Patriots quarterback Tom Brady checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning to recap Sunday’s 41-28 victory over the Texans and preview next Sunday’s AFC championship matchup against the Ravens.
The Patriots overcame early injuries to Danny Woodhead and Rob Gronkowski and pulled away from the Texans.
“We’ve played a bunch of games now, we’ve never really been fully healthy yet — and obviously now won’t be — but you know what? We’ve still got a very good team,” Brady said. “When there’s different guys that step up and make those big-time plays — whether it’s Wes [Welker] or Brandon [Bolden] or Deion [Branch] or Shane [Vereen] or Rid [Stevan Ridley] or Woody; Aaron Hernandez had another big game — they’ve got to stop all of us. And I think that’s what we have to continue to do this week.”
Welker had eight catches for 131 yards, including an impressive 47-yard reception down the Patriots sideline in the opening half on which he brought in the ball with one hand before being knocked out of bounds.
Said Brady: “Wes did an unbelievable job getting his hands on that ball and making the play. … It’s not like Wes has triple-XL hands. Wes isn’t the biggest guy in the world, but he’s got the biggest heart. That makes up for a lot of the size difference, is his mental toughness, his physical toughness. There’s just nobody like the guy.
“We probably haven’t practiced that three times all year, throwing the ball down the field to Wes like that. When it matters the most, Wes comes up with it. Wes has his opportunities and he always take advantage.”
While the Patriots impressed a lot of people with their hurry-up offense, at least a couple of NFL players accused the team of bending the rules. One such player is Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who sent out a series of incendiary tweets during Sunday’s game.
“We’ve had a lot of people comment about our team and our players this year. I think the best thing that we do is we ignore the noise, we go out and we try to prepare,” Brady said. “Nothing really that anybody says or does is going to affect what’s going to happen next Sunday. I think it’s best for us just to focus on what we can do, and that’s prepare and work and do what we’ve done all season. People want to say things or write things, they have the liberty to do that, but it doesn’t really have any bearing on what we do.”
The Patriots had success in the hurry-up offense by taking advantage of well-timed plays and creative play-calling. Brady said that for the hurry-up to be successful, multiple factors have to be working in his team’s favor.
“I think they’re both important — I think the pace, the play and the execution, certainly,” Brady said. “Like I’ve said before, it does no good to go fast and not do your job. It starts with us executing well, being able to do our job effectively. I think as long as we can stay on the field and make a few first downs, then we’ve got a great tempo and momentum to the drive. And it’s hard to stop us at that point. We’ve just got to get into the drive, and once we’re into the drive we feel like we’re going to put points on the board.”
Added Brady: “Ultimately it comes down to our execution. It’s throwing, catching, running, blocking, playing penalty-free, not turning the ball over. I think I was most proud that it was a very clean game in terms of penalties and turnovers. That’s when we needed it the most. You can’t afford to give up those possessions, put yourself behind in these long-yardage situations against good teams, because they take advantage.”
The Broncos suffered an overtime loss Saturday, and Brady said he had some empathy for Peyton Manning.
“I know the feeling. It’s a pretty crappy feeling,” Brady said. “The part of the competition is one teams wins and one team loses. When you’re on the winning end, it’s the greatest feeling in the world. When you’re on the losing end, there’s absolutely nothing worse. I feel bad for all those guys that lose. But at the same time, the guys that won, they deserved to win. It’s a team game, it’s a team effort. Baltimore was the better team on Saturday.”
That sets up a rematch of last year’s AFC title game in Foxboro between the Patriots and Ravens.
“They’re playing their best football right now,” Brady said of the Ravens. “And the way their offense played — I did see a few of those Torrey Smith catches, and those were incredible. He had a great game against us [in Week 3], and he had a great game on Saturday. They’ve got a very good offense, very good defense, they’ve got some Pro Bowl special teams guys. They’ve got a great team and they’re very well-coached. That’s why they’re in the same position that they were last year.
“I feel the same way about us. We’ve got, I feel, the best coaching, we’ve got a lot of mentally tough players and physically tough players that are going to be facing our toughest challenge of the year. And I know we’ll be ready for it when the ball’s kicked off next week.”
Following are more highlights from the interview.
On his boyhood idol, Joe Montana, who he passed for most playoff victories by a quarterback: “There was a lot of Joe Montana and a lot of Steve Young [memorabilia in the Brady house]. Those were my two favorites. To grow up as a kid in the Bay Area with the 49ers winning all those games is probably a lot like the kids in New England growing up now. I think that’s really where my love for football started. My parents loved football and loved taking me to the games. There was nothing more fun for me than to go to Candlestick Park. Our seats were about on the 10-yard line, about eight rows from the top of the stadium. There was just so much excitement every week because the team won. Those two quarterbacks really set the bar for how the position is to be played. I’ve always admired both those guys. I have a good relationship with those guys.
“I just feel very blessed to be a part of such a great [Patriots] organization. To play for Mr. [Robert] Kraft and Jonathan and the Kraft family. And to play for coach [Bill] Belichick. I’ve been very fortunate in my life. Like I said last night, I never take it for granted. I’m just very grateful. I think that’s how I really feel.”
On controversial cornerback Richard Sherman and the Seahawks, who were eliminated from the playoffs with Sunday’s heartbreaking loss to the Falcons: “I think what I saw Atlanta do yesterday was pretty remarkable, to move the ball with 31 seconds left down the field on two pass plays was incredible, against one of the best secondaries in the league. He’s a very good player, and Earl Thomas, what a great player he is. He reminds me a lot of Ed Reed — a lot of similar qualities in what they do. They had a great team. I wish we would have beaten them this year; we didn’t. Hopefully sometime in my career I’ll get a chance to play Seattle again. But this week it’s all about Baltimore.”
On the postseason refereeing: “I always feel like the calls even out over the course of a game. Sometimes they get them right, sometimes they get them wrong. We’re used to that. We’ve always done that. That’s how it’s been since we started playing this game in high school or some of us in peewee football. The refs miss calls. That’s just part of it. The best team usually ends up winning. The refs I think do a great job in the playoffs. You see, they let us play a little bit more, which I think the players enjoy. There’s not the ticky-tack calls. I think they let us play, and that’s how the players probably typically like it. You see who the toughest guys are, you play physical, it’s a physical game. Then you see who’s the best team after four quarters of football.”
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe catch-up with former Sox GM Theo Epstein who is in town with the World Champion Cubs to take on the Sox this weekend.
We sit down with the manager of the Sox, John Farrell, for our weekly interview.
Rob Bradford is joined by Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Craig Breslow, who is one of the foremost authorities among professional athletes when it comes to understanding how charities work. Not only does Breslow head up his own charity, the Strike 3 Foundation, but also proactively has taken the Boston Globe to task via a letter to the editor after a 2013 article criticizing the allocation of funds for high-profile athlete's charities. Breslow digs into the recent controversy surrounding Tom Brady's affiliation with Best Buddies, explaining why the recent Globe article was misguided.
Gerry and Kirk read some inspiring quotes from Tony Robbins and Curtis is all set to see the man himself in June.
Tony Robbins fans were sent to the hospital after getting injured walking over coals and Pat is a massive fan of Tony Robbins.
Gerry, Kirk and Arcand react to Brady getting into a business relationship with Tony Robbins.
Night 1 of the draft has passed and Jimmy Garoppolo is still here. The general consensus on the Bears was that they screwed up their draft. And Larry Bird is out in Indiana. Is there hope for Ordway's Paul George dream?
The offensive issues for this Red Sox team are becoming more and more obvious. We also react to our interview with Pedro Martinez.
Chris Sale basically took on Tanaka and the Yankees by himself last night. And the Sox hot corner of days past seem to be gone as far as third base goes.
Dale, Holley and Keefe discuss the Celtics win and how the C's should go for the kill shot on Friday and not let this series linger any longer than it has to.
Keefe and Holley are all up in each other's faces on this argument. We compare eras, playing style, positions and much more and take your calls.
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Ken and Chris have the Good Weekend recap of a Friday Christian Arcand edition of K&C.
It’s Day 1 of the NFL Draft tonight so Jim Hackett & Pete Davidson offer a little pre-draft fodder for you featuring the Top Tight Ends and Top Wide Receivers. It’s Day 1 of the draft so there’s a lot of focus on the Top Tier talent who you could see drafted tonight including analysis on OJ Howard, Evan Engram & David Njoku; all Tight Ends that could be drafted in tonight’s 1st Round – a rarity. The analysis deepens with more focus on the Top 10 Tight Ends including Jake Butt, Bucky Hodges and Jordan Leggett. Then the boys turn to the Top Wide Receivers, including John Ross, Corey Davis, Mike Williams and JuJu Smith-Shuster. We’ll see where these guys land tonight, but you can learn more and have a few laughs right now.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis are in after a Reimer Wednesday edition of K&C to recap a virtuoso Kirk Minihane off-the-rails performance
Hour 3. Kirk goes on his second rant of the day. Minihane orders Alex’s and Gerry’s mics to be turned off and hosts the show by himself.More from this show
Hour 1. Kirk, Gerry and Meter go over the long list of ESPN employees that were let go yesterday, and realize a certain pair of names not on the list. The callers weigh in on the public's influence on ESPN.More from this show
Hour 4. Kirk questions the show about whether or not anyone would have relations with another man while in prison. Jemele Hill threatened Kirk on Twitter, but did she delete her tweet?More from this show
Hour 1. In a wild opening segment, Kirk and Gerry lash out at the Globe and Joe Sullivan. Reimer weighs in on Cyd Ziegler’s Hernandez take. Michael Holley thinks the Globe would do the same story on Ortiz as they did on Brady and Best Buddies.More from this show
Hour 4. Bradford joins the show to defend the fact that he attends Ortiz’s charity event for free. Alex doesn’t think it was unethical to out Hernandez.More from this show