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.”
The guys react to what Don Banks had to say and get into some more thoughts on Deflategate. Are McNally and Jastremski ever going to break their silence and give their side of the story? Price says yes ... eventually.
Don Banks talks with the NFL Sunday boys about his reaction to Brady's appeal, where we go from here and the NFL's motives and decisions throughout the process. He also gets into the Pats offseason so far and their weakness at CB. Don gives his take on the AFC East this year and how some of the Pats' rivals have improved.
Greg and Price discuss their thoughts on some of the reports that have leaked after Tuesday from Brady's appeal hearing. The boys talk about what the reaction will be if Brady decides to accept a 1-game suspension. Fans want a complete exoneration, but there's a good chance that they won't get that - how will they react? They also talk with Mike Petraglia and get his thought on the appeal and more.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
Sam is joined by Jared Weiss from The Garden Report and CLNS Radio to breakdown game 4 of Cavs-Warriors, preview game 5 on Sunday, and analyze the Celtics needs this off-season.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Joe & Dave talked to the Red Sox slugger, whose 7th-inning homer took the lead back for good in the win over the Astros at Fenway.
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox starter, who threw a much-needed complete game win against the Astros at Fenway Park.
Joe and Rob Bradford talk with Red Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza about the Red Sox solid road trip and offensive outpouring in a win against Toronto.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
Gary and Ben on the Pats.
The guys discussed the latest Red Sox news with Larry.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Gary Tanguay.
Conor McGregor has harsh words for Floyd Mayweather on Conan, Colbert hosts public access TV & will Joey Chestnut defend his title in Hot Dog Eating Contest?
Discussing Greg Monroe signing with Milwaukee and debating if that gives hope to a cold weather city in Boston
Kicking around the dream of acquiring a pitcher like Sonny Gray and how much you would have to give up in order to acquire that caliber talent
In honor of the 4th of July holiday, guest hosts Rob Bradford and Andy Hart examine the four worst renditions of the Star Spangled Banner at sporting events.
WEEI.com's Rob Bradford and Andy Hart of Patriots.com are in for Dale, Holley, and Thornton. Bradfo and Hart take some time to discuss the upcoming issues for Pats training camp, including what QB reps will be like between Brady and the backups.
Rob Bradford and Andy Hart are in for Dale, Holley, and Thornton and are joined by Houston Astros writer Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle to preview the weekend's Red Sox - Astros series as well as to get the inside word on the St. Louis Cardinals hacking scandal.
WEEI Bruins Reporter D.J. Bean joins Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola to talk about the signing of winger Matt Beleskey on the opening day of NHL free agency.
With 80 games played for the Red Sox, Mikey Adams wants midterm grades for several players. Also, after another Rick Porcello clunker in Toronto, callers and texters give unflattering Porcello Limericks. Lenny Megliola and Textress Lucy are along.
Danny's early thoughts on Celtics drafting Terry Rozier at the 16th pick
Ben, Russ & Alex discuss the Revs continued downfall & argue over The Mighty Ducks movie franchise
Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable are joined by special guests Mike Mutnansky of the Red Sox Radio Network and Red Sox minor league hitting coordinator Tim Hyers to talk Sox prospects. What do the struggles of Rusney Castillo and Rick Porcello in the majors mean? Also, the international signing period begins July 2, looking back at past Latin American signings. And June selections for affiliate players of the month
Gary and Ben on the Pats.More from this show
Scott Cordishi is solo in studio while John Rooke is on the road. Scott takes your calls, texts, tweets and emails on the week's hot topics. It’s Independence Day, time to celebrate our nation’s birth with fireworks, parades and cookouts. The Red Sox are on the grill with their bait and switch routine, we love them…we hate them, what’s a loyal fan to think?More from this show