Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning, as the Pats continue preparations for Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Bills in Buffalo.
One of the Patriots’ final cuts Saturday was backup quarterback Tim Tebow. There’s been speculation that the team might look to bring back the former Bronco and Jet this season, which Brady implied would be fine with him.
“I enjoy being around him very much,” Brady said. “He’s a very talented football player. To have a chance to spend a couple of months with him and kind of become a friend of his, was a great thing. We were yesterday talking about a lot of the quarterbacks that have been through our team over the years. Everyone brings a unique skill set and attitude to the table.
“I really enjoyed being with him. And you never know. Maybe, things in the NFL always — who knows, he could be back on the team at some point this year. I wish him nothing but the best. He’s really a great person and a great player.”
The Patriots went 3-1 in the preseason and stayed relatively healthy, and now Brady is ready to see the team in a meaningful game.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Brady said. “It’s been a lot of hard work, a lot of preparation. There’s a lot of guys that have really bought in to the way that coach [Bill] Belichick tries to coach the team. We’ll see how it goes on Sunday. That’s really when we’ll know how prepared we are, when you actually face real live NFL competition with everything on the line.
“You certainly gain a lot from the preseason and the experience of playing, but nothing’s like regular-season football. It’s just a whole different thing. It’s a whole different level of competition. It’s great to be able to game-plan for a particular team and see tendencies and see things that you really like and want to attack, and that’s what this week’s all about. Hopefully, we’re at our best on Sunday.”
The Patriots are loaded with new faces, including 14 rookies, and Brady said he’s eager to see them get the chance to validate their coach’s trust in them.
“Everyone that’s on the team has talent and has the ability to play in the NFL. You wouldn’t reach this level if you didn’t have the ability to perform,” Brady said. “The thing with NFL football is you need to perform on a daily basis, and during the season on a weekly basis in the games. That’s why guys stick around for a long time, because they can consistently perform at a high level. It’s hard to tell with any of the rookies whether they’re able to do that yet. They’ve obviously made it this far and they’ve gained the trust of coach Belichick to have them on the team. He thinks that they’re able to help us win games, which is why we’re here and why we have the job that we have, is to win. I’m anxious, like everyone else, to see that, too. You can talk about it and you think about and you hope about it, but we’ve got to go do it. That’s why you play the game.
“All the guys, we have a lot of new guys on the team, especially at the skill position, the running back position is certainly, hopefully a strength for us. The offensive line, we’ve got all returning starters, which is hopefully another strength. The receiver position, we’ve got basically all new guys with the exception of Julian [Edelman] and Matthew Slater. And then the tight end position, there’s a little bit of carryover. But we’re going to take on our own identity. Like I said, how that plays out, that remains to be seen.”
The Patriots are known for their fast-paced offense. However, with all the new players, there are questions about the team’s ability to continue at that pace. Brady said it will take time to see if the team has the personnel that can succeed in that environment.
“Yeah, we did that [play fast in the past], and we definitely used that as an advantage, as a strength,” he said. “I think we’ve learned a lot from that, both the positives and the negatives. And that’s really something that evolves over the course of a season for a team. Every team has tempo offense, whether that’s a two-minute offense, whether that’s a strictly no-huddle offense — Chip Kelly, that could be [the Eagles'] entire offense.
“The most important thing, and I think I’ve said this before, there’s no gimmicks in the NFL that work for an extended period of time. Ultimately, what wins football games is execution. And it’s the same basic fundamentals that have won football games for decades. And that’s blocking and catching and running and throwing. Just the basic fundamentals of the game. You can’t trick your way through those things. You may come up with a certain formation or a certain play or a certain blitz or a certain defensive alignment. Yeah, it may help win a game, from that standpoint. But what endures over the course of a long period of time is good, quality players playing smart, playing tough, playing physical, executing with great fundamentals. That’s the premise of football.
“We’ve had years where offense is a strength, we’ve had years where defense is a strength, we’ve had years where special teams is a strength, the running game’s a strength, the passing game’s a strength, pass coverage is a strength, turnovers are a strength – all those things play into winning and losing games.
“I think that is a trend to try to go fast, but ultimately it’s the execution of the play. Great, if we run a play in 10 seconds, great. Well, if we lose three yards on the play, it’s not great. What you need to do is move forward. You’ve got to move toward the opponent’s goal line and you’ve got to get the ball in the end zone. There’s lots of ways to get that done. For our particular team over the last years, yeah, that has been something that we’ve done a good job of. We’ll see if that’s a strength for us this year.”
Added Brady: “What’s the strength for our team? Well, I don’t know. We’ll see. We’re going to have to go out there and earn it.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.
On new wide receiver Danny Amendola: “He’s a very hard-working, hard-nosed football player. He wants to be out there every day — and how competitive he is. He wants to do the right thing and you can tell how much he loves the game and how much he wants to contribute and do it. This is our first opportunity to be able to do that, this weekend. He missed the last couple of preseason games, and I know he’s anxious to get out there and do it under live action. When we played against [the Rams], we game-planned for him. Our defense really speaks to the level of quality of receiver that he is.”
On the Bills: “Buffalo, I know we’ve done a good job against Buffalo over the years. They’re a tough, very tough team. We always have battles against them. We’ve come out on the winning end more times that not, but look, they give us everything that we can handle. I’ve got a ton of respect for that team. … We’ve got a great way to start. There’s no tougher challenge in the NFL than going on the road on opening day against a division opponent. I learned that a long time ago. This is going to be really a great challenge for us. There’s not a lot of information on the team that we’re playing — new coach, new coordinator, new offense, new defense. You’ve got to really prepare for everything. That’s really what we’re trying to do.”
On the start of the season: “There’s 32 teams that are very hopeful about this season. Four months from now, there’s going to be a lot of teams with a lot of crappy seasons. And nobody knows which teams those are. And there’s a lot of things that can happen in the meantime. I just hope we’re not one of those crappy teams. We do everything we can to make sure we’re one of those teams that’s still playing meaningful games at the end of the year. … It’s football season. It’s past Labor Day. We’re at a point in the year where we don’t have days to try to improve; every day counts. We as players understand the urgency of that. Everything that we’ve done for six months is for this week and it’s for this weekend. I hope our team is in a position where we’re ready to do that. I’m excited to go up to Buffalo and see what we’re made of. It should be a great weekend.”
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Rob Gronkowski's meeting with the media on Friday. Gronk said he doesn't anticipate changing the way he plays, noting that he wants to "keep smashing and dashing."
Julian Edelman joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz after Patriots training camp.
We return to our weekly segments with the one and only Peter King of MMQB and NBC's Football Night in America.
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 joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to discuss David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia's struggles, and Jon Lester's contract.
Texas Rangers General Manager, Jon Daniels, joins Rob Bradford and Alex Speier to discuss the upcoming trade deadline.
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
Kirk breaks down the media criticism he has received.
The stories of the day brought to you by Kirk Minihane
Dino, Meter and Kirk discuss the light punishment given to Ray Rice by the NFL.
Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to talk about David Ortiz, the struggles of Dustin Pedroia, and the Jon Lester contract.
Patriots Wide Receiver Julian Edelman joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz after Patriots training camp.
Given the recent Ray Rice suspension, many people are comparing it to Josh Gordon getting suspended for repeated drug abuse. Tim Benz doesn't think this is a fair comparison. He explains why.
We discuss the return of Rob Gronkowski, his comments to the media today, and what a healthy (or unhealthy) Gronk will mean for the 2014 Patriots.
We discuss the suspension of Ray Rice, and how the act he committed certainly seemed like it warranted a harsher penalty from the strict front office of Roger Goodell.
We tackle four topics, all sparked by our interest in the story about the Browns fan peeing on Art Modell's grave this past week.
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.
Mut and Villani are talking about the MLB All Star Game, Adam Wainwright and Derek Jeter, and what are some of the worst ideas in sports.
With the trade deadline looming, the next few days will be defined by how teams value prospects -- and their potential long-term contributions -- against big leaguers with established track records who can address immediate needs. Are prospects being valued accurately? Red Sox left-hander Andrew Miller -- once one of the two key chips that sent Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins to the Tigers -- assesses the matter.
A compelling case can be made that July 24, 2004, represents as significant a landmark as any date in modern Red Sox history. On that day, a memorable brawl between the Red Sox and Yankees served as a catalyst for an epic 10-9 walkoff victory for the Red Sox over New York and indomitable closer Mariano Rivera, a game cited by many members of the 2004 team as pivotal in Boston's first championship run in 86 years. Ian Browne, who covers the Red Sox for MLB.com and authored Idiots Revisited, discusses the landmark game.
With Training Camp starting this Thursday and the August Draft Season inching closer, Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are ramping up the Fantasy Football content to meet the demand! Today’s podcast gives an in depth look at Pete’s Top 50 Wide Receivers Article that is LIVE on WEEI.com right now. Pete breaks down the receivers by Tiers and the podcast gives full analysis of those Tiers and the players who occupy these spots and why. Get prepared for your drafts and enjoy!
We discuss the return of Rob Gronkowski, his comments to the media today, and what a healthy (or unhealthy) Gronk will mean for the 2014 Patriots.More from this show
Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to talk about David Ortiz, the struggles of Dustin Pedroia, and the Jon Lester contract.More from this show