Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, in his weekly chat with Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning, talked about Sunday night’s 30-23 victory over the Falcons that put New England at 4-0 heading into next Sunday’s game against the Bengals, and he lamented the loss of veteran defensive lineman Vince Wilfork.
Wilfork, who suffered an Achilles injury that reportedly is season-ending, has been one of the team’s defensive leaders for almost a decade.
“He’s such a great presence obviously in the locker room, as a leader, as a veteran player, as a guy who’s been in so many big games and big situations. It’s such a disappointment to lose him,” Brady said. “He’s irreplaceable. We’ll have to find a way collectively as a team fill the void. But it’s an unfortunate injury. Injuries are a part of the game. But the season-ending ones are always tough to swallow.”
A five-time Pro Bowler, Wilfork has missed only six games in his nine-plus NFL seasons.
“He makes everybody job a lot easier when you play at that caliber and that level that he’s played at for so long,” Brady said. “He’s so dependable, consistent, and he makes his biggest plays in the biggest moments. Someone else is going to have to step in and do that, and I think we’ve dealt with injuries in the past. The league really doesn’t slow down for anybody. I’ve said before, no one really feels sorry for the Patriots. We’re going to have to go out and try to find a win regardless.”
Added Brady: “His message was always taken to heart by everybody. Vince always backed it up on the field. Coach always talked about tough, physical teams, and that was Vince. The other guys, hopefully they’ve watched, the other guys on the roster have watched and learned a little bit about how Vince was able to do some things. And maybe that aspect of what Vince’s leadership has provided will pay off for our team.”
Cornerback Aqib Talib had an impressive game against the Falcons, picking off a pass and coming up with the game-clinching pass breakup in the end zone in the final minute.
“He’s doing great,” Brady said. “He’s been another positive influence on our team since he got here. He’s just been great on the field, great off the field. In the offseason he was a full-time participator, he won the offseason award. I think that really shows what his leadership style is all about, too. And then to go out against one of the best offenses in the league, with that caliber of receiver that he was matching up against all night — Julio Jones and Roddy White — and to play as well as he did was really a huge boost for our team.
“The guys who are as talented as Aqib on our team need to play at high levels every week. That’s what we’re going to need to have. We just don’t have a lot of margin on error right now. Who knows if we will all year, but in order to win these games we’re going to have to really be at our best.”
Added Brady: “I love having Aqib on the team. I go against him every day, and I know how hard it is. He’s really got a unique combination of size and speed and ability to play the ball in the air. His length is impressive. I know a lot of times when I throw the ball in practice and I feel like, ‘OK, I’ve got the completion, I got it over the top of him,’ he’ll jump up and knock the ball away. You go, ‘God, he’s just hard to throw over the top of,’ because of his reach, his wingspan, his ability play the ball at the highest point. And when you make a mistake, he makes you pay. That’s something that I see on a daily basis.”
The offense looked sharper Sunday than in the first three games as the Patriots continue to await the return of some key players who are out with injuries.
“We’re doing OK,” Brady said. “We’re just trying to grind it out. Hopefully we have a little margin of error. Hopefully when guys get healthy we’ll be a little bit more more well-rounded in our offense and be a little tougher to defend. But I don’t think we’ve got everything figured out quite yet. We’ve got a long way to go.”
On how winning a big game like Sunday’s can spark the team: “When you win games in the first half of the season, they pay huge dividends late in the season. As the season goes on, typically our team has found ways to improve. Over the course of these weeks you learn more about what your team does, and you learn more about what the other team does. I think that’s really the trademark of a Bill Belichick-coached team. In November, December you start to really understand and play to your strengths, as well as the coaching — because I feel we have the best coaches — that we’re able to really hone in on what the other team does well, or what they don’t do well, and we try to attack those areas.
“In the early part of the season, the mental toughness, the discipline, the worth ethic of teams really never shows up, because you’re only four games in. When it starts getting hard in November and December, you see what you’re made of. So, if you can win these games and put yourself in a great position for the second half, it really sets you up to really be dangerous when it matters the most.
“We went to Atlanta, I think our team certainly felt great about the game going in. We didn’t lack any confidence. We felt we could go in there and beat a really good team that plays really well at home, and we did just that. There wasn’t, like I said, much room for error. But we’re 4-0, and that’s a pretty good place to be at this time of the year, considering all the circumstances we’ve been through.”
On injured tight end Rob Gronkowski and how he’s progressing toward a return to game action: “He’s like every other injured player, he comes out there and he does whatever really the team has asked him. He’s been able to practice, and we’re just trying to work him back in to getting where he’s physically and mentally prepared to play. Whenever he’s ready, that’s when he’s ready to go.”
On if he’s seen any limitations with Gronkowski: “I’m not really a doctor to evaluate those things. Honestly, my week is focused on what I need to do. And then the guys that play, play. The guys that don’t, don’t. I don’t sit here and evaluate a guy from week to week. That’s not really my responsibility.”
On unsigned Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour saying he has no interest in returning to the Patriots: “I love Richard. He was a great part of our success here for a long period of time. I didn’t really like playing against him too much in Oakland. I think he’s enjoying his retirement. So, good for him.”
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price explain why Patriots owner Robert Kraft came out on the offensive Wednesday and hit back at the NFL for upholding Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension.
Law Professor Michael McCann calls in to talk about how Tom Brady can fight the NFL in court.
Peter King calls in to talk about Roger Goodell not reducing Tom Brady's suspension.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
Michael joins Ben and Sam to discuss the wild NBA Free Agency period and the upcoming Celtics season.
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.
Joe and Dave are joined by Pedro who was at the game and had his number 45 retired by the Red Sox in a very touching pregame ceremony. Pedro talks about going into the Hall of Fame, his time in Boston and love for the game of baseball.
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox designated hitter, who hit two home runs and drove in seven runs in the win over the Tigers.
Joe and Dave talk with Xander after he hits the walk-off single that snapped the Red Sox losing streak as they beat the Tigers in 11 innings.
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!
We know the leak to ESPN on deflate gate.
Beverly Scott hired by Obama.
ESPN's reporter ducked the show.
Josh Beckett is in the news but not for a baseball reason, the guys discuss his possible romantic run-in with country star, Miranda Lambert.
Greg and Lou discuss Chris Mortensen bailing on his interview with Dennis & Callahan.
Buster Olney, of ESPN, gives the guys the latest scoop on any potential deals regarding the Red Sox on MLB Trade Deadline Day.
Exactly what it
The title says it all
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton talk about all things Patriots, including the challenges on the field and the drama off the field as 2015 training camp opens today in Foxborough.
Mikey Adams lets the Red Sox have it and welcomes callers who do the same. The Red Sox (stink)!
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola get 36 glorious minutes between games of a Monday doubleheader, and after an 11-1 Red Sox loss, to vent about the declining state of the team.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola talk to #RedSox great Bill Lee, The Spaceman, about the current version of the Sox as only The Spaceman can describe things.
Intern extraordinaire Lucy joins Jerry once again to discuss the most vexing questions in the history of mankind: can men and women coexist? What are the differences between how men and women think? And how mean can women really be?
If you play Fantasy Football then you know there are several “Elephants in the Room!” And nobody is talking about them. Are they afraid? We’re not! The Dallas Running game, Leveon Bell, Demarco Murray & Ryan Matthews in the Philly backfield, the Saints offense and so much more. Right here, WEEI’s own Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson cover all of the main “Elephants in the Room” to help you get the edge for your upcoming drafts. Enjoy!
Russ & Alex discuss Andrea Pirlo's MLS debut, Didier Drogba signing with Montreal and debate which team has had the best transfer window so far.
We know the leak to ESPN on deflate gate.More from this show
Adam Schefter joined us to discuss the latest on deflategate and Chris Mortensen's false PSI report.More from this show