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.”
Patriots LB, Jerod Mayo, talks about the high praise he's been receiving from coach Belichick, trying to forget about last year, and what the team hopes from the defense.
Patriots WR, Danny Amendola, joined the show for a bit to talk about his health, the evolution of the playbook, and the heated battles between the offense and defense.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Wednesday's Patriots practice, which featured Brandon Browner getting into it with Kenbrell Thompkins and a couple others.
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.
Rob and Alex talk with John Farrell about all the moves the Red Sox made at the deadline, what they gave up and what they gained.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier are in and talking about all the moves made by the Red Sox at the trade deadline, because the most fun thing about the day is talking about the moves of the day. Red Sox GM Ben Cherington held a press conference talking about the Red Sox moves, and Rob and Alex talk with Red Sox manager John Farrell about the moves made at the deadline.
Former Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes reacts to the news that he, along with Jon Lester, have been traded to the Oakland Athletics for Yoenis Cespedes
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
The top stories of the day as recounted by John Dennis.
John, Gerry and Meter react to the breaking news of Jon Lester being dealt to the A's.
ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes gave us the latest on the Lester trade talks.
Lou goes through the 5 stages of grief, then John Lackey gets traded to the Cardinals.
Lou, Christian, and Tim react to the news that Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes have been traded to Oakland for Yoenis Cespedes. Lou hates the deal the move, especially because Cespedes is not arbitration eligible.
Former Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes joins MFB to react to the news he has been traded along with Jon Lester to the Oakland Athletics for Yoenis Cespedes
Biggest trade deadline day in recent memory for the Boston Red Sox... and not in a good way. We discuss it all as the news happens and take your reactions.
We tackle four topics, all surrounding the four worst Sox trade deadline deals in recent memory.
As news looms about a possible Jon Lester trade, we sit down with the skipper of your Sox live from Fenway park.
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.
Sam and Zach discuss changing the format of the Podcast, the Chris Archer-David Ortiz debacle, and LeBron James being a super genius
Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.
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.
ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes gave us the latest on the Lester trade talks.More from this show
Lou, Christian, and Tim react to the news that Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes have been traded to Oakland for Yoenis Cespedes. Lou hates the deal the move, especially because Cespedes is not arbitration eligible.More from this show
Former Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes joins MFB to react to the news he has been traded along with Jon Lester to the Oakland Athletics for Yoenis CespedesMore from this show
Lou goes through the 5 stages of grief, then John Lackey gets traded to the Cardinals.More from this show