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 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