would have beaten him in a footrace, as Bledsoe claimed last week: "He probably could. He could. Once he got going, he was pretty fast. He was big and strong, and once he got moving in one direction -- I've seen him run, and he could run a little bit."
On if he could outrun Peyton Manning: "I would take my chances on beating Peyton. I think it would be an hour-long special if the two of us were in a 40-yard dash. You'd have to tune in the whole time."
On Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, who led Texas A&M to a 41-13 rout of Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl on Friday night: "He's a one-man show. That was amazing to watch him play. It's going to be fun to watch him for many, many years to come. … When you can have that athletic ability and the way that he can find open receivers, it's incredible how he's able to move and make good decisions. That's always the most challenging thing."
Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick joins Dale and Steve DeOssie to talk about cutting the roster down to 53 players. Jimmy Garoppolo is set to start and play most, if not all of the preseason contest against the Giants. Bill also expressed his thoughts about the kicking game and how some of the new rules have affected the importance of it.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the news that Jimmy Garoppolo will get the start Thursday and play most of the game. They talk about what it might mean for Ryan Mallett.
Julian Edelman joins Christian and Danny Picard to talk about his approach going into the season, his performance this preseason, as well as the VMAs, and preventing cramps using mustard.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Kevin Millar checks in to talk about the Castillo signing, Giancarlo Stanton, and the MLB's pace of play.
The Sox outfielder joined Dave and Lou after the comeback win, in which he had three hits and knocked in the tying run.
On today's Bradfo Show we talk to Dr Ken Polivy, Spine Surgeon at the Newton Wellesley Orthopedic Associates, about Shane Victorino's recent back surgery.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
Rick Stroud of the Tampa Times discussed the Logan Mankins deal.
Chris Nowinski discussed the future of Wes Welker.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Buck.
After Will Middlebrooks struck out against a position player, Steve Tolleson, last night against Toronto, he seemed to be laughing as he left the batter's box. Lou critiqued Middlebrooks on Twitter, which caused Will's fiance Jenny Dell to tweet (indirectly) in defense of her man.
With the sudden and unexpected trade of Logan Mankins to Tampa, many are chalking this up to Bill Belichick getting rid of players immediately after their prime. MFB wonders if Tom Brady is immune to this strategy. How will he be treated towards the end?
With Logan Mankins shipped off to Tampa, and sophmore TE Tim Wright on his way to Foxboro, MFB discuss the possible leadership void and depth issues on the offensive line. Also, how does this trade compare to Belichick's release of Lawyer Milloy in 2003.
Dale, Field Yates, and Andy Hart give a brief preview of the AFC East.
Taylor Twellman, who had to end his career early due to concussions, discusses Wes Welker's most recent concussion.
Dale, Andy Hart, and Field Yates react to the Logan Mankins trade.
Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.
Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
How can teams acquire players who are entering their primes without having to live through the potentially massive transition of prospects coming from the minors to the big leagues? The Red Sox have two such case studies. The signing of Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo represents one effort to acquire a player for his prime years for whom the transition to big league-caliber competition might not be turbulent. Red Sox assistant director of player personnel discusses the scouting process involved with landing Castillo. The episode also features Brock Holt, the one rookie who played at a consistently high level for the Red Sox this year. Holt explores some of the distinctions that might help to explain why he did not experience some of the struggles that characterized the seasons of Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr.
Rob Bradford is joined by Turtleboy of TurtleboySports.com to discuss which current major leaguers might be in line to become Hall of Famers. The duo dive into the difficulties facing the current crop of big leaguers when trying to reach Hall of Fame status.
Fantasy Football Drafts are now happening every day, so Pete Davidson and Jim Hackett have you covered. This Podcast focuses on the High Value Targets you can get in your drafts if you draft smartly. These players can slip to you and make a great impact on your roster as the season moves on. The draft is won in the middle to late rounds when the best upside players are taken. Jim and Pete give you in depth analysis on the High Value Targets to seek along with the Rookies that can make an impact this year. Jim and Pete will be back this Sunday morning too, on-air at WEEI FM 93.7 with even more. Prepare and enjoy!
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